Welcome to another edition of Community Outreach! For the first interview of the year, I reached out to Dolgfer Roshak, of the German Jade Falcon Clan. He’s been posting his Lego BattleMech build videos for years, and I wanted to know how many Lego ‘Mechs adorn his walls (spoiler: it’s a lot). I’ve personally always loved Lego, and the only thing that prevents me from buying a whole bunch of random bricks to build my own ‘Mechs is my complete lack of space. And time. And money. Sigh.
Sarna (Sean): Who are you? Briefly introduce yourself.
CJF Dolgfer Roshak: My name is Dolgfer Roshak and I am a member of the 5th Falcon Dragoons (German Clan Jade Falcon). I earned my Bloodname “Roshak” during a Trial of Bloodright performed in Mechwarrior Online. You have access to the ROM files using the following link.
On a side note, I had some luck in the first and second duel, as I was the hunter in that Trial. Both Bullbor as well as Darius are more at home in heavy and assault BattleMechs.
Sarna: What made you want to start making Lego BattleMechs?
Dolgfer: Well, you can find several Lego Mecha-like videos on YouTube, but none really for BattleTech. I wanted to close that gap. In addition, now I get to have a very nice Lego ‘Mech Hanger full of BattleMechs.
Sarna: When did you start your YouTube channel?
Dolgfer: I started my YouTube channel on January 02, 2014. I gained my first experience with videos by capturing drops in MechWarrior Online.
My “Birth of a Battle Mech Series” started two years later. I uploaded my first episode on April 02, 2016. At the time, I started with the speed build technique. Now I am using mainly the stop motion picture technique to complete my videos.
Sarna: When did you get into BattleTech?
Dolgfer: My first memory of BattleTech is Mechwarrior 2 (ah, the good old times…).
Sarna: What’s your favourite ‘Mech? An all-important question. :)
Sarna: And what’s your favourite Lego ‘Mech?
Dolgfer: I’ll stick with the Mad Dog.
Sarna: What parts of BattleTech do you play? Perhaps a better question, what HAVEN’T you played?
Dolgfer: Well let’s see… I’ve played MechWarrior 2 through 4, MechCommander 1 and 2, MechAssault and MechAssault: Phantom War, MechWarrior Online, BATTLETECH, the BattleTech Trading Card Game, and the BattleTech tabletop game.
Sarna: How do you go about creating each BattleMech? Do you do it by hand? Is there software that you use to help make each model? Or are you going off designs already on the internet?
Dolgfer: My starting point is usually BrickCommander.com. Here, there are several designs available for download. Most of them are designed by a guy named Primus, but some of them are also designed by Peer Risch, Ron Perovich, Gordon Hundeby, David Kerber, and Pablo Gómez-Albarracín. The designs are free to download (the software is also free). In each of my videos, you will see a reference to Primus and BrickCommander.com.
With the software (I personally use LDraw) you can generate a parts list. Knowing the parts list (partly with outdated Lego part numbers) makes it a lot easier to prepare a prototype BattleMech. I order my parts from different sellers listed at BrickLink.com. The difficulty is to get the Lego bricks in the colors you want (maybe they are rare or expensive, or they are not available in the color you like). The next challenge is the design of the BattleMech, as you do not know if the ‘Mech will stand solid. At BrickCommander.com you will find the remark “Please be aware that some of the larger Clan ‘Mechs have never been built with ‘real’ Lego before and may require adjustments for weight and balance (examples being the Blood Asp, Stone Rhino, Turkina) when created with physical Lego bricks.”
As soon as the prototype is ready, I replace bricks in colors I like (ie. the final paint job of the BattleMech). It might become necessary to adjust bricks in order to get the color scheme right. In addition, I might modify sections (e.g. for a solid standing or adding a pilot or a cockpit, etc.). Finally, I will prepare the stop motion build up.
Sarna: How long does it take to create each video? I’ve been told that stop-motion can be a labor-intensive process.
Dolgfer: Ah, that is a tricky question.
The preliminary Lego process takes something between 1 and 2 hours. Preparing a prototype build takes another 1 or 2 hours, depending on the number of bricks I use. The final coloring and modifications could take some time. I would say, something between 2 and 4 hours (and possibly longer for larger models, of course).
The final stop motion recording could take anywhere from 8 to 16 hours, again depending on the number of bricks. Episode 33 (Ares) was a real challenge with 4,000 to 5,000 bricks. I really cannot remember the time needed for this one.
Sarna: If you had to guess, how many Lego pieces do you own? How much do you think you might spend on Lego in a year?
Dolgfer: I really do not know, how many bricks I own. But let us see if we could make a short breakdown of my Birth of a BattleMech Series:
- Episode 01 – UrbanMech 220
- Episode 02 – Mist Lynx 280
- Episode 03 – Mad Dog 550
- Episode 04 – Hatchetman 360
- Episode 05 – Mauler 800
- Episode 06 – Elemental Armor 390
- Episode 07 – Mad Cat 550
- Episode 08 – Shadow Cat 450
- Episode 09 – Uziel 350
- Episode 10 – Blood Kite 900
- Episode 11 – Catapult 550
- Episode 12 – Axman 680
- Episode 14 – Bulldog 330
- Episode 15 – Flea 270
- Episode 16 – Summoner 530
- Episode 17 – Supernova 850
- Episode 18 – Cougar 350
- Episode 19 – Atlas 1,500
- Episode 20 – Rifleman 850
- Episode 21 – Stinger LAM 240
- Episode 22 – Mad Cat Mk II 700
- Episode 23 – Hunchback 300
- Episode 24 – Mad Dog Mk III 1,200
- Episode 25 – Awesome 800
- Episode 26 – Jaguar 400
- Episode 27 – Stalking Spider 540
- Episode 28 – Scorpion 700
- Episode 29 – Warhawk 930
- Episode 30 – Blood Asp 900
- Episode 31 – AgroMech Mod 650
- Episode 32 – Fafnir 1,000
- Episode 33 – Ares 4,500
- Episode 34 – Firemoth 280
- Episode 35 – Dire Wolf 2,300
- Episode 36 – Piranha 240
- Episode 37 – UrbanMech IIC 240
- Episode 38 – Highlander 650
- Episode 39 – Annihilator 720
- Episode 40 – Cyclops 1,100
- Episode 41 – Adder 370
- Episode 42 – Battlemaster 1,100
- Episode 43 – Hatchetman Dark Age 900
- Episode 44 – Guillotine 600
- Episode 45 – Marauder IIC 1,100
- Episode 46 – Bushwacker 480
- Episode 47 – Warhammer 1,100
- Episode 48 – Bishop Transporter 800
- Episode 49 – Jade Falcon Flag 10,000
- Episode 50 – Mad Dog Mk IV 1,300
- Episode 51 – Hellbringer 550
If I have summed up all the numbers correctly, round about 47,450 Lego bricks. My average purchase price for one brick is round about 0.10 Euros.
Sarna: How hard is it to keep ‘Mechs to the appropriate scale? Do the little Lego guys make it easier or harder?
Dolgfer: With Lego Minifigs, it’s actually harder to include them into the BattleMechs. Sometimes you have to decide between a solid head construction or to include a pilot and cockpit. My aim is to always try to include a pilot.
Sarna: Do you keep every ‘Mech model you make? Or do they eventually get retired and turned into other models?
Dolgfer: I keep them. So, space is an issue X)
I need them also for other projects. One of my long-time projects is a recreation of the Mechwarrior 3 intro. And I’ve always had a dream of playing a tabletop game with Lego ‘Mechs.
Sarna: You’ve mentioned your “‘Mech Hanger” a few times–just where exactly do you keep all these ‘Mechs?
Dolgfer: My “’Mech Hanger” is at the moment a big shelf, desk, and the wall.
Sarna: What’s the hardest part about making ‘Mechs out of Lego?
Dolgfer: Finding the right color for the whole BattleMech.
Sarna: Then why is it always green? (I notice all your ‘Mechs are green.)
Dolgfer: As a member of Clan Jade Falcon I use of course green. In addition, I also use mainly black and dark bluish grey.
Sarna: Oh, haha, I get it. In that case, what ‘Mech might you make next?
Dolgfer: You can actually see it in my latest video. On a side note, this building consists of around 1,900 bricks.
Thank you, Dolgfer, for this fascinating look at Lego BattleMechs. I never knew there was quite this much crossover between Lego and BattleTech. Perhaps this will inspire other BattleTech fans (with a lot of shelf space, of course) to invest in their own Lego BattleMech hangers.
And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.