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Mad Max Peacemaker

October 11th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Model of the Peacemaker vehicle from the Mad Max: Fury Road movie. Features drive, steering, suspension, custom stickers and SBricks.


Completion date: 11/10/2015
Power: electric (Power Functions)
Dimensions: length 42 studs / width 17 studs / height 20 studs
Weight: 0.945 kg
Suspension: oscillating bogies on trailing arms with shock absorbers
Propulsion: 2 x RC motor geared 3:1
Motors: 2 x RC motor

I have thoroughly enjoyed Mad Max: Fury Road movie, largely thanks to the vast collection of insane and exciting vehicles. To me, one of the most interesting among those was the Peacemaker – a monstrosity created by taking a Ripsaw and putting chopped up bodies of two Valiant Chargers on top of it. Seeing as this vehicle is not getting the attention it deserves from Lego builders, I’ve decided to give it a try.

Even though the model is small and simple, I’ve hit a few obstacles along the way. Not least of them was the scarce documentation – true, the bottom of the vehicle was essentially the original Ripsaw, but the top was very vaguely related to the original Valiant Charger, with two cars chopped up and mixed together to create a stretched hood taking half of the vehicle’s length and a cabin that has clearly been cut in the middle and stretched sideways. This forced me to rely almost entirely on footage from the movie, where the vehicle appears only shortly and is shown from behind only twice, both times during night and in motion. I wasn’t even sure about the color of the body, as in the movie the car looks more or less golden, while promotional materials show it in washed-out beige. In the end I’ve decided to avoid vivid colors completely, making the body tan and using metallic silver rather than chrome for shiny elements – a decision which was later strengthened by seeing photo from the movie set showing Peacemaker in tan. I still had to make up a few details – for instance, I was unable to discover what is the Bullet Farmer sitting on exactly and what’s inside the rear crew compartment taking up the trunk space. The open hood was another mystery, as it wasn’t really shown in the movie – one could just glimpse complex piping holding the body above the chassis, as well as actual driver’s seat with a windshield. I wasn’t sure whether this was intentional – perhaps the actual driver wasn’t really meant to be seen, given his weird, concealed position.

In the end, the primary goal of the model was to test the performance of two LEGO RC motors powered by two 8878 batteries through two SBricks – and it proved satisfactory, to say least. I wanted to test such a combination as an alternative to the bulky, heavy LEGO RC module, and it seems to be very attractive – this model simply had no room for the RC unit. It also proved very agile and reasonably fast, although its low weight and long tracks impaired its traction. Two separate powerful motors with no mechanical connection whatsoever made it also somewhat difficult to control – it was very easy to unintentionally change the direction, and when driving at full speed, the model was unable to stop instantly – it needed some room to lose the momentum. The suspension worked better than expected, as visible during the slow-motion parts of the video, and at the same time it kept tracks in place perfectly well.

On the aesthetic side, the model was somewhat too tall – a compromise required by my ambition to build a suspension system just like the original one. The suspension needed each of the three bogies to sit on a trailing arm with a shock absorber mounted at a different angle, and with the Lego shock absorbers being much longer than the original ones, the whole setup turned out to be rather tall. For a long time I wasn’t sure about the width either – luckily, the model was built so as to be easily separated into two halves. I think the final width is correct, it’s just he overly tall tracks that make it look somewhat off. The part I really disliked was the lower body slope just above the track, which I was unable to approximate with any Lego piece. Between tracks rising up towards front and the body being tilted very slightly down towards front, I was forced to resort to ugly “stairs of plates” technique.

Yet another experiment were the stickers – I wanted to try to make the body weathered by recreating welding lines and grime from the original Peacemaker’s body. To this end I’ve created custom stickers, printed them on a transparent sticker foil and put them on the body. I think the result is only partially convincing – the stickers look too dark against the tan body, and the edges of the grime shouldn’t be this clear. Then again, blurred edges would most likely print poorly on a transparent foil. Additionally, some of the details were re-created using Lego pneumatic tubing with sections of metal wire inside to define its shape. I’ve also decided not to use LEDs in the model’s searchlight, because the LEDs and the wires would ruin its look and because the result would come nowhere near the brightness of the original searchlight. Also, I have used sections of Lego pneumatic hose with metal wire inside for some of the details, with the wire used to maintain the shape.

My final experiment was to use TV as a backdrop for photos. I have launched the Mad Max game in photo mode to obtain pictures of the desert that I could easily adjust by moving the in-game camera around, and I have placed the model on a tripod in front of the TV. Another tripod was holding my actual camera, which I then used to take photo of the model in front of the TV, then removed the model and took photo of the TV itself without changing camera’s focus. When combined, the two versions of each photo allowed me to remove the tripod from under the model and make it “sit” on the backdrop. I wasn’t entirely happy with the results – even when photoshopped, the model still seemed to float in front of the backdrop (which it did), and it was difficult to make it properly lit when shot against the TV screen which is essentially a giant lamp.

I was pretty happy with the model, which proved to be a good exercise in building something without use of blueprints. I was less happy with how much effort it took, requiring two SBricks, two 8878 batteries and a number of rare tan pieces, including ultra-rare 2×3 tan wedge plates that proved nearly impossible to get.

Work in progress photos:

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01.jpg 02.jpg 03.jpg 04.jpg 05.jpg 06.jpg 07.jpg 08.jpg 09.jpg 10.jpg dsc04350.jpg dsc04379.jpg dsc04388.jpg dsc04405.jpg dsc04410.jpg dsc04414.jpg dsc04420.jpg dsc04438.jpg dsc04463.jpg dsc04490.jpg dsc04501.jpg dsc04503.jpg dsc04508.jpg dsc04511.jpg dsc04515.jpg hamster1.jpg hamster2.jpg hamster3.jpg hamster4.jpg hamster5.jpg original1.jpg original2.jpg


Media coverage:

IGN.de (German), Kotaku, The Lego Car Blog

Categories: Misc. Tags: , , , , ,
  1. Sariel
    March 17th, 2016 at 10:04 | #1

    Well, it’s this color that is rare.

  2. valoo
    March 16th, 2016 at 20:23 | #2

    you say “ultra-rare 2×3 tan wedge plates “. this parts are ultra rares ? because i’ve a lot of them in my inventory.probably not in this color but some.

  3. November 29th, 2015 at 00:10 | #3

    @TechnoFan If you wanted add lights I think the best choice would be brickstuff lights … they are small. It would be cool to integrate it into this model.

  4. Sariel
    October 15th, 2015 at 11:14 | #4

    It sure is.

  5. TechnoFan
    October 15th, 2015 at 08:06 | #5

    Awesome model can you tell me is it possible to add led lights to this model?

  6. EV3fan
    October 12th, 2015 at 18:51 | #6

    Wonderful to see it driving 🙂

  7. EV3fan
    October 12th, 2015 at 18:44 | #7

    Awesome! 🙂

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