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Walking Warhammer 40K Dreadnought

December 22nd, 2021 Leave a comment Go to comments

Model of a combat unit from the Warhammer 40K game motorized using Circuit Cubes.


Completion date: 21/12/2021
Power: electric (Circuit Cubes)
Remote control: Circuit Cubes
Dimensions: length 19 studs / width 24 studs / height 34 studs (39 studs when on top of the stand)
Weight: 0.495 kg (0.874 kg with stand included)
Suspension: none
Propulsion: 1 x geared Circuit Cubes motor
Motors: 1 x geared Circuit Cubes motor, 2 x small Circuit Cubes motor

Ever since I got hold of the Circuit Cubes components, I was tempted to attempt a small biped walker that would take advantage of their tiny size. The geared motor was well-suited for driving the legs while the two small motors were perfect for inserting into arms to rotate something. And long story short, I remembered the iconic Dreadnought from the Warhammer 40,000 universe and set out to make it walk.

The original idea was to build a shifting center of gravity walker in which the torso tilts left and right so that when one foot is down, most of the weight is moved over it, allowing the other foot to move up and forward, and then the cycle is reversed. I have built two legs moving on three short levers each and driven by a motor with the central Circuit Cubes unit stacked on top of it. The vertical stack of the motor and the unit was moving sideways like an inverted pendulum, enclosed within the hollow upper torso. I had hoped that the center of gravity would be taken off one leg sufficiently so that it could be lifted and moved up, but something else happened, something I have not expected. As soon as the weight of the upper torso became greater than the weight of the hips, legs and the “stack” of a motor and CC unit, the torso would remain level while walking and the hips would sway sideways below it. This produced an unexpected, odd walking pattern in which both feet would remain on the ground at all times, but because of the shifting center of gravity, the walker would still move forward because the leg that went forward always had less load on it than the leg going backward. In essence, it didn’t really walked but rather slowly shambled forward, but it remained pretty stable, it could move forward and backward, and the movement looked somewhat amusing so I kept it as it was.

To complete the model I have added detailed body with many accessories, as well as stand, because Warhammer 40K figurines usually come with stands. For the stand, I have used a lighting kit from Brickstuff featuring flexible LED filaments and a rechargeable battery, so that the stand was fully self-contained and produced a lighting effect similar to a flowing lava, illuminating model from below. I have also equipped the model with a number of accessories, including interchangeable arm attachments, mostly silly ones such as Warhamster and Warhammer Warhammer. In order to keep the model balanced forward/backward despite the various weights and centers of gravities of the accessories and attachments, I have installed the arms on ball joints, allowing limited adjustments, and I have included a block of 42 2×1 plates at the back of the Dreadnought, acting as a counterweight (because the standard LEGO weighted brick proved too heavy).

In the end, the model was technically very simple but it was still something a little new to me, and adding the details and exploring the Warhammer 40K lore was an immense fun. I had even more fun with making silly accessories and a very silly video below, so in summary this is the MOC I probably had most fun with this year.


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