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Modeling a classic fictional vehicle with LEGO bricks


Picture of LEGO AT-AT

LEGO® is a trademark of The LEGO Group of companies (creators of LEGO building toys).
AT-AT™, AT-ST™, Snowspeeder™, and Star Wars™ are trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd. (creators of the Star Wars movies).
This web page is not in any way affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by either entity.

AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport)

The Imperial Walker, or AT-AT, is a giant troop carrier on legs, a sort of futuristic Trojan horse. It was the centerpiece of a memorable battle scene in The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars Episode V). As such, it should need no further introduction from me.


LEGO bricks are among the coolest toys on Earth. Little plastic bricks that lock firmly together with little pegs, available in a wide variety of shapes. Building recognizable models with them is a bit like doing origami or tangrams, especially when you restrict yourself to a small number of pieces.

Official LEGO AT-ATs

There are two official LEGO models of the AT-AT. One has over 1000 parts. It looks great. The other uses only 98 pieces. I recently got one of the little ones. It looks better in person than on the box, but it doesn't really look right.

Unofficial LEGO AT-ATs

There are also quite a few unofficial models by various people, at various scales. Some of them are amazingly accurate; many of them are also very big. For example, check out the one on this page, or this one. On the other hand, some are very small, like these. Wow.


I wanted to create a model that was almost as small as the official mini-model, but big enough to have the right proportions and a bit more detail.

I liked certain elements of the official mini head, so I started by rebuilding that, keeping the details I liked but adjusting the overall shape and size.

Then I noticed that the redesigned head was almost at the same scale as a good side-view photograph I was using for reference. Thus I could hold up parts in front of the photograph to check sizes. This made the rest of the model pretty easy to design. I was happy to discover that I had found a fairly "natural" scale: the simple, plentiful parts I wanted to use for various details each turned out to be the right size. I was even happier to discover that the model was approximately in scale with my favorite official mini models, the AT-ST and Snowspeeder (I had hoped it would be, but didn't specifically plan for that while building it.)



AT-AT from below


I'm very happy with this model. The legs have a slight tendency to fall off, but otherwise it's pretty sturdy. It can stand up; if two diagonally opposed legs are vertical, the other two can be posed. The head is extremely posable. (Much better than the official mini model, whose head only tilts vertically.)

Before building this model, I hadn't seen any others in a similar scale. But, as usual, by the time I had this text written, I'd found another page showing a model at a very similar scale indeed. (Its creator, David Eaton, has also posted a number of excellent reference images of the "real" AT-AT, for comparison.) Dave's model is better than mine - the main body is more accurately sloped and detailed, the neck is thick enough, and look at those great ankles! But my model's knees bend.


<<< lego-mini-sd <<< --- Dan Efran Gallery --- >>> lego-mini-dalek >>>

About the Artist

My name is Dan Efran. I build stuff out of LEGO bricks sometimes. It's fun.

I do other things too. I'm currently looking for work; please check out my resume. If you prefer to simply give me money, a nice tip will surely encourage me to post more cool stuff like this page.

I can be reached by email at embassy@efran.org.

Villa Infinity Copyright ©1999-2004 by Daniel S. Efran. All rights reserved.
Last update for this page: 28 March 2004
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