My entry to an official LEGO Ideas contest to pay tribute to 60 years of The Rolling Stones: an interactive mechanical diorama with a rotating backdrop and moving flames! This contest is for builders to create models inspired by their favorite Stones songs, so I chose 2000 Light Years From Home!
This large model depicts a lone astronaut on an alien planet with green sand and a fiery volcanic ocean, as a reference to the song’s lyrics. What’s special about this creation is that it contains an internal mechanism of Technic gears and axles to allow the scenery to animate with a turn of the crank. Turning the crank makes the scene change from night to day, whilst making some of the volcanic flames flicker.
The internal mechanism required lots of trial and error, such as having a fluid system to control the bottom flames especially. Early tests used a crankshaft with pistons similar to an automobile’s engine, but I ran into issues with the pieces getting jammed. Instead I have an axle with jagged pieces alternating, which when rotated causes the flames above to move around erratically.
I started with creating the rear scenery disc, then moved onto experimenting with the functionality of the Technic parts. Once the mechanism was created, I quickly built the entire scene over top over the Technic parts over the course of weekend mere days before the contest deadline expired. In fact, to expedite the process I used the infamous BURP (big ugly rock piece) bricks to flesh out the sides of the mountain, hence the majority of the inside of the model is hollow.