Apollo LEGO Kinetic Sculpture

Apollo LEGO Kinetic Sculpture


Hey everyone, Jason here. Today we’re going to take a look at my latest kinetic sculpture which is this model of Apollo
the god of light, Sun, archery and a bunch of other things, and here he is riding in
his chariot being pulled by a couple of horses. I’m really happy with how this
model came together. I especially like how all the gold trim on the chariot and
the wheels turned out. I think it ended up looking quite sharp. Obviously the
main component of the motion here is the running of the horses, but I also added
some movement to the chariot, which rocks slightly on its axle, and also to the
figure itself, which moves in tandem with the chariot, but the motion is a little
bit dampened, which I think makes it seem a little bit more natural. If you are
familiar with some of my older models, you may remember a previous horse I
designed all the way back in 2014, which is this one, and this model was largely
Technic based and had an internal drive mechanism which really had a large
impact on the overall look of this model, and I always kind of had in the back of
my mind that I wanted to revisit this model of a horse and build a more System style of horse and finally about a year ago I started to tinker with a new
design which eventually ended up with this. And when we take a look at these
horses, the most obvious difference is that they are primarily made up of System
bricks, which allowed me to use all of these nice curved slopes to capture the
shaping of a horse. What allowed me to do that is that the drive system for the
legs is operating externally instead of internally. There’s a crankshaft that
runs beneath the horses, with rods connected to the hoof of each leg which
control their position and orientation, and the motion of each leg is just a
result of the constraints imposed by the joints. And just like in the previous
model I tried to encapsulate some of the more subtle aspects of the motion of a
running horse, including the rocking of the body, the forward thrust of the head
and the flick of the tail. And let’s take a closer look at how all of that works.
So the main support is stationary and the crank shaft runs through it about
halfway up. And we’re just going to put one side of the horse on, which is mounted on a pin at its belly, so that it is free to tilt
forwards and backwards. Next we’ll add a way to control that tilt using this simple pair of lift arms, so that the tilt can be controlled through an axle exposed on the other side of the body. And that axle is where we are going to
connect the rear leg. So that the tilt of the body is controlled through the movement of that leg. Next we’ll add the front leg. The head and the neck assembly is flexible and the bottom of it is mounted to the stationary stand and the
top is mounted at a point at the front shoulders. So that the as the body tilts, the neck deforms and the head is pushed forward and pulled back. The tail is mounted on a pin at the back of the body, and the base of the tail just rests on
the stationary stand. As a result, again as the body tilts the tail moves as well. The left side of the body is just
mirrored from the right, and the legs are mounted in the exact same way.
They’re just driven from a crank that is offset 90 degrees from the crank that
drives the right legs. Now, if you know your way around horses and their gaits,
you will notice that these horses are not really technically galloping. The
gait is much closer to a canter, where the second rear hoof is placed at the same time as the first front hoof. So, these horses are definitely not letting
it all out and galloping at full pace. And that’s just a side effect of the
simpler mechanism that I’m using, but I really do love this mechanism since it did allow me to shape the horses with system bricks, and it’s also just a much
simpler and more reliable design, which has a pretty big impact to the
performance of the model. Especially when you’re running it for six to eight hours a day at a show, the more complex the mechanism, the more opportunity there is
for things to go wrong, things to bind and wear down and come loose
over time, and I’ve already had this model running at two full weekend events
with no problems whatsoever, which is really awesome. And that’s about it for
this model. I hope you enjoyed the model and the video. As always, thanks for
watching, keep on building, and I’ll see you in the next one.

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100 Replies to “Apollo LEGO Kinetic Sculpture”

  1. I would love to see your process for developing these amazing kinetic sculptures. Do you use any digital design software? Btw absolutely love your system brick builds.

  2. On one hand I love the design of this thing, on the other hand it looks quite off to me.
    Basically in your design it looks like the foot of the horse, is his lower leg. Making his joints look all messed up to me.
    You don't have the 3 joints that a horse's leg is made up of, with its super long foot. In your model the foot looks like the lower leg, and it seems to have just a very small foot below that.
    It's something I have seen in many designs of these types of animal sculptures, I guess it's just a simplification, but it's something I wanted to point out.
    That said, the way you got them to move with the mechanics not being noticeable much at all, is really lovely.

  3. A lot of subtle motions (and details) that go unnoticed at first glance. But they would be instantly missed if they weren't there.
    Very nicely done. 👍

  4. Very cool! Very neat attention to detail and motion. Admittedly, I chuckled a little bit. The horses look like they are tip toeing, but very fast tip toeing.

  5. Any chance that the "car" part moves sideways? These vehicles are not exactly the most stable (mostly for the common ground they were used, gravel or dirt). It would be fun to see some sort of trebble on the cart.

  6. It isn't lost on me that this is at least the 2nd kinetic sculpture inspired by Greek mythology. Please keep it up, it's a wonderful but overlooked medium to work in.

  7. Beautiful and elegant as always, JKbrickworks! The fluidity of the motions despite the speed of the movement is incredible! However, I fear that the axel connecting the two horses together (the brown one at the front) is flexing unhealthily. Nonetheless, this piece is truly astounding! Great job, man!

  8. Uploaded this to Lego ideas. Lego needs a good kinetic line of products and this is so far your best moving mode. Good job

  9. Holy. Fuck. My draw dropped the first 5 secs I was watching this, and then I thought, "Oh, Gogd I hope he's posted instructions on this!".

  10. Another kinetic masterpiece. It's beautiful, especially the horses are just perfect in both sculpt and animation. Wonderful work, keep it up.

  11. Usually you're just genius, but with this model you're next-level genius. I LOVE the entire complexity of the mechanism and how simply you put it together and explain it. Great work!

  12. The horses looked slightly off to me, and now I know why. The front leg’s “knee” is actually supposed to be the equivalent of our wrists. There should be another joint in between that and the Horse’s body

  13. Not to be that guy, but are the midsections of the reigns held together by cut flexitube? I can’t think of any other bar connection piece that short

  14. Hi Jason, watched the evolution of your kinetic sculptures through the Brothers Brick website; this must be your most intricate till now, very impressive 😀 Did you study the horses' typical movement before starting this build?

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