From the Xbox 360 game Mass Effect, the M35 "Mako" Infantry Fighting Vehicle! ... It's a tank/moon rover.
About this creation
The minifigs on this page were made using custom-designed decals (stickers). I offer a printing service for these stickers HERE.
Since I've made LEGO creations for Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II, Star
Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, and even Neverwinter
Nights, I think it's pretty obvious that I'm a big fan of BioWare. So,
naturally, I couldn't miss their latest Xbox 360 3rd-person-shooter/RPG
title, Mass Effect. And as a result, I give you: the game's chief (and
only drivable) land vehicle, the M35 Mako Rover!
Here is the description straight from the in-game Codex screen (fully
narrated by that guy who narrated Star Wars: Rogue Squadron):
The M35 Mako infantry fighting vehicle was designed for the System
Alliance's frigates. Though the interior is cramped, an M35 is small
enough to be carried in the cargo bay and easily deployed on virtually any
With its turreted 155mm mass accelerator and coaxially-mounted machine
gun, the Mako can provide a fire team with weapon support as well as
mobility. Since Alliance marines may be required to fight on any world,
the Mako is environmentally-sealed and equipped with microthrusters for
use on low-gravity planetoids.
The Mako is powered by a sealed hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell, and includes a
small element zero core. While not large enough to nullify the vehicle's
mass, the core can reduce it enough to be safely air-dropped. When used in
conjunction with thrusters, it also allows the Mako to extricate itself
from difficult terrain.
I put quite a bit of work into this model, trying to make it as accurate
and detailed as possible... So out of fear that some
viewers might not have played the game, or might have played it but never
looked very closely at the Mako, I'm providing convenient comparison
images! Ignore the fact that the "screenshots" look rather fuzzy and
they're actually photos of my computer monitor (hooked to the 360 I have
at my computer desk) that I took with a digital camera. Would that I had
one of those fancy systems for taking actual Xbox 360
screenshots... or even Xbox Live...
The rear of the vehicle is where most of the detailing is located. Another
thing I wanted to do was give the model an impressive presentation. See
that background? I didn't copy and paste that in; I actually drew it
myself in Adobe Photoshop and printed it on the new HP DesignJet 130 Large
Format Printer I recently purchased for my business. I plan to offer this
and other backgrounds for purchase through my website, since they can of
course come in very handy not only for photographing models (both LEGO and
otherwise, like those painted wargame miniatures), but also for making
stop-motion LEGO films, since it's much harder to insert a digital
background into those than it is a regular photograph.
But enough about my business ventures... As you can see in the above
photo (hint: look at the second set of wheels), my LEGO Mako has working suspension.
Much like the Warthog in Halo, I felt that it just wouldn't
be the Mako if it didn't bounce. If you've played the game, you should
know exactly what I mean. When I first saw videos of the Mako bouncing
over uneven terrain and gunning down foes in early promotional trailers, I
thought it looked silly and probably awkward to drive. When I finally got
to try it in the actual game, I was pleasantly surprised. It's actually
These two shots show the most inaccurate aspect of my Mako, which is
simply that it could stand to be longer and slimmer. I had trouble doing
that with the wheels I had chosen while still keeping it thick enough to
seat actual minifigs. Still, I think this drawback is easily overlookable
in light of how well the model turned out overall.
As soon as I saw the Mako in the game, my mind did what it often does: it
began translating what I saw into a possible LEGO model. And I realized
immediately that the Mako would lend itself almost perfectly to LEGO; the
smooth surfaces, the colors, the fact that LEGO loves to make rovers
anyway... and the shape of the front was perfect for those long curved
slopes! However, in order to use those pieces, some decaling was needed. I
tried to keep it to a minimum though. If this were a LEGO set, it would
have a total of three printed/decaled pieces. That's not bad, right?
Another thing about my LEGO model is that it's more than a little bit too
large. This was, of course, necessary for it to be "minifig scale" and
still actually seat minifigs. If you stand next to the Mako in the game,
it seems unbelievable that it could actually seat at least three people!
But my LEGO can...
Here is the driver's seat. The Mako features no windshield or
canopy in the game, but it does have a vent-like row of slits that I
assume is used for a non-instrumental peek outside. The only time we get a
look at the Mako's interior is in one of the promotional trailers (the one
it plays in the game if you sit at the main menu too long), but the Mako
in that video also has a pair of large windows on the front that are
clearly not there in the game, so I dismissed it as inaccurate anyway.
The video also presents the Mako as what appears to be a four-seater, but
the only time in the game where a fourth passenger joins you is on Feros,
when you rescue the girl named Lizbeth who is actually the most attractive
female NPC in the game I thought; way more attractive than either of the
ones you are forced to choose between. Hm, I kind of went off on a tangent
there, didn't I? Err... anyway, the top of my LEGO Mako is easily
removable for access to the interior. You know how I am about playability.
Of course, the top of the vehicle is never shown opening up in the game.
No, the only visible form of entry is through the tiny hatches on its
lower sides. At first I couldn't believe this was really how characters got in
and out... until I saw a cutscene near the end of the game where your
character actually crawls out of it. Ouch.
Speaking of characters, here are the minifigs! They are, from left to
right: Kaidan Alenko, Commander Justin Shepard (you can only choose your
character's first name), and Ashley Williams. I'm sure some of you don't
like the megaphone assault rifle I gave Ashley, but I can't get over a
lingering affection for megaphone blasters. Kaidan has a pistol, since
it's the only weapon he's good with, and I have a sniper rifle, since my
character was an Infiltrator. Soldiers are boring.
The armors they are wearing for these minifigs are Liberator (Kaidan),
Mercenary (Ashley), and of course... Scorpion (Shepard). Here are some
more screen-photos for comparison purposes. When I saw they had an armor
called Scorpion in the game, I knew I had to wear it. And then when I
found the pistol called Stinger, I was all set! And you can easily get
both in the very first level of the game, if you search thoroughly.
A shot of the back decals, as our stalwart heroes apparently run toward
the sunset. I tried to keep these minifigs detailed but still relatively
simple, since like the Mako, the armor suits worn by the soldiers in Mass
Effect lend themselves almost perfectly to LEGO. Unfortunately, the aliens
do not. Maybe later I'll try my hand at some of the alien characters,
although I doubt a LEGO version of Wrex would ever be able to fit inside
The only part that required customization was the visors. I just couldn't
be satisfied with flipping a visor upside-down or not closing it all the
way; it didn't look right. So out came the knife. At
first I tried cutting, but the plastic LEGO uses for their regular visors
appears to be harder than the kind they use for the chrome visors I cut
for my Halo SPARTANs and ODSTs. Eventually I gave up on the knife and
moved to sandpaper and fingernail files. It took a bit of work and my
fingers are sore now, but the results look great. I had to take this photo
of the pile of ABS plastic dust from the last visor.
Speaking of Halo, who do you think would win in this fight? Sorry Halo
fans, but realistically speaking, it would have to be the Mako. Yeah, the
Warthog is cool and all, but the Mako has a mass-accelerator cannon, full-body
environmentally-sealed armor, a third pair of wheels, jump jet boosters,
and even full-body kinetic shielding. The Warthog is basically an engine
three guys can use to ride around and shoot guns from. It would be
Speaking of my Warthog, I went through several different designs for the
Mako's suspension, including actual springs and even the weird turning
design LEGO used for their Clone Turbo Tank set (I hate that name... it
will always be the Juggernaut to me). Finally I went back to my classic
cheap-but-effective small-scale solution: rubber bands. Hey, they work.
The horse you rode in on... By the way, try not to get too separated from
your Mako. It is possible (my brother Ryan figured this out the hard way)
to land the Mako on top of a structure and then jump out, fall off the
building, and never be able to get back up to get inside and return to the Normandy, effectively stranding you on the planet. I suppose it's
possible that you could just walk all the way past the boundaries of the
map until Joker returned you to the center automatically, but that could
be quite a hike...
EDIT: Someone just pointed out to me that apparently you can return to the Normandy from the map screen, so ignore everything I just said above. D'oh!
The last thing I built for the Mako was the cannon, and it's perhaps one
of the less-accurate parts due to size constraints, but I still like it.
As you can see above, it can point up, but not down. This is also accurate
to the game! Try sitting on top of a hill and shooting down at some Geth,
and you'll see what I mean. Even though your crosshairs can go down below
the Mako's midline, the cannon will not point down that far, and your
projectiles will still be firing straight forward. The only way to shoot
downward is to maneuver onto a downward slope or... to zoom in with the
scope by holding the left trigger and then pressing down on the right
thumbstick. For some reason, this will enable the vehicle to shoot even
below its midline.
I made some pretty awesome desktop wallpaper images for both fullscreen and widescreen resolutions, but you'll have to view them on my website, HERE (scroll to the bottom of the page).
Oh, and merry Christmas! (this was posted December 22, 2007)
now im a big halo and mass effect fan but the mako would total the gausshog. i'm not even sure if the gauss cannon could penetrate the shielding on the mako.now maybe if it were a rockethog with spartans in it it would have a chance. besides that another great job scorpion
VERY nice build here, my friend. I have played the game, and spent countless hours driving that thing around. :D Can't say I enjoyed all of them. ;) I also don't remember the liberator armor (where did you find it?) or the cutscene, but maybe I'm just forgetful. It's been a while since I played it. Anyway, incredibly accurate, incredibly detailed, fantastic job! Keep it up!
March 1, 2012
This is incredible.This is so awesomely, extremely, amazingly incredible, I HAVE to buy the instructions for this on your pesonal website.
Awesome MOC. The Mako is pretty cool. Just one question for any trekkies. On the seris, "Enterprise," the space marine people were called 'Mackos.' I'm curious if the Mass Effect Mako was/is a referecnce to the show...
Very good! Just like the real thing! At first, I was all over the place driving this thing, and i was also like 'How the heck are they going to get in there??!!' I'm also an infiltrator. You're right; soldiers are just boring.
Superb attention to detail and color, shape and contours, and form overall. Additionally, the function seems to emulate, quite well, the Mako, with a few highlights being the independent suspension, turret, and ingress/egress hatches. A fantastic job overall.
This MOC is way better than that game. Unfortunately, I found Mass Effect to be a "run of the mill" if not a "BAD" game. The plot was slow, the controls were difficult, the carictor interaction was choppy and slow paced, the gameplay was even choppy, due to the weapon selection process. But I digress, this model is good, accurate in almost all ways; however, I doubt it could match the HOG, simply due to the HOG's maneuverability.
very excellent job. The side-by-side comparisons reveal that youve taken alot of time working out the details to a great model. As regards to windows, the shiny under-belly of the cockpit is indeed the windscreen as shown in this picture on the mass effect wiki. good job again!
So I forgot to look and review your mocs! As someone who absolutely LOVED Mass Effect, who looked and noticed many details in the game, I must say: You nailed the Mako PERFECTLY. Seriously you're my hero for this moc now. The only thing one can slightly complain about is the wheels, and thats hardly an excuse to give this anything less than the 5 it really deserves. Great job.
Yes, tanks CAN be sleek! The use of angled bricks on this one was also really impressive, and the transition between the nose and the angled sections was well done. My only complaint is the gun on top -- the connection between the gun and turret looks slightly rough, but a few minutes' work should make it better.
the best and probably only marko on the net very good decals and atansion to the detail
When i saw this i started to think about getting the game myself if i do i,ll give you credit for the boost i needed to get a good game, please review my lego
YES! MASS EFFECT! Any my favorite thing from it, too! Yeah, the Mako would own the Warthog, but that's because the Warthog is a recon vehicle, and the Mako is an IFV. And, a favor for a Mass Effect fan, would you PLEASE make some Geth? That would be AWESOME.
Whoa, Scorp! That rocks! It's rad to the core, (like meh...) :P I haven't played that game, myself, but it looks awesome! Man... comparing to the picture, I'd rather have the LEGO! Great job! NOTE: HEY! I did that with the visors before I saw this! You stole mah idea! :rolleyes:
its perfect! it looks exactly like the in-game model! great job! and to all the halo fans out there (like me.... finish the fight -9-25-07) the warthog would get destroyed. i dont know if the hog is faster,( on account of not playing mass efect ^_^) but if it was, it could evade some shots but eventualy it would esplode.... now a scorpian tank..... hmm....
I like it
December 22, 2007
Wow. In my opinion, this seems to be the most well-put together MOC you've made. And the minifigures are amazing! Kudos.
outstanding detail and playability. when i looked at the first couple of pictures i thought it was completely solid! i dont know how those minifigs fit in there! anyway, excellent job, nice shapes. ive been dying to play this game, but when i went to pick it up from gamestop, my parents found out about the partial nudity part, and well, you can guess that they wouldnt let me get it.
Only one word can describe this moc:
Seriously, great job. From every single picture that I've seen of the Mako, it is just about flawless. I like how the accelerator cannon come out. You say it doesn't look to right, I disagree. Right on all points, from what I can tell.
Again, great job. I can safely say that this gets a perfect 5/5. Can we expect to see more mass effect creations? I'd love to see more.
Well, I have played Halo 3, Bioshock, Call of Duty 4, Assassins Creed, and Mass Effect this fall - Just finished Mass Effect which is my favourite of the bunch. Your creations does the game and the vehicle justice - well done. Lee.