Lego Anger MOC - reverse enginered
Ever since i saw1 Angus MacLane’s LEGO Anger MOC2 (2015) i was sold, even better it was submitted on Lego Ideas! However with 1.996 votes it did not quite make it and was never turned into an official Lego product, bummer. Fortunately it is made out of Lego, so if Lego will not create an official set you can do so yourself. As it often goes with projects, life happens and the idea got buried for a couple of year until today! I have digitized Angus MacLane’s Lego Anger MOC and planned on bricklinking it together.
Searching for a digital versions of the model turned out to be wasted effort, there are none. MacLane did not provide one and i could not find a fan made one either. MacLane has not been very active online, last Lego related post on his Flicker account was from 2017, so contacting him was likely not going to be very fruitful (also on Twitter he was no longer active). So i had to create my own digital model, from scratch.
The only information i have about the original MOC are the 4 pictures posted on Angus MacLane’s Flicker account. They are all from roughly the same angle but it will have to do. Fortunately they are high resolution and all contain plenty of detail on the important parts (hands, shoulders, face).
Angus MacLane's Lego Anger MOC
MacLane’s MOC is pretty close to the original Anger character from the Inside Out movie, the only deviations i could spot are: the missing pattern in the tie, tie is proportionally too big, pants crotch is too high (merges under the tie on the real Anger). Of course the discretization from a real life object (or animated character in this case) to the curves/dimensions that are available in Lego bricks will always yield some compromises. Given the rather square nature of Anger it tuned out to be a good match. All things considered i would say it is pretty much spot on and i’m not planning to do much additional customization.
The official Anger character from the Inside Out movie
My personal Lego collection is limited, and dated, so real life prototyping was out of the picture. This is the first time i will use software to model Lego and the first time “i” will build a high quality custom model. For software i use Studio 2.0 ( from BrickLink), for no particular reason. It seemed well maintained, free, easy to use/get started and the UI seemed very sensible/polished3.
My goal was to crate an exact replica of MacLane’s version as cost effective as possible. This entails reducing brick count, e.g. by minimizing the internal structure and, when having the option, choose for the most economical bricks (e.g. instead of 2* 3x1 tile, use a 1* 3x2 tile if it is cheaper). You can still further reduce costs but we are talking about a few USD tops so i’m fairly happy with the result. The model does not require any real rare/expensive bricks and/or colors, which is very fortunate. This is at the time of writing though, YMMV.
Reverse engineering, for some one without any recent experience with Lego or the software, went rather smooth. Due to Lego only having a limited amount of bricks available (type of slopes/curves/…) the number of assembly possibilities quickly went down to a few options (degrees of freedom). The hardest part, in the beginning, was to get the dimensions right (i had to start over twice with the feet). After said hiccup the feet went fairly smooth, the tie took a couple of iterations but ultimately there was only 1 possible combination, fists i got on the first try. The shoulders however required some tinkering, attaching the head to the body took some fiddling as well, together with the nose and dimensions of the head. The fire pattern at the top went through 6 iterations and the current solution differs from the original model (by choice). I have added more fire but also ended up with 2 additional studs on the front which i could not get rid of. Levelling the top with the sides of the head took many attempts (the solution in the end is embarrassing simple though).
In total i have spend about 53 hours off and on, i first build a proof of concept version (with collisions and missing parts) and later converted it to the version you see today, keeping an eye on the costs. I have spend the most time, and i kid you not, on trying to find the 1x1 2/3 height white brick used for 3 of the teeth. I went trough all available 1x1 bricks multiple times and could not, for the life of me, find any suitable brick until i noticed it was just a reversed 1x1 slope, 54200 (better known as the cheese slope). Those two afternoons of my life i will never get back.
The model is brittle in some areas though, for example the shoulders. The movement is also very limited, you can move the arms up and down, somewhat, and rotate the eyebrows a bit but that’s how far it will go. I would love to have the legs move as well, because when he gets really angry they usually are in a “A” shape. The MOC is posed in a more “getting angry” stage (balded fists, fire on medium) rather than a full on blind rage.
Without further or do, the result
Studio 2.0 digital model
As a bonus feature, and in the style of Inside Out, i have modified the head to let it open at the back and build a little control center inside. This is completely optional and will run up the total cost a little bit (requiring more relatively expensive bricks). However i quite like it. You could opt to leave the backside fixed since the eyes can open (somewhat) as well.
As for the minifig to put inside, i thought Butterfly Girl4 would be a good match (i like the smirk expression). An alternative would be to use microfigs/ nanofigs to represent the (5) different emotions, as in the movie, but unfortunately they seem discontinued. There is only a limited choice and they are rather expensive (few USD each + shipping).
Open back variant
|lots||168 + minifig|
|brick count||850 + minifig|
The pose of the model is Anger getting angry but he is not yet in a full on rage. To build a full tilt version you would need to raise flames, open the mouth, add a tongue and optionally close the eyes. These changes should be feasible but will be left as an exercise to the reader.
You can also try to create the typical X shape with the arms and legs (arms up in a V shape and legs in a A shape). However this might require more tinkering to get the legs right, especially if you want to be able to move them as well. The arms should be rather easy to convert from pointing downwards to upwards.
Is this model an exact replica of Angus MacLane’s version?
No. I have no way of knowing how he has build the internal structure of his model. However there are for sure differences, visually: my model has more flames, has 2 additional visible studs on the top of the head and the end of the eyebrows stick out on my model. On top of the those i know for sure the internals also differ because some of the tile bricks on the original model could not be placed in same way on my model. While i would consider the differences minor, or to preference, the models are effectively different. However one could convert my model to be an identical match to MacLane’s. None of the differences are significant.
Is the build quality a on par with an official Lego set?
No. It is not even “play” grade quality due to saving on costs and reducing brick count which makes some parts brittle (arms).
Is this the most cost-effective you can get?
No. I did not squeeze out every last cent. It is also a rather pointless endeavor since brick prices can vary widely (location) and change over time, so YMMV. However i had to buy most bricks, if you have a collection you can probably swap out parts for the ones you already have, further reducing the cost. In general i would advice to not buy bricks over 1 USD/piece but rather try to find alternatives(/colors)5.
Is there a step by step build guide available?
No. I will build based on the digital model therefore had no need to create a step by step guide.
Can i publish my own version based on your MOC?
Yes! Everything, i have the rights to, is licensed in the public domain. You can do anything you want with it! (see bottom of the page)
All bricks which are not visible are sky blue, you can use any color you like for them. Please DO NOT buy them in sky blue since that color is horribly expensive, fortunately most bricks are not even available in sky blue, protecting you form accidentally buying them.
I will be be creating the variant with open head which has in total 850 parts and 164 lots (types of bricks). I sourced 127 parts from my existing collection (mostly the sky blue parts), the others will be bought from BrickLink6. To make sure the model looked pristine i will buy all visible bricks new7.
Studio 2.0 does not contain all available bricks, especially minifigs and decals seem to be missing in general. Therefore the following parts should be added as well (for the open head variant): col292, 98138pb128, 98138pb127, 98138pb138, 98138pb130, 98138pb137 (reduce the count to 1)
The remaining 723 parts (+ minifig) would set me back €75 (+€30 shipping), YMMV though since it very much depends on location and the time of purchase (availability). It is still more expensive as if it would have been an official Lego set; which is to be expected for a custom model.(the part list can be exported directly to BrickLink through Studio 2.0)
In the end i decided to not buy the parts for now since my BrickLink experience frustrated me and, for now, the price was too high for me.
To end this post a big thanks to Angus MacLane for creating the original MOC, i definitely saved time reverse engineering his model compared to creating my own MOC (and it was a fun puzzle).
the first picture i ever saw was the one with the brick background ↩︎
for 4213 (black) the price ranges between EUR 0.9 and EUR 14.52; where bricklink always picked stores with the higher prices (for my location). I would never pay that much money for a simple brick, especially since in this model it is not even that visible (inside of the head). Fortunately i had one laying around already. ↩︎
since Studio 2.0 is from brick link and free to use it seemed fair to order from them. Fun fact, bricklink was bought by The LEGO group, that’s right it is part of the official Lego brand. ↩︎
new tiles still have a bit of gloss on them making them look nice, mixing and matching with used tiles often looks bad in my opinion. Also there are minor variations in color between older (≥10 years) and newer bricks. ↩︎
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