LEGO Scenario: Gears, Tyres, Wheels, Name, Future Star Wars, London, Great Wave OFF Kanagawa Part 3

In this video we have a closer look at the gears and configurations needed to drive the LEGO Scenario boxes. We also look at various tyres, wheels and the process to build them. The “Scenario” name isn’t as random as it may seem and talk about why. Our discussion is rounded out with a look to what the future direction of the LEGO Scenario boxes might be.

Think of it as a cross between LEGO building with micropolis, mosaics, technic, architecture and Dots techniques all thrown into the mix. Add a little motion and wrap it up in a narrative.

Visit for all LEGO Scenario resources

This is the 3rd video in the series. The others can be found here: Part 1 – Introduction: Part 2 – Standard: Part 3 – Gears, Name and the future:

NOTE: In the future, plan to release video instructions and plans so you too can build these … or your own versions.

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Transcript from the show:

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of and in this video we are going to look at the LEGO Scenario Gears, Wheels and Tires, the name and the future direction. This is the 3rd video in the series and be sure to check out mattelder dot com forward slash scenario for the LEGO Scenario resource page. Lets get started.

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Quickly wanted to touch upon gears. In the London module, it is effectively a single axle that runs through all the wheels (it is made up of 2 technic axles with a connector as you need at least a 17 length axle. If you didn’t mind overhang and had one, you could use a single 32 length axle).

This can be turned manually by hand if you didn’t have any motors. If the speed seems a little fast, you can place on this configuration of gears and a hand crank to really slow it down. Or if you did have a motor, here is a basic technic tower that can plug straight in.

Next up is the Wave setup. At the bottom you have the same Technic Wedge Belt Wheel. The different speeds are caused by having different sized pulleys at the top. Here you have a Technic Steering Pulley Large, Technic Wedge Belt wheel, and a Motor 9V Micromotor pulley. You can put them in any order to get differing speeds.

Here we’ve used extra large rubber bands with square cross sections. It is the one thing I don’t like about the pulleys as the rubber bands will gradually stretch over time if left taught.

To get the different directions, it will depend upon which side you have you Technic Wedge belt wheel. One side will go one direction, the other side the other – depends upon which way you turn your motor.

In the top to get the wheels turning in independent directions, there are 3 separate axles here, not a singular one running the whole length. You’ll notice between the wheels however is only 1 brick wide. What this means is that each brick has ½ an axle sitting on it. Not ideal and not pretty but given the 16 x16 limitation, only way to do it.

These support beams are very important. Without them, because there is only half a length of axle sitting in the brick, the pulleys will pull the axles and wheels straight out.

Now the Star Wars wheel box has a single axle that runs through it but the center wheel turns in the opposite direction. How is it possible as all wheels should turn the same way? The 2 outer wheels are standard wheels with rims like this. The middle wheel however doesn’t have a rim, it has a custom setup of gears and lift arms. The rubber wheel itself is literally resting on the gears which turn it.

To do that it does however need an anchor point which is why this section here exists – it needs some friction so it can turn in the opposite direction. This means you have to be really careful with the spacing so anything rotating downwards doesn’t hit the lift arm and break. You’ll notice this is why this band with Star Destroyers is so far over to stop it crashing into the support.

Tires and Wheels

The dots bands grip really wheel on a 56 tire diameter, but you need a lot of internal space to make the gears work. Thus these 56×28 ZR Street tires are ideal – the only downside is they haven’t been in many sets and a little hard to come by. If you are using one of the other drive mechanisms, then you can use the 56×26 wheel and the band fits snuggly on that, like in The Wave wheel box.


I find the process to this Scenario building a lot like art. You are trying stuff then assessing, removing or adding, and continuing. Judgments of things are relative to one another. It can be a reductive process as initially included sand green trees for variety but it was throwing the whole saturated colour palette off. Once it was removed, it all came back together. 

As a process feel it is the whole “less is more” approach. How do I represent complex detail with not very much? 


As for the name Scenario, there is a reason for it. There was an artist called Syd Mead who did the concept art for Blade Runner and designed the light cycles in Tron, amongst a wide variety of accomplishments.  He painted traditionally in gouache and each picture he though about as a “scenario”.

Syd would consider everything which, apart from Technical skill, I think made his pictures so compelling. He would think what was happening in the scene, what was the back story, what was the mechanisms for making cars fly. Everything in his picture had a reason for being there and not just their for the sake of looking cool.

In the mid naughties he did 4 instructional DVDs released by the Gnomonworkshop / Design Studio Press. What was fascinating was his commentary and thought process. He talked about this scenario idea extensively.

With this you are creating little scenes using a variety of methodologies and technics and made the most sense to me. You are creating you own little narrative, the LEGO snowglobe / diorama and thinking of all the elements in the scenario.

So it is a nice Segway from the visual futurist to talk about the future direction of the LEGO Scenario

Future Direction

In the future plan I to release videos that give breakdowns, time-lapse and tutorials, and possibly instructions. We be great to see others pick up the ideas and what people come up with. Hoping others can see and know of ways to improve and make better – not a technic guru, know enough to get things working. Sure experts looking on in horror as do something clunky when there are much more elegant ways of doing things.

Visit for all your LEGO Scenario resources. It is bare bones at time of recording but will be populating it with more content moving forwards.

As for where this could head, have many different ideas.


I can see this as being really collaborative – someone working on the bracelets, someone else the mosaics etc. Alternatively, pick a movie and each do a scene, or a trilogy and each a film. Something where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

LEGO Ideas

We plan to submit this to the LEGO Ideas site for consideration to become a future set. So if there is a link around this video, it would be fantastic if you can give a vote over there. We can just really see it as a canvas/ platform for a line of sets, which has scenes and story telling in built into it.

LEGO could have the base modular models and structure. Then they could sell different scene packs to theme them out and finalise the scenario. So the base might be Star Wars with Obi-Wan vs Darth Vader. The 2nd pack might be Empire Strikes Back with Luke fighting Vader and the Hoth battle scene. The 3rd pack might be Return of the Jedi and Sarlacc Pit, with Luke fighting Boba Fett. 

Next obvious step is to add lights and sounds. Maybe create a programmable bluetooth speaker that can sit within the model. Through an associated app, you could record dialogue and have triggers.

Wheel with Studs

While I’ve been using a DOTS bracelet wrapped around a wheel, don’t think it would take much for LEGO to make a wheel with studs similar to this one. Can really see it being useful and having a full 360 degree ability to stud. Pretty sure GBC community will pick up the bracelets in some way shape or form and really curious to see what they come up with.

For mine, I’d also really like to see the DOTs bracelet made in white, it would give the greatest contrast and really make the tiles and DOTS designs ‘sing’. Would also be good to have DOTs bracelets in a red or orange or a traditionally saturated warm LEGO colour

Social Media

The LEGO Scenario also lend themselves to social media pictures and clips. So if you do come up with LEGO Scenario models be sure to use the #legoscenario hashtag and will look to put links on the Scenario page and social media accounts to feature your LEGO Scenario creations.

Congratulations on making it this far in this video – that is a real accomplishment. Leave a smiley and sad face in the comment and I’ll know you got this far into the club.

What are your thoughts? Are you inspired to create any of your own LEGO Scenarios? Let us know in the comments below and respond to them all.

This is a Family Bricks video. Be sure to hit that like button, share or be super awesome and subscribe!

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