YellowPosted: January 3, 2012
I built this as a sequel to my Red sculpture for Pokémon Profile Picture Month on Facebook. I chose the in-game Pikachu sprite from Pokémon Yellow, rendered in 3-D while preserving its dimensions and pattern. For anyone who has not played the first-generation Pokémon Gameboy games, Yellow was the “special edition” game, in which Pikachu followed you around outside of battle. Though the primitive Gameboy graphics didn’t do his looks any favors, the little guy spent countless hours dutifully trailing your character through caves and forests. There were even a few tricks hidden in the game, so Pikachu would dance on a ledge or go surfing at the beach if you taught him how.
I opted for a more accurate scale on this build, making each pixel into a perfect cube. To do this in studs-up LEGO, I used a hybrid plate and brick structure, with a cube 2 studs wide and 5 plates tall representing each pixel. With Red, I used pixels only 1 stud wide, alternating between a 3 plate layer and a 2 plate layer to balance out the non-cubic structure. The added height and width of Yellow allowed me to get a more exact final product, though the complex plate structure was harder to build in LDD.
As with Red, the fundamental puzzle was the disparity between the original sprite’s front and side views. The eyes, cheek patches, and stripes are placed differently in each perspective, so reconciling them meant building different patterns on each side. The separate faces make the model look a little strange, but it’s a necessary sacrifice to maintain accuracy. I think the emulator I used for the sprite screenshots incorrectly compressed Pikachu’s upper stripe, since I’ve noticed that they should both the same height. It’s too late to change now without substantial reworking, so I’m leaving my MOC the way it is. Overall I’m happy with the way it turned out, although I’ll probably go back and build a mini version someday to match up with Red.
Just in case I decide to physically construct the model someday, Yellow measures 22×62 studs and contains 1165 pieces. Take a look at more pictures on my Flickr account, and if you’re particularly interested in how I made it, download the .lxf file here. You’ll need the LEGO Digital Designer software to view it.