An Owlbear is a Dungeons and Dragon bestiary staple: a straightforward combination of an owl and bear. Building an owlbear was inspired by the vegan Owlbear from Dungeon Academy.
The process to this build took awhile. I really wanted a fairly compact build that wasn’t insanely out of scale with a minifig. And luckily there is a lot of inspiration for both bears and owls in Lego. At the end I used the bear body verbatim from 31052 Creator 3-in-1 Vacation Getaways while taking lots of inspiration from 31125 Fantasy Forest Creatures for the owl’s head. In particular using clip and bar pieces to make posable feathers.
The final design was a challenge to put together. The three things I knew I needed to keep after a couple of days of play were:
- 2x2 round eyes
- Modified 1x1 tooth beak
- Some sort of V angled “eybrows” or “ear tuffs”
And I think the final design has quite a bit of character and is compact enough to feel in scale-ish with a minifig. I like it.
Some challenges I was trying to tackle with the design:
- Compact 3-4 stud head
- Posable head
Making the mouth hinged was an initial focus and made it into a version. However, the fragility of the head with a hinging mouth was something I couldn’t ever overcome. At one point I had a stable build but it limited the mouth to 10 degrees of freedom so I threw it out.
Getting the piece count down enough that the Stud.io stability checker wasn’t throwing an error was a challenge. In the end I knew that I needed to keep the posable ear tufts, the 2x2 eyes, and the tooth piece for the beak. And I was able to accomplish this by using the angled 1L bar with stud in a 2 stud 1x1 brick to hold the eyes. Woo!
Head Design Interation
The first design is simple but obviously that 1x1 ball joint is pretty weak. So I tried to beef up the joint without changing the design too much.
The second design is sturdier using a 2x2 technic ball instead but to get the 45 degree angle I used turntables and it will just rotate around freely.
The third design tries to beef everything up with the technic balls but the trouble there is that since there is no technic ball that isn’t a square brick I have to add more studs to the head which throws off the proportions.
The final design is way lighter and simpler is only a “caution” in Stud.io for stability so I think it should work OK!
A redditor also had a suggestion to swap out the 1x1 ball with the 1x2 mixel 14417 instead. This with a couple of other adjustments got the Bricklink cost down to $10 for this model.