In this tutorial I will build a complete LEGO model from scratch using 3ds max 8. Originally I made this for the speed modeling contest. Since the purpose of this contest is to model as much as possible within one hour, I didn't model the underside of the bricks (or the underside of the model). For this tutorial I recreated the model and since there was no time pressure, I used some different techniques.
I will start of with modeling some basic pieces and after that the more complex ones. In the second part of the tutorial I will assemble all the pieces together to create a snowspeeder. The third part will be texturing, lighting and rendering.
Setting up Max
I'll start by setting the "Grid Spacing" to 4.0.
This will make modeling a lot easier since the dimensions (except height) of the LEGO bricks are all a multiple of 4mm.
The first brick
Set the 2.5D Snap mode and create a box with the following dimensions:
Convert the box to an editable polygon and select all the top edges and side edges. Click on the small button next to Chamfer and enter 0.1 as the chamfer amount.