Remember that this is purely my opinion and not a complete list of seeworthy things. There are plenty of good space builders out there – these are just my personal highlights. Also good to know is that I do this off the top of my head, so a better name might be “most memorable of 2006″. But anyway, let’s get to it.
First off, I’d like to recognise a certain individual as the most impressive newcomer. Jerrec is a builder whose works I hadn’t seen before 2006, and indeed, after he joins Classic-Space in February and begin to show his models there, they come at an increasing rate. With a wacky sense of steampunk humour, a great eye for microscale detail (as well as one huge great eye) and a very rapid improvement - compare this to this to see how he’s polishing his already distinct style – he has quickly established himself as a top builder in a short time. Good show Jerrec – I look forward to see what you bring us next.
And naturally after that, we get to best comeback. Molly was a few years ago active in the space community, building landmarks such as the Benevolent Grace and the Ves-X. She dissappeared for a while due to personal reasons, but now she’s back with a bang! Having already shown what she would have done had she recreated the official classic space line today, we anxiously await her big ship in the same theme. Stay tuned to her flickr account for more on that. Good to have you back with us, Molly!
And now that is done, we move on to some specific models. These, to me, really defined the space of 2006.
Best minifig scale: Don Wilson’s Hadrian’s Blade.
Many build minifig scale, but few manage to pack fun playthings and nice details in a good shape. Don did just that with the Hadrian’s Blade – traditional yet still unconventional, he managed to do what I’ll strive to achieve for the rest of my building career. Other nominees: Joel Larsson’s Ceasar, Mr. Stenz’s Kaiser.
Best steampunk/alt. tech: Adrian Drake’s Thomas E. Dewey.
I’m always a bit more critical when it comes to larger spacecrafts – oftentimes, they get hyped more than they deserve just because they are big. The Thomas E. Dewey is definitely not such a case. I don’t know if it is the Highwind-vibes, the unusual sculpting or something else, but this really is an outstanding model. Other nominees: Jerrec’s Monostomper, Jamie Neufeld’s Steamwheel.
Best organic creature: Nannan Z’s Cyclopean Virtue.
The Cyclopean Virtue does what it is supposed to do: being freakishly scary. Its unconventional shape and building techniques is something to admire, and since Nannan is turning it all into a series of creatures, who dares look away? Other nominees: Kevin Wurstner’s Alien infested corridor, Matt Forcum’s Void Jellies.
Best building: Keith Goldman’s Electric Boogaloo 2.
While there were many good structures and buildings built during the year, none combined sterility, few but well-placed colours and uncanny anglework like the Electric Boogaloo 2. Other nominees: Legohaulic’s Floating Rock, Gary McIntire’s Atmosphere factory.
But after such an amazing year, is there any chance at all that 2007 could ever be equally good? Of course there is. As long as good builders like those above, Giddens, Moko, Soren, Dennis and so on and so forth continue to produce good output we have a good base. But what is really exciting is the builders that are up and coming – e.g. Barbarossa - as well as those rumoured to get back into it again soon – e.g. Joseph Kazmo. These three categories of builders combined with those not yet seen promises a very interesting year – probably even more interesting than 2006.
Regardless, you can still count on TBB to bring you the best. See you in the spacey year of 2007!