Tiny tanks advance to victory!

I’ve been following the recent builds of Thomas of Tortuga with interest and expressing little yelps of delight whenever a new creation pops up. He’s embroiled in a Flickr-based LEGO wargame called Divide And Conquer which I’m not even going to pretend to understand. However, the creations he’s putting together to represent his fictional nation’s military are fantastic. I particularly liked these armored tractor tank things…


I must admit to a certain ambivalence about rendered LEGO creations – I generally like to see builders put bits of plastic together in the real world. And I’m a firm believer that restrictions on quantity and color drive creativity, pushing builders to develop new techniques. However, these vehicles are absolute class, and I figured I’d let the handful of “impossibly colored” parts slide this time. (Those are pieces which LEGO has never produced in that particular color. But digital parts, of course, can be any color.)

The rest of Thomas’ photostream is stuffed with similarly cool and slightly steampunk military creations – well worth checking out. I’m loving his series of naval vessels (especially this dreadnought), although again some of the “impossible part” use does make me twitchy.

I know some people say rendering isn’t “LEGO building” at all. I’m not sure I’d go that far, and builders like Thomas are making me pay more attention to rendered works. I reckon LEGO creativity shines through, regardless of medium. What do you think?

3 comments on “Tiny tanks advance to victory!

  1. essaych

    Yea, somehow LEGO models feel more impressive when built out of actual bricks. One might look at an intricate physical model and think “wow, someone actually built this.” Whereas, if one sees a digital render, the first impression that hits them might simply be “this isn’t real.”

    That said, not every LEGO fan has the luxury of a large collection, and not everyone can afford to order new parts as-needed. Perhaps limited resources do drive innovation – but at the same time, virtual construction allows certain builders to pursue whatever creations they can imagine, without the fetters of inventory and money. Without virtual construction, many builders would have no viable way to realize many of their ideas.

    And, make no mistake – just because a model only exists on a computer doesn’t mean it didn’t require real time and effort to create.

    In the end, though, it’s all LEGO. All that really matters is that we enjoy building, and play well, regardless of medium.

  2. Major Stackings

    Awesome renderings, and yes, there’s no doubt a ton of time and effort went into their creation. I like them. A lot. My only issue is with hands off modeling there’s no sorting. No lost parts. No clean up. I need those 3 things, the three things we all claim to hate, to feel the full satisfaction of building. That being said, I don’t have a problem enjoying pixel craft. These vehicles are sweet.

  3. helloearthling

    I tend to find the people who believe digital is “unrestricted” are people who’ve never built anything big in LDD! It’s got so many challenges, so many techniques that don’t quite work. It is *different* from building with bricks, and both have strengths and weaknesses. I ask you to reassess your position on the tool; try building a decently sized MOC in it and ask yourself whether it was easier!

Comments are closed.