The history of aviation is littered with failed attempts at building an aircraft that can fly like a jet but take-off and land like a helicopter. One of the few successful exceptions is the British Harrier ‘jump jet’, recreated by Carl Greatrix (Bricktrix)
Key to the jet’s ability to take-off vertically is that its thrust can be vectored by rotating the four engine exhaust nozzles vertically down. These are present on the model, of course, and it is finished in Carl’s typical style, with finely crafted lines, a few custom working lighting elements and expert sticker work to recreate the camouflage pattern. The only thing missing, really, is that it can’t actually fly.
Polish Lego builder Michał Skorupka (Eric Trax) made a functional Claas Jaguar forage harvester featuring rotating cutting discs, lights, RC function with steering and more. Check out the YouTube video to see this amazingly realistic model in action.
One of the biggest inspirations in the Lego space community has been Homeworld, the pair of fleet-building space RTS games from 1999 and 2003. With the gorgeous remastered editions released this past Wednesday, I don’t think there will be a better moment for a quick retrospective on how this incredible franchise has influenced builders over the past decade.
Danny Rice’s Porphyrion wasn’t the first Homeworld inspired build to be posted, but 9 years later it remains one of my all-time favorite MOCs. This masterpiece introduced a number of techniques that changed how SHIPs are built (particularly the use of paneling to create large angled hulls), and remains one of the best spaceships ever made out of Lego.
Many of Rob M’s builds are based around a combination of Homeworld and Japanese model-building, resulting in a glorious fusion of clean hard angles and bright splashes of color. This reimagining of a Taiidan gunship is one of my favorites from him.
Adrian Florea built this fantastically detailed recreation of a Vaygr bomber, using a wide variety of stickers and printed tiles to build what is perhaps one of the most faithful models ever made out of Lego.
These are only a small sampling of my favorites; be sure to check out the Homeworld Lego pool to see more examples.
Finally, a Lego Ideas project was just launched to have official sets produced from the Homeworld franchise, and I’d encourage everyone to support it – it’s a gorgeous game, and it’s directly responsible for pushing the frontier of space building.
It’s probably fair to say that the “higgledy-piggledy” castle style – featuring crumbly textured walls, sagging Tudor woodwork and an obligatory splash of color – has become a popular trope amongst castle builders over the past couple of years. So it’s always nice when one of the progenitors of this style produces something that lifts it to a higher level (literally)…
Behold, All Hallows Keep by Luke Watkins Hutchinson (aka Derfel Cadarn):
We know and love Australian builder Shannon Sproule here on TBB for his many realistic and retro-futuristic space creations, but he also demonstrates once again (following his amazing Sulaco) that he’s quite an accomplished microscale builder. The Aurora Australis is an icebreaker frequently used by the Australian Antarctic Division for research.
Shannon uses quite a few interesting parts in his build, particularly the car doors on the bow. My eye was immediately drawn to the little orange piece with holes in it, which makes a perfect lifeboat, but Shannon informs me that it’s a Kre-O piece from a Transformers kit — making this a “mixed media” model.
Schifio, master of the studs-out construction, brings us this incredibly cute lamb to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which marks the beginning of the year of the Sheep and/or Goat.
In recent years, LEGO set design has been going from strength to strength. However, as far as I am concerned, some of the sets I had as a child are really hard to beat. Build techniques have obviously moved on and new parts have been introduced, but particularly city sets from the late seventies and early eighties were design marvels. They may have been fairly simple and built using primary colours, but they also had lots of character.
We haven’t featured models by Are Heiseldal (L@go) very often, but in recent years he has been steadily building his own updated interpretations of some of these classic sets from his (and my) childhood, of which I am going to share a few favourites. LEGO set 675 “Snack bar” was released in 1979.
I never actually owned the oddly-named set 6694 “Car with Camper”, but remember poring over the 1984 catalogue to work out how to build the caravan. Are’s updated version seems to offer somewhat more privacy to the occupants.
Finally, the latest model that he has uploaded is a modern reinterpretation of set 6689 “Post Station”.
These models may not be spectacular in terms of build techniques, but I love them. There is enough of the original in them to ensure that a single glance is enough to trigger nostalgia. Furthermore, like the originals, if you look closely you’ll see that they are chock full of clever features. If you too get a warm and fuzzy feeling about these, I suggest you check out Are’s flickr album with more of his updated classics.
The LEGO Elves sets are out in the wild! I spotted some this evening at Toys R Us, and picked up a few. Happy birthday to me.
The first set up for review is 41701 Aira’s Creative Workshop. This set is $9.99 and has 98 pieces. It will be available on the LEGO Shop online on March 1.
Let’s get started!
Swedish builder LegoJalex‘s ongoing exploration of the mundane trappings of the 70s and 80’s continue to fascinate me. They are almost like brick-built, still-life photo studies of life before we worried about such things as “ergonomics” and “NSFW”.
If seeing a computer on every desk seems anachronistic for a 70’s office, remember these wouldn’t have been desktop computers, they’d have been simple mainframe terminals, and you would have only seen something like this if you worked in a futuristic thing called a “data processing center”.
The builder also created this cityscape, which I think complements the above interior nicely. It’s subtle, but the attention to detail in this scene is amazing, especially all the surface textures on the parking structure. And the Volvo grill is a nice touch!
As a kid I was a big fan of Bionicle, and this creation of Turaga Dume and Nivawk by Mitch (Gamma-Raay) evoked memories of the actual set that was released over 10 years ago. The silver markings in this model are really well integrated and add a lot of character to the beast.