To boldly go to space – the final frontier – and prosper, my friend.
My mangled Star Trek quotes aside, this magnificent Enterprise model comes to us from Chris Melby. Chris has done a fantastic job with the circular disk of this iconic ship, managing to make it entirely studless. Don’t be deceived, though, this is actually a huge model at over 5 feet in length.
We tend to focus on LEGO system on this blog, in part because most of us are not really into the aesthetics of Technic models. However, as the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider by Jeroen Ottens shows, sometimes a clever combination of curved Technic panels and soft axles can be a really effective way of capturing the shape of a voluptuous car body.
The Italian tricolore striping also adds to the model’s visual appeal.
The printed micro-figs introduced with LEGO’s new SHIELD Helicarrier set seem to be generally well received by fans. Our Facebook poll suggests 2 out of 3 of you are in favor of them! So I expect before too long we’ll see people customizing them. Customization of classic mini-figs is nothing new, but customization of the newer Friends mini-dolls is way less common….
And that’s a shame, because I for one find them more aesthetically pleasing. If LEGO could just fix their rather limited range of motion, I think it’d be great to see them used in future Movie or TV based LEGO themes. Flickr user JustJon obviously agrees, and has been repainting one Friends fig every week along those very lines:
Pictured above, as if they needed any introduction: Luke Skywalker; Sailor Moon; Ghostbuster; Deadpool; Catniss Everdeen; Red Sonja.
UPDATE: The creator just pointed out that he previously created an entire set of superhero Friends customs, which are equally awesome and can be seen here.
A lot of people start their builds by fiddling around with a few pieces until they find an interesting-looking combination. This then becomes the starting point for a cool new mecha or spaceship. That’s not how I do things. For most of my models, I start by planning, followed by a lot of procrastination and getting side-tracked into building other (easier) things and then some more planning, lather, rinse, repeat. Once I start putting parts together things move quickly, but the planning process can take several weeks or, in the case of Airwolf, as long as two years.
In the eighties, starting with Knight Rider, there were several shows that featured some sort of hi-tech vehicle as a central plot device or even as a character. Both Blue Thunder and Airwolf featured helicopters, but Airwolf was definitely the better show. It had one of the best theme-tunes in the history of television and, though they now appear terribly dated, the plots were a bit darker and more interesting than in most of the other shows, often dealing with espionage and the Cold War. Furthermore, the helicopter itself was based on the super-sleek Bell 222 and was armed to the teeth, with retractable guns and a ventral missile launcher.
The reason why the process took so long is that I don’t start building until I have convinced myself that I can build the model to a suitably high standard, which in this case meant building that sleek shape and those cool retractable weapons. What finally sealed the deal was finishing Blue Thunder, the realisation that I could replicate the shape using various new curved parts and by hinging the cockpit windows, as well as a video I saw of the missile launcher retracting on an RC model.
As the current Iron Builder contest nears its conclusion, both teams continue to churn out amazing builds. But after many rounds of being cut to length for one purpose or another, the ribbed flex-tube seed parts seem to be getting progressively shorter and shorter. That doesn’t seem to be hampering their efforts though, judging by these two wonderful scenes by Tyler Clites:
Long-in-the-tooth readers might even notice that the old lady in the scene above is actually a reprise of a character that Tyler built for a previous Iron Builder contest – right down to the use of the blue seed part from that round!
Considering all the rubbish TV shows I used to love as a child, I was undoubtedly very good at suspending my disbelief. However, even as a child I knew Dinobots make no sense whatsoever.
I can understand that, for a robot of alien origin on Earth, the ability to turn yourself into a car and blend into a crowd might make some sort of sense. However, disguising yourself as a 15 ft. tall metallic dinosaur does not strike me as a particularly sensible way to become inconspicuous. I am also sure that their personalities irked me.
Still, that does not mean Dinobots cannot be exceedingly cool as LEGO models, as shown by the tiny but fully transformable versions of Grimlock and Sludge built by Chief Supreme. I like the use of minifig headgear for the robots’ heads in particular. Dinobots may be stupid, but these are definitely clever.
When a certain young naturalist by the name of Charles Darwin joined the HMS Beagle on it’s historic 2nd voyage in 1831, camera photography was still something of an experimental science. So capturing a visual record of the trip was the responsibility of a ship’s artist, like Conrad Martens.
Historical LEGO scene builder James Pegrum has recreated one of Martens’ more unusual sketches from the trip, showing the Beagle beached for repairs at a spot near the mouth of the Rio Santa Cruz (Argentina).
Yes, everything in the picture – including the distant cliffs – is LEGO. James manages to combine his particular building and photographic skills to create a very life-like scene. If the trip had taken place 175 or so years later, I’m sure Martens would have tweeted an image just like this!
I’m not the train expert here on TBB, but I do know a few things about micro and setting up small scale micro dioramas, and this build by Galaktek is simply divine:
I love the use of the raised track and the nice 45 degree angle. But what really steals the show for me is the amazing train. The engine is what microscale is all about – using existing pieces in completely different fashion. In this case using the familiar spring loaded cannon base for the little blue engine that could.
7 years ago, Rob (Dasnewten) posted the first of his many mindblowing starfighter designs. Throughout the years since and in spite of the many incredibly builds he’s posted, it’s a design he’s continued to return to and refine, resulting in the radically evolved RG-101. It’s a glorious combination of clean lines and gorgeous details that looks better than most of the stuff produced by major studios.
Chris Nolan’s latest movie Interstellar is an epic adventure across time and space, accompanied by an equally epic and thunderous soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. It was by far the most enjoyable cinematic experience I’ve had since Nolan’s mind-bending 2010 masterpiece Inception.
It’s been fun watching various Interstallar-inspired builds emerge over the past few months, most of which – not that surprisingly – focus on the movie’s stylish Ranger spacecraft. But I think Taiwanese builder jp_velociraptor has just created the definitive version:
This is not simply a LEGO sculpture of the distinctive ship, it’s a complete play set! The model opens up to reveal a cockpit with room for all the explorers and one of their clunky robot companions (also shown below in “rescue mode”). Very impressive work indeed.
I heartily recommend that you see this movie. I won’t give anything away… but it’s as emotionally draining as it is visually and sonically mesmerizing. So I strongly suggest you bring a box of tissues with you to the movie theater ;-)