brain juice (breyn joos)
1. Something awesome that inspires you creatively.
2. Concept art that makes you want to play with LEGO elements
I am continually blown away by how creative people can be with designs of starfighters. They certainly are my favourite subject to build in, but I tend to stick pretty close to boilerplate styling. But seeing designs like these make me want to get more creative with my own builds. So on this chilly Wednesday morning, pull up a chair and sip on these steaming cups of brain juice…
P-Wing by Bartosz Sasiński
U-wing by halfbeak
XADHOOM by xiei22
On the various LEGO fan sites, people will often share photos of their build spaces. Well, I think I am going to crown the winner of the absolute coolest LEGO workspace outside Billund. And it belongs to none other than TBB regular Alex Jones (Orion Pax).
Alex recently posted this amazing 360° view of his studio, and of course coupled it with some nice beats. So click the image below and be prepared to be wowed.
Alex told me that 5 years ago he couldn’t imagine himself having a space like this to work in, but he worked hard for a long time to get it. He also added, “Believe in your dreams and all that!” Which I think are wise words.
So now we know where Alex works his magic and creates goodies like his most recent piece…an ode to Snoop.
I’m not always a fan of the super-pixelated look; I enjoy the challenge of taking the inherently blocky LEGO bricks and sculpting them into smooth forms. But sometimes, someone builds something blockily, and it works marvelously. Case in point is this gorgeous motorcycle by Silva Vasil, which he says is based on a life-sized pixelated bike.
Back in 2009, LEGO released two sets (8183 and 8184 ) that got me pretty excited. The reason for my excitement was that these sets contained a car chassis that could be remote-controlled using a Power Functions IR-remote. This would make it relatively easy to build your own relatively compact remote-controlled car. I bought one, but it had about as much directional control as a puppy on a wet floor; it constantly bumped into walls or bits of furniture. It was fast, though.
Curtis D. Collins (curtydc) has now used a similar chassis to build his “little big rig”. He too reports that the steering isn’t great, but also that it is a zippy a little RC. I believe that, certainly with those big wheels. I also think it looks pretty cool. Like Barry Bosman’s Monster Masher, it has a certain toy-like quality to it that reminds me of the RC cars that were around when I was a child.
This just made me laugh. Teabox says this is based on an experience he had as a teenager…we should all have experiences like this in our past.
Continuing with the purple and green starfighter theme is Simon Liu’s (Si-MOCs) ZorN. The wacky shaped fighter is of course for the Alphabet Contest, but it really gives this craft an alien look. My favourite detail has to be the hits of purple peeking through from between the grey wedges on the sides.
This Vic Viper-style ship built by Tyler Clites (Legohaulic) is a masterpiece of alien engineering. It’s a relatively simple build, but Tyler has made excellent use of the various rubber spikes, a great color scheme, and some top-notch presentation.
Check out this awesome mech clad in active camo armor by brick genius Cole Blaq. While Cole did use just a few modified parts in pursuit of a totally transparent machine, the build is chock full of unusual parts and clever techniques. Anyone who has ever attempted to build a complicated form using a severely limited palette will appreciate the level of skill it takes to pull off something recognizable, let alone this cool.
I don’t think a sadistic little boy would want to pull the wings off of this bug. He just may get a missile or a laser bolt up his jacksie if he tried.
If this sort of thing is what floats your boat, you better head on over to rongYIREN’s photostream because it is overflowing with goodies like this.
Peter Dornbach (dornbi) has built a very neat model of a Cold War classic: the British Sea Harrier. The Harrier has a somewhat odd-ball appearance, which is captured beautifully in the model. The odd shape is largely due to the aircraft’s unique Rolls Royce Pegasus engine, which allows the aircraft to take off and land vertically. This ability is why it is sometimes known as the Jump Jet.
During the Cold War, many air forces worried about the vulnerability of their airfields to enemy strikes. Fighters that can operate from a much smaller strip, at a time of crisis, can be dispersed to smaller and better concealed locations away from their main base. Building a jet that can take off and land vertically is a big challenge, however. A whole range of different ideas were tried, including having additional lift engines mounted vertically inside the aircraft. This obviously was a very heavy solution. Using rocket boosters to launch a conventional jet from a short ramp worked, but left the jet in question with no place to land. The only successful design was the British Harrier, whose Pegasus engine has four jet nozzles that can be swiveled down to direct the jet’s entire thrust upward. Despite its diminutive scale of only 1/48, Peter’s model has these swiveling nozzles.
Its ability to operate without long runways made the Harrier an attractive choice for shipboard use. British Harriers gained most of their fame (or notoriety) in the 1982 Falklands War, where Royal Navy Sea Harriers, operating from small aircraft carriers, racked up about 20 air-to-air kills against the Argentinian Air Force and Navy, including against far faster Mirage fighters.