If you aren’t familiar with Ultraman, allow me to introduce one of his many nemeses, the kaiju Yamaton — a heavily armed battleship with vicious claws and sharp pointy teeth. This microscale LEGO Yamaton by TOKYO TAG TEAM is inspired by the monster that initially appeared in the Ultraman The First manga. I love the trans-blue of the bridge and main deck windows and the aerials and dishes mounted all over the top. The mounted ninja claws make perfect complimentary guns to the main triple gun Technic pin connector turrets. The characterization of the mutated shark part of the kaiju is simply perfect; from the point of his snout with metallic eyebrows, through to his belly/hull with nasty clawed feet, to the tip of his strong tail.
I have a special place in my heart for a fun fleet of microscale LEGO spaceships — it’s a challenge maintaining a consistent visual style that ties the fleet together, and it can stretch your LEGO collection in your chosen colors. Chris Boen (Mos Doomsday) succeeds rather well with his fleet of six substantial ships clearly inspired by the stripy Homeworld aesthetic.
Granted, the sleek, striped skin around a dark gray “technical” core is nothing new among LEGO space shipwrights, but the central battleship has some interesting shaping and I like the brutish-looking destroyer near the back. Regardless, it’s an impressive fleet with a clear common theme.
Should an emergency arise, the Varys medical/rescue vessel is ready to provide aid.
I knew I had to blog these when both appeared in my “to blog” folder…
In the fifties, the United States experimented with artillery that could launch nuclear weapons. Not to be outdone, the Soviet Union developed the 2A3 Kondensator 2P self-propelled howitzer. Andy Baumgart (D-Town Cracka) has built a highly detailed 1/30 scale model of this unusual piece of Cold War history.
Early nuclear weapons tended to be on the bulky side. Consequently, whilst many modern self-propelled artillery pieces have a caliber of 155 mm (6.10 inches), the caliber of the Kondensator was a whopping 406 mm (16 inches), which is more in line with a battleship main battery. It was one of the largest self-propelled artillery pieces ever built. It was unwieldy, had a low rate of fire and never entered service, but it makes for an impressive model.
Giving a whole new meaning to “flying buttresses,” Awesome O’Saurus provides us with this stunning rendering of a Gothic-architecture inspired space battleship. After seeing dozens of space tankers and flying boxes with striping (which are cool, to be sure), this spaceship is a welcome new style. Already I want to go design my own space-worthy cathedral of doom.
It’s time to check in for an extended stay with our friends in digital space, constant reader to find out what’s new (and in some cases not so new) in their world. The genres are as diverse as the builders surveyed so grab your favorite beverage and get ready for some real refreshment.
I want to grab the attention of readers who are not usually fans of digital builds and this image by Nachapon Sintateeyakorn is sure to lure in the unwary with visions of rare gold minifigs. You covet the gold, don’t you?
For those of you who like your aircraft modern, or perhaps just a little bit futuristic, enjoy the Mi-54 “Oleni” VTOL gunship by Matthew SylvanO. It also fits nicely into TBB’s well known Olive Conspiracy.
Although the Battleship Iburi never actually existed, TBB rookie Eínon brings enough skill to the project that is easy to believe that it might have. According to the builder: “This model is the first ship of a new huge diorama that I´m working, with over 20 ships, representing the fictitious Second Naval Battle of Tsushima, between Japan and Russia.” If this model is any indication of the shape of things to come, I look forward to blogging Eínon’s further explorations into “alternative history“.
Canada’s Adam Dodge (Dodge) brings the famous 1967 Milton Bradley board game Battleship to life with an emphasis on playability and portability. Although I was initially disappointed that the ships don’t look much like ships, I got over it, so perhaps the more critical among you will too. Adam should have considered subcontracting the ship design to Bruce Lowell. I vividly remember a game of Battleship gone wrong in the 5th grade that ended in fisticuffs and those little plastic pegs scattered everywhere. I’m pretty sure I moved my sub late in the game and got caught, although the specifics are hazy at best.
Or, at least, it has the number “11” on the side… Unless those are Ls. Regardless, this ship by Nate Daly makes an impression. It’s his first attempt at build a space ship in the coveted 100+ stud class, and I think he’s done a great job.
There are plenty of nice details throughout, and the color blocking is well done. My favorite thing about it, though, is the crew. Many builders, when building a ship this long, declare it to be a battleship, or drednaught, or something else with a huge crew. Not Nate, though, he calls it a frigate, and gives it a tiny crew. Bravo, Nate.
This impressive Blacktron spaceship by Vid Legradic hearkens back to the nostalgic themes of the early 90’s. It looks delightfully swooshable, and makes me want to create a huge space-battle against the Space Police, just like when I was a kid. Not to be overlooked, though, is the ship’s great design with a unique shape and the integration of that odd transparent panel.
They say you’re not a real LEGO Space builder until you’ve built a SHIP — a “Significantly Huge Investment in Parts” — that’s at least 100 studs long. As tempting as it was to take on that challenge, I was having so much fun with my little microscale fleet that I decided I wanted to stay within a size that was a reasonable addition to the carrier, cruiser, destroyer, and other little ships I’d built before BrickCon.
Spurred by a rival fleet Mike Yoder built, I set out to add a battleship. Thus was born UES Vanguard, the flagship of the United Earth Federation interstellar fleet.
Despite limiting myself to 55-60 studs, I still struggled with the engineering problems of creating something that wasn’t just built from bricks and slopes stacked on top of each other — something I know regular LEGO Space builders solved years ago. By the end, Vanguard was basically built as a “normal” LEGO (SYSTEM) skin enclosing a Technic latticework. That makes it strong enough, though, that I can hold it with one hand near the back and swoosh it around the living room. Sweet!
See more photos in the photoset on Flickr.
I grew up watching bits and pieces of 「宇宙戦艦ヤマト」(Space Battleship Yamato) at friends’ houses back in Japan, but I have to admit that my fascination with the series today is largely due to the fleet of ships rather than for any sense of personal nostalgia. I’m a sucker for LEGO renditions of the titular ship, and this version by Mark Rodrigues doesn’t disappoint.
Mark’s 1/250 scale Yamato took 4 months to build and represents his return to the LEGO hobby after a 4-year hiatus. I’d say the result was well worth the wait. The vessel is 45″ long and includes rotating turrets and opening wings.