I’ll admit it: despite all the sci-fi that I build, my secret loves are castle and historical builds. Today Gabriel Thompson takes us out of medieval Europe, and heads north to Scandinavia and the land of the Vikings. The snow and ice in this scene are excellent, with undisturbed curves on the rocks, and studs in front of the hut to make it look a little more slushy after being stepped on. I’m also a fan of the marshy path left by the boat as it cuts through the thin ice. The only thing I don’t envy in this build are the minifigures’ short sleeves in such cold conditions.
Daniel Church takes a slick approach to future sea travel with this cool little skiff. My favorite part is how the wedge plates angling with one another make a striking visual motif that really brings this model together. The addition of the dock and particularly the style of the lamppost lend a bit of context to the craft and the world it inhabits.
The Volvo Ocean Race is a yacht race around the entire world. It is held every three years and generally takes approximately 9 months to complete. Each boat has a crew of 9, who race 24 hours a day for up to 20 days at a time, living off of freeze-dried food and raw courage. It isn’t a race for the weak or faint of heart.
This incredible LEGO model was built by Johan Sahlstrom, who works for Volvo, and Anders Christensen, who works for LEGO. After deciding to build a model of the Volvo Ocean Race boats, they chose Team SCA, the first all-female crew in over 10 years, because “Team SCA is definitely the coolest looking”, according to Sahlstrom.
The SCA boat is 2 1/2 meters long and 3 1/2 meters tall, using over 100,000 pieces. It includes fully functional halyards, winches, grinding pedestals and a canting keel. It is completely to scale, took over 1200 man-hours to build and uses no glue. Creating it was a quite the feat in and of itself!
The unexpected star of the show is this twistedly twee whaling ship, chasing the last of the pygmy whales across the cold ocean.
On the other end of the grey spectrum is this sleek mech, a study in clean design and smooth lines, every inch exuding brutal intent.
It does seem like we’re obsessed with spacecraft today, so here’s a very different kind of vessel. Hoang Dang built this Vietnamese fishing boat to raise awareness of the complex political situation happening today in what westerners typically call the “East China Sea” (even the name of the geographic area is fraught with tension, thus my quotation marks). For a change, I’ll stay out of the politics, but Hoang’s LEGO model certainly deserves plenty of attention.
Hoang has built his model at the scale of the classic Technic figure, which gives him a bit more room to play with shapes and details than if he’d built it at the typical minifig scale. He captures the curves of the hull wonderfully, and details like the sea star on the Vietnamese flag, nets, fish in barrels, and lights all add realism. But my favorite aspect of this model is the color — it’s not often you see a bright blue boat built from LEGO!