Tag Archives: SHIPtember

ALERT! Unidentified alien spacecraft approaching!

We get so used to bulky LEGO spaceships, often with realistically muted color palettes, that it can be hard to know what to make of something wholly and totally different. A Plastic Infinity has posted a bright green alien spaceship, with “propulsive flagellum” and claws for weapons. The repeated circular shapes and black spikes give the craft an insectoid feeling, tapping into our darkest fears.


The builder has also created a small group of escort ships that match the design of the mothership. I really don’t want to know what that forward probe does…


Archimedes: Long-Range Cruiser

When preparing for a long-range mission in deep space, it is essential to have the best ship for the journey. That includes space for crew, supplies, and a lovely color scheme. This eye-catching ship by scottadges has all the right greebles. The color scheme works very well, and really helps all the detail work pop. It manages to be detailed, yet not busy, which is a delicate balance.

UNSC Orion-class battleship

I’m not sure whether or not this ship by Gilcelio Chagas fits in the Halo universe, but what I do know is that it’s awesome. The blue and yellow stripes are lovely, evoking Neo-Classic Space more than Halo. And the adorable little microships look like they’d fit perfectly in the hangar.

UNSC-Orion Class Battleship

Many large-scale LEGO spaceships use a complex Technic framework on the inside, so it’s noteworthy that Gilcelio has built his ship around a fairly straightforward core of plates and bricks, proving that you don’t always need the most complex techniques to achieve an outstanding result.

ShipTember day 5

Chris Foss meets Star Wars

One of the stranger vessels to emerge from this year’s SHIPtember build challenge is this bulbous oddity by [email protected]. At 112 studs long, this is a proper SHIP. The builder says he built the underlying frame early in the month, and then it sat there for two weeks before he started adding the structure around it, with nothing more in mind about the end result than that he wanted to use stripes. What’s particularly striking about this spaceship is the contrast in textures along the interior sandwiched between the upper and lower hulls — from a mass of greebles to two large domes and then a smooth section. Reminiscent of the rebel transports that escaped Hoth, the stripes evoke sci-fi artist Chris Foss.

Silure 33 (01)

OASIS-class deep space exploration ship

We’ve grown used to seeing precarious cottages and luxurious modern architecture from talented Portuguese builder César Soares, but a large-scale spaceship was not something I expected to see in his photostream — even during SHIPtember. César has built a near-future interstellar colonization ship full of believable details — all pulled together with a great schematic that points them out.


See more photos of this great LEGO spaceship

LEGO purists beware, this ship may not conform to your ideals

This SHIPtember Avari-class carrier by Pierre E Fieschi is incredible. Without resorting to a wacky shape or an extreme color palette, Pierre has managed to create a stunningly detailed and realistic-looking sci-fi vessel. It’s got an awesome military green paint job, an open hangar bay, and a cargo bay filled with futuristic semi-truck containers. However, some of our readers may be horrified to learn that this build features a large amount of Mega Bloks and 3D printed parts.


Now before you start flipping tables, just hear me out. Some of these Mega Blok pieces are downright snazzy! The wedge tiles, in particular, contribute to this ship’s clean lines and dynamic design. While I’m not suggesting everyone run out and buy Mega Blok, I do think some healthy competition between name brands can’t hurt.

SHIPtember: There’s no place like Homeworld

Over the past week, we’ve talked a bit about some of the influences behind builders’ SHIPs. For many builders, the 2003 video game Homeworld has had a pivotal effect on their building style.

This year Homeworld Remastered was re-released with updated graphics, and many space builders fell in love with the game again. So it’s not surprising to me that we saw a lot of Homeworld and Homeworld-inspired SHIPs pop up in SHIPtember.

But what was surprising to me was that some folks from the actual development team of Homeworld Remastered loved our LEGO SHIPs as much as we loved their game, and reached out to offer a few prizes! So without further ado I present the best Homeworld inspired SHIP, as chosen by those developers, who happen to also be LEGO fans:

The best Homeworld SHIP, which will also receive a copy of The Art Of Homeworld, kindly donated and signed by a group of developers, is Pierre E Fieschi with his Maersk Highliner:
MAERSK HIGHLINER With wonderful technique and controversial part usage, this ship launched itself into the top spot despite not actually being in the game, but heavily inspired by it. Quoting the developers: “We love the layering of details. Panels overlapping one another without it being too much noise. And of course this is just outright gorgeous.” and also “That guy’s concept art and other work is legit.”

Second place, as chosen by the development team is Ryan Olsen (Rphilo004) and his Hiigaran Battlecruiser: Hiigaran Battlecruiser with Escort Fleet
Again, quotes from the development team: “Nicely executed for the size and detail that you were able to get into it. Bravo!” and “It’s PERFECT. The support ships even rock. I wanna buy this or have one made for myself SO BAD.”

Coming in third place was last year’s SHIPtember winner, Tim Schwalfenberg (One More Brick) with his Vaygr Battlecruiser:
Vaygr Battlecruiser Which the keen eyes of the developers noticed was missing the side tower: “That surface detail. Maybe the tower hit an asteroid?”

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SHIPtember: Return to the minifig scale SHIPs of old

Today on Week of Wonders we look at the minifig scaled SHIPs.

For a long time SHIPs (Seriously Huge Investment In Parts) had a pretty specific definition. Not only were ships to be 100 studs, but they were almost always minifigure scale with interiors. With SHIPtember some builders have lost sight of the minifigure scale and have built a wide variety of amazing microscale ships. But there’s still something magical about building minifig SHIPs, harking back to our childhoods, where the dream was to build not just a big space ship, but one where there was room to play with our minifigs!

Today we celebrate the minifig populated SHIPs from SHIPtember.

Adam Dodge (Dodge…) has a bit of history of going overboard, from winning awards at cons to doing the infamous SHIPhatTrick – building 3 SHIPs in one month. But his Intercept Invader is the set I would have loved as a kid:
Intercept Invader - in flight Not only is this SHIP big, it has a full interior and most jaw dropping of all, is completely modular and reconfigurable! That by itself earns Adam big props from me.

Ryan McBryde’s (goatman461) Mercy Brandy SHIP looks smaller than it is:
[Challenge 2][Cat. B] 3 It’s built and textured like a lot of other microscale ships we’ve seen, but it’s deceiving with a fully detailed bridge: [Challenge 2][Cat. B] 6 I particularly like the classy brick built Octan logo.

Not to be outdone, Jake (Jayfourke) has jam packed the inside of his Thames-Class Coastguard Patrolboat:
Thames-Class Coastguard Patrolboat Not only has Jake added a full interior, but he’s managed to have not one, but two vehicles safely docked inside.

I don’t know about other people, but next year, I want to build a big minifig SHIP.

SHIPtember: Best real world SHIPs

Today on Week of Wonders, we talk about SHIPs that have that real world vibe that were built as a part of last month’s SHIPtember contest.

Most of the time spacers tend to build fantastic ships from far in the future with Warp Engines or Hyper Drives and all sorts of make believe techno-babble inventions. But there’s a certain few who take a more realistic approach to their spaceships, taking inspiration from today’s space technology and pushing it out just a few years…

Tyler H has created this near-future high altitude bomber, the B-5 MANTA:
B-5 MANTA In Flight At just under 100 studs long, and 144 studs wide, this lovely near space ship has a great shape and I just love the integrated lights and the bottom detailing with the combination of studs up and studs down construction.

Going slightly further into the future, Damien Labrousse (legodrome) has created this inter-planetary traveler, the Galactik Bricks:
Shiptember 2015 : Galactik Bricks The dockable shuttles are just a fantastic touch, and I really like the shaping he has put in the front with the spinning habitat section.

And finally, going far into depths of space is Nathan Proudlove (Proudlove) and his Deep Space Explorer Intrepid:
DSE-Intrepid With its radiation shield (required for deep space travel) this 5 foot (or 1.5meter) model is a true interstellar ship. Nathan has thought about what a real world Benny would need on his travels, and has included habitats, science labs, communication array, solar panels, and of course a SPACESHIP! for exploring those far away worlds.

SHIPtember: Best Unconventional SHIPs

Welcome to the second installment of the Week of Wonders: SHIPtember edition. Today we’ll take a look at some of the more unconventional SHIPs that were built during this year’s SHIPtember contest.

Usually ship builders will base their builds on some existing ships, or designs and influences from movies, games or books. Then there are builders that just go a completely different route and create something truly unique.

Chris Perron (thebrickbin) leads the pack with this unconventional Castle ship, the Astral Voyager:
Astral VoyagerWith a combination of fantastic rockwork, integrated castles and volcano engines, the Wizard Chris has managed to create a believable magical flying rock space ship.

Alysa Kirkpatrick (d2hiriyuu) has built this Dyson Sphere, a spaceship that is wrapped around a sun, which she calls Astra Luminaria: Astra Luminaria
One of the most interesting parts of this build, besides possibly being the biggest SHIP we’ve seen built to date, was that the entire build is a series of geometric shapes, which means that it was easy for her to calculate that there were exactly 20,012 parts used.

Last but not least, (ska2d2) has this … well I’m not really sure best to describe this… I guess as the name implies, looks a bit like a Dragonfly :
Dragonfly GS2. Shiptember2015
What I really liked about this isn’t just the cool build, and strong colour blocking, but the fact that it was based on a Concept Sketch that he did prior to building.

SHIPtember: Best Pop Culture SHIPs

Welcome to a Week of Wonders, highlighting some of the best SHIPs (Seriously Huge Investment in Parts) that were built during SHIPtember. We have some special prizes lined up so stay tuned to the end of the week!

For those that might be unfamiliar and might be asking: What is SHIPtember? Well it is a challenge to build a very large space ship that is at least 100 studs in any orientation, from start to finish within the month of September, or as we’ve now lovingly dubbed it: SHIPtember.

This year we have over 120 astounding ships created by builders. These ships range from complete figment of the builder’s imagination, recreating concept art, taking design cues from existing themes, to recreating familiar ships.

But today, let’s focus on the fine art of recreating ships based off existing properties.

John Boozer (JediKnight219) (yes, that’s his real last name) has been a long time SHIPtember builder, focusing on recreating some of the best pop culture ships from his Transformer’s ARK Ship and last year’s minifigure scale Guardian of the Galaxy’s Milano.

This year, John is back with a vengeance with this incredible take on the Superman Villain: Brainiac’s Skull Ship:

This one was particularly fun to watch watch being built in the last month as it was originally quite hard to decipher what John was working on.

Kevin J. Walter (SkyWalter), who actually won the best IP based build last year with his Goa’uld Mothership from Stargate SG-1 is back this year with the Nazara / “Sovereign” from the Mass Effect game:
Nazara / "Sovereign"
I’ve always been a big fan of Kevin’s love of building in black, a very hard to photograph colour, especially given the amount of details he manages to put into his builds.

Not to be outdone, Pico van Grootveld (Brixnspace) built another creature-ish SHIP this year with the EVE online’s custom Scorpion battleship:
EVE online's custom Scorpion battleship | SHIPtember 2015
While we’re used to many ships being really big, this is really big. Which is extremely impressive given the size and and shaping of the lowered section – it’s quite the LEGO-engineering feat!

And one more for the Pop Culture round up, another Video Game based ship, by Mel F. (Melan-E) with her build from Destiny: The Queen’s Emissary:
The Queen's Emissary
Which ironically is the most ship-like of all the ship’s in this post, but none the less a beautiful recreation of the original source that is instantly recognizable due to Mel being able to recreate those distinctive angles.

Space: The final frontier for prospecting

When all the planets’ resources are depleted, mankind must turn to space to harvest even the most common of material: iron. And when that time comes, the Iron Mountain will lead the fleet of prospectors to find new sources of wealth. This awesome space miner by Sam Malmberg rings in at a whopping 162 studs long, and like most other large spacecraft you’ll see around here for awhile, was built as part of the “build a giant spaceship in a month” challenge known as SHIPtember. Sam has beautifully blended an armor-plated hull with large technological greebly appendages, but my absolute favorite part is Sam’s use of LEGO’s short-lived Aero Tubes and even more impressively, its accompanying Air Pump — a piece I can’t recall ever seeing in a fan-creation before. Oddly enough, just a few days ago I rediscovered the Air Pump in my collection, and thought to myself “one day I must find a use for this…”


Sam says he’s bringing the model to Brickcon in Seattle, which begins tomorrow for registered attendees, and is open to the public Saturday and Sunday. So if you want to check out this model in person, or many of the other models we feature, be sure to stop by. A number of us from the Brothers Brick — including myself — will be in attendance as well, so seek us out and say hi!