Deep into Ma.Ktober and with Novvember almost upon us, we’re still not quite done with SHIPtember yet! Most of the giant LEGO spaceships we’ve featured over the last few weeks have been lengthy, horizontal ships. LEGOLIZE IT MAN goes in a completely different direction with this huge vertically oriented spaceship mounted on docking clamps. I love the repeated circular motifs in white, along with the angled black section at the rear.
Note the minifigs for scale. This is actually a vertically oriented, minifig-scale starfighter rather than the typical microscale battlecruiser. Very cool indeed.
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…
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.
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.
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.
One of the stranger vessels to emerge from this year’s SHIPtember build challenge is this bulbous oddity by F@bz. 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.
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
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.
Over the past week we have focused on the amazing builders who decided to build a SHIP within a month. We’ve looked at pop culture SHIPs, original and very unconventional SHIPs, realistic and near future SHIPs, the super fun minifigure scaled SHIPs, and finally SHIPs based off of one of the most influential games for SHIP buliders: Homeworld.
But before we dive in, I want to congratulate every single builder that participated in this year’s SHIPtember (even those who were too ambitious to complete their SHIPs). It’s an incredibly fun month of building and sharing your work in progress with everyone. You make SHIPtember special.
Today we wrap up our Week of Wonders: SHIPtember edition by revealing the overall best SHIPs, as chosen by the judges, and also the people’s choice.
Again, we have a great prize, thanks to several of members the development team from Homeworld Remastered who have generously signed and donated a copy of the Homeworld Remastered game to the builder of SHIPtember 2015’s Best SHIP – which tradition also dictates will be immortalized as SHIPtember’s 2016 poster boy (much like the 2014 and 2013 winners) and also be featured on next year’s event brick.
SHIPtember 2015 Best SHIP
This year’s Best SHIP goes to the infinitely talented Jonas (LEGOLIZE IT MAN) for his M.U.LLA Battle cruiser:
This SHIP is just a perfect combination of elegant piece usage. Jonas manages to add just the right amount of detail, while keeping it clean and stylized. Or as one judge put it: “This thing has the perfect balance of texture, clean lines, and just perfect color blocking”. And Jonas is not only gifted in the art of LEGO building, but is also quite the doodler and even pre-sketeched his award-winning SHIP.
Our runner-up for Best SHIP this year is Josh Derksen (armoredgear7) with his mammoth Demon’s Maw. It not only looks like some kind of demonic claw, but also has lights and motorized features!
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:
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:
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:
Which the keen eyes of the developers noticed was missing the side tower: “That surface detail. Maybe the tower hit an asteroid?”
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:
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:
It’s built and textured like a lot of other microscale ships we’ve seen, but it’s deceiving with a fully detailed bridge: 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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
With 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:
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 :
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.