Normally, my obsessive nature would freak out about incorrectly attached LEGO bricks. Yet somehow, despite the way LEGO 7 has created the jaws of these sublime simian spacemen, my clutching disorder doesn’t seem to mind. These cheeky chimpanzee’s heads have been created using only a handful of bricks, yet convey a huge amount of character. One transparent dome helmet and stylistic articulated space suit later, and you’ve got yourself a moon monkey. Double that and add a hexapedal all-terrain moon buggy and you have a scene that could elicit a smile from anyone.
There’s no stopping Tyler Clites when it comes to building remarkable and just plain mind-boggling spacecraft. In a similar vein to the awe-inspiring alien vessel we featured a while back, Tyler presents us with another beautifully spherical craft in the form of this futuristic Russian starfighter.
The unique shape is the star of this creation, but there’s so much to appreciate here. The touches of gold, olive and white add just the right amount of color to what is otherwise an appropriately drab and utilitarian palette. The retro, “lo-fi” look of the vessel is a fantastic design choice, as if this intergalactic starfighter was built using Soviet technology from the 1960’s. Like Sputnik, but with one big frickin’ laser.
Many of you have probably seen the official LEGO Milano 76081 from the new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, or maybe even read our review of the microscale Milano which LEGO is currently giving away. Tyler Clites liked the ship so much, he made his own custom 3000 piece minifig-scale version with full interior! At 2 feet wide and a foot long, Tyler has recreated the unique shapes and curves of the craft with some very clever building techniques; the “beak” of the ship looks fantastic, and he has captured the swept back wings and feathered ailerons with style.
Tyler also teamed up with The Brick Show to show off all the details in his model:
The DF-47 Hawk is a “polyvalent starfighter” designed by BobDeQuatre for the Mars Conglomerate. Built to patrol the borders and escort freighters, the fighter compensates for its lack of armor with excellent maneuverability. Another brilliant entry into the Real World +200 Starfighter Contest, this stud-less LEGO starfighter looks lighting-fast in white and red. Bob has done well to achieve the varied angles for the nose and wings. The light touch of blue in the radome, and the clever detailing with LEGO’s new curved and quarter circle tiles, all add to the allure of this awesome spacecraft.
No need for frantic searching to find the nearest fuel station for this LEGO starfighter, that goes by the intimidating name D.I.E Fighter. The builder of this fine ship, Pascal Schmidt, tells us that D.I.E. actually stands for Dual Ion Engine, but I don’t think it comes in peace. Those four blue panels are actually high performance solar panels that provide power, as long as the fighter doesn’t enter any long dark wormholes I assume. With some nice nods to Neo Classic Space with the grey hull and bumblebee stripes, there’s a lot to love about this little fighter. Don’t look too hard for the pilot though, he is hidden inside the opaque, spherical central cockpit.
This starfighter ship was built as an entry to the Real World +200 Starfighter Contest currently running on Flickr until May 15th, 2017. Entries must be a minifigure scale starfighter (with at least one minifig pilot) which could realistically exist in 200 years, assuming no magic warp engines, gravity techno babble or deflector shields. Get building…
Let’s jump ahead a few hundred years, after all of the great advancements in the private space industry, and head on an interstellar adventure in the RSS Pale Blue Dot and RSS Mote of Dust by Roland Peschetz. These ships look they belong in some of my favorite hard scifi movies doing impossible things. The Pale Blue Dot came first, with Mote of Dust improving on the advanced technology (and, as the builder says, improving on his build skills!).
This ship just feels heavy – the excellent sculpting and greebling with the landing gear, airlocks, and engine just add heft to this impressive ship.
The Saturn V moon rocket is a masterpiece of engineering and remains the largest rocket ever successfully launched. Between 1967 and 1973, thirteen rockets left earth, taking us to the moon and building Skylab, the United States’ first space station. So it’s fitting that LEGO Ideas 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V is the largest Ideas set produced to date, clocking in at a massive 1,969 pieces in an homage to Apollo 11. When countdown ends and the rocket set launches on June 1, 2017, it will retail for $119.99. Included is the Saturn V rocket in three stages, the command and service module, lunar lander, and command module with floatation device.
The Grenadier 929 by halfbeak is the Lunar League’s primary attack/defense unit operating between the Moon and Earth. Able to vertically take off and land on most flat areas, its primary propulsion is a photovoltaic powered, hydrogen propelled magnetoplasmadynamic thruster – also known as the Lorentz Force Accelerator. Its four gimbal-mounted directional rocket thrusters and four photo voltaic panels include redundancies allowing it to still operate one as little as one of each.
Heavily armed, its main offensive weapons are four self-guided shrapnel mortars, designed to approach enemy units at high speed, then exploding to create a highly destructive cloud of shrapnel causing huge damage without the need for pinpoint accuracy.
The 929 is well defended with bow-mounted laser, reinforced titanium front shield and an EM field-generating cage to protect against EMP attack and general environmental radiation. It also features a pilot module that can separate from main propulsion unit and function as a lifeboat with its own limited propulsion and guidance systems.
The builder has also included a fantastic visual breakdown of all the components and created swaths of background information to go with it!
The unmanned Cassini-Huygens spacecraft has been in the headlines recently as she sends back “swan song” images of Saturn’s rings after a mission lasting over 19 years. Strictly speaking, only the Cassini orbiter portion continues to travel, as the Huygens lander successfully landed on Saturn’s moon Titan back in 2005. Chilean builder Luis Peña has built a LEGO version of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, seen here superimposed over an actual Cassini image. This is a pre-2005 version of the craft with the orange Huygens lander clearly visible, and I love the technique used to build the low gain antenna at the font.
A look at the other side of Luis’ LEGO version shows considerable attention to detail – this is very much a 3d model of Cassini-Huygens. The two 445 Newton engines are depicted using ice cream cone parts, while a pair of Technic gears depict the three radioisotope thermoelectric generators.
Due to a dwindling fuel supply, the spacecraft has entered the Grand Finale phase of its mission before a kamikaze pass through he gap between Saturn and its inner ring, before its intentional self destruction within Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017.
Imagine a time when the Dominion war is over and the Borg threat has been defused. In this timeline Starfleet will return to its primary mission of exploration. Ben Smith has created the USS Utah, a survey vessel designed to orbit promising planets and use her expanded sensor capabilities to extensively map their surfaces. She is a beautiful ship with those red and yellow highlights and the grey greebles visible just to the rear of the bridge. I love the two shuttles launching from the large central shuttle bay, jetting off to explore the unknown.
Ben’s inspiration for this ship actually stemmed from a piece of concept art of a ship called the USS Iowa by Ryan Dening.
Everyone needs a bit of downtime, even in space! This month’s TBB cover photo is this scene from English builder Jon Blackford showing what Benny the Spacemen gets up to after hours. When I first saw this it immediately reminded me of that scene from 1972 movie Silent Running. But that’s because I’m practically as old as space itself.
Want to see your own LEGO creation featured across TBB social media for a month? Then read the submission guidelines and send us your photo today. Photos that do not meet the submission guidelines will not be considered, and will be removed from the group, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.
We’ve featured some pretty big news here at The Brothers Brick this week, along with our usual fare of LEGO models, reviews, and more. In case you’ve missed any of it, here’s your weekly Brick Report for the last week of May 2017.
TBB NEWS, REVIEWS & INSTRUCTIONS: LEGO news this week was dominated by back-to-back announcements of two upcoming LEGO sets.
- LEGO unveils largest Ideas set yet: 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V [News] – One of the most popular set announcements ever featured here on TBB, this upcoming LEGO set will include 1,969 pieces, retail for $119.99, and hit store shelves on June 1st.
- New LEGO Creator Expert set 10257 Carousel announced [News] – Somewhat overshadowed by the Saturn V reveal a day later, this set will be available on June 1st as well, with $199.99 for 2,670 pieces.
- LEGO Star Wars Rebels 75170 The Phantom II + TBB chats with Thrawn author Timothy Zahn [Review] – TBB talked to Grand Admiral Thrawn creator Timothy Zahn and got his first impressions of the new minifigure.
- BrickCon 2017 registration is now open [News] – Registration for TBB’s “home convention” is now open. Join us the first weekend in October here in Seattle for a friendly, casual party with 500 of our closest friends.
- Build your own LEGO Citroën DS and then drive your minifig self through the Vézère Valley [Instructions] – Drive around the French countryside in this adorable early 1970’s Citroën DS you can build with bricks in your own collection.
- Make your own LEGO magic folding cube with just a few pieces [Instructions] – Are you one of those people who thinks best when they’re fidgeting or fiddling with something in their hands? Then follow these instructions to make your own little folding cube.
OTHER LEGO NEWS: The new Saturn V set is a hard act to follow, and the rest of the web was buzzing with that news this week as well. We’re also starting to see rumors and leaks of summer LEGO sets for products that weren’t unveiled at Toy Fair in February, but we’ll hold off covering those until we have more reliable, higher-quality information — our readers rely on us for trustworthy LEGO news, and we’ll bring that to you as soon as we have it.