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.
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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.
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.
In the 1970s a British television sci-fi show about an alien invasion of Earth called UFO was shown in the UK and Canada. It was created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson, who had previously made several successful children’s science fiction programmes, the most famous of which was Thunderbirds. Andrea Lattanzio‘s latest build is the show’s S.H.A.D.O. Moonbase Interceptor, the primary defence spacecraft of a highly secretive agency called Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation or SHADO for short. Andrea has really captured the hull shaping and red stripe details of the Interceptors with their comical nose-mounted nuclear missiles. The Interceptor is instantly recognisable to those of a certain age ;-)
Not content with just having the outward shaping, the cockpit and roof can be removed to show some interior details including control sticks, a comfy red pilot seat, and some powerful-looking engine areas.
My only slight concern is the fit of the cockpit wind-shield, as the gaps might be a little “problematic” in the vacuum of space.
After an early tease of 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V last month, today LEGO has officially taken the wraps off this massive 1:110 scale rocket. First announced last June, the Saturn V will be the largest ever fan-designed LEGO Ideas set with 1,969 pieces, giving even the part count a nod to the year of mankind’s first steps on the moon. The rocket itself stands 39 in. tall (100cm), and consists of all three stages with a full complement of the lunar orbiter, lunar lander, command module with flotation devices, and three astronaut microfigures. The Saturn V will retail for $119.99 USD beginning June 1, the same day as the just-announced 10257 Carousel.
The Saturn V is the first of two upcoming LEGO Ideas sets based on NASA, with a Women of NASA LEGO set coming later this year or early in 2018.
Click to see all the images of the Saturn V
Look twice—those aren’t sideways cars, they’re COSMO Pods, the kit-built racers of the future. Designed by Volker Brodkorb, each of the vertically oriented pods is souped up to match its driver’s style and outfitted with a unique engine, and then splashed with a classic paint job hearkening back to the old petrol-powered four-wheeled racers of yore.
Of course, I’m rooting for the Ford GT40-inspired pod, because who doesn’t love that iconic blue and orange Gulf livery?
I have a thing for space corridors. I can’t explain it, I can’t define it — I just have a thing for space corridors. Turns out, I’m not the only one! Tim Goddard has created an H-shaped corridor section inspired by Jeremy Williams’ Alpha Zero Niner and built as part of a collaboration to be revealed in a couple of months. Tim has captured all the elements of a good space corridor: plenty of details, cool greebling, great depth of field, creative lighting and a Classic Space minifig.
It’s the great-granddaddy of rogue AIs — HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Built from a small selection of LEGO bricks by Jason Allemann, this model perfectly captures the unblinking stare of the famous fictional computer. I can’t look at this without hearing the iconic voice in my head, only this time there’s a disagreement over access to the bricks — “I’m sorry Dave, I can’t let you build that”.
And don’t miss the computer’s ID number — 0937, a number which keeps cropping up in LEGO creations for some reason. Who knows, perhaps it has some mysterious and deeper significance, like a digital version of 2001‘s monolith?
Mecha legend Mladen Pejic has built an interesting pair of quad-legged rovers in Blactron I & II livery, using an ingenious technique to create spherical rollers as opposed to wheels. The resulting ‘legs’ give the rovers a wonderful sense of character and allow all manners of dynamic posing.
Of the two, my favourite has to be the Trespasser shown above…mainly because of the surprising cockpit.
See more LEGO mecha from this legendary builder
Some spaceships are made for carrying cargo, others for deep space exploration. But there is no doubt that Leonard ZX is a ship designed for the offensive manoeuvres of war. Flavio has designed the starship Leonard ZX with speed and agility at the fore, with a sleek nose leading to a powerful, edgy hull. I love the colour blocking of red and white and the use of tails to give the sharp angles on the outside of the hull.
Just behind the white cockpit area is the ingeniously placed red hockey helmet, proving that health and safety is paramount, even in a war fighting machine.
Shown at Bricks Cascade 2017 and winner of Interstellar Bella trophy, Jonathan Walker‘s breathtaking Shadowcaster is a masterpiece. At 133ish studs in length, the leaf-like beauty is massive. Inspired by a train station in France by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, Jonathan spent a lot of time building curves, stressing LEGO in ways it shouldn’t be stressed; the results are extraordinary. Each 4 stud section is attached by a single stud to the spine and they are all held in place by the curve of sand green on the edges. I love the colors he has used and the multi-directional engines mounted underneath. A spectacular spaceship to demonstrate the limitless potential of our beloved plastic brick.
Australian builder Shannon Sproule has once again created a stunningly unique sci-fi model. Shannon has a real knack for being able to use a minimalist parts palette to great effect in his builds. The repeated pattern of the white tiles on the side of this craft is what initially catches the eye, but the various hits of colour throughout really make the model pop.
Not only is the ORCA nice to look at, but it also would be incredibly fun to play with. With a hidden missile port in the nose and modular equipment hardpoints on the lateral pylons, she is just begging to be swooshed.
Shannon built this for the ongoing Real World +200 contest in the Flickr Starfighters group. In fact my Orcinus class gunboat that we featured last week was built for the same contest. And yes, I did get a chuckle out of the fact that Shannon and I chose to name our ships after the same whale.