Before his work on more widely-known sci-fi movies such as Bladerunnner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, legendary visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull directed the 1972 sci-fi movie Silent Running, a beautifully written, performed and photographed tale of one man’s fight to preserve the last remnants of Earth nature.
In creating a LEGO version of the Valley Forge (the ship where the movie’s action takes place) Cornish builder Louie Tommo clearly felt that only a larger scale would do it justice. The result is this very accurate digitally designed LEGO version that perfectly captures the ship’s functional looking design complete with its distinctive cluster of domed forest habitats.
Even though the movie has plenty of action and some first class visual effects for the era, the characters of astronaut Freeman Lowell and his robot companions Huey, Louie and Dewey are central to the story. So it’s a nice touch that Louie has created LEGO versions of them as well, and even portrayed them at work on the outer hull of the spacecraft.
Brick Martil‘s Merkabah-class Heavy Gunship is one of the coolest spacecraft I’ve seen in a while. The shape and the phenomenal color blocking are ravishing, giving this model a strikingly unique appearance. This ship positively screams “deadly”.
Another element I love about this ship is the size. A lot of LEGO spacecraft would be sized akin to small WWII dogfighters, regardless of its designation as a fighter, heavy bomber, etc. Most would clock in around 20-40 (scale) feet in length, while many modern fighter jets are 50-60 feet long, and other classes even larger. So it’s cool to see a spacecraft sized up to what they most likely would be without becoming capital ships — where a two-man gunship is a huge craft, outfitted with engines and life support to get it through the cold reaches of space and the harrowing re-entry of an atmosphere, not to mention lugging a payload.
The Merkabah is deceptively large — that windscreen is from the UCS Slave I, so check out this comparison photo of the two to get a feel for just how big it is. And here’s a closeup shot so you can check out the fantastic detailing…
Spoiler alert: most UFO pictures are faked, including this one. Teal is a very rare color, and most of these bricks were never made in it. Which makes this virtual model all the more striking. Digital artist dunkleosteus_ldd used Lego Digital Designer and Bluerender to design this uniquely shaped alien craft. Perhaps it could be built in real life using a more common color. Would it still look this cool in red?
As new pieces and building techniques emerge and as builders improve their style, it’s interesting to see a builder revisit a previously built design. Benjamin Cheh Ming Hann shows a side-by-side comparison of his custom fighter design, the FB12 Foxbat, with his original 2013 build on the left and 2014 rebuild on the right. Improved color blocking, an overall smoother shape, and added rear fins and air intakes show Benjamin’s efforts to rework an already great compact fighter design.
See more views of Benjamin’s FB12 Foxbat on his Flickr, with an album each for Mark I and Mark II.
Here’s a new twist on an old set: Central Precinct Headquarters from 1993. The old black and white color scheme has been updated to a futuristic black and green, and all the flowers are gone. But the rooftop technology bits and the safety railings are still around. Most of the original vehicles are here too (helicopter not pictured). Big_Sal_224 also has a full backstory and script available, featuring a lot more gender diversity than the original set. I wonder what other old sets are ripe for re-imagining?
Hang in there Red Dwarf fans, only a couple more months before Series 11 airs! In the meantime, feast your eyes on this totally spot-on Red Dwarf custom LEGO play set designed by Bob Turner. The dance-ready Series 8 version of Blue Midget shuttlecraft is definitely the star of the show here, but it’s the smaller details that really make this scene a real fan-pleaser:
Of note are the brick-built scutter, the inclusion of the Holly Hop Drive from Series 2, and most importantly a set of custom Red Dwarf minifigs. Each one is accurate and immediately recognizable. And in addition to the main crew, Bob has even included minifig versions of popular alternate characters Duane Dibbley and Ace Rimmer.
Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast!
aido k has created a fabulous tribute to LEGO Space — a classic blue space figure created from a multitude of classic space figures. I’m not normally a fan of rendered LEGO creations, preferring to see models and scenes created within the restrictions of regular part availability. However, I dread to think how expensive this idea would have been to recreate “in the brick”, and besides, as far as I can tell, there are no weird part/color combinations used here, just spacemen… lots and lots of spacemen.
Priovit70 has seen into the future and it is groovy and filled with awesome hovering vehicles like this adorable spacebeetle. It keeps the classic lines and still manages to keep up with the latest models from those other spacecar makers. Or, if you prefer more room, you’re welcome to cruise about in your VW Spacebus.
Even better, other companies have caught up to and integrated some sweet sweet AI to take care of autopilot. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your voyage to Miller’s planet with those towering waves for some sweet surfing.
It’s been a while since a Space Shuttle orbiter docked with the International Space Station; Atlantis launched July 8, 2011, over five years ago. Since then, all astronauts have caught a ride on the Soyuz out of Kazakhstan. In a few years, they’ll be flying out of Cape Canaveral, once again, thanks to the Commercial Crew program. Until then, let us all gaze upon the beauty of Lia Chan‘s absolutely stunning brick-built ISS and Space Shuttle orbiter Endeavor.
For a look at the shuttle pre-launch, be sure to check out our post featuring the shuttle, launch pad, and NASA’s Next Giant Leap!
Tim Schwalfenberg worked on a massive Homeworld-inspired fleet of LEGO spaceships leading up to Brickworld Chicago last month, and we posted a couple of the great ships that make up the fleet, including the corvette and missile frigate. The full fleet is incredibly impressive, with the addition of a battleship and carrier.
The carrier is worth a closer look in particular, with a red and white color scheme that ties it together with the rest of the fleet, along with a shock of yellow. Tim has incorporated some custom 3D-printed elements into the greebles. Can you spot them?
Tim hasn’t posted photos of his battleship yet, but we’ll bring that to you as well once he gets the photos online.
This weeks obligatory dose of Neo Classic Space is called the White Tiger, and comes to us from Italian builder Andrea Lattanzi. It’s a pleasant departure from the norm in that it follows the color scheme of the Futuron sets (sometimes commonly referred to as Whitetron, since their counterparts were the ever-popular Blacktron).
Andrea has even built this tank its own maintenance bay, where we can see its Futuron operators directing a bunch of Classic Space regulars as they re-fit it for it’s next Blacktron encounter:
Stu Pace wanted to try something different when he built his LBA-10 Long Range Heavy Fighter and I think he succeeded. While the physical design of the ship has the same strong ‘alien’ feel as many of his previous spacecraft, the unconventional color blocking really takes things to the next level, emphasizing interesting features of the ship’ that might have gone unnoticed under a more monochromatic color scheme. It’s a bold move but I think it works!