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.
Everybody likes a good Classic Space model, and this crystal mining diorama by Brick Knight has all the right details. From the characteristic grey-blue colour scheme with yellow and black stripes, to antennas and recreations of vintage sets, all placed on a tan landscape, just like the box arts of the 1980s. The cracks filled with green minerals break up the landscape very well, but the main focus is obviously in the sci-fi elements like space stations, spaceships and most notably the round portals. The builder explains the diorama as an uninhabited planet where the Classic Space explorers discovered a new energy source and are mining it for its engineering uses.
Immersed in and inspired by a broad range of innovative source materials in sci-fi — from novels and short stories to TV and video games — builders of LEGO space creations have no boundaries to their creativity. Tromas proves this by not only building a chunky, believable starfighter but also giving it a chunky, believable name with a chunky, believable backstory. This gunboat sports a massive quad cannon toward the rear, with lovely orange stripes on a white hull. The reclined cockpit configuration has a viewport built from a transparent hexagonal wing piece integrated among wedge plates. But what really draws the eye are all the little technical details around the edge — not your usual gray greebles, but hyper-realistic black and gold thrust nozzles, white sensor arrays, spots of sand green, and more.
The rear includes no less detail, with primary engines that match the color scheme of the small directional nozzles.
There’s a definite futuristic spin on this pirate ship created by Bricksam, but the only thing cooler than pirates are sci-fi pirates. The skull & cross-bones figurehead on the bow of the ship suggests that this ship does not come in peace, and the Jolly Roger flying over the stern confirms her intent. No sails are required on this particular ship, but there is some lovely hull shaping and lots of details. The colour blocking with dark green, black and more traditional brown for the main deck gives a real ‘scavenger ship’ feel to this vessel.
The view from behind shows the ragged Jolly Roger and the main deck more clearly. Those glowing rear engines mean that this ship does not need water or wind to power her plundering travels.
Our first look at the forthcoming LEGO Ideas Saturn V model prompted a bit of discussion amongst the staffers here at The Brothers Brick. A comparison of the portion of the set revealed thus far with schematics of the original rocket suggests the model is going to stand 3 feet tall. That set me thinking — what size would the astronauts be at this scale? Well, once you have a thought like that in your head, what else can you do but get building?
This started with the little figures and went on from there. Once the Saturn V set is released, I plan on building a launch tower to stand alongside it, with these little guys trooping across the gantry to board their ride. We choose to go to the teensy-weensy moon.
I understand that this somewhat technically and conceptually simple sculpture of Toy Story‘s Buzz Lightyear may not appear terribly innovative, especially having been built by one of the most renowned LEGO builders in the community, Tyler Clites. But context is the key here, as this was made as a live build at a festival, in 10 hours with no planning. I have rushed builds myself before, but never at this level. I think it’s safe to say that not many people are capable of making a creation this impressive in so little time, at least not at the scale of Tyler’s Buzz Lightyear.
A lot of the LEGO spaceships we feature here are large capital ships or nimble starfighters. David Roberts brings us an interesting change of pace with a heavy-duty maintenance pod — the sort of workhorse utility vehicle which keeps the solar system running. The striping and the brick-built ID number are excellent, but what caught my eye were the manipulator arms, the thruster design, and the cockpit design. A shout out for the landing skids too — a nice little practical touch in a building genre often obsessed with style over realism.
Jme Wheeler has created the MDTDX Fiona Far, which is meant as a re-imagining of the official LEGO set 7706 Mobile Defense Tank. The builder notes that they thought the set “had a lot of cool things going for it, but the actual build was flimsy and lacking a bit in substance”. Starting with that basic idea, Jme rebuilt the set from the ground up, including adding more flexibility in the form of four sets of movable caterpillar tracks to replace the original’s rubber treads.
LEGO announced last summer that the Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket would be among the future projects turned into an official set from the crowdsourcing platform LEGO Ideas, targeting a tentative release date of summer 2017. Today LEGO has released a teaser image of the Saturn V, giving us our first official look at the final model. They’ve also confirmed a June release for the set.
Although LEGO has given no indications yet on piece count or pricing, it’s clear the model will be massive, and significantly larger than the 2003 Saturn V Moon Mission set. Judging by the scale we can see in the photo above, the rocket will likely stand more than two feet tall, with the main rocket stage about 12 studs in diameter.
This week we headed up to our great neighbor to the north to track down Tim Schwalfenberg. Tim lives in Canada, is 21 years old and is currently studying Materials Engineering at his local university. He also likes to publicly smash his LEGO builds too, but more about that later.
TBB: Hi Tim! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your relationship with the Brick?
Tim: Sure! I have found LEGO to be a great creative outlet when I need a break from all my calculus or physics courses. While I’ve been building almost as long as I can remember, it wasn’t until my first year of university that I started to look at LEGO with the intention of making anything beyond the rainbow-warrior spaceships of my earlier years. Through a combination of some inspiring creations I stumbled upon through MOCpages and finding myself with too much free time on my hands, I decided that to try out this LEGO thing more seriously. Thousands of pieces and hundreds of creations later the LEGO hobby has become an incredibly important part of my life. The itch to build has become a constant companion that is easily rewarded by long hours tinkering away on a table-scrap covered table.
What better way to explore the lunar surface than in a LEGO version of TinTin’s moon tank? Stefan Johansson has nailed Herge’s classic design, notable for its twin bubble cockpits upfront. The tank’s blue and grey colour scheme is accurate, and it’s making we wonder if the original comic strip from the 50s provided any inspiration for LEGO’s original Space theme? Stefan has included figures of Professor Calculus, the Thompson Twins, Captain Haddock, and TinTin himself, all clad in fetching orange spacesuits. All that’s missing is Snowy the dog popping his head up under one of the domes.