And remember boys and girls, follow the instructions on the label, and never exceed the maximum daily dose. Recommended to be taken on a full stomach.
With over one hundred entries and over 11,700 studs worth of LEGO spaceships built, I think it is a safe bet that SHIPtember was a huge success. Checkout all the winners in this thread. And vote for your People’s Choice winners in this thread
Also be sure to to check out the massive full size poster at 10px=1 stud. Big props to Josh Derksen for making the rockin’ poster. And of course humungous internet high fives to brainchild Simon Liu for hosting probably the most epic monthly build challenge in flickr history.
It was my distinct pleasure to attend the 12th annual BrickCon in Seattle last weekend along with about half of TBB’s contributors, hundreds of talented builders and thousands of slack-jawed public hours gawkers. While I’m sure you’ll be seeing and reading more about the convention from my Brothers, I’ll be focusing this post on a collaborative sci-fi project I took part in called Hub 14 that featured 23 builders from Brazil, Canada, Germany and a U.S. contingent that included both Alaska and Hawaii.
Hub 14 was a sprawling 4ft by 12ft slice of alien landscape that included an air-traffic control hub, landing pads and swampy terrain that provided a stage for dozens of VTOL spaceships, mecha, minifigs, monsters, hard-suits and personal conveyances of every variety. Although it apparently won a category award of some kind (I didn’t actually see it happen) Hub creator Michael Rutherford claims that no trophy was actually distributed and if there was he had no specific knowledge of such an artifact. The real value of the Hub was the camaraderie enjoyed by its participants and the shared effort to bring the diorama to life. Clear evidence of the spirit of the Hub was the exchange of VTOL’s by many of the builders at the end of the convention, with nobody being more generous than Simon Liu, who basically gave everything away. Everyone pitched in from set-up to tear-down and I think I can safely say that a good time was had along the way. My favorite aspect of the project was meeting and working with some of my favorite builders that I’ve somehow missed in my convention travels, people like Pascal, Gilcelio, Nick, Sam, Chris, Aaron, Adam, Evan, Ryan, Simon and Will. While it’s great to work with beloved cronies like Mark, Breanne, Bram, Josh, Ian and Ley (to name a few) there is a special thrill adding new blood to the mix. I learned a great deal about collaboration along the way and I feel like I’m a better builder as a result.
But there was also a dark side to the shenanigans occurring at Hub 14, most notably this truly disturbing and deadly embrace shared by Michael Rutherford and Ryan Wilhelm. While this borderline cosplay only lasted a brief 3 and a half minutes to get as fellow Hubbite Simon Liu put it “Just the right shot“, it seemed to most observers that time was slowed like Neo stopping incoming bullets in The Matrix. I like to think I’ve been to my share of conventions and seen some odd behavior out of my fellow Lego nerds, but this was a whole new level of strangeness….at least in the on-site venue. I still wake up screaming, thinking about this terrible soul-kiss…and yes constant reader…there was tongue.
Although my final anecdote is only superficially related to Hub 14, it is without qualification, the best. No doubt as a result of his association with the Hub, the eternally effervescent Nick Trotta was approached by Lego’s own Keith Severson (Sr. Manager of Community Support) about taking Nick’s “Solar Sweeper” starfighter back to Billund to be displayed within their innovation studio. Apparently it will be set up in an area for LEGO designers to regularly see and take some inspiration from what our awesome building community is up to. In Nick’s own understated words “Wow!“. After meeting Nick and his long suffering (and much funnier) wife Adelle, I can safely say it couldn’t have happened to a nicer, more humble dude. So keep hope alive constant reader, if you have the requisite skills you might just get “discovered” at a convention.
So many thanks to the hard working and hard partying international crew of builders that was Hub 14, you guys (and gal) are the best. The project would not have been possible without the generosity and logistical assistance from TBB’s elder statesman Andrew Becraft who not only allowed me to ship 10 boxes to his domicile but also moved them to the venue and shipped them back without so much as a complaint. Thanks also to Wayne Hussey and team for another fabulous BrickCon! If you are interested in the specific contributions of each member you can follow the links throughout the article or head on over to Ryan Rubino’s photostream for additional action. Due to post-convention hangover disorder (PCHD), some of the contributors have not yet officially posted their models to Flickr, so stay tuned to your stream for more details. There is a public Group Pool for the Hub, but again, because of PCHD it is still in its infancy.
I’ve been told by experts in the know that this sort of coverage isn’t well loved by our audience and usually results in a downward spike in statistical interest, so thank you for your indulgence. If you have a thought you’d like to share on the topic of convention coverage I’d love to read about it in the comments.
This Eggeater by Logan (∞CaptainInfinity∞) is pretty spot on considering how wacky of a shape this starfighter has. He has used a lot of neat techniques throughout the build, in particular I really like how he achieved the detailing along the top of the gun. And then of course there is the brilliant photo composition, the combination of brick built foreground and digitally edited background is incredibly pleasing to the eye.
So I will eat them in a box
And I will eat them with a Falkes
And I will eat them in a house.
And I will eat them with a Fledermaus.
And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them ANHYWHERE!
I do so like
green Eggeaters and ham!
Bart de Dobbelaer, the master of crazy space dioramas, strikes again with this monolithic structure of gravity defying space garbage–or whatever that is. In any case, Bart’s signature style of limited colors and great designs makes for an exceptional diorama. The all dark-brown base gives a more subdued feel to the setting than LEGO’s standard reddish brown, and I’m not sure I even want to know how Bart got all of those spikey bits to stick to the suspended sphere.
Giving a whole new meaning to “flying buttresses,” Awesome O’Saurus provides us with this stunning rendering of a Gothic-architecture inspired space battleship. After seeing dozens of space tankers and flying boxes with striping (which are cool, to be sure), this spaceship is a welcome new style. Already I want to go design my own space-worthy cathedral of doom.
As LEGO builders we each find our own style in which we create. For myself I have always concentrated on the aspects of playability, so as a result tend to sacrifice aesthetics for function in many cases. LEGO has and always will be a toy for me. I wish I could categorize myself as a LEGO artist like many builders out there, but who am I kidding, I build this stuff to play with. Another side effect of this mindset is the tendency to disregard certain pieces of inspiration if I think the resulting model would be too fragile to play with. I can now use my sons as an excuse to perpetuate this habit, but honestly they do not impact my thought process because I want to swoosh and zoom my models just as much as they do.
Which leads me to One of Pluto, a piece of Maschinen Krieger concept art that I first saw years ago while perusing the internet for all things Ma.K (shortly after first being introduced to the genre by Tim’s early Ma.K stuff). The design completely intrigued me. It was so vastly different than anything else in the universe but somehow still fit in perfectly. Like all cool pieces of concept art I immediately contemplated the possibility of building it with LEGO. However, quickly dismissed the idea due to the clearly un-LEGO friendly shape.
Well that was 6 or 7 years ago, and over that time I got up the nerve to take a crack at it. It was in fact during last Ma.Ktoberfest that I intended on building this, but real life got in the way and I never ended up starting anything. I still had my bag of dark grey boulders, which I ordered specifically for the project, set aside. So about a week ago I start fiddling with the parts. But I soon discovered that I had my mind too set within a controlled and symmetrical style of building. If I was going to be successful I had to completely change the way I normally build. Those that know me, know that my collection is in dire need of sorting, but for this project I think that fact actually helped. Because instead of going through a bin of parts looking for a specific piece, I simply rummaged through the bin and collected an assortment of pieces that I thought could work. So my starting point was a large pile of random dark grey bits and bobs (& my boulders). I knew that if I could get the general configuration of the bulbous abdomen figured out the rest would fall in place relatively easily. I experimented with several internal structures to get the right general shape with boulders, but again found myself concentrating too much on playability…I needed to admit to myself that this was going to be a display model only. Once I decided that, I quickly found a set up for the abdomen that gave me the right shape. But what totally surprised me was that once I used the assorted strings, hoses and rubber bands to add the detailing, they in fact held the boulders in place so well that it became super robust and easily swooshable. The upper ‘torso’ and head took a few tries as well, but were certainly simpler than the abdomen. I am super happy with the end result both in terms of aesthetics and playability. This will definitely be sitting on the ol’ LEGO shelf for quite some time.
In the end this build has made me realize that stepping back and looking at a project from a different perspective can be hugely beneficial. I took a fresh approach and actually ended up with familiar results.
Happy Ma.Ktoberfest everyone.
Those of you lucky enough to be at BrickCon will be seeing a sci-fi collaboration known as HUB 14. I have only seen a few teaser images on flickr but judging by who is involved I know it will be of epic proportions. For those of us unlucky enough to not be at BrickCon, Evan (Lego Junkie) was nice enough to rub it in and show us this brilliant little TurtleDove Spacecraft ahead of time. So thanks Evan for reminding us of all the cool stuff we are missing.
I want two of these on the second day of Christmas…and a partridge in a pear tree.
As Chris mentioned in the previous post, there have been numerous high quality SHIPs built for the SHIPtember challenge. One such example is this stunning model by TBB regular Pierre E Fieschi. As per Pierre’s usual repertoire, there are plenty of wondrous details to find when you view the creation in full size. My particular favourite is the repetitive use of minifig headgear throughout.