Looking at these LEGO steampunk models, you can almost hear the hiss of steam, the clank of gears, and the whirr of clockwork. The steampunk aesthetic isn’t all wood and brass, so be sure to check out all the colorful models alongside classic steampunk creations from around the world.
This weekend sees The Great Western Brick Show take place in the UK at the STEAM Railway Museum in Swindon. Some of the displays this year will mark the fact that it’s 175 years since Isembard Kingdom Brunel opened his maintenance facility, whose surviving buildings house the museum. Jimmy Clinch has chosen to celebrate the occasion with a brilliant mosaic of the big man himself…
Brunel is something of a hero of mine: the most audacious engineer of the 19th century — a designer of tunnels, bridges, railway lines and enormous steamships. He’s a pinup-boy for any self-respecting steampunk fan and I would love to hang this mosaic on my wall.
I had a crack at building my own tribute to him a few years ago, recreating the famous image taken in front of the SS Great Eastern…
If you get the chance to make it to the show this weekend, show your respect with a doff of the top hat to Jimmy’s mosaic. I’m sure Isembard would appreciate it.
Vince Toulouse brings us this excellent automaton — ready to roll out on its single wheel and come to the rescue of any malfunctioning contraption.
The retro-futurism of the design here is just awesome — slick and smooth, yet unmistakably “old-timey” in its sci-fi. The color scheme is spot-on and the greebles strike that balance of believability and character essential in good steam- or dieselpunk building. The red-tinted goggles are a masterstroke, lending a wonderful dash of personality. Lastly, this is one of those models which looks as good from the rear as it does from the front. Great stuff.
Great Ball Contraptions are a mainstay of LEGO conventions, consisting of short sections of machinery which transport LEGO soccer balls from one side to another. Each builder’s machine can be connected to the next, to transport a dizzying number of balls around a display. Many builders focus on the all-important task of getting the fundamental mechanics working smoothly, but we’re seeing more and more builders take some time for the aesthetics as well. One such example is this enthralling contraption bychumuhou (楚沐猴), which has a fantastic steam-age industrial vibe. Check out the video to see it in action, too!
Bricks magazine issue 16 is now available, and this month the main theme is LEGO Castles, with some added Steampunk for flavour, and a little VW Beetle action for variety.
The 124-page magazine has a range of exclusive articles and fan built creations, including a delve inside the magical walls of LEGO’s new 71040 The Disney Castle, and a dangerous encounter for the LEGO Elves as they try to save the baby Princess dragon egg in 41180 Ragana’s Magic Shadow Castle. The magazine explores Michael Kalkwarf’s modular castle system, while James Pegrum illustrates how to build circular towers in his builder’s masterclass. Whilst not medieval but definitely within the realm of fantasy, Rod Gillies explains the Victorian-inspired alternate universe of Steampunk with steampunk-style Ultra Agents MOCs and a look at LEGO’s own take on this genre.
Bricks is available in both digital and print format at a cost of £4.99 or US$6.60 (approx. due to variable exchange rates). Shipping and packaging costs for the print version are £1.50 for the UK, £4.25 for the rest of the world.
Gabe Umland brings us this nifty vibrant LEGO floating rock, topped with a warehouse for steampunkery. Never underestimate a mundane subject for your models — nearly anything can look magical when built with skill, even an industrial warehouse in the middle of the sky. Don’t miss Gabe’s great technique for paneled siding using stacked and twisted 1×1 bricks, and be sure to scrutinize the hodgepodge of goods for sale; scenes such as this are a way to find uses for that pile of unusual pieces you have.
This steampunk aircraft from Andreas Lenander has a smart white and gold aesthetic — a pleasant change from the genre’s usual hackneyed brown and grey color schemes. Beyond the colors, the smooth curves of the air intake on the nose work nicely, and those gold props look great. Couple a good model with an interesting low-angle POV and some decent photo-editing and you’ve got a steampunk LEGO flying machine which I wouldn’t mind taking out for a spin.
Alexis Dos Santos has you and your cargo covered with his steampunk skyboat to ferry it all across the skies. This multi-layered blimp is the first of its kind that I’ve seen that’s also excellently crafted and presented. The sand-green cabin is a nice touch to break the earth-toned colors.
A fantastic selection of primarily Technic elements come together in a LEGO double-barreled steampunk handgun built by nobu_tary. All kinds of interesting details are found throughout, such as the split paneling revealing the barrels, compass piece as some sort of gauge, and a thin wire trigger guard.
Lego Fjotten continues to be one of the most interesting builders in the steampunk genre. Hot on the heels (wheels?) of his recent LEGO steampunk creations comes this cracking little hot air balloon. There are great details on display here — particularly the use of droid arms for an effective basket texture, and the mechanical boiler elements are simple yet believable. However, it’s the clean composition of the image and the cobbled base which elevate this model out of the steampunk norms. Plus, I love how the builder isn’t using the “same-old same-old” minifigs which constantly seem to show up in steampunk creations. Long may this builder’s refreshing foray into the genre continue.
David Steeves has created a fabulous “spider drone”. The legs and various greebly bits give this a wonderful steamy/dieselpunk feel, and the smart use of the net across the “eye” makes for a frankly brilliant Bioshock-esque porthole effect. To top it all, the spider’s body is made from a large rubber LEGO wheel turned inside-out. All-in-all, an excellently creepy and clanky model with smart parts-usage — good stuff.
Christopher Hoffman brings us an excellent Tech West stagecoach robbery scene. I’m a big fan of the Tech West idea — the mix of steampunk, dieselpunk, space, and cowboys ticks all of my boxes at once. And this creation is a great example of what’s good about the theme — the model is immediately recognisable as a stagecoach, with figures that totally look the part, yet it’s got beefy podracer-style engines which somehow don’t look out of place. Great work y’all.
You could be forgiven for thinking that this latest build by James Bailey was an insect to swat or perhaps a technologically advanced drone spying on your every move. In fact, it is a LEGO damselfly, admittedly looking a little more cybernetic than the real thing. The attention to detail and the clever use of parts drew my attention to this insect initially while some nice photography shows the build off well.
I have to admit that I am a massive fan of the movie director Guillermo Del Toro, and this robotic, steampunk-looking insect is reminiscent of the clockwork insect that are a trademark in many of his films.