As holiday season approachs, No Starch Press is kicking into high gear with a slew of new titles for LEGO fans. Their latest offering is Steampunk LEGO by well-known LEGO builder, innovator and steampunk enthusiast Guy Himber. This 200 page compilation features the work of over 90 individual builders, and includes just about every notable LEGO steampunk creation of the past five years.
Physically, the book has a definite steampunk feel about it. Its blue and gold hard cover sports a full-color dust jacket (shown here) and all the pages have a high quality satin finish that enhances the sumptuous graphic design. The material is presented in the form an ornate Victorian scrapbook, complete with notelets and other trinkets mounted atop a variety of textured vintage backgrounds.
A cornucopia of building styles are covered here. And while the majority are mini-fig oriented, microscale and life-size builds are reasonably well represented. Entries are 1 or 2 to a page, and organized into logical chapters focusing on different categories such as trains, vehicles, automatons, weapons, sea vessels, airships and even floating rocks. There is also a pleasant ‘interlude’ in the center, showcasing Guy’s memorable Cabinet of Curiosities collaborative project.
Vlad Lisin’s outrageous imagination produced this stunning motorbike, which he says was inspired in part by Treasure Planet. I can’t get over how cool that diver’s helm looks on a retro-future cyclist, and the larger-than-minifig scale is exceptionally well done here.
When we featured Castor Troy‘s collection of Vampire Hunter steampunk vehicles back in June, the French builder was still hard at work on the centerpiece, the Vampire’s castle. Well now the diorama is complete! And what a whopper this impenetrable-looking Gothic masterpiece is…
Ever wondered what a steampunk SWAT team bust would look like? Well, I think it might look a little something like this charmingly titled diorama by Logan (captaininfinity), “The Grand Arrest of Professor Filius Bertram.” It’s not every day we get a cool steampunk diorama that includes an airship, a tank, and a legged vehicle, all of which come together with the help of copious quantities of earth-toned elements.
Ordo is a multi-theme builder whom we haven’t featured nearly enough, I think. (Frankly, I suspect the broader LEGO builder community tends to overlook fellow builders whose primary theme is Star Wars — it’s a bit unfair, and I admit to passing over some pretty good Star Wars models myself from time to time.)
Ordo has begun dabbling with steampunk, and this little vignette is packed with detail — as both steampunk and vignettes should be.
The small steam-cycle and robotic drone are nice little steampunk builds in their own right, but it’s little touches like the key on the vignette’s base and the scattered pink flowers that really distinguishes Ordo’s work from so many other builds in the genre.
Be sure to check out Ordo’s photostream if you haven’t already — there’s lots to like.
Jonas (Legopard) built a steampunk version of Boba Fett’s Slave I. The caged appearance of various parts of the ship is fascinating, and the introduction of dark green adds a nice touch of color.
Behold the mighty Steampunk chicken walker, a foe to be reckoned with – unless you’re a monocled Ewok in a top hat, I’m guessing. Crossing Star Wars with Steampunk is nothing new, but I like Don Solo’s take on this classic vehicle, which being spindly and awkward, was perfectly primed for an old-fashioned makeover. Don built this in anticipation of FBTB’s LEGO Star Wars Steam Wars Returns contest, which is currently ongoing.
To complete this week’s brief exploration of unusual steampunk creations, let’s go wild …literally! First up, here’s a punked-out Kraken courtesy of Jonas (the guy that gave us the steampunk Batcave and Tumbler).
And to remind us there’s a lot more to steampunk LEGO than simply “using a lot of brown and gold”, who better than Mark Stafford with this overlooked steampunk dinosaur from 2012 (the year, not the movie).
Continuing my Steampunk vibe from earlier in the week, here’s the mother of all LEGO airships by French builder Castor Troy…
Now a mothership is nothing without proper air and ground support. Fortunately, Castor has already thought of that. Say hello to Vampire Hunter …which incidentally sounds like the perfect premise for LEGO to use if they ever wanted to get into the Steampunk game!
Apparently these are part of a much larger Vampire Hunter project that will include a French chateau, haunted house, and plenty of hunters. Look out for that some time next year. In the meantime, keep your holy water and silver bullets handy. And wooden stakes. And garlic. Ok, did I forget anything? And hand mirrors. And crucifixes…
I’ve seen a lotta great steampunk flying machines and airships built from LEGO. But this is the first time I recall seeing anyone build a steampunk starship! Here we see the USS Steambucket by Tim Schwalf reaching for the stars, in a wonderful brick-built cloud of steam.
LEGO steampunk fans should really check out Tim’s Flickr stream. While there may not be a huge number of builds up there (yet), every one of them is a keeper.