A Stormtrooper’s standard-issue blaster replicated in LEGO

Daryl Ng complements his LEGO Han Solo’s blaster with the classic E-11 blaster rifle seen in the original Star Wars trilogy. His LEGO rendition is true to the props seen on-screen, capturing the Sterling SMG underneath and various sci-fi details. Like his previous blaster build, the E-11 is presented with a display stand featuring a UCS-style specification card.

StormTrooper E-11 Blaster Rifle

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Stand a chance against the Xenomorph with a LEGO Motion Tracker

Sometimes I wonder how characters in horror films manage to make the worst decisions. Then I played as far as I could get in the terrifying first-person perspective game Alien: Isolation, and it all makes sense. In the heat of the moment, good decisions are hard to come by, and you don’t always have as much information as you need. For example, the motion tracker, like most of the equipment found in the game, is true to the aesthetic of the Alien film franchise and while incredibly useful, has definite limitations. Nevertheless, it’s a great device, and I decided to replicate this tool with LEGO.

Motion Tracker - Alien: Isolation

The screen and every light on the in-game model lights up on my LEGO replica. I also had the chance to use a technique I wanted to use in a prop replica for a while now; the coiled wire on the right side of the device was made with a flexible hose and numerous Technic worm gears.

Hands on with the LEGO Speed Champions 75884 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback [Review]

Although LEGO didn’t showcase the new wave of 2018 LEGO Speed Champions last weekend at Toy Fair New York, the full assortment was waiting for us in Seattle upon our return, and we’ll be bringing you reviews of each set over this coming week, ahead of their release on March 1st. We’re kicking things off today with 75884 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback, which includes 183 pieces and will retail for $15.99 (USD) / £12.99 / 14.99€.

The Ford Mustang was first introduced in 1964, and quickly became a favorite among car enthusiasts for its excellent balance of speed, power, styling, and affordability. The “fastback” version is curved from the roof to the tail, and was particularly popular as the stock basis for racecars. This LEGO set depicts the classic 1968 Ford Mustang with curved fastback styling, kitted out in British racing green (complete with a white stripe along the side).

Read our complete, hands-on review of LEGO Speed Champions 75884 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback

Sail away on the Vagabond

Ships are not a rarity in LEGO fan creations, although we do not see yachts quite as often as cargo or fishing ships. This build, called Lake Union Dreamboat “Vagabond” by Markus Ronge is a fine addition to the LEGO yacht collection. I love the shaping on the upper half of the hull, as well as the elegant colour choices and how they are managed. The details on the outside are great, but what really sells the model for me is the effort put in the interiors, most notably the curtains behind the windows.

Lake Union Dreamboat "Vagabond"

The builder also provides a view of the Vagabond in an alternate setting, with a family watching whales.

Lake Union Dreamboat "Vagabond"

Mesopotamian manor

Where do the nobles of Mesopotamia gather to discuss politics or who owns the most camels? Sam Malmberg will show you the way to his desert retreat where drinks are served and the dancers are divine.

Armathain Manor

This build features prominent Arabian-themed architectural elements, and the use of colored paneling adds character to the predominantly gray structure. The slanted stone railing and the angled brown awnings are great techniques that have broad architectural applications.

Armathain ManorArmathain Manor

Moving earth with the massive LEGO Technic Cat 7495 [Video]

Combining LEGO Technic and System bricks into a cohesive model can be challenging, but Arjan Oude Kotte is a master LEGO engineer. Arjen brings us this incredibly detailed model of the Caterpillar 7495 Electric Rope Shovel built to minifigure scale. This model of the titanic heavy equipment machine towers over the minifigures and pickup truck in the image below. I love the attention to detail evident in the catwalks, ladders, and upper deck of the model visible from its left profile.

Cat 7495 HF 2018

The model also includes a dizzying array of realistic power functions. An operator can remotely lower and raise the digging arm, close the bottom trap of the shovel, move on its treads, and swing the model side-to-side on its base. Check out the video to see it in action.

LEGO Star Wars 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon available from Amazon at MSRP [News]

The largest LEGO set of all time, 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon will be available again from Amazon.com on February 24 at the retail price of $799.99 (it has been available from third-party sellers at much higher prices for some time). You can purchase the set now, and it will ship once Amazon gets it back into stock. This availability may only last a few hours at most, so we strongly recommend that you act quickly if you want to pick up this highly sought-after set.

LEGO Star Wars 75192 UCS Millenium Falcon on Amazon

The brickmaster’s violin

Ever wonder what a LEGO violin sounds like? Me neither. This realistic model by Ryan McNaught may not produce the high-quality sounds of a Stradivarius, but it almost looks like the real deal. The distinct shape of the instrument is made possible by curved slope pieces, and the use of the radar dishes for the scroll is incredibly realistic. Even the bow has a bend to it and retained its characteristic pearl eye on the frog. Let’s hear that concerto in brick major!

LEGO® brick Stradivarius Violin

Digging deep with a motorized LEGO Technic Bucyrus RH400 Mining Shovel [Video]

Among the largest excavators in the world, the Bucyrus RH400 stands over three-stories-high and can move 9,000 tons of earth in an hour. Sheo. miniaturized this mining giant to a minifigure scale model, complete with Power Functions.

The top deck of this machine shows thoughtful details like railings, water tanks, fire suppression equipment, and even a service crane. The digger arm contains graceful (and functional) curved shapes combining Technic and System brick. The operator cockpit even has space for minifigure operator.

Bucyrus RH400 Mining Shovel Click to see a video of this excavator in action

AC Shelby Cobra brings vintage style to LEGO bricks

Back in 1961, an American car designer, racing driver, and entrepreneur called Carroll Shelby wrote to AC Cars to ask if they would build him a car modified to take a V8 engine. Ford happened to have  a new, lightweight V8 ready,  and when Ford provided Shelby with two engines, the AC Shelby Cobra was born. -lichtblau- has revised his previous AC Shelby Cobra design with this fantastic black and white version. The shaping is superb, especially the use of the short mudguard at the front to depict the curved nose.

This particular model has an attractive dark orange leather interior with a chrome rollbar,  held in place simply via the friction between the seatback and the trunk.

The Old Fishing Store... on a tiny budget

If you’re not inclined to fork over money for 21310 Old Fishing Store, Simon NH has you covered. This microscale recreation is do good that I actually thought it was the real set, albeit zoomed out, when I scrolled past it in my feed. A lot of different colours and shapes had to be crammed into this small build to give it that hobbled together look. A favourite technique here is the textured bricks which are upside down on the tower. Their anti-studs give the illusion of a platform with railings.

Micro Old Fishing Store

Too much awesome: Fully functional LEGO MINDSTORMS Star Wars Racer game [Video]

Just take my money already! Combining three of my favorite things, Alexis Dos Santos has raised the bar on mind-blowing creations with this Star Wars Racer game, made out of LEGO and powered by MINDSTORMS.

STAR RACER

The game itself is a three-dimensional, brick-built version of the pod-racing scene from Star Wars Episode I. The player controls Anakin’s podracer between obstacles coming at it while the MINDSTORMS Intelligent Brick provides the logic and sound effects for the game.

As the caution on the game warns, “HIGHLY ADDICTIVE GAME, THANKFULLY IT’S FREE TODAY!” But where do I buy get it … ?