Fabuland holds a beautiful place of reminisce for me and somehow Pete Strege seems to have encompassed that feeling in an incredible new LEGO creation. Billy Goat’s Steamboat is an incredible display of fine colour choice, confined motorisation and great shaping without compromising stability. The dark blue of the cabin walls and hull are framed nicely with white, while the rest of the colour wheel comes to life with a combination of dark azure and yellow. Though please don’t be fooled, take a closer look. Weaved throughout the yellow are trace amounts of bright light orange, which adds some real warmth to the model, as subtle as it may be. There is also a sublime amount of blue pinstriping, which tops off the build high up, with two blue half barrel containers.
Cleverly constructed paddle wheels, born predominantly from Technic pieces, adorn the sides and they are not just for pretty looks. The shaping owes their robust characteristics to the curved yellow 11×11 gear racks, though the true mechanism to find, is the motorised system built into the hull. Using two medium Power Functions motors, a rechargeable battery box and infrared receiver, plus a few gears, Pete Strege has given this steamboat some realistic movement. Check out the video for a great look at its functionality.
I was not only blown away to see the motors in stable form but also seeing it primarily hollow and built to be as close to the internals of a hull as possible. Another set of internal gear racks are found giving form to function towards each end. This leaves the centre to house the motors, with a set of stairs connecting the Bow and Stern. Its these little details, the infused story with structure, that really bring it to the foreground for me.
When all is said and done about how cleverly constructed this is, it comes back to the Fabuland characters who hold a seat. With 18 Fabufigs on board to keep safe on their journey, no wonder Billy Goat is sharing the load with his old fabufriend, Mike Monkey. I do wonder what shenanigans Ricky Racoon is up to though…
For a different look at Pete Strege’s ability to mesh beauty and movement, have a look as his River Wheel.