Research station amid a vibrant reef

Working with a new part can be a challenge. Finding how they fit into the system can lead to surprises and disappointments. Ultimately, dedicated builders like Tom Loftus find a way. Armed with tons of teal from the Ninjago Jungle Dragon and challenged to examine the functionality of the transparent VIDIYO Canopy (as he calls it), Tom found himself under the sea at this Reef Station. He gave me some insight into some of the extra pieces he worked into the model, including finally making use of the drone elements introduced last year.

Reef Station

You can tell that Tom’s time with New Elementary has earned him an absolute hodgepodge of pieces for him to play with in his models. A plethora of wildlife float and crawl close to the ocean floor among a vibrant reef full of various floral elements mixed with Friends and DOTS pieces. Dual molded star pieces add sparkle along with the golden eggshells, frosting studs, and some silver fish suspended by droid arm clips. The drone element adds some interesting detail to the rising pipe section while also providing a connection point from which Tom could suspend a fish. He was excited to have finally used them in a build.

The floral coral is continued along the seabed on the other side with more creatures making an appearance. The drone elements shine again as greeble for the pipe sections connecting the different modules of the research station. I love the lines created by the pipes and the way the white contrasts with the kaleidoscope of other colors. By the way, the azure base comes from the Pirates of Barracuda Bay set. It works wonderfully with the teal and blue used to build up the reef. On top of working the VIDIYO canopy into this build twice, Tom told me that he also found a way to use half of a container pod from an Easter polybag. The round element up front connecting to the pipes works as a great contrast to the square canopies.

As I told Tom, who also goes by Inthert, these types of builds were the first thing I thought of when I saw the VIDIYO BeatBoxes and it’s great to see them starting to pop up. Despite their odd connection points, the turntable snap they come with opens up some more direct connections. However they’re used, I look forward to seeing how these quirky elements show up in future models because there’s bound to be more on the way.