Two ideas immediately came to me when in 2017 LEGO released 75176 Resistance Transport Pod, and guess what–builder Veynom has gone and realised both. Designers of vehicles for the Star Wars universe have always embraced the potential of asymmetric form, the transport pod being a case in point. However, there’s a niggling part of my brain that wants to fix things, balance out the shuttle with a second pod. Imagine it looking something like the Twin-Pod Cloud Car–wait you don’t have to because Veynom’s built it for us.
Then there is that second idea. If you were at all interested in the joys of vintage space LEGO, the set’s trans yellow canopy would have been an instant trigger. You’ve guessed it, Veynom’s gone and built a Classic Space version of the Resistance Twin-Pod too.
We love a scrappy fighter, and in this case a fighter literally made of scraps. Johann Dakitsch’s plucky LEGO brawler has been pieced together by a fascinating array of specialist elements. Its skeleton is formed from mainly grey parts, which hints at pneumatic power and intricate gearing. The coloured outer casing looking to all the world like the shorts and shirt worn to the gym. Topping it off, the mean robot boxer’s rooster Mohawk and studded knuckle-dusters suggests he might not fight according to gentleman’s rules.
Who is more curious, the flock of crazy LEGO birds or the bemused kitty? Whatever the answer Morlon Empire’s build has me grinning from ear to ear. Working from a single seed part, in this case a banana that doubles as a beak, he’s created an expressive feathered character. They look fabulous en masse with their necks craning at different angles. Morlon deserves a feather in his cap for creating such an amusing scene from such a simple idea and only a handful of bricks.
Capturing atmosphere in LEGO is an art, and it’s an art that Ben Cossy has mastered in his moody model of a Jawa junkshop. Its cleverly built sand crawler interior is combined with sophisticated photography, conjuring up that distinctive Tatooine feel. Having scavenged through his LEGO bins, Ben has decided to showcase the elusive TC-14 as the Jawa’s latest prize find. The silver protocol droid works as a glistening visual foil, backlit by the glowing red furnace grill. It’s a neat cinematic trick that renders the whole scene believable and somehow resonant with the Star Wars universe.
Kelvin Low’s latest LEGO creation brings to life a turret-headed mech based on original artwork by Emerson Tung. Taking inspiration from a number of classic tank elements, the Kaiserian Grunt Tankhead has a tough militaristic feel. It manages to achieve this aesthetic by balancing its heavy cannon-toting head and meaty body on top of substantial spread-toed feet.
To fully appreciate this type of build, you need to get under the skin of the mechanical beast. Luckily, Kelvin has supplied us with a video showing off his ingenious construction techniques. In it, he records in detail how the various components of the mech’s armoured body are applied to its Technic skeleton.
There are a handful of builders who consistently produce spectacular creations; Eero Okkonen is one of them. This time out he’s turned his attention to a reimagining of the classic 2012 Ninjago set 9448 Samurai Mech. It’s quite the upgrade! The official LEGO set is a little clunky and disproportioned, but in contrast Eero has designed a tough giant of a mech, which cleverly integrates the key aesthetic elements of the original, such as the gold stomach ring and katana blade. It’s however in the detailed building of the mech’s head, which utilises an array of black macaroni tubes and specialised elements to create its demonic features, that we see a master-builder lift his model out of the ordinary.
There are many ways to build curved forms from the humble brick – some more imaginative than others. Take a close look Didier Burtin’s Interplanetary Cruiser and you’ll spot a unique one. The interior docking station has a beautifully bowed shape, formed from two 32 x 16 blue baseplates held under tension. Despite the obvious frustration this must have caused Didier during the building phase, it was clearly worth it, giving his creation an unexpected and individual look.
Viewed from the rear, not only do you see the lovely thrusters that you’d expect on a spaceship this size, but also further evidence of the builder’s skill. A range of visible hinged plates clearly show how the model’s structure absorbs the stress created by the flexed plates.
One of the three final evolutions of the original Red and Blue game’s starter Pokémon, Venusaur is an iconic part of the franchise’s history. The seed originally found on its primary Bulbasuar form has blossomed into a radiant rafflesia-like flower, which is also the focus of Dae Vead’s beautiful LEGO version. Utilising clear building contrasts between the modelled reptilian body and the organic pieces used to form the plant elements results in a satisfying model of the beast. Standing tall against an appropriately sized tree further helps realise the monster’s epic scale and acts as a great framing device for a wonderful creation
A LEGO builder’s mind is trained to see creative possibilities in the most obscure elements. Jens Ohrndorf’s lateral thinking has come up with a perfect practical application for the 1 x 1 white plate with black square print. His beautiful metronome lines up the printed bricks to create the tempo selection gauges at aesthetically pleasing single plate intervals. Along with other neat choices like the winder key give the build the intended feel of a real world object.
Over the last year Roanoke Handybuck has built something of a reputation for his wonky building style. Celebrating the shapes and forms of the medieval period he focuses on capturing the way wooden beams bend and walls subside. In this latest model, titled Eldford Market, he demonstrates in a tiny 16 x 16 baseplate all the LEGO techniques synonymous with his work. Everywhere you look, bricks are matched irregularly or held at off-centre angles, whether it’s in the cobbled street or as part of the weathered tower. The icing on the cake, though, has to be the way the upper floor of the main building tilts elegantly into its neighbouring sloped roof – brilliant!
The Atari VCS console is one of those objects that instantly trigger an emotional response. Seeing Build Better Bricks’ faithful LEGO model of the gaming system takes me back to my childhood, and I suspect will do the same for many other video game fans. Although much smaller than the original machine – consoles back in the late 70s really were bricks – it embodies the wood-fronted spirit of the console. There’s an eye for detail too, with inverted clip and claws mounted on inset bars to create the iconic flick switches, as well as superbly built joysticks. Before you know it, I’m sure this build will have you pining for a quick round of Combat tanks!
Whether you like your role playing games online or dice based, we can all agree on the joys of spending that hard-earned gold on some serious equipment upgrades. Spencer’s shop offers the discerning adventurer a smorgasbord of LEGO swords, shields, and other paraphernalia. The store has it all from your standard spear to the more exotic aftermarket weapons, and for the right price I’m sure that shifty looking dwarf might even supply a black market Mega Bloks Halo sword – but that’s just speculation, and you definitely didn’t hear it from me.