I’ve been a fan of Podracers ever since they made their debut in The Phantom Menace. These strange vehicles have two bulky engines towing a cart that has very little protection if things go wrong. Jon & Catherine Stead take a spin on the iconic scene where Sebulba is defeated. However, unlike the movie, this time the Dug pilot has a souped-up, mean machine ready to take out any other future Jedi wannabes.
I guess one thing Sebulba didn’t quite learn is bigger may not necessarily mean better, as he opted for oversized engines yet again. Probably unseen and hidden are all those illegal mods to take out any other podracers that may be of threat. Continue reading for close-up shots of Subulba’s new podracer.
The Esmeralda is an unusual LEGO ship for several reasons. First, it’s a steam corvette from the 1800s, a period when many ships were rigged with sails and outfitted with steam engine-powered screws. Despite the abundance of source material, not many LEGO builders have recreated these ships. And secondly, builder Luis Peña has chosen an interesting size, scaling the ship to the game microfigs.
The finished result looks excellent, with a ship that’s big enough to incorporate lots of details like the anchor pulleys, while still small enough to be manageable with a reasonable number of pieces. Other great details include the Technic panels as sails (a technique LEGO employed on the Sea Cow) and the excellent little Chilean flag.
Hardcore Star Wars fans would know that many of the scenes from the original trilogy were heavily inspired by World War II dogfight scenes, and even some of the ship designs were lifted from aviation bombers of that period. Builder Steve Peterson has reversed this inspiration and transposed the space vehicles back into what they could have looked like if World War II fighters were instead inspired by the vehicles from Star Wars. He took the fan favourites of the X-Wing, the Y-Wing and the TIE fighter and made them look very retro cool. It seemed like they stepped through a time transformation machine. If you’re familiar with the era, tell us what WWII aircraft you think inspired these builds!
Click to check out all 3 vehicles
There is so much about this little scene that stands out as awesome. Regularly featured here on TBB, excellent master builder Tim Schwalfenberg does it again with his River Crossing. He says, “You can’t really have a train without some sort of track to display it on,” so he built one. The textures and colours of the rocks and foliage are impeccable. The intricate detail that has gone into the iron framework of the span across the turbulent rapids is amazing, and the brilliant red engine leaps out from the subtle textures of the natural colours and contours on the cliff face.
Interestingly enough, Benjamin Cheh Ming Hann starts the description of this creation of a mosquito with a questionable choice of words, “Hate them or love them”. I am either oblivious to a huge mosquito fandom or perhaps I’m right that nobody can love an annoyingly high-pitched flying sound and the endless itching of their bites, not to mention the far more serious world health issues. I understand if many of you are turned away from this creation due to very well justified hatred towards mosquitoes, but you can just imagine it as a male mosquito, which does not suck blood, as the builder very informatively points out in the picture’s description.
All anatomical characteristics of Aedes aegypti are captured perfectly, of which the most difficult looks the subtle curve of the abdomen. Most notably though, the model can stand on its legs as a true insect would, which is hard to do at this scale and with legs as thin as these while still keeping them poseable.
Click to see the mosquito up close, with zero itch risk!
Some people call them streetcars. Some people call them trams, and other people call them trolleys. Whatever you know them as, Nouvilas’ version of a Peter Witt is so nice it’s “off the tracks.” A Peter Witt is a type of tram car, named after the man who designed the first one back in 1914. Nouvilas built his streetcar for a collaborative diorama representing Harlem, New York, in the 1930s. I really like the way the cheese slopes flare out to create the curve of the “bumper,” and the chocolate brown and tan color scheme feels authentic for the period….almost makes me hungry for a Nestle bar!
Click to see the full Harlem layout
Builder Jason Allemann, (aka JK Brickworks) has made a name for himself building kinetic LEGO sculptures, from Sisyphus eternally pushing a boulder to a ball maze that was turned into a real LEGO set, or even a tense Death Star trench run. But now he’s turned his hand to the new 21314 Tron: Legacy set to give it a bit of dynamism, making the lightcycles bob and weave as they cut their way across the grid.
What we love about Jason, though, is that he’s never content to simply show off something cool and leave us wondering how he did it. Instead, with every build he walks us through the steps of how his mechanisms work. Check out the video below.
Click to see the video and discover how they’re built
Pixeljunkie is wanted dead or alive by the LEGO police. His crime? Impersonating a 1955 Buick police car with amazing detail! He modeled his car after one that appeared in the 1950s American action crime drama TV series Highway Patrol. A number of American cars of the 1950s were famous for their decadent levels of chrome trim, and Pixeljunkie’s Buick does not disappoint. For example, use of the Bellville bucket handle to form the shape of the grille is incredibly effective and brilliant!
The new trilogy’s adorable astromech has appeared in a number of official versions from LEGO, including as a minifig, as a UCS Model, and even as a polybag! However, Brick Spirou has reimagined him again as a kind of Claptrap (from Borderlands). I love the LEGO Technic shoulder pads, the unique poseable fingers, all assembled with a simple yet perfect colour scheme. Could you imagine games of the future featuring huddles of muscled, mono-wheeled, mini-bots charging around a pitch wildly chasing a leather ball? Such a wonderful idea exceptionally executed.
Perhaps this BB-8’s full designation ought to be Borderlands Buddy – 8.
Many people see LEGO building as art, me very much included, but there are examples of creations which take this a step further and fully embrace their artistic potential. Often depending on composition and built for one perfect picture, builds like this symbolic image of the beginning of a new life inspire many builders to keep improving and create stunning art from what is, in essence, a toy. Sad Brick has generated a great deal of interest with his latest creation and it would not be surprising seeing it serve as inspiration for the next generation of LEGO fans.
The build itself is very simple, as there are no more than three bricks connected into any of the elements here, but simplicity is sometimes exactly what we need to portray a message. Of course, this is not a simple image of a microscopic view of conception, because all the cells are replaced with different shapes of eggs. This adds a layer of ambiguity to the picture, and since the builder does not provide a description, only you can decide what the symbolism means!
Alexis Dos Santos has been chugging along with some new train models, and this rustic scene consists of two separate structures. Alexis’ “Abandoned Hangar” on the left serves as a tribute to the history of trains, while the building on the right celebrates the history of LEGO trains. I really enjoy the way these two buildings play off of one another, with the darkness of the hangar giving way to the bright and colorful rail yard.
Continue reading about this model
While Sarah Beyer‘s Olive Sand House is not what one might imagine when they hear “living in a desert”, it does look both adventurous yet strangely comfortable. Sarah is a master of contemporary architecture in LEGO and has created many unique LEGO houses before. This latest one is not so much unique in an architectural sense, but all the building techniques make it an easy favourite for me.
The Olive Sand House is a treat when it comes to textures. There are grilled sections on the walls and the whole roof has a very satisfying grilled texture to it too. We tend to talk about colour blocking most often in sci-fi creations, but it is very much an important feature of this (admittedly nearly futuristic) building. Another important factor is the landscaping around the house, giving it some context. There are some interestingly used parts as well, most notably BrickHeadz glasses used as fence on the balcony, the same technique that just appeared in the Creator Expert Roller Coaster.