Alex “Orion Pax” Jones is a very focussed builder. All his LEGO building time lately has been spent on creating as-accurate-as-they-can-be digital Transformers Generation 1 characters. There’s so much to love about these as they instantly transport us back to a time when morning cartoons were not streamed and you had to wake up early to tune in to what now are amazing pop culture classics.
I remember when the first wave of Transformers reached the US; these toys were an instant must-have for everyone I knew. (And woe betide anyone who got to Toys-R-Us a few minutes late and had to settle for the not-quite-as-cool “Go-Bots” toys.) Alex Jones (aka Orion Pax) has been transporting us to those good times with a selection of Generation 1 Transformers, and he’s back with another round of stellar creations. Each model is a combination of clever building techniques and detailing, with a bonus of great retro presentation.
This is not the first time we’ve seen an amazing LEGO version of Bumblebee from Alex. (Has it really been ten years?) This upgraded 2019 version makes use of a lot of parts that weren’t around in 2009. Bumblebee’s vehicle mode is clearly based on LEGO set 10252 Volkswagen Beetle. There are a few design tweaks, but the beetle’s shaping is instantly recognizable. The yellow recolor alone would be impressive enough, but the fact that it transforms as well? That’s just nutty levels of awesome.
Alex didn’t stop there, though. There’s a giant selection of transforming goodness!
Builder Alex Jones (Orion Pax) has a laser-focused talent to bring our favorite Transformers to life. They not only look great and recognizable in their humanoid form, but it takes skill to also make the same builds look fabulous in their alternate vehicle modes using LEGO bricks. This is not an easy task indeed and would likely take tons of hours of experimentation. These sets of builds feature; Autobots Ironhide, Cosmos, Mirage, and Powerglide each decorated with the unmistakable patterns and prints from the original box designs from the 80s. They certainly don’t make morning cartoons like they used to!
I’ve likely transformed these infamous Constructicons back and forth from vehicle to robot forms and into their larger combination of Devastator a million times back in the 80’s. Builder Alex Jones did an amazing job recreating these into their LEGO equivalents. What brings all the nostalgia back are their accurate color schemes of lime green and purple and the amazing resemblance of the individual construction-related vehicles. While it’s granted they’ll never be quite perfect at transforming due to the limitations of LEGO bricks, I’d say this is one very admirable attempt. Alex says that it was an on-and-off work in progress for the past 3 years, and it’s definitely worth the time and patience put into it.
Throwing traditional building caution to the solar wind, Alex “Orion Pax” Jones’s insanely colourful ship is certainly one of the more unusual models to come out of this year’s SHIPtember challenge. Alex notes that he tried to use all of the colours in the LEGO palette, making his build not only a SHIP (a seriously huge investment in parts), but also a SHIC (a seriously huge investment in colours).
After its namesake, the side of the vessel operates as an interstellar PAX or peace sign. Borrowing heavily from the graphic flourishes of graffiti aesthetic, the spacecraft shrugs off the utilitarian norms of spacecraft design in favour of a brash, exuberant look. Alex explains his ethos best when he says: “If you ride, ride in style!”