The 1920s witnessed the birth of some beautiful boats, such as the Olmaha, built by J.M. Martinac of Washington state in 1926. Markus Ronge has artfully recreated this classic yacht with impeccable detail, complete with convincing curves from bow to stern. In the cabin, 2×2 “crate” pieces have been used to great effect and give off the impression of ornate woodworking. The surrounding waves feel organic, and I love the way Markus has used white bricks to form the ship’s wake.
When not in the water, Markus props the Olamaha up to show off its bright red hull.
Every now and again we see a realistic civilian minifig-scale LEGO boat, and they keep getting better. The latest is this steam-powered tugboat by Koffiemoc. It is actually a recreation of the last steam tug in Germany, the Saturn. The builder was inspired by this photo and I think he has captured it almost perfectly.
Click to see more details on the Saturn
I don’t know why, but I love hovercraft. They are to me like spaceships are to Benny. Are they boats? Or planes? Or something else? Regardless, I really wanted 42076 Technic Hovercraft to fill the Technic hovercraft-shaped void in my soul, an emptiness left unfulfilled by previous Technic Hovercraft (8824, 42002). The Hovercraft retails for $89.99 and includes 1,020 pieces.
Was this kit worth the $90 to build and play? Read on to find out.
Ships are not a rarity in LEGO fan creations, although we do not see yachts quite as often as cargo or fishing ships. This build, called Lake Union Dreamboat “Vagabond” by Markus Ronge is a fine addition to the LEGO yacht collection. I love the shaping on the upper half of the hull, as well as the elegant colour choices and how they are managed. The details on the outside are great, but what really sells the model for me is the effort put in the interiors, most notably the curtains behind the windows.
The builder also provides a view of the Vagabond in an alternate setting, with a family watching whales.
After writing our review of the giant shark-mech 70656 garmadon, Garmadon, GARMADON! from The LEGO Ninjago Movie, Elspeth De Montes was inspired to transform the shark into the most famous one of all. I mean, of course, the great white from Jaws, and Garmadon’s shark seems well suited to the role once the un-shark-like feet are removed. Add in the the back half of the Orca and some waves, and this vignette already has me humming duuuun dun…. duuuun dun…. duuuun dun….
With the forthcoming LEGO Ninjago Movie and it’s accompanying sets, we’re fully expecting a wave of fabulous Eastern-themed creations. Ming Jin gets in on the action early with this lovely little fishing boat. The brick-built hull is well-shaped, and the black awning lends this an obvious Oriental flavour. But my favourite touches are hanging lantern and the trailing net — subtle additions which create a sense of a working boat.
Taiwanese builder LEGO 7 is at it again with another incredible dynamic build. This time, a White Dragon Mech is ripping off the starboard propeller of the Sky Pirates’ flying ship. Lightning ripples out from the dark thundery clouds as the pirates scramble on deck. I love the colors and design of the boat, and the gold railing trim looks great. Have you noticed Monkey Wrench throwing a spanner in the works from atop the crow’s nest? Will Lloyd continue to evade the dragon’s clutches and save the day? Or will the flying clipper plummet earthward and suffer the dreadful fate of rapid deceleration syndrome?
Master LEGO shipwright Arjan Oude Kotte continues to impress with his latest watercraft, a highly detailed American harbor tug that would look at home on Elliot Bay here in Seattle or on the Hudson River in New York. A sliding door opens into the detailed wheelhouse, with an engine under the stack.
Arjan’s tugboat looks beautiful as a model displayed on a stand, but the lower hull is removable for inclusion in a display like this lovely harbor scene full of maritime charm.
Check out Arjan’s photoset on Flickr for more interior and breakdown shots.
Not content with crafting beautifully curved brick-built hulls, Felipe Avalar has clearly spent ages getting the rigging and sails perfect on these two boats — the Amberle and the Eritria. Felipe says the below-decks areas on each vessel are stuffed full of Technic gears keeping all the lines at appropriate levels of tension. Such painstaking attention to detail is the hallmark of the best LEGO scale modelling — and these craft are great examples. I marvel at the skills of builders who create brick versions of real-world vehicles and buildings. Personally, I tend to build made-up fantastical things, because then nobody can tell me they’re not accurate!
This sexy sky-fi creation by perig perig, inspired by concept artist Ian McQue, is incredibly detailed, with beautiful vibrant colors and red striping that presumably serve to avoid mid-air collisions. This simple yet elegant beauty looks like it could be sailing between high rise buildings in the not too distant future.
It is very reminiscent of Mr. Kim’s flying food cart in the Fifth Element. The Chinese lanterns strung across the rigging and the tendrils hanging from the hull are quite ingenious. But my favorite detail is that quirky roof on the small aft cabin.
Built in transparent blue over white and grey, the sparkling azure water in this scene by Sergeant Chipmunk looks incredibly inviting. The three watchtowers use fantastic color schemes and a not quite “legal” technique to create wonderful shapes, standing on rocks with nary a stud to be seen and dabs of color that bring life to the vibrant scene. But the stand-out feature for me is the organically curved sail made out of leaves.
Being unfamiliar with LEGO Ninjago universe, I had no idea that besides some majestic dragons the main characters also use traditional sailboats to travel around. Teen builder Robert4168 decided to recreate one from the Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu television show, and in my opinion it looks even more impressive than the dragons featured in the official sets.
Unlike most of the builds by designers from Billund, this ship looks truly solid, huge enough to fit a whole squadron of ninjas, and features some cool authentic sails. But the best part is the perfect use of long golden blades along its boards marking off the blue and brown areas. Topped off with an excellent red dragon head, this boat fits in with both the modern Ninjago adventures and the good old Ninja sets of late 90’s.