Some months ago (well, over a year ago now), PelLego Bricks built a model of a Schnellboot S-100 – a German marine craft from the Second World War. Now, this was – and still is – a mighty impressive model, with some fantastic shaping. But they’ve gone one better and built an entire Norwegian harbour to go with it! The last time we featured this builder’s work, we commented on the excellent use of the humble LEGO tile. But while there it was on serene, flat water, PelLego has somehow manipulated the same parts into a darker, much more dynamic sea. The effect is terrific! Boat and water take centre stage, but the background has a nice contrast of colour thanks to some autumn foliage and the red wooden buildings, so typical of these Northern climes.
Aido K‘s latest LEGO masterpiece has left me lost for words. Well, not completely speechless – but this is a family-friendly website, so I can’t publish my audible reaction. My favourite genre of creation – if you can call it that – is people using the engineered properties of the LEGO system of parts in unusual ways. That’s where the idea for this build came in: LEGO bricks are designed to work under compression – that is, being squashed together. Aido turned that on its head, so this uses elements in tension (i.e. being pulled). So that boat in the middle is almost entirely shaped by chains under tension and the pull of gravity. It’s beautiful!
That means the boat can fold down flat for easy transport – which is just as well, as this model made its debut at the Brickvention show in Melbourne over the weekend. Seeing the boat rise from the chains is very satisfying!
Building the gentle curve of a boat hull in LEGO bricks can be a challenge. That is, unless you find an old Fabuland boat part in your collection like Norton74. He promptly put it to good use as the start of a fishing boat full of the kind of details we have come to expect from Andrea. The simple dock gives a good setting without taking attention away from the vessel. It includes a small cargo hold and a rig for hauling in the day’s catch. Round, white studs give the boat a proper wake in a bed of transparent blue as it approaches the dock at the end of a long day.
We’ve covered tiny boats by A Brick Dreamer before. But boats don’t get much smaller than this six-piece schooner. What’s most impressive, though, is that this minuscule mariner gets rocked by waves that actually work, thanks to some tricky Technic techniques. Good thing that lighthouse is there to warn it away from the microscale cliffs.
Have a look at how the full model functions in the video below.
I’m sure we’d all like to have LEGO collections full of pristine bricks. The reality though is that they are not infallible, and sometimes we’ll come across a broken LEGO element and think it is good for no more than the trash. But as Josh (Sergeant Chipmunk) demonstrates with this underwater scene, broken bits of LEGO do still have a use! In this case, a selection of flex tubes that have seen better days are used to represent a broken mast in a sunken ship. The rest of the scene is equally is good – the shaping of the ship’s hull is great, and the rockwork poking through the bow makes it clear it has been beneath the waves for a long time. Those waves, incidentally, are made up of tiles and clips that allow for a wavy shape that, while fragile, gives a good impression of a sea in gentle motion.
Simulterious captures some incredible action in his latest LEGO build depicting Ragnarok, the Norse end of days before all is built anew. Speaking of building, there’s fantastic construction on display within this scene! Simulterious has captured some naturalistic movement in the coiled sand green sea serpent, as it rears in readiness to strike the longboat and its remaining inhabitant. The curved tiles add a nice smooth line to the Serpent, with the plate with holder adding subtle detail to the spine and leading to a well executed brick-built head and crest.
The longboat itself is well engineered, and I love the use of a wing piece to shape the front of the vessel. The feathers work effortlessly as layered planks on the ship’s prow, leading up to the brick-built carved head of the vessel. The shields that line the side of the ship add a nice detail too, formed from tiles. The sail, made from shell pieces, looks as if it’s catching a last great gust of wind.
With the giant LEGO Titanic gracing the seas, it’s only fitting that builders like Henrik Jensen are choosing to showcase some of the great steamships of the past. This 1/87 scale model has a few custom painted elements, but also makes clever use of existing parts, like those hockey sticks as part of the lifeboat racks. I’m also fond of the compact display stand and printed flags. A recreation that, dare I say it, is certainly ship-shape.
Henrik shared this info about the origins of his model:
In September I visited the island Ærø which is located in the South Funen archipelago. In the town of Rudkøbing, they have a museum called “The Old Shipyard”. There, the restoration of an old steamship that was close to being dismantled has been undertaken. It gave me the idea to build a model of a steamship that, along with several other small steamships, has been part of the lifeblood between the islands and the mainland, in a time before World War I, when bridges between parts of the country were not common.
At “Det Gamle Værft” they restored the ship “Angelo”, or as it was previously more aptly called, “Svendborgsund”. My model of the steamship “Faaborg” is partly based on photos of the ship, partly on drawings of “Svendborgsund”.
If you’re in the mood for more nautical goodness, be sure to browse our boats tag!
The backstory of Rendevous at Slime Bay by Mathijs Dubbeldam (Exetrius) has the leader of the Black Spire seeking out allies from the Algus, an ancient enemy of man. Which, honestly, sounds like a pretty stupid move. But I guess if you’re the leader of something as grim sounding as “The Black Spire” it’s just another Tuesday. On the LEGO front, this build is very far from “stupid”, as it incorporates some really skillful tricks like a stone arch made with a ball-jointed infrastructure. I also love the construction on the cross at the top of that span. The water has some excellent white-top crests made from transparent cheese slopes, and there’s plenty of shades of transparent green elements to bring the goopy nature of the island to life.
If you’re looking for more immersive scenery, check out our dioramas tag!
Sometimes we get commissioned to do what we love. That is exactly what happened with Jake Sadovich and his amazing LEGO Dauntless 34′ Patrol Boat. Whoever commissioned Jake must be mighty pleased with the level of detail he has achieved here. The complex curve of the bow, the guardrails, the armament, the electronic gear on the mast, even the handsome stand makes this a stunning model to behold.
Ralf Langer is on a roll. Using a technique he’s employed previously in some sci-fi builds, Ralf has created a gorgeous display piece worthy of a shelf in any captain’s quarters. And, while the shape of the build is bound to monopolize your attention, there are some smaller details here that are worthy of a second look. I particularly like the way he’s used color beneath the transparent light blue tiles. The ocean gets darker the further out from the land masses you go, creating a sense of ever deepening water. If you’d like a chance to build this yourself, you can sail over to the LEGO Ideas site to lend your support.
Kayaking, canoeing, and boating of other types are pretty popular where I live. While Jesse van den Oetelaar’s LEGO model seems to portray a more medieval type scene, this build reminds me of a real life historic park not too far from me, where you can kayak on a creek amidst the ruins of an aqueduct.
Jesse’s minifigure character William Renou paddles a brick-built sail boat which utilizes many small brown elements, notably many tiles of various sizes for the body of the boat while the sail mast utilizes multiple brown 1×1 round bricks. The water in this model is rendered with white trans-clear tiles, which is a bit different from most builds I have seen which tend to make use of trans-clear elements in various shades of blue. The white trans-clear elements are a good choice and they work well with the mostly grey color-scheme of the architecture.
The aqueduct ruins mostly make use of 1×2 brick elements, slopes, tiles, light green tree limb elements, and various other light grey pieces. I especially appreciate the cattails that are fashioned out of tan technic pins attached to brown sticks which were then stuck into the holes of tree limb elements. While the fantasy vibe is evident throughout this work, the vignette is still quite relatable in real and present moments as well.
It has been nearly a year since LEGO Masters: USA announced their teams and it’s nice to check in from time to time on how some of the contestants are doing. Aaron Newman clearly has seafaring vessels on the brain with this stunning research vessel. He tells us that it’s over 20″ (50cm) long, and features three levels of accessible interior details. He goes into greater detail about this build on his blog. We’ve been smitten with his work before. Give it a looksy.