LEGO models with smooth curves and bright colors – they’re just a joy to behold. But there’s more than colors and curves to like about this build by BobnDeQuatre. In Takoizukame – The Shrine Keeper, those qualities are combined with some sweet part usage. Take, for example, the hubcaps in the upper arms. Or the Chima flywheels in the feet. And is that a Ninjago Spinner at the center of the mech’s chest? *Chef’s kiss*
The rearview also showcases some great building techniques. Check out how the 5×5 arch bricks switch orientation and mix and match with the quarter-circle tiles to create smooth transitions and complex shapes.
At the end of the day, though, it’s probably the fact that the colors remind me of the Downtown Diner that makes this mech near and dear to my heart. Retro-Town-Ninjago is a popular sub-theme, right?
I was a kid in the ’70s and ’80s with above average drawing skills but typically childish tastes in what I liked to draw. With the Hardy Boys, Johnny Quest and Treasure Island well within my wheelhouse of influence, it was a sure bet that many of my childhood drawings included some kind of skull island. Whether it be a Dino-Skull Island, Rhino-Skull Island or Bat-Skull island, I was totally into it and would imagine a whole slew of baddies who inhabited these remote, exotic islands hellbent on ruling the world. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that…not much has changed in my adulthood; my art still boasts similar themes from childhood, including a skull island lair or another from time to time. This is why I was so thrilled to find a kindred spirit in Bob DeQuarte.
In one fell swoop, this builder rekindled so many childhood dreams and sparked, let’s be frank, more than a few recent ones. For this, I am thankful for builders like Bob. Anyway, I just wanted to say my piece about this awesome island. I hope you can all be as thrilled about it as I am. Just in case we’re tracking on a similar wavelength, here is another time Bob opened a magic door into childhood dreams.
Ice Planet 2002 might not generate quite the same level of nostalgia among adult fans of LEGO that Classic Space does, but for a certain generation of builders it surely evokes fond memories of trans-neon orange chainsaws and the coolest visors that LEGO helmets had yet seen. It does for me, at least. Bob De Quatre certainly knows how to balance the distinctive white and blue color scheme, with the trans-neon orange accents, that made Ice Planet so distinctive and immediately recognizable back in its heyday. This planetary explorer uses its extensive monitoring equipment to scan the surface in low orbit, looking for whatever it was that these frosted spacemen were trying to find. I never knew what I was supposed to be finding with those chainsaws and ski/snowshoes, but I knew my crew looked good doing it.
The angled faces and down-swept wings show Bob to be a master spaceship builder. Fun highlights are the feathered sections of the wings in front of the air intakes and the opening pods on either side of the tail fin, which can deploy probes to the planet’s surface for added reconnaissance. Nexo Knights’ greatest gift to builders as a theme was perhaps the introduction of many new elements in trans-neon orange, especially the angular canopy used so effectively here. But that is not all that Bob has used well; don’t miss the DUPLO radar dish beneath the cockpit and the Bionicle armor behind it. Now that’s one
cool ice-cold spaceship.
When a piece that’s exclusive to one set gets released in a new colour, it can be appealing to base a tribute to the original set around the new piece. That’s exactly what BobDeQuatre has done with the transparent purple windscreen from the LEGO Movie 2 70828 Pop-Up Party Bus set, which had previously only existed in transparent clear in the Ultimate Collector’s Series 75060 Slave I.
While many parts of the original model could be substituted for parts in the right colour scheme, some had to be replaced if the correct parts didn’t exist. I especially like the way the curves over the wing mounts were sculpted. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the weapons have been removed, as this ship is built to have fun, not chase the Millennium Falcon. And what better way to emphasize its readiness to party, than with a fun pair of cat ears. Meow!