Tag Archives: David Roberts

Bending time and space!

This LEGO spaceship is bending space itself! Or maybe that is just the brick bending technique that David Roberts used on this fantastic curvy racer. These massive engines look great with their colorful markings and smooth shaping. Brick bending is a difficult technique to work with at such a small scale and David pulled it off beautifully. I can imagine an entire racing series with this catamaran-styled ship full of high-speed action and incredible maneuverability. Always nice to see an uncommon technique used to great effect! If you want to check out what else can be achieved with brick bending take a look at the creations of Jeff Sanders, the brick bending specialist.

Skimmer 3

A Classic Space Paraflyer is a fun way to travel

LEGO builder David Roberts tells us the Classic Space Paraflyer is a fun way to travel over planets with any form of atmosphere. I’m inclined to agree, not based on my own experience, but based on the expression of the little space minifigure’s face. I mean, look how happy he is! You can’t be melancholy with a face like that. In fact, every last minifigure produced from 1978 to 1989 had this same exact smiley face. Whether they were robbing banks or laying up in a hospital bed they were damned happy to do it! While we may feature massive spaceships and elaborate castles, sometimes it is the little things that speak to us the most.

CS Paraflyer

David’s fun little builds have spoken to us on several occasions. Here are all the times that we listened.

Skidding along the snowy landscape in a beast of a snowmobile

If you have to be out on the frozen wasteland in the deep of winter, I can think of no better place to be than sitting in the cab of this monster LEGO snowmobile by David Roberts. Not only does it sport some hefty treads, and plenty of light for when the sun goes down, but it has a powerful jet engine strapped on the back. The angled suspension will get you safely over any rough terrain hiding under the ice, and those front skids look pretty strong.

Super-Ski-Doo

Totally tubular Technic tread tube

In the 23rd century, biker gangs rule the skies on their modified hoverbikes. The most dangerous of these gangs is the Tunnel Snakes, named for their tendency to use broken flux conduits as their primary highway between crime scenes. This futuristic build by David Roberts makes excellent use of Technic tread links, a part most commonly used in official sets on construction equipment or sci-fi vehicles. But here, these treads are the road through which the sci-fi vehicle travels. There are 40 links in each complete circle, a shape that David has made use of before. But this time the staging successfully implies a much larger scale. It’s easy to imagine the broken conduit tube stretching on for miles across a futuristic cityscape.

Tunnel Snakes Speeder Bike

Azure stripes and open skies

Inspired by the colors of the Martini-sponsored Porsche racing team from his childhood, David Roberts created a fantastic racer for a pilot with an inimitable name. Martin Igglesramsworthbottomthwaite, or Martin I, as he’s known by his fans and enemies, brandishes a Bond-like persona when he’s not flying his vibrant speeder. The model features various pieces of mechanical detailing on each side of the multifaceted engine sections, with azure domes capping the inlets. Bright red compliments navy blue and azure stripes along the body, making for a brilliant photo finish for all of Martin I’s victories.

Martin I's Racer

On the rear, the nozzles for the engines are framed by multiple vents with azure bands running the length of the sides. Those rear lights will surely be the only ones his competition will see for most of the race. At least, the ones after that freak storm that flooded his cockpit. Drainage holes can help win races, it seems.

Martin I's Racer

This anti-gravity Wipeout Racer has a checkered history

You may have heard the humorous adage that if you paint racing stripes on your vehicle it’ll automatically go faster. In the case of this LEGO anti-gravity Wipeout Racer by David Roberts that might actually be true. He tells us that this ship was first in its class partly due to its powerful engine pack and partly due to its color scheme distracting other pilots and causing them to crash. He goes on to explain that this led to a rule change where the team had to paint their ship in a more sober pattern and thus the success of the race sadly and predictably waned. The lesson learned here is that racing fans like crazy stuff and now we can’t have nice things. Speaking of nice things, this would not be David’s first lap with brightly-colored ships and other awesome stuff. Check out our archives to see what I mean.

LG Systems Wipeout Racer

This ship is barrels of fun!

While classic greys have their place, I’m a sucker for a vibrant color scheme on my spaceships. The Blue Barrel by David Roberts certainly doesn’t disappoint in that arena, with a checkerboard pattern of red and orange that really offsets the blue bodywork to make this vessel stand out. I love the smooth lines and the Technic gears in the nose.

The Blue Barrel

The real treat, though, is when this baby comes in for a landing. Dave’s focus on this build was the development of hinged hatches and extendable landing gear. Fingertip pressure is all it takes to pop open the landing struts, but apparently, you’ll “need some fingernails to get at the legs and pull them out!”  Truly, one of more obvious-but-still-clever uses of Technic rods I’ve seen in a while. Also be sure to spend a moment or two examining that innovative ladder. It doesn’t use standard stud attachments to hook onto the ship but rather uses 1×1 Tooth plate to hang on the cockpit rim.

The Blue Barrel

Did this whet your appetite for more space-y goodness? Take a stroll through our archives for even more great featured builds!

Double the tensegrity, triple the trouble

Over the past few months, LEGO tensegrity sculptures have been all the rage, with their gravity-defying stacking attracting builders of all stripes to try their hands. While most tensegrity structures consist of a single floating element, a few builders have managed to add another floating section to that, which makes the delicate balancing exponentially more difficult. David Roberts makes it look easy, though, with this tower of rings.

The Three RingsTensegrity sculptures stay aloft thanks to being held in tension with three tethers (chains in this case), but David’s model also adds tension to the rings themselves, which simply comprise Technic tread links joined inside out to make a tensioned circle. It all comes together to create a beautifully simple sculpture.

Now, who wants to try their hand at creating a tensegrity sculpture with three floating levels on top of the base? Any takers?

Want to see more tensegrity sculptures? Check out our LEGO Tensegrity archives for examples from tanks to dragons.

The art and science of LEGO tensegrity builds

The recent trend in the LEGO-sphere community has all been about magical floating compression structures, better known as a tensegrity – a portmanteau of “tensional integrity”. The fad started with a very rudimentary build on a Reddit and soon spawned many more creative iterations. We pick a few of the more outstanding ones that we’ve seen that has impressed us. A couple of them come with build videos and instruction guides for you to build your very own.

Click to see some of the best we’ve spotted around

Hot dog or hot rod?

Abandon all logic! David Roberts is back at his surreal best, with this fine meat-based entry to the Febrovery building event. David asks us why we wouldn’t want to drive around in a car shaped like a hot dog, and I really have no answer for him. Taking his inspiration from master children’s illustrator and author Richard Scarry, whose mad world saw anthropomorphic pigs at the wheel of just such vehicles, this build ticks all the LEGO fun boxes. Take a final moment to marvel at its mustard windshield, sausage chassis and wrap around bun – genius!

Frebrovery 2019: Hotdog

Built with ridiculous speed in mind

Described as the “biggest, baddest, most bulbous speeder bike”, by builder David Roberts, the Turbinia certainly lives up to its name. I’ve admired David’s work for a long time now, especially the way he mixes his humorous narratives with the knowledge of an engineering graduate. In this case the turbine element creates both the quirky nautilus-like shape of the vehicle, as well as hinting at the real-life mechanics of a centrifugal processor. Whichever way you look at it, this colourful model is a whole heap of gyroscopic fun.

Turbinia Speeder Bike