It’s probably safe to say that terms like steampunk and cyberpunk have entered into the common lexicon. Complex worlds, either created around clockwork and steam power or technologically permeated societies, have become pretty popular amongst mainstream society. But what about dieselpunk? Or its partner, skypunk? Thankfully, the nature of the monikers is to get the idea across pretty quickly. Personally, skypunk is one of my favorite concepts. Worlds full of floating fortresses, sky battles in agile, obscure fighter planes, or common people shlepping about on islands in the sky. Today, I want to take a look at the latest skyracer model by builder Sylon-tw.
Imagine a world, an alternate reality wedged somewhere between the 1920s and 1950s. It’s a little gritter and not as optimistic as say Steampunk but everyone wears a cool uniform, the radio shows are campy and the password to get into all the best speakeasies is; Dieselpunk. That is the world this LEGO creation by Asgardian Studio lives in. The builder tells us it was fun to render the red color scheme with a black and white checkered pattern and a smattering of orange highlights. This massive model has a 75cm (29.52in) wingspan, rotating propellers, retractable landing gear, and a fully detailed interior. I love the twin-fuselage, tri-propeller design, but the bubble eyes and dragonfly wings make this one awesome Dieselpunk model! We will surely look to the skies for more great works by Asgardian Studio.
The retro future of LEGO transport has a lot of options available to experience, including this cloud skimming, Dieselpunk Boat by builder Mark van der Maarel. His use of curved slopes and modified plates to form the smooth shaping of the hull is simple but exemplary, as is the chosen colour scheme. The rusted and worn look of such a craft, along with the eccentric crew, screams of adventures aplenty.
The deck crane brings the functionality needed for this sky trawler, though the highlight for me is another simple addition for the sake of detail: the boat hook. This necessary piece of equipment adds a nice touch of realism despite only being constructed from two pieces, a pirate hook hand and a rigid hose. It makes me kind of curious to know what he is puling in at such a height.
When it comes to the “Sky-Fi” Dieselpulp style of LEGO building, one man is the undisputed master of the air: Jon Hall. He strikes again with his latest retro-flavoured aircraft — the P-98 Nemesis. The shaping of the hefty triple-fuselage structure is excellent, and there are loads of lovely touches on display — the strong colour-blocking, the raked exhausts peeking from beneath the engine cowls, and the racks of ordnance slung under the wings.
Packed full of Jon’s trademark attention to detail, the model includes custom stickers, a folding undercarriage, and a detailed cockpit interior. Check out this view of the seat and the instrumentation panel with its trio of joysticks. And don’t miss the spanner mounted up-front as a gun sight — great stuff.
Take a WW2-era Mustang, mix in a dash of muscle-car, then shake with a liberal helping of Dieselpunk. The result? Jon Hall‘s excellent new LEGO creation, the Fe-47 Rapier — a “sky-fi” fighter plane of formidable proportions. The colour blocking on this baby is fierce, the splashes of yellow adding real visual pop to the tail, nose, and engine cowlings. And the overall shaping is classic alternate-technology building — familiar enough to be immediately recognisable, but odd enough to make you look twice.
One of the things I love about Jon’s creations is the attention to detail he lavishes on every aspect. The custom decals are an obvious highlight, but my favourite touch is the undercarriage — managing to let this bad boy land, despite the bulging lower fuselage…
A cute pocket battleship combines forces with a whale, apparently to deliver the mail, in this LEGO creation from Revan New. I genuinely have no idea what is going on here, but I like it. First up, we see the chibi-styled dieselpunk dreadnought sailing into a moody sunset, a companionable whale matching the ship’s course…
And then the true nature of this partnership is revealed — some sort of oceanic postal service…
The styling of the little dreadnought is smart — I particularly like the curve of the hull and the maroon striping. Those deck guns are pretty good too. And then the whale itself has a friendly face. Who wouldn’t want this guy turning up at the door with their Amazon packages?
All-in-all, this is nicely built, nicely photographed, and nicely crazy. Just the sort of stuff we like round here.
This week we were able to sit down with Vincent Gachod from Toulouse, in the south of France. While balancing his job as the head of video production at a french university and raising two kids, he finds time to create some incredible LEGO builds. Let’s pick his brain and see what we can learn from this master of the brick.
TBB: How did you get into the LEGO hobby and what inspires you to build?
Vince: I started with LEGO in the mid 70’s with bricks from my brother’s collection. My first set was the 374 Fire Station of 1978. After my “dark age” in the 90’s, I came back to LEGO with my son and his first sets. I’m inspired by lot of influences (movies, animation, videos games, books, magazines, cars, architecture…) but I’m more inspired by the details : a car’s wheel, a plane’s engine or a vintage vacuum cleaner! I often start a MOC from a single detail like a car’s grille or an exhaust pipe. I spend a long time working on details.
Take to the skies in style with Ted Andes‘ latest LEGO creation. This single-seater aircraft has a dieselpunk feel, with an impressive level of detail for such a small creation — much of it down to the intelligent repurposing of Bionicle armor pieces. The brick-built clouds around the plane give the whole image a wonderful cartoonish sky effect, but the highlight of the model for me is that slight downward angle on the nose turbine — a lovely touch.
This model originally started off as a new Secret Weapon of the Luftwaffe — the latest in a series of LEGO models I’ve been building for years. However, it was one of those creations which took quite a different turn as the build progressed, and ended up quite definitely a ground vehicle — bizarre seeing as it started out as a chunky dieselpunk helicopter! Sometimes things not proceeding as planned can be frustrating, but in this case I was quite happy with the result. Besides, I figured the Wehrmacht probably deserved to have some secret weapons of its own…
I couldn’t resist having a play around after the model photography was complete. Turns out the blueprints for this mechanical marvel fell into Allied hands at the end of the war…
As we begin ramping up over the next few weeks toward our alternate WW2 LEGO display at BrickCon here in Seattle, I’ve been keeping an eye out for inspirational builds, and this “Dingo” Combat Walker by SweStar certainly fits the bill. The feet look like the “toes” are powered by pistons, and the mech’s head is festooned with enough doodads for a naval ship’s bridge. I particularly like the judicious use of stickers and yellow LEGO pieces.
My office at work looks across Lake Washington toward Seattle, and I spent much of the morning and afternoon distracted by F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets of the US Navy Blue Angels acrobatic team as they roared past my window. When I saw the predominantly blue and yellow color scheme of this excellent X-shaped fighter plane by Thomas W., I was immediately reminded of the Blue Angels. But with the double gull wings and large propellor, the real-world US Navy fighter that Thomas’s design truly evokes is the Vought F4U Corsair from World War II — one of my favorite aircraft of all time. The yellow stripe on the leading edge of the wings is lovely, and the white accents give the whole plane a more modern look for some reason.