Every AFOL has what I call their ‘white whale’ set. One that they longed for as a kid (and probably still do as a grown-up), but never owned. For me, that’s 7665 Republic Cruiser. In hindsight, it’s perhaps not the finest recreation of the Radiant VII. But when I was staring longingly at it in the pages of Argos catalogues, it looked as good as Fuku Saku‘s 1:250 scale model does! The subtle curves of the conical pod at the front look great; the way it meshes with the angles elsewhere is so satisfying. To be fair, the same could be said of the whole build. This ship did get a mostly grey militarised variant in the Clone Wars, but I much prefer its diplomatic livery from the opening scene of The Phantom Menace. It looks resplendent in red and white. You could even say it looks… Radiant!
General Grievous’s ship from Star Wars gets some love in this great LEGO build from Fuku Saku. Known as Soulless One, the ship is a customized starfighter that features some slick lines. This build makes plentiful use of curved LEGO pieces and tiles to keep the shaping true to the ship’s design. The clean appearance allows our eyes to pass over the ship’s lines with ease. The orange and yellow details draw us to them, breaking up the overall grey of the ship. I particularly love the construction of the orange and yellow sections that join the wings to the main body. These are typically more muted, but in this build they’re brighter, making the ship feel a little bit like a hotrod. Looking at this build, the ship looks sleek and fast–I’d love to see this thing with some racing upgrades for a galactic contest.
Take a quick peek inside the cockpit to gander at Grievous’s controls. It’s a truly spectacular culmination of angles creating that cabin-sized cavity.
These micro vehicles by Fuku Saku really make me nostalgic for those mini kits in the classic LEGO Star Wars games! There’s just something about small Star Wars spaceships that brings so much joy. It’s probably how unique the ship designs are, especially from the Clone Wars era. Take for instance the Naboo starfighter (the bright yellow ship), with its sleek and shiny look. Then there’s the Wookie catamaran (the second ship in the top row) with its more natural appearance–quite unique! Now, not all of these are spaceships–some are planet-side machines like walkers and cannons, but they’re still standouts in designs. Their colors help with that! I’d love to see all of these vehicles set up in a big display or diorama.
This 16×16 vignette by Fuku Saku brings the half-sunken ruins of Osgiliath to life. The former capital city of Gondor is instantly recognizable in comparison to its big-screen counterpart. The damaged brick, open archways, and domed tower are spot-on with the production design of Peter Jackson’s epic. And bonus points to the Orc’s brick-built legs that create a “wading through the water” effect that perfectly compliments the scene.
With car builds, I’m always most impressed when a builder can use their LEGO bricks to recreate the most immediately recognisable cars. For instance, take this BMW E36 Coupe by Fuku Saku. He has perfectly captured the iconic front grille that adorned such Bimmers in the 90s. The overall shape has been neatly captured as well, with subtly angled headlights to reflect the real thing’s curves. I’m not sure the front splitter and the massive rear wing were stock though, even on the M3. This has clearly been modified… But by whoM?
It’s none other than a Jack Stone figure! In fact this one is a bank robber, and E36s aren’t cheap these days, so perhaps this motor is an ill-gotten gain. These figures were featured in Juniors and Jack Stone sets in the early noughties. These are some of the earliest LEGO figures I had, incidentally. It’s fairly unusual to see them used in fan creations, so it’s nice to see a whole car scaled (and, judging by the red paintwork, styled) around one!
TIE Fighters are one of the most iconic spaceships in pop culture today, and one of the most fun to see built with LEGO. Faku Saku returns to the classic ship with this redesign of an earlier TIE Fighter model he did a few years back. Redesigned and built from the ground up, the wings on this fighter stand out with some exquisite details. Right from the gate, we can see Faku kept the grille tiles for the solar panel detailing on the outside of the wings. Tiles and wedges nicely fill in the inside of the wings. The points where the wings attach to the ship’s body feature greater screen accuracy than the original model. And the outside of the wings? They have a cleaner and stronger appearance than most builds I’ve seen for a Tie Fighter!
As the internet is going (appropriately) gaga for the new Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder set, builder Nicholas Goodman offers this lovely vignette highlighting a smaller alternative. The landspeeder here is a slightly modified version of the one designed by Fuku Saku, and has a great shape and color, with some lovely details on the engines utilizing the LEGO cauldron piece. And the design for the windscreen, while unorthodox, is an excellent way to form the appropriate shape at this scale. For the rest of the scene, the terrain is well formed and very Tatooine-esque. I particularly like Nicholas’s use studs to add texture to the desert sands. The minifigs are also well-posed, setting the scene for Luke and Obi-Wan’s first introduction.
Here’s an up-close shot of the back of the speeder to showcase all the detail that went into those engines. Nicholas’s mastery of angles is remarkable given the scale!
The star of the show here is clearly Fuku Saku’s 1:250 microscale LEGO Charger c70 Republic Frigate. It has all the right shaping and as much detail as a model twice or three times its size. However, let’s not discount the awesomeness of his Jedi Starfighters, Republic Gunships, and the LAAT/c Assault Carrier. In fact, I’m personally more enthralled with the smaller models. The new UCS Republic Gunship set is huge, even impressive. I voted for it but LEGO may be disappointed to learn that I may not get the set as it…I don’t know…just doesn’t have any more detail or playability than prior smaller Gunship sets. These microscale models, however, have as much detail and accuracy as they need and at just a fraction of the size. I can see myself hanging out with Fuku for a day, building several copies of these Republic Gunships and LAAT/c’s to pad out his Republic fleet over a couple of beers. It’s the kind of thing that makes us adult builders rather excited. What do you think of these microscale models?
Fuku is no stranger to making little things seem pretty awesome. Check out what I mean in our archives: Fuku Saku LEGO.
Of course on Instagram and Flickr or wherever else LEGO collections and cities are shown off, one can find plenty of completed modulars and cars, maybe even some small construction vehicles, but Fuku Saku presents us with a highly detailed model of a construction site complete with a skeleton frame of a building and some great vehicles.
Saku’s vehicles are pretty detailed and are comprised of both large and small parts; an interesting part used in his dump truck would be the battle droid arm utilized on the truck’s backend. Overall both trucks make use of bricks and wheels in addition to a lot of slopes and tiles to achieve a smooth and completed look. The building frame behind the vehicles is notably comprised of many different types of plates but also includes bricks and tiling. In any case Saku’s model is a break from the usual completed buildings.
So I know I’ve written about quite a few Mandalorian LEGO creations now, but to be completely honest, there’s just a lot of quality Mandalorian LEGO content coming out and it’s begging to be shared. And some, like this cute scene by Fuku Saku don’t even include our beloved Baby Yoda (though technically the Child is in the picture). While this vignette is small, it’s packed full of clever techniques and well-designed LEGO models. I’d like to highlight two aspects. First, the speeder bikes. LEGO has made a plethora of speeder bikes in the last 21 years, but I don’t think any of them compare to the size and detail of the bikes presented here. In fact, I like them so much that I’m going to try to build some of my own! The second thing I want to point out is the blaster bolt missing its target. The trans-neon orange robot hand is the perfect element to give the flame that extra oomph, while making the bolt look like it’s still flying through the air.
The Battle of Hoth is a popular scene to recreate with LEGO, and there are multiple versions of it as fan creations as well as official LEGO sets. My new favourite take on the battle has got to be Fuku Saku’s Assault on Hoth. He’s got all the essential elements: a snowspeeder, an AT-AT, and most importantly, a snow! On top of that, he’s built a turret representing Echo Base, a probe droid from before the battle, and an AT-ST coming up from behind.
The designs on the vehicles are spectacular, the AT-AT in particular. For one, it actually looks armoured. On top of that, all the right details are present, such as the side hatches. It even has interior detail and space for snowtroopers to actually be transported. The overall attention to detail in the entire battle scene is on point – it’s not often that blaster bolts are built into LEGO models, flying through the air. But they’re included here, and it really feels like there’s a battle going on.