Tag Archives: General Tensai

A submarine with a screen door

I like cutaway models that let you explore the interior mechanics and design of a vehicle. There’s something cool to know a builder went beyond thinking about the exterior shaping of a vessel to consider how it could really operate. And when you combine a quality cutaway of a submarine with a lively undersea diorama like General Tensai has, you get something extra special. Even if, just for a moment, I had to wonder about the lack of a tight water-seal. The Nokirian Battle Submarine feels like it could have been lifted from a scene from Das Boot. There’s a lot of slice-of-undersea life happening from the cots and galley to the more functional touches like the brick-built engine and periscope station. I also like how the somber reds and greys of the sub contrast with the vibrant aquatic life on the seafloor.

Nokirian Battle Submarine

Maybe there’s a link between this sub and the General’s oil rig. If there isn’t, there should be.

Drilling beneath the waves, where LEGO comes from

It’s no secret that most LEGO is made from dinosaurs and carboniferous forests. But you have to drill hundreds or even thousands of meters beneath the surface of the earth to pump out that crude pre-LEGO material, often from platforms way out at sea. General Tensai takes bricks back to their source with this incredibly detailed, colorful oil rig that uses countless LEGO pieces in surprising ways. The overall effect is one of large-scale industrial activity full of pipes and conduits, a helipad with brick-built lettering, numerous towers, cranes, and gantries — and even a multi-colored oil slick on the ocean’s surface. But clicking through to the builder’s full-size photo rewards careful examination, from the Technic pump behind the red and white crane to the single minifig leg and yellow parrot projecting below the helipad.

RTT: Oil Rig