Sometimes it pays to read the builder’s comments. When I first saw this build by Tom Loftus, I zeroed in on those amazing blinds and spent probably fifteen minutes trying to figure out how they were made. Some new panel I hadn’t come across, yet? Maybe a vent from some Star Wars UCS set? Nope. Turns out the Iron Builder April Fool’s challenge was to create a build using paper cut outs of the letters in “Iron Builder,” and I’d been staring at a bunch of the letter “I” in that window. The letters have been put to great use all around the room. “B” for the chair backs, “O” for the table, “D” for the desk against the wall, and almost a whole game of Wordle in that art piece on the wall. When the result looks this good, I don’t mind being played for a fool.
That’s why I (Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman) along with my friend Tom Loftus decided to take a break from our usual spaceships and build something fantastical. Our usual greys became pinks and lavenders, our usual mechanical greebling became wild, organic foliage. Tom wanted to build a tree, I wanted to replicate some of Scotland’s coastal cliffs. Combined with recent plants in wild colours and the release of the Acorn Boy and Night Protector in the recent Collectable Minifigure Series, our collab build became an homage to LEGO Elves.
We are fans of the bygone LEGO Elves theme which ran from 2015 to 2018. Its signature look was bright colours, cute dragons, and wonderful characters with elemental powers and matching outfits, albeit they were the less favourable minidolls. In short, it was a Tolkien-esque fantasy version of LEGO Friends. Despite there being an established lore (which I admit I’m unfamiliar with), Tom and I decided to make something original, but with a similar aesthetic.
Every once in a while we get a build that is out of this world. Not only because of techniques or parts usage, but because it is a work of art made with LEGO pieces. Ring-Rise by Tom Loftus (Inthert) is exactly that. A colourful painting. A cinematic shot with perfect framing. Just an astronaut and his cat, all alone on a monochrome alien world, looking out on the colourful rings of a planet. A simple idea, flawless execution.
Tom knew he wanted to incorporate the famous basalt columns of Iceland into a build. The Alien Landscape category of the yearly Space Jam contest was the perfect opportunity. Layering them in shades of grey (black to dark grey to light grey) give the impression of light coming in from the space-scape beyond. The planetary ring uses Simon Pickard’s intricate curving surface technique that few have mastered. Tom spiced it up by making it as colourful as he could, evoking the psychedelic hues of nebulae and other heavenly bodies.
Check out more builds by Tom here!
This isn’t the first time Tom Loftus (Inthert) was inspired by the art of Spacegoose to create an adorable Cat-stronaut figure. While the previous feline (The aptly named Space Cat) was all about journeying into mystery, Astra is already there. The amazing part usage of metallic black beehives for limbs is a standout feature, but it’s the eyes that really do it for me. Those Mixel 1×1 round eye tiles give this critter the same Crazy-Zoom look that I remember seeing just before a pet tore through the house at Warp 10.
From the rear, you can see that Tom paid equal attention to the stylish and functional-looking backpack. There’s a joke here about “the cat’s pajamas” but I can’t quite make it work. Let’s just pretend it did and share a brief chuckle.
There are a lot of things that can happen in the world of LEGO space. Why not check out our archives for more of them?
At a quick glance, you might see this as a charming little fantasy LEGO microscale scene. And you’d be right in that assumption. But upon closer look, that is when you realized Tom Loftus has done quite the clever thing. He has used plastic dragon trim from the Raya and Sisu Dragon set to emulate swirls on the water. The two pieces are supposed to be removed from the foil along their perforated edges, but he has left the part intact in order to create the swirling river effect. I entirely overlooked the set for having pieces seemingly useless to my needs but Tom’s clever use of interesting parts has me rethinking that strategy. It just goes to show that even the most seemingly undesirable piece can be put to clever use in just the right hands. Check out all the other times Tom has dazzled us in one way or another in our archives.
Recently we featured a group of spaceships that were born out of the Spacegoose Collab. And, yes, they were all amazing creations. But I love me some bonus builds, and Tom Loftus (Inthert) provides a stellar one with Space Cat. Described as “something of an encore”, this little feline is a perfect blend of fantasy and cat-attributes. Cat owners know how even the most upscale bedding is shunned by cats in favor of cardboard boxes, and this preference apparently extends to their choice of jumpship. And sure, that upcycled box is cute, and the almost-legal connection of clipped together quarter circle tile is ingenious. But look at that expression. Never before have Mixel eye prints captured the insanity of a frenzied midnight tear through the universe quite so well.
If this creation brightened your mood (or maybe if it didn’t), check out other humorous builds caught by our Funny tag!