I’ve mentioned before in these pages that I have a background in Roman stuff, particularly language and literature, but also some history and architecture. In fact, I compiled and annotated a Latin reader on Roman military texts for my Master’s degree. So imagine my delight when I saw this functional Roman ballista by Jerac. These things were used all over the Republic and Empire, including Caesar’s siege of Alesia. There’s no gimmickry here; just like the real deal, the force to launch the bolts comes from coiled cords, not the bow. And the whole thing is LEGO, which makes it even cooler. The Technic gear and axle connector don’t look out of place as parts of the mechanical structure, and, in fact, I believe the lip on the bushing catches on the gear to ratchet the tension. Then flip up those rods, and voilà! You have just destroyed a tower. The wooden planks and the soldiery, along with the suggestion of landscaping, are just icing on the cake to dress it up a bit; the real beauty of the build is the technological achievement.
When it comes to hilarious AI sidekicks in video games, it’s hard to beat the exuberant, boisterous, stair-challenged inverted triangle designated CL4P-TP, or better known as Claptrap. And what could be better than one Claptrap? If you asked Jerac that question, the answer would be three Claptraps.
Jerac has captured the distinctive look of these mono-wheeled robots very well, from the spindly arms to the oversized guns. And speaking of wheels, they are attached using the 1×1 modified plate with handle as if the part was made just for this purpose.
There are some builders out there whose names are synonymous with quality, often in a highly specialized niche within the larger LEGO fan community. Jerac is one such builder, whose Star Wars creations are famous for their exceptional level of detail, down to the minutest of greebles, and their near-perfect scaling. His latest creation is a stripped-down Y-wing bomber with all of its parts showing, as was typical in the fleet of the Rebellion. I love the shaping of the cockpit, as well as all of the technical details on the back part of the craft. It is a difficult task to get the rear maneuvering rings looking good, but this version of the Y-wing has lovely round rings and even the little details that should be there. Can a minifigure-scale Y-wing be done better in LEGO? Perhaps, but I have not seen it.
Jerac’s builds are often a master-class in LEGO greebling techniques, with piece usages both expected and unexpected. By now, things like ingots and bars are old hat in spaceships, and even binoculars are expected; but the use of some of the binoculars here is a new one for me, at least: placed recessed into the ship so that only the lenses stick out, as Jerac has done here towards the back of the fuselage. The stretcher holder makes for some great cables or piping, and the use of minifig arms looks good, too, at the very back of the fuselage. And there are more handcuffs than I can count. All in all, this is one terrific spaceship, ready to drop some bombs on Imperial targets.