I love it when LEGO builders use unexpected pieces in their creations. There’s even contests revolving around using a seed part in a variety of builds. After all, LEGO is all about creativity, and thinking outside the box. I (Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman) grew up with Technic and Bionicle, which both contain strange LEGO parts that you don’t see mixed with the usual building system. However, I am a firm believer that even the most unconventional LEGO parts can fit perfectly with the common ones. That was partly my inspiration in building a perfectly minifigure-scale RZ-1 A-wing Starfighter from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
Febrovery – the annual event where people build space rovers from LEGO. I (Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman) couldn’t say no to building a wheeled space vehicle this month. However, I decided to take a different approach: make it move, make it work, and make it Technical. The result is the Horizon Chariot – a massive, greebly shuttle transporter in a LEGO Classic Space livery. On the outside, it looks like a jumble of layers and pipes, but it’s merely a shell for a complex Technic frame with a working four-wheel drive with a double V8 piston engine, working steering, and soft pendular suspension. My favourite feature turned out to be a working tipping flatbed which launches the small LL-64 Arcade Hopper.
The spaceship belonging to the Horizon Chariot was more of a distraction than an afterthought. I wanted to incorporate a NinjaGo arcade pod into the build as the blue airtight section of Classic Space vehicles. I found it was too small for a big vehicle so why not make a smaller vehicle as part of it? That’s how the aptly named LL-64 Arcade Hopper was born. I just couldn’t stop myself from building a spaceship! With swing-down wings and a smooth underside, it’s really a step away from my usually greebly builds, but it turned out to be a beautiful two-seater shuttle.
Check out the Flickr album to see more photos of the rover and the spaceship!
There are times when a LEGO fan starts building, gets into the groove of things, then finds it hard to stop. Especially when the build is a small street that keeps growing with each mini modular building placed on it. When I (Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman) attended my LUG‘s (LondonAFOLs) monthly meet-up via Zoom, the theme was mini modular buildings. Every year since 2007, LEGO released a large modular building, each of which can be arranged into a street layout. As a fifth anniversary to the lineup, LEGO created a microscale version of the first few buildings. I started to build a micro modular for the meet-up, and then I couldn’t help but build more. A few days after the meet-up, I ended up with a whole street.
With the fleet of massive SHIPs we’ve seen lately it’s refreshing to know that someone still loves small, one-man spacecraft. This LEGO Blacktron attack craft was built by none other than The Brothers Brick’s own Mansur Soeleman. While he could have written a better post about it himself, once I’ve dedicated thirty seconds into a post, there’s really no stopping that engine. With that said, I’m smitten by Mansur’s use of these pieces from the Ninjago Arcade Pod sets. I also like that this diminutive yet deadly BT-145 Terribilis is named after the equally diminutive and deadly Golden Poison Frog. We’ve been smitten by Mansur’s creations before and while they refuse to give me the keys to our recruiting office, I’m guessing this is why he’s writing for us now.
Most builders love a good challenge, but everyone loves free LEGO. Such was my reaction when my LEGO user group, Brickish, selected me to represent them in a build challenge. In this friendly competition amongst UK and Ireland-based LUGs, the task was to build anything using the parts provided in 100 LEGO Star Wars magazine foil packs. These were provided by Fairy Bricks charity, and contained 10 each of 10 small sets. I (Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman) challenged myself to take these small Star Wars models and… not build anything Star Wars related. There weren’t much of the usual grey bits anyway. So I had my next favourite thing in mind: microscale architecture.
I had no plan going into this build challenge. But the parts provided were surprisingly good – lots of small bits that I use in my building style. I knew I was going to surprised myself with the finished results, and I did, for such is the nature of any challenge. It definitely produced a beautiful build I am most proud of: The Voyage to Cirrus Palace.
The spaceship’s colour scheme would have been enough, but Mansur Soeleman takes it one step further with his latest LEGO model and produces some retro-styled box art to really get the nostalgia pipes flowing. The ship is a greeble-lover’s delight, festooned with a wealth of light grey pipes and grilles, intakes and rockets. I particularly like how tight the blue cabin section is around the trans-yellow canopy, leaving most of the model grey, but enough to make it abundantly clear which LEGO theme has provided the inspiration.
In a brilliant touch, Mansur also built a retro version of his retro-throwback, delivering the same distinctive shaping, but using a more limited old-fashioned brick palette. I admire the building skills in these two models, but also love the extra effort of producing box art and two versions. Fantastic nostalgic fun.
From movies to TV shows to LEGO models, we all love a bit of Star Wars action. But one of the persistent criticisms of the franchise is the peculiar need it appears to have to return to similar planetary environments over and again. In an entire galaxy of apparently habitable planets, it seems weird we keep ending up on desert or frozen worlds. Here’s a LEGO creation that decides instead to revel in the possibilities of alien environments, setting a battle between the Republic and the Trade Federation on the colourful world of Tealos Prime. I love the bright foliage and unusual tones in the scenery here — a brilliant contrast with the typical grey vehicles of the Star Wars universe.
The scene, a collaborative effort from Tim Goddard, Mansur Soeleman, and inthert is an absolute cracker — massive in scope despite the micro scale employed on the individual models. Check out this wider top-down view which reveals the full size of the layout, with scenery ranging from forest to cliff-side landing pad, and the impressive array of vehicles from both factions…
After writing about LEGO for nearly a decade, it’s rare that I see a mashup that’s new, let alone one that’s done excellently. But this build by Mansur Soeleman brought me that rare delight in the form of a Bionicle creation made of system pieces and done in microscale. The lush green island is Kini Nui, the temple at the heart of Mata Nui in the Bionicle universe, and it evokes the verdant foliage of the island’s jungle well. The build is loaded with brand new elements which I’m excited to see put to such great use, such as the white 1x8x3 slopes for the four pillars on the temple.
Side note: I’m feeling an urge to play Halo now, for some reason…
If you have ever visited a LEGO store you probably would have noticed the formidable floor-to-ceiling Pick-a-Brick wall. One bin may contain thousands of flower stems and another may have a crap-ton of these pointy bits (metric crap-ton if you’re Canadian). There’s no telling what you’ll find there and you can take this stuff home by the cup loads. For me, I’m like a kid in…some kind of store. While loading cups full of LEGO bricks can be exciting, building something cohesive exclusively with what you found at the Pick-a-Brick wall can be a tricky endeavor, but Mansur Soeleman clearly saw…a whale of an opportunity.
I see plenty of white 2×2 corner plates, lots of 2×2 plates in light bluish gray and plenty of clips make up the baleen. The end result is a pretty good facsimile of a blue whale. You can say Mansur had…a whale of a good time with this. You see, brilliant puns like that is why I am the highest paid Brothers Brick contributor ever. At least that’s what they told me…or at least that’s what I understood when they said “voluntary”. Wait, what does “conditional trial period” mean?
And if you liked this cetacean built from a limited palette of bricks as much as you enjoyed my puns, we’re sure you’ll also enjoy André Pinto’s bonsai tree, also built from nothing but Pick-a-Brick parts.
Each new installment of the Star Wars franchise typically comes with a fleet of new spaceships large and small to allow ace pilots to show off their skills and fight for peace and justice in a galaxy far, far away. The new animated series Star Wars: Resistance is no exception. The story takes place shortly before the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and follow the adventures of a pilot recently recruited from the New Republic into the titular group of freedom fighters. LEGO fan creator Mansur Soeleman has brought a group of fighters known as Ace Squadron to stunningly detailed life.
When compared to the on-screen source material, Mansur’s meticulous attention to detail is too good to be contained in a single photo, so read on to see each fighter of the squadron in detail.