As you might imagine, being the managing editor for The Brothers Brick entails looking at a lot of LEGO creations. With space being one of the most popular LEGO genres, I’ve seen my share of spaceships. And while I see plenty of spaceships I love, it’s not often that I come across models that truly cause my jaw to drop, but spaceship guru Nick Trotta routinely does so with his mastery of brick geometry. One of the best spaceship builders around, Nick’s latest creation, dubbed the Heavenly Strike, is a perfect example of how you can fit LEGO pieces together in truly mind-blowing configurations. So I’m going to dive into this one a bit more than we do on our usual articles because I’m absolutely enthralled.
At first, you see a superbly slick spaceship with an impeccable color scheme (with a few gorgeously custom copper-chromed elements). It’s angular and appropriately futuristic without being over the top. And, while it’s easily overlooked, that display stand is quite a nice creation on its own. But look closer, and you’ll start to see that very few pieces align in the way that you’d think they should, and nearly every surface is fitted an odd angle.
A new LEGO spaceship from Nick Trotta is always worthy of note, and Firebreak, his latest, is an absolute belter. The shaping is a beautiful collection of angles and curves, making clever use of tiles and a bewildering array of sideways-building techniques to keep the lines smooth. But it’s the color scheme and the ingenious striping which grab the attention — look at the white highlight outline on the asymmetric engine intake, a fantastic piece of LEGO engineering. The angled snub nose is also great, adding a touch of malevolence by invoking attack helicopter styling. Finally, the use of black and chrome for the functional-looking greebles is inspired — a nice change of pace from the “standard” LEGO spaceship greebles in light or dark grey. This is one of the best LEGO spacecraft we’ve seen for a while. I’d recommend zooming in for a closer look at all the quality building involved in its creation.
Another wide streak of light, this time called Refraction R/99, has taken off from the mind of Nick Trotta. After following his amazing LEGO creations for a while, you may pick up on the seamless transitions between each section of his ships. In that regard, he holds true to his craft. Though in others, he spreads his wings a little more. On the one hand, he has built a flying wing, and on the other, he has started playing with a selection of gold elements. Both are styles which he hasn’t explored before.
His shaping creates a strength of form built off a shallow frame, allowing the pilot to be flanked by its impressive set of wings. Having no fuselage means squeezing all of his incredible details into its wingspan. The medium blue throughout the engine housing, alongside those deep-set grilles following suit, bring out the almost skeletal dark blue within the wings and midsection. As in many of Trotta’s builds, the carefully chosen colours are exceptionally complimented by some bright splashes, this time it’s Bright Light Yellow, Orange, Trans Neon Green and his new addition: Drum Laquer Gold.
He has used his gold sparingly even though its spread throughout his ship, most effectively as a housing for some fine greebling on either side of the cockpit. This greebling, as squished as it is, has some great parts use going on in there, from the two sunken Megaphones, the red roller skates, to my personal favourite, the black paint roller handle. Yet the clean repetition of the black Grille Guards, installed as cooling vents on the two engines, seem to tie off this brilliant ship.
Space builder Nick Trotta is one of the undisputed masters of minifigure-scale LEGO spacecraft. A fastidious perfectionist, Nick builds and rebuilds each of his models, tweaking every detail before finally letting the world see the finished result. It’s always worth the wait, however, as this new spaceship evidences.
The simple geometric shapes belie the ridiculous amount of engineering needed to achieve them. The technique that always grabs my attention (Nick has used it before) is the use of panels to create the white leading edge on the wings, cleverly hiding any unsightly joints and gaps. Plus, there’s the awesomely retro color scheme, with my favorite detail being the “health” bar on the ship’s nose beneath the cockpit.