People are suckers for nostalgia. This is a well-known fact that even the LEGO company has been tapping into lately. It is no wonder that this creation by Bob DeQuatre is hitting all the sweet spots. It is a rebuild of the 6175 Crystal Explorer Sub from the Aquanauts theme. This version is quite a bit larger than the original. The cockpit manages to fit 3 seats and a hatch to access the ocean. I am not sure, as it is not mentioned by Bob, but I can imagine quite well that the big trans purple windscreen from the Pop-up Party Bus was the starting point of this amazing build. To top it all off it even has working lights.
If it hasn’t been clear from past articles I’ve written on here, I am a humongous fan of micro LEGO builds. I probably build within an 8×8 stud area more often than not anymore. And I am absolutely gaga for these connected micro scenes by Louis of Nutwood. Depicting some of the classic tropes from high seas adventures, this quartet of vignettes shows the vessel, the fortress, the kraken, and the remote island. Each of the scenes lives in its own black box, reminiscent of those from the succulents LEGO set. But those boxes are then linked via waterfalls, connecting the disparate parts into a whole story. While there is some excellent parts usage throughout, some of my favorites are the cannons on the fortress and the texture-filled tree design.
As the summer weather begins to truly set in, opportunity opens up for expeditions in calming seas. Builder BetaNotus was inspired by nature to create this deep submersible vehicle (DSV) using a wealth of Technic panels and detailed arm sections. The shaping of the large panel pieces have a wonderful flow that reads perfectly as the solid exterior of most DSV since battling the high pressure of the ocean depths requires a thick hull. The grill section on top is a great element for this style of craft and the yellow panels are nice additions to break up the monotonous white. Of course, once you’re down there, you’ll want to be able to see. Large lamps above and below the bulbous clear pilot section illuminate the surroundings, startling any creatures that might be floating in the dark.
With those claw arms, its super easy for the craft to interact with its environment. Sure, it might be a little jarring for the clam, but at least we get to discover the secrets of the deep. Come to think of it, this would be a great partner build with the Titanic set. Then you could fully recreate James Cameron’s classic. Maybe BetaNotus was thinking about this on some level.
When first laying eyes on this gorgeous LEGO build by Sylon_tw, I couldn’t help but let out a Charlie Brown catchphrase. I mean, good g-reef! The variation in styles, heights, and colors amongst the coral break up the bed and keep the landscape dynamic. There’s some terrific part usage here, whether it’s brushes and technic pins for tubular sponge, or force lightning pieces for jellyfish tentacles. The submarine itself has some excellent shaping, providing a less-angular take on the Aquanauts sets of old. And I especially like the motion given to the build by the twirling bubbles coming off the sub’s dual propellers.
Time to explore the watery depths! Paolo Loro takes us for a swim with this superb microscale build. Fitting in nicely with the aquatic theme is a minifigure air tank which forms part of the yellow submarine. The clear angled handles not only do a great job at holding the submarine in place but they also portray a stream of bubbles, trailing behind the vehicle as it descends. However, the submarine needs to be wary of deep sea mines represented by chain flail pieces. These explosives are nestled in with a thick abundance of sea vegetation featuring an assortment of spiked vine pieces and 1×1 flower pieces.
Beware any ship what flies the crimson flag! This LEGO ship by Ralf Langer sails on the crest of two seas, ever searching for more riches. The ship is beautifully crafted, but make no mistake–this is a pirate ship! Besides, who says pirates can’t have nice things? The ship is loosely inspired by the Golden Hind, the galleon captained by Sir Francis Drake during his circumnavigation of the globe in the late 16th century. The sails are brick built, allowing for greater detail to capture the way they catch the wind. The ship itself sits atop two curved LEGO seas, elements reused from some of Ralf’s past builds. One has a town under threat of cannon fire, while the other has water stained with blood and a town burning from a pirate attack. The captain’s quarters bear remarkable stained glass windows, and that intricate detailing in the ship’s woodwork is exquisite!
With all the LEGO turkey legs and croissants adorning his denizen of the deep, Ryan Van Duzor makes a good case for eating more lionfish, an invasive species in the Western Atlantic Ocean. I love the use of Ninjago Dragon Master wings to replicate the fish’s delicate fins. And the minifigure weapons adding their points to the many spines is some inspired part usage! I can only imagine what the interior of the model looks like to support the arching pieces making up the face of this beautiful Pterois. This model is a real catch!
LEGO Masters winners, Steven Erickson and Mark Erickson, have created this fascinating aquatic display. We have had a look at the golden speeders before, which fit in perfectly with this diorama. Bursting with colour, the build features a variety of characters and sea life, surrounding a grand-looking throne room. The use of flexible green tubes as seagrass is one clever technique and makes a great addition to the collection of sea vegetation. Minifigure legs represent the curl at the end of the seahorse’s tail and one of the jellyfish even uses hero blast pieces as its tentacles.
With thirty-eight cannons at the ready, this LEGO HMS Argonaut built by Fehron Argonaut looks like it can handle just about anything. This builder clearly knows their way around tall ships. I’m loving the sails, the flags, even the complex rigging is a sight to behold. I sort of wish the builder had more to say about this amazing creation other than “38 gun frigate”. It really deserves a backstory. There was apparently an HMS Argonaut in real history, a few of them in fact, but none quite like this. We’ll just have to imagine for ourselves the adventures that await this handsome vessel. My limited research states that this may also be the first time we have featured this builder but with LEGO skills this good, we’ll surely be on the lookout for more. In the meantime, be sure to check out some other tall ships from various builders.
LEGO Builder Mathijs Dubbeldam has constructed this fantastic-looking windmill stationed out on the open sea. Kelp and seaweed cling to the lower part of the structure with a drone hovering nearby, overlooking the ocean. The small platform features a crane with what appears to be an underwater detection device hanging from its hook. In the habitable part of the windmill, a conical glass roof is represented by a windscreen piece from Lando’s Millennium Falcon set. The hints of dark blue against the plain white of the windmill are also a nice touch, and it’s the little details across the model that add a lot of character to the whole build.
Whenever Steven Erickson and Mark Erickson get together you know it is going to be LEGO magic—underwater magic, in this case. But maybe that’s my undying urge to live my life as the mermaid I know that I am—or at least was in a past life. Or maybe it’s the amazing underwater creatures that these builders created.
Using the jellyfish mask for a jellyfish isn’t groundbreaking, but it is nice to see these odd parts pop up in creations. The true brilliance is the use of the trans pink umbrella to create an even bigger jellyfish. The leaf parts work great representing the tentacles. The Bionicle Olmak mask works great as an underwater vehicle. The only thing I am not sure about is the faucet used as a steering wheel.
Everyone knows that an Archelon is a species of marine turtle that went extinct during the Late Cretaceous period. What this LEGO build supposes is, maybe they didn’t and then a hermit community built a castle on one’s back. Archelon Castle by Fraser Ratzlaff is a fanciful, Mindstorms-powered, articulated creature with 4 independently swaying appendages, an anatomically correct mouth masticating a lobster, and oh yes—the entire beast (and affixed castle) slowly rotates 360 degrees. Hitch a ride as we explore the intense environmental storytelling of this build that took almost two years to create.