A few times a year, LEGO dips into the vast sea of fan-designed content on the Ideas platform to find a smaller set suitable for a free gift with purchase for customers, such as 40448 Vintage Car. The Summer 2021 example is 40487 Sailboat Adventure, designed by fan Yan Chevalier as part of a LEGO Ideas fan competition. The 330-piece set is available to LEGO VIPs starting today with minimum US $200 | CAN $200 | UK £200 purchases from LEGO stores and the LEGO website— check out all the new LEGO sets for August 2021 available today. Starting Aug. 4, it will be available to non-VIP members as well, and the promo is slated to run through Aug. 29. Let’s take this set for a sail and see if it’s seaworthy.
Barthezz Bricks has a repertoire of highly detailed LEGO dioramas combining land and sea. His latest build is no different, focusing on the historical accuracy of the 15th century Mediterranean tartan ship as a part of a larger ongoing project on 1486 Venice. Let’s dive into some of the techniques used in this build.
The composition captures the rhythmic movement of ocean waves with varying shades of blue underneath translucent cheese slopes and 1×1 tiles. A net technique is used to render the waves, a subtle addition that goes a long way. The hull of the ship features a clever use of two-stud 1×4 plates for just the right amount of texture. Other details include a ragged flag made of 1×1 clips, debris caught in the currents and above all, the magnificent sail of the fishing boat. I don’t know what kind of bar-clip magic is happening behind that sail, but it’s certainly holding together for this photo! Using triangle road signs, Barthezz Bricks has pieced together a wonderful tessellated surface for the sail. Overall, there’s splendid dynamism in this diorama– the movement of the ocean, the flag, the fishermen pulling up their crab traps. Now I can’t help but think that some movement in the sail would have been nice to see, but that might be a greater challenge for another day…
This summer, I’ve had watercraft on the brain. Moana’s Starlight Canoe is the latest LEGO build by Letranger Absurde that follows my stream of reality shows I am currently addicted to watching. Below Deck Mediterranean and Below Deck Sailing Yacht are in heavy rotation. This fantastical route inspired by Moana, the 2016 Disney film, is a nice change of pace. Letranger Absurde does another solid job at modeling her figures with realism, adding stylish details of the character’s dress. This is the sixth installment in her Once Upon A Time series that recreates iconic scenes and characters from the annals of Disney (i.e. The Little Mermaid and Snow White). Building a real-life canoe is a feat unto itself. So the recreation of the bamboo deck along with other wooden-like textures gives off the appearance of a watercraft ready to take on the elements. The kicker in the canoe’s rigging is the string of beige battle droid arms supporting the mast. I’m already over my head in nautical terms. Ahoy!