Tag Archives: Sci Fi

Now that’s what I call sci-fi

Although I didn’t grow up during their heyday, I’m a bit of a sucker for that retro, 70s sci-fi aesthetic. You know, original-series Star Trek, Silent Running, Alien, that sort of thing. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Keith Goldman has perfectly encapsulated that (as he so often does) in his latest creation. The build itself is impressive, but the composition is particularly stellar. Keith says the off-kilter angle was deliberately chosen to evoke the unsettling intrigue of a comic book cover. In fact, all it needs is a title in a dramatic font, some catchy quotes, and a little ’50c’ sticker to make it look exactly like that.

The Other Gods

The sense of scale and position is quite deceptive: initially, I thought we were looking up at some massive space cathedral, but the little white trophy ‘nanofigures’ give us our reference. This means that that skeleton in the glowing green cell, tank, pod, or whatever it’s in must be enormous. That’s what I love about this piece. No backstory, but by poring over the details you start asking questions which quickly set the imagination running. What facility is this, and where do all those tunnels go? What’s in the yellow pods? What (or who) was that skeleton? Who are the figures gathered around it? Most importantly, why is it there? Somehow, I don’t get the impression this is a zoo…

“Incoming message on the viewscreen, Captain”

Builder Paul Hetherington is totally feeling some classic sci-fi vibes with this bridge scene. Given the four spooky spacemen on the viewscreen, the crew of this intrepid starship must be shaking in their space boots! As is typical with his designs, I’m in love with Paul’s use of repeated patterns throughout the ship’s command center. It’s just trapezoids for days along the walls and in the ceiling! And all of them in pearl metallic gray, contrasting well with the blue, light gray, and yellow throughout the rest of the scene. My mind immediately goes to a mash-up of classic Star Trek and LEGO Classic Space, which I’m sure is the intent. And right in the center is a beautiful LEGO-inspired art piece by Robin Thompson, depicting the long forgotten crew returned for revenge!

Dark Side of the Moon

From this angle, you can get a better view of all the switches and dials available to the starship’s crew. I particularly enjoy the use this two-wide windscreen, my favorite LEGO part! And the lighting along the floors and pillars fits right in with the sci-fi aesthetic.

Dark Side of the Moon

Floating up to the city in the sky

Far from Norman Greenbaum’s lyrics but still suiting the rhythm, this futuristic flying city by Builder Umbra-Manis certainly looks like a paradise all its own. A microscale aircraft sits on one side of the city’s extended air-docks, leading into a thick, walled courtyard. Trees exposed to the open air line the exterior of the platforms, using brown claws with green flower studs attached to the versatile, hexagonal NEXO Knights plates which make up the structure’s base. Nice parts usage certainly abounds in this model. Minifigure rollerskates with trans-yellow tombstone plates, as I call them, make great little courier vessels which enter the city and circle its interior. The sculpting and coloration of the buildings make me feel like I’m playing a LEGO version of a Ratchet and Clank level which is nothing to complaing about.

The Floating City

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Beware the rings of Llyria Y9

Few LEGO builders do other-worldly creations quite like Bart de Dobbelear. His latest creation is a super bit of sci-fi workmanship, inspired by a digital piece from another artist. At first glance, I wondered if there had been some photoshop trickery at play to achieve the repetition of the rings, but on closer inspection, they are indeed four distinct rings. (I really should know better than not to expect such attention to detail from Mr de Dobbelaer!) The greebling is superb, but the real skill lies in the restrained use of pieces. In doing so, the build can show off its tremendous physical depth while keeping the look of the rings consistent. Moreover, they look simultaneously ancient and futuristic. Quite what the rings are for is unclear, and Bart says as much in his description. However, he does mention a few “mysterious disappearances”, with caution being warranted at night…

Llyria rings - day

… So you’d better have your wits about you, as he has treated us to a night-time version of the build as well! The blue light wire is something Bart has used to great effect before, and understandably so – it really elevates the build to something truly alien. If we don’t hear from this TBB favourite for a while, it may well be because he got too close to the rings on Llyria Y9…

Llyria rings - night

Explore the cosmos with Captain Future!

Eric Druon lovingly recreates the Cosmo-Liner spacecraft from the 1978 anime Captain Future. The ship is really cool, from both a design and LEGO model perspective, bringing to mind visions of a deep-sea diving vessel. The viewport of the ship is hexagonal as if it’s destined to be made of LEGO! This calls for the use of the transparent blue canopy from the 2000 Artic LEGO toy line. The color palette of the ship is simple and quite clean, letting the canopy shine as the focal point. Looking at the design, I can’t help but think the original designers were inspired by TIE fighters. Star Wars premiered a year before the anime aired, leaving room enough for the artists to be inspired by that hit movie. Regardless of the ship’s origin, this build is inspiring in its own right!

Capitaine Flam Cosmolem

Fun fact, the anime was based on the pulp sci-fi character Captain Future. The character’s original adventures were published in the eponymous pulp magazine from 1940 to 1944. The anime was imported into many countries and was particularly successful in France. It was in France that the character’s name changed to Capitaine Flam.

A sci-fi build that tickles us pink

With a cheap string of LED lights placed inside a tube of transparent bricks, Andreas Lenander has added some big budget atmosphere to his latest build. The resulting rosy glow perfectly illuminates the power core chamber, creating a sci-fi scene that you can almost hear humming with life. The roller coaster track used as scaffolding adds an industrial flair that makes this power source feel functional, while also casting some subtle zigzag shadows onto the surrounding walls.

Power generator on Epsilon IV

A dragon that’s both sci-fi and fantasy

This blaster-wielding LEGO dragon by builder Sandro Quattrini is a glorious mix of D&D and cyberpunk. The sculpting on the figure is exquisite, as we’ve come to expect from Sandro. The visor design feels both like it belongs to Geordi La Forge and the Mouth of Sauron. I love the use of these 12-tooth gears for the dragon’s teeth. And the feather pieces making up his goatee are wonderful. Combine that grin with the attitude conveyed in the figure’s pose, and the message is clear: no one in sci-fi or fantasy tells this guy what to do!

Dragon Hunter

And before I go, we’re just going to have to talk about that blaster! Much like the figure, the gun incorporates the mechanical and biological into a single design. The use of the red Dragon Masters horse helmet is particularly nice. Of particular note is how Sandro has used minifig hands here. While on the top of the weapon, they provide a natural flow indicating a dragon’s spine. However, on the underside of the barrel, they’re used in a rigid line, in keeping with the artificial aspects of the blaster. Two sides of the same part.

Dragon Hunter's Blaster

Call of Duty zombie mode ray gun perfectly recreated in LEGO

If there’s a quartermaster of the LEGO building community, then it’s got to be TBB alum Nick Jensen. Time after time, Nick’s incredible LEGO models turn out more like carbon copies of the weapons he’s imitating. And this ray gun from the Call of Duty franchise is no exception! All of the details are spot-on.

Ray Gun — Call of Duty Zombies

See all the accurate details Nick has built into this Call of Duty ray gun

I’d love to see this robot lift a crate of forks…it’d be so dang literal.

Sci-fi builder extraordinaire Tim Goddard never fails to impress. Part of what makes his creations work so well is how much thought Tim seems to put into the fictional functionality of his builds. This forklift bot is a perfect example. By eschewing a typical humanoid form and anchoring the droid’s shoulders on an a-frame above its face, the droid looks more than ready to handle weight loads several times its own mass. And the slight angle in the hips gives a sense of life and character to the build. Tim goes the extra parsec by placing the robot on a base that makes perfect use of angled tiles and ingots to suggest a massive sci-fi locale in a very small space.

Forklift bot

Behold where the fate of the galaxy is decided

In the far future, the Galactic Council prepares for another lengthy debate. Bart De Dobbelaer has constructed this fascinating creation, which shows alien council members seated around a strange centrepiece. The spiked orb is encircled by train tracks in medium azure and, according to Bart’s lore about the build, the orb might be an artificial intelligence unit used to assist in the governing of the galaxy. The layout of the model almost looks like a city due to the variety of protruding structures and piping details. Medium azure features again, creating a colourful outline around the build while contrasting against the grey. With an intriguing orange glow emitting from below the orb, it leaves the observer to wonder what mysteries lie in the depths of this structure.

Galactic Artificial Intelligence Council

This bad, blue Bionicle is boss!

This outstanding LEGO Bionicle creature by Max Howell feels like it just came out of a sci-fi thriller. The massive claws, tiny probe-like legs, and a serious case of five-head give me the impression that this “Badnicle” is a Toa’s worst nightmare. The part usage is excellent, especially the inspired choice of chest plate. And I love the tires bulking up its arms. My only question is, does anyone else get a Megamind vibe from that color scheme?

BADNICLE

Who says entomology is all about creepy-crawlies?

Here’s a theory: animals and sci-fi make for a perfect mix. Don’t believe me? Check out this trio of LEGO vehicles courtesy of Devid VII! They are all named after animals, all feature relatively limited colour palettes, and all look amazing. First up is the Froggy, whose ball-jointed feet remind of the Tachikoma that have inspired so many brilliant LEGO creations:

Froggy

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