Ever since Star Wars: Return of the Jedi hit theaters, hovering speeder bikes have been a very popular subject with LEGO builders captivated by that high-speed chase through the forest of Endor. There’s something enchanting about slapping a big engine on a spindly, thoroughly greebled contraption and crafting the perfect mini-fig character. You can almost feel the whining vibrations in your spine. The Flickr group LSB Lego Speeder Bikes has been running a contest for the month of February called the Battle for District 18.
During the contest, builders competed in 4 categories:
- Rebels (criminals causing rampant destruction and mayhem)
- Enforcers (law enforcement tasked with bringing these rebels in)
- Abide (citizens just trying to survive the chaos)
- District 18 (a scene that represents the daily struggle in District 18)
We here at TBB have already featured a few of these models over the last month, but now that we have reached the end of this popular competition I wanted to feature a round-up of some of my personal favorites.
Featured entries after the jump
Douglas Adams’ quirky comedy sci-fi series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy arrived on our planet exactly 40 years ago today, introducing our primitive human brains to such concepts as Vogons, Babel fish, infinite improbability drives, towels and the ravenous bugblatter beast of Traal. Broadcast as a radio series in the UK, the story has been adapted and reworked as a TV show, stage show, novels, comic books, a video game and most recently a big budget movie.
To mark the show’s anniversary, the BBC is launching an all-new radio adaption which begins today! Above is my personal LEGO tribute to this frequently-quoted staple of British popular culture. It depicts various Hitchhiker’s Guide characters floating helplessly in space (including a small Easter egg in honor of one particularly famous Adams fan).
Click here for close-up images of each character
Public transportation has never looked as cool as this tram by Vince Toulouse, who has put a ton of design consideration into this multi-story vehicle. There are some very cool details built using a number of distinct LEGO System, DUPLO, and Fabuland components in yellow.
See more details of this sci-fi tram below
Transparent clear is definitely not a rare LEGO colour, but the pieces that come in clear tend to be ones appropriate for windows and similar constructions. Apparently disagreeing with that, Grantmasters has built a stealth Predator figure using as many translucent parts as possible, and even the odd gray elements do not stand out somehow. While we wait for LEGO to release more diverse parts in translucent colours, this figure transpires to be one of the more impressive in its scale.
Photographing LEGO in a non-LEGO environment may be viewed as cheating by some, but I believe it adds a lot to the character in this specific example.
When LEGO builders tackle the future, they’re often tempted to make everything smooth and sleek. No danger of that here, with Joshua Brooks‘ Manticore Truck offering a serious sense of heft and gritty purpose. This comes in no small part from the impressive levels of texture and detailing evident despite the relatively restrained colour scheme. I particularly like the winch on the front fender, and the tools clipped on the sides — details which evoke classic Jeeps and Hummers, helping make this military vehicle feel realistic as well as futuristic.
Not all great LEGO spaceships need to be colored variations of “realistic” gray, nor must they be actual ships in space. Master of motorized LEGO builds mahjqa has built a jarringly beautiful planetary exploitation crawler or “landship” named Khagaan, which has two smaller, fully motorized rovers to gather resources and space junk. The main vehicle is 43 inches long (109 cm), weighs 20 pounds (9 kg), and the builder says he used 25,000 LEGO pieces to create it.
It’s not often that we’re fooled into thinking that a LEGO video is a render rather than the real thing — it’s more frequently the other way around — but watch through to the end of mahjqa’s video to see behind-the-scenes footage proving that all but the background and dust are practical effects (the real-live feline interloper proves it).
See more photos of this amazing trio of LEGO vehicles
We’re probably gonna see more Trek builds than usual this year, it being the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Such as this minifig scale Type 6 shuttle designed by Jerry builds LEGO, which captures the lines of this iconic vessel perfectly, thanks to deft use of some canopies probably from a Star Wars set (I’m not even gonna check, I assume it’s a Star Wars set, since there’s not exactly a shortage of those to choose from).
As an added treat, Mr Builds With LEGO has even put together this neat instructional video, showing you how to build one of these for yourself. I like the format of this video, in which each step is shown being built so you can easily follow along. The video doesn’t show which sets you’ll have to rip apart to get those lovely canopies, or how far you’ll have to search to find matching STNG minifigs — that’s an exercise left for the viewer.
Of course in the Star Trek universe, transporters are method of choice for getting from point A to point B. But if you think really hard about it they’re actually just giant death machines and the entire franchise is just the story of hoards of people (and their subsequent clones) willingly stepping into oblivion. So it’s no wonder there a few characters in the show actually opt to travel exclusively by shuttle craft. Slower, and more tedious, but at least it gets to you your destination without being bloody vaporized.
In the 1970s a British television sci-fi show about an alien invasion of Earth called UFO was shown in the UK and Canada. It was created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson, who had previously made several successful children’s science fiction programmes, the most famous of which was Thunderbirds. Andrea Lattanzio‘s latest build is the show’s S.H.A.D.O. Moonbase Interceptor, the primary defence spacecraft of a highly secretive agency called Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation or SHADO for short. Andrea has really captured the hull shaping and red stripe details of the Interceptors with their comical nose-mounted nuclear missiles. The Interceptor is instantly recognisable to those of a certain age ;-)
Not content with just having the outward shaping, the cockpit and roof can be removed to show some interior details including control sticks, a comfy red pilot seat, and some powerful-looking engine areas.
My only slight concern is the fit of the cockpit wind-shield, as the gaps might be a little “problematic” in the vacuum of space.
Mecha legend Mladen Pejic has built an interesting pair of quad-legged rovers in Blactron I & II livery, using an ingenious technique to create spherical rollers as opposed to wheels. The resulting ‘legs’ give the rovers a wonderful sense of character and allow all manners of dynamic posing.
Of the two, my favourite has to be the Trespasser shown above…mainly because of the surprising cockpit.
See more LEGO mecha from this legendary builder
I can’t think of anything that would be much cooler than having a loyal robo-dog. Now Botdog by Gamabomb is most definitley high on the cool index. This thing borders more on high-quality concept art than a custom LEGO creation. The mixing of both old and new dark greys, coupled with some very nice colour blocking and believable mechanical detailing create a realistic bot that appears like it could actually move.
When you add a cyborg handler the build just gets better. By putting a KELOID-esque cyborg head on a Scala doll body the resulting character perfectly matches the style of Botdog and really contributes to the uniqueness of the build.
This is Botdog. Loyal as all heck. 13/10 would definitely boop that big red snoot.
Fan conventions are a good gauge for which new movies and shows have wormed their way into the public consciousness. And from what I just witnessed at Emerald City Comic Con, the character Eleven from the hit Netflix series Stranger Things seems to represent the current zeitgeist. Eleven cosplayers were everywhere – both male, female, and even feline! A giant version of the Eleven pop vinyl was stationed outside the Funko booth. And Eleven actress Millie Bobby Brown even showed up to snag a copy for herself. Logic therefore dictated that this should be the subject of my latest pop culture LEGO creation:
To give the model a little more authenticity, I created custom stickers to decorate the waffles and Eggo boxes. I am also working on a presentation of the model for BrickCan that mimics the lightly-Photoshopped scene below in which Eleven demonstrates her paranormal control over toastable breakfast products:
Now dust off your calculator watches, BMX bikes and 1st edition Dungeon Master’s guides, because season two of the nostalgia-ramic sci-fi show drops this Halloween!
Whatever planet this is on, the atmosphere doesn’t appear breathable to all humanoids. The creative choices Kingdomviewbricks has made to inject life into this marvelous display are ingenious. The beautiful lighting creates a Blade Runner-esque quality while giving the city a cleaner, more clinical feeling. Curved LEGO tubing adds a subtle natural, almost organic quality, all combining to create the intriguing futuristic atmosphere. Finally, the speeder’s simple design and elegant shape are excellent and the speeder’s blurred motion effect looks quite natural, blending in perfectly with the rest of the scene.