It can be surprising how far a little camera angle and a good idea can go. Sometimes creations that are amazing from a technical standpoint can turn out overwhelming or chaotic, when simplicity is all you need. This creation by Martin Harris is one of the examples where less is more.
The build is indeed simple, but it has everything it needs. The water is essentially just thoughtfully placed curved slopes, and the ship looks like a ship with a nicely sculpted dragonhead and a viking-style sail. All this is photographed cleanly and at an immersive angle. The selling point is the ridiculous idea though. The fierce warriors on the ship are different LEGO baby minifigs, including sewer babies from the LEGO Movie 2, all wearing LEGO Heroica helmets.
While Greek galleys have been an occasional subject for LEGO builders, it’s not often we feature the Roman navy, despite its historical importance in carrying the Roman army to victory across the Mediterranean in places like Carthage, as well as to Britain from Gaul. Iyan Ha has corrected this oversight with his wonderful little Roman warship, with full rigging and even pavilions on the deck for the elite passengers. As wonderful as the ship is, don’t miss the filigreed stand, complete with a custom plaque and a pair of tigers.
The trading of cannon broadsides was surely the bluntest form of projectile warfare. Huge ships, passing within yards, blasted cannons into each other’s sides as quickly as the sailors could reload. Simon Pickard brings the fury of battle under sail to vivid life in this LEGO creation — a frigate and a galleon all set to pound one another into matchwood. The tightly-cropped image creates a real sense of action and drama — you’re just waiting for the splinters and blood to start flying. The brick-built ship hulls are impressively shaped, and the sails are beautifully done. This is a close-up view from a large-scale pirate-themed LEGO layout we featured previously, put together by British building collaborators Brick To The Past.
When I reviewed the newest official Destiny’s Bounty set, I was surprised at just how big the set was, coming in at a massive 21 inches long. Now, W. Navarre is seeing just how far to the other end of the spectrum Ninjago can go with this absolutely adorable tiny Destiny’s Bounty. As with any micro model, every piece counts and must be made good use of, but the curved roof of the Bounty’s quarterdeck is what I like most, since getting that rounded top is no small feat, though it’s helped tremendously by the new 1×1 quarter circle tiles.
The Wheel of Time is a classic series of Fantasy novels by Robert Jordan, first published in 1990. One of the empires in the Wheel of Time universe is known as Seanchan, and it inspired Douglas Hughes to build a LEGO version of a Seanchan Greatship. According to the builder, the Seanchan style is a fusion of medieval European and Asian influences. For example, the figurehead is European while the trio of ribbed sails are reminiscent of Chinese junks. I love the sculpting of the bow and the ornate detailing running the entire length of the ship. The golden hawk figurehead looks stunning and doubles as a reference to Artur Hawkwing, one of the Seanchan empire’s earlier leaders.
Sometimes, the leviathan is small. In this magnificent tiny vignette by Grantmasters, a lone ship rides a ferocious ocean. It’s a safe bet that it’s the Pequod, since it’s hunting a white whale. As usual, Grant’s build is rife with excellent parts usages, from the little known Belville figure feet making most of the whale’s body, to the beard for a tail, or the axe blades for water.
After six years in the making, master shipbuilder Sebeus I has completed his sensational LEGO version of the Flying Dutchman. The 3-foot-long ship has been fittingly constructed from a muted palette of grey, dark tan, and sand green bricks, giving it the perfect spectral hue. It also allows for an amazing amount of detail to be packed into the vessel’s decaying hull.
The tattered sails and rigging are particularly well realised, looking most effective as she glides out of the gloom. Sebeus’s photoshop skills enhancing the atmosphere to good effect.
Click to see more of the amazing Flying Dutchman
It really shows when a builder knows their subject, and that is absolutely the case here! According to Luis Peña his 1:200 scale LEGO model of a Type 23 frigate in Chilean Navy service was built with the aim of reproducing as many of its details and equipment as possible. Every aspect of the build, form the various surveillance and control radar to the ship’s 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun is a miniature replica of its real world counterpart.
My personal favourite features, though, have to be the microscale Cougar SH32 helicopter perched on its landing pad, and the Sea Wolf anti-air missiles’ vertical launching system, which Luis has built in epic mid-launch.
This microscale city-port built by Markus Rollbühler packs detail into every stud of its tiny 12×12 base. Everywhere you look something grabs your attention: ships built from epaulettes, with sails formed from the new triangle tiles found in the Speed Champion sets; printed Minecraft plates make excellent wharf buildings; and, my personal favourite, party hat spires adorn the town’s numerous towers. Of course Markus doesn’t stop there — keep searching and you’ll find treasure hidden in the dock’s cellars.
The latest in Kai NRG’s vignette series starring the LEGO baby minifigure puts its infant captain out to sea, skipper of his very own miniature galleon. Kai notes that despite its size, his cute ship was researched to match the accurate proportions of a real galleon; and it shows in not only its smart part choices, like the row of open stud plate cannons, but also in the consistently scaled relationship between elements. Retaining his quirky approach, Kai leaves Captain Kidd the only off-scale component of the creation, happily sailing his stylish ship across the seven seas.
A striking turn-of-the-century style dreadnought, the CWS Bannanaville is outfitted with more armaments than you could hope to face if she decides to give you a broadside. Designed by Thomas of Tortuga, this fictional fleet-leader is one of the best examples of microscale warship building I’ve seen, with lots of perfect little details. Because of how perfectly it fits, the one I like best is the use of the “cheese grater” 1×2 slopes for ladders between the decks. It’s a remarkably good render, to boot.
With the new release of the LEGO Creator Expert 10261 Roller Coaster, we now have an all-out amusement park! It’s the piece of the puzzle we’ve long been waiting to add to the collection. On top of that, awesome builders are creating all kinds of fantastic rides to pair up with the Coaster, alongside the Fairground Mixer, Ferris Wheel, and Carousel. Lee Yung Chiu is one of those wonderful builders. His Pirate Ship Ride is a classic that just about anyone can identify with, and he did an excellent job.
Check out the video of it in action. There’s just something about that hypnotic swinging…
Chui’s ride is filled with carnival spirit and joy, as the patrons swing back and forth. The cleverly geared system is run off of a Power Functions XL Motor and Battery Pack. The whole creation is lighted, and also includes a concessions window that can be easily removed and customized.