According to the Triassic Era LEGO gods who made this stuff up eons ago, a SHIP (Significantly Huge Investment in Parts) must measure at least 100 studs in any one direction. This craft by Filler Brick, aptly named The Disqualifier, measures in at precisely 99.9 studs. Close! So damned close! It would have been easy to take this creation to within specs but I get the hunch this builder liked being the underdog here. As someone who has often fallen short by a smidgen in so many different ways myself, I can relate. (Shut up, you!) Perhaps we could overlook its shortcomings with excellent presentation and the fact that this took thirty-one grueling days to build and somewhere between 3000-5000 pieces. It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight but rather the size of the fight in the dog. Or something. I’m feeling the love here, how about you?
Conspiracy theorists claim that the pyramids of various ancient civilizations were all inspired by aliens coming from outer space. Ancient peoples were clearly not smart enough to figure out engineering, they claim, so they must have had help from elsewhere. Plus, there are strange figures engraved on them, and how do you explain the striking resemblance of one pile of cut stones to another? I mean, compare those Egyptian pyramids to the Babylonian ziggurats and the Mayan temples. Exactly the same. And don’t forget the most conclusive evidence of all, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Well, builder Ivan Martynov provides us with some insight to solving the mystery. He has made an entry into SHIPtember that is both a space ship and an ancient temple.
There are the stairs to reach the summit, a shrine at the top, and what appears to be a six-legged beetle (or is that an alien form, carved crudely?). Then there are thrusters, power cores and other bits of advanced technology. It all makes perfect sense. This ship touched down in several places on Earth, inspired worship and emulation, and then left to visit other worlds. Do you believe the conspiracy theorists yet? Maybe you should.
There are a lot of variation to the giant spaceships created for SHIPtember (SHIP = Significantly Huge Investment in Parts). Many of them draw inspiration from classic LEGO themes, video games, or movies. Sometimes, however, you see something new from this month long building challenge. For instance, Sheo‘s Hitchhikers has some fascinating shapes, unusual colors, and great part usage. One standout detail is the Death Star piece at the core of the Technic construction at the aft of the ship. I also really like how the main body isn’t built with a standard “studs to the ceiling” approach. The angled bricks give the Kirby-esque detailing a very energetic feel.
In a nice recursive touch, the Hitchhiker has some smaller hitchhikers of its own. These four micro ships also have some unique color choices and part usage. I particuarly like the use of a minifigure hat and flower petals on the blue and red model. The roller skates on the red cargo hauler are pretty sweet, too.
The challenges of building LEGO spaceships is getting the different parts to work together to create something aesthetically pleasing, quasi-functional, and just plain cool. This difficulty is magnified with larger ships, especially when you enter the realm of a SHIP (Significantly Huge Investment in Parts, a LEGO spaceship 100+ studs in length). Sometimes one spaceship isn’t enough; you need to build a whole fleet, and that is what Ryan Olsen did. Ryan shared with TBB that his fleet has been slowly growing for eight years, with the mid-size one with the prominent white stripe (roughly in the middle of the formation) being his first. He also drew inspiration from Pierre E. Fieschi for the color scheme and the video game Homeworld.
The studs-not-on-top (SNOT) approach to the spaceship in the foreground makes for a sleek design, and the white stripes, including diagonals, are expertly integrated into the hull. The asymmetrical design works wonderfully, too, with the long appendages coming off the side from near the large reactor core. Hinge bricks do a great job of making a smoothly angled bridge. Everything fits so well, and nothing seems out of place. This fleet is cruising the stars in style!
When I think of spaceships, I think mostly drab grey things. This is probably because my imagination has been so strongly formed by Star Wars and the dingy industrial feeling of that universe, evident in almost every Imperial vessel (like the Star Destroyers) and the Millennium Falcon. ZCerberus bucks that trend with a glorious orange SHIP (Significantly Huge Investment in Parts) called Dominion. I know I would submit to its dominion if such a craft appeared on my scopes, because it has enormous cannons of some sort bristling off of every surface, plus a full squadron or twenty of smaller fighter ships docked inside its hull. The greebles on this thing are worth admiring, as they all look perfectly positioned to do something technical, like vent things or convey things or connect things. The whole surface is highly detailed without looking cluttered, which, in my numerous, and all failed, attempts at building a SHIP myself, I have learned to be a sophisticated skill.
I love the angled hull plates with the dark orange striping, with the white striping and brick-built lettering (does this belong in classic – or neo-classic, more specifically – space, with the “LL” designation?). 2×2 modified bricks with side grooves make for some great cannons on the side, and some 1×2 log bricks are just as good on the top in a similar role. The side cannons are mounted on round turrets made from 6×6 radar dishes, which fit neatly into the undersides of some 1x8x2 arches. All in all, this is one of the sturdiest looking SHIPs I have seen, as well as one of the coolest. Check out Z’s Flickr to see more space ships (not SHIPs) in the same color scheme, all part of an epic fleet. I hope it keeps growing!
For it is written, twas the Triassic Era LEGO Gods of Legend who sayeth unto he “go forth and buildeth a SHIP, a Significantly Huge Investment in Parts. It shall be no less than one hundred studs on one side. Thou shalt hence forth do it every September and thou shalt call it SHIPtember for that will be totally bitchin’.”
Like Noah, so many faithful disciples and space nerds had heeded the words of the legendary LEGO gods every September and has been building SHIPs for as long as we can remember. One such faithful disciple and space nerd is Shannon Sproule and this uncanny “Shipbreaker CALYPSO”.
We’ve featured a few large LEGO spaceships for SHIPtember already this month, and with September over, there is sure to be more to come. But I think my favorite entry so far would have to be this lunar transport ship by Finn Roberts which — thanks to a beautifully staged photo — looks like a clear glimpse into our not-so-distant future, where cargo payloads and crew make regular round-trip journeys between the earth and the moon. The model makes great use of structural support like this scaffold part to ground it in current aerospace manufacturing. The heat-shielded crew capsules and the large solar arrays provide the perfect additions.
Ah, the end of September. It’s the start of autumn, when fall breezes start to blow, leaves are falling, pumpkin-flavored everything is available for consumption, biting insects start to die, and the nights are finally cool enough to be enjoyable. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. It’s not just for the aforementioned reasons, though. It is also because the end of SHIPtember is drawing near, which means that my LEGO feeds will soon be inundated with endless giant spaceships, all over 100 studs long and all comprised of a significant number of parts. Builder Oscar Cederwall got his entry posted a bit earlier than most, and it is a unique shape and configuration for a SHIP (a “Significantly Huge Investment in Parts”), with its 100-stud measurement being vertical rather than the typical horizontal.
The key piece in inspiring the design of Jinx is the catamaran boat hull top, which Oscar has used four times to create the four pointy ends of the craft. Since each of those pieces is 48 studs long, putting two end-to-end almost gives the full minimum SHIP measurement right there! Of course, Oscar did not stop there, but instead added some excellent rear thrusters, some tricked-out weapons arrays, and a cockpit that makes clever use of the train window. I love the way the different angles all come together so smoothly, with no noticeable gaps or awkward areas. Consistent color blocking also makes this SHIP a great start to the season. I can’t wait for more!
Even though the month-long LEGO ship-building challenge known as SHIPtember may be months behind us, epic models started in or inspired by this ultimate challenge are still showing up, and this late entry by Spencer Hubert really captured our attention. The name suggests that the primary weapon involves heavy gravity, and the ship’s many details combine to make this vessel both elegant and capable. One of my favorite details is the subtle angle built into the sides of the forward fuselage.
The color choices for the top and bottom cones at the front really pop, and the extensive dark gray greebly details throughout are well integrated into the body of the ship. Another great part use is the airplane landing gear used in the recesses on the side mounted engine housings.
The annual LEGO build challenge SHIPtember is over, but we’d be failing our obligations to you our readers if we didn’t highlight Simon Liu‘s Frontline Artificial Intelligence Logistics Supervisor. This brutalist, monolithic behemoth has a great contrasting colour scheme of primarily dark grey, with subtle hints of vibrant yellow and brilliant orange. I love the juxtaposed angles that Simon has created with a variety of interesting techniques. The FAILS serves as the logistic hive centre of the SL Drone Fleet. Heavily armoured but completely unarmed, the SL FAILS depends on its fleet to be its defence.
Neo Classic Space has existed for some time as a modern interpretation of the nostalgic grey and blue theme from the early official LEGO space sets of the late 70s into the 80s. But builder AFOL anon is stepping up the game with the sleek space cruiser. The SHIP (easily clocking in the 100-stud length for a SHIPtember entry) retains the styling of its smaller cousins, with an arrowhead shape, side-mounted blasters, and spoiler, while simultaneously smoothing out the hard edges.
I particularly love the shaping from the rear, where it gives off faint vibes of a Super Star Destroyer in classic space livery.
Throwing traditional building caution to the solar wind, Alex “Orion Pax” Jones’s insanely colourful ship is certainly one of the more unusual models to come out of this year’s SHIPtember challenge. Alex notes that he tried to use all of the colours in the LEGO palette, making his build not only a SHIP (a seriously huge investment in parts), but also a SHIC (a seriously huge investment in colours).
After its namesake, the side of the vessel operates as an interstellar PAX or peace sign. Borrowing heavily from the graphic flourishes of graffiti aesthetic, the spacecraft shrugs off the utilitarian norms of spacecraft design in favour of a brash, exuberant look. Alex explains his ethos best when he says: “If you ride, ride in style!”