The classic space theme is always near and dear to my heart, as my very first LEGO set with a minifig was 487 Space Cruiser. There have been many LEGO creations paying tribute to this theme, from scaled up versions of classic sets to microscale. This long-range scout ship by Alec Hole represents a significant reboot.
The classic division of light gray wing/underside and blue fuselage pays homage to the theme while prolific greebling and other details throughout the model give it a very modern feel. There are a number of elements from the classic sets used here to connect this modern vessel to its historic roots, from the overall blue and gray color scheme to the little “bumblebee” stripes.
Details are one thing, but Jeremy Williams takes it to astronomical levels with the Krait Single-Seat Escort. There are so many intense details all around that it’s hard for me to even recognize the pieces or techniques used. It is not just about the intensity, colours help too. We’re so used to seeing gray textures on mecha and spaceships that even black, let alone blue versions of it come out as a total surprise.
I shouldn’t just emphasize the textures and details though, even if they are the build’s highlight. The colour blocking is excellent and the shape of the spacecraft is believably blocky with no redundancy. A genius addition is the microscale space station in the background, which is a solid build in its own right. The post-production on the picture is very attractive too, making it look almost like box art for an official LEGO set.
Sometimes the simple details on a LEGO model are the most interesting. Take this spiffy spaceship by Jme Wheeler, for example. Those smoothly curving fins are the centerpiece of this stylish creation. In addition to all the curvy bits in all directions, the gold details on the engine, and that macaroni pipe around the cockpit are great details.
There is a certain Swedish style to these instructions for your own Fåctötum, a robot from IMEA (Intergalactic Manufactory of Electronics and Automata). Luigi Priori has definitely found inspiration by eating a few Swedish meatballs and assembling some flat-pack home furniture. While the instructions are for a cute little robot, half the fun of this build is enjoying the time and energy Luigi has put into designing the instructions themselves.
You will require a few minifigure tools and a friend to help you to carry the box of parts — this is a two-minifigure lift.
Build your own little LEGO robot with step-by-step instructions
This bulky spaceship by Nick Trotta, called Ataraxis has caught me completely off guard. I am used to seeing unique LEGO spaceships with a handful of unique ideas and shapes associated with them, but this one is in a completely different class. Of course Nick is one of the best space builders out there, but even so his latest work is incredible. No wonder, as the builder has spent the past four months worth of weekends on it.
There are countless angles and lines all around the spaceship that just a list of them would be too long to be read in a reasonable time. Nick seems to be able to capture any shape and detail that would cross his mind, to a degree that it looks as if he was designing LEGO bricks specifically for this creation. This effect might also originate from the disproportionate amount of newer elements, of which most builders only have a handful and can not use in ways Nick did. My all-around favourite part is the most subtle detail in the build though; on a few spots, you can see jagged edges of grill 1×2 bricks showing, which just seems to make sense.
For an even greater appreciation of the build, you can see the pictures that inspired it.
Of all the two-dimensional fixed shooter games out there, Space Invaders is probably the most well known and well loved. Considering Space Invaders came out in 1978 and classic LEGO space sets like 487-1 Space Cruiser started coming out that year, it only makes sense to fuse two, and dario minisini has done just that.
Featuring some rather deft usage of various minifig parts, this build is incredibly tiny but it packs a punch and does its job of transporting us back to a time when the sideburns were longer and the internet less… in existence. Be sure to spot the usage of syringes and flippers on the spaceship and minifig hands as the “aliens”.
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
With the recently concluded LEGO speeder bike contest, there have been hundreds of speeder bikes submitted, and I too have decided to join in at the last minute with a police chase diorama. The build started with the police speeder and its huge windscreen, which gave me the idea of a wall-smashing speeder in a future where buildings are so cheap to rebuild, a police officer may consider just breaking through a few walls to catch a criminal.
I have put a large majority of the effort on the speeder bikes themselves, with the somewhat simple diorama acting as a catalyst to join them together in a cohesive scene. The walls are literally broken up by the hole that the police speeder has punched in them, as well as a hole being repaired by a 3D-printing robot.
Since this diorama was built for a contest and it was limited by a deadline, I put emphasis on the speeder bikes themselves, but the concept of a crushed wall and a wall being printed are something I really want to revisit. While I do have a technique for both in mind, there are a lot of other things I want to build before I return to Distrikt 18.
LEGO dropships are a favorite subject for many sci-fi fans of both movies and video games. While this particular model by Oscar Cederwall is original, it does seem to take some inspiration from the dropship featured in Aliens, which also includes a deployable vehicle.
The craft features some heavy-duty thrusters, along with great color accents like the orange stripes. A mini-drone, cargo, and a vehicle with some nice details like steering, round out the scene. Some Modulex pieces make great stand-ins for cargo pods.
LEGO’s infamous monorail system has been the source of many questions about it’s potential return over the years. In fact, when I spoke with ex-CEO Bali Padda last year he said one of the most common questions he faced from fans was “when will LEGO bring back the monorail?“. While the monorail system is increasingly expensive to buy on the secondary market, Julius von Brunk has created a microscale version that is both easier on the wallet and adorable. The introduction of curved tiles has made this type of build cleaner and perhaps a little easier, but there’s a lot to admire in this instantly recognisable mini version.
Everyone loves a good LEGO fire truck, there’s just something about them; classic, timeless and a throwback to our childhood days. Builder Frost puts a new spin on the traditional rendition with his futuristic space fire truck fully staffed by robotic firefighters. I could easily see it serving a futuristic city right here on earth too, since it may not see much use in a low oxygen environment. Then again, it is the future we’re talking about here…
The build is packed with play features, including a detachable fire drone on the back, forward water blasters hidden under the grille, and of course an elevating water cannon. My favorite feature has to be the compartments on the sides of the truck where the robots sit, ready for action.
I think Halfbeak has misread the contest rules for the annual LEGO Speeder Bike contest and built a spider instead of a speeder! In all seriousness, this is a very original design. The competition is looking tough though, but luckily this police speeder has more than just originality going for it.
A conservative colour scheme that is unmistakably police-like combined with some stickers and a compact, complex design are all great, but Halfbeak did not stop there; the little accompanying drone really adds a lot to the general idea of police control while the colourful base helps the build stand out more. A touch of digital editing at the engines rounds off the picture as quite a treat to look at.