Large spaceships get the geeky type quite excited, and we LEGO builders are some of the geekiest. Over the decades, this has lead to a standardized criteria of what qualifies as a large space ship – 100 studs in length. While I do love every large spaceship out there (as the especially geeky type of person I am), I wonder if this criteria has started to impede creativity. With an annual celebration of large LEGO spaceships (also known as SHIPs) every September, the bricks of the world have been concentrated to bring us many elongated spacecraft that quite often measure exactly or just over 100 LEGO studs long. What about bulkier 90 or 80-stud spaceships that so rarely get made? On the other side of the coin, this cultural phenomenon has been a great source of inspiration to builders who may not have otherwise built a big hunk of space metal, not even a medium sized one! Another point is that this common perception of what qualifies as “large” is a uniting factor in the community.
The third side of this (apparently three-sided) coin are builds that are basically the definition of an elongated spaceship, but still manage to impress immensely! Anthony Wilson brings us a creation that has some amazing textures, negative space and colour blocking. What I love most about Anthony’s Pelicon-3 is the bridge area, with windows on either side, revealing a busy interior filled with trophy minifigures.
Frequent The Brothers Brick readers will be familiar with Dave Kaleta’s ongoing Alphabet Squadron of letter-based starship designs. The saga continues, as it is wont to do, and another ship is zipping through the stars this week!
Comet, cosmic, …coral? These words all have something in common and this latest starfighter is shaped just like it.
This is one of my favorite of Dave’s series because I love the new coral color (that splat gear!) and that he managed to make a ship durable enough for his young son to play with while still maintaining that challenging hinged crescent shape.
A generation ago some of us marveled at and hopelessly tried to emulate the great Jon Palmer Alphabet fighter project. Dave gets to be that torch-bearer for today’s generation of LEGO fans.
My favorite letter of the alphabet is B, followed closely by S; not because I like to call people on their BS, but because those are my initials. In fact, my love for the letter B was one major reason why Blacktron II (or Future Generation) was my favorite space theme, with the green B emblazoned on their chests. It was like a whole crew of Benjamins. Dave Kaleta, fresh off a series of alphabet space ships, brings us the best letter of all. And, like the ships of Blacktron II, it comes apart (or combines, depending on your point of view).
See how these two smaller ships combine into a single larger ship
Bringing a bit of far-future tech to the exploration of Mars, this Red Morn One drop shuttle by Rat Dude is a gorgeous take on a LEGO microscale spaceship. Alternating with smooth curves and intricate details, the carrier hauls a huge habitat to the Martian surface.
The ship is loaded with great textures, but one of my favorites is the old-school Bionicle feet, which actually made their first appearances on the first generation of Bionicle characters back in 2001. Appearing here in tan, they frame the engine thrusters and make a great repeating pattern with the landspeeder engines on top.
Ok, so not quite, but it is approximately eight feet in diameter, and I am only a little over six feet tall, so it is bigger than I am. And if I curled up around the central core between the docking pylons, I could probably fit. Thus, the title is not entirely hyperbolic. But I could wax hyperbolic about the eponymous space station from the Star Trek series Deep Space Nine, built by Adrian Drake from over 75,000 pieces, including an absurd amount of dark bluish grey. It took over two years to build, and I can see why.
Read more about this massive Star Trek build.
Most of us can probably think of iconic LEGO advertisements from when we were kids, whether it was the little red-haired girl proudly holding her creation, or the Brick Maniac’s zany exploits from the 90s. But it’s not very often that you get to see a LEGO campaign pitch that didn’t come to fruition. In 2016, Brian Ellis pitched a new branding concept to LEGO that unfortunately wasn’t chosen. However, Brian has shared not only the video pitch, but also a full 20 minute documentary of a behind-the-scenes on how it was created. With 5 years of effort put into this bringing friends and like-minded individuals together, it also offers an insight into just how much work needs to be put in for a 60-second production.
If you’re thinking, what so special about it all? There are several. For one, it’s always admirable and insightful to see how fans of LEGO go the extra mile — putting more blood sweat and tears into a production for the toy company whose products we love so much. It also features no computer-generated graphics (CGI), something rare in this age of digital. The stage and models were built by hand, including the costumes, and put together in post-production with traditional non-linear editing software. The LEGO builds were made by LEGO Designer Mark John Stafford, who we recently interviewed for the Jurassic Park: T-Rex Rampage release. Everything down to the soundtrack, which has a Blade Runner-esqe feeling, was composed specially for the one minute feature.
Click to read our interview with the creator and watch the full video production and documentary
So I have been building again. This one was quite a stress-free build, inspired by my other recent dragon, Dragon Unit LL-32167. I was struck by a moment of inspiration about a month ago and realized that I have a yellow 24-toothed gear that would work perfectly in the dragon’s neck. The thought process continued with the idea that if I build a dragon using no light gray and (almost) no blue, I could keep the previous one assembled for a longer time. This means that everyone visiting my tiny local LEGO shows/conventions may have a chance at seeing the two mecha dragons side-by-side. I name this awesome construction worker mecha dragon Workhorse.
Click here to read more about my latest build and a comparison with my earlier similar build
Ice Planet 2002 was a short-lived LEGO Space subtheme from 1993 through 1994. The year 2002 has since came and went and we have not had manned missions to other planets, icy or otherwise. Despite the theme’s short shelf life and failure to predict history, its dynamic blue, white and trans-neon-orange color scheme captivated builders for decades to come. So much, in fact, that Aido K’s local LEGO Users Group put the challenge out to give any modern LEGO set the Ice Planet 2002 treatment. Being the consummate Aussie that he is, Aido went with the Sydney Skyline 21032 set.
Now the world has a new creation it never knew it needed but is better for it. It turns out Aido seems to like the challenge of making something out of official sets as evidenced by this previously featured creation based on the Green Lion from this Voltron set.
When these cops come to kick your door in, they don’t mess around. Armed to the teeth and itching for a fight, the squad’s tactical mech carries a faint whiff of ED-209 from Robocop. However, Tim Goddard‘s model is a throwback to an altogether different slice of retro cop sci-fi–LEGO’s Space Police theme of 1989. There’s a tonne of lovely mechanical detailing in amongst the black, and the blue panels and red cockpit give the model some striking standout. I love the guns and missile launcher this thing is carrying, but the smaller arms hanging beneath the cockpit are the killer detail, lending the model some goofy character along with its more obvious menace.
In the depths of LEGO space and time, the amount of creative ways to build space craft has blossomed exponentially. Sometimes from the most complex of concepts and other times, from something as simple as a basic letter from the alphabet. Dave Kaleta has been working on his letter based starfighter series since the beginning of this year. Though what really impressed me, aside from his great creations, was that his three-year-old son, Elliot, sat predominantly at the head of the build team. Inspired by a Star Wars letter-based starfighter contest a few years back, they set some of their own rules to build by and opened up a newly inspired space.
Read on to see more of the series within Dave and Elliot’s collaboration.
Back in 1988, the LEGO Group released set 6885 Crater Crawler as a part of its space theme’s Futuron faction. Inspired by this classic set, LEGO Designer Chris Perron has pieced together what he calls the Crater Crawler 3.0. This spacey vehicle sports the classic white and black Futuron color scheme, along with the iconic dark blue windscreens and trans red accents. With its four wheel independent suspension system, 3.0 looks ready to handle just about any intergalactic terrain. Practicalities aside, Chris’ vehicle looks particularly elegant with plenty of curves, smooth sides, and a dash of greebling.
I love spaceships. I might not be Benny the 1980-Something Space Guy, but I was born in the 1980s and my name is Benjamin. I used to build spaceships all the time from my modest LEGO collection, mostly small, single-seat fighters. This spaceship, built by seb71, hits all the things I love about spaceships. It has elegant lines, attractive curves, a coherent color scheme, enough greebly texture to be believable, and massive propulsion units; it looks perfect for picking up and swooshing around while making engine vrooms and blaster pew-pews and running around the living room. I mean, everyone does that with a spaceship when they are done building it, right?
In addition, it has great striping, lovely integration of sloped bricks and different angles, and the single-seat cockpit that brings me back. Of course, this is way bigger and way better than anything I built as a kid. While smaller elements give satisfying greebles, like the gear rack and the macaroni tube, the real star of the show is the hot air balloon piece as a reactor cover. It works perfectly. I love that the reactor is still visible underneath the housing, too. The twin-pronged fuselage gives the ship a distinct Vic Viper feel, making me hope that we’ll see more from seb71 around NoVVember.