Ah, Novvember. The time of year when all the forked-front spaceships come out to play. It’s always a lot of fun to see what new takes on the Vic Viper builders will come up with. Sheo is among those who took a stab at it, and delivers a ship that really has that “wow” factor. Butterfly Racer is all about the curves.
White hot air balloon panels create an hourglass shape that is surrounded by undulating curves in red. There are dinosaur tails and inverted arches, along with a mixture of curved slopes. The curved shape is also emphasized by the repeated use of round tiles in white, red, and black. All in all, this is a lovely craft that pays tribute to the themes while still bringing a new and distinctive style to them.
I think Khan said it best: “Do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? It is very cold in space.” Yes, in addition to being the final frontier, space is also pretty darn nippy. Builder Seb71 celebrates that icy perspective with the clean and crisp lines of Siberia. The subtle curves on the edges and wings keep things from feeling boxy, even with decoration that is very angular. And let’s talk about that deco work! The choice to keep things greyscale gives the stripes at the front great contrast to the white of the hull. The technique used to make the stripes is worth a closer look, too. Clever use of multi-directional building is used to align cheese slope tiles to get those sharp angles.
The real treat, though, is the blocky gradient on the rear wings. It’s a tiny mosaic that gives a lovely fade from black to white, blending the colors used elsewhere on the ship into a harmonious whole. And it just looks so swooshable…
Don’t get me wrong; I love LEGO space ships. The more swooshable a build, the happier I am. Sometimes though, it’s not about the ship, but the people who keep them flying. In Repair Yard, builder Inthert shows us a slice of life from the mechanics who keep things moving. (And, apparently, the cat that helps out, too.) This model was created for a contest focused on the creative use of grill tiles, and there’s certainly several great examples of that here. Note how they are used with crossbows in the radar array on the right, as texture for the crates, and the steps in the stairs on the gantry. Look even closer, and you’ll see them as part of the engine detailing (coupled via minifigure handcuffs, no less) and the work stations in the background.
The rest of the build is fun, too. I like the crack in the paved area created by keeping a slight gap between sloped elements, and the choice of lilac for the plant stems gives the whole thing a nice extraterrestrial vibe. I do wonder, however, if I’m reading the story of this vignette correctly. It sure looks like the mechanic on the ladder pushed that shiny red button, giving the other tech a face full of soot from the engine. Surely Inthert would be nicer to these characters, right?
There are many LEGO builders out there who are such strict purists that they would never, ever use an “illegal” connection, such as one that stresses a piece. I’m not one of those people, and it seems that official LEGO designer Chris Perron is not, either. Try to wrap your
mind arms around the way the wheels get a grip on the terrain, or do your best to get a handle on that gold accent near the front; something seems off, not quite orthodox, but I just can’t seem to put a hand on it. Besides the countless arm-less and hand-less minifigures walking around Chris’s workbench, I would be remiss if I did not point out something else that separates this build from the pack: the use of a teal brick separator on the hood, seamlessly integrated. I also love the bubble canopy and the bright colors of the rover and the landscape. It’s so pretty! It is like a Friends version of Neo-Classic Space.
Read more about “illegal” LEGO connections, or check out our glossary for other cool LEGO terms you might not know.
If you’ve been following The Brothers Brick lately, you may have seen some sci-fi builds by ZCerberus. He had an awesome entry for SHIPtember, a cool spider walker and, most recently, a Classic Space vehicle. Now he’s back and bigger than ever. In my article on the SHIPtember build, I expressed hope that the fleet would continue to expand, and he has delivered in a delightfully orange way. The one on the far left is the previously-covered SHIP, but the rest are nearly as impressive size-wise and equally as detailed and heavily armed. I love the editing job with the cool space background and all of the ships flying together.
See more details of the fleet
LEGO themes present creative builders with endless opportunities to mash multiple themes together into the ultimate, ultimate LEGO creations, like zombie pirates, zombie army, zombie spaceships, and zombie cowboys. (what is up with this guy and his obsession with zombies? I blame Halloween). Anyways, back to mash-ups, this wonderful SHIP (Seriously Huge Investment in Parts) by Hans Dendauw brings together the fan challenges of SHIPtember and Novvember (an homage to the Vic Viper, one of the racing spaceships from the 1995 video game Gradius, distinguished by a two-pronged fuselage), and does it all in Classic space style. Benny would be proud.
LL166, this is Moonbase Control, you are clear to begin your approach…
Time to run through the LEGO Classic Space checklist: Transparent yellow canopy? Check. Blue body plating with light grey greebly-bits? Check. Yellow and black striping? Check.
And yet, this spaceship by ZCerberus manages to look fresh and new whilst still complying with all the Classic Space “rules and regs”. That’s at least partly down to those twin engines, with the cogs in the mountings implying the thrusters can rotate, making this a neat little VTOL craft. The fuselage angles are sharp too, with more than a little whiff of an Apache helicopter, making this look somehow dangerous despite the lack of obvious armament.
Nostalgia time! Let’s travel back to the early 1980s and the classic sci-fi TV mini-series V. If you’re unfamiliar, the basic plot is that friendly human-looking aliens visit Earth. Yep. Just some run-of-the-mill totally benign alien pals. Totally legit. The fact that any more summary would require a “spoiler warning” tag should give you an idea that things go downhill from there. But I digress. We’re here to look at a great LEGO creation, after all. Huw Gwilliam has recreated the iconic Visitor Tanker Shuttle. This sleek craft has lines very similar to the Eagle-One from 1975’s Space: 1999. What? You haven’t seen that show either? *sigh* It’s probably streaming somewhere. Go watch it. You’ll be glad you did. Even if 1999 didn’t play out quite the same way in our reality.
Anyway. Huw’s model. It’s cool. Check out the Technic toothed plates in white on the cargo pods and in grey in the landing gear. The custom graphic work on the windows, Visitor logos, and minifigures is also top-notch.
Retro-TV-Space is totally a theme, right? Because I could sure use more of this sort of thing.
Don’t get me wrong; I love me some sci-fi dystopian futures. But, after a while, it’s nice to see something a little more upbeat. Stenertje treats us to such a vision with “Space Police II Outpost.” Sure, it’s a police station, but look at how friendly and clean it is! There are trees, festive flags, and even a mailbox. The local mounties ride kaadu instead of heavily-armored speeder bikes. And the ship at the center of it all! Clean lines, and what appears to be only a hint of weaponry. It’s a breath of fresh air.
Pulling back the camera a little, things may not be quite as placid. The tops of the pylons surrounding the launch pad are covered with missile launchers and guns. And is that a robotic Gatling gun off to the right?
Well, no matter. I’m sure the heavily armed fortifications are just relics from the past, and not some subtle build up for a future Space Police theme…
Halloween in space must be terrifying with these giant mechanical spiders crawling all over the place. I always knew Blacktron was the outlaw faction of LEGO space, but creepy spider mechs just might take it to a whole new level. Builder ZCerberus has carefully woven a design that’s spindly in all the right places, while still looking satisfyingly armored and menacing. And that trans-yellow X-pod canister for the cockpit is just the perfect touch.
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.