Sprawling across multiple base plates, this staggering LEGO sci-fi display is the brainchild of builder Marco den Besten. Taking inspiration from the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun video game franchise, it depicts a bustling military complex and its numerous support vehicles, mech suits and space fighters. The glistening yellow, white and grey colour scheme, borrowed from a Nexo Knight shield, gives it a crisp and clean futuristic feel.
It’s time to turn back the clocks, then turn them forward again, as we travel to a retro view of the future where flying cars totally exist and all mass transit is in stylish monorails like this sweet LEGO version by Tammo S. With nifty brick-built lettering adorning the sides and a crazy bit of fantastic retro aesthetic with a prop and fins on top, this monorail is ready to guide us to the future. While my favorite design element is the rounded corners of the passenger windows, don’t overlook the fact that the cockpit is built at a crazy angle, which is no mean feat.
Described as the “biggest, baddest, most bulbous speeder bike”, by builder David Roberts, the Turbinia certainly lives up to its name. I’ve admired David’s work for a long time now, especially the way he mixes his humorous narratives with the knowledge of an engineering graduate. In this case the turbine element creates both the quirky nautilus-like shape of the vehicle, as well as hinting at the real-life mechanics of a centrifugal processor. Whichever way you look at it, this colourful model is a whole heap of gyroscopic fun.
This month’s cover photo is brought to us by Devid VII. The scene, which features a lone spaceman in a hangar bay. Devid’s shot was taken while he was still building the setting for his final presentation of the awesome maintenance mech we featured, but what drew us to this work-in-progress scene is how well it highlights Devid’s meticulous detailing on the background.
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Cats are curious creatures and sometimes like to “help” with LEGO building projects. The results can be devastatingly cute, such as this photograph of a tiny kitten ready to take flight in a LEGO model built by MiniGray. The build itself is a nice example of futuristic aircraft with a large cockpit for special pilots of the furry kind. If you plan on sharing this image with your friends, brace yourself for a barrage of “AWW!”
Space builder Nick Trotta is one of the undisputed masters of minifigure-scale LEGO spacecraft. A fastidious perfectionist, Nick builds and rebuilds each of his models, tweaking every detail before finally letting the world see the finished result. It’s always worth the wait, however, as this new spaceship evidences.
The simple geometric shapes belie the ridiculous amount of engineering needed to achieve them. The technique that always grabs my attention (Nick has used it before) is the use of panels to create the white leading edge on the wings, cleverly hiding any unsightly joints and gaps. Plus, there’s the awesomely retro color scheme, with my favorite detail being the “health” bar on the ship’s nose beneath the cockpit.
With the immense popularity of the Stargate franchise in its golden age, one would imagine it penetrating deeper into the popular culture and consequently the LEGO fan community. However, it is very rare we see a creation like Rat Dude‘s Stargate SG 1 F304 Daedalus. The spaceship is a product of the later seasons of the Stargate: SG1, when the show matured into a classic sci-fi series instead of the earlier “soldiers versus aliens” approach.
There is a wonderfully military aesthetic to the Daedalus’ design, which Rat Dude has captured perfectly. All sorts of angles still come together in a boxy utilitarian design, captured in LEGO with slopes and wedge plates. Even the numerous studs do not look out of place, adding a texture where most builders would try to hide them. My favourite part is the stripe down the middle-back segment, made out of inverted 1×1 bricks, creating a unique texture.
Anyone who’s been following the adult LEGO builder community for a while knows that one of the things we love best is making novel use of seemingly “useless” pieces. And as far as these clever uses go, the more unusual the element is, the better. Vince Toulouse has dug deep into the bins of useless pieces and come forth with a striking spaceship made almost entirely of these oddities–a tugboat with a rugged utilitarian aesthetic. Vince points out a few of the more unusual elements for us, including the steering compartment made of a Fabuland caravan shell. We also spy a slew of other elements from the quirky Fabuland theme, as well as many other difficult-to-use elements like the skateboard ramp, elephant ear, and even the whole elephant head. See how many more oddities you can spot in Vince’s ship.
The ship isn’t just a vehicle for fun techniques, though. It’s also a great design, and the inside is marvelously detailed.
From the hands of our otherworldly overlord Rat Dude comes a glorious machine to see our every movement and feel our every emotion, so that we can serve our master with utmost efficiency. Love the Monolith. Trust the monolith. Thought of rebellion is punished by immediate execution.
The builder says that the Monolith’s four mechanical legs each think independently and work together to overcome any terrain and its organic tentacles can feel slaves’ emotions. The sharp angle of the main body reminds its followers of the Monolith’s sharp wit and its white colour of the purity of its purpose–justice. Not only does the glorious Rat Dude bring us a sight of the Monolith, but he even graces us with every aspect of its magnificent construction.
For a spaceship whose screen time is brief, the Tantive IV occupies a special place in the hearts of Star Wars fans — probably because everyone remembers that first moment of A New Hope as the ship thunders overhead, pursued by the formidable heft of an Imperial Star Destroyer. Tino Poutiainen has put together a detailed LEGO version of this famous spaceship, with every signature element in place, from the hammerhead barrel-shaped cockpit through to the red striping and the midship comms array.
The model is half a meter long and apparently separates into two sections for easy transport despite its beefy 2kg. Much of that weight must be in the rear section — an impressive recreation of the corvette’s multiple engines…
The exploration of the alien worlds is often tightly connected with military conquests. Italian builder Norton74 takes a rather peaceful approach to the idea and creates a Mobile Research Laboratory inspired by the good old Ice Planet 2002 LEGO space theme from 1993. His design features significantly fewer pieces in white compared to the official LEGO sets, however a heavily armoured vehicle’s body looks absolutely stunning in plain blue. The retro vibe of the build is achieved through a very peculiar choice of pieces; note that there are almost no modern LEGO pieces and absolutely no curved slopes.
The car hovers but is it also a time machine? This ‘Advocate’ Hovercar by Tammo S. looks like it would fit right in Disney’s 2007 Meet the Robinsons or possibly Futurama. A lot of curved elements are half submerged within the body of the model. Tammo makes use of similarly shaped elements in like colors, such as the 4×4 clear dome, 4×4 plate with 2×2 hole cutout, and 2x4x5 cylinder half. The white wheel arches at the front are at a slight angle with each other to contour with the white 1x3x3 curved elements in front.
Now if only we could see inside, or better yet have Wilbur Robinson crash it so Lewis can rebuild it. Beware the bowler hat guy!