If alien life does exist in the universe, it would likely come in forms that we can not even imagine, like this pair of critters taking a break outside their battle tank to stop and smell the methane flowers. This digital scene by Ivan Martynov makes about the best use of the hotdog part that I have seen in quite a while, to attach the crowbar-footed legs to the bulbous underside of this most unearthly “tank”.
If you have two battle-damaged B-wings in a fight, lug them back to base — put those droids to work and make a C-wing out of them! A couple of years back, I made a list of vehicles that could have been taken out of a page of the Star Wars movies, and I think after a long hunt, this C-wing by Tino Poutiainen would fit right in there up with the rest of them. I love a smooth ship with clean lines and just a hint of LEGO studs spread in the right places. What makes this ship a little unique is its parts usage at the shield generator made up of minifigure legs.
The spaceship’s colour scheme would have been enough, but Mansur Soeleman takes it one step further with his latest LEGO model and produces some retro-styled box art to really get the nostalgia pipes flowing. The ship is a greeble-lover’s delight, festooned with a wealth of light grey pipes and grilles, intakes and rockets. I particularly like how tight the blue cabin section is around the trans-yellow canopy, leaving most of the model grey, but enough to make it abundantly clear which LEGO theme has provided the inspiration.
In a brilliant touch, Mansur also built a retro version of his retro-throwback, delivering the same distinctive shaping, but using a more limited old-fashioned brick palette. I admire the building skills in these two models, but also love the extra effort of producing box art and two versions. Fantastic nostalgic fun.
My favorite LEGO builds are always ones that contain story, humor and lots of color. Builder Victor hits all three of these points perfectly and throws in a little absurdity for good measure. As the story goes, Diogenes Trexler ordered a pizza on his home planet that smelled so delicious it attracted the attention of a giant worm. Plotting his escape, our pizza-loving hero created an ill-advised portal that opened on to the bathroom of one very surprised bather.
The landscaping and colorwork in this piece are gorgeous and there is a minimum of visible studs, giving it a very slick look. The worm really pops with its blue colors and excellent shape. The alien fauna is colorful and appropriately weird and creepy. The portal is nicely rendered with transparent pieces and the change between the two universes is wonderful, going from organic shapes to the clean tiles of a modern bathroom. The surprised bather, caught in mid blow-dry is the perfect punch line with his terrified face and hair blowing toward the ceiling. In my opinion, it’s little touches like these that make the difference between a good model and a great one.
These are challenging times. I’m pretty sick of hearing that. Even more, I’m pretty sick of living it. But occasionally…occasionally…challenges can be pretty great, too. I mean, it’s hard to be too grumpy when great LEGO builders challenge each other and we get to look at the sweet, sweet results. One such outcome is the 4-D4 Recon & Fighter Craft built by Inthert. Challenged to build a ship around a specific 10x4x3 canopy in under 48 hours, the resulting ship still looks like it took months of work.
The orange version of the canopy is lifted from 2007 Mars Mission theme, but that’s not the only callback. The black, white, and orange color scheme is also a direct tribute, as are those orange wheels. The curve to the front of the ship is the result of some very tricky building, but it’s the triangular bracing at the ends of the arc that makes me smile the most. Or maybe it’s those tank treads. Or the texture and pattern from those grey wedge plates. It’s hard to make a choice. It’s all just so tasty.
Anyone else suddenly hungry for a re-release of Mars Mission?
Samus Aran is one of Nintendo’s most iconic characters through a decades-long successful series of Metroid platformers and first-person shooters. Thanks to Spanish builder L-Di-Ego, the famed female bounty hunter’s personal spacecraft has made the jump to digital LEGO and has never looked better.
I’m so impressed with how loaded the ship is–this thing is absolutely packed with play features. The ship is ready to take on the dreaded Space Pirates with firing projectiles, adjustable engine intakes, a removable canopy allowing access to the spacious cockpit plus room for the Metroid containment pod, and my favorite, a functioning loading lift for the Samus Aran minifigure.
When you’re traversing the unstable surface of an alien world, it’s important to have appropriate transportation. Luckily, SweStar has provided us with the rover we need to navigate transparent green rubble. The rear wheels are paired to offer steering control, and toothed for peak propulsory power. The front wheels, on the other hand, are smooth and broad for stability and speed. Riding high above the ground, our exploring hero is safe and sound, confident that the sensing sensors will sense any danger, the grabbing grab arms will grab on to anything that needs grabbing, and the slick hull will ensure that striking alien assailants will slide right away.
Stephan Niehoff revisits the sci-fi video game universe of Star Citizen, the oft-delayed but undeniably gorgeous space combat simulator.
Like Stephan’s Brutus gunboat we previously highlighted, this craft is a herculean LEGO creation packed with neat details and shaping techniques, and given the appearance of metallic wear with a dusting of chalk. If you look closely you can spot an inventive use of multiple orange flippers (aka Frogman’s feet).
The more I see of the game’s vehicle designs the more I’m reminded of Sky-Fi, a favorite sub-genre of LEGO fan building which features (sometimes illogical) flying vessels that repurpose familiar air- and space-craft design elements. The Vanguard looks to me like a very chunky offspring of the P-38 Lightning.
If we can find an Earth-like planet within a reasonable distance, or perhaps terraform one of our closer neighbours, then we’re going to need to transport a bunch of plants to its surface. In this LEGO space scene, Sam Malmberg imagines how the interior of a seedling transport ship might look. There’s an impressive variety of plant-life on display, within an equally smart selection of vivarium equipment. The viewport and the wall panelling brings the styling of the Nostromo to mind, but thankfully there are no terrifying aliens threatening the crew. I love the inclusion of a microscale companion vessel, visible through the window, creating the sense of a convoy of intrepid colonists heading out together for a new world.
I’m something of a failure when it comes to building spaceships. I have tried and failed for the past three SHIPtembers to build a massive spaceship, and even my smaller spaceships generally end up on the scrapheap due to a lack of vision for their execution. Balancing the greebles with the smooth parts is a challenge for me, and integrating the cockpit with the rest never seemed to work out well. But then Dave Kaleta announced an alphabet starfighter contest, and I had to give it a go. Finally, I had a coherent plan for the design, a letter of the alphabet. And what better letter to start with than B? After all, my name, Benjamin Stenlund, starts with B, and so does Benny from The LEGO Movie. And since Benny and I are both from the 1980s, I went with a Neo-Classic Space styling, to remove any further difficulty that might have arisen from complicated color choices. I had to start somewhere, you know?
I was quite pleased with the way the dual cockpits integrated with the overall shape, and indeed having two of those canopies was a major reason I went with this design, as the curves add to the B shape perfectly. I added as many Classic Space elements as I could, like the triple loudspeaker on the back and the computers in the cockpits, gleaned from the older part of my collection; and then I went greebled like crazy in the gaps. My favorite element in the greebles is the old exhaust pipes from my childhood Town sets. I’m not afraid to mix old and new greys together, so both can be seen in the build; I think it adds a sense of weathering appropriate for a spaceship. I’ve already been commissioned by my 4-year-old to build him a few spaceships, so hopefully, I’ll be able to add to the collection of finished craft soon and spread literacy across the galaxy!
If you were to create mechs based on your favorite LEGO minifigures, which would you chose? For Steven Howard, he’s picked three that would top the lists of many people, especially when they look this cool. And I’ve gotta say, the setting sun backdrop and shadows showcase them well. They look like they stomped straight out of the LEGO Movie. But they’re even better up close…
Recently LEGO builder Dave Kaleta completed his series of Alphabet-shaped ships. Many of us wondered “what’s next?” Well looks like Dave answered that question with a question of his own. Behold the ?-Wing. As impressive as that curved hull is, even more spectacular is that this ship is able to stand upright on it’s own. (Well, okay, partly thanks to two small landing gear strips.) It’s worth clicking through to Dave’s instagram post to see this beauty in action.
Like the rest of the fleet, this ship was built in collaboration with Dave’s 4 year old son, Elliot. Interested in joining in on the fun? Dave is running a contest for builders who want to make their own entries into the Alpha-fleet.