The challenges of building LEGO spaceships is getting the different parts to work together to create something aesthetically pleasing, quasi-functional, and just plain cool. This difficulty is magnified with larger ships, especially when you enter the realm of a SHIP (Significantly Huge Investment in Parts, a LEGO spaceship 100+ studs in length). Sometimes one spaceship isn’t enough; you need to build a whole fleet, and that is what Ryan Olsen did. Ryan shared with TBB that his fleet has been slowly growing for eight years, with the mid-size one with the prominent white stripe (roughly in the middle of the formation) being his first. He also drew inspiration from Pierre E. Fieschi for the color scheme and the video game Homeworld.
The studs-not-on-top (SNOT) approach to the spaceship in the foreground makes for a sleek design, and the white stripes, including diagonals, are expertly integrated into the hull. The asymmetrical design works wonderfully, too, with the long appendages coming off the side from near the large reactor core. Hinge bricks do a great job of making a smoothly angled bridge. Everything fits so well, and nothing seems out of place. This fleet is cruising the stars in style!
When I think of spaceships, I think mostly drab grey things. This is probably because my imagination has been so strongly formed by Star Wars and the dingy industrial feeling of that universe, evident in almost every Imperial vessel (like the Star Destroyers) and the Millennium Falcon. ZCerberus bucks that trend with a glorious orange SHIP (Significantly Huge Investment in Parts) called Dominion. I know I would submit to its dominion if such a craft appeared on my scopes, because it has enormous cannons of some sort bristling off of every surface, plus a full squadron or twenty of smaller fighter ships docked inside its hull. The greebles on this thing are worth admiring, as they all look perfectly positioned to do something technical, like vent things or convey things or connect things. The whole surface is highly detailed without looking cluttered, which, in my numerous, and all failed, attempts at building a SHIP myself, I have learned to be a sophisticated skill.
I love the angled hull plates with the dark orange striping, with the white striping and brick-built lettering (does this belong in classic – or neo-classic, more specifically – space, with the “LL” designation?). 2×2 modified bricks with side grooves make for some great cannons on the side, and some 1×2 log bricks are just as good on the top in a similar role. The side cannons are mounted on round turrets made from 6×6 radar dishes, which fit neatly into the undersides of some 1x8x2 arches. All in all, this is one of the sturdiest looking SHIPs I have seen, as well as one of the coolest. Check out Z’s Flickr to see more space ships (not SHIPs) in the same color scheme, all part of an epic fleet. I hope it keeps growing!
For it is written, twas the Triassic Era LEGO Gods of Legend who sayeth unto he “go forth and buildeth a SHIP, a Significantly Huge Investment in Parts. It shall be no less than one hundred studs on one side. Thou shalt hence forth do it every September and thou shalt call it SHIPtember for that will be totally bitchin’.”
Like Noah, so many faithful disciples and space nerds had heeded the words of the legendary LEGO gods every September and has been building SHIPs for as long as we can remember. One such faithful disciple and space nerd is Shannon Sproule and this uncanny “Shipbreaker CALYPSO”.
Click here to learn more about this alien ship.
There seems to be some LEGO builders who, when they sit down to build LEGO models, they really pump them out..and in fine form too. Inthert’s recent experimentation with new parts has brought out some great technique and this follow-up ship to his previous creation, 6-H Cargo Hopper, holds its own. Named the TRE-O, it has an almost Microscale feel, which may be partially due to the impression the solid white leaves. There are so many tasty combinations in this little vessel, so let’s just talk about a few. The curved top 1×2 brick dominates the front arms, which slide beautifully into a wheel arches. Twin 1×4 curved slopes adorn each fin further up, giving it another nudge toward its microscale feel. Another fun detail is the new 2×2 plate with thin rotation stem acting as the base of an antenna mount.
The new pneumatic liftarm with connections for hose has instantly proven itself as a perfect engine or thruster, and this shot shows it off really well. Though the back to back 3×3 slope wedges (introduced in the Overwatch range) look great, the shaping of the rear portions of th three fins sets the stern off for me.
And here at turn 16, space-racing fans we have Brendan Mauro taking the lead! Mauro followed by Nice Part Usage! Coming up in third by a narrow margin we have Classic Space Nerd followed closely by Train Guys Are Jerks, A Wee Nip of the Good Stuff and Vintage 1×5! Why Is My Mom Using The Eggplant Emoji? is coming up in seventh place followed closely by Dad Probably Doesn’t Read This Stuff Anyway! This could still be anyone’s race, ladies and gents! What an exciting day at the races!
Ah, the end of September. It’s the start of autumn, when fall breezes start to blow, leaves are falling, pumpkin-flavored everything is available for consumption, biting insects start to die, and the nights are finally cool enough to be enjoyable. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. It’s not just for the aforementioned reasons, though. It is also because the end of SHIPtember is drawing near, which means that my LEGO feeds will soon be inundated with endless giant spaceships, all over 100 studs long and all comprised of a significant number of parts. Builder Oscar Cederwall got his entry posted a bit earlier than most, and it is a unique shape and configuration for a SHIP (a “Significantly Huge Investment in Parts”), with its 100-stud measurement being vertical rather than the typical horizontal.
The key piece in inspiring the design of Jinx is the catamaran boat hull top, which Oscar has used four times to create the four pointy ends of the craft. Since each of those pieces is 48 studs long, putting two end-to-end almost gives the full minimum SHIP measurement right there! Of course, Oscar did not stop there, but instead added some excellent rear thrusters, some tricked-out weapons arrays, and a cockpit that makes clever use of the train window. I love the way the different angles all come together so smoothly, with no noticeable gaps or awkward areas. Consistent color blocking also makes this SHIP a great start to the season. I can’t wait for more!
It’s the most expensive car ever made, and although four models were manufactured originally, only one remains on the planet. Three Lunar Roving Vehicles were carried to the Moon on Apollo missions 15, 16, and 17, with one spare kept behind on Earth. Those four aluminium-framed buggies cost a grand total of $38m back in 1971, making each of the four worth nearly $10m back then. You have to imagine if someone were to salvage the buggies from the lunar surface now, these things would be priceless. If you fancy a Lunar Vehicle of your own, it’s probably not worth saving up, and consider rather taking a leaf out of Robson M‘s book and building a LEGO version.
This is a cracking little LEGO model — relatively simple construction, but immediately recognisable with just enough detail to capture its inspiration. And the presentation is top-notch, perfectly echoing the high-contrast photos of the Apollo missions. My only gripe? Those rubber tyres. The real LRV had aluminium mesh wheels to cope with the extremes of temperature and to throw off the lunar dust. But tyres aside, I still want one of these to go with my 10266 Lunar Lander set — turning it from a depiction of the first manned landing, into one of those last trips (for now) which we took to our nearest celestial neighbour.
Builder Frost takes us to a forbidden planet where the plants have a mind of their own. We’ve featured some of his terrific space builds here in the past and he doesn’t disappoint in this latest offering. While this couldn’t be considered “Classic Space” in the LEGO sense, it exudes a wonderfully vintage vibe.
I’m a big fan of old science fiction pulp novels. Their covers, painted in lurid colors, have a certain take on weird fantasy visuals that doesn’t really exist anymore. This model really captures the feeling of those old covers with its oversized alien-looking, tentacled plants. I appreciate the thoughtful use of transparent pieces that really help sell the bizarreness of the landscape. In particular, I’m quite fond of the blue and purple lighting pieces and the pink half domes. The decision to use the Flash Gordon style suits on the space travelers further drives home the whole 1940s look.
Not satisfied with a purely stationary LEGO creation, Frost has built animation into it and as an added bonus, the large green egg-like centers glow under blacklight. As you can see in this video, the large tentacled plants move and sway, beckoning our heroes ever closer to what may be a gruesome fate.
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.