“I want your boots, your clothes, and your motorcycle…” Oh. Sorry. Wrong Terminator.
Paddy Bricksplitter brings us an excellent LEGO version of the other Terminator — one of the fearsome Space Marines from the Warhammer 40k universe. The details on this are excellent — the hanging skulls and holy books, the belt, the neat circular base, and that Imperial crest across the chest. A Bionicle face makes a good match for the Marine helmet, and those signature shoulder pads create an immediately recognisable outline. In the grim darkness of the far future, there may well only be war, but judging by this model’s gleaming white colour, there may also be soap powder.
A builder going by the name of Gonkius has built a SHIP called WA:59, or The Wasp. According to the Triassic era LEGO builder gods who made this stuff up, SHIP stands for a Seriously Huge Investment in Parts that must exceed 100 studs in at least one plane. Not only does this creation satisfy that definition, but the builder went the extra mile with some neat LED light up features both fore and aft. Aside from its striking yellow and black striped color scheme this sleek craft bears little resemblance to an actual wasp from the side.
However, when viewed from the front at a three-quarter angle, the resemblance to a wasp becomes more apparent with a feature replicating the compound eyes of an insect. The glowing alien heads beneath the canopy are an excellent touch. Strangely, this SHIP looks as if it would feel equally at home in space or under the sea…or perhaps ruining your next picnic.
Their similar goals of provoking thought in the beholder is why science fiction and abstract art often go hand in hand, and this applies to LEGO as well as other media. The freedom to create something new also makes it easier to send a new message. Ralf Langer has taken this freedom to create a mysterious scene of a discovery on an alien planet. What lies beyond the door? Is it a symbol of creation of new life or the inevitable change in an already existing one?
No matter the meaning, the creation is impressive in a completely technical view as well. To less experienced builders it may seem like a few simple surfaces broken up by random and inherently meaningless technical textures we like to call “greebling”, but there is much more to it. Ralf is a master of textures as he proves here with grids of minifig stud shooter triggers. The main point of this build is composition though. Ralf has joined seemingly simple parts into something that looks full, but not cluttered. My personal favourite part is the mysterious gate, with a unique texture made using LEGO treads.
Adult builders of a certain age hold a special place in our hearts for what we call “Classic Space.” With the Apollo missions fresh in the history books and with Star Trek, Buck Rogers, and Star Wars capturing our imaginations, LEGO hit a sweet spot with their space theme from about 1973 to 1987. For many, they were likely among our first LEGO sets and the fond nostalgia for the theme remain with us forever. Guido Brandis captures this feeling nicely with his LL-942 Star Fire II. There are rules to the “Classic Space” look; blue and light gray are used in nearly equal measure while trans-yellow is for windscreens. Red, used very sparingly, is usually reserved only for rover rims but is utilized here as the pilot’s uniform. Modern elements not available to us in the ’70s and ’80s create a perfect synergy between the old and the new. Even its “LL” designation stands for “Legoland” and was used in the original sets. This sure takes me back!
Despite this website’s origins as a minifig blog way back in 2005, it’s not often that we highlight minifig-only LEGO creations — often frowned upon by more “serious” LEGO builders as mere “figbarfs.” But there is incredible joy in putting together pieces of LEGO in unique ways, no matter how small the resulting creation. And from time to time, something truly stellar emerges from the imagination of a builder, like these fantastical aliens by VolumeX.
There is so much ingenious use of “single-purpose” minifig parts here — like Queen Amidala’s hair for the face of the leftmost figure or Ahsoka Tano’s head-tails above a Mon Calamari head and octopus legs from the Atlantis theme on the middle figure. I could pore over these all day.
Soil contamination can spell disaster when you are growing crops to feed hungry colonists, and it looks like trouble may be growing in this dimly lit laboratory. But the more I look at this lovely scene by Jon Blackford, I find myself wondering, is the lavender-colored plant with the tentacle the anomaly? Or are they supposed to look like that, and it’s the rest of the plants in this bed that are wrong.
One of my favorite features of this scene, aside from the lighting, which really sets the mood, is the rear wall of the lab, with pipes to deliver water, or whatever it is that these plants need to thrive, and the drains along the base, for easy clean-up. And don’t miss the subtle detail of the cheese slopes along the lower edge of the scene.
All hail the mighty space elephant! Created by Demetrius Gaouette, this sci-fi war beast is decked out in dazzling silver armor. The use of silver elements is what sets this elephant apart as something from the future. I’m a big fan of the lack of curvature to the elephant’s ears and legs, allowing the viewer to focus on other design aspects like the armor and troops. Next time Blacktron goes to war, they’d definitely want a dozen of these in battle.
Demetrius’ model is a digital render, with some parts not yet commercially available in certain colors illustrated.
If you have been even a marginal LEGO buyer these past few years, you might be familiar with the ubiquitous Brick Separator. I have dozens of them myself. They come with nearly every set nowadays, mostly in orange, however they have made some rare appearances in green and now in dark turquoise. But what can you use them for besides prying up that pesky 1×4 plate? If you answered “build Torrac’s Race Bike with them”, then you might be a builder who goes by the name Inthert.
Every angle of this futuristic hover bike is expertly crafted, proving that with a bit of imagination, you can find inspiration beyond an obvious purpose. Even with the humble Brick Separator.
See Mars the scenic way! Take a ride in Guido Brandis‘ fabulous All-Terrain Mobile Laboratory Rover. Its big fat wheels will stop you sinking into the dust, and its large solar panels should provide more than enough power for your journey plus any little experiments you might want to complete on the way. For a one-colour model, this manages to have remarkable visual impact, and that’s down to the density of the detail applied to every surface. This thing is greeble-tastic, with functional-looking elements applied everywhere — piping, antennae, comms dishes, and paneling. The presentation of the model is also excellent (nice work on the shadows in particular), making the vehicle look properly embedded in its environment. I’d love to hit Valles Marineris in this bad boy–those Martians, they see me rollin’ and they be hatin’.
When it comes to collecting vintage LEGO Space subthemes, Blacktron I has a strong following. LEGO’s first intergalactic villain faction has been reborn in the form of Spaceruner’s Lucky Wolf, clad in the classic Blacktron I colors of black, yellow, and trans red. One source of inspiration was set 6894 Invader, released in 1987. They have even gone so far as to create their own robot. By utilizing both vintage and modern parts, the end-result is a model that’s out of this world.
If you love Blacktron I, you might also enjoy this Blacktronesque laser mining vehicle we featured on April 16th.
A good LEGO speederbike looks futuristic and “swooshable”, but the very best also carry with them a functional design — a sense of realism allowing you to suspend disbelief in the same way the bike suspends the normal rules of gravity. This beautiful model by GoIPlaysWithLego certainly looks the part, with hints of a Tron-style future in its colour scheme and curves, but it also has that elusive realistic look. The trans-blue steering fins at the front, the whips used as power cables, the shaped panelling around the cockpit seat — all add to the functional feel. And as for that black spike element underneath — I’ve no idea what it does, but I don’t doubt that without it this bike would be unable to fly.
On a more prosaic note, the model’s stand continues the impressive design, enhancing the presentation without distracting attention from the central subject.
LEGO mech suits generally come in one of two varieties — combat hulks clad in armour plating, or civilian-role rigs, stripped back to their mechanical bones. Andreas Lenander‘s Powerloader Exo Suit is a great example of the latter style — its frame festooned in greebles and mechanical-looking details. All-grey creations can lack impact, but the impressive depth of texture more than makes up for the lack of colour. There’s an obvious nod to Peter Reid’s classic Exo Suit design, but Andreas makes this version all his own with cogs broadening the shoulders, and a fearsome pair of toothed grippers for moving stuff around. Although this isn’t a military mech, you get the impression it wouldn’t do too badly if things turned nasty in the cargo bay.
I was lucky enough to see this model “in the brick” as Andreas and I installed models in the LEGO House Masterpiece Gallery. It looks even more impressive than in these photos, and if you make it to Billund this summer, I’d recommend you seek this out for a closer viewing.