Some LEGO creations are great at telling a story. Take “Clunker” by Inthert, for example. The story here is: “Mining asteroids is a sucky, sucky job.” This scene of futuristic yet questionably maintained drilling equipment is full of great details and part usage. In particular, I’m enjoying the Minecraft-esque blocks that are being removed from the surface. I’m all for hyper-realism in LEGO creations, but when you can keep things “blocky” for a reason…well, it’s a nice treat.
A stand-out technique is the texture of the rock, created by layering lots of ball-socket plates. A more subtle, yet impressive, trick is the use of the firing pins from stud shooters braced diagonally in the underside of 1×1 plates. I hadn’t seen that one before. I shouldn’t be too shocked about that, though, as this build is part of the MOC Wars 2020 competition. You have to be as tough and skilled as these miners to survive that.
Most spaceships I have seen are just machines, a tin can hurtling through the cosmos propelled by some rockets or thrusters. X-wings, Star Destroyers, the Enterprise, Discovery One, and so on, all fit this paradigm. Most LEGO space creations fit the same pattern, be they Classic Space, Galaxy Squad, or Star Wars. But do they have to be? Galaxy Squad offered a glimpse into what semi-organic spacecraft could be with the Buggoids, and Insectoids back in the day did too. Thankfully, to show us a true hybrid of machine and alien, Rubblemaker has brought us the BR4-1N, a fusion of Neo-Classic Space and some deep-space dwelling creature.
A recent touch of insomnia prompted this latest LEGO model. I found myself lying awake, staring at the ceiling, caught up in concern as to how sentient robots would cope on long interstellar journeys when their human companions are all tucked up in cryosleep. Maybe they shut down for a decade or so, but maybe they just wander the silent corridors of the ship, lonely and cold? This melancholy scenario wouldn’t leave me alone, and so I built it to try and get it out of my head. The robot’s stooped posture was key to the feeling I was trying to create. I wanted him to look old and tired, and perhaps a little apprehensive, as he shuffled through the empty halls of his vessel. I’d originally planned to shoot the photo and then filter it to a black and white image. However, built in shades of grey, it turned out exactly how I wanted without much processing. I hope it captures the slight air of gloom, which prompted the build.
This was one of those LEGO models which seemingly popped out of nowhere during the creative process. I started off fiddling around with the new mudguard pieces, thinking they might make for interesting detailing, and almost before I knew it, I had something reminiscent of a muscle car engine grille. At that point, the retro racing vibe kicked in and the rest of the model came together in a couple of hours. I think asymmetry always adds an interesting spark to a model, and so the off-centre elements — the stripe and the protruding engine — were in the plan from an early stage. The domed cockpit came late to the party, but it’s the part of the model I’m most pleased with. I feel it adds a Jetsons-esque touch of the retro-ridiculous, and makes the model more fun than it might have been otherwise. Similarly, the addition of the Friends sticker on the front wing fitted with a racing theme, but represented a change from the usual livery applied to futuristic LEGO vehicles.
Once the model was complete I obviously had to build some kind of backdrop for it. The panel-based scenery is plain and simple, but that’s okay as I’d always planned to motion-blur the hell out of it! I know some people prefer to see their LEGO models in plain and unfiltered images, but for me this one demanded some oomph. I’ve been watching a lot of the Netflix F1 documentary recently, and I was trying to capture something of the same feel, conveying the dynamic nature of the hover car racing competition I had in my head.
Boy, LEGO builder Yuri Badiner sure makes lunar exploration look like fun, doesn’t he? I was under the impression that space travel involves following strict procedures and abiding by careful measures and counter-measures. But this photo makes me want to switch careers to become an astronaut. These two are having a blast on their Apollo rover. While the build techniques are fairly basic you’ve got to give props to his excellent photography. In fact, excellent LEGO photography seems to be Yuri’s thing. With photos this engaging, we’ll be sure to be on the lookout for whatever other hijinks he gets his LEGO minifigs into.
February is over, and LEGO builders who participated in the month-long building challenge known as Febrovery even got a bonus day with this leap year. Several rovers have been featured here on TBB this month, but this open-topped model by Anthony Wilson instantly caught my eye, mostly with the presence of something not usually seen in space exploration vehicles, a tree, and a very nicely sculpted one at that. I would say this tree-topped rover was a breath of fresh air.
February is the least favorite month for many people, at least in the Northern Hemisphere; it’s often cold, still dreary, and all the magic of winter and Christmas is long forgotten. But not for me. It certainly helps that my birthday falls in this shortest of months, but there are many other positive features to recommend it. For example, it is the month to build LEGO rovers (Febrovery). I love rovers. And what better way to combine winter with rovers than a solid Ice Planet 2002-inspired rig like this one from the appropriately named Frost? It’s got giant wheels that are really erasers (perhaps it erases its own wheel marks from the snow?), the glorious trans-neon orange canopy, and the can’t miss blue-and-white color scheme. Some stickered pieces from the Galaxy Squad make some nice details, and I love white greebles. The coral highlights set it apart though, which is good because this is on Ice Planet 2003, not 2002.
A new LEGO spaceship from Nick Trotta is always worthy of note, and Firebreak, his latest, is an absolute belter. The shaping is a beautiful collection of angles and curves, making clever use of tiles and a bewildering array of sideways-building techniques to keep the lines smooth. But it’s the color scheme and the ingenious striping which grab the attention — look at the white highlight outline on the asymmetric engine intake, a fantastic piece of LEGO engineering. The angled snub nose is also great, adding a touch of malevolence by invoking attack helicopter styling. Finally, the use of black and chrome for the functional-looking greebles is inspired — a nice change of pace from the “standard” LEGO spaceship greebles in light or dark grey. This is one of the best LEGO spacecraft we’ve seen for a while. I’d recommend zooming in for a closer look at all the quality building involved in its creation.
Yesterday at Toy Fair New York, the prestigious Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards were handed out, and LEGO took away a total of three coveted prizes including Construction Toy of the Year, Specialty Toy of the Year, and STEM/STEAM Toy of the Year. The Brothers Brick wishes a heartfelt congratulations to The LEGO Group and especially to the designers, creative team and unsung heroes behind these sets.
The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards (also known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry) are presented annually to the top toys, games, and properties of the year. Administered by The Toy Association, the awards program supports the philanthropic work of The Toy Foundation, which delivers new toys to children in need.
If you’ve watched last week’s episode of The LEGO Masters, this little build should look familiar! In the explosive space challenge, Tyler Clites and his wife Amy designed an incredible alien and bomb-toting hero sculpture to be dropped from a balcony. The duo named the creation “The Sacrifice” and the story behind it involved the hero giving up his life to destroy the alien. And in glorious fashion. The ensuing destruction as host Will Arnett launched it over the rail was indeed epic!
Tyler and Amy received the highest praise for their build and are top competitors moving into this week. The show airs at 9PM Wednesdays on Fox. Be sure to follow our extensive coverage! Also, check out Tyler’s Funny Farm mini build from the first challenge!
There’s a fine balance in creative endeavours between finding a groove and getting stuck in a rut. There’s no doubt which side of the scale Ted Andes is on with his latest run of LEGO starfighters. Whilst there’s a common shaping and techniques involved in the production of his Corsair models, the variety of styling applied to the variants make for quite a fleet. First up, there’s a red and white beauty, which showcases the use of the Technic panel parts alongside the cockpit…
Ted has put together a whole range of these craft, each a skilful combination of Hero Factory armour, Bionicle pieces, and regular LEGO parts. These are models I’d love to see “in the brick” — I’m sure they’d make for an impressive formation flypast.
Across the moons of the outer systems, thin dusty soil causes problems for surface vehicles. Without big chunky tires, your fancy new rover isn’t going anywhere. LEGO builder Frost has put together a flashy moon rover with the requisite balloon tires but also bedecked in an eye-popping color scheme. The tires are a beefy joy, tiles attached to caterpillar tracks wound around standard wheels. This design allows for a multi-layered multi-colored look, perfectly matching the bold styling of the rest of the vehicle. The curved stripes over the bonnet are nicely done, as is the front grille and the integration of the angled windscreen and roll-cage parts around the rear. The fin sticking from the rear is easy to miss amidst all the color, but is a great use of a parts separator — lovely stuff.