Another wide streak of light, this time called Refraction R/99, has taken off from the mind of Nick Trotta. After following his amazing LEGO creations for a while, you may pick up on the seamless transitions between each section of his ships. In that regard, he holds true to his craft. Though in others, he spreads his wings a little more. On the one hand, he has built a flying wing, and on the other, he has started playing with a selection of gold elements. Both are styles which he hasn’t explored before.
His shaping creates a strength of form built off a shallow frame, allowing the pilot to be flanked by its impressive set of wings. Having no fuselage means squeezing all of his incredible details into its wingspan. The medium blue throughout the engine housing, alongside those deep-set grilles following suit, bring out the almost skeletal dark blue within the wings and midsection. As in many of Trotta’s builds, the carefully chosen colours are exceptionally complimented by some bright splashes, this time it’s Bright Light Yellow, Orange, Trans Neon Green and his new addition: Drum Laquer Gold.
He has used his gold sparingly even though its spread throughout his ship, most effectively as a housing for some fine greebling on either side of the cockpit. This greebling, as squished as it is, has some great parts use going on in there, from the two sunken Megaphones, the red roller skates, to my personal favourite, the black paint roller handle. Yet the clean repetition of the black Grille Guards, installed as cooling vents on the two engines, seem to tie off this brilliant ship.
“Do the black units house digital essences? Is the pink fluid some sort of coolant? Do they clump together and need to be separated? Do the spiders drink the coolant and keep the ducts clean? Is working at this Stasis Temple considered a great honor?” These are numerous questions that builder Shannon Sproule asks but doesn’t have the answers to. However, this does reflect a freeing way of stream of consciousness in building by experimenting with neat colors and textures without regard for their purpose.
He tells us, “If I was the other Shannon (Young), you would’ve gotten a beautifully-written backstory, but since it’s me you only get a few brain farts and a hand wave to pseudo-religious-technology.” That’s OK, Shannon. If I were any other Brothers Brick contributor, I would have thought up a more high-brow title. Good thing we’re all friends here.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, LEGO today unveiled the Creator Expert 10266 NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander. The set features a highly detailed replica of Apollo 11’s Eagle lunar module along with a brick-built lunar surface and crater, minifigure footprints and a U.S. flag.
The set was developed in partnership with NASA and contains 1,087 pieces with two astronaut minifigures, and launches this weekend starting June 1st for US $99.99 | CAN 139.99 | UK £84.99.
Back in January 2018, the LEGO Ideas team held a competition themed around LEGO moments in space open to all builders, to unleash their creative talent. The winner of the contest would have his or her set made into a gift with purchase set. Nearly a year and a half later, we get to see the official set in its final form, with touchups from the LEGO design team, all packaged up and ready to be enjoyed by fans all over the world. The inspiration behind the design is the old-school rocket rides that one would find in storefronts and malls in just about every country.
Click to read the full review of the LEGO Ideas Cosmic Rocket Ride
There are many ways to build curved forms from the humble brick – some more imaginative than others. Take a close look Didier Burtin’s Interplanetary Cruiser and you’ll spot a unique one. The interior docking station has a beautifully bowed shape, formed from two 32 x 16 blue baseplates held under tension. Despite the obvious frustration this must have caused Didier during the building phase, it was clearly worth it, giving his creation an unexpected and individual look.
Viewed from the rear, not only do you see the lovely thrusters that you’d expect on a spaceship this size, but also further evidence of the builder’s skill. A range of visible hinged plates clearly show how the model’s structure absorbs the stress created by the flexed plates.
The first and only thing that came to mind when I set eyes on this space colony was Matt Damon.
The Martian is a movie starring Matt Damon. who’s stuck on Mars and is forced to find a way to feed himself or face death. Jon Blackford’s Hydroponics Research & Development Facility looks like a page pulled right out of the potential sequel to author Andy Weir’s The Martian — mass production of food to sustain a colony.
Click to see more details of the space lab
“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.