It’s funny when I imagine a cargo dropship I imagine ordering goods online, then a dropship drops them in front of my house from a mile above and shatters them all over my driveway. But I suppose the process is more sophisticated in space. Red Spacecat has built a LEGO cargo dropship and it’s precisely how anyone would imagine it. It’s like this thing already exists even though it comes from a builder’s imagination. That is a testament to its clean and practical design. I’m particularly loving its dark blue (with a flash of dark red) color scheme. The rotating engines are an added touch of brilliance. Red Spacecat seems to be an up-and-coming builder we should all pay attention to. We’ve featured another model from this same person earlier this week.
Despite the great variety of LEGO tensegrity builds lately, almost all of them seem to have a few traits in common. In particular, most builders have “explained” the chains and string that connect the base to the hovering elements in similar ways. Either the connection is designed to look like it’s pulling the top section straight down, or it’s minimized to try and enhance the sense of gravity-defiance. What I like about this build by lokiloki29 is that the design of the connections implies obvious motion away from the center of the build. The 10-SGTY Racer feels like it’s trying to escape, and is being barely held in place by the tie downs. The result is a very dynamic build.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the racer stands alone as a quality spacecraft build. Technic panels and curved slopes in medium azure give a sleek bit of contrast to the bright-light-orange of the quarter-arch bricks. I also like the ring of 1×2 tiles that match that arch. There’s some clever building with lightsaber hilts going on there.
I think it’s also a nice touch that the pilot has a big grin on their face. After all, I imagine flying a racer like this would be quite the joy.
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?
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!
LEGO Spacer Blake Foster only just launched an impressive cargo hauler decked out in Classic Space livery, and now the cargo fleet sees a cute expansion with this smaller craft — a jump shuttle packed with oddball character. There’s an impressive depth of functional-looking greebling packed into the light grey sections of the ship, and I particularly like those front legs — obviously useful in helping push this little spaceship free from gravity’s tethers. The angles on the blue hull section are excellent, and the unusual design is all tied in nicely around the trans-yellow bubble cockpit. Blake calls this the Cargo Critter, because of its bug-like appearance — a perfect nickname for a perfectly-formed spacecraft.
Sometimes it feels like every spaceship I see out there in the LEGO building community is either a single-seat starfighter or a giant capital ship. Sometimes the fighters are tiny, sometimes they themselves are giant, and some of the capital ships are minifig scale and others are microscale. But wouldn’t it be nice to see something else with more frequency? Like, what about the civilian ships, or even the military support vessels? Someone has to move the supplies from Planet A to Planet B, right? Well, thankfully we have Blake Foster, who has made us a small, minifig scale Neo-Classic Space (NCS) cargo shuttle. Called the Blue Lobster because it grips two containers at a time in its mechanical claws and it’s blue, it is the ship you hire for small jobs, when you don’t want to spend an entire nation’s GDP to move a few crates.
The coherent color scheme is perhaps my favorite aspect of NCS ships, and the Blue Lobster does not disappoint, with the obligatory yellow canopy and the blue and grey body. The grey greebles are perfect, using my favorite greeble element, the piston bar, and the Nexo Knights droid torso to great effect around the engines. I also love those crates; each is a work of art in itself, with some fascinating geometry making them work. Now, I need to move in a month or two, and I think my family’s belongings could fit in those crates (if we were minifigures, that is); maybe I should ask Blake if this cosmic crustacean is up for hire.
…Next time won’t you sing with me? With several toddlers roaming the hardwood, I sing the alphabet song frequently around my house. It’s a classic. That also seems to be what Dave Kaleta is singing with this gorgeous poster shot of all of his alphabet starfighters, built out of LEGO in collaboration with his young son. We have featured several of them on their own, like B and C, among others, but all together they are gorgeous.
And while we usually don’t promote contests here at The Brothers Brick, I can’t resist pointing out that Dave really is inviting you to sing the space alphabet song with him by entering your own alphabet starfighter into his contest (clicking the image below will bring you to the rules). It ends May 9th, by the way, so you have time to get some entries in!
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.
While brainstorming ideas for my own entry to the Assemble the Fleet Contest, I went down a bit of an internet rabbit hole of ships and concept art from lesser-known Star Wars video games. Among them was the Assault Frigate Mark II, only seen in the Star Wars: Empire at War RTS games, which I took one look at and dismissed as impossible to recreate in LEGO due to it’s almost entirely rounded shape. A few weeks later, to my dismay and excitement, The Brickforce proved me very wrong with his beautiful microscale rendition of the ship.
Making good use of the multitude of new rounded, angled, and sloped pieces LEGO has released the past few years, the builder has managed to skillfully recreate the rounded form of the ship, with minimal gaps between the bricks for a smooth look. The splashes of color top complete the build, both incorporated into the complex shaping of the hull and in the Nebulon-B-esque pod array coming off the bottom of the vessel.
They say the vast emptiness of space is entirely silent. It must be so in most parts of the universe, but definitely not anywhere near Sheo.‘s bizarre LEGO space police station. The sirens of such creepy police pods must sound totally far out. It doesn’t matter which world’s laws these guys enforce; you’d better slow down swooshing by this station.
How do you make a giant red alien lady laugh? With ten tickles! Ha! Get it? Tentacles… Ok, in all seriousness, I’ve never been into Anime, but the images that come out of it can be awe-inspiring sometimes. The highly stylized art form has a strong visual presence, to say the least. And this LEGO build by Sheo. has a strong visual presence, too, with that red alien lady and a spaceship in the background. The ship is the Sidonia, from the Manga and Anime work called Knights of Sidonia. The red figure is Tsumugi, a genetic hybrid of human and alien, designed to fight off the bad aliens with her giant body and immense powers. I love the use of ten tickles, er, tentacles to create a ragged organic shape, and the pirate hats for breasts is inspired. The end result is something disturbingly close to human, but still very much alien. Does it match the source? I don’t really know, and don’t much care, because as a LEGO build, she’s awesome! As long as she keeps her distance.
I admit it. I love the prequel trilogy of Star Wars movies. It is not for the scintillating dialogue or the powerful acting, though, impressive as those are. No, it is for the cool spaceships and the deeper look at life in the galaxy. There’s more to the thousands of planets than a few military bases and super-weapons, after all. One of those cool spaceships is the Venator-class Star Destroyer, used by the Republic. Fans of LEGO have been clamoring for years for a UCS (Ultimate Collectors Series) model of the ship, and, quite frankly, I’ll be surprised if they ever get it due to an anti-prequel bias. For now, though, they can be content with seeing this microscale version built by Stephan Niehoff. It’s got everything it needs: blasters, thrusters, greebles, and most importantly, the dual bridges and the dark red stripe along the top. Now it’s time to take out some Separatists!