A few years back I was taking measurements for a custom rug that was going to adorn my living room. It wasn’t a perfect rectangle as it needed an angled corner cut out to accommodate the fireplace. It occurred to me then, as I was trying to recall forgotten formulas, that I was using geometry and algebra outside of high school. They warned us to pay attention as we might need this someday. Unlike me, it seems Nathan Proudlove has a firm grasp on all the algebra and geometry the world has to offer as evidenced by this awe-inspiring space station. The inner rim of the hub boasts glass-enclosed habitat modules and green spaces. The spin of the wheel in space would create gravity, keeping the inhabitants within safe and comfortable.
Zooming in and taking a gander at some of the individual modules is the only way to really appreciate what a massive undertaking this must have been. Here is a particularly interesting shot that showcases the complex geometry that helped create the large round structure. Minifig legs in orange offers a clever bit of greebling.
A shot of the central hub shows two smaller craft exiting the space station. Another wheel stacked behind this one would have made a near perfect replica of the space station from 2001: A Space Odyssey. I can just hear Hal’s pompous not-quite-human voice now; “I’m sorry, Lino. Your grasp of geometry and algebra is insufficient. You’ll never figure that rug out.” Can it, Hal!
Ah, Novvember. The time of year when all the forked-front spaceships come out to play. It’s always a lot of fun to see what new takes on the Vic Viper builders will come up with. Sheo is among those who took a stab at it, and delivers a ship that really has that “wow” factor. Butterfly Racer is all about the curves.
White hot air balloon panels create an hourglass shape that is surrounded by undulating curves in red. There are dinosaur tails and inverted arches, along with a mixture of curved slopes. The curved shape is also emphasized by the repeated use of round tiles in white, red, and black. All in all, this is a lovely craft that pays tribute to the themes while still bringing a new and distinctive style to them.
I think Khan said it best: “Do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? It is very cold in space.” Yes, in addition to being the final frontier, space is also pretty darn nippy. Builder Seb71 celebrates that icy perspective with the clean and crisp lines of Siberia. The subtle curves on the edges and wings keep things from feeling boxy, even with decoration that is very angular. And let’s talk about that deco work! The choice to keep things greyscale gives the stripes at the front great contrast to the white of the hull. The technique used to make the stripes is worth a closer look, too. Clever use of multi-directional building is used to align cheese slope tiles to get those sharp angles.
The real treat, though, is the blocky gradient on the rear wings. It’s a tiny mosaic that gives a lovely fade from black to white, blending the colors used elsewhere on the ship into a harmonious whole. And it just looks so swooshable…
Scientists, writers, and other visionaries of the past imagined we’d all have flying cars and bikes by now. What happened? What they were expecting was a revolution of energy but what happened instead was a revolution of data. The result means that the average person carries far more computing power in their pocket than what it took to put men on the moon but we, as of yet, have no efficient or affordable means to fly to work on the daily. Still, a boy can dream and Vince Toulouse has such a dream with this Sky Rider Special. Dark blue and tan make for a handsome color combination while a ball socket acts as a terrific headlight encasing. The pièce de résistance however involves the use of two Bionicle airpumps in the engine area to emulate some brilliant hover-bike wizardry.
Someday Vince’s vision may still come true but for now I’ll have to appease myself with entire libraries worth of data at my fingertips in order to watch dachshund videos on Youtube.
Despite its relatively simple design, it’s amazing how many different approaches there have been to building LEGO TIE Fighters, in both official sets and fan creations. The latest design to catch our eye, is Fuku Saku’s rendition.
It’s interesting to see what features tend to be common among the various versions, such as the seemingly natural use of round corner dome top bricks to shape the cockpit. More interesting though, is what’s unique. While wings in LEGO TIE Fighters have often been made of brick, plate, or tile, this model takes them a step further and uses grille tiles to give the wings a more accurate solar panel texture. Another feature that’s often different, and is again here, is the design of the forward facing lasers. They’ve been represented by so many different parts in the past, and here they’re masterfully recreated using one of my favourite subtle decortative elements, the Technic 3/4 pin.
If you’ve been following The Brothers Brick lately, you may have seen some sci-fi builds by ZCerberus. He had an awesome entry for SHIPtember, a cool spider walker and, most recently, a Classic Space vehicle. Now he’s back and bigger than ever. In my article on the SHIPtember build, I expressed hope that the fleet would continue to expand, and he has delivered in a delightfully orange way. The one on the far left is the previously-covered SHIP, but the rest are nearly as impressive size-wise and equally as detailed and heavily armed. I love the editing job with the cool space background and all of the ships flying together.
See more details of the fleet
LEGO themes present creative builders with endless opportunities to mash multiple themes together into the ultimate, ultimate LEGO creations, like zombie pirates, zombie army, zombie spaceships, and zombie cowboys. (what is up with this guy and his obsession with zombies? I blame Halloween). Anyways, back to mash-ups, this wonderful SHIP (Seriously Huge Investment in Parts) by Hans Dendauw brings together the fan challenges of SHIPtember and Novvember (an homage to the Vic Viper, one of the racing spaceships from the 1995 video game Gradius, distinguished by a two-pronged fuselage), and does it all in Classic space style. Benny would be proud.
LL166, this is Moonbase Control, you are clear to begin your approach…
Time to run through the LEGO Classic Space checklist: Transparent yellow canopy? Check. Blue body plating with light grey greebly-bits? Check. Yellow and black striping? Check.
And yet, this spaceship by ZCerberus manages to look fresh and new whilst still complying with all the Classic Space “rules and regs”. That’s at least partly down to those twin engines, with the cogs in the mountings implying the thrusters can rotate, making this a neat little VTOL craft. The fuselage angles are sharp too, with more than a little whiff of an Apache helicopter, making this look somehow dangerous despite the lack of obvious armament.
Don’t get me wrong; I love me some sci-fi dystopian futures. But, after a while, it’s nice to see something a little more upbeat. Stenertje treats us to such a vision with “Space Police II Outpost.” Sure, it’s a police station, but look at how friendly and clean it is! There are trees, festive flags, and even a mailbox. The local mounties ride kaadu instead of heavily-armored speeder bikes. And the ship at the center of it all! Clean lines, and what appears to be only a hint of weaponry. It’s a breath of fresh air.
Pulling back the camera a little, things may not be quite as placid. The tops of the pylons surrounding the launch pad are covered with missile launchers and guns. And is that a robotic Gatling gun off to the right?
Well, no matter. I’m sure the heavily armed fortifications are just relics from the past, and not some subtle build up for a future Space Police theme…
Conspiracy theorists claim that the pyramids of various ancient civilizations were all inspired by aliens coming from outer space. Ancient peoples were clearly not smart enough to figure out engineering, they claim, so they must have had help from elsewhere. Plus, there are strange figures engraved on them, and how do you explain the striking resemblance of one pile of cut stones to another? I mean, compare those Egyptian pyramids to the Babylonian ziggurats and the Mayan temples. Exactly the same. And don’t forget the most conclusive evidence of all, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Well, builder Ivan Martynov provides us with some insight to solving the mystery. He has made an entry into SHIPtember that is both a space ship and an ancient temple.
There are the stairs to reach the summit, a shrine at the top, and what appears to be a six-legged beetle (or is that an alien form, carved crudely?). Then there are thrusters, power cores and other bits of advanced technology. It all makes perfect sense. This ship touched down in several places on Earth, inspired worship and emulation, and then left to visit other worlds. Do you believe the conspiracy theorists yet? Maybe you should.
There are a lot of variation to the giant spaceships created for SHIPtember (SHIP = Significantly Huge Investment in Parts). Many of them draw inspiration from classic LEGO themes, video games, or movies. Sometimes, however, you see something new from this month long building challenge. For instance, Sheo‘s Hitchhikers has some fascinating shapes, unusual colors, and great part usage. One standout detail is the Death Star piece at the core of the Technic construction at the aft of the ship. I also really like how the main body isn’t built with a standard “studs to the ceiling” approach. The angled bricks give the Kirby-esque detailing a very energetic feel.
In a nice recursive touch, the Hitchhiker has some smaller hitchhikers of its own. These four micro ships also have some unique color choices and part usage. I particuarly like the use of a minifigure hat and flower petals on the blue and red model. The roller skates on the red cargo hauler are pretty sweet, too.
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!