Tag Archives: Spaceship

The stars align for a classic space nova

Bionicle Day, 8/10 (810nicle), is behind us, and we’re catching up by celebrating some builds that incorporate the popular buildable figure elements from LEGO’s past. Blake Foster found inspiration to use Bionicle elements such as Macku‘s helmet and Hero Factory feet (ball and socket configuration) for the side of the hull. The standard blue LEGO Classic Space hue is an obvious homage to the 1986 LEGO Cosmic Fleet Voyager. Just don’t expect to see Benny fit into this space fighter, because it is micro-scale. After some quick research on novae, I get why Blake Foster named it “Nova Class.” It is akin to nova, the astronomical event where new stars form and explode, shining bright and slowly fading, just as Blake described how the build constantly came apart during its construction. For now, bask in its glow.

Nova Class Heavy Fighter

We used to build LEGO spaceships and wonder at our place in the stars

Going by the latest reports, Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited Tenet will finally hit big screens less than a month. While we still wait, it might be the best time to re-watch another movie by one of the greatest directors of our time. CheeseyStudios suggests the 2014 epic sci-fi Interstellar. His build of The Endurance spaceship is much more complicated than it looks. Note it consists of 12 sections, which means that the angle between them is 150 degrees. Caleb managed to find just the right piece for this task, giant flex joints.

The Endurance

And if you are interested in the design of the Ranger shuttle, note a brilliant use of ninja swords. Thanks to the curved swords, the otherwise somewhat blocky model becomes very recognizable.

Microscale Ranger - Interstellar

Don’t LOL at this VTOL

M:Tron was a classic space line of LEGO sets back in the day, best recognized by the red color scheme on its vehicles. Though the line ended decades ago, builder Blake Foster resurrects this spacecraft in true M:Tron fashion.

This Heavy VTOL, which stands for Vertical Take Off and Landing, is a masterpiece in imagination. Blake Foster ingeniously combined bricks that you usually don’t see together, using large rounded red bricks with harsh green fluorescent wings jutting out. His explanation for this creative decision was that the M:Tron Corporation secretly implemented stolen alien technology into their vehicle.

I can’t get enough of the tiny details, like the power plant work around the gun or the vents on engines. See the magnetic drop pods on the bottom of the VTOL? What a great idea! The vehicle can easily transfer cargo at a moment’s notice. Perhaps it would make a great addition to his M:Tron magnet factory.

A ship designed to bug you

Giant spaceships are cool, but I think we’ve seen the strength of the small one-man fighter to slip in and do some real damage. Blake Foster created the Grumpy Gnat Attack Fighter in under 24 hours…a level of speed this thrust-heavy vehicle understands. Built in Classic Space colors, the transparent-yellow windscreen hails from 2011’s 7985 City of Atlantis, and the blue cowling is sourced from a variety of Bionicle parts. I particularly like the Rahkshi Back Cover along the top and sides. The gap designed for the Rahkshi spines makes a perfect place to have the ship’s fins extend through. And the little touches like the red and green navigational lights just make me smile.

Grumpy Gnat Attack Fighter

This isn’t Blake’s first foray into new Classic Space vehicles. Not by a long shot! Check our archives for more space-y goodness.

Now this is pod...er, GARC?...racing!

I love racing. Not that I do it myself, but there is something enthralling about watching vehicles (or even just persons or animals) moving at high speeds in a winner-take-all contest. From track meets to Formula 1, NASCAR to podracing, I love watching races (n.b. I don’t actually watch car races, typically, but scenes in movies, like Cars, get me excited). And what goes faster than a car? A spaceship, of course! This small LEGO craft by Tim Goddard looks highly maneuverable, barely fitting a minifigure so that it can squeeze into the small gates that mark the course. The transparent 4×4 dish perfectly complements the windscreen to form a lovely canopy, and the color blocking is superb. Perhaps even better than the raceship is the triangular teal gate, with just the right amount of greebling to balance the smooth curves. And the stickers enhance it all the more. Gentlemen, start your thrusters!

The race is on!

The Star Wars StarFortress is loaded and ready

The sequel Star Wars movies brought us the MG-100 StarFortress SF-17 Bomber. Nevermind trying to figure out how bombs can drop in the vacuum of zero-gravity space. Forget that they seemed to be dangerous fiery tinderboxes that would engulf its crew and anyone else within farting distance. They were neat and rather imposing visually, and when it comes to selling movie tickets and merchandise, that’s all that matters, really. Thomas Jenkins gives the Resistance bomber the LEGO midi-scale treatment and the result is quite good. LEGO sold us a minifig scale 75188 Resistance Bomber back in 2017 with, I would imagine, some moderate success. But this model, though smaller, seems to portray its shaping and proportions better. It just goes to show that you don’t need a massive payload of bricks to drop an accurate looking bomber like this one.

I’m just gonna drop this right here

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.

Cargo Dropship

Rarin’ to go

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.

10-SGTY Racer (tensegrity)

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.

10-SGTY Racer (tensegrity)

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.

A canopy as tasty as a canape

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.

4-D4 Recon & Fighter Craft

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?

Spaceship begins with B

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?

B-Wing Starfighter

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!

B-Wing Starfighter

Bugs in space

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.

LEGO Classic Space spaceship

As rare as a blue lobster

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.

Blue Lobster Cargo Shuttle

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.