Too much sci-fi is brooding and dark and grey. If we develop the technology to travel amongst the stars, surely we’ll carry a sense of optimism towards those infinite horizons? What better way to signal our positive attitude than to bedeck our spaceships in bright cheerful livery? Scott Willhelm‘s bright blue LEGO starfighter fairly bursts off the screen — a neat little model, with a striking colour scheme, in a nicely-presented image. Beneath the bright plating, there’s a dark grey chassis, festooned with functional-looking greebly details, but it’s the blue, and the purple and white striping, which captures the eye.
(Okay, maybe the overall message of hope in our interstellar future is undermined by us having single-seater weapons platforms flying around. But at least they’ll LOOK friendly.)
Females make up half of the world’s population and many of all ages tell us they love building with LEGO. Yet why is it so rare that they are featured on The Brothers Brick? It’s not like we’re putting blinders on to their work, we purposefully seek out anyone building cool things with LEGO and yet the lady builder is somewhat of a rarity, even among our own staff. Rarer still is the lady builder who has designed spaceships. We see plenty of guys build spaceships, a casual perusal through our articles will confirm that, and some build with a single-minded devotion, like this dude here. Usually a spaceship builder’s write-up highlights payload capacity, armament, weaponry, and thrust and we follow suit with our articles; they build them, we write about them, the world spins and life goes on. But when someone like Malin Kylinger builds a spaceship we sit up and take notice. The reasons go far beyond the usual nice parts usage and visually pleasing aesthetics.
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From 1994-1996 various factions and organisations throughout space fell victim to Spyrius — villainous thieves whose vessels sported a distinctive red and black livery. Spaceruner has taken inspiration from some classic LEGO sci-fi sets to build an impressive new flagship for this sinister bunch of space-bandits. The iconic colours are in place, including the signature trans-blue windows and canopies, but the size of this craft is on a whole different scale from the official Spyrius sets.
This beast of a model is 155 studs long — that’s 1.25m. The size is put to great use, allowing the builder space to develop a detailed interior. The vessel has all the facilities you’d expect of a flagship craft, including hangar bays, control bridge, canteen and galley, offices, and even a pool. The ship’s upper surfaces can be lifted clear to allow access to the internal sections…
However, despite the quality of the interior, it’s the colours and external shaping which marks this out as a striking addition to the villainous fleet. Take a look at these views from different angles which give a good look at the impressive engines and, my favourite part, the asymmetric domed section mounted on the craft’s left flank…
If you’ve been hankering to hit the stars in a stylish Vic Viper, Kirby Warden has you covered with his blazing yellow Kigiku. In Japanese, Kigiku means yellow chrysanthemum but don’t let the name fool you; if you think you can outrun this starfighter, it’s time to wake up and smell the roses! You’re not going to get away when the pilot has maximum visibility in the cockpit mounted high above the fuselage.
If the subtle angles of the body formed using hinges are any indication, this is also one speedy vessel. Even the most formidable opponents may find themselves distracted by Kigiku’s lively yellow, dark pink, white and dark bluish gray color scheme.
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.