Does your speeder jerk when accelerating? Or maybe you started noticing that ticking noise coming from the engines after the oil change? I think you should stop by Alexander Blais‘ garage. It’s not the fanciest one, and they might not be accepting credits, but these guys know their trade. Look at all the crates and boxes lying around; some say there is no such spare part they don’t have here in the garage. And forget about silly service droids. You don’t want to trust your lovely speeder to a soulless machine, do you?
In the non-LEGO “real” world, I work in innovation, developing ideas for new products, mostly in the world of drinks. Doing work like this, you come across multiple techniques for enhancing creativity and improving idea generation. In my experience, one of the most effective is the setting of constraints and rules around what you’re trying to do. Although it seems counterintuitive, the narrowing of possibility, the scaling-back of the intimidating blank canvas, gives more permission and opportunity for creativity. That’s where my recent Hover Car Racer models came from. In a bid to get past a bout of “builders’ block,” I set myself some constraints — a handful of key elements which would be common across the models, but beyond those, each racer could vary in design. The “rules” I set myself: bold color styling, a whiff of a muscle car, elements of asymmetry, and an enclosed cockpit. I’m really pleased with the variety which arose from sticking within these constraints and was pleasantly surprised at the creative flow of the building process…
The next time you’re struggling through a bout of the creative block (regardless of your creative medium of choice), I’d recommend setting yourself some constraints. Give yourself an unreasonable time limit, drastically limit the materials you can use, or set size and/or color restrictions — paradoxically, you’ll find such limitations will set you free.
Once I had a few models, it seemed natural to expand the world of Hover Car Racing. I imagined a future where the drivers are rockstar celebrities, with wall-to-wall coverage of races on every channel. I love taking a model and presenting it in a way that implies a broader universe around it…
I don’t want to spoil much for you if you haven’t yet seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but the main takeaway from this scene by flambo14 is that they fly now. When do spoilers become common knowledge? A brief internet search proves this can be a shifting and nebulous answer but the overall consensus is it’s frowned upon to spoil anything while said movie is still actively in theaters but should be fair game after that. For example; Darth Vader is Luke’s father, Bruce Willis was dead all along and the chick in The Crying Game is totally a dude. If these revelations spoiled anything for you then you fall into the “God help you” category and really should get out more. However, as to what flies now and why, we’re going to remain as vague as an Ikea instruction manual at least for a few more weeks.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters in almost exactly a month, but Star Wars fans have been treated to scenes from the movie in several teasers and trailers over the past year, including a speeder chase scene featuring our Resistance heroes aboard a vehicle that look like the post-apocalyptic offspring of the desert skiffs in Return of the Jedi and Enfys Nest’s Cloud Rider swoop-bikes from Solo. 75250 Pasaana Speeder Chase is the smallest LEGO Star Wars set released so far to support the upcoming movie, at 373 pieces with three minifigs and one droid.
The Muscle Car of the Future — that’s how Blake Foster describes his latest LEGO creation. It’s a perfect fit for this beefy beast of a speeder. This thing looks like it’s bursting with engine power, and along with the lovely colour blocking, it’s bristling with functional-looking greebles. Check out the fins on those intakes up front, and the wonderful curved piping which creates a common design element across both the front and back sections visually tying the whole model together.
Even better, Blake’s speeder appears to run on fuel provided by everyone’s favourite mega-corporation, Octan…
A good LEGO speederbike looks futuristic and “swooshable”, but the very best also carry with them a functional design — a sense of realism allowing you to suspend disbelief in the same way the bike suspends the normal rules of gravity. This beautiful model by GoIPlaysWithLego certainly looks the part, with hints of a Tron-style future in its colour scheme and curves, but it also has that elusive realistic look. The trans-blue steering fins at the front, the whips used as power cables, the shaped panelling around the cockpit seat — all add to the functional feel. And as for that black spike element underneath — I’ve no idea what it does, but I don’t doubt that without it this bike would be unable to fly.
On a more prosaic note, the model’s stand continues the impressive design, enhancing the presentation without distracting attention from the central subject.
LEGO’s Ultimate Collector Series line of highly detailed Star Wars models has brought us amazing models such as the Y-Wing and Millennium Falcon. But there’s one thing that’s missing so far, and that’s any vehicles from the new sequel trilogy. Regardless of your feelings on the new movies, we can all agree that there are a lot of amazing ship designs in the films, and one of the coolest (and smallest) is Rey’s speeder from The Force Awakens. Builder Aniomylone wasn’t content to wait for LEGO to build a UCS version of it, so they’ve done it themselves with this stunning rendition.
Back in 2016 we featured another UCS version of Rey’s Speeder, but what’s fascinating here is how Aniomylone’s version is built with radically different techniques, yet is still incredibly accurate. I also love that there’s a custom UCS-style placard to accompany the speeder.
Described as the “biggest, baddest, most bulbous speeder bike”, by builder David Roberts, the Turbinia certainly lives up to its name. I’ve admired David’s work for a long time now, especially the way he mixes his humorous narratives with the knowledge of an engineering graduate. In this case the turbine element creates both the quirky nautilus-like shape of the vehicle, as well as hinting at the real-life mechanics of a centrifugal processor. Whichever way you look at it, this colourful model is a whole heap of gyroscopic fun.
Sometimes, the scale of official LEGO Star Wars sets presents a challenge for builders who want to create elaborate scenes to incorporate them into. Microfighters can help in this situation unless you are not a fan of the cute and chunky vehicles in proportion to their minifig pilots. One solution is to do what Brick Ninja did, and re-design the official sets to better match mini-fig scale.
This custom version of Han Solo’s stolen M-86 speeder may have fewer play features and a bit less detail, but it matches the dimensions of the movie vehicle perfectly, and still fits Han and Q’ira side by side.
Going in to see Solo: A Star Wars Story with managed expectations, I loved this movie! And the speeder sets for Han Solo and Moloch released in the first wave were some of the best speeders to come out of the franchise, in my opinion. Apparently, h2brick is also a big fan, having built this great street scene featuring Han and Qi’ra careening along pursued by a patrol speeder. There are a lot of nice details throughout this dark gray scene, including a few toppled containers spilling something unhealthy onto the street, and plenty of discarded debris.
Ever since Star Wars: Return of the Jedi hit theaters, hovering speeder bikes have been a very popular subject with LEGO builders captivated by that high-speed chase through the forest of Endor. There’s something enchanting about slapping a big engine on a spindly, thoroughly greebled contraption and crafting the perfect mini-fig character. You can almost feel the whining vibrations in your spine. The Flickr group LSB Lego Speeder Bikes has been running a contest for the month of February called the Battle for District 18.
During the contest, builders competed in 4 categories:
- Rebels (criminals causing rampant destruction and mayhem)
- Enforcers (law enforcement tasked with bringing these rebels in)
- Abide (citizens just trying to survive the chaos)
- District 18 (a scene that represents the daily struggle in District 18)
We here at TBB have already featured a few of these models over the last month, but now that we have reached the end of this popular competition I wanted to feature a round-up of some of my personal favorites.
With the recently concluded LEGO speeder bike contest, there have been hundreds of speeder bikes submitted, and I too have decided to join in at the last minute with a police chase diorama. The build started with the police speeder and its huge windscreen, which gave me the idea of a wall-smashing speeder in a future where buildings are so cheap to rebuild, a police officer may consider just breaking through a few walls to catch a criminal.
I have put a large majority of the effort on the speeder bikes themselves, with the somewhat simple diorama acting as a catalyst to join them together in a cohesive scene. The walls are literally broken up by the hole that the police speeder has punched in them, as well as a hole being repaired by a 3D-printing robot.
Since this diorama was built for a contest and it was limited by a deadline, I put emphasis on the speeder bikes themselves, but the concept of a crushed wall and a wall being printed are something I really want to revisit. While I do have a technique for both in mind, there are a lot of other things I want to build before I return to Distrikt 18.