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.
Featured entries after the jump
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.
With the LEGO speeder bike contest not only well underway but even close to conclusion, we see some of the highest quality entries being submitted. It seems to be a trend that builders put disproportional amounts of effort into their speeders’ scenes. Andreas Lenander is far ahead on this front with his District 18 – San Tokyo scene.
There are heaps of details throughout this multi-layered diorama and each level contains its own pocket of a larger unwritten story. I love all the classic cyberpunk elements, from hoses, dirty water, neon lights and more to the thematic mixing of historical Japanese, contemporary and far-future science fiction. While the speeder bikes are obviously the main part of the build as far as the contest goes, my favourite parts are all the light-up features throughout the scene.
I think Halfbeak has misread the contest rules for the annual LEGO Speeder Bike contest and built a spider instead of a speeder! In all seriousness, this is a very original design. The competition is looking tough though, but luckily this police speeder has more than just originality going for it.
A conservative colour scheme that is unmistakably police-like combined with some stickers and a compact, complex design are all great, but Halfbeak did not stop there; the little accompanying drone really adds a lot to the general idea of police control while the colourful base helps the build stand out more. A touch of digital editing at the engines rounds off the picture as quite a treat to look at.
It doesn’t take a big model or a lot of pieces to be clever with LEGO. In fact, one of the best ways is to take take a piece and find a use for it so good that it looks like the element was purpose-made for it. Case in point: the hood of the tiny speeder by F@bz, which was originally the barding (blanket) of a Friends horse. It’s also worth pointing out the background made of brick anti-studs and spaced plates, with a Mars Mission aero tube in the foreground.
The beautiful XB-5 Speeder looks like it could appear on the cover of a copy of “What’s my Speeder?” magazine in any doctor’s waiting room in Coruscant. At first glance, it almost looks like a beautiful render, but rest assured Ordo (Fabian B.) has sculpted this Narglatch AirTech-produced speeder out of genuine ABS. A bit bulkier and heavier than a racing model, it is meant for folks wanting a bit more comfort while flying across the city-planet’s skyline. The fantastic azure blues accent the dark grey well. With seats made from Batha-leather, controls designed by the finest artists of Naboo and state of the art holographic displays – this high-class speeder must be worth a small fortune.
Look twice—those aren’t sideways cars, they’re COSMO Pods, the kit-built racers of the future. Designed by Volker Brodkorb, each of the vertically oriented pods is souped up to match its driver’s style and outfitted with a unique engine, and then splashed with a classic paint job hearkening back to the old petrol-powered four-wheeled racers of yore.
Of course, I’m rooting for the Ford GT40-inspired pod, because who doesn’t love that iconic blue and orange Gulf livery?
It’s the lead up to the Formula Zero Gravity Championships for Octan Racing’s Tigress. Piloted by a rookie racing under the name Octana, this larger-than-minifigure scale racer is ready for its paces. Builder Tim Goddard has used a variety of interesting techniques to get the amazing angles and sharp lines of this beastly speeder.
The body appears to be an extension of the cockpit window, which has been wrapped around a massive rear engine. Plus, there’s the great use of regular and inverted tall slope bricks opposite each other to create interesting panel lines. Slap on a hefty rear stabilizing wing with a handful of maneuvering thrusters and coat liberally with Octan livery and you have yourself an incredible racing monster. As the competing teams continue to work on their racers for a warm up race in Leicester this weekend, I think Octana and her ferocious feline are in for a fantastic racing season!
It’s easy to default to the same adjectives whenever one of Tyler’s builds shows up — amazing, epic, awesome, stunning, awe-inspiring, breathtaking, etc. I’m at a typical loss for words with his latest, this sweet glow-in-the-dark speeder.
Tyler is one of those rare builders who can turn any pile of parts — like some black and a handful of actual glow-in-the-dark elements — into something really special. Flawless photography and editing doesn’t hurt either. Overall, this is a cool design, well-presented.
I love a build with a good backstory. BobDeQuatre has created a story of a family of three speeder racers, starting with Thomas Hendricks building a prototype repulsor engine in his workshop. Making good use of stickered bricks and complete with a raised drafting area with chalkboard and designing table, Thomas’s workshop looks great.
Take a peek under the hood as we explore three generations of racers using variations of this amazing marvel of modern machinery.
This wonderfully compact and cleverly built speeder by W. Navarre demonstrates small size doesn’t necessarily mean small details. Though I have to admit I’m not entirely sure what it means (if anything), the Chinese touch is a pretty interesting and unique take on the typical Star Wars-esque speeders we see. And I’d be remiss not to mention the great looking tree or the remnants of a boot on the skeleton’s foot. The use of a Nexo Knight armor piece to construct the speeder’s front end is hands-down the best detail.
This neon netrunner by Carter Baldwin is one part nostalgic 80s racing video game (think Out Run), one part Blade Runner, and one part experiment in color theory. Mix that all up and you’ve got one sweet LEGO speed machine. While the speeder bike itself is quite good, what at really makes this build pop is the background. I love the glowing, misting water, the ombre-effect wall, the exposed beams, and that trans-blue palm tree.