I’m a big fan of finding new ways of integrating large LEGO pieces creatively. Peter Ilmrud does this adeptly in his Steampunk Airship. His skill with smaller LEGO pieces cannot be overlooked (for example the smoke billowing out of the top), and this would be a fantastic creation even if it didn’t have an abundance of large elements, but it’s those big pieces that make you say “oh cool, I haven’t seen one of those used like that before” or, if you’re steeped in the LEGO fan lexicon, “NPU” (Nice Part Use).
Let’s dive in and examine some of the parts used nicely here. The obvious examples are the planets – Bespin specifically – used for the balloons. Another easily noticeable piece is the dragon head fittingly used as a figure head. Further examination reveals well-integrated use of a Ninjago Airjitzu propeller, hero factory blades, and 4 Juniors boat bows used to support the wing propellers. The final example of great parts use I’d like to point out are the inside-out tires used in the the smokestack. Take a look at the images of different angles Peter’s posted and see what other cool building techniques he’s used on his airship.
Steampunk is always a favorite subject for many LEGO fan creators, allowing builders to combine Victorian-era architecture with science fiction to build fantastical worlds with their own rules. This residential workshop for a family of watchmakers by Andreas Lenander features some nice architectural details, like the windows, which make use of white flower elements between round bricks. The white tooth part is great both as part of the window and as an accent in the divider between floors, which was common in Victorian residential buildings. And don’t miss the unicorn horn used as a door handle. Also, bonus points for using Dumbledore’s beard and hair for the whimsical proprietor on the roof.
Roller coaster parts had been a long time coming when they were finally released last year. I, personally, was someone begging for them, and was ecstatic when given the chance to review the LEGO Creator Expert 10261 Roller Coaster. Since then, it’s been cool to see what others have done with the track. This time, Daniel Church has built a super cool Steampunk monowheel. All the greebly bits create a lovely design, and the triangular signs and 2×3 pentagonal tiles finish it off well.
The best part is that it actually moves! Who doesn’t love a good LEGO build with movement? I hope the next task is to make it stand by itself and remote controlled!
If Steampunk is your thing, we have another steam-powered monowheel (with other vehicles) for you! We’ve also drooled over a gorgeous windmill and a cool chess set, or two.
A LEGO model built predominantly from a single colour generally needs to be something special to grab the eye. This gleaming clockpunk-style spider beastie from Markus Rollbühler manages to do exactly that, using a variety of textured pearl gold parts to provide lots of delicious mechanical detailing in amongst the bling.
The eye in the mechanoid’s “face” is a brilliant parts choice, and I like the egg-sac feel of the teal balls held between the wheels of the abdomen. Katana for the lower limbs make this thing look like it’s tip-toeing around, but it’s the use of saxophones for knees which is the masterstroke here, adding touches of tiny texture to a nicely angled joint, and proving once again there’s no such thing as a single-use LEGO part!
There’s nothing like a stiff breeze in your sails and a bit of steampunkery to make the workday fly. This rickety windmill by Martin Harris hits all the right notes with its exposed framework, abundance of gears, and plethora of thingamabobs that are the hallmarks of the aesthetic. The LEGO ship rigging elements pull double-duty here as framework, with Martin even taking advantage of their flexibility to bend them into place. Now the real question is: what does it power?
I’m not quite sure how the mechanics of a steam-based industry work on the moon, or how exactly a lighter-than-air vehicle like a zeppelin would float above an airless surface, but Dwalin Forkbeard certainly makes such a fantastical idea believable with this steampunk city on the moon.
See more details of this steampunk city on the moon
Who wouldn’t want a tiny clockwork LEGO tripod to set scuttling across their desk? I know I would. Whilst this delightful piece of steampunk whimsy by Sad Brick might not be able to actually move, it certainly looks like it’s about to lurch into jerky motion. Aside from the classy mechanical greebles stuffed within its transparent carapace, it’s a relatively simple model, but the jaunty posing and the compelling composition invest this creation with a whole heap of character.
If you’re a Ninjago fan, this vehicle may look familiar. After all, it was inspired by the official set 70654 Dieselnaut, which we covered in our news roundup of summer wave Ninjago sets. But there is a lot more to this steampunk behemoth by Mishima than a black paint job. Every detail from the official set has been re-built to fit the steampunk aesthetic, from brass and steel pipes throughout the tank, to the side and top mounted turrets. Even the crew have been custom fitted to the steampunk theme. Two smokestacks in front of the top turret look like they might have come straight off an old steam locomotive, along with the curved side panels that lift up to reveal more guns.
We at TBB always take pleasure in seeing builders take their creations to new heights. Here we have Marcel V. execute on that quite literally, with these structures dubbed “Giap-Towers,” where minifigures and their humble abodes float amongst the clouds. After featuring this floating steampunk cityscape just a few days ago, we loved their simplistic charm and have chosen this to be TBB’s cover photo for October 2018.
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With all the clamour online surrounding LEGO’s new Betrayal at Cloud City set, it’s great to see a builder with a very different take on life in the sky. Marcel V has taken inspiration from the super-talented anime illustrator Chong Fei Giap, famed for his sprawling cityscapes. Wonderfully photographed with the nimbus mist swirling around the towers’ stilts and only a cable car system to get around, the model really captures an other-worldly quality. Still, the mind boggles as to how the inhabitants pin their clothes to the precariously hung washing line–I hope they have a good pulley system! Marcel plans to take the model to the Skaerbaek LEGO fan weekend in Denmark next month; for those of us who are not lucky enough to attend, you can still check out detailed images of each of the balanced abodes on his Flickr stream.
We recently featured some terrific turn-of-the-century LEGO steam cars by Krzysztof Pusz. He’s back again, this time with some excellent steampunk vehicles. My absolute favorite is the monowheel, which puts the otherwise bulky Ninjago Airjitzu Flyer propeller blades to excellent use. I love how the internal mechanics are visible within the blades, and the side-mounted periscope solves the problem of “driving blind.” I’m not sure what the significance of the baby bunny is, but I like it.
Krzysztof has supplemented his steampunk universe with two other delightful models, one of which is his plane named the Golden Arrow. Incorporating Bionicle elements into the front end of the body looks appropriate for the subject matter. It also looks like the pilot has a hamster friend….I’m starting to notice a theme here.
Last but not least is the Bulbulator. It’s bulky form almost reminds me of military transport, which is probably why we can’t find any cute animals with this one. The risk is far too great and the antithesis of all that is cute.
One of the most gorgeous airships to grace the skies has finally emerged from the distant clouds. This is the long-awaited Skytanic, built by Markus Ronge and alluded to in his equally epic-looking Maersk Pier, featured on The Brothers Brick last week. In Markus’ steampunk universe, the airship’s massive size was made possible thanks in part to the ultra-light steel used in its construction. When it comes to the characters involved in the ship’s construction, Markus once again gives them clever names. Hiram Lever is the designer behind Skytanic, which is in turn piloted by Captain Ulysses Wheeler.
From bow to stern, Skytantic looks phenomenal. The red, black and white hull is reminiscent of the ill-fated Titanic, while the gold trim helps give the finished model that steampunk vibe. According to Markus, the ship stands a whopping five stories tall, and each level looks distinct. The top level features a lively looking bar, and the royal cabin is directly below that. If you look carefully enough, you will also find what appears to be a tribute to the Jack and Rose “flying” scene from James Cameron’s hit film, Titanic (1997).
Click to see more of the Skytanic