I have never been enthralled with steampunk. Maybe it’s because I’m not the biggest fan of the Victorian Era in general, let alone a fantastic version of it filled with steam-driven automatons. Despite that, I can recognize a cool LEGO build when I see it, no matter what era it is from. And that is what this steam-church by Dwalin Forkbeard is. Inspired by a church in Ukraine, this particular one lacks a second tower (due to lack of parts) and the square in front (also due to a shortage of parts), but it looks great just as it is. I love how the smaller chunks of city life are connected to the central build by pipes, linking them together without needing to make a giant plaza. And I do like pipes. I also like seeing the planet half-spheres used for domes. Add in some handcuff ornaments and one amazing gas lamppost, and you have something special. Isn’t that right, old chap?
As we turn the calendar over to a new decade, we’re also turning our clocks back for our social media cover images with this incredible LEGO Steampunk city collaboration by Stephan Gofers and Brick Rebel. This huge layout is filled with all the best aspects of steampunk, from airships and railways to incredible art deco-inspired buildings. There are so many details to take in that you’ll definitely want to give this one a closer look. Don’t miss our original article on this wondrous city.
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Two builders who go by the names of Brick Rebel and Monstrophonic have put their noggins and considerable skill together to build this exquisite Steampunk city layout called LEGO Steam Company. What is Steampunk exactly? It’s a sci-fi sub-genre that takes into account if H.G. Wells and Jules Verne were right about their Victorian-Era visions of the future. Zeppelins, steamboats, copper robots and steam-powered trains abound in this genre where everyone from an airship mechanic to the mayor look fantastic in a top hat and copper goggles. The builders tell us this layout features an array of moving elements including a steam power plant with tall chimney, the Steam Rail (moving train/monorail), skyscraper with functioning elevator, the Department of Dirigibles (with working revolving door and searchlight on the roof), a ‘flying’ zeppelin with whirling rotors and cabin lighting. There is also a city park with a botanical garden, a restaurant with robotic waiters and various other buildings and figures in Victorian Steampunk style.
Steam-driven military walkers are a staple of the LEGO Steampunk building genre, and this one, by Carter Witz, is a great addition to the corps — a spindly tripod affair with touches of dark red in amongst the grey greebles. The functional-looking joints on the legs support a nicely detailed body packed with texture (and armaments).
I particularly liked the evocation of a classic Prussian-esque “pickelhaube” spiked helmet. This is one of those LEGO creations where the presentation adds immensely to the overall effect. The base is simple but well done, and the addition of the figures advancing beneath their mechanical companion gives an impression of scale the central model alone might lack. And dropping in that wolf is a masterstroke — immediately creating a sense of mystery, danger, and otherworldliness. Steampunk needs more wolves.
Some things run like clockwork, and sometimes the clockwork is what makes you run. Taking inspiration from Dishonored 2, Return to Oz and D&D characters, Paddy Bricksplitter brings us a Clockwork Golem that is both elegant and menacing. This streamlined build demonstrates that you don’t always need a ton of parts to make an exceptional LEGO model. The black and gold of the main body are accented by splashes of white and grey. Gold plant stems are used for both shoulder ornaments and decoration on the checkerboard base.
A bit of dark pink ties the central clock into the piercing eyes. At first, I thought those eyes were made from Friends lipstick with the ends cut off, but Paddy assures me that that’s just how the bottom of that piece looks due to the dual molding. And that they would never cut any pieces. We’ll have to look elsewhere for the inspiration behind the giant scissors for hands. Although… maybe we’re better off just not knowing.
Renowned builder Jonas Kramm is no stranger to the world of Steampunk superheroes. In 2013, he created an amazing Steampunk Batcave, and now returns to the theme. This time he has re-imagined Marvel’s Ant-man and the Wasp as Geantelman and the Steam Wasp. The Wasp is a bit removed from her spandex-clad cinematic counterpart but still sports a version of the iconic Pym bug-control helmet. The rest of the figure features an interesting mix of parts, including wings constructed from window lattices, a torso from Talia Al Ghul, and skirt from Elizabeth Swann Turner.
Geantelman also wears a steampunk version of the ant-control helmet, but that’s overshadowed by the giant ant he’s riding. (I say giant, but is it really? Who can tell with these size-changing heroes. For all I know this could be a 1:1 scale build.) The ant is full of great details, like the use of a Nexo Knights breastplate with shoulder pads as the eyes. Multiple copies of Luke Skywalker’s cape form the wings, a mining helmet is used as the lower jaw, and the often-used ice cream scoops represent steam. The real stinger though? That has to be the wind up key on the end.
It’s a Sky Pirate’s worst nightmare when The Valvalevidan hoves into view. AdNorrel‘s massive steampunk flying vessel is a wonderful LEGO creation — beautifully detailed, and packed with functional-looking elements. The overall shape carries a faint whiff of Jabba’s Sail Barge from Return Of The Jedi, but that’s no bad thing. I love the touches of gold and the striped sails, and those lanterns on the raised rear deck are excellent.
The airship is 80 studs in length, making for a formidable construction project which took 9 months to put together. However, all that space is put to great use with some fabulous details. Here’s a close-up view of the impressive motors which keep the ship moving when the wind drops… Continue reading
Marvel Comics has their multiverse — alternate realities where the heroes you know are reimagined as something new. DC comics does something similar with their own characters, usually super grim and dark ones resulting from the timeline being broken by something the Flash did. (Really. It’s a trope.) But sometimes these stories can just be bight spots of fun, and if you’re really lucky you’ll get to enjoy one of them in LEGO form. For instance, have a look at this take on Batman and the Batmobile by Breado’s Bricks. Batman always has a ton of resources, so what if he really leaned into the glitz as much as the flying rodent thing? You might end up with the steampunk version we see here. Decked out in gold chrome elements, cape and cowl, and body armor, this Batman may not be stealthy, but he certainly is shiny.
SteamBat brings this sense of style into his ride as well. The BatRod mixes the traditional BatBlack with new and improved BatGold accents. Mag wheel covers and rims echo the highlights in the engine and exhaust. Even more gold adorns the front grill and headlights.
No matter what angle you view this car from, you’re going to be well aware that SteamBats has a lot of cash to spend. Take that, criminals!
The comic book concept of a multiverse is a cool thing. The heroes and villains you know are seen through a distorted lens, bringing new twists to established characters. Markus Rollbühler brings us a steampunk version of Spider-Man and Doc Ock that could easily fit into a sequel of Into The Spider-Verse.
Spider-Man is still pretty recognizable with signature torso and mask, but the red cloak gives us our first hint that things are different. Markus then makes use of rare parts to complete the look: the hat from the Toy Soldier and legs from The Lone Ranger’s Captain Fuller.
The foe that Steampunk Spidey is facing off with is Doc Cog, a twist on Doctor Octopus. The base figure uses no Doc Ock parts, instead taking pieces from more hard to find figures. There’s Hawkeye’s head, a helm and torso from a Retro Spaceman, and the legs of the Portal Emperor of Atlantis. Doc even stole Luke Skywalker’s cape.
Doc’s arms are the star of the build, of course. These steam-powered appendages make use of everything from throwing stars and daggers to minifigure crowns. My favorite element, though, is the classic use of ice cream scoops to represent the steam.
Surveillance technology gets a creepy boost with Marty McFly, Cole Blaq’s latest creation. I’m not sure if this steampunk drone is designed to extract information or blood. It looks like it could do either. Or both. Probably at the same time. Like I said: Creepy.
From a LEGO perspective there are lots of things to love about this build. The spear gun proboscis and minifigure whip antennae fit the insect shaping well. The plastic insect wings are effectively incorporated. My favorite details, though, are the Imperial astromech droid heads. Those transparent domes perfectly combine the suggestion of circuity and faceted eyes.
Cole provides more great views of this creation in his blog post. While you’re there, take some time to explore this builder’s other amazing creations.
The year is 1859, and the British Navy is looking for Atlantis! Builder Paddy Bricksplitter has captured this historic moment of discovery in a detail-rich LEGO scene. Based on the columns and statue, our diver may have indeed found Atlantis. Let’s hope he’s also enjoying the rest of the view while he’s down there.
The Octonaut delivers a solid steampunk aesthetic without resorting to unnecessary embellishments. The tubing along the suit’s arms suggests a very real-world pneumatic solution for grip-strength at the ocean floor. Providing a nice contrast to the gold and brown, black rubber tires do double duty as weights and gaskets.
As cool as the diver is, the real highlight of this build for me is the innovative part usage on the sea floor. Not content with just the LEGO-standard fish and crab, Paddy has brought in Friends Accessories, Technic gears, a street-sweeper brush, and at least three types of minifigure hair. LEGO food items also feature prominently, with cupcakes galore, upward pointing carrots and lime ice cream scoops. And just look at that jellyfish!
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.