Sometimes the visions of the future put forth by LEGO builders can be a little grim — bleak technologically-dystopian vistas, often rendered in shades of dark grey. Here’s an altogether brighter view of the future from Tammo S. — one where we’ll be zipping around the skies in pastel-coloured hovercars. The shaping on this thing is great — all retro curves and smoothness. But it’s the colour scheme which really makes it pop — the white and light blue is distinctive and striking, and the isolated golden highlights add a touch of class.
Steampunk is an always present theme in LEGO fan creations, and it pairs well with many different motives, from aircraft to architecture. Andreas Lenander adds to the latter with his recent build named Department of energy, a part of a larger collection of steampunk creations.
The building is a prime example of classic 19th century western architecture, with quite an interesting rooftop – a part often neglected. It appears as though the numerous technical additions were built on top of an older building in a time of disproportionately fast technological advancement. The multiple steam exhausts give a lot of character and the little touch of digital editing for the mysterious shine is a cherry on top.
Hey it’s me again, Jonathan Samson with a new creation for your perusal. When I originally wanted to create a ray gun, I started by building a couple of diodes – for inspiration I was trying a new sorting technique (pre-sorting into hues). I found I had an eclectic array of dark orange and dark tan pieces that seemed fit for purpose – round pieces for the barrel, a wing for the trigger and a bucketload of medium dark flesh crow’s nest elements for the pistol grip, so the diodes quickly got crystal downgrades and it became my first steampunk creation.
We are back visiting Paris in 1889 again with Castor Troy’s latest addition to his Steampunk-era rendition of the city. The Colonial Office has a striking black, white and gold color scheme with some beautiful architectural details. No expense has been spared in this particular office as a number of fancy gold elements can be found, such as the ornamental fences and, in particular, the Ninjago swords used in the roof to the far right. Castor has also created a great selection of minifigures to populate the uneven, grubby streets in front of the plush offices.
This is just one building in an incredible Paris 1889 collaboration, so you may enjoy another of Castor’s buildings that we highlighted a few weeks ago, The Lourve in 1889.
Whilst we tend to like our LEGO purist here at Brothers Brick, who doesn’t like to see a bell jar put to imaginative use? Peter Ilmrud does exactly that with a lovely steampunk chronograph packed into a small footprint inside a glass display cabinet. The clock’s design fits perfectly with the jar — both in size and shape, and in its neo-Victorian aesthetic.
Whilst the model is remarkable for the integration of the glass jar, the resulting reflections in the photo do get a little in the way of seeing the details within. Don’t miss this shot of the beautiful brass-effect scrollwork Peter has included around the clock face…
Take a medieval castle, mash it up with a pirate ship, and then give the whole thing impulse engines, the ability to fly, and advanced weaponry. That’s W.Navarre‘s recipe for a truly original LEGO creation. This could have turned out a hot mess of a build, but there’s enough colour and texture continuity across the model to pull off the ambitious intent. The test of an unusual creative idea is “Does it make sense without having to be explained?” This model accomplishes exactly that — it’s immediately apparent you’re looking at a flying pirate castle ship. What more explanation do you need?
The rear portion is excellent. I love the integration of the engines and missile bay beneath the hull…
Builder James Zhan calls this a Steampunk Airship, but it’s unlike others we’ve seen before. The steampunk style can sometimes be little more than an overlay of anachronistic technology, but this creation is stronger than that. It feels like a realistic flying pirate ship — if that’s possible!
James has a crew of Dwarven engineers for this craft, which perhaps explains the chunky solid feel of the machinery on display. A side view reveals the interesting cutaway section at the ship’s centre, giving a good view of the technical gubbins which serves to keep the vessel aloft.
Airships are one of the hardest types of aircraft to model accurately in LEGO. As a result, a good steampunk dirigible is a creation to be treasured. This fabulous sky pirates model by Thomas van Urk is a classic — a collection of steampunk staples (chequered envelope, boat-styled gondola, unlikely cannon-based armament) that soars effortlessly, somehow avoiding the risk of being grounded by genre tropes.
Whilst a sepia-tinted image is de rigeur for a steampunk vessel, this baby looks excellent in new-fangled colour. That red and black gas envelope is a stunner — the result of careful shaping using Mixel ball-and-socket joints, according to Thomas. The integration of the boat-hull gondola and domed pilot’s station is really nice too.
Lastly, don’t miss the elaborate rigging which runs all over the model. It’s touches like this which really elevate (!) this creation above its peers…
John Donne wrote that “no man is an island”, but when it comes to LEGO creations, famous poets do not restrict your imagination. Ben Fitzsimmons has turned that saying around with his huge LEGO diorama depicting a multitude of islands each inhabited by wandering travellers. Each unique little island is a place for rest and trade above the expanse of dark azure ocean. This is a beautiful, fantastical build with a touch of steampunk. The islands are all full of creative buildings like the tall lighthouse on the far right, and nice landscaping such as the waterfall spilling back into the ocean and the colourful trees.
A closer look at one part of the diorama shows some of the fun details. I love the propeller-powered pack that one traveller is wearing to cruise between islands, while the use of the ‘hot air balloon part’ as a sail works well at this scale.
Ben’s diorama won the Steampunk category at Brickfair Virginia this year and I imagine the build was even more impressive to see in person.
Of all modes of aerial transport, zeppelins are almost certainly the coolest (possibly because they are the least common). And while using one for raiding other aircraft may literally be the worst possible idea, that just adds to the fantasy. The sky pirates of The Travesty seem twice as crazy and intimidating for daring to raid aircraft in something as fragile as a zeppelin. The build is somewhat simple, using many large and specialized pieces, but Ted Andes manages to bring it all together quite well.
I may be biased by nostalgia for the Adventurers zeppelin piece, but I am sure the creation has something to offer for almost everybody. The deck looks like it was just slapped together and hardly supports the clutter it carries, which is exactly what one would expect from pirates. The light use of stickers breathes just that little extra life into the creation to make it quite memorable and recognizable.
We’ve seen excellent LEGO versions of the Blade Runner Police Spinner in the past, but as soon as I saw the title of the new movie I’ve been waiting for an 1849 steampunk remix. Jonas Kramm is happy to oblige with this clanky update (back-date?) of the classic sci-fi vehicle. The black piping makes for a pleasant change from the grey or gold steampunk builders tend to use for greebly details, and those brown whips uncurled against the dark blue panelling look excellent. The lanterns are a nice touch too.
Now to properly combine cyber and steam, what this really needs is a massive Neo-Victorian Neo-Tokyo diorama setting. Come on Jonas, what’s stopping you?
We have spoken about the LEGO steampunk genre many times before, but for the uninitiated it is a genre of science fiction that has a historical, normally Victorian, setting and features steam-powered machinery. Castor Troy‘s latest creation adds to his growing Paris Steampunk 1889 display with the world’s largest museum, the Louvre. The architecture has been brilliantly captured using a host of smaller parts to add decorative features, ranging from Technic gears and monochrome tan minifigures to studs, slopes and droid body parts.
The larger glass pyramid has been replaced with an altogether different type of pyramid, worthy of a place in steampunk history.