Despite the best efforts of large online retailers, drones still haven’t quite taken off (geddit?) as the main method of transport for goods. When they do though, I hope they look as good as this LEGO drone created by Stijn van der Laan (Red Spacecat). It’s a perfect example of near-future sci-fi – it has the classic drone layout we all know and love in the form of the propellors on each corner. But at the same time it looks too slick and cool to be from this day and age. It has a touch of the Boston Dynamics about it.
Even the container matches this aesthetic! It can be easy to overcomplicate future space-freight containers, but Stijn has done a sterling job to keep this convincingly realistic. Naturally, the container and craft are compatible.
We might be facing shipping delays here but Stijn van der Laan shows us what the future of high class shipping can look like. This LEGO interplanetary freighter is absolutely stunning and the modular cargo load pairs perfectly. The simple white and grey colors with orange highlights contrasts nicely with the bright cargo and worker vessel. The subtle shaping adds some great texture and depth to the fairly simple overall shaping of the freighter. This is an absolute masterclass of microspace.
Click here for more details on the cargo!
The winged horse of Greek mythology has evolved quite a lot over the eons. Controversial origins and dangerous quests have fluctuated with ideas from fairytales and childrens’ stories. Well, Builder Stijn van der Laan has presented his own version and its certainly not suited for little girls. Unless those little girls have a penchant for war. The RX-12 Pegasus is an unmanned aerial vehicle partly inspired by modern drones with a prop plane twist. Some nice parts usage with newer elements rounds out this build for a smooth design.
The clean, almost studless top portion of this build does well to trick the eye. Stijn made use of the new wedge pieces from the Porsche 911 to achieve the nice slopes on the nose and prop sections. The counter-rotating propellers also use black “flipper” elements to nicely emulate the style of the real thing.
Of course, something like this usually has to land eventually. The builder did a great job with the thin but effective crafting of the landing gear, which I imagine nicely tucks away under some of the exposed panels. This drone has a delightfully sleek profile and a ton of accesories if you feel like checking them out. I love seeing models build to scale with the Technic figures. They may be a bit of a relic but they’re still a delightful piece of LEGO history.
Oh, a little disclaimer from the writer. War is a serious and difficult aspect of the human condition. I will celebrate the design of the builder and even certain capabilities of the real-world inspiration but I do not stand by the warfare supported by such devices. Instead of bombs, I wish we could use these to drop knowledge. For archaeological and ecological surveys, for species and habitat maintenance. Perhaps one day we shall see such an aspirational era.
Anyone who’s seen The LEGO Movie knows LEGO is a highly sophisticated interlocking brick system. But it’s more than that, and sometimes we LEGO fans have a tendency to get caught up in what is and isn’t allowable when playing with our favorite plastic toys. Then along comes someone like Stijn van der Laan to shake up our expectations with a brilliant model like this that defies the normal bounds of what’s appropriate to do with LEGO. Stijn has transformed his excellent Peregrine drone model that we covered a few years ago by giving it a camouflage paint job.
Stijn actually recreated the design first using all red elements. Then he gave it a base coat of grey, and then carefully masked and airbrushed the modern camouflage design onto the model, as if it were a traditional cut-and-glue model kit. The result is fantastic, highlighting the striking design of the drone even more than Stijn’s original color scheme.
Now, you’re not likely to find me airbrushing my own LEGO creations anytime soon, but I admire the craft that goes into designing this, and it’s good to have our minds expanded a bit from time to time on just what is possible with this brick system we all use.