There’s a fine balance in creative endeavours between finding a groove and getting stuck in a rut. There’s no doubt which side of the scale Ted Andes is on with his latest run of LEGO starfighters. Whilst there’s a common shaping and techniques involved in the production of his Corsair models, the variety of styling applied to the variants make for quite a fleet. First up, there’s a red and white beauty, which showcases the use of the Technic panel parts alongside the cockpit…
Ted has put together a whole range of these craft, each a skilful combination of Hero Factory armour, Bionicle pieces, and regular LEGO parts. These are models I’d love to see “in the brick” — I’m sure they’d make for an impressive formation flypast.
Back in 2017, Ted Andes built one of my favourite LEGO Star Wars-esqe ships that could have been a page taken from the galaxy far far away. This year he’s taken that inspiration and made it into a full-blown evolution of a Y-wing and it looks amazingly sleek and fit for a Rebel bombing run.
Utilising the canopy of the X-Wing and the shades of the popular yellow-themed Y-Wing from Star Wars, taking out bad guys never looked so good.
A prolific LEGO builder who’s graced our pages before, Ted Andes has presented a creation I resonate with at the moment, Winter. I’m typing this from Victoria, Australia, where the frosts and bleak days have been many. This beautiful vignette, a small capture of a snowy morning on the edge of a siheyuan. I can almost feel the stillness in the air.
Andes’ parts use is always exceptional, though not just in obscure part usage. His harness on basic parts to get the maximum effect is outstanding. The bare tree is made from roughly thirteen different pieces, twisted into some outstanding, gnarled forms. See if you can spot them all — can you see any I’ve missed? The river and its edging is also another highlight for me. The 4L trans-light blue bars surrounding some fish is a nice touch, giving the impression of icy cold, rushing water. Having the land predominantly in two colours has also worked elegantly, while the simple touches of trans-clear near the edge of the river have brought it closer to the reality of the camping trips I’ve taken in winter.
Builder Ted Andes brings us this scene full of middle-eastern style architecture and serpentine intrigue. A group of warriors battles it out with the forces of evil in the form of a snake-bodied wizard that we only see from the back. I love the way it lets your imagination fill in what might be behind that hooded cloak.
The whole courtyard is full of touches that evoke a feeling of the Middle East. The sand green and white tiled floor is beautifully done and complimented nicely by the sand green tiles with blue and yellow flowers on the wall to represent the elaborate tile work. The impressively large door made from palisades bricks is quite a presence and the use of keys as handles is very clever. The column treatment is elegant with its combination of square, round and palisades bricks as well as an earthy color palette that brings a cohesiveness to the whole scene.
But, it’s the decorated central column that really steals the show. The octagonal fountain at the base is a pleasing shape that draws your attention and mimics the angles of the tiled floor. The use of upside-down gold lamps for faucets gives is a nice touch and the gold scarab finishes this portion off nicely. The central column leads to a cluster of shin guards at the top that blossom into balloon parts topped with a bush to create a beautiful architectural palm tree. The addition of Aladdin off to the side, mopping up with a wry smile, is terrific and leaves us wondering if perhaps he was in on this evil plan the entire time.
Accomplished LEGO artist Ted Andes has presented us with a cute riddle: What’s under twenty pieces, adorable and could potentially demolish your house? Baby’s First Bulldozer. This is a prime example of minimal part use for the win. Also known as the Pamper Pusher, this little guy was built as a part of a collaborative effort for Brickworld Chicago. I always enjoy seeing simple two- or three-piece combinations that just work. The tread system made of the microfighter wheel base, a 1×3 thin Technic lift arm, and a stretched tyre, is absolutely one of those.
It’s certainly not summer yet, even in southern California where it’s still cloudy and stormy. Models like Ted Andes’ streamlined sailboat called the Rhapsody make me yearn for the season’s arrival even more. Although at first glance you might think it’s just your average high-end sailboat, Ted has actually built a futuristic vessel that hovers above the water, almost like a hydrofoil with its white fin-like appendages sticking out from the bottom of the hull.
Close inspection reveals that the hull and sails are constructed almost entirely from assorted Technic panels, allowing the builder to achieve the sweeping curves of the vessel and the cloth-like appearance of the sails. Let’s also not overlook the expertly constructed wooden deck and classic white coloring with blue and red accents. This boat is sure to awe onlookers on any expedition into the bay, whether it’s hovering or not.
Ted Andes says his latest LEGO spaceship was partly modelled on the Cosmo-class starfighters of anime series Space Battleship Yamato. Regardless of the original inspiration, this is an excellent model, packed full of interesting angles, nice integration of Technic panels along with the regular bricks, and strong colour blocking. The white and orange add a pleasing burst of colour against the military-grey styling, and the restrained use of stickers works well, adding touches of detail without distracting the eye from the overall shape.