Sometimes you and your buddies see something nice that you want to build in LEGO. It could be anything, inspiration is all around us. I (Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman) have a close circle of fellow builders that we like to call “vehicle dudes” and “teal squadron.” Consisting of Caleb Ricks, Gubi, Thomas Jenkins, Pande (Malen Garek), Tim Goddard, Tom Loftus (Inthert) and more, we get on a group call on Friday evenings and build. During this time, we discuss things that happen in the world of LEGO, Star Wars, and everything in between. It is during one of these remote group build sessions that we discovered artist Spacegooose and their colourful starfighter drawings.
It was their similarity to Star Wars ships that drew us into building them. Their varying styles and functions have enough similarity to belong to one group, and so our builds became a small collaboration. With blessings from the artist who eagerly awaits their designs in LEGO form, we decided to include our own artistic spin as well as matching the original artwork.
As a builder, I always strive to push the limits of LEGO building, with techniques and parts usage. Combined with my arts and design training, I’ve spent years studying elements and how they fit together. Despite my self-declared expertise, there will always be creations that just stump me. Especially small ones. Especially small ones built by my friend Tom Loftus (Inthert).
I first saw this spindly teal-and-white spaceship in person when we displayed creations together at the last English LEGO exhibitions before the COVID shit hit the fan. He explained to me in great detail how he built this small ship. He even took it apart and showed me an in-depth breakdown of how he built it. I didn’t understand a single thing. It’s like his builds have an IQ-lowering effect on me. Even two years later, after more and more breakdowns via calls and messages, I still don’t understand it. Do you though? I’m not sure, your mind may be just as blown as mine.
One benefit of setting up your post-apocalyptic outpost on the beach, aside from the abundant food source of the ocean’s bounty, is the wondrous things that wash up in the surf. In this scene by Tom Loftus a lone soldier stands watch as the low tide washes in. The outpost is built from shipping containers, which are plentiful if you live near a major shipping hub. The model is part of an iron builder challenge using a dark red Minifig shield part, which you can see in the timbers of the bunker half-buried in the sand.
It’s always fun to see what LEGO builders can come up with when encouraged to think of new ways to use particular pieces. And that’s exactly what Tom Loftus has done in this abandoned throne room with dark red 2×3 shields. The first place you’ll notice it is as the seat of the three thrones, which I really think works well.
I particularly like the overall design of the two smaller chairs – the seashell piece makes a very nice palmette on the seatback. The other place these shield parts are used on the floor, in a really genius kind of way. By arranging the front of the piece in a triangle, the handles on the back form a simple pattern. Repeat that 30 or so times and you have a really stunning looking floor. As a bonus, the spaces between the handles work really well for the overgrown motif, as they create the perfect gap for plantelements to be stuck into. A final note about the whole overgrown look: rather than just use clear bricks as windows and leave it at that, Tom covered the opposite side of the clear bricks with tree branches, blocking some of the light that would come through, just like vines on a real overgrown window.
Ah, bureaucracy. Nothing is quite like the teeth-grinding angst of shuffling papers and getting the right permits. There’s also nothing quite like this creation by Inthert. Making use of an unusual 2×3 modified LEGO plate as a basis, they’ve managed to stamp out something new. There are a lot of great techniques in play, from the white rubber band around the pen clip to the layered wall panels that make up the pages of the book. But the skill used in inverting the rubber stamp’s pattern onto the page is the real treat for me.
This build is part of the latest Iron Builder challenge. Check out our archives for more great creations from that competition.