Even after the fall of the Republic, remnants of that bygone era continued to exist in the service of the Empire. LEGO builder Malen Garek shows one example of this with the Venator-class Star Destroyer.
The first word that comes to mind when I look at this Star Wars capital ship is smooth. There are relatively few brick studs on the hull, helping me see the armor plating that I would expect to see on an Imperial warship. I’m thrilled to see all of the angles on this Venator look exactly like we see in Revenge of the Sith. So many LEGO models of the Venator try but fail to get the angles just right (looking at you, LEGO set 8039). Malen managed to pull it off while building it on a super cool base. Is it lava on Mustafar? Is it molten slag from an orbital bombardment? Regardless, it looks incredible.
But wait, there’s more! The engines on the Venator can be tricky to make, but again here’s another success for Malen. The use of hinge plates to build the cowling around the engine was a great choice. Additionally, Malen chose to add the smaller engines that are often forgotten in other Venator models.
Speaking of other models, Malen used his Venator alongside creations from other LEGO builders, including an Imperial light frigate and a couple of V-wing starfighters, all of which are attacking a Rebel starship. I think the winner of this battle is clear: the Venator lives on!
The blackness of space. Drums that become louder. Pan down, a massive angular spaceship hovers above a planet covered in city lights. These images and sounds make a very strong first impression of a movie. It sets the tone of Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith, and many of us associate that opening shot to the angular Venator-class Star Destroyer. Martin Latta spent two years building a massive and accurate LEGO model of this beautiful ship. He painstakingly recreated every small detail he could find on the original studio miniature model, bringing his build to be over a meter long and consisting of 11103 pieces.
Not only did Martin nail the complex angles of this ship with clever layers of tiles and panels, he also threw used the shapes of LEGO pieces to create textures on an otherwise smooth hull. Dark red highlights break up the typical grey of this Star Wars vessel, and the brick-built Open Circle Fleet insignia brings a splash of an additional colour. What I consider the icing on the cake: the top red hull paneling splits open to reveal a hangar, from which Anakin and Obi-Wan’s starfighters take off to partake in the Battle of Coruscant.
Check out Martin’s Flickr album for more shots of this behemoth, as well as work in progress pictures!
I admit it. I love the prequel trilogy of Star Wars movies. It is not for the scintillating dialogue or the powerful acting, though, impressive as those are. No, it is for the cool spaceships and the deeper look at life in the galaxy. There’s more to the thousands of planets than a few military bases and super-weapons, after all. One of those cool spaceships is the Venator-class Star Destroyer, used by the Republic. Fans of LEGO have been clamoring for years for a UCS (Ultimate Collectors Series) model of the ship, and, quite frankly, I’ll be surprised if they ever get it due to an anti-prequel bias. For now, though, they can be content with seeing this microscale version built by Stephan Niehoff. It’s got everything it needs: blasters, thrusters, greebles, and most importantly, the dual bridges and the dark red stripe along the top. Now it’s time to take out some Separatists!