There are some parts in any LEGO collection that seem to have few uses outside the intended purpose of the set they come in. I might have considered these angled helicopter rotors in this category, but official LEGO Model Designer Chris Perron and this sleek and clean custom racing ship say otherwise. Finding the perfect use for two rotor parts fore an aft of the transparent orange cockpit, Chris also combines black and teal and some very unusual angles to create a ship that looks very much at home alongside the bright aesthetic of the racing game Wipeout, which inspired an entire genre of LEGO creations known as Vic Vipers.
Every year in November, talented builders turn out spaceships with a very particular style as a friendly themed challenge. Unlike SHIPtember, when the goal is to build a huge spaceship, Novvember is all about the Vic Viper, a style of racing spaceship made popular in several video games. Tino Poutiainen brings a lovely addition to the fleet of Vipers with this clean and elegant model. It is microscale, with some Apollo astronauts at the helm, which is surprising but cool, and I can count all of four visible studs on the whole darn thing. That’s impressive given the angles involved. And the color blocking is perfect. The black stand gives it a display presence that sets it apart from the pack, too.
Looking at the ship, there are two pieces that jump out to me right away. The first is the old Blacktron II jet pack, one of my favorite childhood accessories, tucked seamlessly between the cockpit and the tail. The second is the cockpit itself, a Ninjago spinner dome; that’s a part that I’ve always wanted to use but have yet to find a good way to integrate it. The rest is just so smooth and refined that nothing leaps out. It makes me wonder how it all holds together, which is a great puzzle to have when looking at a build. Novvember might be come and gone, but we can still enjoy spaceships.
If you’ve been hankering to hit the stars in a stylish Vic Viper, Kirby Warden has you covered with his blazing yellow Kigiku. In Japanese, Kigiku means yellow chrysanthemum but don’t let the name fool you; if you think you can outrun this starfighter, it’s time to wake up and smell the roses! You’re not going to get away when the pilot has maximum visibility in the cockpit mounted high above the fuselage.
If the subtle angles of the body formed using hinges are any indication, this is also one speedy vessel. Even the most formidable opponents may find themselves distracted by Kigiku’s lively yellow, dark pink, white and dark bluish gray color scheme.
LEGO themes present creative builders with endless opportunities to mash multiple themes together into the ultimate, ultimate LEGO creations, like zombie pirates, zombie army, zombie spaceships, and zombie cowboys. (what is up with this guy and his obsession with zombies? I blame Halloween). Anyways, back to mash-ups, this wonderful SHIP (Seriously Huge Investment in Parts) by Hans Dendauw brings together the fan challenges of SHIPtember and Novvember (an homage to the Vic Viper, one of the racing spaceships from the 1995 video game Gradius, distinguished by a two-pronged fuselage), and does it all in Classic space style. Benny would be proud.
Although it’s not clear if builder Jay Bramhall just liked the bright colors (or maybe M-Tron), given the time of year I prefer to think that he got into Christmas spirit with this colorful Vic Viper. The ship conceals a sweet feature, namely the sweeping wings which are geared together and activated by turning the engine. The clean color blocking brings a nice pop of color to the drab regions of space, and Jay incorporates both old and new shades of dark grey to give a hint of the weatherworn nature of this craft.
It is the start of December and that means my favourite month project is over. That does not mean, however, that we have stopped featuring recently built Vic Vipers, as you can see here. It seems NnoVVember is attuned to lazy builders, and that means most entries, including mine came in the last week (and apparently there is a wide-spread belief that November has 31 days…). A very unique part of this group is Jussi Koskinen‘s Baryon Vic Viper.
I have been participating in the annual NnoVVember project for the past few years and it has always been a blast. This year is no different, although I admit I could be more imaginative than milking the retro train tracks used in all of the portruding elements of the spaceship. I have gone a different direction than previous years, when I avoided the characteristic Vic Viper tail fin – this time I have embraced the theme and decided to make an especially prominent tail.
The build started out with the wings and tail, then continued on with a body to connect all the wings together. The body is based on the lime tail pieces with blue hull built over it, a Bionicle Kanohi mask as the “wind”screen and grey technical details on the bottom. In reality it is quite a simple build, save for the integration of curved elements. Most of all, with contests, displays and projects flying from all directions, it was nice to build a creation just for fun, without stress.
NoVVember is an annual LEGO building event — a celebration of the Vic Viper spaceship style. It’s been a fixture of the LEGO calendar for years now, so it takes something genuinely different to stand out from the Viper crowd. This interesting spaceship from Shamisenfred does exactly that, with striking colour blocking and imaginative use of hot-air balloon pieces. The excellent building continues beyond those eye-catching elements — don’t miss those engine nacelles, the little splashes of gold, and the smart use of stickers. I only wish the photos had been taken against a grey backdrop rather than white — it would have provided a far better contrast to the model.
November, more so in the northern hemisphere, is a month of foggy mornings, rainy days and… Vic vipers? Indeed, every year the LEGO community on Flickr celebrates the most popular standardized spaceship format in the LEGO fan circles. While people have different views on what a Vic Viper should be and what they like or dislike about it, we still have dozens of these sleek spaceships swoosh through NoVVember every year. This year does not seem like it will be any different, so expect many more Vic Vipers on The Brothers Brick in the next few weeks.
“Seraph” is one of such aggressive, fast looking spaceships we all love and Sam Malmberg‘s contribution to the 2017 NoVVember project. It uses a very pleasing colour scheme with nice contrast in its front prongs — not only contrasting in colour, but in style too, giving a bare-bone alternative to the otherwise smooth and streamlined areas. The cockpit deserves some attention too; not only has Sam achieved a nice bulbous effect with combining two different windscreen pieces, but the insides contain some neat details too.
LEGO Vic Vipers tend toward the sharp and angular, with sleek lines and sharp corners. Each design must meet strict requirements epitomized by the late Nate “nnenn” Nielsen. Not so with this bulbous affair by Tyler Clites. Tyler’s Vic Viper has enormous, rounded engines — with frying pans as intake vanes, no less — and stubby little wings, with bright, childish colors. But it’s no less a legitimate Vic Viper than Nick Trotta’s Serrated Night.
Master of spacetastic angles Nick Trotta has outdone himself with his latest LEGO spaceraft, dubbed the Serrated Night. Indeed, this ship looks like it would cut through the dark night of outer space with stunning precision. Nick says that he took inspiration for this Vic Viper from the anime Yukikaze and the F-117 stealth fighter.
Black is a notorious color to build with and successfully photograph, but Nick uses lines of blue along the wings’ edges and presents the ship against a planetary atmosphere to offset the black. Nick also says that this is his largest ship to date, which has enabled him to incorporate lots of fantastic details, from judicious use of LEGO ingots to peeping yellow studs.
LEGO mashups are always an interesting affair. They can go so wrong so fast, but occasionally you’ll find a mashup build so good it even puts its famous parents to shame. Take for instance this creation by Nooroyd, who blended together two of the most popular themed month building styles — the Maschinen Krieger style from Ma.Ktoberfest and a Vic Viper from Nnovvember — to form the ultimate VV Ma.K. vehicle.
Nooroyd’s theme-blending created a stunning vessel — one with eye-catching techniques, such as the use of multiple minifigure helmets, flex tubes, and even an entire Dewback!