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Shiptember (again)

Lego Spaceship

We’ve got it this time. Shiptember, nothing to do with galleons from the 18th century, brings together builders from every corner of the online community (but usually the nerdier ones) for a month of creations that are a Seriously Huge Investment in Parts (SHIP). To qualify spaceships must be at least 100 studs long, as decreed by someone a long time ago for reasons long forgotten, and the results are – as you’d expect – massive. This is the 106-stud long SVB Kilimanjaro by Flickr’s Shannon Sproule, we have absolutely no idea what it does, and there’s lots more to see here.

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Shiptember

Lego Privateer Oliver Cromwell ship

It’s Shiptember, one of the online Lego Community’s many tenuously-titled bandwagons, and we’re jumping aboard! This gorgeous build is a 3ft long mini-figure scale replica of the 1776 ten-gun privateer ‘Oliver Cromwell’. It’s been built by  redmondej of Flickr aka Fred Miracle of MOCpages, and there lots more to see at his photostream and MOCpage. There’s may be a chance that we’ve misunderstood ‘Shiptember’…

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SHIPtember 2015 Review

PIco

The darkening skies outside The Lego Car Blog’s skyscraper can mean only one of two things. 1) The Elves have opened an apocalyptic portal to Hades again or 2) it’s autumn and time to brace ourselves for various sci-fi themed building months. The TLCB editorial staff are renowned for our lack of comprehension of sci-fi. We would actually be more comfortable facing a hellish hoard, armed only with Mr. Airhorn (our Elvish research team is pretty hellish and we deal with them on a daily basis). However, we have a duty to our readers to bring you the best of what internet Lego has to offer. So we’re girding our loins and proudly present our SHIPtember 2015 Review. SHIPs tend to be long and pointy, but we thought that we’d focus on some of the more unusual SHIPs from this year’s Flickr thread.

At the top of this post is Pico van Grootveld’s massive EVE online custom Scorpion battleship. Coming in at 130 studs long by 120 wide and 70 tall, this SHIP is a real departure from the typical long & thin configuration. Click the link to see more photos of this monster, include one of Pico attempting to “swoosh” all 22lbs of it. Also going wide was Matt Bace with his Klingon D5 Deuterium Tanker. It’s unusual for us to feature a virtual build but the quality of the details on this SHIP, especially its wings, warrants its inclusion. From reading conversations on Flickr and MOCpages, Matt has also thought carefully about making his Klingon ship structurally sound, which can be lacking in some LDD models and Klingon starships too.

Matt Bace

Bob Hayes went down the retro route with a SHIP right out of Dan Dare and covered in studs. Patrol Ship 014 comes complete with a crew of six minifigures, a cargo bay and one of the smoothest hulls in SHIPtember (Bob says that he thinks of studs as smooth, a bit like Nick Barrett does).

Bob Hayes

Looking like Blacktron’s version of Blake’s 7’s Liberator from Hell, Josh Derksen’s “Demon’s Maw” is an impressive piece of design and engineering. This SHIP is approximately 112 Studs long and 50 studs in diameter and contains two Power Functions XL motors, plus a load of lights from Brickstuff. It’s worth clicking this link to see the working star drive and appreciate the scale of this build.

Josh

Possibly the most graceful SHIP in this year’s collection was Michael Steindl’s “Mikajo”. Michael used brick-bending type techniques to create the compound curves of his SHIP’s wing in just three days. This was a real contrast to his other SHIPtember build, a huge, thuggish Blacktron Missile Boat.

Michael

Lastly, TLCB regular F@bz, came up with this eye-catching use for all of those brick separators that accumulate at the back of your Lego collection. His Juuken Spaceship was built in a day a features 36 of the orange tools.

F@bz

We thought that we’d finish this post with a contrast to the SHIPs with their thousands of bricks. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again on this blog: it’s not how many bricks you use but how you chose to use them that counts. Featured below is Simply Bricking It’s “Shiptober”.

SHIPtober

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SHIPtember 2014

Eye of Misfortune

The great Sci-Fi Building race that is SHIPtember is now officially over and has given way to Ma.Ktober. 105 monster spacecraft, each over 100 studs long and each a Seriously Huge Investment in Parts, were completed. Many SHIPs also fell by the wayside, as their builders struggled to find building time, inspiration, a suitably strong enough Technic skeleton or waited nervously for Bricklink orders. There were some awesome thin-ships, bulky battleships and variations on the Classic Space, Blacktron and Homeworld themes. Some builders chose to tackle the challenge in novel and unusual ways and we thought that we would feature these builds in this post.

At the top of our post is Jonathan Walker’s beautiful “Eye of Misfortune” . This has been built using “brick bending” type techniques to achieve its smooth curves and is greater than 100 studs “in some dimension”. It nicely complements his SHIP from 2013 and we wonder if Jonathan has a special deal on white bricks at his local LEGO Store.

ChrisR18t

Whilst most SHIPs fall into the big & grey category, Chris Rozek’s “Yagami-Maru II” stands out in its red and white livery. Being a car blog, this reminded us of Starsky’s Ford Gran Torino, with its white vector stripe, which made us especially happy.

Halfbeak 01

The next SHIP excited the Elves, as it contained something designed to be eaten, that wasn’t LEGO. SHIPtember’s rules state that builders should only work during September. Canadian builder Halfbeak was also out in his sunny garden, germinating camomile and mint on first aid dressings to go into the biomes on his “Pathfinder 4”. In addition to this novelty, Halfbeak has included a bunch of details in authentic NASA style, including the Canadian built manipulator arm.

Halfbeak 02

Having recently featured Bionicle for the first and probably last time on this blog, we now come to the first and probably last Duplo creation to be featured here. Wm Byron Duncan’s “8-Belle” is a mind-boggling 100 Duplo studs long. His Flickr Photostream is well worth a visit to see his other Duplo spacecraft and tips on DUPLO SNOT techniques. This SHIP is 100% Duplo, which does unfortunately mean that it isn’t swooshable, if you could pick it up to start with!

DUPLO SHIP

One builder who had to endure a nervous wait for several Bricklink orders was Jacob Unterreiner. His Tron themed “Solar Sailer” features 96 identical modules and a beautiful brick-built sail.

Solar Sailer

Our penultimate SHIP is Karen Quinn’s colourful “Queen of Hearts” whose distinctive stripes give it the look of a spaceborne mint humbug. Karen has succeeded in creating an interesting shape from some of LEGO’s bigger chunks of plastic, which is a tough thing to achieve. The Queen of Hearts also features lots of playable features and an unusual domed front windscreen, complete with eyelids.

Queen of Hearts

Last up is Peter Mowry’s “Battle Scarred Hexan Battleship”, built in his trademark style. Although a few SHIPs did suffer accidental collapses and crashes, Peter has deliberately broken his SHIP to make this unusual presentation.

Hexan Crashed

We’ve featured just a small portion of the 2014 SHIPtember builds. To see more, click this link to the SHIPtember group on Flickr, where you can also vote for this year’s People’s Choice Award. Congratulations to all of the builders who completed a SHIP this year: the SHIPtember 2014 poster is going to be awesome!

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127 Studs

Lego SHIPtember Spaceship

OK, this is definitely absolutely not a car, but we did make it nearly all the way through the annual Lego bandwagon that is SHIPtember only posting something that was (yay for us!). This spaceship is apparently an ‘Antigona Class Light Frigate’, which – much like your Mom’s sexual history – measures 127 studs long and is widely varied. It’s the work of Chris Perron of Flickr based on concept artwork by Lewis Carrol and there’s more to see at Chris’ photostream via the link above.

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Starman

Lego Tesla Roadster in Space

There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds

We’ve flirted with the annual Lego bandwagon that is SHIPtember before, but this year we’ve found an entry we can really get behind.

This is a Tesla Roadster. Specifically it’s the actual Tesla Roadster owned by Paypal founder, Tony Stark inspiration, and pot enthusiast Elon Musk.

Earlier this year the Muskinator decided to launch his company’s first car, the Roadster, into space using his other company, SpaceX’s, Falcon Heavy Rocket. The little Elise-based electric sports car reached speeds of over 120,000km/h and is currently orbiting with an aphelion of 248,890,000km piloted by a mannequin named ‘Starman’.

Lego Tesla Roadster in Space

Thanks to the vacuum of space, Starman’s Roadster will continue to orbit indefinitely too, racking up considerably more miles than the 244 the car was capable of on one charge back on earth.

This huge 100-stud long homage to Elon’s ingenuous marketing project comes from TLCB newcomer Adrian Drake aka Brickfrenzy, who has built not only the ’08 Roadster but also Starman at the wheel too.

There much more to see of Adrian’s space-bound Tesla at his photostream via the link above, and you can watch the real Tesla Roadster live in orbit thanks to the wonders of YouTube by clicking here!

Lego Tesla Roadster in Space

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Star Citizen

Lego SHIPtember Brutus spaceship

Ah SHIPtember, another tenuously-titled sci-fi month within the online Lego community of which we know absolutely nothing. Well, apart from that the ‘SHIP’ bit of the annual wordplay means ‘Seriously Huge Investment in Parts’.

Stephan Niehoff can surely attest to that with this incredible, and absolutely enormous, 118 stud long behemoth, the ‘AC 240 Brutus’ gunboat. Created in stunning detail the Brutus apparently belongs in the Star Citizen Universe, which is sadly another subject about which we know absolutely nothing.

As you can tell, we suck at sci-fi. Fortunately the other Lego blogs are far nerdier than TLCB so you can expect full details and an elaborate back-story to appear elsewhere before long. In the meantime you can check out Stephan’s remarkable build on Flickr – click the link above to go for a good long SHIP.

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Swanning Around

swan-01

Whilst most of the sci-fi Lego world has been focused on building massive SHIPs for SHIPtember or trying to come to terms with the perpetually enigmatic Ma.Ktober, Tim Henderson has taken his own path with the “Swan“. Tim says that it’s the biggest spacecraft that he’s built but it stills looks a nice size to take for a swoooosh. Added to this are plenty of opening hatches and play features. The ship looks to be a great toy, as well as being good to look at. As its origins are in the Corellian shipyards of Star Wars, that will keep another cohort of spacers happy too. What’s not to like? Click this link to enjoy the comprehensive back story and greebles on Flickr.

swan-02

In the meantime, at the other end of the size scale, is “Lord Cockswain’s Endangerer”. Worth blogging for the name alone, it’s a nice example of economic micro-scale building. Grantmasters is the builder and here’s the link to his Photostream.

endangerer

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56 Degrees of Separation

separators

According to a theory set out in 1929, everybody in the world is just 6 friendship links away from everybody else. This puts the all of world’s population worryingly close to every one of the 257½ TLCB Elves. Perhaps it’s time to equip yourself with your own version of Mr. Airhorn?

In the meantime, Flickr’s F@bz has found something to do with the brick separators which seem to come with every Lego set nowadays. He’s used no less the 56 of them to make the hull of his Altura 2nd spaceship. Some of them came from his Juuken SHIP, which we featured in our SHIPtember 2015 Review. Click the link in the text to see more of this unusual craft.

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Viper MK II

colonial-viper

Being a car blog, we generally expect our Vipers to be made by Dodge, rather than a fictitious manufacturer from Earth’s colonies in outer space. Then again, years of blogging sci-fi builds has left us with as much understanding of the genre as the Elves have of their long-term, index-linked pensions superannuation, so we have an excuse.

This particular Colonial Viper Mk II has been built by Chris Maddison for this year’s SHIPtember festival. The 104 stud long SHIP is in stark contrast to the mighty battlecruisers and huge cargo carriers that people usually build. Instead it’s a single seat, lightweight space-fighter (though it does weigh 23lbs!). Click this link to see the album on Flickr, including the removable cockpit and greebled engines.

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The Right Profile

profile-01

Red has produced a monster-sized vintage racing car. Loosely based on a 1932 Alfa Romeo, this car has the aerodynamic streamlining that was all the fashion at the time smooth built in bricks. It also features working steering and an engine that uses so many ray-guns as greebles that it could almost be part of sci-fi SHIPtember.

Red has included multiple views in his uploads but we really liked the straight profile shots, which are an unusual way to present a MOC. Click this link to Flickr to more views and under the bonnet or click this link to hear the song that we stole today’s title from. Meanwhile, here’s the left profile:

profile-02

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A Dreadful Angel

da-02

With SHIPtember 2016 drawing towards a close, the photo pool is beginning to fill up with all sorts of designs. Perhaps the most graceful this year is Jonathan Walker’s Dreadful Angel. The SHIP uses novel brick-bending techniques for its curved central engine core. Long prongs reach for and aft, looking intriguingly structurally improbable, with smooth sloping gradients.

Strange and innovative, it’s well worth clicking this link for a closer look or clicking this link to see Jonathan’s previous SHIP, which headlined our review of SHIPtember 2014.

da-01

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Drop it Like it’s Hot

Lego Scania 112M Truck

This neat classic Scania 112M truck complete with a huge dropside trailer and crane comes from previous bloggee and truck-building specialist Arian Janssens. Measuring over 100 studs long and built during September it probably qualifies for the current community bandwagon too*. There’s lots more to see at Arian’s Flickr photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

*It definitely doesn’t.

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Photoshop in Space

Lego Sword Spaceship

This spectacular image, part of this year’s SHIPtember, is the work of Flickr’s incredibly talented Michał Kaźmierczak aka Migalart. Showcasing both what can be achieved in the brick and via Photoshop, you can see more Michal’s enormous ‘Sword’ spacecraft in a selection of stunning backdrops at his photostream – click the link above to make the jump.

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Spacey Sunday

Sapcey Sunday 01

We enjoy a bit of sci-fi in our diet of Lego models here at The Lego Car Blog. This applies especially when it’s from older themes, which we can understand. The newer stuff is a lot harder to comprehend. Confusingly, SHIPtember starts tomorrow, on the 1st of August. Today we’ve got two models which revisit old Lego themes.

Andrew Lee is one of a number of builders who have taken advantage of the new parts available from the Nexo Knights theme’s colour scheme to build Ice Planet MOCs. The new windscreens and canopies are particularly useful, as many of the originals from 2002 haven’t aged well. Andrew’s “Blizzard Baron” features different detachable modules that enable it to perform a variety of missions on the snow.

Meanwhile, Jason Briscoe has posted this wonderful Neo-Classic Space land train on his Flickr Photostream. Its three trailers have a neat assortment of equipment on them, including gas tanks, something which looks like a drill and something which looks like an artificial lung machine in the middle. Oh dear, perhaps we don’t understand this type of sci-fi either!

Spacey Sunday 02

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