The hardest part of space travel is getting off the planet

I’ve been inspired lately to build some near-future space vehicles, and so I’ve got at least a couple of vessels in the works. But the first step of space travel is always getting off the planet. This space shuttle, the Indefatigable, is designed to carry payloads to orbit, where they can be assembled into a much larger craft. The shuttle is designed for undergoing the rigors of liftoff, while a vessel capable of interplanetary travel may not be.

Space Shuttle Indefatigable

I generally avoid using stickers, often not even applying them to official models. However, this model really needed a tiny detail for the cockpit, and there’s no way to achieve that with bricks, since the area is just too small. So, a few carefully cut official LEGO stickers work well to mimic cockpit windows.

Space Shuttle Indefatigable

All are not supercars that are called Porsche

…Unless a vintage tractor is a supercar for you. DB_Kit Fisto entered the latest Build the Porsche of your Dreams contest not at full speed, but definitely with class. His massive tractor is a scaled replica of the Porsche Super from 1960s. That was the time of truly beautiful agricultural machinery, much more elegant than the modern!

Porsche Super

The design of this vehicle is simply fantastic thanks to amazing combinations and connections of System and Technic pieces. My favorite part is that small technic corner panel above the front axle placed right among regular plates and slopes. This is how you build a Super tractor!

Stormy, husky, brawling, / City of the Big Shoulders

If Carl Sandberg had lived to see the skyscrapers of modern Chicago, I’m sure he would have been no less proud of his city than he was when he wrote his poem “Chicago” more than a hundred years ago. Rocco Buttliere has captured the Chicago skyline in LEGO with this substantial group of microscale buildings, including the legendary Sears Tower (now the John Hancock Center). The looming, iconic buildings certainly dominate the skyline, but I love the smaller buildings and landscaping that Rocco has included, like the Lookinglass Theatre building and the Seneca Playlot Park. My favorite LEGO building, though, is 900 North Michigan with lovely green glass.

LEGO Chicago Magnificent Mile

As fantastic as the buildings look in the photo above, I love this top-down look — as though you’re flying over in a helicopter.

LEGO Chicago Magnificent Mile

See lots more photos in Rocco’s photostream on Flickr.

Which yellow character would win in a fight? SpongeBob, a Minion or Pikachu?

It’s a question for the ages: which yellow cartoon character do you side with? Wise-cracking SpongeBob Squarepants, the most anthropomorphic sponge to live under the sea? One of Gru’s Minions, an adorable comedy sideshow who manages to steal the limelight? Or Pikachu, the elusive and beloved Pokemon? Takamichi irie decided to build all three, so you can see how the LEGO versions stack up. Cast your votes in the comments!

New Entry (Who is the best yellow character?)

‘Ello, guv’na

Kids, the key to a really great photo-realistic mosaic is to build big, using simple colors. Oh, and make sure you choose an extremely cool character. Let me tell you, nobody is cooler than Sir Michael Caine. If you only know him as Alfred in the Nolan Batman trilogy, or as Austin Powers’ “fahjah,” you are missing out on one of the hippest cats in the history of British cinema. David Hughes has captured an iconic photograph from 1965, 5 years before Caine finally quit smoking.

LEGO Mosaic - Michael Caine

All who gain power are afraid to lose it. Even the Jedi.

Say what you will about Episodes I through III, but I can appreciate a climactic turning point in a character’s story arc. I can appreciate it, even more, when such a scene is translated into LEGO! Cecilie Fritzvold beautifully captured the final scene of the opening sequence from Revenge of the Sith where Anakin begins his journey to the dark side by killing Count Dooku. The amount of detail jammed into this LEGO scene is fantastic! I love the microscale ships in the background, Palpatine’s clikits handcuffs, and of course, the prone, unconscious body of Obi-Wan in the foreground.

Kill him. Kill him now.

In case you missed it earlier this month, Cecilie also built a micro-podracer from The Phantom Menace. As always, be sure to check out all of Cecilie’s builds on Flickr and may the force be with you.

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake in LEGO

Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is iconic. It’s a familiar love story of the White Swan, Odette, and Prince Sigfried. One thing I always thought was amazing was Odile’s fouettés: this is where the dancer spins 360 degrees, on pointe. Odile does them to “steal” the prince, and the original ballerina could do 32 in a row.

In 1995, choreographer Matthew Bourne left his mark on Swan Lake with one major change: the swan’s gender. Odette and the corps de ballet, traditionally danced by ballerinas, was now performed by male dancers. David Hughes has given us this glorious and very recognizable sculpture of the Lead Swan in the classic pose, used by the dancers to imitate some bird-like moves giving grace to the dance.

The White Swan

Teal me a story

Spoiler alert: most UFO pictures are faked, including this one. Teal is a very rare color, and most of these bricks were never made in it. Which makes this virtual model all the more striking. Digital artist dunkleosteus_ldd used Lego Digital Designer and Bluerender to design this uniquely shaped alien craft. Perhaps it could be built in real life using a more common color. Would it still look this cool in red?

Harbinger

This LEGO drone cannot wear skinny jeans

This LEGO drone by Guy Smiley has the build of a machine aimed at impact and intimidation rather than agility and speed.  It bears a resemblance to the drones in the awesome short film Keloid, a source of inspiration for LEGO  drones since 2013.  Those thunderous thighs would make a grown man quiver, not to mention the weaponry carried in its arms.  I’m not exactly sure what type of weapon is in its left arm, but it looks like some sort of futuristic chain gun with a handy supply of rounds in the chamber.

Keloid Drone

I particularly like Guy’s colour blocking technique, the use of two main colours nicely highlight the shaping of his drone.  There are some clever parts in there if you take a closer look, it’s not often cupboard doors form the head of a drone!

If you liked this build, Check out this previously blogged Militech Weapons Platform and drones by drone builder extraordinaire, Devid VII which were also inspired by the film Keloid.

Passing on to LEGO Nirvana

There’s a saying in Japan that you’re born Shinto, get married as a Christian, and die a Buddhist. In other words, you practice Shinto rites from birth, have a Western-style wedding, and leave this world through Buddhist funeral ceremonies. Thus, one of the many unique aspects of Japanese culture I experienced growing up there was seeing station wagons with tiny, shiny golden Buddhist temples sprouting from their backs. These little mobile temples are actually Japanese hearses, and Moko has once again used his collection of chrome-gold bricks by building a LEGO version of this iconic Japanese vehicle. In case you’re too dazzled to notice, I’ll also point you to the clever front grill on this 4-wide LEGO car.

Japanese Hearse

Check out Moko’s blog for more photos, including breakdowns and building techniques.

And for all our bilingual readers out there, here’s a totally ridiculous vehicle. Unfortunately, that’s the best I can do, since the very silly pun in Japanese (「オハカー」) simply does not translate. The car has a pullback motor, though I suspect a crash could result in grave consequences.

That pun is so funny I need to go lie down now and meditate on my life. Memento mori.