Design commentary: Star Wars and world war armor

WWI Wehrmacht

Killzone for Sony Playstation 2

The act of recycling is not new, and putting on the Reich seems to be a popular antic among science fiction's badies. I believe such a blatant liberation of aesthetics to now be a cheap shot on the part of art teams to convey that these are the bad guys; the trick has lost some of its impact. Let's go back a ways, prior to the advent of Master Chief (or even Atari) and cross examine a small part of the art direction in Star Wars.

Can we agree that Starfox had cooler belt-buckles?

The original movies was an unexpected hit, and its sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, was slated for a 1980 release. This time around a generous budget would be put toward all kinds of cool things, like the Bespin sets and Frank Oz. Stop-motion animation was utilized in one battle sequence to animate towering battle walkers.

All Terrain Armored Transport vs. German 1918 A7V tank. Beyond the costumes, perhaps there are also parallels in vehicles design. The spacecraft battles in the first film were heavily influenced by WWII aerial combat footage; I'd like to believe the artists who designed the walkers that appeared in the invasion of Hoth had seen this particular armored vehicle. Notice the sloping roofs, the kind of raised cupola in the center, and how the driver and idler track wheels on the tank are placed where the hip joints are on the walker. Also, the tank's main armament was fixed on the front unlike the turreted vehicle we think of as tanks; the ATAT is similar in that its big pew-pews were mounted forward-facing under its command cabin. You would think that rogue squadron would have had an easier time flying around.

More on the A7V via Dieselpunks. Due to its poor ground clearance the A76 did not have the trench-clearing ability demonstrated by the legged AT AT walker. Still, there is something to be said in terms of the fright factor of armored boxes creeping their way along.

Pirates are fierce.

It's worth noting that each vehicle had its shortcomings.

Jagdpanther vs. All Terrain Attack Pod. I.e. wedges with guns:

The Jagdpanter fulfilled a tank destroyer role with the potent 88 gun mounted on the terrain-able Panzer VI Panther chassis. The walker here is from the third prequel. As it had very little screen time, the most "official" image I could find was of the Hasbro toy.

Here's a well-produced brickfilm that jives with this post:


It feels good to come home from exams and look at Lego Mecha.

MN-18V Ikida V Type

This one by Tony Knaak has a lot of character. I like what is being done with the R2D2 printed dome.


Why not just build the gun as a part of the robot

Because that's not cool. Jared drops some illogical goodness:

The Union - LKr-01 Jenice

I built this one:

The Warehouse Attendant, Part Two

Blatantly inspired by Wimbe:

Wimbe's line of mecha is worth a look, he was fairly prolific last year. In addition, that of Fateheart's has developed a lot since I came across it in 2011.


Friday The Oops

This Ghost in the Shell-inspired mecha by Curtis Collins caught my eye:


Here is some work by his brother, David:

Walking Death

Interesting how there is overlap in their styles. Both are quality!

A 19-foot replica of a Saturn V by Ryan McNaught. Via Brothers-Brick.


Psiaki's X-Wing Instructions,

I was pretty into Star Wars. Some claim to be, and they'll say how they know all the ships, like, "that's an X-Wing". I would be the one to specify with a bit more detail, say, "it's a T-65 X-Wing starfighter, as manufactured by the Incom Corporation and distributed the Rebel alliance During the Galactic Civil War."

Mike Psiaki has unveiled building plans for his X-Wing in Lego, which is probably the best in the medium anywhere by anyone.

Blogger's post editor can't handle 3888 x 2592! Everything's slowwwiingg doowwnnn.

Anyway looking into a builder's work and seeing all the solutions they have come up with is really fascinating, even more so than the finished model. It is clear the Psiaki has taken every step to replicate both the form and feel of such a classic design. It is also evident that he has taken more care to produce these images than I did with instructions for my M4 Sherman tank.

He recently finished his Foxbat:

And has made progress on his millennium Falcon:

Falcon Work in Progress

As per usual we can expect it to be a finer model than any put out by the Lego Company, even the Ultimate Collector's Series kit that was released a couple years ago.

Nick Dean has started work on the Pan Am Space Clipper as seen briefly in 2001 ASO. Here is some concept artwork by Peter Elson:

See more of Elson's work.

Nick finished building a different clipper from a different era last month, here is his Boeing 314:

Boeing 314 "Yankee Clipper" NC18603



I hope not to have this blog lay dormant as it was for most of last month. I've taken on duties at another publication and my output on this one seems to have been halved.

Sly Owl has a real great post apoc / steampunk scene here. It is ornate but without all the pointless embellishments that permeate lesser builds in the genre, such as pearl gold. The floating rock technique is innovative.

The Last Evacuee

This mech has good colors:

Azur Mech

HF-4 "Oren"

Each of these models, by Theo and Louis, display exceptional application of unique parts. The common phrase some throw around is NPU, but Nice Part Usage doesn't put enough emphasis on the integration of funky Lego pieces.

∑-2 Scout Bike

Occasional driving force of the blog, self-proclaimed Lukas fanboy, and aspiring engineer, Jacob spends too much time building LEGO, not enough time practicing piano, and not nearly enough time doing school. He also enjoys long sentences. In the instance of blogging, he believes in quantity over quality, wherever quantity can be maintained.
One of the cofounders of YSAB, and the founder of YSA, Observing Mike actually being productive is a rare occasion. Mike enjoys making outlandish claims in relation to actually building, pretending he's actually sorting his collection, and making excuses for why he hasn't photographed his MOCs. In his free time he enjoys learning CSS from Spook, photography and poking badgers with spoons.
Occasional builder, occasional blogger, and full-time procrastinator. That's really the only way to describe Dean. He rarely gets anything done, but is a very active lurker. He's probably seen and liked your MOC, but just forgot he had a blog.
Erik is still a teenager.
Lukas is tall, blond, mildly OCD, and doesn't build nearly enough as he would like to, thanks to school. He has a webpage.
Spook (Tim)
The resident codemonkey and graphics person. If something isn't working correctly, it's probably his fault. Fitting to his name, he doesn't post often, but someone has to do this stuff too, right? Spook does build with laygoes, and has his own blog as well.