Stud-Free LEGO Enterprise Is Much Larger Than It Seems

Stud-Free LEGO Enterprise Is Much Larger Than It Seems

It's one thing to build a model of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek with LEGO bricks. It's another to build it so that none of those signature LEGO studs show. It took builder extrodinaire Chris Melby eight months and around 18,000 pieces to make this 1.52m-long masterpiece a reality.

It takes a lot of layering, a lot of trickery and plenty of custom pieces to wind up with a LEGO model so smooth. It's like building a circle out of pixels — it takes a lot of pixels packed together to make those jagged edges fade away. And since LEGO bricks are much larger than your average pixel, what seems like it could be a small model in the photo above actually looks like this:

Stud-Free LEGO Enterprise Is Much Larger Than It Seems

Get in close and the blockiness of the LEGO bits is still there. The point isn't to hide the medium from the viewer.

Stud-Free LEGO Enterprise Is Much Larger Than It Seems

I'm pretty sure the real point to a lovely studless build is to ensure folks like me don't come along and start sticking Hot Dog Man minifigs all over the hull.

Stud-Free LEGO Enterprise Is Much Larger Than It Seems

It's an incredibly elegant design — both the original ship and Chris' interpretation of it. I especially enjoy the use of Star Wars planet pieces as the blue warp nacelle energy globes.

Stud-Free LEGO Enterprise Is Much Larger Than It Seems

The USS Enterprise, powered by Endor.

Stud-Free LEGO Enterprise Is Much Larger Than It Seems

You can check out the rest of Chris' gallery and read more on the creation of this beauty over at his personal website.


    where do these guys get collections of bricks like this to make these monsters, or the bank accounts to buy them is a start. As for the money, who knows.

        I know about bricklink, and im sure its heavily used, but if they are just building these things up youd imagine theyd start with a formidable collection and just buy to fill in parts they are short on, or when they come up with something they dont have them for. You couldn't just sit on bricklink and form it in your head by browsing pieces.

          Some people just have more money than others, or have less things to do with their limited funds. As for designing the thing - It's probably done digitally and then made once the appropriate bricks have arrived by mail.

          There are apps that you can use to generate models and then have it generate a parts list IIRC

            are there any that support advanced building like SNOT? im guessing a fair bit of that went into this

              MLcad, leocad, bricksmith, to mention a few...they all use the LDraw parts library and from there you can create the models using just about anything you want, including instructions. Then you can render the models in 3D or generate part lists as mentioned.

          My return to Lego was designing and then building a 3000 part scale model of my local comic book store.

          I did not have a single piece in my possession when I begun.

          Designed fully in MLcad.

      Ldraw or Lego Digital Designer (there are others) to design, Bricklink to buy, and some probably do this to unwind after a hard week of work.

    I'd like to think I'd do something like this in the future, but I'd start and realise I have steam games to finish, movies/t.v shows to watch, a partner to keep happy, and a job. It would take me longer than eight months.

      All of those reasons are why you would start to build something like this.

    Got to admit it's an impressive beast in sheer scale but I'm a bit torn on the taper on the hull and nacelles... The new Enterprise seems a lot sleeker and considering he's got the bricks, it looks like it needs a tweak on the rear end.

    I do build my own large scale Lego models and hate to nitpick a fellow builder but I can't get past it on this one.

    Impressive, though I'm not a massive fan of the Abrams universe design.

    Its articles likes this that make me go from "I've bought too much Lego in the last few months" to "oh no I haven't".

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