First, before I get into the article, I want to thank HaloBungie.org for tweeting the original link to this, via their website. I followed that link and found a better one that had many more pics and text from the creator of the model, which I’ve reposted much of in the following article.
I chose to showcase this model for a couple of reasons. Not only is it the ship by which HFFL’s podcast “The Spirit of Fire” is named after:
Okay, on with this amazing custom model!
This model was created by Mark Kelso. He built this model out of LEGOs. Normally I do not publish works from that toy manufacturer. However, in this case, since it’s a custom and one not likely to be repeated, I decided to post it. (I’m a Halo Mega Bloks fan, through and through.)
Click on pics to make bigger. I’ll be adding Mark’s words (in YELLOW). Any commentary by me will be in BLUE.
Now let’s explore how Mark built this, with an explanation in his words what it took to get him here.
Mark Kelso: Once upon a time, some knucklehead (that would be me) had the brilliant (or not) notion of building another Lego SHIP (Significantly Huge Investment in Parts). He thought it sounded easy enough. After all, other builders had cranked out epic, towering monuments of ABS homage.
Psssssh, yeah. What…an…idiot.
Over FOUR *insert explicative* YEARS LATER, we finally come to the end of one of THE most challenging endeavors of my life. Oddly enough, it wasn’t the construction of the ship that turned out to be the biggest challenge, but life itself.
I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say the moment I finally locked the final brick in place (January 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm, but who’s keeping track?) was an accomplishment that I’ll never be able to fully put into words.
But, for me it was about having the tenacity to keep getting back up, no matter how many times life knocked me down, to see this bloody project through to its completion! Chris, you were right. This really was my own personal “There and Back again.”
With the heaven-sent help of Heikki Anttila, who was involved with the original ship’s design and 3-D modeling, I was able to render a version of the ship that was far closer to the original design than I ever expected. There are, of course, variations which we’ll lovingly call artistic license. Nevertheless, upon completion, it seemed to me the overall look of the ship really WAS that of the SOF, and I felt it should be referred to as such.
Height: 85 studs
Width: 70 studs
Length: 297 studs, or 7 feet (which, by the way, is just over the length of your average NBA player.
One of the things I think I was over the moon (pun intended) about with this space ship was the level of detail. The ultimate goal was to eliminate nearly every stud, giving this creation the appearance of a scale model. I’m callin’ it a win. On that point I was happier than the camel on hump day. Between that and the fact this behemoth’s done? Oh, yeah…downright giddy.
The top half nearly complete
HFFL: Man, just look at the amount of detail on this!!! It’s a thing of beauty and isn’t even half finished at this point!
The above pic shows the top half complete. Now we move on to the bottom half.
Bottom spire assembly
Some mainframe shots of the bottom
HFFL: Again, some amazing detail work here. And he had to build this with the bottom half in an inverse position!
He’s not really going to do it, is he?
Hell no. After 4 years, would you?
Above the model is complete and ready for it’s “beauty” shots!
Now let’s look at some detailed shots again against a black background, with the model completed.
For the most part, I love the look of this ship. But, I gotta say this head-on shot kind of creeps me out a little.
Three views of the WHOLE ship from different angles:
And that’s a wrap. Nice to be able to say this beast is finally finished.
Folks, don’t forget that this is a SEVEN foot long model. It has THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of pieces in it. It’s not something we as consumers will ever get. However, if we ask nicely, maybe we can get a scaled down version from Mega Bloks. It never hurts to ask!
I salute Mark, his talent, and his incredible recreation of the Spirit of Fire.