Fan Custom model: The Spirit of Fire

First, before I get into the article, I want to thank 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:

Spirit of Fire Podcast LOGO_R-sm
It’s also going to be referenced to, if not actually shown in issue #5 of the Halo: Escalation comic book by Dark Horse.

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 Normally I do not publish works from that toy manufacturer.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.

SoF Space shot 1stTo whet your appetite, here is the finished model super imposed on a scene in space over a planet. 

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.

Some Stats:
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 Command Deck
SoF 01 command deck buildSoF 02 command deck build 2

The main frame
SoF 03 main frame build 0SoF 04 main frame build 1SoF 05 main frame build 2

The wing assembly
SoF 06 wing detail BUILD

More mainframe shots
SoF 07main frame detail top mid 1
SoF 08 main frame detail top mid 2
SoF 09 main frame detail top mid 3

The top half nearly complete
SoF 10 main frame TOP 1SoF 11 main frame TOP 2
SoF 12 detail front 1SoF 13 detail front 2SoF 14 detail wing 1
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!
SoF 15 detail wing 2SoF 16 top rear detail 1SoF 17 top rear detail 2SoF 18 TOP fin
The above pic shows the top half complete. Now we move on to the bottom half.

Bottom spire assembly
SoF 19 front spire build 1SoF 20 front spire build 2
SoF 21 bottom spire detail INVERSE
Some mainframe shots of the bottom
SoF 22 main frame detail attach 1SoF 23 main frame detail attach 2SoF 24 bottom front detail buildSoF 25 panel detail attachSoF 26 main frame bottom and detailSoF 27 bottom detailSoF 28 bottom detail 2
HFFL: Again, some amazing detail work here. And he had to build this with the bottom half in an inverse position!
SoF 29 hangar detail bottom
He’s not really going to do it, is he?
SoF breaking bloks almost FIN
Hell no. After 4 years, would you?
SoF On table FIN FIRST 2nd
Above the model is complete and ready for it’s “beauty” shots!

SoF 37 Side 3-4 front BLACK BG

Now let’s look at some detailed shots again against a black background, with the model completed.

The front end as seen from the side
Sof 30 Detail front side

The bottom spire seen in correct orientation.
Sof 31 Detail front bottom spire

Top side detailed views starting from front and going to the back of the model:
Sof 32 Detail command deckSof 33 Detail side wing CLOSE-UPSof 34 Detail top-front innerSof 35 Detail top-midSof 36 Detail rear wing

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.

Sof 38 front BLACK BG

Three views of the WHOLE ship from different angles:

SoF 39 front 3-4 BLACK BGSof 40 back 3-4 BLACK BGSoF 41 Side 3-4 back BLACK BG

And that’s a wrap. Nice to be able to say this beast is finally finished.

Sof 42 Fin with Creator LAST

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.

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About Sal

I’ve got tons of experience with Halo gaming and collecting. I feel I have something to offer to the greater Halo fan community. Posts along the way will be about tips and tricks in the games as well as collecting and many more Halo related things. I’ll also repost interesting articles from the official site,, or from fellow Halo fan sites. As I continue this blog, I hope to help gamers who want advice on the games, as well as any collectors with regards to where to find collectibles as well as deals, coupons and so on. You can also follow me on Twitter at:!/HaloFanForLife or Facebook at: Welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll come back again and again. -Sal

4 thoughts on “Fan Custom model: The Spirit of Fire

  1. from the first picture, I thought it was a clay model since no studs were showing and how smooth it was.
    that is very impressive.

  2. Its very impressive, credit to this guy, hell it must have cost a lot!

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