Hi everyone! Back with another Lego Ideas attempt - if I can get 10K supporters (i.e. votes) this will be considered for a production as an official set. Please support here


This build is specifically inspired by the novel "Ilse Witch", the first in a trilogy (within a longer series) aptly entitled "The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara". Unlike many other fantasy series, it's set in a world which sees substantial technological and magical innovation over the course of 32 novels and thousands of years. At the time of the novel, The Jerle Shannara is the fastest and most advanced airship ever built. The airships of the Four Lands are solar-powered and require active thrust to stay aloft. The sails, called "light sheaths", absorb solar energy, which is channeled through special rigging, the "radian draws", into the parse tubes which house the diapson crystals. It is these crystals which store the solar energy and distribute it through the ship's thrusters. After spending quite a well doing research based on the descriptions in the novel, and being unsatisfied with any of the existing artwork I could find online, I settled on a design which is somewhere between a racing catamaran and a Baltimore Clipper, with just enough additional other-worldly flavor to match the books. Hope you enjoy!

A few fun features to highlight

  • The captain's cabin in the front of the ship has been converted into two smaller cabins with folding bunks to account for the unusual crew. Captain "Big Red" shares the port cabin with Prince Ahren Elessedil, and his sister, "Little Red", shares the starboard cabin with the seer, Ryer Ord Star. A privacy curtain separates the two cabins on the aft side of the mast, and sliding panels allow access to a shared washroom in the fore of the cabin.
  • A removable platform between the main hull and port pontoon provides landing space for the roc, Obsidian, and his rider, Hunter Predd, to roost between scouting flights.
  • Other crew members can wrap themselves in their cloaks and sleep in the pontoons.
  • The ship is armed with a complement of ballistae to defend against hostile airships, and the ramps may be lowered to send over a boarding party.
  • The galley occupies the center of the ship and features a long table where the crew can dine together, or study their maps and charts.
  • The storage room in the aft of the ship has fresh water, food, the armory, and spare parts to make repairs on the long voyage.
  • The rope ladder may be raised and lowered to take on supplies and passengers.
  • The ship's wheel in the pilot box really controls the thrusters on either side of the ship's rudder, and the capstan hauls up the dual anchors!
  • The masts are grippable so crew members can climb up into the rigging.
  • Obsidian's wings fold and unfold realistically to move between flying and roosting positions.

Build consists of approximately 2700pcs, including 12 minifigures.

Click to enlarge any of the images / view on Flickr

Starboard View with Roc in flight

Aft/Starboard View with Roc perching

Grabbing a snack in the galley - lines are connecting ship's wheel to rudder

Folding bunks and hair-care in the cabin

Fore/Starboard View

Fore/Port Underneath View

Aft/Port View

Fore/Port Closeup

The Full Crew Complement
Nice job on this one and it looks like it's already gathering support quickly! I love the level of detail and a large amount of minifigures is always nice to see in any set as well Razz Good luck (And I supported!)
Thank you! This is definitely off to a livelier start than my last submission! And the minifigure count was actually my biggest worry with getting it approved as they are usually quite strict on keeping the number small, but I guess the part count was enough to justify it!
Elfprince13 got me into reading this (extensive) book series in the first place, and I've had many the mental image of what the solar-powered ships of this universe might look like, so I find it particularly cool to see elfprince13's mental image brought to life. And the fact that Terry Brooks himself quote-tweeted it is that extra bit of tacit endorsement!
Very nice! I especially like the variety of functions you managed to fit in; I imagine it would be fun to play with. Congrats on the success so far and good luck on reaching 10k! (I supported as well, of course)
Jeffitus wrote:
Very nice! I especially like the variety of functions you managed to fit in; I imagine it would be fun to play with. Congrats on the success so far and good luck on reaching 10k! (I supported as well, of course)

Thanks! I really feel like it's not worth doing a build this size unless I can manage at least a few "play" features, and I'm especially happy with how the steering for the rudder turned out. Votes are definitely starting out at a livelier pace than my last submission, just gotta figure out how to keep up the pace!
Update: got a pretty solid cloud + ocean backdrop setup worked out for the cinematic video I've been putting together:

Wow, that looks stunning! I love the fog effect as the airship flies into the clouds.
Thanks! I was also excited about the shadow of the ship on the cloud below! Makes it really look like like it's flying and not just photoshopped on top of a blue ocean backdrop Wink
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