Backyard Blastoff

Sometimes a little imagination is all you need to make your dreams take flight. Just make sure you are home in time for dinner!


Backyard Blastoff is my next attempt at the cartoon/painting style from Reach for the Stars and it expands on the style in a different way. Reach for the Stars aimed for an inspirational, calm, and relaxing scene, but for Backyard Blastoff I wanted to change things up a little and go for a striking composition that would jump off the page and give the viewer that exciting feeling of velocity and movement. It was time to make rocket suit boy take flight to the stars!

Now, the big question was, "How do you create the feeling of velocity with nothing but little plastic bricks?" The answer lies in the smoke blast. This portion of the build took a majority of the design process because it needs to communicate the force coming from the rocket with a single glance.

Circle tension played a key part in designing the smoke blast. Every circle needs to correlate with their neighboring circles without your mind detecting a repeating pattern in the mix. It requires a lot of trial and error to find the right balance, but the results are worth the effort. The nice thing with circle tension is that the concepts don't just apply to circles, they also apply to any object where a correlation with another object is important. Take for instance the stars in the sky; if you arranged them all in a ridged grid pattern then the sky would be quite boring to look at! You could randomly place the stars around and you might end up with something pretty, but to find that arrangement that is most pleasing to the eye you have to constantly ask yourself, "How does this object relate with the other objects in my scene? What way can it be moved to create the most interesting pattern?" It simply takes time and a bit of fidgeting until you find that sweet spot.

Like Reach for the Stars, bricks from the simple LEGO Classic box 10717: Bricks Bricks Bricks make up nearly 50% of the bricks that went into Backyard Blastoff. Bricks Bricks Bricks has an excellent price per brick when it comes to LEGO sets, so this helps while building models like Reach for the Stars and Backyard Blastoff and creates a much smaller impact on your wallet (thankfully)!


Backyard Blastoff was my entry into the 2021 LEGO House contest on LEGO Ideas. It was selected as a winner by the judges and won Grand Prize in the Fan Vote Phase! THANK YOU to everyone who cast their vote in support! It is such an honor to display a creation at the LEGO House and it is also such an honor for one's MOC to be selected by the community. I cannot thank you all enough!

The model will be going a year-long exhibition at the LEGO House near the end of 2021. Be sure to check it out along with all the other mind-blowing entries this year if you happen to visit in 2022!


You can view the original submission on LEGO Ideas here.