BlueBrixx Big Mothership 103218 (Spoiler: It’s the Galactica)

Let me take you on a journey.

Let’s start with: I’m not a model builder. Some people are talked about as having two left hands. I don’t even have that. I am very clumsy and unskilled in anything that needs precise motor functions with your hands and fingers (or feet for that matter).

When I was a kid in East German we would have the local version of LEGO® bricks called “PEBE”:

I enjoyed playing with them. But as I grew up, I left that part behind me, I never played with LEGO®s as an adult. But I enjoy collectible models for the TV shows that I like, for example this:

Then I happened to be in a toy store in Frankfurt/Main that exclusively sells Klemmbausteine. “Klemmbausteine” is the generic German term for “click bricks” for when they aren’t licensed LEGO®s (and that company is petty).

Just for giggles I bought three tiny sets (~75 bricks per set) for the old East German default car, the Trabant (or Trabbi in slang):

And I also bought myself a slightly larger set of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Danube-class Runabout shuttle craft, as seen in this clip:

This one is produced via license by BlueBrixx and comes in three different size, the biggest one being:

But that was too much for me, so I chose the smaller but not the smallest version with 693 pieces:

It is not rocket science to build these things but to be perfectly honest, it is not my favorite past time. I like the end product, I’m just not too big of a fan of the production process. But I carried on and built it. It comes with two sets of printed pieces for two different registration numbers, one is the USS Rio Grande (NCC-72452) and one is the unofficial NCC-72453 for the official USS Yangtzee Kiang (note: All DS9 runabouts were named after Earth rivers). It also comes with an removable Photon Torpedo launcher which only became a thing in later seasons of DS9.

The built was pretty straight-forward with few surprises and complexities:

And I think it looks quite nice on the shelf:

But here’s the thing, I always really liked the aesthetics of the original Battlestar Galactica ship. However, models of that ship of that one-season show from the late 70s are either very small or very pricey. Or both.

And BlueBrixx just happens to have a fairly large brick model that by sheer coincidence looks very close to the Galactica, even though it isn’t because it’s not an official license.

2729 pieces. Uff. From a BlueBrixx era where the precision quality of the pieces was not quite up to the specs it is nowadays. Uff. But I wanted it. So I got it:

But sooo many pieces and almost all in gray:

Here’s the catch with BlueBrixx. If you have ever built a larger LEGO® set, your pieces come in numbered bags. These bags contain the large and tiny pieces for the next few steps of the build. When these steps are done, your bags are empty and you open the next bag. For the most tiniest pieces you will always get a few in reserve (this will become a point later on in the story). But overall, almost all your pieces are gone once you finished this phase and move on to the next.

Not with this BlueBrixx build. Yes it comes in bags, but they all all grouped by piece type, not by build step. So you need to open all bags at once, distribute them somehow and then pick the pieces you need for the current build step:

And so I needed to watch something I had already seen many times because I needed to find the matching piece among about 100 different types:

It already started out badly, because I did not realize in the beginning that these first pieces were supposed to be the transparent ones and the gray ones did not come in the size I was looking for.

So I spend a good hour of organizing the pieces by size before I realized that the graphic showed them somewhat transparent. If I had written that document, I would have spelled it out explicitly.

But then we moved along nicely for a while with some minor hiccups because of failing to understand the instruction or fat fingers:

And then of course a tiny piece fell under the couch and disappeared:

But we move along:

And of course when the instruction says to build it a certain way, you should do it otherwise it looks awkward:

We fix it and move along:

We’re running out of parts soon:

Only a few more parts to go, it can’t be that hard, right? Right??

I hated that part! The front was three major plates connected to the main body on hinges, two per part. You had the top and the two sides. and they were connected to each other by the flimsiest of connection and also you had no leverage point where you could actually apply pressure to push them together. And it had to be be exact to the micron (to use an appropriate Battlestar unit here). Within the blue brackets are the hinges holding the plates to the back of the ship. In the green bracket there is an L-shaped part that is connected by 2×2 pins to the top plate. And the red bracket is the singular(!) pin that connects the side plate to the top plate and by the time you were supposed to connect these, the model already looked like it looks here, no way to get any kind of pressure from behind the pin. But pushing from the outside only caused all the tiny parts to fall to the inside. It took me almost an hour and basically un-build the entire front part again to get this fixed.

Also by that time I realized that I lost one of the tiny parts or maybe there were one too few in the set (the former more likely to be honest). But it was the singular piece that held a cover plate in place. Luckily I had spare parts from previous builds and even though it was totally the wrong color, luckily it disappears beneath the cover:

And a few times the instruction got lazy and it was more like a puzzle. Like how do you get these pieces in this supposed shape? Well, like this:

But in the end, even the mini Vipers and the mini Cylon Raider was done and only a few parts were left (surprisingly a few bigger parts as well but it doesn’t look like I missed something along the way:

And here we are:

It looks as close to the original as an unlicensed brick model can and I’m happy with it:

It has a total length of about 71cm (2’4″):

And now sits on top of my shelf:

The end.

PS: I still could not resist to get myself a mid-sized Klingon Bird of Prey and USS Defiant as companion pieces to my Eaglemoss miniatures:

And a Romulan Warbird, the USS Enterprise A, a Borg Cube and the Galactica Viper. The Enterprise D is currently out of stock: