Remembering the King of all Swoosh Videos

The swooshing of Lego spaceships is a time honored tradition that has it’s roots (for most people) in the carefree days of childhood when nothing was better than running around like a sugared-up jackass with your favorite space fighter making engine and laser gun noises.  As teens and adults, most people limit their swooshing to hastily taken still photos where the greatest variable seems to be facial contortions and wardrobe.  Indeed, some artistic souls, like Graybandit2000 have mastered the art form to the point where it seems little innovation is possible or even necessary.  I’m not a swooshing man myself (I have a face made for radio), but I can appreciate a good swoosh when I see one.


I’m not sure who was the first builder to apply the concept to video, but maybe one of you will educate me in the comments.  Swoosh videos became an all too brief fad a few years ago and most example seemed to be directly associated with the oft discussed SHIPtember.  Indeed, the practice became so popular that even the tribe of notoriously humorless train-guys tried to get in on the action, but as usual, they didn’t quite…get it.

By and large, swoosh videos are pretty uninspired, shaky-cam affairs that are sort of instantly forgettable.  This is sad when you take into account all the comedic and auditory advantages video has to offer.  I think the collected works of Monty Python alone would provide nearly endless inspiration to would-be directors, but most people refuse to apply the same creativity to the videos as they do to their Lego models.  Even when the creators get the music right, the results are frequently out of frame, out of focus and ultimately out of bounds.  One enterprising builder had the foresight to bring a trampoline into the mix and yet the final product still managed to disappoint.  I don’t think you can really maximize the value of a trampoline without the entire affair ending in injury or some form of disaster. Most of the videos seem to feature teenagers literally running around in bucolic settings, with a death-grip on their precious SHIPs.

For my money, the greatest swoosh video to date, is 2013’s simply titled SWOOSH, by Jacob Unterreiner.  Jacob seems to have dropped off the map in the last year or so, which is a shame because he was really hitting his stride as a builder.  Even though I’m pretty sure he and I shared some unkind words at some point (no doubt my fault), I always enjoyed his work immensely.  The model he’s clutching, PHOENIX, is worth a look too, it’s pretty rad and has some great color blocking. While we wait for Jacob’s triumphant return to the scene, let’s enjoy the king of all swooshing videos and pause to consider this underrated and underdeveloped sub-genre of the hobby.

Feel free to include your favorite swooshing still shots or videos in the comments.



14 thoughts on “Remembering the King of all Swoosh Videos

    1. That guy on the trampoline… He really takes the swoosh in an unexpected direction. I agree though. The same vid but ending with calamity would really give the whole affair the ZING it so badly needs!

      Didn’t somebody do a video of jumping over a SHIP on a bike? Not sure if that counts as a swoosh vid but MAN! That was cool!

      Interesting topic, excellent selection of images. But Keith, you got no swoosh action of your own? Not any?

      Bit of a bummer.

      rowntRee said he would take a pic of his SHIPtember entry balanced on his head… and I would count that as a swoosh pic! Because… swoosh!

      I can always dream.


      1. I haven’t seen the bike jump, if you find it let me know. I don’t think it would count as a swoosh, but it might be post-worthy on its own merits. And no, I have never taken a swoosh photo of any kind or I certainly would have included it here in the spirit of self ridicule. I guess next year I’ll have to remedy that situation.

        rowntree says a great many things…keep dreaming


  1. The videos may bring the rockin’ metal riffs, but Ryan captures that attitude just with that swoosh face.

    And Jacob was actually at BFVA this year. I don’t remember him bringing anything substantial other than the Phoenix, but he is still around. I think he’s just on a building hiatus because of real life shit. Hopefully he’ll get back into gear soon.


    1. You make a good point, Ryan’s image is a powerful one, but I don’t t think it can compare to the video. Glad to hear Jacob is still in the hobby in some capacity, everyone is entitled to a hiatus now and then. Cheers to him returning to the brick when the time is right.


    1. +1 for the banjo music, manic pace and motor boat sound effect….thanks for posting it! I wonder if anyone has ever used Yakety Sax for their swoosh video. Somebody should.


  2. Has anyone ever designed a SHIP just for the sake of being swooshed? Like, used the human body as a reference to create the hobby’s most swooshable ship. Ever. I feel like this needs to be a thing. Plans for next SHIPtember begin to materialize…

    And yes, goshdangit, I didn’t realize the contest announcement was a pinned article. Just discovered this ginormous backlog of new material yesterday. I better put on my reading glasses and get to work… And congrats Keith for an obviously thriving blog (despite my absence). 😉


    1. Hmmm…not that I know of, but that’s a great idea. Maybe if Simon is lurking in the shadows he can offer a more informed comment. I think it’s a great idea though, you should definitely go for it. My only real regret about my own offering was that it was not swooshable in the slightest, to do so would be to invite a biblical-scale disaster. All the modules fit together but there was no real connection point. Next year I”m going to make sure and remedy that because I think I’ve got an excellent idea for a swoosh video.

      You know, I was wondering if anyone would be confused by the pinned article since I’ve never done it before, hopefully we’re not losing much traffic as a result, it would be a shame to diminish the exposure on the contest entries. I’ll probably unpin it soon, I’ve held off because it still gets a bunch of hits every day but I think that word of the contest is about as ‘out there’ as it’s gonna get. Glad to have you back!


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