Born to die in Berlin

The grossly underappreciated builder Matt Mazian posted just two models in 2018, which is actually cause for celebration because it’s double his typical output for any given year since he started posting back in 2014.  The deceptively simple Berlin class interceptor hits all the right notes for me, it has an unconventional design (at least in the middle), great striping and use of color.  The misaligned arrow near the nose looks so much better than a perfect one would have and the pop of red on the engines is a tiny detail but it draws my eye every time I look at the image.  I’m not entirely sure that the teal highlight color (or is it sand green?) is a legit lego color, but it’s a great choice.  Still not sold?  Maybe you think it’s too simple?  Then I’ll resort to a little argumentum ad verecundiam for this model’s greatness.  Maybe you’ll take the word of renowned builder and artist Pierre E Fieschi who commented “Awesome design! very original!!”.  I should have just quoted Pierre to begin with and moved along.  I can easily envision a wolf-pack of these interceptors preying on freighters or lumbering capital ships.


Matt also produced the “Delta Shuttle” in 2018 and as much as I want to like it, I can’t quite get there.  Maybe its too thick, maybe it’s too blocky…it looks like a failed attempt to capture a B2 bomber.  I have puzzled over the model for quite some time trying to figure out it’s mystery, I get a weird feeling like I should like it but I can’t quite convince myself…like the music of bands like Arcade Fire, or Bon Iver.  My esteem for the builder is high enough that I’m willing to puzzle over the models I don’t particularly endorse.  I do like the engines, the ailerons and the clean lines, but the rest of it recalls a flying ziggurat, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it doesn’t quite get there for me.  It probably says something about both the build and me that I spent so much time studying a model that I’m not really into, I’ll be very interested to read your comments on the design.

I’m not sure if I’ll post again before the end of this terribly bipolar year, so I’ll take this opportunity to bid a less than fond farewell to 2018 and wish you constant readers the very best of luck and good health in 2019.  My lego related resolutions for the new year are to build more (it won’t be difficult after producing only one model this year), write more and hopefully launch DA4 in late spring/early summer. For the remainder of the year, all well drinks at the Manifesto are half off, except for the Malort.




13 thoughts on “Born to die in Berlin

  1. I really do love Matt’s work, they have the feel of innovative texture testing while still being a complete model. His subtle color blocking is refined, not like the normal blasts of color that scream for attention. His work forces you to just take the whole thing in and roam over it a while. It reminds me of those long sweeping shots of movie starships like the Galactica where your eye just settles in and occasionally has a focal point in the detail or spot of contrast.

    The Delta Shuttle works for me in that same way. More than simply a Ziggurat it reminds me of a brutalist office building, and that’s always a good thing for me. I think my biggest hang-up there is the delta shape, I want it to be like his other work (and all starships) with an unnecessary aerodynamic shape to them. It’s not on Borg level, but it’s getting close. Making it black reinforces that to me. Calling it a shuttle seems anticlimactic, this screams to be called a corvette or a cruiser of some sort. A war vessel for sure, not a pedestrian transport.

    The Berlin Class is masterful in layering and negative space. That gap between the top and bottom prongs is just perfect. And it gets accentuated by the white, single brick wide top above as it steps in along with the not quite two bricks wide prongs themselves. That shit’s just pure sexy, and those gaps are carried through the entirety. The center V is odd, but there’s enough draw there to tilt it into working very well. It never goes overboard by drawing any attention anywhere without making you see everything.

    Wish he’d produce more, but if these are what we get for the wait, I’m good with that.


  2. Never seen this builder before, has some good stuff so thanks for the introduction Keith. Not to be contrary, but I like the Delta Shutttle better. I just wish the pictures were a little brighter so I could see the details better. I like the Berlin, but that V in the middle doesn’t make sense to me. Throws me off.

    And for some of us, two builds in a year is pretty epic. I sadly only had on digital build last year. Maybe 2019 is the year I get back into it.


    1. I felt lucky to get one in this year, although I had a couple of WIP models that went pretty far into the process. I hope we see some new stuff from you this year, it’s always a treat.


  3. Cheers for the introduction to this builder Keith! Like Jake, I too hadn’t seen him before, but he definitely has quite a talent with bricks! The Berlin is my favourite of the two, as I like the sleek asymmetry and the innovative shape. Great stuff!


  4. The Delta Shuttle seems weird to me just because it has a very imposing face but that’s it. It’s like a flying mask with nothing behind it. A butterfly with wing coloration to look like something fierce.


      1. I agree it would be interesting but it seems like a near impossible challenge to achieve at that scale without looking very blocky. I see what you mean though.


  5. Thanks so much for the lead on this one, Keith! I hadn’t seen Matt’s work and I find his portfolio phenomenal. (Such clean and creative design!)


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