And the Winner of SHIPtember 2018 is…

File this under excessive tardiness but our foundational traditions must be observed regardless of conventional time frame.  Your winner of SHIPtember 2018 is…Brama!, by Mr. Zac Lowing, a man and a mustache who every constant reader of this esteemed blog should be familiar with by now.  He’s the same MAN who took top honors in both 2017 and 2016.  The rest of you losers can go home now…try harder next year!

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There was some minor discussion around the water cooler that 2018 was a down year for the annual challenge, but there were definitley some memorable gems to be found in the inky blackness between the starts.  To my eyes, I found this year in general to be more interesting than usual because no single identifiable style dominated the field.  Even though the numbers might have been down in terms of overall participation, I think creativity and uniqueness was extremely high this year.  There were no endless fleets of lozenge-shaped HomeWorld inspired starships or generic, geriatric Star Wars designs or any other franchise for that matter.  After pouring through the results (my own results because as is customary, Simon Liu has not yet wrapped up the proceedings almost 4 months later) I thought I’d share them here.  I don’t want to drag Simon too much because I’ve done it enough in past years and he truly is one of the most generous people I’ve met in my Lego related travels.  That said, the natives seem to be restless this year and complaining about his laissez-faire leadership style more than I’ve seen before.  It’s a shame because SHIPtember is obviously one of the most dependable, influential and long-lasting challenge/contests we have in the genre or in the hobby at large.  Completing the month-long challenge is a rite of passage for most “serious” sci-fi builders and every year it draws in new talent and provides a nice stage to get your models actually looked at and commented on.  I almost wish Si would pass the torch to somebody more motivated rather than let it continue to deteriorate like so many other things in community.  Listen, I’ve experienced my fair share of suffering the slings and arrows of running contests and challenges…it’s largely a thankless job that requires time, followthrough, straight up cash homie and a good deal of all-purpose hassle over any number of issues (mostly shipping in my case).  I don’t blame Simon in the slightest for burning out, but I do blame him for not finding a way to breathe some new life into SHIPtember, either personally, or by getting some help.

If you’re curious, these are the highly unofficial results I came up with on the old quasi-reliable abacus.  The public was tasked with listing their top 3 favorite SHIPs of the year and these are your winners.  It was both interesting and kind of cool that a digital SHIP took home top honors in 2018, maybe that’s progress?  I think it’s the first one to ever do so, but I could certainly be wrong.  At the time of posting Simon was not available for commnet to confirm or disavow.

1st Place People’s Choice: Pleurotus Flight by Inthert, with 7 first place votes.

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2nd Place People’s Choice: Xylethrus-AMV by Halfbeak with 6 second place votes.

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3rd Place People’s Choice: MOTH by Oscar Cederwall (oOger) with 5 third place votes.

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In case you’re curious my favorite was the Doomsday Disco by the one true king Pierre E Fieschi.  Concept, style, presentation and cool name, it checks all the boxes for me.  It might not be the most unique or fanciest but he’s my go-to guy for all things SHIP related and I’d never cheat on him with some Jenny of the moment in high heels and fishnets.

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So you three weirdos enjoy your well-earned spots on the medal podium, but we all know who wears the crown…every year.  Every.  Year.

7 thoughts on “And the Winner of SHIPtember 2018 is…

  1. ugh. I feel in part to harbor some blame as well. I didn’t enter, I rarely commented, and I neglected to vote. I saw several WIPs come through on Discord, but shuffled it out of my stream of consciousness to try to stay with whatever meaningless conversation was currently being vomited forth there. Maybe I knew Zac was never going to be dethroned. Never. Be. Dethroned.

    As for the unofficial results, I cannot disagree. Those who voted actually voted along the same aesthetic lines I would have (I may have placed oOger’s Moth higher because of the Martini livery.) But for what showed up this year, I was happily impressed by the innovatively widespread designs. They weren’t Brahmas (but, then, what is?) but they also weren’t boilerplate.

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  2. On the Simon commentary, I think it is less about burnout and more that he just has too may things going on at once. Contest-hosting-wise he had SHIPtember, which lead into GridWars, and now into “Space Jam!”… and those are just the ones that I know about. I think for every one thing I know Simon is up to, there is 4 times more (like helping to pull together a con in Toronto this August…). Contests like SHIPtember probably do need something like a dedicated steward though..

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  3. Inthert is one of my favorite builders right now. I’d love to be churning out half as good of builds as he does, but that just looks like a really cool Mecha-Jellyfish MOC. It just doesn’t look at all like a space ship. Does a SHIP have to be a spaceship or is is just anything that is over 100 studs long? It is the most badass Mecha-Jellyfish ever created for sure though. 🙂

    I’m pretty sure Oscar’s decal is misspelled. It looks like rroth to me. I love how those stripes curve around the cockpit on that. I know there is some stickering there, but still… cool.

    Anything Pierre creates is a joy to look at. He likes to break the LEGO mold and use off-brand stuff and even trash to make his models. He is going to full kit-bash something eventually.

    All these builders are top-notch and deserving. They go way further than I have ever gone. Going this big seems like it would be a pain in the butt to me. Things are going to sag and bend, even if you get in a pretty strong structure. It’d drive me nuts. I can’t imagine trying to handle Halfbeak’s. It looks like if you grabbed it in the wrong place it would explode into a thousand parts.

    Nice work to all these guys and all the other SHIPtember participants.

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    1. Agreed, Inthert has been killing it lately. I was surprised to read you don’t think of it as a spaceship, that’s interesting because it never occurred to me not to think of it as one. And there are only 1 iron clad rule of SHIPtember and that’s the stud length. Everything else is flexible and on the table. You can start early l, run late and go over 30 days. I’ve seen space stations that didn’t have any obvious means of propulsion so a Mecha jellyfish is definitely within the parameters of a spaceship.

      I thought the font on that Moth sticker was a little jacked up looking too, but I don’t think it’s an error.

      100 studs really is not that much of a hassle if you stick to basic forms. You can always go the route of someone like Pascal, he’s done quite a few minimalist SHIPS that are fun models. It’s actually a very achievable goal even given the time frame.

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