Pulling apart Hardspace: Shipbreaker's ships looks even more satisfying in Lego

A Lego spaceship being pulled apart
(Image credit: Focus Home Interactive)

Pulling apart Hardspace: Shipbreaker's meticulously-designed relics is one of the most satisfying things you can do in games right now. But what if you could physically tear apart a spaceship with your own bare hands?

Enter Lego artist Alexei Berteig's blocky recreation of an early-game Mackerel. While created as a bit of promo for Focus Entertainment and Blackbird Interactive's salvage sim, there's something absolutely joyous about seeing Hardspace's blocky shuttles at tabletop scale.

My favourite thing about Berteig's build is that, more than just creating a scale model of a Hardspace ship, he's made sure it's fully deconstructable in the way you'd expect coming out of the game. The Mackerel is built around a solid structural frame, items hung on interior walls, all contained within a nanocarbon outer hull formed of removable panels.

As someone who doesn't follow Lego builds, it was fascinating to listen to Berteig explain the ways he keeps the model structurally sound—using Technic components to reinforce tension points and making sure the design has as few gaps as possible. The entire thing is built to minifig-scale, too, and certain parts have their shapes tweaked to still maintain their character at that scale, even if the shapes aren't quite exact.

(Image credit: Focus Entertainment)

But the real trick to Berteig's design doesn't become apparent until the end where, after finishing the build, he finds ways to tear it apart in convincing fashion. He creates a bunch of stands to hold individual parts in zero-g as they're pulled apart—either on their own or held up by other parts of the ship. Against a black background it looks incredibly cool, hull panels and cockpit chairs floating in space, a remarkably smart way to represent a ship being pulled apart.

If you want to make your own Mackerel, Focus has handily provided a PDF with step-by-step instructions and a full parts list. Of course, they don't say how much all those parts will set you back

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.