About Elspeth De Montes

Elspeth De Montes is Scottish but lives in North Yorkshire with her partner and twins. She is a LEGO Builder not a collector of sets, which in theory should make the hobby less expensive (ahem!) but monochrome collections can be pricey.   You can see more of Elspeth's work on her blog or website and Flickr   Elspeth is also a bike lover; mountain bike, fixie, road bike, tri-bike (n+1=number of bikes I need).

Posts by Elspeth De Montes

RAF Hawker Typhoon swooshes into enemy airspace

The Hawker Typhoon, known by the RAF as Tiffy for short, was a British single-seat fighter-bomber, produced by Hawker Aircraft during World War II. Einon‘s LEGO version of the Typhoon features a fully retractable landing gear and carries eight rockets under the wings and two bombs. The real life bomber had a few design issues but Einon has managed to iron out some of these in his minifigure-scale version.  The brick-built propeller is a good solution for sizing on this model but the invasion stripes on the upper wing surfaces and fuselage seal this as an accurate wartime Typhoon.

Hawker Typhoon Mk Ib - RAF

Einon has made a short video that not only shares more details about the Typoon, but also demonstrates his version’s retractable landing gear and how swooshable this LEGO bomber can be.

When LEGO themes collide: Exo-Force + Friends = Exo-Friends

Tyler Sky has been thinking about Friends minidolls and the retired LEGO Exo-Force theme, and perhaps eating a little too much cheese before bed. “What if Exo-Force continued to evolve, and then got assimilated by Friends?” These six Exo-Friends were the result. The minidolls look very cute with their new hair styles even if some of their exosuits are rather more intimidating.

EXO-Friend - Group Shot

We have an eye-catching lime exosuit, loosely-based on the alternate build suggestion for LEGO 7712 Supernova . Those clawed toes look very flexible and give the impression this Exo-Friends character is not limited by gravity and can climb any obstacle.

Exo-Friend (3 of 6)

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All we need is a bit of wind to grind the grain

Windmills have been utilising the energy of the wind power to automate tasks such as water pumping of grain grinding since 500-900 A.D. in Persia. This LEGO windmill by Issac S was inspired by some of the windmills seen in the video game Skyrim and was built for the 2017 Brickstory contest in the Early Middle Age category. The textured stone base of the windmill contrasts nicely with the wood and lighter stone central section and inspired use of the upturned barrel is the cherry on top.

Holt Windmill

The model features working windmill blades and a grindstone that are simultaneously operated by a crank on the back of the windmill. Issac has shared a video of this feature in action.

If you want to read more about the landscaping and, in particular, the tree seen in the left hand corner of this build, Issac has shared a tutorial. Originally this technique was used by Joeri Riddler and Issac has unpacked the design to allow others to develop the technique.

Engine 54 is the pride of Midtown

The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) is the largest municipal fire department in the United States, but Engine 54 stands out within this huge fire department, and its firehouse is known the “Pride of Midtown”. Fifteen members of Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 were killed while responding to the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. Sven has built an accurate scale model of Engine 54, a 2014 Seagrave Attacker HD 2000/500 High Pressure Pumper that is only six studs wide but packs an incredible amount of detail within that small space.

FDNY Engine 54

There are plenty of brick-built details within the six-stud wide confines. The home-made stickers may not be to everyone’s taste,  but you have to admire Sven’s attention to even the smallest detail. It is also touching that Sven has dedicated this particular build to the memory of Engine 54’s heroes.

FDNY Engine 54

Sven has a growing collection of FDNY apparatus that you can see in his FDNY album, including the FDNY Ambulance below. I simply had to share this image of his ambulance responding to a scene, Sven’s minifig scale Stryker stretcher is really an awesome little build.

FDNY Ambulance

A theatrical build from Freedom Square

Dohodno Zdanie is an architectural masterpiece with over 110 years of history, art and culture located in the heart of Rousse, Bulgaria. This imposing Neoclassical building can be found in Freedom Square,  within the city centre of Rousse,  and continues to hold a busy events calendar of theatre, show and art.  Thomassio has done an impressive job of capturing this stylish edifice in LEGO, with a host of detailed textures.  I really like the tiled roof in between those arched segmental windows, the occasional use of a dark blue tile is very effective. He utilises a good variety of parts use to add texture to this build, Technic gears, 2×2 dishes, turntables and even some handcuffs.

Dohodno Zdanie

There is a slight Dr. Who twist to Thomassio’s version as he has replaced the winged Mercury statue that appears on the top of the original building in Russia with a Weeping Angel, just don’t catch her eye!

Dohodno Zdanie

Huge LEGO steampunk wheel keeps the ship rollin’

In the steampunk realm, vehicles are powered by the Victorian power of choice: industrial steam. Well, with a futuristic spin, of course. This LEGO steampunk galleon by Chris Wright fits the genre perfectly — a huge steam-powered mega-wheel with a central ship that seems to defy gravity. The detailed central minifigure-scale ship remains stationary within the huge outer wheel thanks to a collection of wheels at the points where the two meet. The ship itself is full of great details but the first thing to catch my attention is the size of this thing and colour scheme thanks to those Medium Azure highlights throughout.

Steampunk Mega Wheel

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Three little buggies for the price of one

We all like a good deal, and here we get two minifigure-scale buggies for one — both inspired by LEGO City Buggy 60145. This first black off-road, racing buggy is by talented Latvian builder, de-marco who has a veritable traffic-jam of awesome cars in his photostream. The builder’s decision to use different sized wheels is a definite winner, but the addition of the red suspension is my favourite part. This little black buggy is a stylish affair, even if the poor driver can’t quite get a hold of that steering wheel.

Buggy

De-marco’s creation was a response to this initial buggy built by Сергей Антохин. Sergey also changed the construction of the roll bars and, like de-marco, altered the wheels to use bigger, wider rear tyres.

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So three buggies; de-marco’s black racing buggy with red suspension, Sergey’s little red racer with improved handling, and the original LEGO model (below). Which do you prefer?

A big gulp in little China

This lovely modular bar, created by Chinese builder Tony Toy has a great deal of colour and style.  Tony manages to pull  the dark blue, red, green and gold together into an attractive modular-style building with some lovely architectural details. I especially like the red and orange lanterns hanging on the post outside the front of the building. The little white bridge over a pond is a nice touch and love the effect created  by using transparent plates overlying green plates for the water.

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Interestingly, it seems that Tony designed his creation digitally first using the free Lego Digital Designer application and then built it in ‘the brick’.

DSC_0048_副本_副本

Ghost in the Shell’s intimidating Fuchikoma

The climatic scene when Kusanagi fights the huge think tank in the science fiction film The Ghost in the Shell is one of the most iconic, indelible scenes in animé history. Cole Blaq has built the impressive 6-legged Think Tank (Fuchikoma) from this scene in LEGO with all the intimidating features of the original. The white getaway car peeks out form underneath the huge mecha, helping to emphasise its scale. The mecha itself has some lovely smooth, shapely legs, but my favourite area is definitely the ‘head’ with the impressive weapons system.

JH AGF-7000

One of the other great details are the manipulator arms made from clips, pneumatic t-pieces and minifigures hands.  In the film, these arms grab Kusanagi and begin to crush her skull before Batou shows up and destroys the tank with some heavy weaponry. Phew.

This is actually an updated version of Cole’s Think Tank.  Back in 2013, we blogged Cole’s custom Kusanagi minifigure standing with the Think Tank from Ghost in the Shell. After some newly released LEGO parts and redevelopment, this Think Tank is a whole new level of awesome.

LEGO racing exosuit jets ahead of the rest

You may have to look twice to believe you are looking at LEGO in this creation by Gamabomb. This intruiguing red, white and blue figure is actually a racing exosuit from Gamabomb’s fictional company Meuser Hardsuit Schmiedes (MHS).  The aim of this particular hardsuit is speed and it seems to be living up to its name – Sprinter. The presentation showing the Sprinter’s jet propulsion system really shows this fun build in its best light. I love the blue and white colour blocking with the little highlights of red adding a nice contrast.

Meuser Sprinter Race

Just to prove this is an exosuit with a pilot, you can see that the cockpit is contained within the central chest area.

Meuser Sprinter

You really don’t want these neighbours to knock on your door

Neighbours can be a mixed bunch; some can be horrid if they play their music loudly at night, while others will mow your lawn while you’re on holiday. I think it is safe to say that the neighbours in this inspired microscale scene by Cecilie Fritzvold are more of the silent type. There are a few ingenious parts used in this scene, with a “sunken” technique used to give certain parts a new lease of life at this scale.

The Silent Neighbours

The grave stones are a mix of ingots, 1×1 plates with teeth, and blaster trigger mechanisms surrounded by a fence made from grille tiles. I love the nearby church whose structure includes a pair of 2×3 pentagonal tiles sitting at different heights to add depth. The white houses all have roofs made from minifigure laptops; so simple and yet so effective.

Building in microscale is a great way to utilise LEGO parts in different ways, even when a part may seem to have a very specific purpose when first encountered. For example, did you spot the minifigure rollerskates posing as microscale cars? And can you work out how Cecilie has made the trunk of the tree to the left of the church?

The LEGO Batman Movie 70912 Arkham Asylum [Review]

As the days count down to the release of The LEGO Batman Movie on 10 Feb 17, we wanted to keep your interest piqued with our latest movie tie-in set review, 70912 Arkham Asylum. Containing 1628 pieces, this is the largest set in The LEGO Batman Movie theme at present with the associated largest price tag of £139.99 / $149.99 / 149.99€, which equates to a price per piece of 8.6p / 9.2c / 9.2c, respectively. This set is rated for ages 12-16.

70912 Arkham Asylum

This is the third LEGO incarnation of Arkham Asylum and the biggest, though only just. The first was back in 2008 with 7785 Arkham Asylum, which has 860 pieces, 7 minifigures and a £59.99 / $79.99 price tag.  The second,  10937 Batman: Arkham Asylum Breakout, was a 2012 set with 1,619 pieces, 8 minifigures, and a £129.99 / $159.99 / 159.99€ price tag. Finally, we have this latest release which nudges into the lead with a part count of 1,628, but has no less than 12 minifigures (well 13 if one includes the statue minifigure).

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