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

Defending the Earth against an invasion of 1970’s UFOs

In the 1970s a British television sci-fi show about an alien invasion of Earth called UFO was shown in the UK and Canada. It was created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson, who had previously made several successful children’s science fiction programmes, the most famous of which was ThunderbirdsAndrea Lattanzio‘s latest build is the show’s S.H.A.D.O. Moonbase Interceptor, the primary defence spacecraft of a highly secretive agency called Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation or SHADO for short. Andrea has really captured the hull shaping and red stripe details of the Interceptors with their comical nose-mounted nuclear missiles. The Interceptor is instantly recognisable to those of a certain age ;-)

UFO | S.H.A.D.O. Interceptor

Not content with just having the outward shaping, the cockpit and roof can be removed to show some interior details including control sticks, a comfy red pilot seat, and some powerful-looking engine areas.

UFO | S.H.A.D.O. Interceptor - interior

My only slight concern is the fit of the cockpit wind-shield, as the gaps might be a little “problematic” in the vacuum of space.

Waiter, there’s a crab in my soup

Feast your eyes on this crustacean-themed restaurant and hostel called the Osaka Crab, built by Ian Hoy. This modular building can be split to reveal the restaurant within the ground and first floors [that’s first and second floors for you Americans – Ed] and then a couple of bedrooms on the next floor up for those who have eaten too much crab and can’t make it home. A lot of character has been packed into the building both inside and out – as you can see from the fantastic red, brick-built crab.

nEO_IMG_OSAKA CRAB_02

nEO_IMG_OSAKA CRAB_20

See more of this crabby creation

A mech built to scavenge for his existence

Can you picture this mech wandering across a post-apocalyptic wasteland scavenging for parts and power? Bregma Nicle has built a scavenger mech called Bad Diesel who packs plenty of attitude and more than a little intimidation into his bulky frame. I love the breathing apparatus and his ridiculously oversized weapon system. There are a host of scavenged parts that help to emphasise his hunter-gatherer nature, for example the “lobster  sighting device” on the weapon or the round light tiles from the racing buggy sets as goggles.

BADDIESEL

You can see more of his scavenged equipment on show with his weapons system dismounted and on display. Bad Diesel has plenty of pose-ability despite those thunderous thighs and heavy armour.

BADDIESEL

Get your helmet on and pilot this red-hot starfighter

Some spaceships are made for carrying cargo, others for deep space exploration. But there is no doubt that Leonard ZX is a ship designed for the offensive manoeuvres of war. Flavio has designed the starship Leonard ZX with speed and agility at the fore, with a sleek nose leading to a powerful, edgy hull. I love the colour blocking of red and white and the use of tails to give the sharp angles on the outside of the hull.

leonard ZX

Just behind the white cockpit area is the ingeniously placed red hockey helmet, proving that health and safety is paramount, even in a war fighting machine.

Watch folks race in the Nordic sport of folkracing

For those who are not familiar with the sport of Folkracing, it’s a popular and inexpensive form of rally racing with older beat-up cars, which originated in Finland. The races take place on specially designed gravel tracks, and Nybohov Creation Ltd has created this beautifully colourful LEGO track for some micro rally cars to race around. The details and textures look fantastic, with everything from trees and foliage to landscaping with a couple of colourful buildings.

Folkrace track

See more details of this tiny race track

Gorgeous 8-foot-tall LEGO mobile crane has complete working functions

Leibherr’s LTM 1090-4.1 mobile crane is an impressive piece of construction equipment with a top speed of 85km/h, a telescopic boom up to 50m, and a maximum load capacity of 90 tonnes. If that doesn’t impress you, then this scaled LEGO version of the mobile crane by Dirk Klijn should attract your attention. Dirk has spent 3 and a half years working on this 80cm long model that has 5 Sbrick‘s controlling 17 functions, including driving, working rear lights, indicators and reversing lights, boom and jib extension, power-lifting objects, steering and motion, as well as non-motorised functions such as full suspension, opening doors, and the manual folding jib.

Liebherr LTM 1090 4.1 - SarensLiebherr LTM 1090 4.1 - Sarens

On a model this big, there are plenty of details to pore over…

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A place to observe the stars

Unfortunately, Madrid now suffers from too much light pollution to be a good spot for observing the stars and planets. The Real Observatorio de Madrid remains the seat of the Spanish National Astronomical Observatory and houses historic scientific equipment, including a 25-foot reflecting telescope from the 18th Century. Víctor M. Nouvilas has built a fantastic LEGO version of the Observatory in the style of LEGO’s own Architecture theme. Victor has captured the neoclassical style of the building with its clean lines and,  in particular, the dramatic columns of the main entrance and the circular temple-like dome on top.

Real Observatorio de Madrid

Crouching tiger, hidden cannon

Tigers have the reputation for being fearsome beasts at the best of times, but turn a tiger into a mecha tiger with some hidden weaponry and you have created a whole new level of danger. Christian Lintan has created a mecha tiger that almost looks like a statue with only white LEGO parts used. The crouching stance is spot on, a pose that can be recognised in domestic felines as well as their bigger cousins. Powerful legs, robust torso and a muscular neck are all nicely defined by a mix of curved slopes and wedges.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Cannon

And if those sharp claws and bared teeth are not enough to frighten off any would-be attacker, the deployment of this tiger’s cannon should do the trick.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Cannon

Yo ho, yo ho, a space pirate’s life for me

There’s a definite futuristic spin on this pirate ship created by Bricksam, but the only thing cooler than pirates are sci-fi pirates. The skull & cross-bones figurehead on the bow of the ship suggests that this ship does not come in peace, and the Jolly Roger flying over the stern confirms her intent. No sails are required on this particular ship, but there is some lovely hull shaping and lots of details. The colour blocking with dark green, black and more traditional brown for the main deck gives a real ‘scavenger ship’ feel to this vessel.

Arcadia_01

The view from behind shows the ragged Jolly Roger and the main deck more clearly. Those glowing rear engines mean that this ship does not need water or wind to power her plundering travels.

Arcadia_03

An elegant 1930s scene complete with tailor shop and tarot readings

There is a lot going on in this modular-style street scene by Agata Pakita. Apparently we are back in the 1930s, judging by the outfits and car on show. The lower floors of the buildings house an arts and crafts store, a tailor, and a mysterious woman who reads tarot cards and predicts your fate. The colourful architecture is a lovely combination of LEGO’s more muted palette of medium dark flesh, light grey, dark red, and tan. I love the curvaceous greenhouse on the roof of the building, where an older lady and her cat relax away from the bustling street.
pcb2
See more photos of this beautiful modular building

It’s time to flamenco with a flamingo

The word flamingo actually comes from the Spanish word flamenco, which came from the earlier Latin word flamma, meaning flame or fire. The name seems all the more apt for this LEGO Flamingo created by BrickBro given that it’s actually built from red bricks rather than pink. The posing of this bird is perfect, with one foot characteristically tucked up whilst the other wades through the shallow water. I love the dual purpose of the clear dish, which firstly holds the bird in a standing position, but also depicts a ripple in the water. Those stick legs look just as fragile as an actual flamingo’s legs.

Flamingo

This shapely bird has some clever, albeit illegal, techniques in the neck area, where the builder has used a short length of tubing to attach the tiles bottom-to-bottom. The model is built only from LEGO parts however,  and stands surprisingly steady on that one little stick leg.

A streetcar named LEGO

You may know them as trams, streetcars, or trolleys. But these seemingly old forms of public transport are increasingly being found in our cities and towns once more. San Francisco is famous for them, but Edinburgh, Sofia, Helsinki, Rome and many more cities have trams running through their streets. David FNJ has built a lovely dark red tram pulling into a small stop, decorated with a bench and some pretty flowers. The tram is beautifully shaped with lots of curves, and the builder has utilised a great combination of highlight colours in the form of Bright Light Orange and Medium Dark Flesh.

Faithful Trolley

I’m not massively sold on the conical trees, but the little stop is a nice addition to set the scene while we wait for the next tram to arrive.