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

A Polish saucer with some LEGO sorcery

This fantastic architectural build by Miroslaw is a 1:125 scaled version of Spodek, a huge multipurpose arena in Katowice, Poland. Spodek means “saucer” in Polish and refers to the flying saucer appearance of this huge structure which seems to defy some of the laws of LEGO gravity. Achieving a circular structure is hard, achieving a stable but tilting structure is even harder,but to combine a circular structure that has a tilt and also an inverted sloped roof must require some feat of engineering. What sorcery is this!

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See more of this unique LEGO build

Delivery of a cute LEGO cat called Jiji [Instructions]

Kiki's Delivery Service is a 1989 Japanese animated fantasy film produced, written, and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The film’s protagonist Kiki is a trainee witch who has a black cat called Jiji as her best friend, and CK HO has built a fantastically cute LEGO version of Jiji the cat. Like most cats, Jiji has a lot of personality,  but the English-dubbed version of the film showed Jiji with a cynical and sarcastic attitude as opposed to cautious and conscientious in the original Japanese.

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We loved Jiji so much here at TBB that we asked CK to make some instructions and he very kindly obliged to allow us all to have a best friend called Jiji.

Click here to build your own Jiji!

When LEGO needs a trim, use a LEGO mower

We have all been there: it’s summertime and the plate grass is getting long… well Anthony Séjourné has sorted out our lawnmower needs with his excellent LEGO mower.  The garden gnome has sought a place of safety as this is a serious looking mower — look at the beautifully neat grass it is leaving in its wake! Using layered plates for the grass was an extra step well worth the effort to ensure the tiled cut grass is below the level of the top plate. This is a cute little scene that really shows how to highlight this small mower model in the best light.

The lawnmower itself is a great little build with nice curvy shape and good use of the Bionicle mechanical arm to create the angles and attachment for the handle.

My only issue is that I cannot work out where the cut grass has gone?

If you can’t beat them, join the Space Marines

The LEGO Group have wandered into the realm of wearable LEGO with things like the LEGO Friends Friends Jewelery Set #853440, but this helmet and shoulder armour by Timofey_Tkachev takes wearable LEGO to a whole other level. Tomofey’s  LEGO cosplay is inspired by the Space Marines from  Warhammer 40K, originally the tabletop miniatures game and now a video game.

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The shaping of the helmet is particularly impressive, especially around the eye sockets and the mouth where accuracy has been maintained despite the difficulties when using LEGO pieces to build curves.

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Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York in LEGO microscale

If you walk along Front West Street in downtown Toronto, Ontario you will see the impressive Fairmont Royal York Hotel. On June 11, 1929, the hotel officially opened. The Royal York changed names and ownership a few times since its humble beginnings as the Ontario Terrace, which consisted of four brick houses, in 1843.  Jeff Van Winden has captured the architectural essence of the hotel in LEGO microscale. The sense of scale is emphasised with the busting street below with adorable little microscale vehicles.

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I particular like Jeff’s clever solution to the intricate arched windows on the three main blocks at the front with this upturned minifigure basketball stand.  Just be sure to book early if the Royal Family are in town, Queen Elizabeth usually has an entire floor reserved for her and her entourage and occupies the Royal Suite herself.

LEGO 31065 Park Street Townhouse 3-in-1 [Review]

LEGO’s latest set in the Creator theme is 31065 Park Street Townhouse, which was recently released in both the UK and the US.  This set contains 566 pieces and retails at UK: £44.99 / US: $49.99 / EU: €49.99. The main build is the townhouse, but there are alternative instructions for a city café and a suburban home. The set comes with 2 minifigures, a moped, and the parts to build a little blue bird and a white dog. This type of Creator set  is often called a “mini modular” and interestingly one of the images at the back of the first instruction booklet shows this set linked with 31050 Corner Deli to form a mini street scene. Other examples of so-called mini modulars include 31026 Bike Shop & Café or 31036 Toy and Grocery Shop, both of which are now retired.

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Read the full review of 31065 Park Street Townhouse

Technically, this LEGO Godzilla is in a thousand pieces

Godzilla is an iconic beast who first appeared in Ishirō Honda‘s 1954 film Godzilla and has remained a feature of Japanese pop culture ever since. There have been many builders who have created a LEGO Godzilla, but this version by 62778grenouille really caught my attention. Firstly, it’s huge. And secondly, it has been built in the most extraordinary manner, using Technic parts that seem to flow into the shape of Godzilla.

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See more photos of this massive LEGO monster

Is it time to create 1000 LEGO origami cranes?

Which one is plastic and which one is paper? Takamichi irie has made a lovely little LEGO crane in the same style as the origami version. Traditionally, it was believed that if you folded 1000 origami cranes, your wish would come true – according to the 1797 book Sen Bazuru Orikake, which translates to “how to fold 1000 paper cranes” and contains instructions for how to make these special objects.

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Takamichi’s LEGO version closely resembles the paper one next to it, and is a great way to present this seemingly simple build. A closer look at where the wings and neck join the main body suggests that this was not as simple as it first appears, and I imagine creating 1000 LEGO cranes would be a similar undertaking to folding 1000 paper cranes.

The folded crane has also become a symbol of hope and healing during tough times and therefore is often known as the “peace crane”. The touching story of Sadakos legacy is worth a read if you have a few spare minutes.

A waterfall of colours hides a secret

We have been left to form our own conclusions about the meaning of this latest colourful creation by Delayice. The only potential clue given is the title, Maze of Entrance, which simply adds to the intrigue rather than offering any explanation. The medium azure waterfall was the first part of the build to capture my attention and it contrasts perfectly with the dark orange inverted slope. The texture of this inverted slope gives a pixellated feel to the build and my overall impression is that this door is part of a colourful quest, almost like a video game.

Maze of entrance

Who knows what lies beyond the doorway, but it seems that there’s a few intelligence tests on the wall to overcome before it will open.

LEGO Flowers built using bananas, Bart Simpson’s head and a croak of green frogs

At first look, these flowers by Theo Guilia look rather nice. They are made from LEGO but nothing too strange or odd about their appearance from afar. The reality is that they are both made up of parts that would not be a first choice for creating a flower in the hands of most builders. The sunflower petals are bananas, the central portion of the sunflower is an afro hairpiece and the leaves are a mix of elf hats and green frogs. It sounds more like a recipe for witch’s brew than the parts to build a LEGO sunflower!

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The second flower is a pretty blue cornflower. It uses Bart Simpson’s head as the central portion of the flower with the old-style plastic capes as petals. Those elf hats make another appearance as leaves to complete the flower. How strangely effective.

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LEGO certainly brings out the creativity in people. I’ll never look at an elf hat the same way again…

Handy LEGO Harry Potter Christmas tree ornaments

It’s Christmas time and preparations are well under way in the LEGO building world. Markus Rollbühler‘s collection of Christmas ornaments for his family’s Christmas tree are complete and this year’s theme is Harry Potter. Thankfully Markus has stuck with some of the lighter moments from each of the seven Harry Potter boks, a challenge especially given  darker nature of the later books. Microbuilds are often a real building test requiring ingenuity and a real knowledge of all the LEGO parts – Markus has both. Blades from minifigure weapons become wings, minifigure hands become quidditch players in flight and the trigger for a stud shooter becomes Buckbeak’s head!

Harry Potter Christmas Ornaments

Can you work out the scene depicted in each ornament?

Bebop a lula this spaceship is in perfect harmony

You may not be familiar with the 1998 animated television series Cowboy Bebop but that will not stop you admiring this spaceship built by Haeum Daddy. Cowboy Bebop was set in the year 2071, and follows the lives of a crew of bounty hunting cowboys travelling on their spaceship Bebop. This LEGO version of protagonist Spike Spiegel’s racing craft the Swordfish II is like an Ultimate Collector Series edition with all the greebled details and a stand. The smooth aerodynamic lines of the wings and the front of the ship are maintained with the use of curved slops and wedges …this ship is fast and swooshable.

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The power all comes from the incredibly detailed engine and exhaust portion of the ship; definitely worth a closer look. So many great dark grey LEGO parts have been packed into this area that the bulbous shape of the animated ship is emulated despite being formed from lots of smaller pieces.

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