This mechanized, heavily armored fish looks like an unholy cross between a Dunkleosteus and the hardsuit from District 9. Japanese builder Mitsuru Nikaido has created a truly distinctive look by layering various LEGO flag elements in dark gray over a white internal structure. I’m not sure whether this belongs in the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum or the National Museum of Natural History.
As we begin ramping up over the next few weeks toward our alternate WW2 LEGO display at BrickCon here in Seattle, I’ve been keeping an eye out for inspirational builds, and this “Dingo” Combat Walker by SweStar certainly fits the bill. The feet look like the “toes” are powered by pistons, and the mech’s head is festooned with enough doodads for a naval ship’s bridge. I particularly like the judicious use of stickers and yellow LEGO pieces.
We’ve featured dozens of LEGO Gundam models over the years, but this one by JAN LEGO just might be my favorite yet. From the grills on the side of Gundam’s head to the heat vents on the chest, this LEGO Gundam has every detail you’d expect from Bandai’s “Perfect” series of challenging plastic models. Though the builder didn’t share exact dimensions, it’s also a huge model, judging from the photos — at least two feet tall.
I never quite understood the appeal of the Smurfs. Growing up in the 80’s surrounded by an entirely different cultural tradition, the poorly animated, cutesy TV show just wasn’t interesting. But the wonderful thing about the world of LEGO is that I can appreciate a fantastic build even if I have negative interest in the subject matter. Koen is taking a break from building a large LEGO spaceship to build something using a bunch of the rare medium blue parts in his collection — from minifig helmets for his nose and tail to a plate for his ear.
I love Koen’s description: “The Smurfs are blue humanoids who live in mushroom-shaped houses in the forest.” This smurf seems to be as surprised by his own existence as I am.
Igor Stravinsky is easily my favorite Classical composer, and I grew up hopping around to The Rite of Spring pretending to be a ballerina, after seeing the Soviet-era Bolshoi troupe perform in 1979 when they toured Japan. Stravinsky’s earlier The Firebird is no less beautiful for being less wildly innovative. In Russian folklore, the Firebird (Жар-пти́ца) is a creature who can aid or doom those who encounter it. In this gorgeous LEGO version built by VSefrem for Russian LEGO forum Bricker.ru, pearl-gold and shades of transparent orange and red add to the underlying yellow for a stunning effect. Particularly noteworthy are the 1×1 round tiles layered on the bird’s neck with clips.
While it’s easy to be distracted by the creature alighted on its branch, the tree uses some interesting techniques to create an aged, twisted look — a perfect contrast for the stunning Firebird.
As we start wrapping up our coverage of the various LEGO Castle creations that were part of the Ye Old Merry Battleground collaboration by “InnovaLug” at Brickfair VA, we would be remiss in our duties if we failed to highlight this beautiful village by TBB alum Mark Erickson. Mark’s village includes two half-timbered houses and an excellent church in unconventional tan (sandstone, I presume). The church has sculptures in the same color as the structure — though in fact these would likely have been painted garishly when carved originally in the Medieval era — as well as a graveyard and a red roof with some subtle texturing.
Mark’s extra pieces of rounded landscaping that sort of “drip” off of his main diorama illustrate the interesting approach that the InnovaLug team took to their collaborative display. Rather than integrating the various contributions on a single underlying brick-built landscape (as we did with our Battle of Bricksburg display), the team used white space between the builds to highlight each build separately. We tried this approach with TBB’s “ChronoCon” display at BrickCon a couple of years ago, and it’s not generally a style of collaborative display that I think works all that well — though InnovaLug seems to have pulled it off quite well by spanning the open space with little details like the smaller landscaping pieces here. What do you think of this display style?
legopthalmos has a strong eye for historic scenes, as he demonstrates with this excellent LEGO recreation of the iconic “Alexander Mosaic” in the Naples National Archaeological Museum. In the Battle of Issus in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), Alexander the Great personally led his Macedonian army against Darius III and his Persian army. Alexander defeated Darius, further enabling Alexander’s conquest of Asia. This LEGO scene includes all the details of the historic mosaic, from Alexander astride his war horse to Darius in his chariot. Both the horses and minifigs are posed well, with artistic angling of the Persian lances balanced by the denuded tree on the Macedonian side.
Here’s a closeup of some of the great action in this diorama.
TBB contributor Elspeth De Montes has been working on a fantastic series of scenes contrasting the life of a woman named Doris in 1966 and later in her life today, in 2016. Originally built for and published in Bricks magazine, Elspeth’s scenes are not only well-built LEGO creations, but also poignant and funny. She describes her Doris series thus: “On the left it is 1966 and she is a young vibrant lady in touch with the latest fashion, technology and trends. On the right, time has passed and it is 2016 and Doris has to cope with new technology, innovation and the changes in society.”
In Elspeth’s first scene, Doris happily tosses her rubbish out in 1966, but struggles to sort her recyclables in 2016. What impresses me most about this scene is how many LEGO trash cans in various colors Elspeth owns!
The German-language LEGO Star Wars forum Imperium der Steine is hosting its annual “MOC Olympics” at the moment, and with the release of the full trailer for Rogue One this past week, we’re seeing a lot of great entries inspired by the forthcoming movie. TBB regular and all-around talented builder Cecilie Fritzvold has recreated the mysterious character Chirrut Îmwe in LEGO, centered on the scene in which he battles Imperial Stormtroopers with nothing more than a staff.
Cecilie says that she created the Stormtroopers first, since she thought they might be the hardest. Creating enough detail on the troopers’ helmets to make them recognizable at this scale is no small feat. Cecilie completes the scene with some solid forced perspective, including a minifig-scale Stormtrooper in the background (though she gives him taller legs to bring him into the same shape as the brick-built ones in the foreground).
It’s the third week of August, and we’re ready to give away another copy of LEGO Star Wars Build Your Own Adventure, signed by TBB’s own Rod Gillies, who designed all of the models in the book. To win the third copy we’re giving away, click here.
We’ll also send each winner a snazzy TBB T-shirt and other cool swag, but thanks in particular to Rod and our friends at DK for the books!
Peel Engineering on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea manufactured the P50 microcar at the height of Mod fashion in the heyday of “Swinging London.” Vimal Patel (vmln8r on Flickr) has lovingly handcrafted a beautiful blue LEGO P50 that’s fully motorized, with great curves that make the little “bubble car” instantly recognizable.
Some builders write lengthy backstories for their LEGO creations, making sure to share with viewers every detail of why their model is the way it is. Other times, the model just speaks for itself, leaving you wanting to know more. Personally, I prefer a bit of mystery. LEGO 7 presents this adorable character who looks like he stepped out of a manga or anime series, though I think the little fellow is entirely original. With an owl-shaped helmet, impish grin, and weapons pointing in every direction, he looks ready to take on the whole world.
The character’s purple eyes are from LEGO Elves sets, and LEGO 7 has provided him with a range of equipment, including a gas mask and sniper rifle.