H.R. Giger’s Xenomorph design is a perennial favorite among LEGO builders, and I’m looking forward to another batch of great LEGO aliens with the release of Alien: Covenant today. With a bar set very high by the likes of the Arvo Brothers, but this bust of the original alien from the 1979 Ridley Scott movie might be my favorite so far. Blair Archer has built a clear-domed carapace over a skull-like face, with the secondary jaws spitting out from a drooling mouth. This is not the otherworldly lifeform you’d want to meet in a darkened Nostromo corridor.
The LEGO Balrogs we’ve featured here on The Brothers Brick over the years have been large and monstrous, with flames flying and wings flying everywhere. Jonas Kramm takes a subtler approach with a considerably smaller Balrog built almost entirely from black. The black only serves to make the creature more sinister, making the contrasting orange flames on the Balrog’s back and his flame-whip even more striking. The Balrog is an ephemeral creature wrapped in darkness and fire, and the absence of explicit wings also adds to the evil look of this creature from the depths of Middle Earth.
The LEGO Shop is holding its annual May the 4th “Star Wars Day” sales event, starting at midnight EDT Thursday, May the 4th (9 PM PDT Wednesday, May the 3rd) through Sunday, May 7th. Several LEGO Star Wars sets are on sale, with a free R2-D2 mini-set (on orders over $50), and double VIP points to maximize your savings. The R2-D2 figure is larger than the standard minifig, with a number of unique printed elements.
Austria may not have any ocean beaches, but that didn’t stop Austrian builder Sanel Lukovic from building this lovely scene featuring a rockabilly dude hauling his board from his heavily customized “rat rod” to the inviting blue surf. True to the rat rod aesthetic, the vintage car has an exposed engine and what I’m assuming is a rust-bucket body — truly lovely. The surfer features a pompadour hairstyle and a rather hirsute custom torso from Citizen Brick. Sanel completes the scene with little details like a trash can and pilings with tree rings.
We’ve featured some pretty big news here at The Brothers Brick this week, along with our usual fare of LEGO models, reviews, and more. In case you’ve missed any of it, here’s your weekly Brick Report for the last week of May 2017.
TBB NEWS, REVIEWS & INSTRUCTIONS: LEGO news this week was dominated by back-to-back announcements of two upcoming LEGO sets.
- LEGO unveils largest Ideas set yet: 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V [News] – One of the most popular set announcements ever featured here on TBB, this upcoming LEGO set will include 1,969 pieces, retail for $119.99, and hit store shelves on June 1st.
- New LEGO Creator Expert set 10257 Carousel announced [News] – Somewhat overshadowed by the Saturn V reveal a day later, this set will be available on June 1st as well, with $199.99 for 2,670 pieces.
- LEGO Star Wars Rebels 75170 The Phantom II + TBB chats with Thrawn author Timothy Zahn [Review] – TBB talked to Grand Admiral Thrawn creator Timothy Zahn and got his first impressions of the new minifigure.
- BrickCon 2017 registration is now open [News] – Registration for TBB’s “home convention” is now open. Join us the first weekend in October here in Seattle for a friendly, casual party with 500 of our closest friends.
- Build your own LEGO Citroën DS and then drive your minifig self through the Vézère Valley [Instructions] – Drive around the French countryside in this adorable early 1970’s Citroën DS you can build with bricks in your own collection.
- Make your own LEGO magic folding cube with just a few pieces [Instructions] – Are you one of those people who thinks best when they’re fidgeting or fiddling with something in their hands? Then follow these instructions to make your own little folding cube.
OTHER LEGO NEWS: The new Saturn V set is a hard act to follow, and the rest of the web was buzzing with that news this week as well. We’re also starting to see rumors and leaks of summer LEGO sets for products that weren’t unveiled at Toy Fair in February, but we’ll hold off covering those until we have more reliable, higher-quality information — our readers rely on us for trustworthy LEGO news, and we’ll bring that to you as soon as we have it.
For long-time Star Wars fans, perhaps the most exciting thing to emerge from the current batch of LEGO Star Wars sets inspired by the Rebels animated TV series is the new Grand Admiral Thrawn minifigure, released as part of the 75170 The Phantom set, which depicts the modified Trade Federation shuttle that replaces the first Phantom part way through season 3.
Grand Admiral Thrawn himself was created by sci-fi author Timothy Zahn in Heir to the Empire, the first book in Zahn’s epic Thrawn Trilogy. TBB spoke with Timothy Zahn at Emerald City Comicon recently, and got his first impressions of the Thrawn minifig, which we’ll share later in our review.
When we were young, we probably all dreamed of having the perfect treehouse — a place of solitude away from irritating siblings, homework, and that annoying older neighbor boy who always laughs at you when you’re walking home from school. Tim Schwalfenberg has constructed a rather more communal and social trio of treehouses in adjoining trees, with a rope bridge connecting them and plenty of room to play both up top and down below. The colorful little buildings have slap-dash siding and textured roofs, and the trees themselves look ready to be climbed.
The rear of the diorama showcases wonderful little platforms for lounging with a good book and even an open-air art studio.
The World Peace Gate is a unique architectural element of Olympic Park in Seoul, South Korea, built for the 1988 Summer Olympic Games. Korean LEGO building team OliveSeon have recreated the arch in LEGO, complete with the colorful undersides of the “wings” extending outward from the top of the structure. The ground level of the park is no less detailed, with people walking through the park, enjoying the pools of water and bright pink flowers.
The vintage French Ghostbusters-themed Citroën DS we featured here a few days ago was certainly adorable, but what if you want to build your own early 1970’s LEGO Citroën DS? Creator OutBricks comes to the rescue with step-by-step instructions for the DS on which he based his “Ecteau-un”.
You can see the builder explain how to build your own LEGO Citroën DS, as well as what parts you need, in this tutorial video.
In addition to the best LEGO models created by builders from everywhere on the planet, The Brothers Brick also keeps you up to date with the most timely and relevant LEGO news and reviews. This is our weekly Brick Report for the third week of April 2017.
TBB NEWS, REVIEWS & INSTRUCTIONS: It’s been a bit of a slower news week here at The Brothers Brick, with a flurry of last-minute building by several of our team members heading north to attend BrickCan. Nevertheless, the rest of the team has been busy bringing all our readers up to date LEGO news and reviews, as well as the best LEGO models we can find.
- Happy 20th birthday, Brickset’s database! – Our friends over at Brickset.com celebrated 20 years of providing a comprehensive reference for the LEGO fan community.
- LEGO 71018 Collectible Minifigures Series 17 Feel Guide – Following up on last week’s hands-on review of Series 17, check out how to tell blind bags apart with your own hands.
- LEGO set review archive – Speaking of reviews, we’ve created a reference page where you can see all of the 2017 LEGO sets we’ve reviewed so far. We’re working on adding links to the rest of our reviews from the past 12 years.
- Free instructions for custom LEGO models – Not content with the new reviews page or our history of LEGO, we’ve also created a page where you can see all of the LEGO instructions we’ve featured. Happy building!
OTHER LEGO NEWS: There’s a lot of news out there we choose not to bring you as it happens, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. Here’s the rest of what happened in the LEGO world this week.
- HIspaBrick Magazine 027 available for download now, HispaBrick Magazine – Our good friends in Spain have published the latest English and Spanish editions of their free online magazine, with features on the 40th anniversary of LEGO Technic, interviews with several LEGO employees, a review of the new UCS Snowspeeder, and more.
- Grown-up LEGO fans blocked from playground in Melbourne, The Guardian – The first LEGOLAND Discovery Centre opened in Australia, and AFOLs are raising a hue and cry that they can’t go in when not accompanying a child. (This is in fact normal practice, and other Discovery Centers in the rest of the world hold after-hours “adults only” events just for local AFOLs.)
- The LEGO Movie sequel rumors & spoilers have begun, Gizmodo – The guys at Giz talked to Chris Pratt about the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and asked a few questions about the sequel to 2014’s The LEGO Movie.
- How to become a LEGO Master Builder, Popular Science – Erik Varszegi shares four simple steps on how to get the dream job he has designing monumental LEGO creations seen by millions around the world.
- Brick Fest Live in Philadelphia, CBS Philly – BrickCan wasn’t the only LEGO event that happened this weekend. Check out this news coverage of Brick Fest Live.
Probably thanks to perceptions created by movies like Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, I’ve always thought that funiculars were somehow a uniquely European mode of transportation. Although that’s not actually the case, they definitely have a certain Old World, vaguely steampunk vibe — reinforced by the fact that many of them were first built in the 19th century. Croatian builder Sven Franic has lovingly recreated the Zagreb Funicular, a tram that takes passengers up a relatively short incline in his hometown.
Establishing himself as a master of customization and variation, Pangeran Panda, whose Imperial Carousel and BB-8 variations we featured recently, has created a version of Jason Allemann’s kinetic Sysyphus sculpture inspired by The Force Awakens. The base features Rey lounging in front of her crashed AT-AT home, while the upper sculpture shows Rey pushing BB-8 along.
Like Jason’s original, the figure’s legs “walk” and BB-8’s body rocks back and forth.