For the final round of The Tourney medieval building contest on MOCpages, W. Navarre has given his all in this intense diorama. Whether you like the controlled chaos or not, it is impossible to deny the intricacy and detail at work here. An epic fight of the last two competitors ensues as the Forsaken Abyss mine burns beneath them. One can almost hear those cliched words: “You are going down… Or both of us are going down!”
At first sight I thought this build was a recreation of the climax action scene from the Mask of Zorro film – and I was only halfway wrong. It was indeed inspired by it, although the builder adds that he has in fact never actually seen the movie.
Some creations, even if simple, just look perfect. As is the case with this table tennis build by David FNJ (Fire-Ninja Jedi). There is nothing I could think of to make this scene any better. The table with the characteristic gap, the net – everything is just as you would expect it, and I mean that in the best way. But atop of that, David presents his creation with a beautiful photo, where even the reflections look good.
If you want pictures of the full table though, you might be disappointed. The builder informs us that what you see is literally all of his dark green pieces! But I would take that as a good thing; this is a creation that pushes his collection to the limit, which is the best way for a builder to grow.
Sky-fi may be among the more obscure LEGO building themes, but if you dig deep, plenty of amazing models can be found. The F70 Double Falcon by Vincent Tolouse is a great representation of the alternate-history early aviation-based theme, because it has everything, from beautiful curves to unique and imaginative shapes. Add to that the gorgeous dark red and chrome silver along with some nice part uses such as the Galidor shields at the front, and you get a very memorable and absolutely insane aeroplane.
I am not here to downplay the classic minifig’s ability to convey emotion, but it is a fact that its range of movement is much more limited than that of a Technic figure. Heikki Mattila uses this posability to great effect in his large scale vignette called “Thinking at night”. The technic figure is set in a convincingly contemplating and perfectly peaceful pose, while the setting is full of nice details like tyres, boxes and more. The backlit window makes for a convincing nighttime effect as well. I could not imagine a better happy place for a Technic figure than a workshop or garage.
Insects and other arthropods lend themselves surprisingly well to be built from LEGO. There are many elements like hinge pieces and wedge slopes that are oddly appropriate for building creepy crawlies. Olga Rodinova (Ольга Родионова) uses such pieces very well to create this (probably very smelly) beetle.
When in need of whacky (and some times unsettling) creations, Fedde Barendrecht‘s photostream is always a good place to start, with fresh material being added on an almost daily basis. If you are interested in finding out more about Fedde’s work, I recommend reading the interview we did with him recently. His latest creation is a strange combination of the ancient demonic god Cthulu and the famous videogame character Pac Man. The result is a strange, funny-scary monster with some nice part usage and techniques, most notably the teeth inside the spherical Death Star piece.
Even though this oriental bazaar creation by Scottish builder Colin Parry uses LEGO pieces introduced as recently as 2016, there is a strange 2008-like essence to it. Maybe it’s the use of all yellow minifigs (flesh tones have been more predominant in recent years) and amongst them many older head prints. Or maybe it’s how clean the design is, as opposed to more contemporary high-detail castle building trends. Whatever it is, I like it and I think it’s important that we do not get so wound up in progress as to forget how much more there is to be done in styles that fell out of fashion years ago.
While there is much to love in the architecture and other details like the boat or canvases, the real star of the show is probably the minifig action. Minifig posing is an art most people ignore when making dioramas, but it can be the difference between a good scene and an amazing one. After all, what is a diorama without life?
There’s a new round of Iron Builder competition now underway and Jonas Kramm is already getting amazing builds out there. His newest contribution to the brutal battle is an interesting one. It’s instantly recognizable as an Iron Builder challenge creation, but there is so much nice piece usage that it is hard to tell that the “seed part” (the piece which the duelling builders in the Iron Builder challenge are required to use in each build) is a Duplo grass piece. It could be the lip-stick piece! Or the black ponytail hair piece! But it’s not. It’s a wretched Duplo brick.
With all the unique part usage in this creation, it’s easy to miss subtle details that mark the difference between a good builder and a master builder. Jonas has used perfect tiny gaps between pieces on the unfortunate carpet rider’s turban to represent the folds and edges of the cloth. Attention to detail on all levels like this is one of the reasons why Jonas got invited to the Iron Builder challenge to begin with, and deservedly so.
Previously Anthony Wilson built an interesting kinetic LEGO sculpture of a beating heart. It was great to begin with, but now he has incorporated it an unsettling sculpture — The Heart Eater. Don’t miss the realistic skull and the pentagram in the base.
Check out this moody video of the heart beating in the monster’s hand. The builder says the lighting was not ideal, but I like to think it was deliberate to create a more eerie effect.
There is much to love in this scene by BobDeQuatre. Of course, the cute space boxes are nice and the tiled floor catches the eye, but we all know the star of the show is the Space Mariner Powerlifter monowheel suit. While it uses interesting building techniques and resembles Peter Reid’s Ideas Exo-suit, the real reason I find it so attractive is the effort the builder had to go through to have it stand. This difficult equilibrium makes it look like there is a real working gyroscope in the mech, rendering the build very realistic (for a sci-fi mech).
With the rise of high-powered pocket computers (also known as smartphones), listening to music has become very clinical and almost too easy. It is just not quite as rewarding to listen to your favourite song if you don’t need to put in the effort of carrying a large, clumsy box around everywhere. This retro 80’s radio by Chris McVeight captures that long-gone era well, with multiple realistic functions like a flip-up handle and exchangable cassettes with a working ejecting mechanism. There are some non-functional elements here that make for great details too; most notably the seamless speakers and the great tuning display.
While non-LEGO elements are generally a detrement to a LEGO photo, 1:1 scale creations are an exception to that rule. Chris’ addition of 80’s-looking background and table decoration really makes you take a second look to be sure this is in fact a LEGO creation.
A while ago W. Navarre revealed this ship as a part of a nautical diorama that was a modern re-interpretation of an original LEGO Pirates set. However, he decided that the diorama did not do the ship justice, and has chosen to photograph it now on its own. There is a lot to love about The Black Death, most notably the sails made out of all sorts of multi-angled pieces in an eye-popping dark red, as well as some very interesting shaping along the hull. Years ago, brick-built hulls were very common for small and medium scaled ships, but lately it seems to be becoming the norm.