About Iain

Iain Heath is an avid builder specializing in the "Bricks of Character" style, which he helped define. He has been using LEGO to parody popular culture since 2007, when he created the now infamous Stephen Hawking model. He is a SeaLUG member and regular theme coordinator at BrickCon. For five years he also ran a blog called The Living Brick, that showcased the best character-based LEGO creations from around the world. You can find his irreverent body of work on Flickr.

Posts by Iain

The year is 2000

Some people might accuse me of posting too many selfishly nostalgic LEGO creations. Like that time last month, remember that? Ah man, those were some good times. Good times. Anyway, time to repeat the sin with this rather splendid mining scale recreation of a favorite toy from my childhood, the Raider Command from Matchbox’s 1978 line of futuristic Adventure 2000 vehicles.

Due to a limited selection of parts in olive green, French builder Eric Druon actually had to recreate this in tan (and then apply a little harmless Photoshop magic). I was lucky enough to own a few of these beauties back in the day. And I am embarrassed to say that – thanks to the power of eBay – I have been able to enjoy them all over again, albeit “mint in box”!

Are you PC?

For some time now LEGO artist Chris McVeigh has been bringing us palm-sized chunks of hi-tech nostalgia heaven, such as his Atari 2600 and Apple Macintosh kits. But now Chris jumps into the unfashionable-yet-practical camp of “IBM compatibles” with this picture-perfect 80’s era DOS computer. This certainly brings memories of my first tech job flooding back – twin floppies, Hammer pants, and all.

The kit is currently available for pre-order from Chris’ store. Or if you prefer, as of today you can now download the instructions and build one from your own collection of bricks. But here’s all the narly stuff you’ll get if you order the full kit:

Relive the ’80s with this incredibly detailed 285-piece retro computer model custom design! Pop off the computer’s chassis to see its fully-equipped interior, which includes disk drives, expansion cards and power supply. Additional features include:
• Custom-printed processor tile for added detail
• Custom-printed display slopes featuring a choice of two prompts, A>_ and C:\_
• An extra tile allows you to switch one of the diskette drives to a hard disk

I know what I’m putting at the top of my list of stocking stuffers this Christmas! Hmmm, but I guess the important question is: Have I been naughty or nice?

Speeder, speeder, SPEEDER!

Our Pimp Rey’s Speeder contest now has over 100 entries! Thank you to everyone who has entered so far, we’re getting a real kick out of seeing all your crazy designs. Movies and TV still seem to be popular themes for speeder pimping. But as you can see below, we’ve also seen a lot of entries based on famous LEGO set themes. Get your entries in soon – you only have a 2 more weeks!

Benny’s Speeder by John Kupitz

Galaxy Force Buggoid Speeder by tankm

Octan Speeder by Timmy’s Bricks

Cinderella’s Speeder by Paddy Bricksplitter

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...”

In the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, there have been a lot knee-jerk reactions from politicians and leaders regarding the refugee policies of their respective states. Satirical Swedish building duo SuckMyBrick decided to add a little LEGO-colored commentary on the debate, that should serve to remind us here in the US that Europe’s refugee situation is considerably more dire and complicated than our own.

In the builders’ own words: “Europe is struggling to accept more refugees every day and is partially doing a good job at it. But from the refugees standpoint, it’s hard to understand a closed door when what they are running from is so much worse than the problems that arise for us by helping them.”

Issue 14 of Blocks magazine out tomorrow [News]

Prepare for a journey into the space-time vortex with the Doctor and his TARDIS in the latest issue of Blocks magazine, available in UK stores November 19th. As well as an in-depth review of the latest LEGO Ideas set, there’s also an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how the Ideas platform really works, including what the review process involves, why larger projects don’t make the cut, and more.

Blocks also takes a look at how LEGO’s spaceship designs have changed over the decades, the most profitable LEGO sets to invest in, how to build a supercar, and whether LEGO Dimensions really is worth your money. Plus a Christmas consumer guide to help you figure out the perfect gifts for the LEGO fanatics in your family.

Bricksy: Unauthorized Underground Brick Street Art [Review]

File this under “ideas I wish I’d thought of first”. From Jeff Friesen, award-winning photographer and author of United States of LEGO: A Brick Tour of America, comes a delightful new book of LEGO dioramas paying homage to the work of enigmatic graffiti artist Banksy.

Inside its 9″ x 9″ hard cover, the very inexpensive Bricksy: Unauthorized Underground Brick Street Art features 84 carefully constructed and beautifully photographed scenes, each based on a different Banksy work. For reference purposes, thumbnails of the originals appear on every page, and are also compiled into a visual index at the back that even cites the original image sources.

Rather than merely trying to mimic Banksy’s works in LEGO, Jeff embellishes them and expands upon them to service his own unique sense of humor. It’s as though we are pulling the camera back from the original, and seeing it in the context of a whole new backstory. This definitely makes the book more appealing, although true Banksy aficionados may balk at such brazen reinterpretations.


As this gallery of images shows, many Banksy standards make an appearance – my personal favorite being the meat wagon “mobile installation” featured in the documentary Banksy Does New York. As you might expect, the scenes are all built to minifig scale, making extensive use of the rich array of collectible minifig components now at LEGO fans’ disposal (this book could not have existed 5 years ago). All the buildings and other background details are completely brick-built, with some skillful use of forced perspective. I also enjoyed the repeated appearance of a large brick-built rat!

Bricksy: Unauthorized Underground Brick Street Art is available on Amazon in both physical and digital formats. And it’s currently less than $10, so I recommend you grab a copy of this awesome picture book right now, to fill that spot on your coffee table next to the Beautiful LEGO trilogy.

“Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty Ewok!”

Our Pimp Rey’s Speeder contest continues to heat up, with over 70 entries now submitted, and builders demonstrating the same flair, imagination and downright weirdness that we enjoyed with last year’s Micro Fighter contest. Not surprisingly, movie and TV adaptations of this Star Wars speeder design seem to be popular, as you can see from the examples below. Get your entry in before December 5th for a chance to win!

WALL-E-Speeder by smallestrobot

You Will Ride Eternal, Shiny and Chrome by IamKritch

Men in Brick’s Speeder by Priovit70

NERDvember 2015: All your contest are belong to us

For LEGO builders with a competitive streak November is a busy month, with the Colossal Castle, Vic Viper and our own Pimp Rey’s Speeder contests now in full swing. But if castles and spacecraft are not your cup of tea, you do have another option: NERDvember, brought to you by our pal Tommy Williamson over at the BrickNerd!

Indonesian builder Kosmos Santosa tried to keep things classy with his interpretation of Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring. But then not surprisingly things got a bit Star Warsy, as you can see from this R2-N2 by Palixa And The Bricks and NERDcrawler by captainsmog:


On second thoughts make that very Star Warsy. Behold, Jabba the Nerd by Gregory Coquelz

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Fine feathered friends

I don’t buy much retail brand LEGO, but I made an exception for LEGO Ideas 21301 Birds which was released earlier this year. Hec, I even built all the models, rather than just stripping the set for parts!

There are a couple of things I love about this set (other than the models themselves, based on designs by British builder and bird enthusiast Thomas Poulsom). Firstly, the set gives LEGO’s larger audience a taste of some styles and techniques that are normally the preserve of die-hard builders. Secondly, this set is overflowing with plates! As a sculptoral builder I get little value out of most retail sets because they contain so many specialized parts. And while Creator buckets offer a more generic selection of parts, they usually focus on bricks, and less on plates.

In the LEGO fan community there is a tradition of creating “alternate” models from the parts in one set. And for many sets it’s a challenge to come up with good alternates. But the Birds set makes this so easy that I was able to come up with a collection of alternate models, that even adhere to the theme of the original set. Enjoy…

Fans of Thomas’ original bird designs will be excited to learn that next March he will be releasing a book entitled Birds from Bricks that features 15 entirely new LEGO birds, complete with building instructions. Pre-order it now!