In the same year we were introduced to such trend-setting digital marvels as the CGI dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, and the groundbreaking first-person shooter Doom, a rather different kind of video game appeared. It was a puzzle game called Myst. It was set in a virtual world that was presented to players not as low resolution 3D animation, but as beautifully rendered high resolution images. It was a nod to text-based adventures from the dawn of the gaming age, and became a surprise success, dominating the PC game market for almost a decade and helping to drive adoption of the new CD-ROM media format. Letranger Absurde has created this microscale LEGO version of the familiar Myst map.
Capturing the human form in LEGO bricks is challenging at the best of times, which is why builders either plumb for a combination of complex parts and techniques, or go the other direction and use basic bricks but scale up their creations. However, the work of British builder David Hughes seems to lie somewhere in between these two extremes, with sculptures that require relatively few bricks and relatively little detail to capture the essence of their subject. Here, in a memorable pose, is Jimmy from the classic 1979 “angry young man” movie Quadrophenia:
In what might be one of the more interesting (and perfectly executed, and beautifully presented) mashups that I’ve seen in a while, David Lee, inspired by the excellent design of Herbert Lee’s Stormtrooper puppet, has reimagined Captain Phasma and a First Order Stormtrooper from Star Wars: The Force Awakens as chibi samurai. They’re so adorable, and stabby!
Some of you might feel that there are contributors at The Brothers Brick who have an unhealthy and self-indulgent obsession with nostalgia for 70s and 80s pop culture. And that those should contributors be stopped. And you would be absolutely right, on both counts.
Unfortunately we cannot be stopped, so please enjoy this latest LEGO-themed slice of retro goodness from SPARKART, who put together this microscale collection of ships from the Glen Larson TV shows Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica. These look totally swooshable, and each one is instantly recognizable as I peer at it over the rims of my half-moon spectacles.
This month’s cover photo is an instantly recognizable piece of German television nostalgia, recreated in LEGO by TBB regular Jonas. It’s the late Peter Lustig’s modified cabin home from the 80’s kids TV show Löwenzahn.
The Millennium Falcon’s dog fight through the bowels of a wrecked Star Destroyer is one of the more memorable action scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Korean builder Taekyu Lee wanted to capture the scene in LEGO but didn’t know where to start – until he saw a small interpretation of the scene built by Simon Pickard for Blocks magazine. That was all the inspiration he needed to construct this mammoth version:
Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week – or just aren’t that interested in the Marvel superhero universe – you’ll no doubt have witnessed all the unnecessary media drama over the shocking plot twist revealed in the latest Captain America comic book series. Even though it’s common knowledge at this point, I won’t even repeat it here, seeing how spoiler sensitive we’ve all become!
But I will report that builder Taylor Walker claims he had absolutely no foreknowledge of this news when he originally built this rather impressive (and strangely modified) life-size version of Captain America’s iconic shield. Courtesy of Flickr user Sir Glub, here is Taylor’s shield on display recently at BrickCan 2016 in Vancouver, alongside the LEGO Mjolnir that he co-built with his brother Brandon:
And here is a closer look at that amazing pattern work, from the builder himself:
While it will probably evoke fond memories of a certain musical movie extravaganza that turns 15 this month, this spectacular recreation of Paris’ famous Moulin Rouge music hall by
domino39 brickpirate is pretty faithful to the original building — except for a few deliberately placed incongruities! Check out the close-up shots below to see if you can spot such anomalies as a Nineteenth century Ghostbuster and hoverboard rider, to name but a few. Then marvel at all of the fine details in this diorama, from the worn down street cobbles to the many examples of brick-built signage (including some rather cleverly put-together neon lights). C’est incroyable!
This collection of stylish personal conveyances are Norwegian builder Lego Fjotten‘s first (and apparently accidental) foray into the work of LEGO Steampunk, but I think it’s fair to say he’s off to a good start. While each vehicle sports a very unique design, note the way the builder re-uses certain design elements to make them feel like they are part of a set. Also the coloring and detail on the display bases nicely accentuates the models, and even hints at some kind of desert setting. My favorite of the bunch has to be the “high wheeler” with it’s very cleverly constructed mono-wheel.
I will confess that in middle school I was obsessed with insects, kept many varieties of them, and wanted to be an entomologist when I grew up. Yet now I absolutely can’t stand bugs at all! Funny how things change. Anyway, back in those days I really wanted to create anatomically correct 3D models of my favorite bugs in art class, but somehow never managed to figure out how. So these two recent brick-built insect creations were a very satisfying discovery. If the parts had been available back then, I would probably have just gone down this route myself!
Ant by BricksRaven
Grasshopper by Mr Unknown
Issue 20 of Blocks magazine is already in subscribers’ mailboxes and will be in shops May 19th. This month there’s a comprehensive look at the new Speed Champions range, including an exclusive interview with the man behind a real life Audi. Elsewhere, Simon Pickard introduces us to his brand new technique for building mind-bending roads, while Daniel Konstanski finds out what goes into a LEGO racing car.
It’s not all about the wheels this month, however, with a look back at some classic LEGO football sets and reviews of the latest Ninjago and Super Heroes releases. This issue also celebrates the premiere of two new blockbusters, with a pair of whimsical Alice in Wonderland builds and instructions for some superpowered X-Men Mighty Micros.
French builder Eric Druon‘s nostalgia for old toys has been featured here before, with his LEGO versions of such classics as GI Joe and Adventure 2000. This time though he’s really cranked things up a notch with this huge Star Wars themed LEGO play set inspired by the Kenner series of Death Star toys released back in 1982.
In many ways I think this makes for a better play set than LEGO’s official Death Star set, with it’s labyrinthine arrangement of platforms and corridors, and perfect reinterpretation of the Death Star’s interior design. Many memorable scenes from the original Star Wars movie are in there, plus a few easter eggs too. See if you can spot them all!
Like the original system, Eric’s version is comprised of three separate components that can be pushed together to form one giant play space: Battle Station Escape, Battle Station Compactor and Battle Station Throne Room. He’s even provided downloadable instructions on his website, for anyone that wants to recreate all this with their own bricks. You’ll also find lots more closeup photos of the play sets over there too. And for context, here is one of the original toys that Eric was inspired by: