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

A brief history of LEGO Stephen Hawking

My little LEGO model of scientist Stephen Hawking just turned 10 years old, which led me to reflect upon the history of this peculiar creation and the path that my life took as a result of creating it. And to mark the occasion, last week I took this LEGO version of the Professor on a special trip to follow in his namesake’s footsteps!

Ten years ago I was just beginning to experiment with building my own creations (or “MOCs” as we LEGO fans like to call them). I had a limited bricks, limited experience, limited skill, and no real direction. Then Stephen Hawking announced his plans to experience zero gravity aboard the infamous Vomet Comet airplane, which inspired me to model him as a “miniland” scale LEGO figure.

I was pleased with the result, and having it featured here on The Brothers Brick was a pleasant surprise. But an even bigger surprise came when the creation was picked up by pop culture websites and went “viral”.

It was at that moment that I had my LEGO epiphany… Firstly, that characters seemed like an under-exploited genre of LEGO building, one that seemed like a more interesting challenge to me than say vehicles or buildings. Secondly, that there was a much larger audience – beyond the core fan community – for LEGO creations based on pop culture.

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Game, set and match

Builder Martin Harris took a break from his usual Star Wars fayre to build something requested by a family member. The result is this charming minifig scale tennis court. There are so many neat little touches here – the choice of pink for the playing surface, the brick-built line markings, the ball in motion (thanks to a few transparent pieces) and use of older fence pieces to create the net. The inclusion of lights, bleachers and a cast of minifigs brings the whole scene to life.

Let’s build some meat! [Instructions]

DOOM is still a thing, right?! A couple of years ago I built a Miniland scale diorama of this classic videogame (there’s even a video that will take you right back to 1993). Below is a building guide for the game’s hero, commonly known as “DOOM Guy” (click here for embiggened version). This version is equipped with a basic shotgun. If you wanna kit him out with other hardware, or build him some enemies to blast, I’d suggest using photos of the original DOOM diorama as inspiration.

Presenting REJECTZ: They’re like BRICKHEADZ, only much much worse

For proponents of the art of LEGO character building like myself, LEGO’s new Brickheadz pattern is somewhat horrifying – from an aesthetic standpoint. But it looks like a lotta builders are jumping on the bandwagon and creating their own, so I guess these neckless, mouthless wonders are here to stay! Anyone who was around for the 2010 explosion of Angus MacLane’s (imho superior) Cubedudes probably knows how all this is going to play out. And while some builders have tried to counteract this movement with nicer templates, I decided to see how low I could go. And I think I may have succeeded…

Build your own LEGO Tallneck from Horizon Zero Dawn [Instructions]

Since you all loved the LEGO Thunderjaw that we featured the other day, we figured you might enjoy a LEGO version of another creature from Horizon: Zero Dawn. This time it’s a Tallneck by South African builder Wayne de Beer. However, Wayne has not only recreated this majestic beast in brick form, he has also created instructions so that you can build your own!

Via makers.htxt.

TBB cover photo: March 2017

This month’s cover photo is this smart yellow and black triple-axle trailer truck by builder MiniGray!. As well as being highly detailed, this model’s cab can house multiple LEGO minifigs and has working a tilt mechanism that reveals the engine below. Check out the Flickr album for more shots.

Want to see your own LEGO creation featured across TBB social media for a month? Then read the submission guidelines and send us your photo today. Photos that do not meet the submission guidelines will not be considered, and will be removed from the group.

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You gotta kill a lotta frogs to find your prince

The late Carrie Fisher had been scheduled to appear next month at Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con, so I decided to make a Leia tribute for the convention’s Brick Nation display. We’ve already seen LEGO tributes showing a demure Princess Leia shoving a floppy disk into some poor hapless droid, but I wanted to recreate a moment from the original trilogy that captured Fisher’s feisty character! Jabba’s death scene from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi seemed appropriate (…ignoring for a moment the fact that this is basically a PG-rated movie that features a brutal and drawn-out murder scene)

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Summer 2017 LEGO Nexo Knights sets unveiled at New York Toy Fair 2017 [News]

Continuing our on-site coverage of the New York Toy Fair, LEGO has revealed 19 new Nexo Knights sets for August 2017, including Clay’s Falcon Fighter Blaster and Jestro’s Headquarters. The Nexo Knights story continues in two new seasons of episodic content on Cartoon Network and a free digital gaming app, Merlok 2.0, that enhances the building fun. Sets range from $9.99 to $129.99. Check out our earlier coverage of some of the sets that we already knew were on the way.

70357 Knighton Castle $129.99, 1426 pieces

70356 The Stone Colossus of Ultimate Destruction $69.99, 785 pieces

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Summer 2017 LEGO Creator sets revealed at New York Toy Fair 2017 [News]

In addition to new sets for LEGO’s play and licensed themes, LEGO has revealed new Creator sets this weekend at New York Toy Fair. These sets will be available in August. In addition to the familiar 3-in-1 sets featuring creatures and vehicles, the Creator theme grows to include more sets featuring modern minifig-based habitats. Apparently the new sets are also modular, but we’re not sure yet how that works. But the star of the show is definitely this awesome little space shuttle!

31066 Space Shuttle Explorer $29.99 with 285 pieces

See more 2017 LEGO Creator sets

You shall call me Snowball, because my fur is pretty and white

In the second episode of Rick and Morty (or as I like to call it “Back to the Future on acid”) Morty’s dog Snuffles is fitted with a device that boosts his intelligence, a move that (not surprisingly) escalates to Snuffles leading an army of dogs wearing robotic exoskeletons to enslave humanity. Ultimately the dogs are banished to their own world, which is envisioned here in LEGO by none other than Richard Van As, one of the show’s animators:

Come out, come out, wherever you are! [Instructions]

Even after six years, I still get requests for instructions to build the large Totoro that was part of my 2010 homage to the work of Japanese animator Hiyao Miyazaki. Sadly, that model is too large and complex to offer instructions, so instead here is a building guide for the medium Totoro that accompanied him. Of course, you don’t have to build him in the original medium blue; you can make him any color you like (or that your LEGO collection allows). I imagine this would make a lovely desk ornament for yourself, or gift for the anime-slash-LEGO fan in your life.

Click here to see an embiggened copy.

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

There’s no closer BFFs than Grizz, Panda and Ice Bear in Cartoon Network’s show We Bare Bears. They live together, eat together, and even navigate the human world together. They also enjoy all the things that we do like social media, giant burritos and tiger jean jackets – all while traveling together in one “bear stack”. Brandon Griffith has recreated this cuddly column of creatures perfectly in LEGO: