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

Concrete jungle

Modern architecture doesn’t have to be all about boxes clad in plate glass. Inaugurated last October in the Italian city of Milan, the Bosco Verticale is a experiment in eco-architecture: Two high-rise apartment blocks which incorporate live trees into every level. And now Glascow-based builder Elspeth De Montes has created the definitive LEGO version! Here it is, next to a picture of the original:


Bushidō – Way of the Warrior

German builder Disco86 recently completed his triptych of builds focused on medieval Japan, for the 12th annual Colossal Castle Contest over at Classic-Castle.com. And I think it’s fair to say he saved the best for last, with this beautiful and colorful diorama. (Can you spot the lurking ninja?)

Flavor of the month

Monthly building challenges seem to be all the rage these days. And they result in a flood of awesome builds …sometimes too many for us to keep up with. Old faithfuls such as SHIPtember, MAkTober and Novvember are behind us now, as is the newer FOODcember. Meaning that now it’s time to focus our attention on… HARDuary!

All this month, builders from around the world will be recreating everyday objects out of LEGO. After pretty much shutting down the FOODcember challenge, Indonesian builder Kosmas Santosa is already knocking it out the park with some killer inanimate objects:

But things just got real, because freshly-minted LEGO designer Carl Merriam has entered the fray. Carl is well known for amazingly accurate LEGO builds of mechanical devices and scientific instruments, and is already showing great form with this old wooden office chair:

So pull up a seat (wooden or otherwise), and let’s see how this plays out!

“The second half of this show reminds me of Aspen ...cause it’s all downhill from here!”

Jim Henson’s beloved Muppets probably need no introduction, thanks to the international success both of the Sesame Street franchise, and a long series of excellent Muppet movies. But it’s a little harder to gauge how well-known The Muppet Show was. Airing over several seasons in the late seventies, the television show was produced and aired in the UK, as no US network would touch it.

After that, it’s less clear how widely syndicated the show became. But these excellent builds of show regulars Waldorf/Statler and the Swedish Chef by German builder Andreas Weissenburg (grubaluk) suggest to me that maybe the show did gain some international popularity after all!

Oh, and a word of warning: If you ever meet someone from Sweden, please please please do NOT ask them what they think of the Swedish Chef …it’s still kind of a sore point with them!

WoW factor

Internal lighting is always a great way to enhance a LEGO model, and here’s a very creative example. With the application of wires, LEDs, a drill, and a Power Miners head piece, Korean builder Bangoo H has managed to create a pretty convincing Infernal from the game World of Warcraft.

Check out the builder’s blog for plenty of behind the scenes construction photos.

These are not the bricks you’re looking for

For hard-core Star Wars fans, even LEGO’s latest incarnation of the iconic X-34 landspeeder leaves something to be desired, with all it’s studs and tubing. Over the years, various builders have crafted their own versions, often with entertaining results. But now expert car builder Calin has created probably the classiest minifig scaled version of this vehicle to-date.

At first you’re drawn in by the color scheme, patterning and smooth surfaces. But then the details hit you: the brick-built turbines, the exposed wiring, the front hitch, and the use of a bucket handle piece for the pilot’s controls. Of course, the builder has chosen to keep that sweet curved windscreen piece, for which there’s just no substitute.

What is the Mayo-trix?

If you’ve noticed a lot of ribbed flex-tubing in some of the builds we’ve featured this week, it’s because of this year’s first Iron Builder contest, featuring yet another mind bogglingly difficult-to-use seed part. In the current battle, Sean and Steph Mayo are up against Tyler Clites and our very own Nannan Zhang (…ah well, there goes any hope of impartiality!).

In their latest salvo, the Mayo’s have recreated a scene from the classic Matrix trilogy, which seems like the perfect companion to Tyler’s Zion Dock Defense from a few years back. We wait with bated breath to see how the two lads will respond!

Je Suis Charlie

Although the tragic events that unfolded yesterday in Paris were simply the act of a few deranged individuals, they are a reminder to us that – like all members of the visual arts community – LEGO builders should value their freedom of expression too. French builder Jimmy Fortel decided to show his solidarity with the beautiful creation below.

Je suis Charlie

It’s impossible to please all the people all of the time. I for one have had my fair share of negative feedback for things that I’ve created. But I appreciate having the freedom to push those boundaries and make artistic statements without fearing physical retribution. Sadly, that is not the case for people living in some parts of the world today. Yesterday’s incident should serve as a reminder of the freedoms that most of us do enjoy, even when they are being tested.

Nous somme tous Charlie.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts below. But please be aware that any overtly abusive, offensive or disrespectful comments will be deleted.

“What the **** is the Internet?”

If you’ve seen even one of Kevin Smith’s movies, then these two lowlifes should need no introduction, as they appear in just about every one of them. Yep, it’s those wheeling, dealing, cussing 80’s throwbacks Jay and Silent Bob. Brought to you by TBB regular Letranger Absurde (aka “vitroleum” – who apparently has visited this particular stretch of wall before).

We’d invite them to comment on the accuracy of this scene themselves, but that would end up being a long series of asterisks, followed by a long series of blank spaces. Which given their antics and opinions, would probably be for the best. Especially for the executives at Miramax.