Category Archives: Building Techniques

Not sure what SNOT is? Want to learn innovative new ways to create awesome LEGO models of your own? Peruse our posts about LEGO building techniques to pick up tricks & tips from the best.

Anyone up for Butterbeer?

If you need a break from fighting Dementors, you can always retreat to the cozy respite of Hagrid’s hut. Wookieewarrior crafts this iconic building from Harry Potter using tiles and plates to simulate the detailed texture of a cobblestone wall. The landscape is quite sophisticated as well, featuring four shades of green and parts we don’t see often such as tan levers used for grass.

Hagrid´s Hut

A handy way to build the Eiffel Tower

The official LEGO Eiffel Tower 10181 set is one of the largest sets released, with 3428 parts.  For those with less room for such a monster set or fewer pennies to afford such a sizeable price-tag, have a look at LegoJale‘s latest creation, which users a single part depicting the Eiffel Tower: A minifig hand. This microscale build manages to capture the essence of the Eiffel Tower, the skyline in the background, and the fountains in the foreground (as per the image that the build is based upon) with just a handful of parts.

Paris

The set-up for this shot shows how distancing parts of the build can give a very good foreground and background feel to the final shot without requiring any scaling. I always enjoy seeing set-up shots and this one is great because there is no fancy equipment — just LEGO, a book, and a camera.

Paris - Behind The Scenes

When LEGO meets Lite Brite

This pixilated classic space logo by Jonathan Gale is one of the most impressive LEGO creations I have seen in a long time. If you look closely, you’ll see that his build is made up of thousands of LEGO lightsaber blades (5520 of them to be exact). There is an LED light behind the blades, giving the translucent pieces a glowing effect.

Lego Space Logo Tile Top

Jonathan said he was inspired to try this building technique after a LUG meeting where he realized that 25 LEGO lightsaber blades fit perfectly into a 2×2 stud square. This build took over 10 hours to complete and, according to the builder, came with a constant and serious risk of collapse. I can’t even imagine the amount of patience it took Jonathan to complete this beast.

Lego Classic Space Logo Closeup

ASW-G-08 Gundam Barbatos Lupus

LEGO mecha builder Caleb L. has celebrated the new season of Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans by posting this lanky Gundam with a big sword and curvy horns.

ASW-G-08 Gundam Barbatos Lupus

The mecha is fully poseable, prepared to whack all comers with the aforementioned big giant sword.

ASW-G-08 Gundam Barbatos Lupus

I’m always fascinated by the underlying frames that LEGO mecha builders design as the skeletons for their big stompy robots. Caleb’s frame uses lots of clip connections with pneumatic T’s, and a ton of studs-out bricks (“Travis” bricks, headlight bricks, and so on) to affix the mecha’s skin.

ASW-G-08 Gundam Barbatos Lupus

Enlightening LEGO antique street lamps

Judging by his latest builds, Jonas Kramm must be preparing for the darkness of those long winter nights. His three decorative antique street lamps are designed around a selection of parts that are being examined in more detail over on parts-obsessed blog New Elementary. The first lamp is my favourite and shows an inspired use for the Mini Pony Tail in Black but special mention must go to the lamp on the right, as Jonas has definitely shown a fresh use for the paint-roller and tassel.

TheNewBlack - Lamps

If you want to read more from Jonas about his techniques and parts used for these builds, Jonas’ lamps are the first in a series of posts using a fun selection of new parts on New Elementary.

How to construct the Avalonian Countryside trees

Sometimes it is easy to see how a builder created a particular LEGO build, while at other times a build requires a bit of breakdown and perhaps even a tutorial if there are ‘hidden’ techniques. Last week we blogged this fantastic microscale LEGO countryside diorama from Full Plate, with beautiful fall foliage and crops ready for harvest.

Avalonian Countryside (9 of 9)

The builder, Emil Lidé, has responded to questions about the creation of his trees with this fantastic tutorial to help you create your own. First, he starts with a layout of the parts required for the green trees.

Microscale Tree Mini-tutorial (1 of 5)

Next, Emil shows how the trunk is built using a six-pronged flower stem to ‘hang’ the main foliage. The foliage in this example uses a mix of 1×2 plates and 2×2 round plates.

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Ask for help from an adult if you need to use sharp cutting tools

Nobu_tary‘s photo stream is a bizarre repository, storing a steampunk gun, a chunky knight, (my personal favourite) a delicious yummy slice of pizza and many more brilliant extraordinary ideas — extraordinary to the point when you stop guessing a certain LEGO piece or the way it is attached to other pieces, but start admiring the way the builder sees the world around them.

These nippers are the cutting edge of LEGO building. Useless tail pieces from Ben 10 finally get a second chance as plier handles, completed with some smart use of a couple of Technic connectors and small claws. And I can’t wait what all those gray pieces will be once they are painted and glued together…

Diagonal Plastic Cutting Pliers

A tiny but amazing LEGO fortress — and how it’s built [Video]

Grant Davis has built this spectacular little microscale castle. Like most LEGO microscale creations, it’s awash in terrific creativity, with lots of unusual pieces used in new ways, and the finished product belies its complexity. Fortunately for all of us curious viewers, Grant made a short video that shows some of the techniques he employed as he walks us through the disassembly of the model.

Mycrow Cassul

A pretty place to park your wares

Gabe Umland brings us this nifty vibrant LEGO floating rock, topped with a warehouse for steampunkery. Never underestimate a mundane subject for your models — nearly anything can look magical when built with skill, even an industrial warehouse in the middle of the sky. Don’t miss Gabe’s great technique for paneled siding using stacked and twisted 1×1 bricks, and be sure to scrutinize the hodgepodge of goods for sale; scenes such as this are a way to find uses for that pile of unusual pieces you have.

Poertland Trading Post

Poertland Trading Post

Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let down your hair!

French builder Kloou. creates a detailed and technically advanced model of Rapunzel’s tower using tiles for the round tower. If you look closely, you can see Rapunzel’s hair is an actually braided piece of yarn. The builder certainly has not spared a strand of detail.

The Rapunzel Tower - La tour de Raiponce

Just as stunning is the textured roof made of flag clips to imitate the individual shingles.

The Rapunzel Tower - La tour de Raiponce

Babylon 5’s EAS Agamemnon in LEGO form

Babylon 5 fans will recognise Ryan Olsen’s latest build, the EAS Agamemnon. She was one of the first Omega class starships to be built by Earthforce following the Earth-Minbari War. Ryan’s LEGO version is beautiful with those dark red highlights and a central rotating portion that is full of fantastic repeating textures. At 116 studs long, this ship has plenty of details to enjoy!

EAS Agamemnon - Omega Class Destroyer

What EAS Agamemnon would be complete without a few Starfuries flying alongside in formation? This rear aspect also gives a great view of those engines and the detailed greebling. What great presentation of a fine build, this is definitely  a ship to admire.

EAS Agamemnon - Omega Class Destroyer