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.

Amazingly beautiful LEGO schooner has unbelievable lines

Sometimes a LEGO model is so incredible you stop and wonder if the builder is using the same catalog of bricks as the rest of us, because the finished model doesn’t even look like LEGO. Hoang H Dang is a masterful ship builder (we previously featured his incredible fishing vessel) and he’s turned his hand to building a two-masted schooner. The finished model has some of the best shaping I’ve ever seen on a LEGO ship, making this gorgeous sailing vessel sleek and elegant.

The immense scale of the model is hard to comprehend on its own, but when viewed next to the builder, it becomes obvious that at close to four feet in length and nearly as tall, this is no mere weekend project.

And for those curious how Hoang has constructed such an elegant hull from angular bricks, you can check out this work-in-progress photo to see some of the interior construction.

LEGO cones make perfect Spanish roof tiles

I’ve been waiting for more people to utilize o0ger‘s roof building technique since it was posted last December. As o0ger showed us then, when you alternate the direction of stringed one-by-one cones they make a pretty snazzy-looking Spanish tile rooftop. At least one other builder has incorporated o0ger’s technique into a build of their own. And now the technique’s inventor himself has decided to show us how it’s done, with this fantastic harbor scene:

The Harbor

While the cone roof is the standout feature of this build, the entire scene is simply terrific! The harbor itself looks sturdy and lived in, with just the perfect amount of clutter and detail. I also love the dangling water plants.

If you want to incorporate new building techniques into your own builds or share some of your techniques with the LEGO community, I recommend checking out the LEGO Techniques Flickr Group for inspiration.

Roof technique

Full-size iconic Halo rocket launcher created with LEGO

My passion for LEGO and gaming has resulted in quite an expansive arsenal of gaming weapons, and now I present the most massive of them all: the classic dual-tube rocket launcher from the Halo series in full 1:1 scale. I chose to build the most recent iteration featured in Halo 5: Guardians. It came down to small details when I chose this iteration: the orange highlights, the classic lettering of the “SPNKr” moniker, and the bulky grip section were all my favorite.

SPNKr Rocket Launcher - Halo 5: Guardians

At 50.5 inches in length and weighing in at 24 pounds, it’s made from approximately 6,000 LEGO pieces, and initially I thought there would be no working features at all! However, there is one: you can open the launch frame and remove the launch tubes, just like how a Spartan would reload it in the game. Watch this demonstrated in this video:

Click to read how it was created

It’s-a me, Koopa!

Swan Dutchman built a Koopa Troopa from the Super Mario Bros games so adorable you almost feel bad for his fate at the hands of those pesky plumbers. Not only do the cartoony proportions of the head, shell, and boots in Swan’s build match up well with Koopa Troopas in recent Mario games, a variety of poses are also achieved with some Bionicle arms and legs. And if you enjoyed his Koopa Troopa, be sure to check out Swan’s other LEGO Nintendo characters, Wiggler and Kirby.

Koopa Troopa

Please stay off the freeway

The Arvo Brothers have struck again with another incredibly beautiful and photo-realistic model. This time, it’s a scooter inspired by the totally retro Vespa P200. The P200 was imported to the US in the late 70s and early 80s, a time when steep angles and blocky designs were common — making this an ideal subject for LEGO modeling. The taillight design chosen here is an exact match to the original ride, executed perfectly in brick. I really like the scale of this model, with larger parts used for broader strokes, leaving smaller parts to fill in the details. If you wish you could build like this, fret not: the builders have promised a PDF of instructions is forthcoming.

P200 Moto Back

Rusty rail truck gets the job done

There’s a real art in depicting decay and dilapidation in LEGO. The solid colors and straight lines of our favourite construction system tend not to lend themselves well to such subjects. But Maciej Drwiega has nailed it with this rusting rail truck. Smart color combinations and a clever sideways construction technique have created a convincing impression of battered and bruised metal.

PKP eaos - just another one in the collection

Whilst I’m not really a train guy, I’d heartily recommend a visit to Maciej’s photostream, where you’ll find excellent photos of more lovely railway models and layouts. I particularly like the images shot with tilt-shift.

Crowded station

The art of masking out a good building solution

LEGO Bionicle pieces are among the most hard-to-use parts, but it doesn’t mean they’re useless. They usually end up as table scraps after another huge project, so you definitely need a fresh look to find an application for them — just like Dead Frog inc. did. Bionicle masks are a vast range of pieces available in dozens of colors, and thanks to their curvy shapes they fit amazingly well as armoured parts of mechs.

Untitled

Meanwhile Olga Rodionova takes advantage of the complex coloring of mask pieces to give a pair of Protector Masks of Ice a second life as incredibly beautiful insect wings. This is the best illustration of the idea that the more useless the piece seems to be, the more amazing it looks when used properly.

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3D golden-tail piranha

Actually, I have no idea what kind of fish this toothed-beastie is supposed to be. Regardless, this 3D mosaic by anries shop is offishally awesome. Those golden wings make great fish fins and the way Anries made colorful scales out of 1 x 1 round plates is stunning. My favorite detail is that poor worm made from two different types of LEGO snakes. It really looks like one piece suspended in water. Perhaps Anries’ next build will feature this fish mounted on the proud fisherman’s wall. Unless, of course, our fishy friend gets away with a full belly.

Poisson mosaique3D

A lineup of well-known Simpsons characters

The characters from America’s longest running animated series The Simpsons have been immortalised by LEGO already with two series of collectible minifigures. Now SuckMyBrick has brought them to life once more in brick-built form. Naturally, the main Simpson family members are all here along with a few key characters from the show such as Mr. Burns, Krusty the Clown and Groundskeeper Willie. The 1×1 round eye tile and the larger 2×2 round eye tile equivalent are perfect for the cartoon features depicted in the tv series.

The Simpsons

You can see close up views of each individual character on SuckMyBrick’s The Simpson’s album. Brick-built characters from The Simpsons have also been featured before on The Brothers Brick, as you can see in previous posts like The Simpsons made from LEGO bricks.

Instructions for Laputa: Castle in the Sky LEGO music box now available

Korean builder Hwang Byeong Jun has released step-by-step instructions for the amazing Laputa: Castle in the Sky music box that we featured last month, complete with details on how to integrate the music box into your LEGO build.

LAPUTA musicbox instruction

You can see each step in the instructions in the builder’s photoset on Flickr, and you can download a PDF as well.

Adam Savage’s One Day Build of Jason Allemann’s Sysiphus Kinetic Sculpture [Video]

We here at The Brothers Brick are long-standing fans of Jason Allemann and his beautiful works. Previously, we’ve featured many of his builds: his Mosaic Printer, robotic Cookie Decorator, and, of course, his beautiful Labyrinth ball maze, released as a LEGO Ideas set this year.

Adam Savage

One of my favorites, though, is his kinetic sculpture of Sisyphus and his eternal struggle pushing the boulder. Turns out we aren’t the only big fans of this work of art. Adam Savage of Mythbusters and Tested fame saw a video of Jason’s sculpture, and contacted Jason, getting custom instructions and the parts necessary to duplicate the build.

In the video below, watch Adam Savage and Norman Chan build the sculpture, experiencing all the highs and lows and joys of building a large creation (including not being able to find that ONE part!)