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.

The theory of colour in LEGO

Li Li (lisqr) has been exploring building with angles on his own blog and he utilises one technique in this latest build, Spectrum.  By off-setting the far end of each level of brick, Li Li has created an ingenious twisting sculpture that displays the visual spectrum in LEGO colours.

Spectrum

This is a lovely work of art and crosses the line between LEGO creation, art and science in a beautiful fashion. The birds eye view show the spectrum of colours in all their splendour.

Spectrum

Taiwanese LEGO fan uses 15000 bricks to build 4½ foot long SHIELD Helicarrier

The most anticipated LEGO set of 2015 was the enormous Avengers SHIELD Helicarrier. As we highlighted in our extensive video review, there was a lot to like about that set, except for the relative scales of the carrier, the microfigs, and the quinjets. And while some builders have explored more ambitious LEGO Helicarrier designs within the confines of a computer screen, no-one has dared tackle the challenge of building a more properly scaled and movie-accurate version of the Avengers’ flying fortress using actual LEGO bricks …until now!

Working with nothing more than reference photos from the 2012 Avengers movie, Taiwanese builder ZiO Chao and a his friends Dada, Kimura, Kuan-Wei, Stephanie, Tiger and Will from the Formosa LEGO club spent a month and a half (and many sleepless nights) constructing this enormous and fully detailed model of the iconic Helicarrier. At 140cm x 80cm it’s twice the size of the official LEGO set, and contains five times as many pieces. At last, those “swooshable” little quinjets now actually have room to move around!

Regarding the build process, which he photographed in great detail, ZiO told The Brothers Brick: “Before I started to build it, the most annoying thing was collecting parts and classifying them. Then we used Technic beams to sketch out the skeleton of the carrier, which needed to be strong enough to hold everything together. Technic beams were also a great solution for the supporting yellow columns, the front of the carrier, and the four turbine engines.”

Click here to keep reading

Life-size LEGO BB-8 from The Force Awakens built from 11,000 pieces

Norwegian LEGO builder Henrik Lorentzen has built a life-size LEGO model of the wonderful droid BB-8 from The Force Awakens. Though not quite as adorable as a pug dressed in a BB-8 hoodie (which I saw at the dog park today), this LEGO BB-8 has all the charm of the droid in the movie.

LEGO BB-8 head on Flickr by Henrik Lorentzen

Henrik started planning and designing his LEGO BB-8 last April, using Bruce Lowell’s sphere technique and Bram Lambrecht’s sphere generator. The finished model uses about 11,000 LEGO pieces — including a thousand white 2×4 bricks and three thousand white 1×2 plates — and weighs 10 kg (22 pounds).

LEGO BB-8 on Flickr by Henrik Lorentzen

With a LEGO event at his local theater in November and the movie coming out in December, Henrik gathered all the parts he needed in September and began building, finishing it just in time for the event on November 6.

Read more about this LEGO BB-8 after the jump!

Buggy class exploratory vehicle

FebRovery‘s come early this year! Ilya T.’s greyscale rover is just the thing to kick off twenty-nine days of rover-fueled madness. (That’s right everyone, 2016 is a leap year! So why not use your extra day to build a rover of your own?) I love the tight construction inside the small bubble-cockpit, the conical rear end, and the pop of color from the spaceman’s red suit. But the real selling point of Ilya’s build are those fantastic heptagonal wheels.

Rover SCP-1

Microscale plane gets props for its props

Karf Oolhu is the busiest builder I follow. My Flickr stream is regularly filled with his latest creations – always fun, always imaginative, and often packed with interesting parts use. This cute little plane and hangar is no exception…

The little plane...

Look at the propellers. LOOK AT THE PROPELLERS. Ice skates in control lever bases, clipped onto seat backs. Undoubtedly an illegal connection (as in a combination the designers of official LEGO sets would not be allowed to use) but utter class all the same.

Shrine of Polarized Birefringence

This build by WRme2 is simply one of the most brilliant creations I’ve ever come across:

We’ve featured many castle vignettes before, so what makes this one so special?
It’s the windows. That’s not fancy photoshoping, that’s science!

WRme2 has figured out that due to the manufacturing process of some of the earlier LEGO bricks, when photographed with a polarizer you get that amazing effect which he has so brilliantly used in this build.

Here’s what it looks like with portion of a brick under a polarizer (like sunglasses):

For those really interested, he’s also done an equally impressive job explaining the science behind these colourful bricks.

Oh! What fun it is to ride in an Arctic Truck Mk II!

Well, the winter holidays are long gone, but Kirill doesn’t want the outdoor fun disappear. So, here is his Arctic Truck Mk II – an ultimate snow-rover in the scale of a regular Technic minifigure. One may find the exterior quite plain, but Technic vehicles are all about functionality.

Arctic snowmobile Total weight – 2650 g, dimensions – 40 x 31 x 18 cm, clearance – 4.8 cm.

Check out this video to see this impressive crawler in action.

And I can’t help mentioning a couple of the builder’s other models.

Click to see more great Technic vehicles by this builder

Alien Project by The Arvo Brothers [Review]

The Arvo Brothers (Ramon & Amador Alfaro Marcilla) have recently released their second book called Alien Project. It costs €26 + shipping and can be purchased via the Arvo Brothers website. The main bulk of the book contains detailed instructions for building their fantastic Alien figure and its base. There are also chapters explaining the inspiration behind the project and a rare insight into the development of a model of this calibre. Below is my review of the book.

ALIEN Project Book - Cover

Click here to read the full review

Interview with Hannes Tscharner, builder of 7,500-piece Millennium Falcon from The Force Awakens

When I first saw the amazingly detailed 7,500-piece Millennium Falcon the day after Christmas, I knew right away that it deserved worldwide attention. The model was built by someone who went by the screen name “Marshal Banana“, whom I recognized as the builder who’d created the wonderful 10,000-piece Jawa Sandcrawler back in 2011. Less than two days after I’d posted the Falcon, my prediction came true and the Falcon was everywhere, from “geek” sites like Kotaku and GeekWire to major news outlets like Time Magazine and USA Today. But we still knew almost nothing about this talented builder.

Now that he’s back from a well-deserved holiday, I’m pleased to bring our readers this in-depth interview with Hannes Tscharner, builder of both the Falcon and Sandcrawler.

Hannes Tscharner with his Millennium Falcon

Hannes shares a bit about himself, along with tips on photographing LEGO models and editing the photos for presentation. We also learn how he organizes his collection, what he uses to add lighting to his models, and more.

Click through for our interview with the builder of the 7,500-piece Millennium Falcon!

One for the pantheon of great microscale

Jimmy Fortel has built a beautiful microscale model of the Pantheon in Paris. The color scheme makes this look like part of the official LEGO Architecture series – and I’m sure this great little build wouldn’t be out of place in the line-up.

Mini Panthéon de paris

I really like the clean lines and deceptive simplicity of this creation, in particular the use of round 1×1 plates beneath the roof line, adding a nice touch of texture. The pillars at the main entrance are very good, and it took me a while to work out how they were built – the bottom of the pillars are round 1×1 bricks set into the model’s base. This is one of those models which surprises you with how long it can hold your attention, despite its small size.

This is not the ‘tower’ you are looking for

Apologies if you were hoping to avoid a Star Wars related post but there is a tenuous link to castles and towers, I promise. TBB regular Simply Bricking It,  has built our favourite Star Wars droid, R2-D2.

R2D2

The builder uses a mix of round and regular parts to allow a slight offset position, resulting in the curved shape. The use of alternate round and regular bricks is a technique that has been used frequently in the past for curved ‘tower’ structures (eg. castles, windmills, lighthouses and even spaceships). But I believe this is the first droid I have seen built using this particular technique.

I can’t finish this post without mentioning the vintage tap parts used for R2D2’s leg detailing — a ‘splash’ of inspiration there.

Disney Princesses as microscale Christmas ornaments

Every year Markus Rollbühler creates some new LEGO Christmas decorations for the tree,  and he shared this year’s collection of Disney Princesses in microscale.

Disney Princess Christmas Ornaments

From left to right:

  • Leia and R2-D2
  • Ariel, Flounder, and Sebastian (from The Little Mermaid)
  • Snow White and a deer
  • Tiana and Naveen (from The Princess and the Frog)
  • Elsa and Anna (from Frozen)

The details are fantastic at this scale, making the characters easily recognisable. I love Flounder and Sebastian, created using simple 1×1  tiles or plates with clips and 1×1 plates.  Another favourite is R2-D2 who is simply a 1×1 Technic brick resting on a silver 1×1 round plate, two white minifig hands and a blue-based lever – inspired use of parts!

Thanks to Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, Princess Leia can be officially described as a Disney Princess too…