Following up a 1:1 scale Sky-Hook and an incredible minifig scale Songbird diorama, Imagine Rigney is back with another build from the universe of BioShock Infinite. This time around it’s an itty bitty Songbird that you can build from a handful of pieces, and there’s full instructions to make one yourself.
Leonid An is running awesome building experiments on some of the new parts. The result is this gorgeous handheld portal device from the Portal video game. I am guessing this build started with the white large figure armour piece, which has the same shape as a part of the original portal gun. However, the rest of the weapon is no less excellent and features a couple of great building solutions including these three minifigure hammer pieces on the other end. Take a moment to appreciate the peculiar scale of the gun; it is not too large, but has enough details which make it instantly recognizable.
It has been thirty years since Top Gun hit the big screen, and the true star of the movie, the charismatic Grumman F-14 Tomcat, was retired from US Navy service almost ten years ago. I built my first LEGO Tomcat more than 20 years ago and I have kept making improvements, as I learned new tricks and as new parts became available. Usually the changes were fairly small, with the core of the model changing very little.
Ever since I completed my 1/22 scale model a few years ago, I’ve been eyeballing my three smaller 1/36 scale models, no longer liking what I saw. They looked very crude compared to the bigger model and they lacked a few essential features. The intakes on the Tomcat are cranked and the vertical tail fins are canted outward. These sort of things may not seem important, but they make a big difference to the look. Furthermore, the undercarriage never really worked properly, the nose was a bit long, the angles of the wings weren’t quite right and there were a host of other little things that could be improved. Of course, I had to avoid messing up the things I did like about the existing model, but small incremental changes weren’t going to hack it any more.
I started with a new model, albeit with the old one nearby for comparison purposes. The first jet I decided to rebuild has the famous skull and crossbones markings of Fighter Squadron 84 “Jolly Rogers”, like they had in the ‘seventies. I don’t care much for stealth fighters. My Tomcats are probably the closest thing I have to a signature build, which makes me proud to say that the cat is back!
We see a lot of original spaceship designs from the LEGO community, and a lot of LEGO pieces being used in clever new ways. But I’m still always impressed by those builders who boldly integrate unusual pieces and pull it off with panache. One such builder is Curtis Collins with the Seraph. It’s a gorgeous design that uses bright red LEGO canoes for the engine cowlings, despite a plethora of black greebling on the struts—and miraculously, it works. Keen-eyed readers will also spot that the cockpit glass is a LEGO Christmas ornament.
This dangerous looking spaceship is filled with clever techniques and interesting parts. The extensive use of Technic gear racks is especially menacing, but the real standout here is the innovative sticker usage. They weren’t custom printed. Rather, Adrian chopped up a bunch of the yellow stickers from set 75053 The Ghost (from Star Wars Rebels) and placed them on the model in an interesting pattern. The stickers were already printed to be scruffy-looking, but the builder wanted them to be even scruffier. So he abraded the stickers by rubbing the model back and forth on a wooden table. The stickers aren’t shiny and smooth any more, but the result is definitely worth it.
Microscale creations often bring out the best in builders, forcing would-be architects to look at mundane LEGO pieces in new and unusual manners, seeing a portcullis arch in a shark’s jaw, fortress spires in Technic pins and embellished walls in pauldrons. Take a look at this fascinating floating castle by Marcel V., and observe how all the tiny details crafted from odd pieces coalesce into a menacing microscale fortress.
It may not cut through much, perhaps not even warm butter, but this gorgeous little LEGO chainsaw by František Hajdekr is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. And it really works! The Technic panels and liftarms fit together as snugly as a jigsaw puzzle. Inside you’ll find a battery box and a Power Functions motor. The safety guard also acts as a safety catch. A simple trigger controls the action. But why take my word for it? See for yourself!
Girls’ themes like Friends and Elves have granted us a huge variety of new pieces, from minifig accessories to some lovely dragon heads and wings. So as soon as the 2016 Elves sets were revealed in January, it was just the matter of time before the fan community found better applications for all those new parts. LEGO 7 makes a perfect upgrade of the fire dragon from Elves set 41175.
I’m quite confused, as all the armour parts go amazingly well with each other and the whole figure is truly impressive, but I still can’t take my eyes away from the dragon’s face. Just look at those charming eyes and cute teeth! And who could know that the new wings would have such an astonishing color gradient. Simply perfect!
Sometimes LEGO looks good enough to eat, and this is certainly the case with Sad Brick‘s Cranberry Black Forest cake. This plastic take on the classic German desert appears to have the key ingredients of chocolate sponge, cream, kirsch, more cream and a black cherry on top. A puzzle for you: do you know which part has been used to depict the cherry?
The best part is that this cake is definitely fat-free.
When your 5 year old son asks you to build a Ninjago city, you only say yes. But Ben Pitchford took things a little bit more seriously and ended up with a massive diorama nearly 4 feet (or 121 cms) high! The building process took almost 9 months, which is way over the attention span of a 5 year old. I guess Ben just needed an excuse to build something large. Luckily he had 100,000 LEGO parts laying around so this fortress was no big deal for him. He sculpted the big mountain with absolute attention and mastered the art of rock building. Ben also hid small LEDs behind transparent parts, so it makes a great scene once illuminated after dark.
The rice field, dojo, shinto shrines, cherry blossom trees, numerous caves, flowing lava, amazing waterfalls, grand stairs, mountain zipline and original Japanese characters make up a most amazing diorama. It will take you some time to absorb all the details, but you can see more photographs below.
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.
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.
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:
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.