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.

New and upcoming LEGO books for Jul-Oct 2013

It seems like there are new books about LEGO coming out constantly, both from famously “LEGO-friendly” publishing houses like No Starch Press and from many other publishers.

We haven’t been able to feature or review all of them, so here’s a quick roundup of the many LEGO books published so far in 2013, along with links to pre-order a number of future books.

I’m particularly excited about LEGO Space by perennial TBB favorites Pete Reid and Tim Goddard. Though we don’t have too many details about what’s inside, the cover alone hints at Neo-Classic Space greatness.

50 Shades of Bley: Iain Heath’s Mad LEGO Science

Resident mad genius and meme chaser Iain Heath has just put out a crazy video explaining how to dye your bricks. All you purists out there can put your pitchforks down and simply skip over this one, but for everyone else, it’s some pretty cool stuff whether you’re into LEGO mutilation or not. In this video Iain explains how he achieved the flesh tones used in his large-scale Gollum character. And for those of you who haven’t seen it, Iain’s previous video describing his design process for the accompanying Bilbo is also well worth a watch.

LEGO Microscope by Carl Merriam

LEGO certainly has some small elements, and Carl Merriam has really taken that idea to the next level with this fabulous microscope. I’m impressed with the build, and the presentation, and that’s what originally caught my eye. Then I read the description:

“A little more tinkering and I connected the focus to a magnifying glass and fiber optic light in the eyepiece, so adjusting the focus knobs would actually bring the writing on a LEGO stud in and out of focus.”

So in additon to be a beautifully presented, excellent build, it actually works.

Bravo, Carl. Bravo.

LEGO Balloon from Wizard of Oz is full of hot air

Dave Kaleta (davekaleta) has been working on this beauty for quite some time in preparation for a collaborative display at BrickWorld. It is a very elegant piece of work. The sleekness of the balloon and the integration of the words into the structure of the envelope are both awesome. I want one of these hanging from the ceiling in my LEGO room!

Oz's Balloon

Action at Hangar 51

Brian Williams delivers a stunning rendition of the warehouse scene from Indiana Jones. It took me a while to realize there were mirrors used to create the illusion of depth, for the actual diorama is much smaller. If you spend more time taking a closer look, you might find some good laughs in the crate labels.

Warehouse - Lights

Tiny LEGO RC Routemaster Bus

The Routemaster is almost certainly the most famous bus design in the world. And there have been many built out of LEGO, including this pair by our own Ralph. What makes this one by Gabor Horvarth special is that it manages to pack in full remote control in a very small (6 wide) package. Which I can tell you from my own less successful attempt is an incredible achievement

I first saw Gabor’s work on The LEGO Car blog.

The Mountains in the Distance

Here’s a fun scene by Mattius Xavier. I always love a bit of good forced perspective in a model, plus I don’t see that old school dragon nearly enough. This is a very nicely composed shot, and shows what you can do without any fancy photography tools, and only a bit of clever building and skill.

Returning to Quarryton

The Value of a Piece

The_jetboy is taking the concept of a “seed part”* to a whole new level. He’s used a single piece, the wide track link, 92 times to create this crazy microscale citadel. It’s not often I find visually interesting models made of only one part type.

*A seed part is single part type that must be used in a model, ideally in a highly ingenious manner. “Seed Part” contests are a staple among fan sites. If you’re not as crazy as the_jetboy, you also use other parts in conjunction with the seed part.

To Land Upon A Foreign Shore

Sometimes relatively simple scenes can provide the most opportunity for showing terrific quality. Take, for instance, this beautiful diorama of the Roman invasion of Britain by James Pegrum (peggyjdb) which is really just a bit of shoreline with some soldiers. I’ve seen the trans-blue 1×1 round plates used as water many times, but James has made better use of it here than I’ve seen previously, adding waves and some flecks of green, and he also extends that technique to make an interesting gravel beach. James also puts in great little details such as the Romans wielding iron-tipped spears, while the barbarians fight with LEGO’s older, solid-color spears.

Veni, Vidi, Vici