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.

I’m a recovering Sortophobe. [Editorial]

I have always been the first one to admit that I have an intense fear of sorting LEGO elements. Spiders? Confined spaces? Heights? HA! I laugh in their faces!! But you set a big ol’ pile of random ABS in front of me with some empty drawer units and I start to hyperventilate, my palms start sweating and I get all twitchy.

Well, ok maybe I am just a lazy procrastinator who would rather play with LEGO than organize it, but I am still going to play the sortophobia card.

But there is light at the end of this cluttered tunnel…yesterday I took my first steps on the road to my sorted recovery. But before I get into that, I will give you a bit of a background.

When my wife and I moved into our house, I attempted for the first time to sort my LEGO. But like the rookie that I was I made a crucial mistake and sorted my entire collection by colour. It was hard enough to find a yellow headlight brick in a giant bin of bricks, let alone trying to find one in the bottom of a drawer that only contained yellow elements. So basically my three or four weeks of sorting were wasted and I started re-sorting it all into part type to better fit my style of building. Well that was 8 years ago and I haven’t really stopped sorting since. I would say that about 2 years ago I was approximately 85-90% fully sorted and organized. And I have been on a steady decline since.

Fast forward to 2013 and things got really bad. I hit my rock bottom. Readers may remember my AFOL’s guide to having a newborn. In particular point #1. I have learned over the preceding 10 months, that #1 is #1 for a very good reason! I didn’t really slow down the level of production of my builds, but my efficiency with build time had certainly been affected. Then I just became really lazy and made zero effort to stay organized. My LEGO collection basically became an un-useable mess of cluttered drawers and overflowing shelves. It took ages to build a simple model and believe it or not, it even started to take the fun out of building.

Well 2014 is a new year, and I intend to get my butt organized! Not only to increase the ease of building, but also for my wife’s sanity. We now have three, going on 4, LEGO maniacs in our house and I can only see this getting worse if I don’t nip it in the bud now. So that is where my steps on the road to recovery come in. What were they you ask? Simple. I dumped everything into a big ass tub.

The Purge [Day 1]

And I have to say, it felt really good to do that. For the first time in 8 years, I am actually looking forward to sorting. It’s a brand new year and my future is looking bright and organized!

26.5 kg (58.5 lbs.) of un-sorted LEGO never looked so good!

2014 - Year of the Big Sort [Day 1]

The Dark Lord and His Ring of Power

Looking more like a movie still than a traditional brick sculpture, I had to look twice at this beautiful image by David Hensel (Legonardo Davidy) to be sure that it was, in fact, completely LEGO. Making wonderful use of his fantastic building skills and some great forced perspective techniques, this is one of David’s best models so far.

Sauron

Ed Roth’s Rat Fink recreated in LEGO by Adam Grabowski

Adam Grabowski (misterzumbi) is usually quite laconic in his posting, so you can tell he’s excited about his latest LEGO work by the length of the accompanying prose. In short, he has recreated the famous Rat Fink by Ed Roth. And he’s done so with the help of some paint to make sure he got RF as close to source as he possibly could. Enjoy!

RatFink016a

Tribull, The Mystic Shaman of Awesome

Nick V. (AKA Brickthing) has brought forth a tribal creation of such spectacular coolness that words fail me. Nick’s masterful use of color really makes this creation “pop”, not to mention that the combination of Duplo, Bionicle, Bellville, Hero Factory, rubber bands, Technic and System all come together to form something that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Tribull

Here be serpents

Since both brickshelf and flickr seem to be down right now, I went outside my comfort zone and had a look at MOCpages. And after discussing the excellent “Guardian of the Emerald” creation by LukeClarenceVan I’m very glad I did. The sea serpent uses a great set of multiple textural techniques, including some nice water effect, and the diorama itself is well set up. Great work all around.

Sea Serpent LEGO Model

A traveler in a strange land

This purple scene by A Plastic Infinity depicts a traveling alien as he meets another race for the first time. It is full of simple techniques that play off of each other perfectly. I’m really into those aliens. Just four fairly common pieces, yet they look totally new. The landscape is basic terracing, but the color and tiling gives it that alien flair. I think anything more would have distracted the eye from the story that the builder was trying to tell. This is a great example of how a good grasp of fundamental technique works to convey a story or feeling. I love it and I want to see more!

Sci-Fe: The Traveler

LEGO Macaw takes flight in a burst of iridescent plumage

Sean and Steph Mayo (AKA Siercon and Coral) have gained lots of altitude with their latest creation. The Macaw itself is incredible but the studio setting they have created highlights it very nicely. I also really love the signature in the bottom left corner of the “painting” and you have to admit that the Pick-a-Brick cup full of water is nice touch. My only questions is whether or not the cup is filled with official LEGO water…

Iridescent Flight