Ivan Angeli builds big. Really big. His latest diorama, showing the clash of an angelic stronghold with nefarious Drow forces, measures about 12 by 6 feet. The name will be familiar to D&D Forgotten Realms aficionados, as most of Ivan’s models are based in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. Shown recently at LUGS United, a fan event in Belgrade, Serbia, Ivan says this diorama includes over 1000 minifigs, and the white tower is over 6 feet tall. Impressively, Ivan says that he has only enough room at home to build about 18 by 18 inches at a time, forcing him to carefully plan so that each section will fit together when assembled at a show. As with most fans who bring builds to shows — especially large builds — Ivan has plenty of tales of woe to tell of parts not connecting properly or structures collapsing the night before the show, requiring hasty on-site reconstruction. Be sure to also check out our interview with Ivan for his previous model, which was similarly as ridiculously large.
The Tesla, arguably what is the world’s first stylish electric car, is a testament to how far electric vehicles have come. The first thing about this minifig scale version by Cole Edmonson was how instantly recognizable it is. Often real life sports cars and sedans translated down to minifig scale loose so much of their distinctive styling that they just look like a generic car, but the proportions of this Tesla give it away. Cole has even provided a very detailed write-up of his design process for this model, which is a cool behind-the-scenes look at what a good builder puts into even a small model.
For a few weeks now I’ve had Lego set 31039, Blue Power Jet, sitting on a shelf in my LEGO room. It’s currently $69.55 from amazon. I picked mine up from the LEGO Store in Tyson’s Corner back in August after Brickfair, because, as an aircraft builder, I figured I would enjoy building this and be well-suited to write a set review. However, subsequently, I didn’t get around to it. Fortunately, my father helped me out here. He stayed at my place for a while a few weeks ago and, some of the time together was spent with me building my Men In Black Ford and with him building the jet. The review, however, still went nowhere.
For the record, the set contains 608 parts and the instructions to build the jet or, alternatively, a powerboat or a helicopter. My father, who never had LEGO as a child, enjoyed the build, although the dark blue, dark grey and black were a bit hard to identify in the instructions. The model looks great and construction of the wings clearly shows the masterful hand of Mike Psiaki, who, before becoming a set designer, was already well-known for his ingenious aircraft models. The jet has lots of play features, such as an opening cockpit, a folding undercarriage and moveable control surfaces, yada yada yada. I’m ill-suited to writing this review (and not just because I didn’t graduate from The Eurobricks Reviewers Academy; for a more detailed review with lots of photographs of the model under construction, I suggest brickset). As nice as the finished jet is, I don’t enjoy following instructions for anything and the main reason why I like this set and pretty much the whole point of any LEGO set is that I can use the parts to build my own models. This one is a wonderful parts pack. Just look at all that lovely dark blue. Preciousss!
As LEGO fans we’ve all probably heard or read it many times: according to lots of people who used to build with LEGO as children, back in the sixties and seventies LEGO only made simple bricks in boxes with no instructions, but nowadays, if you look at the LEGO shelves in your local toy store, all you’ll see are licensed products and sets full of parts that can only be used for the model in the instructions. This allegedly kills children’s creativity. Have these people looked at the Creator range at all? One would think that the fact that there are instructions for three different models is enough of a hint that the parts aren’t single use. This doesn’t only apply to an arguably fairly expensive set such as the Blue Power Jet, but also to the smaller sets in the range. Furthermore, just because there are instructions, doesn’t mean your children have to follow them. Radical, isn’t it? What kills creativity is having them build the model from the instructions and then not allowing them to take it apart and mix up the elements with all the other parts, because a few might get lost or because, eventually, your children may want to rebuild the original. Have them improvise! I betcha Mike used to build his own stuff when he was a child.
In order to create all the amazing stuff you see here every day, LEGO builders have to do what all artists do: (a) learn a variety of strange techniques, and (b) endlessly steal from one another. And now fans of Microscale dioramas have a chance to kill two birds with one stone! Serbian builder Milan Sekiz has used a relatively new sloped piece (lovingly nicknamed the baby bow) to come up with three different microscale tree designs. Change the colors of the bows to represent different seasons.
This deceptively simple pile o’ figs is clearly a recreation of the Jerusalem scene from World War Z. But builder LEGO Will actually meant it as comment on shopping mania around the new Star Wars merch. However, I think it may become relevant again next week as LEGO fans clamor to pick up their WALL-E and Dimensions sets!
We might be looking at a new LEGO meme here, folks…
There’s been a lot of large spaceships or SHIPs (Seriously Huge Investment in Parts) building this month as part of SHIPtember – the build a 100 stud SHIP in a month contest. Some people feel that a month is slightly more time than necessary, and there have been several SHIP in a day builds over the years – with varying results.
So I wasn’t surprised to see someone attempt this again this year, but I was surprised to see FOUR master builders: Jason Allemann, Michael Gale, Kristal Dubois, Lucie Filteau join together in an amazing 24 hour build (or does this really make it a 96 hour man build?)
I don’t care, cause the end result makes my own personal month long SHIP build kind of small, and lacking in coolness…
Not only does this clock in at the bigger side of the SHIPs built this month, the multiple functions and delightful spinning mechanisms makes this stellar build, regardless of the time spent:
Oh, and yes, there’s a time lapse:
TheBrickAvenger has posted his most ambitious LEGO diorama yet, with this scene inspired by the heyday of piracy in the 17th-century Caribbean. While one’s eye is certainly drawn to the steeply slanted roof, clock tower, and minifig action, the standout detail for me is the studs-out half timber construction. The builder also uses three completely different techniques for windows, including an ingenious but incredibly complicated bay window shared back in March by Sheo. Spend some time poring over the picture — I’m sure you’ll find something I’ve missed that’s even cooler.
As a life-long fan of artists such as Escher and Dali, this bizarrely warped train by Korean builder Amida Na really tickled my fancy. It’s entitled Folded Space Syndrome #1 so I’m really hoping this is the first in a series (even though it is just a digital render).
Once again demonstrating his unique mastery of small-scale Steampunk vehicles, Swiss builder captainsmog presents the “100 HOURS OF STEAM” automobile race, a collection of contraptions from such well known Steampunk nations as Francia, Indria and Russilia. Check out the full album to see them all, and many other steam-powered Victorian wonders.