Proving that we can only go so long without giving away something Star Wars-related (with a break in August to give away the new Ghostbusters Ecto-1), this month we’re delighted to be giving away four copies of the new LEGO Star Wars Build Your Own Adventure. This is a particularly special giveaway, since TBB’s own Rod Gillies created all the models in the book, and will be signing each of the books you can win! To enter, click here.
We’ll also send each winner a snazzy TBB T-shirt and other cool swag, but thanks in particular to Rod and our friends at DK for the books!
The book will be available on August 2nd, and we’ll do our best to set aside our love of Rod to bring you a balanced review soon.
Following on from the introduction of the Build Your Own Adventure books last year, August 2016 sees the launch of two new titles in the series: Build Your Own City Adventure, and Build Your Own Star Wars Adventure.
The Build Your Own Adventure series is different from most other LEGO books in that it comes with an exclusive LEGO set. The book features set instructions followed by a story illustrated with models created by builders from the LEGO fan community. The Brothers Brick’s very own Rod Gillies worked on the Star Wars book and we pestered him into giving us a sneak peek before the book is officially released.
The model in the set is very cool — a microscale Y-Wing fighter, built in a “chibi” style similar to the Microfighter range of collectable sets. The spaceship is piloted by Zin, a Rebel pilot and the hero of the book’s story. The tale sees Zin traverse the galaxy on a secret mission, visiting famous Star Wars planets and locations.
After taking a flick through the pages, we arranged to ask Rod a few questions about the book, the building process, and getting to work with the LEGO Star Wars designers…
Click through to read the interview and see more images from the book
LEGO builder Omar Ovalle has spent the last two years working on and off recreating the iconic house sigils from Game of Thrones, from House Stark’s iconic wolf of Winterfell, to House Lannister’s majestic lion of Casterly Rock, and on to some of the lesser known sigils such as House Baelish’s mockingbird. The collection is still a work in progress, but Omar has also taken some time to build a few cool LEGO busts of characters from the series, including the ever-faithful Hodor. Check them all out below!
Click to see the rest of the house sigils
Moby Dick is one of those novels that requires real commitment to get through, with its lengthy diversions and deep symbolism, but rewards careful reading and sticks with you for decades afterward. It also makes for great LEGO inspiration, as Ryan Rubino’s white whale battling a giant squid from back in 2009 certainly proves. Letranger Absurde enters the fray with Captain Ahab entangled by the line from his own harpoon, hauled to his doom in the dark deeps of the sea. The sperm whale itself steals the spotlight in this build, with what appears to be a surfboard for a tongue, but don’t miss the excellent sea floor, complete with conch shell, brain coral, and even a treasure chest.
A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin takes his rightful place in the Red Keep atop the infamous Iron Throne, from whence he will cast judgment and pronounce life or death upon the world’s inhabitants (mostly death). This magnificent entourage of LEGO characters by Callum brings many of your favorite characters to brick form, from Eddard Stark and Jon Snow, to Jaime and Tyrion, and Daenerys and Khal Drogo.
Click to see more Song of Ice and Fire characters
The quote above is from The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde and it’s the epigraph for The Ideal Order, a recently published novel written by Christoph Bartneck. (You can find my review of this book on Goodreads.) The story is centered around the life of a troubled AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) named Rob, who, like all builders before him, eventually realizes that his LEGO collection is virtually useless when stored in one big cardboard box and thus sets out on a quest to find (you guessed it) “the ideal order” for sorting his LEGO collection. (Spoiler alert! No such order truly exists.) I sympathize with Rob’s predicament, because I’ve been there. There’s nothing worse than trying to build an old set by fishing pieces out of the rainbow-colored abyss of plastic that is an unsorted box of LEGO. So we sort.
The possibilities are endless when deciding how to sort a LEGO collection and what’s right for one person is not going to be right for another. However, there are certainly some agreed upon standards that most builders share when sorting. For example, sorting by color alone just doesn’t cut it. On the other hand, it’s nearly impossible to have a separate space for each unique piece. So what is the best method?
Builder Marcel V. is on a mission to picture Harry Potter’s life one little slice at a time. These terrific vignettes take us from 4 Privet Drive, to Platform 9 and 3/4, Ollivander’s, and right on to Hogwarts’ Sorting Hat and the Gryffindor Common Room. Marcel tells us he’s planning a rather lengthy series, so we’ll check back in as he continues to create these brick snapshots. For now, though, check out the first five scenes in Harry’s life:
Click to see the other 4 scenes
And some adventures lead us to our destiny. Dwalin Forkbeard built the iconic wardrobe from the Chronicles of Narnia that leads to the magical land of Narnia. Though the professor’s home on the back side of this build could use some more furniture and maybe a rug, I’m in love with the Narnia scene and the wardrobe itself. The snowy landscape and those coniferous trees are stunning and the new LEGO satyr makes for a perfect Mr. Tumnus.
Dwalin captured a beautiful, out-of-focus-foreground photo of the wardrobe and beyond, presumably depicting the Pevensie children’s first glimpse of Narnia. He also built an 8 by 8 vignette version of this build for a sweet contest over on Eurobricks where you can win an entire set of the new Series 15 Collectible Minifigures, including the Satyr and (everyone’s favorite) Left Shark! The contest ends on March 10th so there’s still time for you to follow Dwalin’s lead and submit an entry or two of your own!
Markus Rollbühler opens up a new page on LEGO building by presenting Grimm’s Fairy Tales in book form. We’ve seen literature depicted in LEGO through an artistic representation of a book before, but I here I particularly love Markus’ use of the pages forming gnarled tree silhouettes to add depth to the scenes. Markus says that there are references to six of the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales depicted here: see if you can spot them all.
Thomas Poulsom, the fan builder behind the LEGO Ideas Birds set has just announced the upcoming release of his new book, Birds from Bricks. Tom is a bird and wildlife enthusiast, so it is no surprise that his new book follows on from the 3 lovely bird models in the Ideas set. The book has detailed step-by-step instructions for 15 more bird models, with colour photos and information about each species.
Birds from Bricks: Amazing LEGO Designs That Take Flight is currently available to pre-order from both Amazon US and Amazon UK (with free UK shipping) and a release date of 15 April 2016 in the UK, and April 1st in the US.
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.
Click here to read the full review
File this under “ideas I wish I’d thought of first”. From Jeff Friesen, award-winning photographer and author of United States of LEGO: A Brick Tour of America, comes a delightful new book of LEGO dioramas paying homage to the work of enigmatic graffiti artist Banksy.
Inside its 9″ x 9″ hard cover, the very inexpensive Bricksy: Unauthorized Underground Brick Street Art features 84 carefully constructed and beautifully photographed scenes, each based on a different Banksy work. For reference purposes, thumbnails of the originals appear on every page, and are also compiled into a visual index at the back that even cites the original image sources.
Rather than merely trying to mimic Banksy’s works in LEGO, Jeff embellishes them and expands upon them to service his own unique sense of humor. It’s as though we are pulling the camera back from the original, and seeing it in the context of a whole new backstory. This definitely makes the book more appealing, although true Banksy aficionados may balk at such brazen reinterpretations.
As this gallery of images shows, many Banksy standards make an appearance – my personal favorite being the meat wagon “mobile installation” featured in the documentary Banksy Does New York. As you might expect, the scenes are all built to minifig scale, making extensive use of the rich array of collectible minifig components now at LEGO fans’ disposal (this book could not have existed 5 years ago). All the buildings and other background details are completely brick-built, with some skillful use of forced perspective. I also enjoyed the repeated appearance of a large brick-built rat!
Bricksy: Unauthorized Underground Brick Street Art is available on Amazon in both physical and digital formats. And it’s currently less than $10, so I recommend you grab a copy of this awesome picture book right now, to fill that spot on your coffee table next to the Beautiful LEGO trilogy.