This dragon model by Eero Okkomen has made me question how a LEGO creation can have so much personality. It proves an image can tell a story without an accompanying explanation — you don’t need to be told, you just know to fear and respect the summoned serpent.
I’ve always thought the Ninjago Morro Dragon set is a mine for amazing pieces, but I would have never in a thousand years have used the wings like this — awesome. And that face — so much expression with so few pieces. The smoke coming from the nostrils is just brilliant, and so are the electric moustaches. Overall, this model is an art piece, and I wouldn’t mind displaying it in my living room, like an ukiyo-e style sculpture.
This mechanized, heavily armored fish looks like an unholy cross between a Dunkleosteus and the hardsuit from District 9. Japanese builder Mitsuru Nikaido has created a truly distinctive look by layering various LEGO flag elements in dark gray over a white internal structure. I’m not sure whether this belongs in the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum or the National Museum of Natural History.
Igor Stravinsky is easily my favorite Classical composer, and I grew up hopping around to The Rite of Spring pretending to be a ballerina, after seeing the Soviet-era Bolshoi troupe perform in 1979 when they toured Japan. Stravinsky’s earlier The Firebird is no less beautiful for being less wildly innovative. In Russian folklore, the Firebird (Жар-пти́ца) is a creature who can aid or doom those who encounter it. In this gorgeous LEGO version built by VSefrem for Russian LEGO forum Bricker.ru, pearl-gold and shades of transparent orange and red add to the underlying yellow for a stunning effect. Particularly noteworthy are the 1×1 round tiles layered on the bird’s neck with clips.
While it’s easy to be distracted by the creature alighted on its branch, the tree uses some interesting techniques to create an aged, twisted look — a perfect contrast for the stunning Firebird.
Sadly, World Elephant Day on August 12 is a stark reminder that there are not enough modern elephants in the world, and that we must take action — stop murdering them — if we want to avoid seeing today’s Proboscidea go the way of their Pleistocene predecessors the mammoth and mastodon. Jens Ohrndorf has been building little LEGO animals for the past few months, and his latest batch includes this impossibly adorable woolly mammoth. With just a few pieces, Jens has captured the shagginess and undeniable majesty of this Ice Age creature. The miniature snowcapped mountain and subtle gray background add immeasurably to the presentation.
As with any ecosystem, the mammoth steppe biome would not be complete without other megafauna. I’m not sure Jens intended for this pair of bison to go with the mammoth, but they complement it perfectly.
See more of Jens’ LEGO animals in his album on Flickr.
As a lifelong student of archaeology, I’ve become more and more focused on the Pleistocene and the Paleolithic, that amazing span of the Earth’s history when humanity emerged in Africa and conquered almost the entire habitable surface of the planet. Along the way, we survived multiple ice ages and lived until fairly recently alongside megafauna such as mammoths. I’ve been meaning to build a mammoth or two from LEGO, so I was pleased to see this adorable mother-and-child pair by Pierre. Noteworthy here is that the adult mammoth is built upside down. And I just love the baby mammoth with its big Dumbo ears. Presented on a base of snowy white, this pair would look great on any paleoanthropologist’s or paleontologist’s desk.
While my favorite lifeform from the age of the dinosaurs (and before) is the trilobite, I also have a soft spot for the hard-shelled ammonite. Leonid An has built a scientifically accurate, albeit fictional, ammonite that he’s dubbed Ammonoidea fictum. The Bionicle pieces make an excellent shell, and I love the big yellow eye glaring from behind a mouthful of tentacles.
Sadly, ammonites died out around the same time as the dinosaurs, survived by the similar (but only distantly related) nautilus. If you like this LEGO ammonite, check out the white nautilus we featured here back in 2009.
It is no secret that Djordje is one of the best character builders, and he usually manages to inject incredible personality to his builds. This time, he managed to capture the essence of a mad scientist with Doctor Karnakogg:
First of all, the cartoonish proportions are spot on, and you can see that this build is not really heavy on pieces — but those pieces are used in a really creative way, making it all the more impressive. What really gets me is the personality of this build, expressing that perhaps a mad scientist can be both scary and charming.
Fresh from delighting us with a rusty hot rod, Austrian builder sanellukovic turns his building skills to more organic shapes with his Midgardsnake creation. The curves and scales of this mythical water-serpent have been captured brilliantly with some nice use of slopes and smart color choices. Whilst the splashes and water running from the serpent’s body are well made, the mix of trans-clear and trans-black plates used for the water itself is just inspired. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed that particular combination being used like this before — it certainly creates a great impression of water in motion. Lovely stuff.
As Pokemon Go fever continues to grip the planet, we will try to stop running in small circles and peer above our phones from time to time, to bring you the best new Pokemon-themed LEGO creations. And our catch of the day features Aerodactyl, Chatot and Snorlax (yes!) by Chilean builder Sergio Rojas:
Oh, and if you explore Sergio’s Flickr stream, you might just stumble upon a few additional monsters!
Legostrator‘s latest creation is a fabulous scene of sub-Saharan Africa — featuring wonderful brick-built elephants traversing the dusty plains.
The elephants themselves are great examples of brick-sculpting — with complex organic shapes well-rendered. However, as with all the best LEGO scenes, the central models are elevated into something special by the surrounding attention to detail. The feel of a hot, dusty plain is captured perfectly with the depiction of scrub vegetation and the color choices. The lighting for the photo adds immensely to the atmosphere as well. Great stuff.
You may be familiar with the Vitruvian Man, a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci showing the human body’s proportions, but have you seen flambo14‘s Vitruvian LEGO Cat?
According to the text of da Vinci’s original:
“if you open your legs enough that your head is lowered by one-fourteenth of your height and raise your hands enough that your extended fingers touch the line of the top of your head, know that the centre of the extended limbs will be the navel, and the space between the legs will be an equilateral triangle”
In the case of flambo14’s cat:
“if you look cute and purr, then no one will notice that you are out of proportion”
I have no idea what the story is behind d’Qui Brick‘s Lone Druid creation. I don’t even know if that really is a dog, or some kind of sinister skeletal big-cat thing. But it doesn’t matter — this is a burly, beefy, terrifying beast of a model which makes excellent use of a mix of parts: Bionicle, Chima big-figs, and regular System bricks.
The face of the figure is particularly striking and I like the little touches of the hanging chains and skulls. The various spiky bits add an obvious menace, and the whole thing carries an unsettling sense of sinister heft. The only thing that doesn’t work for me is in the photography rather than the building itself — that black background might make for a moody setting, but it makes it difficult to see the details of the model.