Some things are just so beautiful they’re ugly. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, the latest portrait by Kiwi builder Grantmasters is for sure one ugly beautiful something:
Utilizing a number of typically specialized pieces such as cookie tiles, mushroom tops, and pterodactyl wings, Grantmasters has constructed a stunning portrait of one of cinema’s most infamous monsters, the creature known only as the Predator. Not only that, but this build is also the perfect companion piece to another portrait Grantmasters built back in April, that of the Predator’s arch nemesis, the Alien:
Grantmasters was fortunate enough to capture this unique shot of some mighty and majestic symbols of African wildlife. By the waterside is a glorious lion. It’s an adult male, of course – you can tell by his luxuriant mane. And behind him is an African bush elephant. Just look at that powerful trunk! As you might know, they use their trunks to pluck at grass and leaves while feeding. And you may wonder what animal is under the flat-crown tree in the background? No doubt it’s a famous white rhinoceros. But don’t exepct them to be white – they are gray. And unlike black rhinos, they have only one horn.
I can’t wait for Grantmasters’ next photo safari! Who knows what other animals will get in the picture – will it be some South African giraffes or plain zebras?
TBB has encountered a new species of alien thanks to Jake RF and they seem to come well equipped with breathing apparatuses, radios, weapons and leg pouches filled with…well, let’s just say that I don’t think it’s snacks and a can of soda…
Jake has maximised poseability by using Mixel ‘ball and socket’ components for the main body joints (shoulder, elbow, hip, knee). The Aliens’ feet are created using Star Wars Battle Droid heads and torsos. Their hands use the Battle Droid torso and arms while their head also utilise the droid’s head and torso. The side view shows the strange functionality of using droid heads to form feet — I bet they can scale walls better than Spiderman! I love the added breathing apparatus attached to the “mouth” area: it is clear that these aliens are not from our World.
Maybe they come in peace…
I guess we’ve all missed seeing some impressive Black Fantasy creatures for quite a while. All of a sudden Leonid An, a talented young builder from Moscow, Russia, bridges this gap. His strider is not only remarkable for a wide range of classic build techniques, but also completed with a stunningly landscaped base. Who could knew that typically girlish pieces from Clikits sets could complete such an ominous creature so perfectly.
Wolfenstein: The New Order was one of my favorite games of 2014, with its crazy yet immersive alternate World War II timeline. SHARPSPEED built one of antagonist Deathshead’s dog-like war machines, the Panzerhund. The LEGO version looks just as vicious and armored as the mechanized hounds roaming an alternate 1960s Berlin.
Watcha workin’ on there, neighbor? This friendly guy comes from the mind of Letranger Absurde and is chock full of what LEGO fans call “NPUs” or Nice Part Usages. In this case the clever parts are, among others, the Jabba the Hutt bodies for the upper facial features and the dewback for the nose. Even though this creation doesn’t use many parts, it’s imbued with a lot of personality — and that’s what makes a good brick-built creature really shine.
Cast your mind back to 2005-08 and you may remember an American animated television series called Avatar: The Last Airbender, on Nickelodeon. Firstly we have John Moffat bringing the main characters from the series to life in LEGO form.
The Avatar animation series was set in a fantasy world in which some people are able to manipulate the basic elements of air, water, fire and earth by use of psychokinetic variants of Chinese martial arts, known as “bending”. Aang, the twelve-year-old, fun-loving, airbending protagonist of the series can be seen in more detail below… The body positioning with martial art poses is fantastic for these small characters.
In addition, Jme Wheeler brings one of the faithful companions, Appa the loyal sky bison of Aang, to life once more in LEGO form.
Jme Wheeler captures the character of Appa with a very accurate colour palette with studs to show “shaggy ” fur, and great use of part 49668 (1×1 plate with tooth). The positioning is a classic bison head down. Look at that nose and those strong legs ready to charge — the only slight difference being…this bison can fly!
One of the most enjoyable aspects of LEGO is the fact that anyone can build with it – either alone or with a friend. Collaborations between builders often yield tremendous results, and this collaboration between Paul Trach and Markus Aspacher is the perfect example of successful team brick-building. Coordinating from 600km away, Markus in Austria and Paul in Germany divided the four films of the Jurassic Park franchise – including the recent blockbuster Jurassic World – into a massive and stunning dinosaur display.
Paul and Marcus recently displayed their collaboration at the Bricking Bavaria Munich convention, where it rightfully took home the coveted Best in Show award. Although on site it appeared to be one single piece (as it does above), the layout is actually four sections. Each builder constructed two portions representing two of the films. The first section, Jurassic Park, was built by Markus:
I don’t buy much retail brand LEGO, but I made an exception for LEGO Ideas 21301 Birds which was released earlier this year. Hec, I even built all the models, rather than just stripping the set for parts!
There are a couple of things I love about this set (other than the models themselves, based on designs by British builder and bird enthusiast Thomas Poulsom). Firstly, the set gives LEGO’s larger audience a taste of some styles and techniques that are normally the preserve of die-hard builders. Secondly, this set is overflowing with plates! As a sculptoral builder I get little value out of most retail sets because they contain so many specialized parts. And while Creator buckets offer a more generic selection of parts, they usually focus on bricks, and less on plates.
In the LEGO fan community there is a tradition of creating “alternate” models from the parts in one set. And for many sets it’s a challenge to come up with good alternates. But the Birds set makes this so easy that I was able to come up with a collection of alternate models, that even adhere to the theme of the original set. Enjoy…
Fans of Thomas’ original bird designs will be excited to learn that next March he will be releasing a book entitled Birds from Bricks that features 15 entirely new LEGO birds, complete with building instructions. Pre-order it now!
When breathing life into the elements, it’s always best to use a bit of caution. In this scene, Charis Stella has brilliantly captured the final moments of an elemental being summoned by a reckless mage. The whirling, smoky area around the last few chunks of stone is my favorite detail.
Halloween may have just passed, but there’s still tons of scary creations trotting around the LEGO community. One such evil thing is this skeleton figure by Patrick Biggs. Utilizing Hero Factory, System, and Technic parts, Patrick has created a stunning form-fitting demonic beast, one you really wouldn’t want to meet in a darkened foggy forest:
But Patrick has built another monster too–one that you might actually want to meet, assuming you’re in desperate need for a surfing buddy. Which of course we all are. Meet Chad, the Big Rad Wolf:
If you’re as afraid of wasps as I am, Piotr Machalski has something to “gladden” both of us with. Just a glimpse at those tiny claws gives me the shivers, but the wings are a thing to die for. And make sure to check out the whole album and have a closer look at all the (unlucky) hunters.