You’d imagine a LEGO gym model would be stuffed full of minifigs in exercise poses. Not so this scene from Mrbones Bricks — the place is completely empty except for the lonely janitor. The gym’s interior is nicely built — don’t miss the hanging punchbag, the lockers, and the electrical conduit and fuseboxes on the wall. However, it’s the composition of the photo which turns this into a striking image. The expanse of empty floor awaiting the janitor’s attention creates a real sense of emptiness and quiet.
LEGO’s Nexo Knights line has brought us some great new pieces and some cool recolored parts, but aside from a few isolated examples, the theme hasn’t sparked a wave of fan-built creations. This recon outpost model from Henry F. stood out as a result. This scene captures all the elements which excite me about Nexo — a perfect blend of medieval castle and hi-tech, the bright color scheme, and the robots. I like the asymmetry of the base, with the composition balanced out around the shield at the center, giving the image a focal point.
The texture in the castle wall is really well done, with attractive splashes of blue to break up all that light grey. It contrasts nicely with the brown and green of the terrain. Where the contrast isn’t working quite as well is with the figures — they’re a little lost in amongst that stonework. Maybe next time the minfigs should be some of the non-grey ones?
A few weeks back, Graham Gidman wowed us with his LEGO barrel-riding scene from The Hobbit. Now he brings us this wonderful little diorama. The stonework on the cottage walls is fabulous, and the curved roof with its spattering of studs makes for a lovely shape.
The smooth flow of the roof is reflected in the curve of the fence, and the whole thing sits on a nicely-built landscape base making effective use of multiple shades of green and earth tones. There’s some lovely touches of detail on show too — check out the little log pile under the cottage’s eaves. The only thing which doesn’t quite work for me is the continuation of the round stonework up into the chimneystack. However, that’s nit-picking — overall, this is a cracking piece of building.
Heikki Mattila has built a wonderfully calm LEGO spa. The details here are simply perfect — the bath itself, the drinks shelf, the candles, and the nice touch of the rolled towels and soap on the little table. That back wall tiling is very well done, exactly the sort of color scheme and layout you’d expect to find in such a classy and relaxing venue. Normally I’m not a fan of room models without some kind of minifig presence to bring them to life, but this scene doesn’t need it. In fact, the absence of minifigs only serves to enhance the sense of peace and quiet.
Originally, the so-called “information superhighway” was a metaphor. Information would still be flowing along telecom trunk lines, just like it had before. The amount of info available through those same old lines was the real story of the early 1990s. But fast forward a few decades, to a future imagined by Carter Baldwin and Simon Liu: there’s so much information that a highway can barely contain it. Miles and miles of high-speed cable, just below the actual roadway. I’m not sure what’s going on in the wild undergrowth beneath the infrastructure, but that doesn’t interest me nearly as much as the infrastructure itself. The tubes! The girders!
We’ve seen a number of official LEGO Star Wars AT-ATs over the years, but they’ve all shared one fatal flaw: They’re just not as enormous as the menacing, walking beasts that first strode across the screen in The Empire Strikes Back. Mechanical engineering student Noah has built a properly scaled, 5,000-piece LEGO AT-AT that — at 2 feet tall — towers over minifig Snowtroopers and Hoth Rebel troops alike.
Noah tells The Brothers Brick that it took him about a year to build his AT-AT — a bit longer than it might have taken if he hadn’t been at school.
You can see a walk-around video that Noah posted on his YouTube channel, where he also has in-progress videos showing the internal structure.
We asked Noah whether his schooling in mechanical engineering helped him build such a large model. He tells us that the AT-AT’s head is particularly heavy, causing a moment of force, with the head extending far out from the AT-AT’s main body and affecting its center of gravity, which he solved by integrating Technic beams into the neck.
As we start wrapping up our coverage of the various LEGO Castle creations that were part of the Ye Old Merry Battleground collaboration by “InnovaLug” at Brickfair VA, we would be remiss in our duties if we failed to highlight this beautiful village by TBB alum Mark Erickson. Mark’s village includes two half-timbered houses and an excellent church in unconventional tan (sandstone, I presume). The church has sculptures in the same color as the structure — though in fact these would likely have been painted garishly when carved originally in the Medieval era — as well as a graveyard and a red roof with some subtle texturing.
Mark’s extra pieces of rounded landscaping that sort of “drip” off of his main diorama illustrate the interesting approach that the InnovaLug team took to their collaborative display. Rather than integrating the various contributions on a single underlying brick-built landscape (as we did with our Battle of Bricksburg display), the team used white space between the builds to highlight each build separately. We tried this approach with TBB’s “ChronoCon” display at BrickCon a couple of years ago, and it’s not generally a style of collaborative display that I think works all that well — though InnovaLug seems to have pulled it off quite well by spanning the open space with little details like the smaller landscaping pieces here. What do you think of this display style?
The German-language LEGO Star Wars forum Imperium der Steine is hosting its annual “MOC Olympics” at the moment, and with the release of the full trailer for Rogue One this past week, we’re seeing a lot of great entries inspired by the forthcoming movie. TBB regular and all-around talented builder Cecilie Fritzvold has recreated the mysterious character Chirrut Îmwe in LEGO, centered on the scene in which he battles Imperial Stormtroopers with nothing more than a staff.
Cecilie says that she created the Stormtroopers first, since she thought they might be the hardest. Creating enough detail on the troopers’ helmets to make them recognizable at this scale is no small feat. Cecilie completes the scene with some solid forced perspective, including a minifig-scale Stormtrooper in the background (though she gives him taller legs to bring him into the same shape as the brick-built ones in the foreground).
Maarten W is proving himself the master of the LEGO street scene. We’ve previously featured his Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and desert market creations, but this WWII-inspired diorama is his best yet. It’s a recreation of the moments when Allied forces liberated the Dutch town of Venlo on 1st March 1945.
The damaged buildings are beautifully done, giving a sense of what the townsfolk must have endured as the battle raged around them. Maarten has included numerous small vignettes throughout his diorama, such as the American GIs interacting with the survivors.
The details of the left-hand house are particularly poignant — the remnants of the upper-floor telling a tale of shattered domesticity. And whilst I’m not a “dog person” myself, even I can appreciate the message of hope for the future as one of the townspeople finds his pet amidst the ruins.
On a bright spring morning, troops from two nearby castles converged at one of the bridges of County Madison. Fat trout could be seen swimming in the creek below, and all agreed that it was a prime spot for fishing. But no one could decide who should make the first cast. As things often went in the era of Castle, violence ensued and blows were traded. By the time the melee was finished, all the fish had been scared away. The moral of the story? Isaac S. makes pretty awesome medieval bridges.
Farwin Castle by Brother Steven is one of the most striking pieces of castle architecture I’ve seen recently. This exceptionally tall, spindly tower still manages to capture an elegance of proportions, looking mysterious yet stately. Unlike many contemporary medieval themed builds, Farwin Castle doesn’t employ much of the precariously complex stonework that’s in vogue. Instead, its strength lies in its solid geometry and fascinating dimensions. You have to wonder what purpose this tower serves. The home of a lovesick, ascetic prince? The prison for a lunatic mage? The guard tower on a dangerous border? Whatever it is, we like it.
Brother Steven says this castle is part of a larger collaborative display, where multiple builders created locations from the same world, so don’t miss the fantastic stable from the collection that we already highlighted.
Rogue One continues to inspire new Star Wars LEGO creations. Check out this fantastic beach battle scene, lifted from the Rogue One trailer and “chibified” by Boba-1980. The microscale vehicles are really good — I particularly like the versions of the U-Wing and the TIE Strike Fighter.
Aside from the good landscaping and figure posing, there’s a whole ton of action packed into a tight space in this diorama — justifying the builder’s choice to go with an unusual scale for the vehicles. Nice work.