Games can provide inspiration for LEGO builders, although its often videogames rather than their more old-school cousin, the board game. Simon NH, however, has taken Settlers of Catan as his muse, and it has prompted a wonderful island scene, which ironically wouldn’t look out of place in a medieval real-time strategy game on PC! The landscaping grabs the initial attention, with a lovely colour gradient around the shoreline and excellent rockwork. But it’s the buildings which hold the eye, rewarding a closer look at some of the fabulous building techniques on display.
Despite mixed reviews of what happened to Tolkien’s beloved stories, the trilogy of Hobbit movies still served up some eye-popping visions of Middle Earth. One of the best, to my mind, was of Laketown — the city of wooden huts built over the Long Lake in a doomed attempt at protection from dragonfire. Marcel V. must have liked the movie version too, as he’s built a wonderful slice of it in LEGO bricks. Trans-clear tiles as icy water creates an appropriately chilly atmosphere, and the house on stilts is good enough to make me wish Marcel had built more of the town. And don’t miss the imaginative parts usage — minifigure ice skates as ladder rungs, and skeleton and minifigure limbs to create the twist of smoke rising into the frigid air.
Clean brickwork and good macro photography make this modernist LEGO interior by Brick Of Infamy really stand out. There’s a lot here to love — from the excellent giant angle-poise lamp, the smart-looking chair, through to the way the desk is integrated into the wonderful bookcase. And last, but not least, don’t overlook the clever use of grey toothed monorail tracks to lend texture to the background wall. This is a deceptively simple-looking scene, which probably took much longer to build than you think!
Built by david zambito for the ABS Builder Challenge, this snapshot from The Hobbit is terrific. This great scene has great use of the seed piece for the lid of the treasure chest and for Smaug’s fingers reaching over piles of gold. The best part for me is the tantalizing tiled tessellations on the floor surrounded by the creatively cracked and broken floor.
For Canada’s 150th birthday, Adam Dodge built a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker diorama, and it’s surprisingly satisfying to look at. There’s a nice contrast between the clean surfaces of the ice and sea and the intense, broken up ice and the very industrial-looking ship. The icebreaker just pops out with its bright, high-visibility colour scheme. The whole diorama has a sense of motion about it, with the thick ice stacked up in the front and the broken-up ice at the back, which is achieved by carefully arranged translucent window panes and cheese slopes.
Nothing spells adventure quite like whitewater rafting. David Zambito captures the action of the scene with the dynamic water made of clear plates, and the minifigs’ facial expressions add to the immersion. The water really warrants further inspection, with the subtle breaks in the rapids, especially the top-most one. The landscaping around the river may be simple, but it works.
The background edited into the photo makes the whole thing look real, but LEGO purists may be disappointed by this decision. In the end, if it looks good, I think it was worth it.
This retro computer work station by Ryan is a real blast from the past considering how far technology has come since those early and wild days of personal computers. This particular model is the Macintosh 128k – originally released as the Apple Macintosh – the company’s original personal computer. With some 4,500 bricks in its construction, this LEGO recreation must be as hefty as the real thing. But don’t let the computer steal the show, however. The 80s vibe is enhanced by the addition of a rolodex and clunky calculator which, alongside the 128k, won’t be found on any work station in the 21st Century – today’s bargain-level smartphone can do all this and so much more.
For younger readers who don’t remember such things, the slot on the front of the computer accepts 3.5-inch floppy disks (which, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, are still used to coordinate the operational functions of the nation’s nuclear forces. Doesn’t that make you feel comfortable?). The Apple logo and the friendly icon on the warming-up screen are great touches as well. Overall, a very accurate and rather nostalgic take on the 80s workdesk. The only thing missing is a can of Tab and the sweet, soothing sounds of Duran Duran.
LEGO model-building is rarely straightforward — often the simplest of ideas can become a nightmare to put together in the brick. Whilst the title of this brilliant boat model — Plain Sailing — would suggest city son suffered little difficulty putting it together, personally I’m not so sure. This creation has all the hallmarks of obsessive tweaking, rebuilding over and over to get it just right. I’m glad the builder persevered, as the result is fantastic — a sweet little brick-built boat, an impressive sail, and waves that could have come straight off a Hokusai woodblock print. Beautiful.
I am one with the Force and the Force is with me, I am one with the Force and the Force is with me. I am one with the… Ok, sorry. I’ll stop now. Even if you haven’t seen Rogue One yet (and by this point, who hasn’t?) you’re sure to recognize Dunedain98‘s fantastic LEGO Star Wars scene.
This little slice of the war-torn city of Jedha looks just about perfect. Dunedain perfectly captured the city’s sandy color palette, interesting angles, and crumbling facades. He even included the imperial hover tank and Chirrut Îmwe, everyone’s favorite non-Jedi force user. (Although he’s not shown here, I’m sure Baze is just hiding behind the corner somewhere waiting to save the day.)
When I have an idea to build something, it usually comes together pretty quickly — often over the course of a single evening’s LEGO-building. However, this creation has been slowly coming together for about 2 years! The mechs made their first appearance at the BRICK show in London in 2015, before being cannibalised and tweaked and rebuilt almost incessantly until now. Building them a maintenance hangar is an idea I’ve been mulling over for ages, and I finally got it finished a couple of weeks ago.
This restaurant in Beijing, China by Qian YJ shows how real life can be imitated and brought to life by the magic of LEGO bricks. The exquisite outdoor detailing of the curves of the roof and color scheme shows clear attention to detail during the build process. The the red lanterns hanging remind us how little details can bring out life in architectural builds.
The inside the restaurant is a contrast to the exterior with modern facilities to feature all the creature comforts that we so much are used to these days. What a way to preserve our past and merge it with today’s needs, mixing both form and fucntion.
Even non-LEGO fans recognize the simple LEGO smiley face. Unfortunately, in a hypothetical world full of thousands of identical smiling minifigs (now where have we seen that before?), being instantly recognizable can lead to problems. Illustrating one of the potential hijinks of such a world, Paddy Bricksplitter built an Identity parade (or as we call them here in the United States, a police lineup).
After a crime, police officers will place their main suspect in a lineup along with several “foils” who have a similar weight, height, build, and coloring as the suspect. Then, the police officers will bring in an eyewitness (in this case, a severely injured minifig and presumably, the victim of the crime) to view the lineup through a one-way mirror and “pick out” the criminal. But when everyone looks identical, how can you possibly identify the right person? And who would ever volunteer to stand in as a “foil”?