The Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the late 1700s and saw a shift from manufacturing within people’s homes, using hand tools or basic machines, to powered machinery, factories, and mass production. Factories and steam locomotives were signature developments of the times. Toltomeja has used both of these icons of the industrial revolution in his LEGO diorama. There’s a large factory with tall chimneys emitting clouds of smoke (the part used is the cloth spider’s net) and a steam train loaded with coal. The bridge and the factory are very nicely put together, but it was the brick-built lettering and the little horses and carts that really caught my eye.
The steam locomotive is cleverly built at this scale, using a telephone handset as the coupling rod connecting the drive wheels, while a few treasure chests become the open wagons containing coal.
Is this encampment the last bastion of humanity in a world gone awry? Or are there other holdouts, lone refuges for the few who still know friend from foe. I suspect the inhabitants of this outpost created by Lego Master don’t know, but they’ll keep on fighting against the undead hoards no matter what.
Click to see more of this huge zombie apocalypse diorama
Even though this oriental bazaar creation by Scottish builder Colin Parry uses LEGO pieces introduced as recently as 2016, there is a strange 2008-like essence to it. Maybe it’s the use of all yellow minifigs (flesh tones have been more predominant in recent years) and amongst them many older head prints. Or maybe it’s how clean the design is, as opposed to more contemporary high-detail castle building trends. Whatever it is, I like it and I think it’s important that we do not get so wound up in progress as to forget how much more there is to be done in styles that fell out of fashion years ago.
While there is much to love in the architecture and other details like the boat or canvases, the real star of the show is probably the minifig action. Minifig posing is an art most people ignore when making dioramas, but it can be the difference between a good scene and an amazing one. After all, what is a diorama without life?
Whatever planet this is on, the atmosphere doesn’t appear breathable to all humanoids. The creative choices Kingdomviewbricks has made to inject life into this marvelous display are ingenious. The beautiful lighting creates a Blade Runner-esque quality while giving the city a cleaner, more clinical feeling. Curved LEGO tubing adds a subtle natural, almost organic quality, all combining to create the intriguing futuristic atmosphere. Finally, the speeder’s simple design and elegant shape are excellent and the speeder’s blurred motion effect looks quite natural, blending in perfectly with the rest of the scene.
A year ago, we featured a series of autobiographical builds from Dave Kaleta. He’s recently shared the next step in his story, which he states took 6 months to create. Given that the next chapter in his story involves a small child in a crib, 6 months seems perfectly reasonable!
There are some great things in this scene: mom’s posture flipping on the light, and the perfect fetal position of dad on the floor. I think the 1×2 brick with the technic hole is inspired use for what I imagine is a chatty, energetic toddler. The Batman and Robin minifigs as toys are perfect at this scale!
There’s something calming, peaceful, and haunting about a shipwreck. It’s knowing that it’s untouchable at the deepest depths of the ocean, where no one can touch the remains of the ship. Built by TBB contributor Luka Vodnik, this is a sombre ship, mesmerizing us with contrasting details and a story we may never know. Smooth tiles form the body of the ship’s hull, with studded elements creating barnacles. Luka has named the ill-fated vessel Lemuria, leaving her tales with Davy Jones at the bottom of the sea.
The relationship between Batman and The Joker has been the source of countless LEGO creations, not to mention the main theme of the recent LEGO Batman Movie. However, we don’t often see large-scale interpretations of where it all began, the confrontation between Batman and the leader of the Red Hood Gang at Gotham’s Ace Chemical Plant — as depicted in the classic graphic novel The Killing Joke. Once again Tim Lydy proves he’s a master of LEGO Batman creations, following up on his wonderful large-scale figures with this brilliant diorama.
I love what Tim’s done with the chemical tanks — their contents look suitably toxic. And the level of detail and greebling creates a fantastic impression of a working plant, full of pipes and valves and gauges. As soon as I saw the Red Hood figure in the Batman Collectible Minifig range, I knew someone would have a go at this scene. I’m just glad it was Tim — he’s certainly done it justice.
Speedyhead recreated the destruction of Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderaan, a classic Star Wars scene, with LEGO. The lighting effect on the laser and forced perspective planet is stunning. The detailed Imperial architecture shouldn’t be overlooked though; the texture of the window and separation of floor panels are on point.
Every artist will at some point find themselves facing a blank page, blank canvas, or empty table, and gazing out the window wondering “What Now?”. Based on that familiar feeling, Chris Maddison has staged the perfect scene for his final contribution to the Iron Builder competition. The seed piece has been brilliantly put to use as the type hammers inside a beautiful vintage typewriter. Sitting on the desk next to it is what can only be a dictionary or thesaurus, while his mantra and inspiration adorn the shelf above.
Everything in this scene is made from LEGO. My favorite feature is the depth of field Chris has created out the window. In Chris’s own words: “We are creators. To make art, to convey an idea or emotion, to play well… it’s in our blood. Tell your story, whatever it may be”.
We recently had the chance to sit down with Johan Alexanderson (LegoJalex) to discuss his building style and approach to the hobby. A part-time web developer, as well as a free-lance illustrator and comic book artist, Johan is 35 years old and lives in Sweden. Come with us as we explore the mind of a builder!
TBB: So how did you get into LEGO building?
LegoJalex: I started building about 5 years ago, after a “dark age” of about 15 years. I had a stressful time then and I really needed something to relax with, so naturally I started to build again. Building with LEGO has so many great memories for me and I really like the creativity involved. I think there are similarities with my interest in drawing and illustrating, where in both you have to think in a creative and artistic way.
Curved silver elements lend a nice retro chopper feel to George Panteleon‘s hoverbike, but it’s the smart use of sand green pieces to depict a post-apocalyptic sewer which grabs the eye. The tentacle tip makes for a perfect outpouring of skanky muck, and the soccer pitch part creates a great impression of a thick gloopy liquid in motion. I love when builders pay as much attention to the surrounding scenery as to the central model in a scene — it makes all the difference between a decent image, and a standout one.
Immersing a LEGO model in a real-world scene is quite a feat. Did Chris Madison really make a mouse hole in his wall skirting? Such dedication. Of course, a closer look reveals it’s all built with bricks. A brilliant set-up, and the perfect use of the piece LEGO fans dub the “cheese slope”!