Tag Archives: Japan

From samurai and ninjas to giant mecha like Gundam or the beautiful films of Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese history and culture inspire LEGO builders all over the world. With contributors fluent in Japanese, The Brothers Brick also brings you coverage of the people and events in the large LEGO fan community in Japan itself.

Honshū Rice Terrace

Disco86 has built a unique bit of medieval history here. This scene depicts how the Japanse began to build rice terraces on the northern mountains of Honshū in order to cultivate rice there. The build is very striking. I can set aside my normal disgust for borders on this one because the flowing lines of the terraces are nicely accentuated by the rigidness of the border. The brightness of the blue also contrasts nicely with the black of the border and is complemented by the green vegetation. All that makes for a build that is really nice to look at.

Honshū Rice Terrace

Gotta catch ‘em all with Combee

Like many guys born in the seventies and eighties, as a child, I spent many Saturday mornings watching cartoons on TV. I used to watch classics such as Transformers, M.A.S.K. and Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors and build them out of LEGO. By the time Pokémon came along, I had lost interest in cartoons (other than Ren & Stimpy). Pokémon struck me as an obvious ploy to get children to spend their pocket money on what were obviously rubbish toys. Gotta catch ‘em all, right? Not at all like the cartoons I used to watch.

Ash & Pikachu

I have, of course, come to realise that my favourite cartoons were as much about selling toys as Pokémon, but I still think that much of the TV series was a bit rubbish. That said, I also realise that, to many people, Ash & Pikachu are no less iconic than Scott Tracker and T-Bob, or (dare I say it) Bumblebee and Spike Witwicky. This and the quality of the models, means that I cannot overlook these great figures built by Combee!. Pikachu looks particularly cute.

Thanks to Niels Huyzer, who suggested this to me several weeks ago.

Life sized Hatsune Miku  built from LEGO

It’s been almost three years since Japanese builder Chaosbrick (カオス煉我) created the first LEGO version of the wildly popular digital pop star and Vocaloid character Hatsune Miku (初音ミク). Since then there have been plenty of other versions, by such builders as Moko, Mike Dung, LegoWyrm and even yours truly. But now Chaosbrick has returned to outdo them all with this life sized version!

Construction of the model began in October 2013 and took 6 months to complete, during which time the builder teased fans with work in progress shots from his Twitter feed. The final model uses over 20,000 bricks, and by all accounts it was quite a feat of engineering to make such a tall and slender LEGO model stay in one piece. But the end result is spectacular in its detail and accuracy, and should meet the expectations of even the most hardened Hatsune fan. Especially with the cheeky inclusion of some brick-built fan service ;-)

Indistinguishable to the untrained eye

At first glance nothing seems out of the ordinary about this modern Japanese tram going about its business on the streets of Sapporo, Japan…

…until you realize it was built from LEGO! Flickr member 1103spa not only went the trouble of photographing the model “on site” in forced perspective, but also did a great job using stickers to complete the illusion. Here’s the reveal:

Deadlier Than Thou: Miss Ruby Rose

Anime-style figure sculptures have become something of a trend these days, and Ruby Rose by Mike Dung is exemplary among them.  The key to good figure sculpting in this scale is to balance creating details with merely evoking them. Ruby’s face, for instance, is nearly as simplistic as possible, while the bodice is quite intricate; both, however, meld to create a fantastic sculpture.

ruby06

Mike’s not a one-hit wonder, though. Check out his other sculptures, such as Snow Miku.

Snow Miku 2014

The Gods Themselves Look Down Upon Us

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” This oft-quoted nugget from Arthur C. Clarke is perfectly embodied in this otherworldly model by Nick V. (Brickthing). It’s not often that I’m blown away by the aesthetics of a spacecraft, but Nick is one of the best builders in the community, and has been tearing it up of late. This model, an alien “deity” worshipped by ancient humanity, à la Stargate, is a study in excellence.

The Turquoise Lord
The Turquoise Lord - Additional Photos

To avoid making every other post here on Brothers Brick one of Nick’s new models, I’m also going to point out this stunning bonsai tree.

Plastic Bonsai Tree (Indoors)

SD Command Gundam by Moko

Growing up in Japan in the 80’s, one of my favorite toys (other than LEGO, of course) was little plastic models of the SD Gundam characters. Moko (Flickr) might be a bit younger than I am, but we do share a love of these adorable little mecha.

Don’t be deceived by the diminutive source material — this is a substantial model with an amazing amount of detail. Just look at the subtle grooves around Gundam’s mouth!

COMMAND GUNDAM

The full load-out is also impressive:

COMMAND GUNDAM

See more pictures on Flickr, along with break-down shots on Moko’s blog.

“It’s a grave error to think the Way of the Samurai consists of nothing but a show of strength.”

Since it’s just the two of us, constant reader, let’s jump into the way-back machine again and set the dial for 2011. Even though the build can’t be considered new, the builder (LEGO Suzuki) is new to me and perhaps to many of you too. The reason for all this fussy time-travel is to show you Suzuki’s outstanding Samurai battle gear display set, which is detailed enough to make Miyamoto Musashi proud.

LEGO Samurai battle gear display set 03

Mothra!

This incredible layout, by OliveSeon, shows Mothra, sometime ally/sometime enemy of Godzilla, involved in an epic battle. I love Mothra herself and her silken spray entangling all the buildings around her. The builder did a good job of seamlessly incorporating actual modular building sets in the layout as well. But I’m also partial to well-built battle scenes, and this fits the bill. For the record, I’m rooting for Mothra…