When your 5 year old son asks you to build a Ninjago city, you only say yes. But Ben Pitchford took things a little bit more seriously and ended up with a massive diorama nearly 4 feet (or 121 cms) high! The building process took almost 9 months, which is way over the attention span of a 5 year old. I guess Ben just needed an excuse to build something large. Luckily he had 100,000 LEGO parts laying around so this fortress was no big deal for him. He sculpted the big mountain with absolute attention and mastered the art of rock building. Ben also hid small LEDs behind transparent parts, so it makes a great scene once illuminated after dark.
The rice field, dojo, shinto shrines, cherry blossom trees, numerous caves, flowing lava, amazing waterfalls, grand stairs, mountain zipline and original Japanese characters make up a most amazing diorama. It will take you some time to absorb all the details, but you can see more photographs below.
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LEGO castles are a well-practiced art form at this point, so it takes a lot to impress us here at The Brothers Brick. But this pop-up Himeji Castle has left us dumbfounded! According to Japanese builder talapz, whose pop-up Kinkaku-ji temple and Todai-ji temple we’ve featured previously, it took 15 months to complete and weighs 12.5 kilograms (27.5 pounds).
Amazingly, the pop-up and folding action is done entirely with the friction of LEGO pieces, because no glue was used to keep the bricks together. Even when the castle is folded down to its “storage” mode, it measures in at 70 x 70 x 11.5 cms (27.5 x 27.5 x 4.5 inches).
Not content with wowing us with his LEGO versions of Discworld characters, Eero Okkonen recently knocked us sideways with this excellent Samurai figure. The helmet armor’s “face” is particularly good, as is that awesome bird device on the chest. Magic stuff — now I want to see an opponent built for an epic shogun showdown.
Mike Dung has created a troop of supercute chibi schoolgirls. A relatively simple frame structure and face design manages to support distinctly different characters thanks to great use of color, and some fantastic hairdo designs. Brilliant stuff Mike.
For the anime aficionados among you, these characters are from Love Live! School Idol Project (ラブライブ), a Japanese multimedia project co-developed by three companies. The project revolves around a group of fictional school girls who become idols in order to save their school from shutting down.
Anpanman was a popular Japanese children book series that ran from the early seventies until 2013, and among its record-holding 1,768-character roster was the main series antagonist, Baikinman. A devious bacteria man from the Germ Planet, he fought the title character in endless battles. Depicted here in a more serious (and deadly) manner by builder Moko, Baikiniman is clearly a monster you don’t want to mess with. That is, unless you have his one weakness on hand, soap, which causes him to shrink down to the size of a fly.
Japanese style of building are a thing of wonder. I love their style and proper functionality — not a single bit of space is wasted, and this build by Gzu is a perfect example of this.
You can see the attention the builder has paid to all the details, like the little sandals at the door, and admire the functional sliding doors, smart toilet, tea table, small bed, and even the tiny bath. But if you choose, you can always go for something bigger:
So, who is ready for a vacation to Japan?
As my family left Japan in 1989 after 15 years there, one of the memories I carried with me was all the TV shows my brother and I had watched. While my own favorite was Ultraman, my brother preferred Kamen Rider (the “Masked Rider”). One of the best and most popular incarnations of the titular hero was the Kamen Rider Black series, which aired just before we left Japan, in 1987 and 1988.
Moko has been building various LEGO versions of Kamen Rider for at least the last 10 years — I first featured minifig versions of the characters way back in 2006 — and his latest Kamen Rider features a chibi version of our hero pulling a wheelie astride his iconic “Battlehopper” motorcycle.
Kamen Rider himself is fully posable, and Moko says that this is his first attempt at a non-minifig scale motorbike. Moko makes great use of LEGO rubber elements in this build: The red and yellow lines on the character are built from rubber bands, and the motorcycle tires are tank treads on radar dishes.
Moko says that the first Kamen Rider show he watched was the RX series that immediately followed Black, and he only watched Black later, but really loves the show despite its age — which, you know, makes me feel a bit old… You can see more photos on Moko’s blog (in Japanese).
Not surprisingly, the moment you mention a hero like Ultraman, a giant space monster shows up to destroy your nice little cardboard city–it’s just the natural order of things. Filling in said order is the latest creation by nobu_tary: the deadly Alien Baltan. With the powers of flight, laser beam claws, furry looking legs, and presumably the ability to gain more abilities as dictated by the plot, Baltan is sure to give Ultraman a run for his money. At least until the third act requires his loss after an oh-so-close victory.
While I certainly admired the delicious-looking tempura shrimp and rice bowl by nobu_tary I highlighted a week or so ago, I’m vegetarian and prefer some lovely vegetables with my rice — no homemade Japanese meal feels complete without some umeboshi, or pickled plums. I think I’d enjoy this gorgeous LEGO bento box a bit more, with black sesame seeds and an umeboshi on the rice, with broccoli and a variety of small side dishes packed with care into a lacquer box.
Many restaurants in Japan have plastic models of their food in their front window. Japanese builder nobu_tary has recreated the fake food that gaijin visiting Japan sometimes find so amusing. But as someone born and raised there, I know that it’s food art in its own right, and I can admire the well-built fried shrimp drizzled with sauce, chopsticks, and even some delicious pickled eggplant peeking out from behind the red and white striped bowl.
And after chowing down those crisp golden shrimp, you might consider ending the meal with some fruit. Perhaps a LEGO banana by the same builder would do nicely. Don’t forget to brush your teeth after every meal.
Tary says on his blog that this is his entry in this year’s Original Model Contest, held by clickbrick for the past 14 years. You can see this entry, along with all the others, at the Odaiba store in Tokyo from this Saturday through the end of March.
The truest test of popularity is whether or not someone can recognize your costume after 50 years. That’s no doubt the case with this famous monster-bashing Japanese television icon, Ultraman. Built by Jan Lego, this ultra-pose-able figure is actually based on the more recent manga series design, but he nonetheless kicks just as much monster-butt with more style to boot.
Packed with detail, Jan’s Ultraman is a prime example of a well built brick figure utilizing form and shaping to its fullest advantage. If you want to see dozens more views of this beauty, head over to Jan’s Ultraman album–you won’t be disappointed, although overconfident kaiju may be.
Some beautifully sinister and gloomy Japanese-style micro architecture on display from Tim Schwalfenberg. With it’s moody black and silver color scheme and wonderful levels of detail, this fortress could be a piece of concept art from 47 Ronin. (And that’s intended as a compliment – although the film as a whole might not have lived up to expectation, it looked very pretty indeed).
The fortress walls are impressively detailed and the curved roof is an obvious highlight, but it’s the neat little bridge and the base which add the finishing touches of brilliance. This could be the first set in a new LEGO theme of Fantasy Architecture. (If LEGO were to launch such a line they could literally take all my money. All of it.)