Tyler Halliwell is best known to our regular readers as a creator of amazing LEGO busts. So his latest work – depicting the Monkey King of Chinese mythology – is an ambitious departure in terms of its size and construction. We think you’ll agree that the attention to detail and the naturalness of this figure’s clothing and facial expression are completely mind-blowing!
We journeyed for several months across the Asian subcontinent, rescuing helpless villagers from all manner of demons along the way, to visit the mountain in which Tyler has been imprisoned for the past 500 years, so we could find out more about this creation…
BB: So how many hours and how many bricks went into this creation?
TH: That’s tough to estimate, but probably about 100 hours over the past two months, with most of it coming into shape in the past two weeks. There’s less pieces than you’d think, as it’s mostly hollow but for a technic frame. So if I had to guess, I would say around 1500 bricks.
BB: What inspired you to choose the Monkey King as the subject of your latest LEGO sculpture?
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.
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.
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 ;-)
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:
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.
Mike’s not a one-hit wonder, though. Check out his other sculptures, such as Snow Miku.
I’m embarrassed to say I had no idea what a Tengu was before I saw Cade Roster’s (Apocalust) delightful build.
Using the new awesome Mixle sets, Cade has recreated this Japanese creature of legend:
The face is dead on and this little guy is just pure fun!
“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.
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.
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!
The full load-out is also impressive:
See more pictures on Flickr, along with break-down shots on Moko’s blog.
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.
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…