We recently had the opportunity to talk with Pacurar Andrei, also known as Vitreolum (Letranger Absurde). Pacurar lives in Romania and builds in a wide range of styles and genres. His work is highly regarded and his build, Room with a View, made our short-list of the year’s best creations. Please walk with us as we explore the mind of a builder!
TBB: How did you get into the LEGO hobby and what inspires you to build?
Pacurar Andrei: I got into the hobby when I decided to sell my childhood collection. They were all mixed together in two large bags, so I had to sort and build everything… by the time I was done with this I ended up buying sets instead of selling. Everything inspires me, from someone else’s build to things that surround me. Sometimes just looking at a certain part will be enough. Or just an idea that suddenly pops in my head. Although my biggest source of inspiration has always been movies, games and literature. The challenge is whether I can translate it into bricks.
Sometimes simple is highly effective, like this lovely little build by David Zambito. This little scene by the ocean has a lot going for it, technique-wise (The curves of the half-built/half-destroyed ship are quite lovely!). I like the rock work and the sand dune; the uni-kitty horns and 1×1 round tiles as shells gives it a nice touch. I rarely see beaches completely clear of debris!
It’s a lovely setting for whatever nefarious conversation is happening in the bones of an empty ship!
This amazing pirate-themed collaboration between Grant Davis and Eli Willsea was built in just three weeks. The gorgeous diorama features excellent rockwork, moving features in the waterfall and the ancient stone calendar, as well as lighting inside the temple. One more very important aspect of the build, in my opinion, is the ratio between the land and sea, which adds a lot to the overall impression of the creation.
I highly recommend you check out the many closeup photos showing all of the incredible details in this build, as well as the following time-lapse video which highlights some of the moving features:
Classic Castle’s 14th Colossal Castle Contest comes to an end December 31st, and we’re seeing a ton of great builds as the competition winds down. Builders are vying for prizes and titles in a number of castle-related categories. Some of the best entries I’ve seen are in the Medieval Warship category. When I was a kid I dreamed of being a Viking, so longships are a particular favorite of mine. Mark of Falworth brings us a great ship with his Moravian Warknar:
Paul Trach built another good looking longship, complete with an icy base:
I’ve also entered my own, though my Viking sailors didn’t make it on board for photographs before a mishap resulted in the ship’s destruction.
What stands out about all three ships is the lack of the prefabricated hull pieces common in many designs. Brick-built hulls are time-consuming and can be challenging, but the flexibility in hull shape and design really pays off. If you haven’t seen the rest of the entries, make sure to take a look over on Classic Castle!
In June, French artist Mat Green amazed us with a pair of life-size LEGO minifigures made of steel. Those figures, named Hugo and Pablo, were a classic minifigure and a punk rock LEGO skeleton. Mat has now finished his next project — more classics you’ll surely recognize, the pirate Sparrow and his parrot Jacquot. We spoke with Mat about his work translating these iconic LEGO figures to life-size metal sculptures.
Master of the colorful LEGO scenes Letranger Absurde (whose atomic blast we featured this summer) is at it again with this diorama featuring a merry band of buccaneers. Showing only part of the pirate ship, the real stars are the clouds hanging in the bright sky above the skull island. The door hinges are also noteworthy on the ship itself, as is the brick-built rope ladder.
Things are not looking good for the crew of this doomed vessel. Gale winds and churning seas are posing a serious risk to this tiny ship built by LEGO 7. But worst of all, the ship is being attacked by a massive sea monster! This microscale pirate ship actually looks like it is sailing in the middle of a storm and the builder’s choice of colors and composition are great. It just goes to show you, a LEGO creation doesn’t need to span hundreds of studs to be magnificent.
As a person who has spent more than enough time on a ship, I’ve seen seas in every color of the rainbow. That is, every color except white. White is something new. I guess that’s just one more reason why W. Navarre’s LEGO version of The Flying Dutchman from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series is so captivating. The ship’s ragged remnants of canvas are beautifully done in white, and the chains standing in for mast lines give the craft a vulgar and churlish appeal. If you’re wondering what the clear bits hanging off the sides are, those represent scuppers, holes in the side that drain water from the deck. In the films, they always seem to be dripping something, as the boat spends a lot of time underwater. The best details, though, have to be the teeth of the beast carving that makes up the ship’s intimidating snout. Where’s my jar of dirt?
While we’re a little late for Shark Week, I think our toothy fishy friends deserve all the recognition we can muster. This shark from LEGO 7, I’m sure, does not agree with Bruce’s claim that fish are friends and is perfectly happy to snack on whatever he finds in this sunken ship.
You’re welcome to ask him and his friends if they’ll share that treasure. I’m inclined to say no.
The shark has just lovely shaping to it. It looks perfectly pudgy, like a shark should be. The varied sea life growing on the ship is quite eye catching, too!
1989’s 6276 Eldorado Fortress was one of the pinnacles of the late 80s Pirate theme, with the blue-clad Imperial Guards protecting a small Spanish-inspired dock. Taking his queue from set designer Daniel August Krentz‘s nostalgic old beauty, David Hensel pays homage to the classic with this magnificent redux.
This reminds me a bit of when I tried my own hand some years ago at reinterpreting another nostalgic classic Pirates set, 6267 Lagoon Lock-Up (sadly, I’ve yet to try again despite the fun in it).
French builder sweetsha puts on display this cute and funny scene where he uses regular bricks as just… bricks. But inside such a huge and awesome wooden chest they look absolutely precious. The use of the pearl gold wheel is quite clever, and looks perfect.
We can only imagine how long did it take the pirates to dig the chest out, but they seem to be the happiest minifigures in the whole world!
Sometimes a LEGO model is so incredible you stop and wonder if the builder is using the same catalog of bricks as the rest of us, because the finished model doesn’t even look like LEGO.
The immense scale of the model is hard to comprehend on its own, but when viewed next to the builder, it becomes obvious that at close to four feet in length and nearly as tall, this is no mere weekend project.
And for those curious how Hoang has constructed such an elegant hull from angular bricks, you can check out this work-in-progress photo to see some of the interior construction.