A bug that keeps changing with the times

It’s always fun when LEGO builders… well… build on each other. CB Phase 4Marin Stipkovic‘s latest entry for Mech Monday, is a new “final form” for the evolving Cobalt Bug concept created by Markus Rollbühler almost exactly a year ago. Times, they are a changin’. There are a lot of great details in this latest evolution to enjoy.  Those basketball netting engine cowlings are a lot of fun, as are the ski pole feet. The orange spike proboscis is smile-worthy, too.

Mech Monday #47: CB Phase 4

If you want even more juicy views of this mech, check out the 360 degree rotation Marin shared on Flickr. I can’t wait to see if we get a ultimate-final form version next year!

One from the Lucasfilm archives

It’s hard to build a good Star Wars vehicle from LEGO, because so many of them are dinged up and weather-worn, and that doesn’t translate well to pristine, brightly-color bricks. But Finn Roberts has done that better here than I’ve seen in quite awhile. The brick-built weathering is wonderfully executed with patches of lighter colors where the paint has worn away. You can almost tell it used to have white lettering on the side, too. This model is based on a piece of unused concept art from The Force Awakens, and now I’m just sad this monstrous desert skiff never made it onscreen, because it’s an amazing design.

Trouble on Tatooine?

LEGO Art mosaic 31201 Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests [Review]

When we reviewed 31199 Marvel Studios Iron Man from the first wave of the new LEGO Art mosaic sets a few months ago, we talked about LEGO’s long history with mosaics, going all the way back to 1955. Despite being a considerably different build experience from the typical LEGO set, mosaics have enduring popularity, and LEGO is determined to keep up with that market, as the second wave of Art mosaic sets has already been revealed. Two new sets are launching January 1, 2021, from the Wizarding World and Disney franchises. Today we’re looking at the first of those sets, 31201 Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests, which will retail for US $119.99 | CAN $149.99 | UK £114.99 and includes 4,249 pieces. The set includes pieces to build the crests for any one of the four Hogwarts houses, and four copies of the set can be combined to build a giant Hogwarts School crest.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

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Spiral Hill from The Nightmare Before Christmas

LEGO builder Force of Bricks‘ creation from The Nightmare Before Christmas is based on the iconic landmark Spiral Hill. It stands in the Graveyard of Halloween Town and leads into the Hinterlands, and its form resembles a small rising outcrop of land which curls inwards to a spiral at the pinnacle. And Force of Bricks managed to capture this beautifully. They say it took them four weeks to build, perhaps because it looks like it contains so many little parts! I particularly like how Force of Bricks stayed away from prefab gates and fences and brick-built everything. The only prefab part he used (in my opinion) is the curled monkey tail. And using mostly gray bricks for the landscape and black bricks for the outstanding base made that big yellow moon and the pumpkins in the field pop.

fobnbc_001_Spiral-Hill_with-Jack_Sally_final shot_01

A troll trolls us all

Internet trolling takes many forms. Sometimes it means building an awesome LEGO troll, showcasing pieces from some maligned LEGO themes, the way David Doci has. Attempt at trolling or not, this is not the typical LEGO creation you see online and I think that’s awesome. This is clearly a masterfully built giant troll. The scale is obvious by the bits of minifigure bones on his belt (a belt made of the uncommonly used Bionicle chain). You may look at it and be like “Are those pieces even LEGO?” and I can assure you, they are. The torso and armour belong to Euripides from Galidor, while the head belongs to Ogrum from Hero Factory (with some expertly place red horns for eyes).

Troll Warrior

Catamaran Vic Viper

Vic Vipers always have had my interest. Mainly because I do not enjoy building space creations myself but I really admire those who can actually build within the theme. This LEGO Vic Viper by F@bz really is something else. It has to be the biggest creation with the least amount of parts I’ve ever seen. F@bz manages to use a part I would never ever consider to be of any use outside of the set it came in. They used the catamaran base for the ‘wings’ of the vehicle. The rest of the spaceship uses a quite demure color scheme that complements the brightness of the colors of the catamarans. Check out their gallery for more views of this amazing creation.

Nerthus VV (01)

Actual Photo of the 1914 Christmas Truce, Colorized

After another year of waging war, both sides of the conflict put down their blasters and held a holiday celebration. Builder Carter Witz displayed the historical setting that took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Christmas on Hoth

Let’s look at this on a deeper level. I’ve never seen that model of AT-AT before. It’s very detailed and fits perfectly into the scene, lifting Vader to the top of the tree to place the star. The large columns are both beautiful and straight-up Empire, with Imperial lighting helping light the room. And what’s in the kegs by the window? Cider? Cocoa? Coaxium?

This build goes to show that not everything has to be about fighting and blowing stuff up. You can use good and evil forces from the darkest of moments to create holiday cheer and warm feelings towards everyone. Isn’t that right, Mr. Wampa?

A huge step up from those stud shooter “play features” [Video]

Masters of LEGO Technic animations, builder duo Jason Allemann and Kristal (Collectively known as JK Brickworks) have unveiled an amazing animatronic archer. Styled after the Greek goddess of the hunt, Artemis, this charismatic sculpture features some lovely white drapery and an adorable deer in the background.

You’d be forgiven if you thought the archer would “just” pull back on her bow and then reset back to a “getting ready to fire” pose in an endless loop. But this statue goes well beyond those expectations by actually launching that arrow! Totally freaked me out the first time I saw it happen.

Want to know how it works? Check out the full video below to learn all about this creation and its construction!

If you like this creation, you’ll be equally amazed at the other builds from JK Brickworks that we’ve spotlighted!

Highlights on early Black Friday deals on Amazon (US) for 25 November [News]

Amazon is having an all week early Black Friday and has listed some sets that are on 20% discount (or more) for the first time. We select a few of the favourites that we think is a good deal from what we’ve observed. We’ll feature prices that to our knowledge have not been this low (or lowest thus far) on Amazon since its original listing. We’ll try to give a bit of analysis to keep it real and a better decision-making process for you.

Click to see the selected highlights

The McLaren Senna that Technic supercar fans deserve

Recently, LEGO revealed a new Technic McLaren Senna set, but rather than make it the same 1:8 scale as the Lamborghini, Bugatti, or Porsche, it’s closer to the Corvette ZR1. This might disappoint some folks, like my brother, an avid collector of the Technic supercars. Not me. I don’t buy Technic sets generally and certainly would never drop $350 on one (or even $50, for that matter); that being said, I do love to look at them. That’s where builders like Jordan Langerak come in. Jordan has crafted a great likeness of the car, with huge intakes, the strange windows in the lower part of the doors, and all the rest.

This version blows the pants off the official LEGO set in every way, from size to shaping. It has functional butterfly doors, a 7-speed gearbox, a 4-wheel independent suspension, steering, adjustable wing, and whatever other bells and whistles one would expect from an official set, only it’s a custom creation. It might not be as cool as the tiny, awkwardly proportioned 6-wide Speed Champions Senna (which I do own), but for people who like Technic, it’s pretty neat. Did I mention that this is Jordan’s first custom build? Oh, and there’s a video, too:

Updated Guarded Inn

I love a good old classic set, the 1986 Guarded Inn is no exception to this. Sets like these remind us of simpler times where LEGO only had 9 colors, and everyone supported the same smile. I love it when creators use a set like this as inspiration and manage to bring it to 2020 by using newer parts and techniques. Stuifzand didn’t use any of the tudor wall panel. And this set came with a lot of panels, 8 to be exact. The door was replaced by a brick-build but door but in the same style as the original set. The yellow shutters add a nice pop of colour as do the dark green half-round windows.

Guarded Inn_1

A castle diorama with all the essentials

Sometimes a simple two-toned LEGO castle can go a long way. In this diorama, Mark of Siloam brings us Huntington Castle, his largest build to date measuring at 20″ by 45″. I’m not sure how much that is converted into studs, but it sure looks grand within this lively diorama. With its solid sand green and gray brickwork, the Huntington Castle is well-fortified with guards peering out into the land. When the castle’s functioning portcullis is lifted, the drawbridge can be lowered to access the main dirt path. A neat windmill sits just across the river, next to an open field for cattle to graze. The overall composition is rich in detail, and I’m still picking out the subtle changes in landscaping throughout the build and spotting new animals in every corner.

Huntington Castle

Here’s to more castle dioramas, Mark! And as we’re heading forward, why not drop in our archives for a look at one of Mark’s past builds from 2016.