Built for speed and set the standard

1967 was the year Formula 1 changed forever, as the birth of the Lotus 49 set the bar not only as the car to beat, but also to replicate. Fifty-two years on, Pixeljunkie has presented us with a gorgeous homage to this feat of engineering mastery. Sporting the classic colour scheme and markings of driver Jim Clark, this brick rendition has some stunning custom chrome pins as well as some nicely employed stickers to really bring the realism to the fore. Working within the Minifig scale can be an obscure challenge that restricts an amount of detail. I feel Pixeljunkie has made some excellent compromises without straying too far from the source material.

Lotus 49

Looking at the rear of this beautiful build, we find a minifig hammer head used ingeniously as the gearbox. I’m not sure another piece could have been used so well in this application. I’m also a massive fan of the many uses builders find for the rubber tread attachments. Using them as wheel hubs on top those metallic silver dish rims, has really captured the era well.

Lotus 49

If this open-wheel beast inspires you, check out another of Pixeljunkie’s classic race machines, the Alfa Romeo P3.

LEGO launches “Rebuild the World” campaign to inspire creativity in kids around the globe [News]

LEGO launched a new initiative today called Rebuild the World, a campaign with the purpose to “help nurture the creative skills of the next generation.” The company has partnered with musician Mark Ronson, British designer and inventor Dominic Wilcox, and 19-year-old David Aguilar, who built a prosthetic arm out of LEGO to ultimately “nurture the creativity and problem solving-capabilities every child is born with.”

To mark the occasion, LEGO is hosting some events at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark and launched a series of videos that discuss how we can “Rebuild the World.” LEGO CEO Niels B. Christiansen and LEGO Brand Group Chairman Jørgen Vig Knudstorp also filmed a video explaining the initiative with a special message to AFOLs around the world.

Click to watch the video

The Demon’s price seems reasonable — he only wants your soul

Demons stalk the night. Or at least they do in Jayfa‘s world. This LEGO Bionicle creation is a wonderfully dark and brooding character, put together using a prototype mask and custom-designed wing membranes. The pose is excellent, powerful and intimidating, and the colour scheme is spot-on — those splashes of trans-blue work brilliantly with the pearl gold against all the black. Inexperienced warlocks beware, this probably wasn’t the low-level denizen of the Netherworld you meant to summon…

LEGO Bionicle Winged Demon Balrog

Close your eyes and repeat after me: less is more

It is safe to say that most builds featured here on The Brothers Brick are large. Not all of them are massive dioramas that take up a kitchen table, but they usually require at least hundreds, if not many thousands, of pieces. This build by alego alego is an exception. I count no more than 15 or 16 elements used in the whole build! However, it perfectly captures the essence of a small hut surrounded by stony paths and grass, a water feature, bridge, and blossoming cherry tree. Nothing is out of place, nothing is extraneous. Each element is chosen for its job with precision.

Zen attitude

The base is a shield from the Knights Kingdom II Sir Rascus constraction figure, which most builders have probably set aside in a box as unusable for any future build due to its awkward size and shape (I know I have a few of the KKII shields gathering dust somewhere, never used — picked up on a whim from BrickLink). The printing on the hut looks even better than it did as part of an ice cream cone, and the conical hat is the perfect roof; a sausage makes a lovely curved bridge, too. Leaving the flowers still on the sprue was a nice touch to give the tree a more spreading foliage. I’d love to sit by the water for a while, eyes closed, sleep–, er, “meditating”.

The concrete results of artistic abstraction

When building with LEGO bricks, most people opt for recreating something that mirrors our experiences. We draw inspiration from the real world — maybe we look to movies, literature, or some other media, but our creations look like things that exist…or could possibly exist…in our reality. What, then, should we make of the artistic abstractions of Crimso Giger? Even though they exist as physical models, these spaces are like nothing we’d expect to encounter. Crimso has combined geometric abstraction with sculpture, leading us into an unfamiliar world without giving us a roadmap.
Sure, you can try and make sense of these images by trying to force some sort of logic onto them. Take Abstract – Yellow Grey Black, for example. The choice of colors and shapes reminds me of the interior of a computer, or a cityscape that’s been bent like a scene from Inception or Doctor Strange. But that’s just my perspective – maybe this is something else entirely.

Abstract - Yellow Grey Black

Abstract – White Black Red makes me think of gaming. The red and black tiles seem to form a checkerboard, and the black and white groupings remind me of backgammon boards and dice. But what is that construction in the center? Is the “x” shape in the 1x6x5 rectangular girder a call out to Tic-Tac-Toe? Have I completely missed the point? I just don’t know!

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Whatever they offer you, don’t feed the plants!

Builder Frost takes us to a forbidden planet where the plants have a mind of their own. We’ve featured some of his terrific space builds here in the past and he doesn’t disappoint in this latest offering. While this couldn’t be considered “Classic Space” in the LEGO sense, it exudes a wonderfully vintage vibe.

Oh, you said space PLANTS

I’m a big fan of old science fiction pulp novels. Their covers, painted in lurid colors, have a certain take on weird fantasy visuals that doesn’t really exist anymore. This model really captures the feeling of those old covers with its oversized alien-looking, tentacled plants. I appreciate the thoughtful use of transparent pieces that really help sell the bizarreness of the landscape. In particular, I’m quite fond of the blue and purple lighting pieces and the pink half domes. The decision to use the Flash Gordon style suits on the space travelers further drives home the whole 1940s look.

Not satisfied with a purely stationary LEGO creation, Frost has built animation into it and as an added bonus, the large green egg-like centers glow under blacklight. As you can see in this video, the large tentacled plants move and sway, beckoning our heroes ever closer to what may be a gruesome fate.

A little thought about big spaceships...along with a big spaceship

Large spaceships get the geeky type quite excited, and we LEGO builders are some of the geekiest. Over the decades, this has lead to a standardized criteria of what qualifies as a large space ship – 100 studs in length. While I do love every large spaceship out there (as the especially geeky type of person I am), I wonder if this criteria has started to impede creativity. With an annual celebration of large LEGO spaceships (also known as SHIPs) every September, the bricks of the world have been concentrated to bring us many elongated spacecraft that quite often measure exactly or just over 100 LEGO studs long. What about bulkier 90 or 80-stud spaceships that so rarely get made? On the other side of the coin, this cultural phenomenon has been a great source of inspiration to builders who may not have otherwise built a big hunk of space metal, not even a medium sized one! Another point is that this common perception of what qualifies as “large” is a uniting factor in the community.

Pelicon-3

The third side of this (apparently three-sided) coin are builds that are basically the definition of an elongated spaceship, but still manage to impress immensely! Anthony Wilson brings us a creation that has some amazing textures, negative space and colour blocking. What I love most about Anthony’s Pelicon-3 is the bridge area, with windows on either side, revealing a busy interior filled with trophy minifigures.

Jumping on board the Mexican bandwagon

Most Western-themed LEGO creations take their architectural inspiration from the single-street towns of the Gold Rush — clapperboard buildings, usually saloons and general stores. It makes for a pleasant change to see something a little more Southwestern in tone with Andrea Lattanzio‘s build of a classic whitewashed adobe flat-roofed house. And even better, there’s not a gunfighter in sight; instead, we’re treated to a mariachi band arriving in their wagon to serenade the farmer’s beautiful daughter. The house is a visual treat, covered with nice details, from the use of printed 1×1 round tiles on the protruding ends of the logs to the plant-covered arbors that provide shady spots on the flat roof. The use of woodgrain tiles above the windows and doors adds some welcome texture amongst the white. Bien hecho, Andrea!

LEGO Mariachi Band Mexican House Adobe Southwestern Architecture

Treasure of the Snake Queen

Not to make this all about me, but I’m an artist who enjoys illustrating book covers. My work is heavily influenced by old pulps, spy novels, game manuals, serial horrors, children’s mysteries such as Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, and anything involving elements of danger, intrigue, lush colors, and provocative titles. The point to telling you this is with a spooky castle, and a dense forest, this LEGO creation immediately resonated with me. The title, “Treasure of the Snake Queen” evoked a sense of danger and exotic adventure. Already this was something I was excited to write about. You can imagine my delight when I then learned that this piece was built by our own Brothers Brick contributor Flynn DeMarco and his partner Richard Board. Together they comprise a cohesive building team who goes by the name of Tricky Bricks.

See more of this massive model, including a video of it in action!

Tom Servo and me – a journey part 4 [Feature]

Previously on Tom Servo and MePart 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

When we last left Chris Doyle, he had just finished building his latest replica of Tom Servo from Mystery Science Theater 3000. All that was left was to take photos and write up the summary article. Simple, right? Well, if you’ve read the previous installments, you know things rarely went according to plan throughout this journey. Why should the last few steps be any easier? When things go disastrously wrong during the final photo shoot, Chris will find himself questioning if getting back into LEGO building was the worst idea he ever had.

Tom Servo and Me - The end of the journey

In the end, it will all work out. We promise.

Read more about the final leg of Chris’s journey in rebuilding his LEGO Tom Servo model.

Up to 40% off various LEGO Star Wars sets on Amazon, including biggest sale yet for Cloud City [News]

If you’ve been holding out on picking up some new LEGO Star Wars sets over the past year, then today’s Amazon sale just might be the nudge you’ve been waiting for. The online retailer has discounted a variety of LEGO Star Wars sets by up to 40% off, including the huge set Betrayal at Cloud City (75222) for $289.99 (17% off), which according to our data is the cheapest it’s been yet on Amazon. Check out more of the highlights below.

Click to see more of the sales

Got a magazine? This might take a minute.

When men get older, skin becomes a bit thinner and gravity affects and elongates certain features of the body like ears, jowls and…other things. This wreaked havoc in the old days when outhouses were all the rage. A fella would walk out to the pit latrine in the dead of night, have a seat, then promptly get a spider bite right in the dangly bits! Thankfully deadly spider bites have steeply declined in the US since the 1950s, according to records kept by national poison control centers. Changes in how people live have helped as the switch to indoor plumbing sharply decreased black widow bites. (And you were worried I was going to crack a litany of poop jokes with this.) Despite my delivery on the matter, you have to appreciate when someone like Chris Goddard has the gumption to…boldly go where not many LEGO builders have gone before.

MOC: Outhouse

Weathered details abound with the use of reddish brown and the similar-but-not-quite-the-same dark red. Corrugated bricks here and there offer up some texture while round plates denote knotholes or perhaps where termites have chewed through the wood. Traditional folk art such as the animal skull and the crescent moon cutout completes the rustic feel. What’s the story with the moon? Legend has it that it dates back to when the general populace was quite illiterate and the moon shape denoted that ladies were welcome while a sun or star signified a loo for the gentlemen. Having two separate outhouses often proved to be impractical and difficult to maintain, so many properties went with only one and the traditional moon shape remained. And now you are (ahem)…privy to information you may not have had before. Aren’t you glad you dropped by? You ought to celebrate your new-found knowledge by lighting a match before you leave.