Sculpting the sculptor

An artist’s work is never done, but even when the stone block is still half rough from the quarry, there’s room to marvel. Gabriel Thomson‘s rugged craftsman may be working with a harder medium than Gabriel himself, but it’s nonetheless a reflection of the skill involved in art, be it made of marble or LEGO. And speaking of skill, the horse head is fantastically sculpted, but no less so than the workman with his thick beard and toned arms.

Kaliphlin sculptor

LEGO Wind Turbine designer video: A Vestas for the rest of us [News]

The LEGO vault is opening again soon with the release of 10268 Creator Expert Vestas Wind Turbine on Black Friday. From the designer video included below, LEGO designer Carl Merriam shares some of the behind-the-scenes work that went into transforming the set from a limited exclusive released in 2008 to a product that will soon be available to everyone. Carl shows off some of the set’s stand out features (including the company’s new plant-based tree elements and a minifigure that looks surprisingly like himself) as well as the story of how he became a LEGO designer.

Check our review of the Vestas Wind Turbine for an even closer look. The set contains 826 pieces, three minifigures and a dog. It will sell for $199.99 US$249.99 CAN, and £159.99 UK starting on Black Friday. Nov. 23.

The most important room in the house

Here’s one of those LEGO creations which initially looks simple, but on closer inspection reveals a wealth of clever parts use amongst the details. This bathroom by alego alego is a lovely piece of work, all tied together with an attractive cohesive colour scheme. Don’t miss the upside-down R2D2 leg used for the sink, the minifigure hands and arm which make up the shower fittings, and that orange scarf used perfectly as a towel hanging from the rail. The masterstroke has to be the Imperial Scout Trooper helmet turned upside-down as a toilet bowl! Excellent part selection right there.

BPChallenge

Sweeping LEGO diorama tells the story of Welsh privateer Henry Morgan [Interview]

Collective Brick to the Past are a team of expert builders who have been wowing crowds at LEGO shows and conventions in the U.K. with their vast historically researched dioramas. They’ve built massive LEGO displays about the Battle of Hastings, Viking raids on Anglo-Saxon Britain, and the Jacobite Rising. Their latest monumental project is the work of Dan Harris, James Pegrum, Colin Parry and Simon Pickard, and depicts Henry Morgan: Welsh Raider of the Spanish Main. It is their first project to be set outside the U.K. and is based on the buccaneer or pirate – that’s for you to decide – Henry Morgan’s raid on Lake Maracaibo.

Henry Morgan: Welsh Raider of the Spanish Main

The layout features some amazing 17th Century Colonial buildings, a sea fort based on Carlos de la Barra and an array of beautiful period-perfect ships. As always, the diorama has been meticulously researched and filled with all manner of details and surprises.

Henry Morgan: Welsh Raider of the Spanish Main

Dan Harris from the Brick to the Past team kindly agreed to tell us a bit more about the history that inspired the model, the research and building challenges faced in its construction and highlights some of his favourite parts of the layout.

See more photos and read our interview about this huge LEGO diorama

You could have the whole world in your hands

Just the other day I was looking at a handful of Nexo hexagons, wondering what fun things I could do with them. It appears that JD Keller beat me to the punch! This cartographer (maker of maps) by trade, has found a unique way to turn them into a globe. His build incorporates yield signs and some interesting techniques with rubber bands to hold it all together.

LEGO Earth: Globe & Map 2-in-1

Click here to see the inside and continue reading!

Masterful grand piano made from LEGO

While all the things that LEGO builders can create from their own imagination are amazing, building real-world objects can be rewarding in their own way, especially if you have a personal passion about the object you are building. Just one look at this sleek piano by delayice and it’s clear to see that the builder is paying close attention to details, from the gold on the feet of the piano and the bench to a very well proportioned number of white and black keys. And the gentle curves of the body and the lid are masterfully done.

Grand Piano

Last few days to submit designs to Bricklink’s AFOL Designer Program [News]

There are only a few days left to submit entries to Bricklink’s AFOL Designer Program before the Nov. 18th deadline. Up to 20 finalists will be judged by current LEGO designers, and the winning designs will be crowdfunded, produced and sold by Bricklink.

The designs must be created in Bricklink’s Studio 2.0 software. The eventual release of the fan-designed sets is slated for April 2019, with 10 percent of the sales going to the designer. For more information and videos, you can visit Bricklink’s forum or read our earlier news article on the program.

Early Black Friday sales include LEGO holiday exclusives and double VIP points, and Barnes and Noble Harry Potter minifig pack [News]

Black Friday LEGO deals and exclusives are starting a week early. The LEGO Store is offering their first exclusive holiday gift with purchase (literally a gift box!), double VIP points, and the lingering Harry Potter Diagon Ally set with orders more than $99 USD, available Nov. 17-18 only. (The deal should be available starting around 12 midnight ET/9pm PT tonight.)

Barnes and Noble is also hosting a Harry Potter fan event and offering the elusive minifigure four-pack as a gift with purchase for all LEGO orders $75 and above only on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Click to get a closer look at each early Black Friday set

The face that launched a thousand memes

It’s inescapable. It’s everywhere. And it was recently crowned Meme of the Year at the 2018 Shorty Awards. So immortalizing it in LEGO seemed like the next logical step. I’m talking, of course, about the distracted boyfriend meme, a stock image by photographer Antonio Guillem that became the unexpected flagship for the armada of so-called “object labeling” stock photo memes that have raged across our screens this year. Here is my rendition of it:

Feel free to use this template to give your LEGO-themed boyfriend memes a bricky twist!

Click here to see some examples

No one builds like Gaston

We recently covered Mike Nieves‘ excellent Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but of course, she needs an antagonist. Now Mike is back to bring us everyone’s favorite Disney chump, Gaston. With ludicrously bulging muscles and a smarmy grin, this LEGO sculpt captures the essence of Gaston perfectly as he shows off for a disinterested Belle. The little bit of scenery ties it all together, with an excellent stump that even includes tree rings.

Belle and gaston

It’s time to get medieval

LEGO fansite Classic Castle’s annual Colossal Castle Contest is upon us yet again. Now in its 16th year, this long-running contest draws out scores of world-class builders. We’ve got our eyes on all the contenders, but the one that caught my eye today is Isaac Snyder with a pair of simple yet elegant medieval builds. While modest in both scale and intent, Isaac has crafted a wonderful slice of middle-age urbanism, with neatly designed houses crowding over a packed street. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Isaac has opted for a refreshingly clean aesthetic, eschewing the now-common jumbled style of bricks at crazy angles and roofs mere moments from collapse.

CCC XVI: Fresh Baked Goods!

Next, Isaac moves to the countryside while retaining the same tidy style, bringing us a happy cottage on a streambank. The wattle and daub architecture is expertly accomplished, and the little touches like the chicken coop give life to the scene.

CCC XVI: Mitgardian Farmhouse

Wisdom as your sword, knowledge as your shield

In a world where castle means intense textures and exotic part uses, Henjin Quilones brings a breath of fresh air with an all-LEGO library scene.

The Library of Druidham

While there are a few unique techniques like the huge armchairs and nice angles on the roof’s underside, the real quality of the creation is its atmosphere. The composition and posing of the minifigs really set up a great mood. The best part has to be the lighting, with warm sunlight shining through the windows and a lit fireplace. This is one of those cases when a creation is as much a build as an artistic photograph.