An intimidating armada responds to an alien invasion

If you are planning to respond to a garbled distress call involving aliens of unknown intent, it is wise to bring as much firepower as possible, as spaceship builder Ryan Olsen knows full well. Building a fleet that is recognizable as being part of a larger faction comes down to using certain design elements that can be repeated at different sizes to fit the design of ships with unique purposes, and Ryan pulls this off beautifully. Take the very back of each ship, which includes a blue stripe in the middle of a larger white stripe.

Task Force Delta

Repetition is another key building technique, and you can see several examples of a simple curved shape, or part, like the ski part used in several ships, and even re-created in brick form for the larger ship. In this close-up of one of the ships, you can also see how a simple part like the dark gray storage container (used as a thruster cowl), can add just the right amount of texture and visual interest.

Reprisal Class Guided Missile Destroyer

Prepare to defend Helm’s Deep!

Embedded into the base of a mountain, Helm’s Deep was the castle retreat of last resort for the people of Rohan as told in The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. Builder Patrick B. shares his micro rendition of the fabled fortress.
Helms Deep

Known as the Hornburg for its sounding horn at the top of the castle’s spire, Helm’s Deep is every castle junkie’s favorite location. Patrick spares no expense in detailing the tiniest features in his tiny version of the castle. From the wooden palisades over the main gate to the curved ramp leading up to it. The small culvert is there, as are the windows of the main keep. Building everything within a black frame is a nice display touch as well. Helm Hammerhand himself would be proud of this magnificent tribute to the Rohirrim fortress that bears his name.

A flower is worth a thousand bricks

LEGO may have released an official Flower Bouquet set now, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got a monopoly on great-looking life-sized flowers made out of plastic bricks. This beautiful orchid by James Zhan shows that there are a lot more possibilities waiting to be explored. This one comes in a lovely 2×2 brick vase (something the official set lacked) and isn’t just cut flowers but instead the whole orchid plant. Look closely and you’ll even spot some bamboo stakes that help hold the flowers aloft. And my favorite detail is the succulent planted at the base, a common accompaniment to potted orchids.

orchid2.0

The LEGO Universe soundtrack has been remastered, released for its 10th anniversary [News]

To mark the 10th anniversary of LEGO Universe, LEGO is releasing the game’s soundtrack for the first time. Composed by Brian Tyler (who is also known for scoring much of the Fast & Furious franchise and films like Avengers: Age of Ultron), the Massively Multiplayer Online game’s soundtrack has never before been available apart from the game. The new remastered version will be accompanied by several episodes of LEGO’s Bricks N’ Bits podcast focusing on the game, including interviews with Brian, the game’s producer Richard Dekkard, and Sir Patrick Stewart, who provided voiceover work for the game.

Released in 2010, LEGO Universe was the company’s first foray into MMO games. It was met with a lukewarm reception, and the game was shuttered in January 2012, just 15 months after it debuted.

The newly remastered soundtrack will be available for purchase or streaming on all the usual platforms. LEGO also says it will be available on the official LEGO Gaming Youtube channel.

Click to read the full press release from LEGO

Ice cold shenanigans at the Gotham Museum

We’ve seen several very impressive Batcaves over the years but poor Mr. Freeze has been largely thus far given the cold shoulder. Until now. Brothers Brick alumni Tim Lydy invests several months and an ungodly amount of LEGO bricks, both stock and custom, to give Mr. Freeze a fitting lair complete with about seventy individual LED lights. The exterior of the museum is quite impressive with its textured brickwork and massive Spartan statues flanking central Greek-style columns. The icy ornamentation along the top and the frozen tail to the right offers just a glimpse of what’s inside. Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Gotham Museum Exterior

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The icy halls of the frozen north

If there’s one word that encapsulates Jeff Friesen‘s LEGO models more than any other for me, it’s “clean.” His builds always seem to have every single piece precisely where it ought to be. And his latest one looks like it’s from a picture book of the ideal Viking winter world (unlike hellish purgatory of Valheim that’s all the rage right now). This microscale creation doesn’t have any obviously new or even unusually innovative techniques, and yet it’s absolutely splendid from the snowcapped peaks to the tiny longships. The village spreading across the slopes with their tiny mounds of snow on top, and the two giant waterwheels give this settlement a fairytale aspect that I can’t get enough of.

Jeff was the winner of The Brothers Brick 2017 Creation of the Year and it’s well worth checking out the other builds we featured in our archives: Jeff Friesen LEGO creations.

A black and white ride for the Red Planet

Here’s a fun fact: while here, on Earth, we often design our vehicles to merge with the environment, on Mars, the more attention your rover gets, the better. And since the planet is red, even black and white will do. Cole Blaq knows how to make a rover remarkable with an unusual cockpit structure while keeping the rest basic. It has just the right amount of detailing, with neat headlights in the front and very suitable stickers in the back. And why would you need more when your rover has rims like these?

Mars Rover

Neptune, god of the see

I must confess Alex’s creations leave me in awe. For his latest figure, he drew inspiration from the Roman gods, Neptune, to be precise. The construction of the head is beautiful. It always amazes me how Alex manages to create faces with so much expression out of LEGO bricks. The face of this figure isn’t the only standout feature of this creation. The best thing has to be the feeling of movement this creation has. The tentacles, hair, and beard all appear to be flowing as if they are underwater. My guess is the bionicle webbed fin armor is what started this creation. It is a perfect fit for an underwater god’s crown.

Neptune

Load up and roll out

There’s always a ton of cool builds that show up in February thanks to various “Febrover” contests. This year was no different with Isaac Snyder’s (on Flickr as -soccerkid6) M-Tron rover and loading station.
M-Tron Loading Station

First off, so many shields! It’s incredible to see so many of one piece used so well. The shield shape gives the base of this build a concrete look, very fitting for space-corporation LEGO design. I’m also a huge fan of the use of ladders as the frame. It feels like this whole build was taken right out of an industrial outpost controlled by M-Tron.
Astral Gatherer

But the rover is the real star of the show. The wheels were installed backward so Isaac could use the grey disk as a detail effect, which is very clever. I totally dig the mini-crane on the back as well, with again a ladder being used, this time as the crane arm.

M-Tron should really make a comeback. If it does, I hope it looks like Isaac’s stuff!

Bring back my classic dinosaurs!

Back in 2000 LEGO released their first dinosaurs when Johnny Thunder went to Dino Island. Most dinosaurs weren’t very poseable, their only articulation points being the tail and head, just like the early crocodile and the classic dragon. The parts from these classic dino sets were the inspiration for Alex latest creation. He used the necks, tail pieces, flippers but most of all their heads. Apparently the mouth of the dinosaurs hold a mixel eye perfectly. Alex named them Jlorp and Schlorp and claims that every hero needs a good sidekick. So my question is, which one is the hero and which one is the sidekick?

Jlorp and Schlorp

Dorothea Williams is a saxophone player with soul

Disney/Pixar’s latest animated film Soul is about a music teacher with a secret passion for Jazz, who lands the opportunity of a lifetime, to play alongside his biggest inspiration, a Saxophone player named Dorothea Williams. Chi Hsin Wei has captured this unique character in LEGO perfectly, from her bountiful hairdo to her casual pose. She leans back on one foot while putting her heart and soul into her music. One of my favorite details is the red headband just above her forehead, and if you look closely, you can just see a hint of an earing peeking out from under her hair.

Dorothea Williams-1

LEGO Ninjago 71745 Lloyd’s Jungle Chopper Bike [Review]

We’ve been sharing an early look at a number of sets based on the latest season of Ninjago. Today we tackle the smallest of the bunch, 71745 Lloyd’s Jungle Chopper Bike. This 183 piece set will be available March 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £17.99. Is there enough here to be of interest to both Ninjago fans and the wider LEGO audiences? Come along as we take a close look!

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.

Click to read the full hands-on review