Stalking through the night with the MH-47 Chinook

Way back in 2008, I built a LEGO US Army Chinook helicopter. It was one of my first models to be featured on The Brothers Brick, long before I became a contributor. While I do take older models apart every now and then, I kept this one around. It has been sitting on one of my shelves almost unchanged for years. It still looks decent, but LEGO has moved on and so have I. A lot of new parts offer possibilities that I simply didn’t have more than a decade ago. In 2018 I completely rebuilt my Pave Low helicopter, also originally from 2008, using new parts and techniques. Now I have turned my attention to the Chinook.

There was a bit of snag, though. I built the original using old dark grey, a color that LEGO stopped making in 2004 because it looked unattractively dirty or muddy. Muddy is great for a military model, and old dark grey was a nice match for the olive drab color of most US Army helicopters. Unfortunately, since LEGO stopped making this color, none of the new parts, such as curved slopes, cheese slopes, and brackets, that are so useful when building aircraft and helicopter models exist in old dark grey. So, I had to pick a Chinook variant in a color in which these are available.

Fortunately, the US Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), nicknamed the “Night Stalkers,” has been flying special operations versions of the Chinook, called the MH-47, for decades. Most of these are black, which is perfect in terms of parts. They also have a lot of features that regular Chinooks usually lack, such as much larger extended-range fuel tanks alongside the cabin, an air-to-air refueling probe and radar and laser warning receivers and various other antennae dotted around on the outside. Adding all of those details made this a more challenging and interesting build. The end result looks like an angry beast.

A pretty pair of parakeets

Ah, love is in the air! In India, it’s the tail end of the breeding season for the ring-necked parakeets. These sweet birds are busy raising this year’s youngsters, and looking good while doing it! Leave it to Felix Jaensch to immortalize a pair in LEGO. Many times over, we’ve seen gorgeous animals from Felix, but they continue to impress us. For me, I think I’m most appreciative of the fact that he can show us the same bird in twenty different poses, and they’ll all look great. The realism is exceptional.

Ring-Necked Parakeets

While you’re here, I definitely recommend taking a look at Felix’s other animals. We’ve featured many of his creations, but in the spirit of this avian duo, how about some birds? To list a few, check out a magpie, a blue and gold macaw, a kestrel, and even another parrot with a baby (plus a toucan for good measure).

Do you even lift, bro?

I was just blasting my quads when I saw this little LEGO diorama by NS Brick Designs. And by “blasting my quads” I mean laughing at dachshund videos, checking out creations for potential write-ups, and updating my Netflix queue. While I may be a master of multi-tasking, there is no actual quad-blasting in this household. Despite having no children I have a bit of a “dad bod” thing going on here. But this minifig has abs you can grate cheese with, whatever that means. He dedicates much of his time to building muscle mass and cardio and not so much watching Netflix. Kudos to you if you’re into it. I’ve tried running once but all the ice kept spilling out of my cocktail. Anyway, sweet kettlebells though. I actually know what those are. Are you surprised?

LEGO adds to Super Mario theme, revealing four new Power-Up expansion packs [News]

LEGO has unveiled four small expansion packs for the upcoming LEGO Super Mario theme that integrates a large digital Mario figurine with a buildable game course. These expansions, called Power-Up Packs, are priced at $9.99 USD and will require the base Super Mario Starter Pack set that was developed in conjunction with Nintendo. The new expansions add more costumes for the world’s most famous plumber, adding a cat suit, builder outfit, propeller beanie, and fire suit, but don’t include the actual Mario figurine from the Starter Set. They join three previously announced LEGO Super Mario expansions that are much larger, which along with a small polybag set bring the theme’s total to nine sets revealed so far. All of the sets are slated to be available Aug. 1, and the Starter Pack is available to pre-order now for US $59.99 | CAN $69.99 | UK £49.99.

Click here to check out all the details

When we all learned to sit thought the credits

After a long, hard afternoon of repelling alien invasions, sometimes you just need to sit down for some shawarma. This virtual LEGO build by Lego_nuts captures this quiet post-credits moment from the first Avengers film in exquisite detail. I love the details hidden among the carnage like the printed 1×1 round tiles in the vending machine. And making the fries out of LEGO Rocks works pretty well, too. It really does just look like a still frame from the movie.

“Avengers shawarma”

Composed 2385 bricks, the scene took 15 hours to build. If you’re interested in how this shot was…dare I say it?….assembled, you’ll enjoy this video that goes through the entire process.

Three new Powered Up Technic hubs and motors will be available from LEGO in June [News]

LEGO is releasing three new individuals Powered Up components nest week. according to a post published by the design team. Until now, the LEGO Technic Powered Up components have only been available to buy as part of the sets, like 76112 App-Controlled Batmobile, LEGO City trains 60197 and 60198, or LEGO Technic 42099 4×4 X-treme Off-Roader, and many builders have been interested in having the electronic components available to be sold separately–especially with sets like the new 10237 Haunted House having optional motorized abilities.

The three Powered Up components will be available June 1st from LEGO, so keep an eye out for our New LEGO Set Guide for June coming out soon. Prices are still TBD, but we will update this article as more information becomes available.

Click to read more about new Powered Up components from LEGO

TBB Weekly Brick Report: LEGO news roundup for May 30, 2020 [News]

In addition to the amazing LEGO models created by builders all over the world, The Brothers Brick brings you the best of LEGO news and reviews. This is our weekly Brick Report for the last week of May 2020.

We’re taking an inside tour of Baron Von Baron’s Haunted House. Keep reading our Brick Report to get all the details.


TBB NEWS: This week we saw the announcement of the new Technic Lamborghini, celebrated LEGO’s Webby Award, heard from LEGO CMO Julia Goldin and reviewed three new sets including the Fairground collection Haunted House!


TBB REVIEWS: New LEGO sets are coming just around the corner and we have three hands-on reviews for your reading delight.


OTHER NEWS: There were quite a few other interesting LEGO news articles from around the web this week. Here are the best of the rest:

Pampered Panda

When you think about pandas, what characteristics come to mind? Cute, cuddly, fuzzy, playful, sleepy, chubby? If they could talk, what do think they would say? Seeing as they spend most of their waking hours eating, I’d say it’d involve food. And if a panda was able to operate a phone, he/she would almost certainly order vegetarian takeout ASAP. Ian Hou must feel the same because he built this adorable snacking panda out of LEGO for the world to enjoy. How could you not love that big round belly, sweet face, and adorable bow tie?

DOGOD_Urban_panda_s01

Click to see more builds by Ian (AKA DOGOD Brick Design).

Construct your own Connect 4 with LEGO parts [Instructions]

This brings back so many memories of a time where there were no such things as digital devices to distract us from actually engaging with family and having fun! Connect 4 is a classic game that many can relate to and I bet that’s exactly why builder Tiago Catarino put this together.

LEGO Connect 4

Click to see the full video instructions

A new dimension in wing design

I’m not exactly sure what a Guardian Symbiont Ophanim is, but by golly Djokson can sure build an awesome LEGO one. The use of the Dimension game stand disks in the wings gives this ethereal being just the right blend of “Matrix-hovercraft” and “Doctor Strange spell-casting CGI”. Flexible rods are also used to great effect in the head and add some curves to the otherwise delicate arms. And check out the use of a Bionicle Krana Mask for the upper torso.

Guardian Symbiont Ophanim

Those are some tiny little feet, though. I have to wonder how this creation manages to stay upright. Well, I suppose if you can fly on wings like those, you never really have to touch the ground.

“Oh, and keep an eye on the staircases. They like to change...”

While the Harry Potter books speak of the staircases changing, they don’t exactly explain how. Magic, obviously, but in what way is not entirely specified. It’s a little bit of interpretation and movie magic that created the incredible swiveling staircases that Percy Weasley refers to in the first film. I would guess that building one as a set prop was challenging. But it could very well be possible that this LEGO version, built by Sebeus I was just as difficult to engineer. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary build, but a turn of the crank brings the diorama to life.

Functional Moving Staircase

We’ve been teased with a video of how the staircase shifts 90 degrees (made into a sped-up GIF below), but I’m dying to see the internal mechanics! It’s one thing to build a revolving platform. But to make the banisters change brings a whole new level of complexity!

Want to see more? We have plenty exciting builds from the magical world in our archives. You can also take a look at another stunning build by Sebeus. (Hint: it’s from a completely different movie!)

I’m just gonna drop this right here

It’s funny when I imagine a cargo dropship I imagine ordering goods online, then a dropship drops them in front of my house from a mile above and shatters them all over my driveway. But I suppose the process is more sophisticated in space. Red Spacecat has built a LEGO cargo dropship and it’s precisely how anyone would imagine it. It’s like this thing already exists even though it comes from a builder’s imagination. That is a testament to its clean and practical design. I’m particularly loving its dark blue (with a flash of dark red) color scheme. The rotating engines are an added touch of brilliance. Red Spacecat seems to be an up-and-coming builder we should all pay attention to. We’ve featured another model from this same person earlier this week.

Cargo Dropship