Monthly Archives: October 2011

Turkey’s Göbekli Tepe in LEGO

It’s not often that a diorama completely defies my expectations. When I saw this brown, tan, and gray scene by Gabriel Thomson (qi_tah), I dutifully clicked through expecting something post-apocalyptic. Instead, I found something far, far more interesting — the monumental architecture of Göbekli Tepe, a Neolithic archaeological site in Turkey from 11,000 years ago that predates agriculture.

Gobekli Tepe 3

Gabriel has faithfully recreated details like the stone walls between the standing stones and even the “bench” that encircles the structure. I also love that it’s a mid-process excavation he’s chosen to illustrate in LEGO, complete with a grad student (my assumption) documenting each strata with a camera as it emerges from the dusty earth.

Functioning Lego bumper cars arena

Nuno C creates this classic amusement park attraction featuring bumper cars that actually move. The mechanism is described as a system of gears underneath the floor that moves magnets that pull the cars. This technique has been used in at least two instances but none as complex as this. See the video on Flickr.

Bumper Cars

Here’s the video:

Happy Halloween 2011!

Have a fantastic holiday! I hope your costumes are awesome, you gorge yourself on candy and sweets, and there are plenty of trick-or-treaters to your door.

Oh! And I hope you don’t run into this guy:

Many thanks to Jamie Spencer for his fantastic advent calendar this year. If you missed any of them, you can see the whole gallery here!

Constable Drex’s Hand of Fate weighs heavy on the galaxy’s criminal element

Jack McKeen (madLEGOman) enters the FBTB MOC Madness contest with this unique vessel dubbed the Hand of Fate. While the detailing on the hull is certainly cool, what sets this apart for me is the odd configuration of the engines, complete with sails.

LEGO Hand of Fate

The interior is excellent as well, with a nice battlesuit parked in the hold:

LEGO Hand of Fate interior

See more photos in Jack’s photostream on Flickr.

Life-sized Halo sniper rifle built with LEGO

Nick Jensen finished his most ambitious LEGO Halo project yet of building the Sniper Rifle System 99 Anti-Matériel (commonly known as the Halo sniper rifle) for his arsenal of brick-built Halo weapons. I asked the builder to share the process of making the SR99 from inspiration to the finished model. Here is his response.

Halo: Reach SRS99 Anti-Matériel

How It Started

The graphics of Halo: Reach blew me away when I first played it. Textures, environments, and character designs all impressed me, but as a LEGO gun builder, I was most impressed with the detail of all the guns. Since then, I built the pistol and combat knife from Halo: Reach. I wanted to build more weapons from Halo: Reach and I was debating between the shotgun and the sniper rifle. I had the parts and money to make one of them. I went with the shotgun but got really frustrated when I couldn’t find a way to make the pump slide back and forth in the front. So I gave up and started the sniper rifle.

I captured many close-up screenshots of the sniper rifle in Halo: Reach’s theater mode, looked up information about the gun on, used the Halo: Reach action figures from McFarlane, and looked at Perry B.’s version as references. I wanted to include as many details as I possibly can squeeze in. I wanted the final MOC to be perfect.

Halo: Reach SRS99 Anti-Matériel

The Build Process

One of the first things I worried about when I decided on building the sniper rifle was the length. It seemed that I would never build something that was going to be 5.5ft long. I thought about the project from another perspective: building the sniper rifle is like building the assault rifle but with a really long barrel. Breaking the project down into three simple parts (body, barrel, and scope) really eased some doubts I had. The sniper rifle in Halo: Reach is approximately 5.5ft long, so a tape measure locked at 5.5ft was always around for reference. I built the body of the sniper the same way I built the assault rifle, SMG, and pistol: Start from the front and build my way to the back. The barrel was easy and I had a plan in mind from the start. I would cover a supporting rod with 2×2 quarter cylinder bricks. So the only difficult tasks were the body and scope.


I did drop the gun once during the WIP stage. I got impatient and wanted to hold it as if it were finished, and it fell to the ground. There was another time later on where the front grip collapsed because of its weight.


Length: 63 inches (1.6 meters)
Weight: Approximately 10.5 pounds
Non-LEGO used: dowel rod, custom waterslide decals
Features: Removable magazine, sliding bolt, moving safety
Time spent building: about 4 months
Piece count: uhh…?

More pictures

Halo: Reach SRS99 Anti-Matériel

T’Met Monastery

Oftentimes we see applications of a new building technique on a small experimental model, but rarely do we see them applied to a large creation. I am delighted to see tiberium_blue‘s T’Met Monastery, which not only uses Technic liftarms for its massive stone walls but also depicts a refreshing subject of a fictional sanctuary inspired by a Star Trek Vulcan monastery.

T'Met Monastery

Revisiting downtown Tokyo

I’m still not satisfied with my indoor, winter/rain/Seattle photo setup, so I’ve been playing around quite a bit with post-processing to make up for the less-than-optimal lighting in my recent LEGO photos. After I finally posted my completed microscale Tokyo that I’d built a year earlier, I went a little wild with this next photo. I ended up turning it into a 1960s postcard, inspired by Godzilla battling some sort of kaiju as a visiting King Kong looks on.

Downtown Micro Tokyo

The scale varies within the scene, and is wildly incorrect for the Micropolis standard I used as the base, but my tiny Tokyo has everything I remember from the time I spent there in the 70’s and 80’s — old-style bullet trains and neon-hued commuter trains, brightly colored advertising cubes atop buildings in Ginza and Shinjuku, the ever-expanding industry around Tokyo Harbor, Meiji Shrine, the National Diet, and the iconic red and white of Tokyo Tower.

LEGO Mindstorms “Time Twister” digital clock by Hans Andersson

Solving Rubkik’s Cubes isn’t the only thing that LEGO Mindstorms robotics are good for. Swedish robotics builder Hans Andersson has built a digital clock that even “blinks” with each second.

Check out more of Hans’ robots, including a Sudoku solver of all things, on

Thanks for the link, reader Thomas!