The Brothers Brick LEGO Builder of the Year 2020 [News]

Every day the team at The Brothers Brick showcases the best models put together by the global community of creative LEGO builders. However, amongst the thousands of talented builders around the world, there are always a few whose work offers inspiration to the rest of us — displaying mastery of technique and creativity across a variety of building styles.

The Brothers Brick is delighted to name Eli Willsea as our LEGO Builder of the Year 2020.

Best LEGO builder of 2020

TBB readers will likely already be familiar with Eli — his creations have been featured regularly on our pages, predominantly his microscale models. This past year saw him work his teeny-tiny magic on multiple occasions, displaying his mastery in this style of building. He took us from futuristic tropical cities built upon floating rocks…

The Imaginary islands

… on a magical hot-air balloon trip across a sunset sea…

Let's Float Away

… into the depths of the desert, on a search for lost cities…

The Desert Castle

… and into the depths of the earth, on a search for lost treasure in the flooded catacombs beneath a ruined castle. We loved this model so much it was shortlisted as one of our LEGO Creations of the Year 2020.

The Old World

All these models showcased Eli’s microscale techniques and his eye for parts choice. They pull off the great conjuring trick of the best microscale creations, using textured pieces and interesting shapes to make the models feel much bigger than they really are.

However, one microscale model bearing Eli’s fingerprints grabbed our attention early in the year and wouldn’t let go. In collaboration with two other builders, Eli played a part in putting together the incredible Painted City diorama — a fantasy cityscape of astonishing scope and detail, also shortlisted as one of our LEGO Creations of the Year 2020.

The Painted City

This wasn’t the only collaboration Eli was involved in across the year. Stepping away from the microscale style, he worked as part of the team who created this fabulous medieval village diorama…

The Village of Thornefeld; A Collaborative Project

A number of minifigure-scaled creations appeared throughout 2020, all notable for their depth of texture and detail. Whilst Eli’s model posted on 14th February wasn’t Valentine-themed, we fell in love with it all the same. Just look at the variety of parts employed to create those patterns on the wall in the background of this subterranean adventure…


And textured walls were key to the appeal of this bustling trading post. The eroded brickwork provided a suitable dusty and worn backdrop to the minifigure action, and offered visual interest without distracting attention from key details — just look at that striped arch!

Broadrick's Outpost

Imaginative parts use is a hallmark of Eli’s builds. Nowhere was this more on display than in this wonderful library scene, where the stairs are created from book covers (appropriately enough), and the bookshelves are formed out of a boat!

Sophie's Study

In one of our favourite models of the year, Eli depicted a small child’s meltdown as things go awry with an ice cream. It’s another fabulous creation, in a totally different scale and style from Eli’s usual building — a step out of the comfort zone which confirms his virtuosity with the bricks.

Melt Down

We’ll end this retrospective of Eli’s 2020 with a return to microscale, and to a creation which sums up what’s great about his models — a creative idea, executed brilliantly, with interesting parts use. This wonderful brick-built map made us long for the Great Outdoors, offering us a sorely-needed escape from 2020’s lockdowns and travel bans…

The Map

We hope you agree this an impressive body of work, made even more so by being only a small selection of the dozens of excellent creations Eli has put together over the past 12 months. The sheer quantity of his output is frankly terrifying, especially in conjunction with the undoubted quality of everything he builds. This year Eli Willsea has built some incredible models, displaying formidable skills in a variety of themes and building styles — and that’s why the team has picked him as The Brothers Brick LEGO Builder of the Year 2020.

Check out our LEGO Builder of the Year 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016 to see the illustrious company Eli is now keeping. Also check out more of Eli’s work that we’ve featured in our archives: Eli Willsea on TBB.

1 comment on “The Brothers Brick LEGO Builder of the Year 2020 [News]

  1. Håkan

    I guess the “meltdown” pun more or less only works in English, but pretty impressive build, nevertheless…

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