From Arrakis comes spice and these LEGO vignettes by builder Bryan Firks, whom you may know from the second season of LEGO Masters. I had the good fortune to chat with Bryan about these scenes and the inspiration behind them. He became a fan of the “Duniverse” after watching the 2021 film Dune, sparking an interest in the original book and the richly detailed world. Soon, the idea to create a series of microscale scenes developed in his mind. He drew inspiration from 2021’s TBB creation of the year, Jan Woźnica’s Tales from the Space Age, for providing atmosphere and color. Equipped with new color palettes, he employs similar techniques with his vignettes. On the left, transparent neon orange antennae represent orbital strikes on the old city of Arrakeen. A spice refinery explodes in the foreground. In the center, we see an ornithopter hovers above a spice harvester with levers as its wings. On the right, there’s one of the legendary sandworms of Arrakis! The worm is captured brilliantly with round bricks interlinked by flex tubing for poseable segments. The sand dunes give a sense of scale to the worm, showing just how massive it really is!
Bryan faced a few challenges rendering these scenes on this scale. Being a Lord of the Rings fan, he wanted to use Uruk-hai swords for the ornithopter wings. Alas, they were too big for this size. The sandworm presented a fun challenge, and using an inverted 2×2 dome for the gaping maw is very cool! The flow of direction, from left to right following the lines of the orbital strike through to the worm’s mouth, is intentional to give the build a sense of motion. Another clever choice is the night-day-night pattern of the backgrounds, giving the vignettes a lovely balance. The mirroring of the dual moons in the night scenes helps to frame and hold the day scene in your attention as you take in the whole. My favorite part of the build, besides the sandworm? It demonstrates how inspiring the LEGO community can be. Anyone can become inspired by another builder’s creation, leading to more beautiful homages and builds!