About Ben Andrews

Ben Andrews is an Australian artist with a strong love for writing, LEGO and conversations. His LEGO dark age only spanned a couple of years, though when springing back into it, his direction became a little more purposeful. Displaying MOC's at shows since 2015, Ben has been spending his time building his skill set and inspiring others to reach into their creative inner child/engineer/artist. He isn't an active member of one specific LUG, but is honored to build, share ideas and collaborate with the crews from MSELF, ALUG, WorldLUG and MUGS. Ben Andrews lives with his incredible Partner and two inspiring kids in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges. His days are filled engaging young people in a primary school, being a purveyor of fine second hand books and developing community through communication and ideas generation.

Posts by Ben Andrews

Chugging along toward the future of the past

The retro future of LEGO transport has a lot of options available to experience, including this cloud skimming, Dieselpunk Boat by builder Mark van der Maarel. His use of curved slopes and modified plates to form the smooth shaping of the hull is simple but exemplary, as is the chosen colour scheme. The rusted and worn look of such a craft, along with the eccentric crew, screams of adventures aplenty.

Dieselpunk boat

The deck crane brings the functionality needed for this sky trawler, though the highlight for me is another simple addition for the sake of detail: the boat hook. This necessary piece of equipment adds a nice touch of realism despite only being constructed from two pieces, a pirate hook hand and a rigid hose. It makes me kind of curious to know what he is puling in at such a height.

Built for speed and set the standard

1967 was the year Formula 1 changed forever, as the birth of the Lotus 49 set the bar not only as the car to beat, but also to replicate. Fifty-two years on, Pixeljunkie has presented us with a gorgeous homage to this feat of engineering mastery. Sporting the classic colour scheme and markings of driver Jim Clark, this brick rendition has some stunning custom chrome pins as well as some nicely employed stickers to really bring the realism to the fore. Working within the Minifig scale can be an obscure challenge that restricts an amount of detail. I feel Pixeljunkie has made some excellent compromises without straying too far from the source material.

Lotus 49

Looking at the rear of this beautiful build, we find a minifig hammer head used ingeniously as the gearbox. I’m not sure another piece could have been used so well in this application. I’m also a massive fan of the many uses builders find for the rubber tread attachments. Using them as wheel hubs on top those metallic silver dish rims, has really captured the era well.

Lotus 49

If this open-wheel beast inspires you, check out another of Pixeljunkie’s classic race machines, the Alfa Romeo P3.

Heh-heh heh-heh heh-heh... Cool.

The incredible brick artist LEGO7 has brought these two teenage fools to ABS with perfect articulation. The 90s proved itself as an era of animated comedic satire with the likes of many cartoons, though none poked their finger as hard as Beavis and Butthead. The shaping of each grungy hairpiece is instantly recognisable, as is their position on their much-loved couch. His remarkable ability to construct facial expressions is not lost here either. The use of a pink 1×1 round plate as Beavis’s gum line is so perfectly placed, that I cant help but hear the sniggering laugh coming from these two delinquents. The colour scheme used in their attire has been excellently chosen, showing their worn out AC/DC and Metallica T-shirts. Even the slight twist of each inner leg, brings these two socially inept teens to amazing brick built likeness. All they need now is a decrepit lounge room and some headbanging play features.

Beavis and Butthead

To experience some of LEGO7’s other excellent characters, check out his Animal Music Box.

A colourful life together

Splendid builder Maxim Baybakov has a beautiful flair for bringing stylized colour into his LEGO creations. This homage to his wife is a sensational example of good composition supporting a superb construction. I’ve seen brick bending pulled off in many interesting ways and yet rainbows don’t always seem the obvious choice for such a technique. Judging by the inverted purple 1×2 tiles and presumably staggered jumper plates/tiles, some tricky building has been achieved to hold this vibrant feat together. Baybakov’s rainbow has been captured incredibly well and the addition of a softly constructed cloud in the background ties this scene up nicely. Such a stunning homage to the main lady in his life.

Rainbow

For another look at Maxim Baybakov’s lovely colour use, though in an earthier palette, check out his Library.

A warren for the Weasleys, built of more than bricks

This amazing LEGO family home for the Weasleys has been beautifully constructed out of approximately 5000 bricks by the talented team of Martin Latta and Camille Jongy. The Burrow, as its fondly called, is a magical masterpiece of constructed quandaries. This rendition pays excellent homage to the fictional homestead found on the outskirts of Ottery St. Catchpole in Devon, England. It’s the texture work here that really does it for me. The meshing of vertical and horizontal sections throughout gives an unmistakable feeling of the hodge-podge expansion of their family home. Presumably held together by assorted masonry, magic and carpentry, the colour palette used over this impressive build is marvelously apt. The earthy tones and techniques involved in texturing the Burrow are only one side to a plethora of perspectives through you could look at it.

The Burrow

Click here to see more of this magical homestead

A day of winter fishing in the solace of frozen silence

A prolific LEGO builder who’s graced our pages before, Ted Andes has presented a creation I resonate with at the moment, Winter. I’m typing this from Victoria, Australia, where the frosts and bleak days have been many. This beautiful vignette, a small capture of a snowy morning on the edge of a siheyuan. I can almost feel the stillness in the air.

Winter

Andes’ parts use is always exceptional, though not just in obscure part usage. His harness on basic parts to get the maximum effect is outstanding. The bare tree is made from roughly thirteen different pieces, twisted into some outstanding, gnarled forms. See if you can spot them all — can you see any I’ve missed? The river and its edging is also another highlight for me. The 4L trans-light blue bars surrounding some fish is a nice touch, giving the impression of icy cold, rushing water. Having the land predominantly in two colours has also worked elegantly, while the simple touches of trans-clear near the edge of the river have brought it closer to the reality of the camping trips I’ve taken in winter.

Scouting forward into landscapes of unknown terrain

Fascinating builder Kobalt brings his latest LEGO creation to the table, and it seems to jump straight from the cover of a 1960s sci-fi novel. The slim, lightly curved legs of the Atomic Bug support a large bulbous body constructed predominantly in olive green. This speaks to me of treading over rubble in some alternate universe’s cold war. Red highlights and pinstripes adorn this strider, while the touches of yellow bring out some rather clean greebling towards the rear. This craft has been well looked after. A series of snug searchlights are found under the cockpit canopy as well as some nifty aerials, made from a couple of varied lengths of flex cable. I couldn’t personally think of a better part for those large transmitter-receivers.

Atomic_Bug_00

On turning this craft around, we are presented with what I can only assume is a power source. Built primarily in white, it stands out nicely from the rest of the body. The white 4×4 multifaceted cylinder hemisphere as the cap on the end allows the continuity to be smoothly ended. This reminds me of a futuristic energy core containment system, presumably for its atomic fuel. From this reversed angle we can also see more of the yellow hints, peeking out from the top. The girder piece gives such a great industrial feel and though it’s almost all hidden, the glimpses you get from the varied angles is all it needs.

Atomic_Bug_02

Alpha squadron, do you read me? You bet I do.

In the depths of LEGO space and time, the amount of creative ways to build space craft has blossomed exponentially. Sometimes from the most complex of concepts and other times, from something as simple as a basic letter from the alphabet. Dave Kaleta has been working on his letter based starfighter series since the beginning of this year. Though what really impressed me, aside from his great creations, was that his three-year-old son, Elliot, sat predominantly at the head of the build team. Inspired by a Star Wars letter-based starfighter contest a few years back, they set some of their own rules to build by and opened up a newly inspired space.

N-Wing Hero

Read on to see more of the series within Dave and Elliot’s collaboration.

Prehistoric sea serpent poised to strike

Recently I wrote an article that mentioned there are a few names that spring to mind when considering LEGO-built characters. Another one of these prolific builders is Anthony Wilson. His newest creation is Aquasaurus, an impeccable display of form and function working so well together, that it hurts my head.

Aquasaurus

His incredible use of colour is always refreshing to see. This build harks back to the colour palate exclusively used for the Arctic City and Town sets, which I have always enjoyed. Relatedly, one thing that separates this from the pack, are those excellent gill fins, set in the ever-elusive teal. Though not made of many pieces in this elegant creature, the contrast it creates is brilliant. In a creation of such scale, articulation can also be a challenge to hide and keep functional. Wilsons subtle use of colour specific Bionicle parts, achieves this flawlessly, giving the limbs of this creature an exceptional pose. I find myself wondering how much this beast would weigh, as his use of balance on that black pillar is great, leaving only a tiny footprint of a base below.

For another look at Anthony Wilson’s beautiful use of colour, check out his Western Woods.

Need to take on something big, green and angry? Build your own Hulkbuster! [Instructions]

If LEGO instruction builders could be ranked, Hachiroku24 would be close to the top — both for his designs and the videos he uses to share those designs. His most recent set of instructions comes from the armory of Tony Stark: the Hulkbuster. This well-designed, fully articulated and heavily armoured power suit is a well-balanced build as well as an easy to follow instruction guide. Each section is beautifully structured, incorporating a great array of plates with ball joints and bars to give this Minifig scale behemoth some excellent functionality. The mid section, where we find the flat silver ingots and printed 1×1 half circle tiles really does it for me. It’s not just that silvery band of simplistic greebles, but the pivot articulation from the waist up.

Lego Hulkbuster MOC

See step-by-step instructions on how to build your own Hulkbuster

Fabulous Fabuland friends take Billy Goat’s Steamboat for a ride

Fabuland holds a beautiful place of reminisce for me and somehow Pete Strege seems to have encompassed that feeling in an incredible new LEGO creation. Billy Goat’s Steamboat is an incredible display of fine colour choice, confined motorisation and great shaping without compromising stability. The dark blue of the cabin walls and hull are framed nicely with white, while the rest of the colour wheel comes to life with a combination of dark azure and yellow. Though please don’t be fooled, take a closer look. Weaved throughout the yellow are trace amounts of bright light orange, which adds some real warmth to the model, as subtle as it may be. There is also a sublime amount of blue pinstriping, which tops off the build high up, with two blue half barrel containers.

Come and check out more of this beautiful steamboat

Beautiful rendition gives new twist to LEGO Architecture

Constructed in 2016 on the Coconut Grove in Miami, the Grove at Grand Bay brought a new twist to architecture. This is just what creative builder Lego Fjotten has done for LEGO Architecture. This fantastic rendition of the dual twenty storey towers, is spot on. The multi-teared garden beds weave perfectly throughout the base. Built predominantly from 2×2 and 4×4 macaroni bricks topped with correlating tiles, their shaping is near identical to the real coastal complex. Their pattern gives the pathways and pool quite an amount of character by itself.

The Grove at Grand Bay

Designed to follow the consistent twist from the ground to the top six or so floors, Lego Fjotten has handled this challenge incredibly well. Though if my calculations are correct, he would have been building with a touch over three thousand trans-clear 1x2x3 panels, an impressive feet by itself. The constructed twist allows practically every condo a slightly different view of the horizon, which makes me wonder what the tiny figs would think living there? I can only begin to imagine the views from the top.