About Chris Doyle

Chris has been involved in many parts of the LEGO community for over twenty years, and has been building most of his life. A love of transparent bricks and pop culture combine in most of his creations, which tend to be pretty large scale. His website, Reasonably Clever, featured one of the longest running brick-based webcomics, as well as one of the first LEGO-themed avatar creators. His photographs and creations have appeared in several books.

Posts by Chris Doyle

No, really. Space is curved.

When you hear the term “LEGO brick” your mind is drawn to an image of just that…a brick. Rectangular. Boxy. Brick Spirou shows us the alternative with the Space Police Interceptor. Decked out in classic Space Police I colors, this single-pilot ship is all about the curves. The wings feature the repetition of double-curved slopes in a design that reminds me of the air turbines you might see in a strictly atmospheric craft. The front forks have triple curved wedges that add even more smooth lines to the look.

Space Police Interceptor

The rear of the craft also has some nice shaping. An aircraft fuselage section leads your eyes to the just-textured-enough engines. My favorite detail, though, is the Hero Factory Spine placed just in front of the tail fin.

Space Police Interceptor

Space Police interceptors have been all the rage here at The Brothers Brick lately. Be sure to also check out the Galactic Interceptor we reviewed recently!

A digital angel for difficult times

Builder Eero Okkonen returns yet again to The Brothers Brick with another amazing large scale figure. Say hello to the Blue Angel of Hallow – described by Eero in his blog post as “a superdigital being who watches over multimedia connections, protecting people from malignity and sourness.” Truly the sort of guardian we often need in today’s digital world.

The Blue Angel of Hallow

Eero has once again found underutilized parts to create interesting textures and shapes. Insectoid wings bring more than a hint of circuitry, and the use of Space Port solar arrays for the skirts is inspired. The glittery solar panel sticker has an entirely different look when seen from the underside, reminding me of static or high jpeg compression. The blue of the armor and Clikits bracelet halo contrasts well with the magenta highlights and light green Hero Factory swords of her hair.

This mech tikis all the boxes

Marin Stipkovic brings us a mech with a lot of personality as part of the year long Mech Monday project. Inspired by the art of Taylor Schmidt, King Aku is a LEGO creation that has the feel of a tiki idol brought to life. It features tons of articulation, an expressive tiki idol face, and bold colors highlighted by the shine of gold. Another nice detail is how Marin didn’t just repeat the use of 1×1 round plate for all the teeth. He’s added visual interest by mixing in inverted 1×5 Technic plates. Partially obscured by the black brick of the mouth, those 1×5 plates take on the look of a brand new part. (I mistook them for Sweet Mayhem’s legs at first.)

Mech Monday #24: King Aku

Marin has also shared a short video that shows off the range of motion of this mech as well as its cool play feature. (Spoiler alert: Light and sound!)

This voodoo panther is no bonehead. Or is it?

The LEGO Bionicle line may have ended in 2016, but that hasn’t stopped fans from expanding on the theme. Case in point: Alex Mertens brings us a sleek version of the Rahi beast Muaka, inspired by a deep cut of Bionicle lore. I’m a fan of the smooth curves that give this model a sense of feline grace. The splash of color from the orange hose and lime green claws adds visual interest against the blue of the Hero Factory armor and Bionicle shoulder armor plating.

Voodoo Panther

Speaking of that armor, we recently featured another re-imagining of Muaka that kept the yellow highlights from the Muaka & Kane-Ra set from 2001. Alex has gone one step further, taking the blue color from a Bone-Heads of Voodoo Island prototype that likely lead to Muaka! This early prototype can be seen in Christian Faber’s demo footage.

Go under the sea with the Royal Navy Octonaut

The year is 1859, and the British Navy is looking for Atlantis! Builder Paddy Bricksplitter has captured this historic moment of discovery in a detail-rich LEGO scene. Based on the columns and statue, our diver may have indeed found Atlantis. Let’s hope he’s also enjoying the rest of the view while he’s down there.

Royal Navy Octonaut

The Octonaut delivers a solid steampunk aesthetic without resorting to unnecessary embellishments. The tubing along the suit’s arms suggests a very real-world pneumatic solution for grip-strength at the ocean floor. Providing a nice contrast to the gold and brown, black rubber tires do double duty as weights and gaskets.

As cool as the diver is, the real highlight of this build for me is the innovative part usage on the sea floor. Not content with just the LEGO-standard fish and crab, Paddy has brought in Friends Accessories, Technic gears, a street-sweeper brush, and at least three types of minifigure hair. LEGO food items also feature prominently, with cupcakes galore, upward pointing carrots and lime ice cream scoops. And just look at that jellyfish!

Step on it! – A forest drive has LEGO bricks on the move

Have you ever been a passenger in a car when the driver is just going way too slow? Geneva Durand seems to have had that experience, and brings that frustration to life in an expressive, yet tiny, creation. In this scene, brick-built horses pull a carriage fit for microfigure nobility through a dense forest. Every feature is instantly recognizable, which is pretty astounding considering those microfigures are just under 2 centimeters tall.

A Forest Drive

It’s a twisty path, so maybe the driver is justified in a more cautious pace. Perhaps the passenger is just upset that his crown is way too tall to fit inside the carriage, requiring him to lean out the window the whole way. Geneva first designed the carriage back in 2013, and later updated it in 2017. Maybe their next iteration will include a little more headroom!

In the meantime, though, we can appreciate the skill that goes into the current build. I like the “studs down” building approach for the horses, the variety of techniques used for the tree trunks, and the subtle curves in the carriage canopy. There is also some great part usage, including minifigure hands for flags, and helmet plumes for the horsetails.

Be sure to check out Geneva’s blog post detailing the techniques that went into the forest background.

The high ground – Light and LEGO combine to bring Mustafar to life in this Star Wars diorama

In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, one of the most memorable moments is Anakin and Obi-Wan facing off on the surface of the lava-planet, Mustafar. Alessandro Rizzello brings the climax of this confrontation to life with a combination of LEGO and light.

I have the high ground!

Built for the Greatest Battles contest on LEGO Ideas, Alessandro has used LED strip lighting to highlight the danger of a river of transparent-orange crystals. Anakin stands on a movie-accurate hover platform, while Obi-Wan has claimed the high ground. A smattering of 1×1 round plate and flame elements complete the scene.

I have the high ground!

The glow of the lava results in a very cinematic feel. You can almost feel those minifigs sweating from the heat!

LEGO’s Ultimate Lightsaber Duel set coincided with the film’s theatrical release in 2005 and LEGO included a cameo of the scene with Anakin’s Jedi Interceptor in 2012, but so far they are the only official sets to showcase this iconic battle. (Although LEGO did return to Mustafar recently with Darth Vader’s Castle.) We’re lucky that the fan community is willing to make the return trip!