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

This ship raises questions

Recently LEGO builder Dave Kaleta completed his series of Alphabet-shaped ships. Many of us wondered “what’s next?” Well looks like Dave answered that question with a question of his own. Behold the ?-Wing. As impressive as that curved hull is, even more spectacular is that this ship is able to stand upright on it’s own. (Well, okay, partly thanks to two small landing gear strips.) It’s worth clicking through to Dave’s instagram post to see this beauty in action.

?-Wing Starfighter 2020

Like the rest of the fleet, this ship was built in collaboration with Dave’s 4 year old son, Elliot. Interested in joining in on the fun? Dave is running a contest for builders who want to make their own entries into the Alpha-fleet.

Musical Social Distancing How-To

The musically-inclined among us are probably struggling with the restrictions of social distancing. I have zero skill in that area, but I know that even the best internet streaming suffers from audio latency and lag. It’s got to be tough to make sweet music with your friends when everything is a half-beat out of sync or worse. But all is not lost! Adam Dodge offers a possible solution to harmonizing with their LEGO creation, One-Man Band.

Built for the Music to our ears! contest on LEGO Ideas, this peppy fellow has everything he needs to record that hot new demo track. The arms, neck, harmonica, and drum mallet are all articulated. Apparently so is the mustache. Because of important reasons, I’m sure.

One-man Band

I enjoy this character’s expressive face, and, yes, that includes the croissant mustache. I also like the use of quarter-circle tiles for ears and the 1×2 plate with pin for the nose. I do worry about how much money he’s going to be able to make from busking in today’s world. He might do better starting his own YouTube channel or something.

Shrine on you crazy diamond

LEGO models with smooth curves and bright colors – they’re just a joy to behold. But there’s more than colors and curves to like about this build by BobnDeQuatre. In Takoizukame – The Shrine Keeper, those qualities are combined with some sweet part usage. Take, for example, the hubcaps in the upper arms. Or the Chima flywheels in the feet. And is that a Ninjago Spinner at the center of the mech’s chest? *Chef’s kiss*

Takoizukame - The Shrine Keeper

The rearview also showcases some great building techniques. Check out how the 5×5 arch bricks switch orientation and mix and match with the quarter-circle tiles to create smooth transitions and complex shapes.

Takoizukame - The Shrine Keeper

At the end of the day, though, it’s probably the fact that the colors remind me of the Downtown Diner that makes this mech near and dear to my heart. Retro-Town-Ninjago is a popular sub-theme, right?

Exceedingly painful to step on

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s yet another post about COVID-19. But I think it’s safe to say that this LEGO build by Oliver Becker has brought virus-inspired creations to a new (microsopic) level. Oliver is a country doctor in northern Germany, so he seems particularly qualified to create this sort of model. Scientific accuracy has never been quite this scary.

COVID-19

We here at the Brothers Brick hope everyone is staying safe, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands. And just like you, we’re looking forward to the day when this sort of build is “historical” rather than “topical”.

One bug you want to catch

Here’s a gentle reminder that there’s still beauty to be found in nature. Japanese builder Takamichi Irie shares a lovely LEGO rendition of a cicada. I really admire the fragile construction of the wings. Whips, bar holders, tubing, and minifigure hands combine in a delicate symphony of nice part usage.

Reading up on cicada’s life cycle, I’m reminded that many varieties spend most of their lives underground, only emerging once a year. Some don’t even appear for 13 years or more. There’s something familiar about that right now. Can’t quite put my finger on it, though.

Cicada

If you like this bug, be sure to read our interview with Takamichi. This builder has been making amazing insects for a long time.

When you gotta go, you gotta go

While it’s best to stay indoors, sometimes you just need to go outside. Particularly when you need to “go” outside. This slice of modern LEGO life from Crises_crs is just cute enough to not be super-depressing.

Protect yourself

There’s just the right hint of disrepair to the scene. The mix of exposed studs and 1×1 round tiles has the grass looking a little ragged. The pavement has a similar mix, leaving it just a little cracked. But both the dog and owner look pretty happy in their protective gear, all things considered. You have to wonder where they found that toilet paper, though. My local shops have been out of stock for a while.

Ce n’est pas un mème

René Magritte had something to say about the treachery of images. And the Matrix film series had a lot to say about the nature of reality. It looks like Timofey Tkachev has some thoughts on this matter, too. I mean, a picture of a LEGO sculpture of a scene from an imaginary world played by a real person? That’s some mind-bending stuff if you think about it enough. (Or maybe this self-isolation is just getting to me.) Regardless, this is one stunning bit of sculptural work. In The Choice, Timofey has once again built with an enviable level of photo-realism. I mean, just look at the shaping in those hands!

The Choice

My favorite detail is the choice to replace the traditional red and blue pills with appropriately colored 2×4 LEGO bricks. Part of me wishes that one of them was a knock-off brand, though. Just for that added bit of snark.

Yes, you can take it with you

When you want your coffee “to go”, Breado’s Bricks has you covered. This compact LEGO brewer can fit in your pocket! I mean, you probably wouldn’t want to do that. But you could. That’s all I’m saying.

CoffeeBrewer4

Like other offerings from this builder, there’s extensive use of custom silvered elements to bring a shine to things. But don’t overlook the “standard” LEGO elements in there, too. I like the use of the compass-print 1×1 tile (From the Collectible Minifigure Hiker) and the 1×1 round gauge tile as indicators.

CoffeeBrewer3

My coffee orders tend to err on the side of “does that come in gallon jugs?” so maybe this isn’t an ideal size for my personal use. But it sure would free up some space in my kitchen.

OSHA would like a word

Some LEGO creations are great at telling a story. Take “Clunker” by Inthert, for example. The story here is: “Mining asteroids is a sucky, sucky job.” This scene of futuristic yet questionably maintained drilling equipment is full of great details and part usage. In particular, I’m enjoying the Minecraft-esque blocks that are being removed from the surface. I’m all for hyper-realism in LEGO creations, but when you can keep things “blocky” for a reason…well, it’s a nice treat.

Clunker

A stand-out technique is the texture of the rock, created by layering lots of ball-socket plates. A more subtle, yet impressive, trick is the use of the firing pins from stud shooters braced diagonally in the underside of 1×1 plates. I hadn’t seen that one before. I shouldn’t be too shocked about that, though, as this build is part of the MOC Wars 2020 competition. You have to be as tough and skilled as these miners to survive that.

Why not self-isolate in some Warhammer 40k armor?

It’s the end times, and you need to stock up on obscene amounts of toilet paper to see you through till doomsday. But you dare not go outside… you might come into contact with someone. What to do? Well, maybe take a page from Funnystuffs and deck yourself out in some LEGO-based Warhammer 40K power armor!

Lego Warhammer 40k Ultramarines

This batch of Ultramarines feature cool details like brick-built chain-swords, Lion-tribe heraldry, wings, and even mini Batarangs. And check out that cool insignia made from minifigure plumes and claws. It should be noted that there are also some custom elements like stickers and epoxy clay molded helmets. The purist in me winces a little at that, but these are some of the nicest sculpts I’ve seen. Plus, it’s the end of the world. Who am I to complain?

Lego Warhammer 40k Ultramarines

So, in these trying times, do the right thing. Limit your contact with others by sealing yourself into some power armor. And wash your hands.

Curve your enthusiasm

LEGO has released a lot of great sets in their Architecture theme, but they all have one big drawback. They’re all based on buildings that exist. I mean…c’mon. This is LEGO we’re talking about. Can’t we be a bit less derivative and a bit more creative? Happily, F@bz didn’t limit themselves to recreating a landmark, they built something new for us to enjoy. In Architecture #1, we get a functional, realistic-looking building with some pretty unique shaping. Those big curves are made from a series of split-level plates sandwiched between 1×2 transparent plate, bent around a curved-slope base. Sweet.

Architecture # 1   (01)

As enviable as that curve is, though, don’t overlook some of the other great details. The roof-level mechanics include ingots and minfigure accessories. My favorite, though, is the stamped letter used as a tiny statue/sign in the courtyard.

This is F@bz’s first venture into microscale building, but hopefully not the last.

If you’re going to build something goofy, go all in.

Pretty much every time Batman gets a new movie, he gets a new Batmobile. From the 1960’s family-friendly two-seater to the 2000’s militaristic Tumbler, there’s a version for just about every taste. And if you can’t find what you want on the big screen, you can always turn to LEGO builders to give you an alternate take you probably wouldn’t find elsewhere. And if that search fails you, then you can look to LEGO builders like Chris Doyle (that’s me by the way) to take things to a purely ludicrous level.

UCS Comparison

Click to see how ludicrous!