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

Dangit, Alfred!

I’ve always imagined Alfred to be a very capable butler for Batman. But surely, at some point, he must have had a laundry mishap and shrunk the Bat-Tights. Maybe Batman is remembering that day as he glares down at the suddenly microscale car in front of him. But it wasn’t Alfred’s desire to wash and dry things on “hot” that caused the problem this time. No, we can lay the blame at the feet of builder alego alego for this gloriously tiny version of the UCS Batmobile.

Micro UCS Batmobile

The Batmobile is made up from some interesting parts – I’ve spotted Batarangs, robot arms, and even Star Wars blasters. To recreate the distinct shapes of the larger vehicle, the display stand is an integral part of the build. For example, the air scoops are made from inset taps with a hollow-stud 1×1 rounds attached to them. Likewise, the Batarang that makes up the front fender is supported by a 1×1 clip plate that’s attached to the base. These connections wouldn’t be possible in a free-standing model, but the smooth tiling on the base hides these tricks. To the eye, this version is just as solid as its much larger brother.

Maybe Batman can rent it out to the Atom. He’s tiny, too.

I don’t care how many licks it takes.

I love the sets in the Unikitty! LEGO theme, but I don’t know much of anything about the show. I do know there are some distinctive looking characters in there…and that lead to the existence of some “hard to find another use for” pieces. For example, there’s this piece from the Hawkodile figure. It’s often lumped in with other “modified plate”, but that doesn’t really do it justice. I guess you can’t expect a whole new classification for “beak and sunglasses combo plate.” What you can expect, thankfully, is that a builder like Koala Yummies will take that oddball part and make something new and fun with it.

1_D4C5490

I’m old, so this build reminds me a lot of Mr. Owl from the 1980’s Tootsie Pop commercials. But, clearly, this bird has no time for idle questions about the longevity of candy.

Successfully tilting at windmills

Lately I’m on the lookout for calming and peaceful LEGO creations; they add a nice balance to the chaos of the modern world. Happily, this windmill created by Sheo is just what the doctor ordered. There are a lot of things to love about the construction, like the curving and tapering rings of stone making up the tower. I also like how the base is incorporated into the main design. The path that leads up to the door curves down, breaking through the stone wall that rings the windmill. It creates a nice illusion that this is only a smaller bit of a larger scene, and not an isolated display piece.

Windmill

There are also great details created by clever part usage. A minifigure sword serves as a weather vane, turntable bases create windows, and telescopes brace the sails. All in all, a welcome breath of fresh air.

If ever a hero deserved an upgrade...

Say what you will about Tony Stark, but sometimes it feels like he has the same solution for every problem: Put a suit of armor on it. Take, for example, the case when his regular armor isn’t studly enough. His answer? Put on another suit of armor on top of the one he’s already wearing. Sounds kind of silly, but you have to admit that the Hulkbuster does get results. We’ve seen a few LEGO-released versions of it over the years, but the LEGO community always seems to take things one step further. Case in point, Sam.C (S2 Toys Studios) brings us an excellent upgrade indeed.

Hulkbuster Pew Pew

The key piece of the build is the Hulkbuster canopy from 2015’s 76031: The Hulk Buster Smash. The rest of the build, though, feels a bit closer to 2018’s 76104: The Hulkbuster Smash-Up (I mentioned we’d seen a few of these from LEGO, right?) The detailing is much improved here, with bulkier legs and better integration of the angles in the chest armor. I particularly like the pistons in the knee assembly and the printed 1×1 round tile used in the feet.

Read on to check out the detailed back side

I love ewe

I’d feel sheepish about highlighting this creation if it weren’t so darn cute. Sarah Beyer built this tiny puff of cloud with eyes. It’s so fluffy!

Sheep MOC

This tiny creature uses a minimalist Lowell sphere for a body, Mixel tiles for eyes, and 1×1 tooth plates for ears. Add in a touch of vegetation and you have a simple, yet charismatic, creation. Sometimes that’s all you need to say.

Not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need.

Every now and again, the LEGO community will be overtaken with a slew of builds in a common theme. The Baby Yoda builds are slowing down a little, but you can usually count on a new take on a Batmobile to surface every week or two. That’s understandable, what with the hype around LEGO’s UCS version of the 1989 Tim Burton design. I’m no different; I love the Batmobile in all its myriad designs. I didn’t think I could bring anything particularly new or interesting to the already amazing fan-builds that we’ve seen, though. So I took things a different (some may say “wacky”) direction. It’s probably safe to say you haven’t seen a Batmobile like this one before…

Unikittybat and the Unikittymobile

Yeah, I mashed the Burton Batmobile with the Unikitty! theme. It just seemed like the right thing to do. My first intention wasn’t to build this scale. In fact I had somewhat bigger plans. But, for now, I have both a minifigure and microscale version to share.
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Disney Deep Cut: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

These days it’s pretty impossible to escape exposure to a Disney product. They own the lion’s share of today’s biggest themes and properties. (Was that an oblique Lion King joke? You bet it was.) But, before they owned Marvel…and Star Wars…and everything else, Disney created their own in-house characters, too. Like Mickey Mouse. You’ve heard of him, right? Cool. But how about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit?

…Yeah, that one stumped me too. It turns out Oswald starred in 27 animated shorts back in 1927 or so. He made a return in 2010’s Epic Mickey video game. Still managed to fly under my radar, though. Luckily, Bruce Lowell didn’t overlook Oswald. And, as a result, we get an amazing LEGO recreation of this possibly-not-quite-iconic character. The expert use of rounded tiles recreates the distinctive facial styling. Even if you don’t know the character, you know this guy has to be part of the Mickey Mouse Club.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Bruce was inspired by Paul Lee’s 2010 Mickey Mouse build. Paul was inspired in that build by Bruce’s sphere technique. What goes around comes around! (Get it? Round? Like a sphere? Oh, nevermind…)

Hair today, microscale tomorrow

Is this real life? Or is this just fantasy? How about a fairy tale then? Yeah, that’s what we’ve got here. Letranger-Absurde brings Rapunzel’s Tower to tiny life in this charming microscale build. Filled with innovative part usage, this scene balances whimsy with rock-solid building techniques.
The most eye-catching feature is probably the use of the costume from the LEGO Movie 2’s Crayon girl minifigure. (Some other figure lost their purple leg to fill in the archway, too.) That tower also features the use of a banana and bar holder with clip to make Rapunzel’s tresses.

Rapunzel's Tower

The rest of the landscape has some cool secrets as well. That’s a dragon arm providing a bit of greenery. Tree tops are from Joker hair and a skater helmet. My favorite detail, though, is the waterfall turbulence that perfectly-repurposes ghostly minifigure legs.

Imaginary islands, real LEGO bricks

When looking for unique builds to showcase here at The Brothers Brick, we see a lot of digital creations. There’s nothing wrong with that; virtual bricks can let a builder explore color combinations that LEGO has yet to produce, or to forgo the limitations that gravity would put on a delicate creation. But when you see something that you’re pretty sure is a render, only to discover it’s real? That’s something special. Oh, sure, Eli Willsea tried to throw me off by titling their creation The Imaginary Islands. But considering this was part of a real-world collaboration for BrickWorld, I think I spotted the clues that this is, indeed, a physical model. And what a model it is! A futuristic city floats above a lush landscape, which sits amid a calm sea.

The Imaginary islands

I really like the use of carrot tops in the vegetation and the inverted Queen Watevra’s crown atop one of the buildings. What does puzzle me, though, is just how those waterfalls work. Is the city pumping up a ton of extra water from the sea? Is it the result of some sort of extra-dimensional gate gone wrong? Gasp! Is all that water around the base not a sea at all, but rather a giant lake of city-generated sewage? Is this actually a dystopian nightmare after all? I….I think I need to go lie down now.

A-wing, transform and roll out!

Yeah, yeah, we’re featuring another Star Wars build. Or….are we? Builder Alan Yap has gone beyond the slew of Razor Crests and Baby Yodi (If that’s not the plural, it should be) by taking a RZ2 A-wing interceptor from Star Wars The Last Jedi and mashing it into the Transformers universe. This cool creation doesn’t require any rebuilding to switch between robot and vehicle modes, and it looks sweet as both.

LEGO Transformers A-wing from Star Wars

In vehicle mode, Alan gives us the shape and styling we’d expect from any stock A-wing creation. There are great part choices, like the use of life rings in the engines, and the 1×1 round tile with a star decoration near the cockpit. there are no unusual seams or weird blockiness that would suggest there was more to this build than meets the eye.

LEGO Transformers A-wing from Star Wars

The robot mode is equally impressive, with superb articulation that allows for great poses. I like that the head (made primarily from a tooth plate) has a classic Generation-1 feel to it.

LEGO Transformers A-wing from Star Wars

For even more photos, and a discussion of the design decisions that were made, I suggest you check out Alan’s post about the build. It’s fascinating reading.

Like a rock? No, like a mountain.

In 1999, my favorite LEGO theme by far was Rock Raiders. It was a great sci-fi take on a mining/construction theme; it had cool colors, chrome elements, interesting looking builds, and best of all, awesome rock monsters. Sure, I had some concerns about the environmental impact of mining operations. And were those rock monsters evil or just creatures defending their homes and families from overworld plunderers? No matter, there were crystals to be had. And those crystals were in transparent neon-green plastic and I needed them.

These days problems are bigger, so it’s only appropriate that the Rock Raiders have been scaled up as well. Peter Carmichael took the 4950 – Loader Dozer Rock Raiders set and made an amazing UCS version of it. Peter’s build takes on all three key elements – the Loader-Dozer itself, the monster, and the power crystal. (Or, as I like to call it, the Giant Crystal Of Crystalness.)
Lego Rock Raiders - UCS Loader Dozer
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Not your usual Star Wars build

Lately, between The Mandalorian and The Rise of Skywalker, the LEGO building community has seen a great wealth of fan creations based on all things Star Wars. This is not, in itself, a bad thing. I mean, Baby Yoda is indeed very cute. But it’s still nice when a builder will take things in a very unexpected direction. Let’s say you have a 75117 Kylo Ren set on hand. Sure, you could build it according to the directions and act out your favorite Dark Side moments. But Letranger Absurde decided to take those parts and present a very different Dark Side vision. The Blood Countess takes key parts from that set and turns them into a vision of malice that is, to me anyway, just a bit scarier.

The Blood Countess

The most obvious part is Kylo’s torso, inverted and used for the Countess’ abdomen. Less easy to identify are the shoulder guards now forming her bodice. Of the non-kit parts in use, I like the Ninjago influence in the hat for the belt buckle and spinner ring in the sash detailing. Beyond the Countess herself, check out the build on the heart (or other glob of flesh) in her hand. There’s a telephone receiver in there. Is the secret message of this build “reach out and touch someone?” Gosh, I hope not.