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

Build your own LEGO transforming microscope [Instructions]

Do you own a copy of Emmet’s Triple-Decker Couch Mech from The LEGO Movie 2? Would you like to take that set from a 2-in-1 build to a 5-in-1? Alan Yap has investigated the possibilities and discovered there is more to this set than meets the eye. By rearranging parts, you can make a microscope that transforms into both a hovertank AND a sweet, sweet robot. This is alternate building at its finest and, best of all, you can build it too thanks to Alan’s instructions!

There’s more to this model than meets the eye. Read on to find out why!

This golem runs like clockwork

Some things run like clockwork, and sometimes the clockwork is what makes you run. Taking inspiration from Dishonored 2, Return to Oz and D&D characters, Paddy Bricksplitter brings us a Clockwork Golem that is both elegant and menacing. This streamlined build demonstrates that you don’t always need a ton of parts to make an exceptional LEGO model. The black and gold of the main body are accented by splashes of white and grey. Gold plant stems are used for both shoulder ornaments and decoration on the checkerboard base.

Clockwork Golem

A bit of dark pink ties the central clock into the piercing eyes. At first, I thought those eyes were made from Friends lipstick with the ends cut off, but Paddy assures me that that’s just how the bottom of that piece looks due to the dual molding. And that they would never cut any pieces. We’ll have to look elsewhere for the inspiration behind the giant scissors for hands. Although… maybe we’re better off just not knowing.

Thrill seeking among the skyscrapers

When it comes to LEGO roller coasters, you can find a wide range of thrills. Start off safe on the gentle slopes of a Friends Amusement Park, or go for more adrenalin on the Creator Expert version. But what if that isn’t enough for your minifigures? What if they want a real rush? Taking an apparent cue from real-world rides like the Las Vegas High Roller, French builder ilive moves the track off the ground and into the skyline.

Roller Coaster

The ride twists through a selection of ilive’s previously built micro-scale buildings, each of which features interesting shaping and design. The Cube uses plenty of eye-catching texture created from transparent plate, and Skyscraper-2 makes great use of transparent blue 1x2x5 brick.

City

The coaster itself, though, is minifigure scaled. The effect of the mixed scaling works well; it’s pretty easy to imagine an upscale park having a miniature version of their city incorporated into a signature ride. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself in ilive’s video!

Why don’t you come along with me...on a Magic Carp(et) Ride

LEGO builders have often explored the theme of “speeder bikes” – flying motorcycle-esque vehicles with a grand and glorious racing tradition. (Or, for those looking for the possible origins of the trope, a callback to the forest chase scene in Return of the Jedi. Although usually built in minifigure scale for maxium swooshability, there’s no reason that one couldn’t make a larger version. In fact, Eero Okkonen has done just that in Kiirus Ögonblick and The Carp Speeder, mixing skill in large figure builds with…a fish. Not just any fish, though, but a carp. A blue and orange, jet powered, mechanical-hybrid carp….Because why not?

Kiirus Ögonblick and The Carp Speeder

See more of this fishy speeder bike.

The devil’s in the details. No, wait. That’s just a chicken.

In many fantasy tropes there’s that moment where the heroes gather to set off on their grand adventure. Maybe it’s in a tavern, maybe it’s the king’s audience chamber. Sometimes it’s in a mystic glade or just a chance encounter. If you’ve seen this scene once, you’ve seen them all. However, what you might not have noticed was the world happening around the heroes. There are common folk who exist outside of the main narrative, living their fantasy lives as best they can. ‘Sergeant Chipmunk’ brings us a LEGO moment in time that captures the momentous as well as the mundane.

Unlikely Companions

Read more about this medieval model.

Life, uh, finds a way...to eat you.

Even before LEGO’s recent release of 75936 Jurassic Park T-Rex Rampage, dinosaurs have been a popular subject for builders. ZiO Chao has apparently found the historically-based thunder lizards a bit too tame, though. Why just recreate a single species when you can add in a bit of mad science to remix the most fearsome aspects of three of them? ZiO has combined the raptor, T-Rex, and spinosaurus into a reptilian death machine named Spino-Tyraptor. This model is highly poseable, including some creative arm joints using pneumatic T-pieces. The head is expertly shaped, and the use of a spoiler for the tongue really works well.

Spino-Tyraptor

Just as nature intended, the most eye-catching part of the creature is the fin. Carrying the dark red of the head along the spine, it reaches up with brighter reds highlighted with grey and orange 1×1 round plate and capped with quarter-round coral tile. We may not know what the true function of spinosaurus’ fin was, but I’m guessing here it’s a combination of threat display, heat regulation, and wi-fi antenna. Hey, if you’re going to genetically mix something like this, why stop at what nature thought of?

Spino-Tyraptor

Background jobs have never been this adorable

When it comes to cute robots, Eero Okkonen really knows his stuff. Huwbot, built for the Huwbot contest brought to you by our friends over at Brickset, brings you LEGO with an extra side of delight. This robot has the Brickset server’s background jobs clearly in mind, with the logo incorporated as the robot’s brain. The shaping and build also has deliberate callbacks to web design and function, as Eero discusses at his website.
Regardless of his origins, though, Huwbot a stellar creation. Technic eyeball joints bring a lot of expressive character, enhanced by the super-poseable arms and hands. I also love the repeated use of macaroni bricks to add some smooth curves to both the head and base. But the best bit is the Clickits heart that is displayed front and center.

Huwbot

Eero has also provided Huwbot with a red wagon to assist in those background jobs. This, too, is a fun little build. The handle construction is topped with a 1x4x2 bar element that lets Huwbot get a grip on things. And the wagon comes filled with LEGO sets! Really, what more could you ask for?

Huwbot

What exactly am I looking at?

I’m always impressed when someone builds something with LEGO bricks that doesn’t have a strong tie to an established theme or building style. It takes a special kind of eye to look beyond the mundane, and builder why.not? has that vision. Or they had a vision. Or maybe just a very bad dream. Whatever the source, they have brought to us an unsettling image indeed.
The central eye is built from 1×2 and 1×4 plates, using subtle color variation in light blue, tan, and blue grey to create a convincing iris against a white brick background.

untitled

Eyelashes are constructed from minifigure hands clipped to the modified plates and tiles that create a smooth curve to the eyelid. There’s even a curved brick to represent the tear duct.
Additional creepy details include an abundance of Technic (eye)ball joints, a floating maw made of teeth and quarter-round tiles, and dangling red tentacles. The heart uses exotic elements like a sand blue dinosaur tail and medium lavender flexible hose. There’s even a dragon wing hidden in the blood(?) in the upper right.

I’m not sure what this piece says to me. But I’m kind of glad it can’t talk. I doubt I’d want to hear the messsage it brings.

An Old Lady you really want to cradle in your arms

Music is cool. Electric guitars are cool. Brian May, the guitarist for Queen, is cool. The Red Special, the electric guitar that Brian May designed and built with his father is very cool. You know what else is cool? LEGO. And here’s something very, very, coolNick Jensen‘s stunning 1:1 replica of the Red Special in LEGO.

Lego Queen - Brian May's Red Special

Learn more about this icon of classic rock built from LEGO

Does all this steampunk bug you?

Renowned builder Jonas Kramm is no stranger to the world of Steampunk superheroes. In 2013, he created an amazing Steampunk Batcave, and now returns to the theme. This time he has re-imagined Marvel’s Ant-man and the Wasp as Geantelman and the Steam Wasp. The Wasp is a bit removed from her spandex-clad cinematic counterpart but still sports a version of the iconic Pym bug-control helmet. The rest of the figure features an interesting mix of parts, including wings constructed from window lattices, a torso from Talia Al Ghul, and skirt from Elizabeth Swann Turner.

Geantelman & the Steam Wasp

Geantelman also wears a steampunk version of the ant-control helmet, but that’s overshadowed by the giant ant he’s riding. (I say giant, but is it really? Who can tell with these size-changing heroes. For all I know this could be a 1:1 scale build.) The ant is full of great details, like the use of a Nexo Knights breastplate with shoulder pads as the eyes. Multiple copies of Luke Skywalker’s cape form the wings, a mining helmet is used as the lower jaw, and the often-used ice cream scoops represent steam. The real stinger though? That has to be the wind up key on the end.

Yup. That’s one fully Assembled Avenger

By now the ending of Avengers: Endgame has been well and truly revealed to the world through Disney’s own marketing. The fact that Captain America can wield Thor’s hammer is common knowledge. Regardless of how you feel about that sort of spoiler, you are sure to find joy in Sam Beattie‘s recreation of the iconic moment in LEGO. Sam has enhanced the build with a few custom stickers, but even without them, there’s no question of what you’re looking at. (LEGO has released a large scale figure of Cap in the past – 2012’s Buildable Hero Captain America (Set 4597). I think it’s fair to say that the look there is…somewhat less accurate than’s Sam’s.

Some of the fun details from the build are the use of a gold ingot for Cap’s belt buckle and the whip used to shape Mjolnir’s strap. I also like how the support beams in the rubble work well at this larger scale. Standing atop that rocky and flame-strewn battlefield, Cap looks ready to kick some serious butt. And speaking of butt, here’s a rear view of the build showcasing “America’s ass.”

Batman – Steaming Mad at Criminals

Marvel Comics has their multiverse — alternate realities where the heroes you know are reimagined as something new. DC comics does something similar with their own characters, usually super grim and dark ones resulting from the timeline being broken by something the Flash did. (Really. It’s a trope.) But sometimes these stories can just be bight spots of fun, and if you’re really lucky you’ll get to enjoy one of them in LEGO form. For instance, have a look at this take on Batman and the Batmobile by Breado’s Bricks. Batman always has a ton of resources, so what if he really leaned into the glitz as much as the flying rodent thing? You might end up with the steampunk version we see here. Decked out in gold chrome elements, cape and cowl, and body armor, this Batman may not be stealthy, but he certainly is shiny.
SteamPunkBatRod2
SteamBat brings this sense of style into his ride as well. The BatRod mixes the traditional BatBlack with new and improved BatGold accents. Mag wheel covers and rims echo the highlights in the engine and exhaust. Even more gold adorns the front grill and headlights.
SteamPunkBatRod8
No matter what angle you view this car from, you’re going to be well aware that SteamBats has a lot of cash to spend. Take that, criminals!