Even months after its release on Disney+, The Mandalorian continues to be an inspiration for amazing LEGO creations. My new favourite is this diorama by CTR Bartosz. This scene from Chapter 1 of the series is packed with details that help tell the story. First, there are the characters: the Mandalorian and his bounty, the Kubaz waiting to call them a speeder, and the remains of a Quarren, cut in half by the door. Then there are the little things, like the tracker, the Quarren, or the dark red pieces representing his guts.
Now that LEGO has finally gotten with the times and released official versions of Baby Yoda – in both BrickHeadz and minifigure form, LEGO fans can focus on building him in new formats. A devout follower of the Church of Baby Yoda, Neil Snowball, jumped at the chance to build our lord and savior in mosaic form. The likeness is uncanny and the thick black borders give it the stylized appearance of a cartoon or 8-bit video character. One thing is for sure, he’s just as cute in two dimensions as he is in three.
If you’ve read this far, you may be waiting for me to acknowledge that officially, the character is named “The Child”. Listen, I know that. You know that. I know you know that. He may be The Child in official labels, but in my heart, he’ll always be Baby Yoda. Unless he decides to fist bump me, and I try to be cool and call him “Yode”.
In honour of Chris McCandless’ 52nd birthday earlier this week, 2019 TBB LEGO Builder of the Year Andrea Lattanzio build a stunning recreation of the “Magic Bus” from the end of McCandless’ life, as documented in the book and film Into the Wild. This creation is a fitting tribute. The landscape looks like the clearing on the rugged Stampede Trail, featuring various elements representing rocks, plants, and mushrooms. My favourites are the tree built out of brown stud shooters and the grey homemaker hairpiece as a large rock. Framed inside its wild Alaskan surroundings, is the bus itself. The design is spot on and includes clever use of a dish with a spider web pattern as old and aged headlights and a stack of 3×3 dishes as the bus’s grill.
As if any LEGO fan needed another reason to visit Billund, Denmark, Poul-Erik Borre’s medieval buildings are currently on display in the LEGO Store at the LEGO House. The Home of the Brick is effective in inviting repeat visits, especially to see the rotating fan displays. While the headliners are the creations in the Masterpiece Gallery, the hidden gems that really enrich the experience are found in the store displays. There is so much to see in just this one creation.
The first thing I realized is how almost every shade of green (except maybe lime) in the current LEGO colour palette is used here. Sticking with green, he’s incorporated some nice decorative elements, such as statuettes, a dragon, and even the printed green leaves from Groot’s legs. Aside from the parts and colours, there are also some good stories being told in this scene. I’m particularly interested in whether or not there’s a link between the boys with slingshots and the shirtless man running across the rooftop.
When I was in my LEGO dark age, I was a big fan of Warhammer 40,000. The first model I ever saw was a friend’s Tyranid Lictor, so when I saw BardJaskier’s LEGO Lictor, I was immediately hit right in the nostalgias. Everything on this model is perfect; from the arc of the upper talons, to the curve of the base. It must be quite fragile, as many pieces aren’t even fully attached. That fragility however, ensures that all the shapes and angles are just right. On top of that, the details are spot on, from the H. R. Giger-esque biomechanical greebles on the chest to the plant elements on the base. My favourite detail is the Ninjago snake skull helmet as the head and longhorns as tentacles. It is really well done and takes me back to my youth. Now if only my aching back would go back to how it felt when I was a teenager too.
One hundred internet points to you if you can see this LEGO Mandalorian creation without humming Ludwig Göransson’s iconic theme for the show. LEGO fan Logan W. has done a good job recreating Din Djarin as he appeared in the beginning of the series, before he loses his <SPOILER – REDACTED> and gets new <SPOILER – REDACTED>. Hmm, I must have some kinda spoiler filter installed on my computer, preventing me from ruining any cool new media. How far back does it go? Will it let me reveal that in The Empire Strikes Back we find out that <SPOILER – REDACTED> is <SPOILER – REDACTED> father? I guess not. Well, if I can’t talk about the show, let’s focus on the model! I love to see Bionicle and system parts integrated in the same model, and they really come together here. The cloth element for the cape is also a really nice touch. I wonder if he built a version of his sidekick, <SPOILER – REDACTED>, to accompany him?
Deep in the mountains, on a desolate hillside lies the hidden Temple of Caerus. Luckily LEGO builder Joel Tyer can show us the way. All you really have to do is follow the pathway up the steep stairs built into the curves and slopes of the mountain. Make sure to avoid the guards as you climb higher and higher, up to a height where a few trees small trees cling to life and the more common plants to see are various grasses and moss. While it’s hard to describe it myself, you’ll know it when you see it – a brilliant white temple, rising through the clouds. If your journey is successful, tell them I sent you and they should let you in.
Whether you’ve seen Fantasia or not, you likely still recognize Mickey Mouse in costume as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Mops play a large part in the story, and builder Alanboar Cheung has done well to incorporate some mop Easter eggs in his creation. Ignoring the brick built mop, the first mops are the old witch’s brooms, cleverly used as the ends of the apprentice’s belt. Especially ingenious is the use of the janitor’s mop as the apprentice’s wand. While there are no other hidden mops in this charming creation, there is so much more to appreciate about this well sculpted icon.
Before the internet was blessed with our Lord and Savior Baby Yoda, we were something of a cat worshiping culture. And though we’ve perhaps mostly moved on, there are still adherents to the old ways out there, paying tribute to the former deities of the web, like this Tiger by Herbert Lee (Tigers are the best kind of cats too). I’ve always thought that tiger paws looked big and blocky, and now I get to see them made out of plastic blocks. The use of black horn/tail pieces used here is impressive, both in obvious places, like the tigers claws, and less obvious, like the stripes transversing the white and orange pieces that sculpt the body. Two other impressive details are the minifigure hands as eyes and tooth plates to form an unmistakable cat snout. It makes me believe those pieces were designed for this model.
Star Trek creations are seen all too infrequently in the LEGO fan community (compared to other sci-fi worlds, say, from a galaxy far, far away). Another LEGO fan once told me it was impossible to build a convincing Enterprise. Perhaps he just wasn’t bold enough to go there, because that’s exactly what Chris Melby has done. This model is huge – 6 feet long and almost 3 feet wide. It’s so big that he built a custom aluminum stand for it.
I was recently challenged to recreate Notre Dame Cathedral in microscale and it sounded like a fun challenge. From the start, I knew I wanted to incorporate an Arkenstone and 2×2 Tie Fighter windscreen dish, so that gave me a specific scale. Then I looked online to see what others had done. From there, I just started test building different portions of the cathedral. Half an hour later, I came up with this. The idea to use droid arms as flying buttresses came from someone else’s build and I was impressed at how well they tie the whole thing together. I’m quite pleased with how it all came together so quickly, and especially proud of how well the Tie Fighter pieces work as rose windows, as well as the pentagonal jumper plates as arches.
Because I grew up during the time of M:Tron and Blacktron, I tend to think of fantastical fictional ships when I think of LEGO space creations. Of course, this totally neglects all the models built of real world spacecraft. Luckily, LEGO fans like Cyndi Bourne produce amazing space creations like her NASA Mars InSight Lander to remind me that space is a real place. This detailed model was originally commissioned by an employee at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, but it was Cyndi’s idea to add the landscaped base. Her landscaping always impresses me and clearly she can build the surface of any planet! While it might seem simple, as the whole landscape is built from various sizes of dark orange plate, achieving this look requires both patience and creativity. You have to know just where to put each plate, and Cyndi clearly knows.