Posts by David Alexander Smith

5-4-3-2-1 Thunderbirds are go!

Complementing his Thunderbird 3 creation from March, this 35,000 thousand brick, 3 month long build by Monstrophonic is spectacular. Getting the feel of Gerry Anderson’s very specific 1960s near future right in LEGO is tricky, but managed here by matching tile and dish repeats with knowing details like the red pipes and door trims. Zoom in and the details keep coming, from those lovely rails for Thunderbird 1’s launch pad, to the backlit control room. The custom minifigures of the Tracy boys are FAB too.

Thunderbird 1. Launch Bay

The intergalactic arm of the law

Turning his attention from his recent Blacktron builds, builder CK-MCMLXXXI has joined the right side of the law with his new Space Police 2 build. The Starmaster mkII has a brilliant spacey shape. It’s a simple dart form made from complicated LEGO slab arrangements, which hint at all manner of vents and inner workings. It’s complemented by smart printed piece usage, the Doctor Who K9 tile being a really neat touch (just behind the cockpit on the starboard–right–side). All spaceships deserve a lovely rear: check out those thrusters!

Space Police Starmaster

Riding the golden dragon

Capturing all the flourishes of traditional Chinese aesthetic style, Space Brick’s Shrine of the Golden Dragon is another effortlessly elegant build. Like his ramen and sushi bar, he’s once again tapped into his subject and adjusted his building techniques to match. The eponymous dragon is a single sweeping curve, detailed with simple gold studs to replicate scales. The base is a thing of beauty too, with a backdrop of wonderfully stylised clouds. It’s not just a great LEGO model it’s a marvellous ornament too.

Shrine of the Golden Dragon

Bricks that don’t quite fit together

Building challenges come in all shapes and sizes, but constructing a wall from LEGO bricks that resists the system’s innate interlocking functionality is something new. Ralf Langer‘s build, entitled “Tear down the wall,” grasps the nettle and gives us something special. Using balanced combinations of plates, Technic elements and masonry bricks, he’s concocted a Jenga-like tumbledown edifice. Compositionally, it’s cleverly used to frame the model’s second feature, a beautiful medieval house that pokes through the collapsing façade.

Tear down the wall

LEGO block combat rock

Following hot on the heels of his LEGO build of The Specials, Red 2 has given us another musical classic: punk rock’s finest The Clash. He’s once again caught his subjects at the height of their powers, performing the superb “Rock the Casbah” from the Combat Rock album. Lifted straight from the video for the song, the band’s fatigues are perfectly captured in brick form, framed by the emblematic oil pump.

The Clash ' Rock the Casbah '   1982.

The whole band looks great, but bassist Paul Simonon stands out, with his low-slung guitar and red-sloped beret being flawlessly portrayed.

The Clash ' Rock the Cabah '

The queen of bricks

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II looks resplendent in blue bricks. Vincent Kiew‘s regal LEGO build captures the charming human side of Britain’s ruling monarch. The model’s masterful observation of the Queen’s iconic dress sense is spot on, with simple choices like the curved black bricks for gloves making her instantly recognisable. However, her pet corgis steal the show for me: effortlessly adorable and anatomically perfect, with subtly offset curved bricks indicating their little wagging tails. “God save the Queen!”

Queen Elizabeth II & The Royal Corgis.

A lovingly built Italian classic

Formula-1 cars of the 1960s are things of beauty. They represent an earlier age where form and function seemed to balance perfectly. André Pinto’s model of a Ferrari 312 F1-67 is a beauty, glistening in its familiar red livery, bedecked with chrome.

FERRARI 312 F1 67

Despite the vehicle being one of the racing team’s less successful models, primarily remembered for the tragic death of Lorenzo Bandini in Monte Carlo, it still pulls at the racing enthusiast’s heartstrings. André has lavished care throughout his build, from the sculpted bodywork through to the detailed V12 engine; it’s clearly a true labour of love.

FERRARI 312 F1 67

Mixing the Christmas spirit with a dose of the peculiar

When a model blends a host of tropes in the way Delayice does in this Xmas build, it sometimes ends up subverting the original theme. Maybe it’s me, but this snowman dressed as Santa has a weirdly uncanny quality–in fact, it’s almost creepy.

merry xmas

Maybe it’s his double whips, clutched in each hand, or then again it might be his glazed eyes, or even the mechanical looking reindeer pulling his tiny sleigh. There’s a thin line between the cute and the strange, and this unique creation brilliantly drives down that line.

santa "snow"

Building in the two tone style

During the late 70s and early 80s The Specials made some of the most innovative and iconic singles to ever grace the British music charts. Not only did they mix ska, punk and rocksteady beats to raucous effect, they married it with a two tone fashion sense that set them apart from their peers. Red 2 has caught the band at the height of their powers, as they appeared in the music video for their 1979 hit A Message to You Rudy. The LEGO version of the group perfectly capturing their tonic suits, and my favourite part of the build, pork pie hats made form small dishes and domes. It’s no small feat to build all nine members, but it pays off with each posed in mid-swagger, capturing the very essence of their musical style.

A Message To You Rudy : The Specials. c1979

Same house, different times

When you’ve designed something as beautiful as Ayrlego‘s Wainwright house, it seems a shame not to experiment with its presentation. It looks right at home in its medieval situ, with its muddy path, city guards, and period timber frame construction.

Wainwright, Ambarvale

However, why stop here? Relocate the build half way around the globe to Jamestown in Virginia and you have a completely different enviroment to explore. LEGO palm trees and red coat soldiers have surrounded the timber frame residence, giving the model a fresh colonial feel.

Wainwright, Jameston

Presents you must have, my young padawan

The Grinch isn’t the only strange green creature you’ll meet this festive season, Koen Zwanenburg would have us believe that Father Christmas is in fact a Jedi master, Yoda no less! Bizarrely it makes perfect sense — clearly, it would take a high-level Force user to achieve Santa’s intergalactic delivery schedule. There is also a sly nod to the commercial success of the Star Wars franchise: in a clever reversal of roles, Yoda carries a LEGO minifigure Luke on his back, ready to fill someone’s Christmas stocking.

Santa Yoda

If you like Keon’s model, he’s provided LDD instructions for you to make your very own Santa Yoda.

M:Tron – delivering to a galaxy near you soon

The M:Tron range of LEGO Space sets released back in 1990 never made any bones about the utilitarian  nature of its magnet-laden fleet. It was all about finding innovative ways of lifting and moving its precious equipment cases around the galaxy.  Tim Goddard, whose space work has become a regular feature here on TBB, has really run with this idea of transportation.  He asks, how do you deploy your beautifully built M:Tron mech to the planet surface?  With the M:Tron Pod of course.

POD

Having had a close-up look at this build at Bricktastic earlier this year, I was mightily impressed by the lengths Tim had gone to, to make his Pod hexagonal.  Of course it also has a fully functional hatch mechanism. Like so much of his work, it’s a splendidly detailed homage to one the LEGO Group’s most-loved themes.

POD opening