After six years in the making, master shipbuilder Sebeus I has completed his sensational LEGO version of the Flying Dutchman. The 3-foot-long ship has been fittingly constructed from a muted palette of grey, dark tan, and sand green bricks, giving it the perfect spectral hue. It also allows for an amazing amount of detail to be packed into the vessel’s decaying hull.
You’d better hope that you’ve been good this year otherwise Santa might just be crossing you off his LEGO present list. O Wingård’s lovely character build of Mr Claus captures that festive moment when the old gent checks back his list. Looking sternly over his spectacles we are all reminded that a stack of presents under the tree is never a foregone conclusion! The model itself shows off a whole host of skilful techniques: a beautifully sculptured fluffy beard, teeth plates used to create the pattern on his Christmas sweater, the stripped ribbons on the perfectly wrapped gift, and last but not least a seriously cute little teddy bear.
Opportunity knocks this Christmas for Mr. Wolf. The last little pig had no boiling pot on his range — will the fireplace be enough to prevent this bad Santa from delivering his present? DOGOD Brick Design follows up last year’s seasonal LEGO build with a charming mixed-up fable. The expression on the surprised pig’s face and splayed trotter pose is wonderful, and Mr. Wolf’s sneaky smirk and Santa hat provides the perfect counterpoint. It’s another fantastic festive creation from one of the LEGO community’s best builders
There have been some pretty spectacular LEGO versions of Star Wars’ iconic trench run over the years, setting the bar pretty high for anyone taking on the theme. Pro building group Olive Seon have risen to the challenge, deploying intricate details worthy of the original Industrial Light and Magic model. Its nifty laser towers and exploded Y-wing fighter demonstrating some serious building talent, and a hefty upgrade from their first version, which we covered back in 2015.
The surprises don’t end here: rotate the diorama to reveal a complete Death Star interior. Each of the space station’s rooms acting as individual vignettes, from a scene showing Obi Wan’s deactivation of the tractor beam to a battalion of stormtroopers caught mid-explosion. There is plenty of humour here too: ever wanted to see the battle station’s locker room? Well now you can. My favourite feature though is the hilariously over-sized BrickHeadz Stormtrooper herding his droids.
Light is everything in this atmospheric creation by Henjin Quilones. Young Queen Ylspeth has gathered her council to her palace to seek advice. The photograph centres in on the young monarch’s concentrated face, leaving her advisors suggestively out of focus.
Using a glowing orange laptop screen to create a sense of torchlight emanating from the left of the room, and a desk lamp to imitate glaring sunlight to the right, gives the model a genuine sense of place. It also metaphorically frames the difficult choices the Queen must make: the two statues behind her, one holding a sword the other a key, reinforcing the motif.
Complementing his Thunderbird 3 creation from March, this 35,000-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.
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!
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.
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.
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 whole band looks great, but bassist Paul Simonon stands out, with his low-slung guitar and red-sloped beret being flawlessly portrayed.
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!”
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.
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.