This latest creation by Andrew Tate brings some 1920s style to a staple modular of any LEGO city. Standing at four stories tall and topped with a clock tower, Andrew’s Art Deco bank has both the perfect color scheme and expertly designed architectural details. The light bluish gray concrete facade flaunts a variety of textures and geometric patterns, ranging from your standard 1×2 grille and log bricks to 1×1 pyramids and angled tiles. The use of SNOT with tiles achieves a sturdy look fit for a bank, while techniques like the slightly offset dark green cheese slope detailing and gold accents around the windows break that monotony.
In this surrealism-inspired LEGO sculpture, Woomy World achieves a dynamic and organic look through the use of clever part usages and a bright color palette. According to the builder, Technic supports were used as the skeleton for the sculpture. We see some of those beams at the base, but throughout the rest of the build, they are virtually invisible beneath the twisting tree trunk and the bird’s plumage/foliage. Instead, I’m drawn to the gradient of the leaf parts from teal to dark azure, as well as the dramatic flourish of the wings made with flex tubes, a technique used by fellow builder Joss Woodyard. And contributing to the seamless flow of the bird’s transformation, the twisting tree trunk has all of these natural grooves and textures from parts like technic connectors and a Belville saddle.
LEGO DUPLO animals might not seem the most approachable for a model. To start with, there’s the challenge of working around the scale and system differences. Also personally, it’s slightly unnerving to see googly-eyed, toddler-friendly counterparts of some of my favorite brick animals, e.g. the DUPLO goat. But Simon Liu presents a clear solution— just suit them up! Add some expert greebling, equip them with some blasters and now these giant bunnies are capable of doing a whole lot more.
Got a soft spot for adorable animals in mech suits? Simon has also created a fluffier variation of the bunny mechs above, the DUPLO bunny plush mech.
We’ve featured quite a few LEGO facades, but it’s surprising to see how much life might be behind these buildings. Kris Kelvin (Montgomery Burns) depicts the back lot of two buildings in excellent minifig-scale realism without sacrificing any detail or action. This diorama is bustling with new shipments of lobsters, Scala bottle elements, and pork chops. In addition to the goods, you’ll find dark tan tiles scattered across the sidewalks and air conditioners that really capture that city grime. There’s also a variety of bar and fence parts to create all sorts of railings, gates, and pipes throughout. We’ve spotted the use of some rare brown fence pieces incorporated into the tall gates of the lot entrance. And at the intersection, there’s a pair of stoplights supported by bar handles and lightsaber hilts.
According to Kris, this build, along with an autumn garden, is part of a larger city diorama in progress. While we’re waiting to see it all come together, visit our archives for a look at some more detailed dioramas.
As the Year of the Ox is approaching next week, Ian Hou (AKA DOGOD Brick Design) blesses us with a new LEGO creation. He wishes us a happy, healthy new year and tells us to be as strong as an ox. And thinking about the positives of having gotten through this past year, let’s look into Ian’s brick cow. All throughout you’ll find excellent part usages and slope shaping. The legs are formed by angled wedge plates and the hooves with 2×2 corner wedges. Ian also uses a 6×6 train roof for the cow’s thigh and a half arch for the subtle shaping of the cow’s neck.
Just a few months ago, I caught on the trend and started playing Among Us. The game has been everywhere— from memes, politics, and more recently, in LEGO. Here Vincent Kiew has recreated The Skeld‘s security room. Vincent uses two triple curved wedge pieces uses to shape each player’s rounded suits and a nice teal for the floor. The hats on each player are also a fantastic addition; there’s a minifig toilet plunger, brick-built nest and one of my go-to’s, the toilet paper roll. This diorama is adorable to see outside of the game—but I will say, three people in security seems kinda sus.
From animals to pop culture, Vincent has created a vast range of models, some of which you can check out here. A few of my personal favorites are his building studies of Malaysian architecture, like his model of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown and a heritage house with a complete interior.
From the Andean condor to the black-necked swan, Luis Peña García has shared his appreciation of South American birds and wildlife by recreating them in LEGO. This time, Luis builds the Cahuil gull, also known as the brown-hooded gull. The red minifig flippers make excellent webbed feet for navigating the marshes and freshwater lakes. The 1×1 printed round eye tile is the perfect representation of the Cahuil gull’s white feathers around its eye. Simplistic and full of great part usages, this lil’ guy is the perfect desk buddy or shelf display.
Gather up your parts and begin building! Click here to for the instructions on how to make your own Cahuil Gull
With the closure of shops and buildings, it’s been difficult for some builders to find their architectural inspiration. However, some have found ways to avoid that awful builder’s block. Drawing from both imagination and inspiration from Google Maps’ street view of Amsterdam, Thomas van Urk (aka Utanapishtim, aka Thomassio) has created yet another marvelous city modular. As always, this corner building looks incredibly clean and packed with architectural detail. Its dark tan facade is textured with masonry bricks, with a good balance of light gray bullions in its trim. The symmetry in the building overall is also incredibly satisfying to look at, not to mention the beautiful accented dark red windows at the front.
Like this builder’s style? Take a look at Thomas van Urk’s Fright Knights tribute, which I assure, you will find frighteningly amazing.
One of my favorite things about San Francisco is its architecture. Though shops have closed and the streets are nearly empty, some of the city’s most vibrant buildings still stand. Just off Market Street, you’ll find the Castro Theatre, whose majesty has been translated into LEGO by Jonathan Lopes. Since 1922, the Castro Theatre has hosted everything from queer cinema to silent film festivals at the center of San Francisco’s vibrant arts scene and historic LGBTQ+ district. Like in Jonathan’s model, you can’t miss its iconic neon signage and stunning Spanish-Baroque facade.
Free from light pollution and smog, this observation deck would be perfect for spotting a planetary conjunction. But there’s certainly a greater spectacle in this vibrant LEGO creation. The Galaxy Cliff Lighthouse by Pete Strege offers an incredible, up-close view of a spiraling galaxy. This Ferris-wheel-like galaxy is motorized, which is quite an engineering feat for its unique shape and scale. Its free-standing tail overarches the entire model, making this build an event of a lifetime.
As we head onwards into the new year, let’s wrap up the highlights of 2020. This year, the world entered lockdown and many LEGO builders found time on their hands to create. Here at The Brothers Brick, we’ve witnessed the wildest dioramas, passion projects, and engineering feats finally come to fruition. Now it’s time to look back at the custom creations that were most popular with you, our readers, throughout this past year.
In addition to this retrospective, don’t forget to check out the Top 10 most popular LEGO set reviews and The Brothers Brick’s final selections for the 2020 Builder of the Year and 2020 Creation of the Year. And without further delay, let’s begin with number 10 and work our way to the most popular LEGO model of 2020.
Building a convincing minifig-scale snowman is a challenge, even for the pros. We’ve seen a few odd ones in previous LEGO Advent Calendars, that’s for sure. But once we go to a more medium-scale, Tiago Catarino shows us that it only takes a few common pieces to build a snowman perfect as a seasonal decoration, ornament, or something to keep around all year long.