While all the things that LEGO builders can create from their own imagination are amazing, building real-world objects can be rewarding in their own way, especially if you have a personal passion about the object you are building. Just one look at this sleek piano by delayice and it’s clear to see that the builder is paying close attention to details, from the gold on the feet of the piano and the bench to a very well proportioned number of white and black keys. And the gentle curves of the body and the lid are masterfully done.
While the month-long informal building event known as Ma.Ktober that happens every October may be over, The Maschinen Krieger movement that is the inspiration never really stops. For those not familiar with the phenomenon, it started in the early 1980’s as a sci-fi series in a Japanese hobby magazine, and the creators, using off the shelf model kits for airplanes, tanks, and other vehicles, created surreal combinations of armored hard suits and vehicles with strong alien and insect-like aspects. Two-legged walkers like this creation by Marco Marozzi are a popular subject as well.
The tall spindly legs have a very industrial feel, complete with pistons to drive each footstep deep into the rubble covered ground. Multiple sensors and ominous canisters cover the head and body of this drone as it seeks out its prey, and that belly mounted contraption looks like it could ruin your day.
There have been many Transformers movies released over the last decade, and many LEGO Transformers have been featured here at TBB, some that actually transform, and some that are so detailed they boggle the mind. With the upcoming release of Bumblebee, this highly detailed model by ekownimako closely resembles its on-screen inspiration. From the gently curving eyebrows fashioned from the flexible stretcher harness to the handlebar parts that form the separated front fender.
Check out some of the many other Transformers LEGO creations we have featured recently.
This skillfully built pod by Anthony Wilson combines Technic panels with system elements to create a stylish vehicle that would look equally at home deep underwater, as it would in space. One of my favorite details is the gently curving collection of steering handlebars peeking out behind the cockpit. Bright colored trim and tubes also lend a Tron vibe to this single pilot pod. And speaking of pilots, I tip my hat to Anthony for the excellent condition of his Technic figure which is 20 years old, but looks like he’s fresh off the assembly line.
This wild west scene by captainsmog shows the transfer of a notorious prisoner to federal custody under the watchful eye of the local Sheriff. This is one bandit who won’t be rescued by his posse, hooking up a rope or chain to the side window and yanking the wall right off the jail. His only hope will be an ambush in Rattlesnake Gorge… if his henchmen can rustle up some dynamite, that is. The prison coach, while simple in construction, clearly looks sturdy enough to hold any bandit, and the use of log bricks is the perfect choice for the front office of this classic building.
It’s always nice to see a clever use of those parts that are somewhat specialized, and that many builders have in large supply. If you have ever purchased a collectible mini-figure, or 2, then you probably have a some of those 3×4 plates with studs down the middle. Used here to build a simple slat roof. The builder also created an undertaker’s office which features siding made from angled tiles. By far my favorite detail is the marvelous vultures fashioned from a minifig hairpiece and a hand for the head. There is something strangely spooky about carrion birds made from body parts…
A good microscale model can be defined by innovative use of new LEGO elements re-purposed to create unexpected new forms. A great microscale model combines this with traditional parts and colors to form a symphony that sets the model apart. This roadside chapel by Jens Ohrndorf is a perfect example of this mix. Take the entry roof, made from this modified plate with a small raised tab. Or the windows, made from the underside of 1×1 plates. Lining the foundation is a row of light gray ingots. I also enjoy the trees, which are just the right size for the scene (a design inspired by the trees in 10253 Big Ben).
The cube is one of the most common shapes and one that is particularly well suited to LEGO models. But this clever construction by Didier Burtin takes cubic LEGO construction to a whole new level. The structure of 5 plates matching the width of 2 studs is the most basic form of LEGO math at the core of this model, but the use of sideways facing stud bricks, jumper plates, and brackets, as well as plates and tiles in alternate shades of gray, add up to way more than the sum of its parts.
Rockstar’s newest video game, Red Dead Redemption 2, has been a highly anticipated sequel for fans of the first. Maybe it’s the vast open wild west world, with so many ways to create a unique experience. For some players, the greatest appeal for an open world like this is wandering around the wilderness like in this scene by Tuxedo Greedo. The landscape is both peaceful, and hostile in its stark setting. Curved white elements smooth out what would otherwise be a lonely, rocky landscape. Transparent clear bricks in place of more traditional tiles is a great choice for the stream, and white flower elements make the perfect snow-covered blossoms. One more missable details is the quarter-circle tiles wedged between the studs on the pine tree to represent fungus.
If you’re a Ninjago fan, this vehicle may look familiar. After all, it was inspired by the official set 70654 Dieselnaut, which we covered in our news roundup of summer wave Ninjago sets. But there is a lot more to this steampunk behemoth by Mishima than a black paint job. Every detail from the official set has been re-built to fit the steampunk aesthetic, from brass and steel pipes throughout the tank, to the side and top mounted turrets. Even the crew have been custom fitted to the steampunk theme. Two smokestacks in front of the top turret look like they might have come straight off an old steam locomotive, along with the curved side panels that lift up to reveal more guns.
It is entirely possible to be fascinated by a LEGO creation and terrified at the same time. Take this monstrous creature by Ballom Nom Nom, for example. Without a minifig for scale, it is easy to imagine this fellow (named a Grenchler by its creator) stomping through your city, skewering a train or bus on its horn, or squishing a group of terrified tourists underfoot. Speaking of horns, the upward curving protrusion reminds me of the Kaiju from Pacific Rim. Also, there is something unnatural about the three eyes along the edge of the mouth that I can’t explain. I love it, and it will probably stalk my dreams.
If Santa and his elves survived the apocalypse, they would do very well for themselves in an outpost like this, built by Tony Toy. Without a landscape to define its locale, it would be equally at home on the edge of a toxic ocean, or the top of a rugged mountain peak. Besides a number of industrial details like an abundance of pipes going here and there, a tower crane for servicing what could be a submersible, or a drone, and a machine shop for working on a well armored truck, there is a thoughtful inclusion of alternate colored plates and bricks to lend a well-weathered look to the walls. I also like the way that Tony has crafted modules with subtly curved ridges to give the outpost a stacked, cobbled together look.
Our recent collaborative display at BrickCon 2018 in Seattle was an outstanding success, generating an amazing response from both the convention attendees and the public. What started as an idea back in February of this year to expand on the official city set for my son, who is a big Ninjago fan, turned into one of the most popular displays at BrickCon, judging by the crowds leaning into the stanchions, and the tremendously positive feedback we received throughout the 4-day convention. Our collaboration enjoyed the participation of over 30 people, comprising a few of our staff and a lot of awesome readers, and together we displayed nearly 60 custom blocks for Ninjago City, plus numerous sections of waterway.