If there’s one thing that sets today’s LEGO elements apart from those of the past, it’s the wide range of bright colors found in modern sets; they expand upon the original LEGO primary color palette with stunning diversity. Many of these colors are only available for a limited assortment of parts. This digital model by Pau Padrós uses some great new parts like this brick with a half arch first released in 71043 Hogwarts Castle, and this rounded brick in colors LEGO has not released yet, but we can hope that maybe someday, they will. The model features an angled facade and plenty of unconventional construction that orients the LEGO stud in several directions within a single structure.
The blacksmith shop is a staple of custom LEGO creators, and while we typically see blacksmiths from medieval time periods or fantasy worlds, the art of metal crafting spans many time periods. This is evident in Ayrlego‘s model showing a swordsmith honing the blade of a soldier in the British military with a spinning stone in a charming colonial outpost.
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with your faded bricks, check out the collection of faded white elements throughout the model. Along with some tan and dark tan parts, they give the building a nicely weathered look. Combined with the tile roof, it fits right in with the colonial architecture.
If this hellish looking monster built by Marcin Otreba reminds you of the fire demon who faced off against everyone’s favorite wizard Gandalf in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, that would be for good reason. Featured in the video game Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Tar Goroth is one of the minions of darkness in Middle Earth. Unlike its better-known cousin, this Balrog has to walk. Maybe that explains why he looks so mad.
The use of several transparent orange elements peeking out between the cracks in its ebony skin makes this monstrosity instantly recognizable, along with those downward-pointing horns. Also, it strikes me as very fitting that so many of these 1×4 wing with pin hole elements from the official Lord of the Rings theme were used throughout the model.
The first thing you might be thinking when you look at the head of this monstrous figure is “OMG, run away!” Alternatively, if you enjoy geeking out about cool LEGO creations (and since you are reading this, you probably do) you might be thinking, “How is that head even LEGO?” Djokson has masterfully connected an assortment of shield, sword, claw, and robot parts – not to mention gleaming golden one rings – to create a most frightening visage.
The organic structure of this mighty destroyer is continued throughout the head and torso with macaroni tubes forming ribs and other musculature, and more muscles are crafted with the use of ribbed tubing. That blue flaming ball and chain he’s swinging is not a business end you want to be anywhere near. Seriously, run away.
Of all the possible uses for a LEGO tire, I think my favorite is masterfully demonstrated by Marco Marozzi, who uses them to flesh out his many mech creations. One example is this heavily armed mechanoid soldier, the tire forming the seal around his neck. As he looks to be examining the back of his hand thoughtfully, I have to wonder if either a butterfly has landed there, or he’s thinking about how hard the blood will be to wash out. This solder features a number of cleverly re-purposed minifig and vehicle accessories, like the snowshoe on the shoulder, and this tread for the feet. The use of several older dark gray elements that are off-color really gives the model a well-weathered look.
Fans of the short-lived television series Firefly will instantly recognize this LEGO version of Serenity built by Richard Van As. His model does a fantastic job of capturing the look of the sturdy, cobbled together freighter that was as much a cast member as her human crew. The model features an opening cargo bay door, rotating thrusters, landing gear, and docking for two short-range shuttles. The ship has several off-colored parts to represent the many repairs and replacements installed over her years of service. If you squint, you can almost see Wash’s collection of plastic dinosaurs through the cockpit viewport.
The release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story brought a sentence from the original film’s opening crawl to life and connected it directly to the start of Star Wars: A New Hope in a most dramatic way. And this model by Pablo Piccasos does just that in LEGO. What looks like a single model is actually made up of three distinct creations that fit together seamlessly, bridging the two movies in more ways than one.
If you are looking for great LEGO models of cars in a 1:1 scale to the LEGO Minifig, look no further than these two classic automobiles by Mateusz Waldowski. At first glance, it would be easy to mistake these dual versions of the 1970s Ford Granada MK1 for die-cast Hotwheels. From the smoothly curved hoods to the white stripes made from official sticker material, there’s not a visible stud to be seen. One of my favorite details is the little tab sticking out for each door handle. (See if you can figure out how they did it.) And that luggage rack is ready for the Griswolds to load up for their family vacation.
Visions of the future have been promising hovering cars since the 1960s and we are still waiting. But with LEGO creations like this hovercar by GolPlaysWithLego we can imagine ourselves whooshing down the floating freeways of tomorrow in style. Rather than build a flashy, bright-colored hovercar inspired by the video game franchise Wipeout, this one is made using monochrome shades of spaceship gray, and it looks great. The way the windshield part fits so smoothly into that arch, it’s like it was made just for that purpose.
As contributors for TBB, we see a lot of very interesting LEGO creations, and their sources of inspiration are as diverse as the parts used to build them. If you were to ask what the most unusual source was, I would have to say that real-life viruses would be near the top of the list. Take this model by Dwalin Forkbeard which depicts the AP32 Phage, of the Tectiviridae family. You don’t have to know what this means to appreciate Dwalin’s masterful construction using a bunch of the Nexo Knights hexagonal panels to craft a near-perfect sphere. But if you are curious, a phage is a virus that infects and replicates within bacteria. Sounds like the stuff of nightmares.
The pod also features several manipulators in three different designs to help the pilot complete its assigned tasks. The interior is surprisingly roomy, despite the use of more panels loaded with instruments.
If you like Dwalin’s Phage model, check out another virus-inspired creation we featured previously on TBB.
The courthouse can be the true center of many small towns across America. In many towns, they rise above the trees and nearby buildings both in physical prominence and emotional meaning, as gathering places in times of celebration and of hardship. In this model of the Monroe County courthouse in Albia, Iowa by Chris Maddison the building stands tall and proud in the center of a green space which features (at my estimation) 7 unique tree construction techniques.
When it comes to hilarious AI sidekicks in video games, it’s hard to beat the exuberant, boisterous, stair-challenged inverted triangle designated CL4P-TP, or better known as Claptrap. And what could be better than one Claptrap? If you asked Jerac that question, the answer would be three Claptraps.
Jerac has captured the distinctive look of these mono-wheeled robots very well, from the spindly arms to the oversized guns. And speaking of wheels, they are attached using the 1×1 modified plate with handle as if the part was made just for this purpose.