About Lino

Lino is an artist, humorist, and occasional responsible adult. He is the co-founder of a challenge-based LEGO car club called LUGNuts that boasts over 1100 members worldwide. He proposed automotive building challenges every month for ten years (120 challenges!) where he and the other members built accordingly. LUGNuts has retired their challenges on their 10th anniversary but still remain a cornerstone for LEGO automotive builders. Between his artistic work and LEGO builds, Lino has been published in several books, including Beautiful LEGO, Beautiful LEGO: Dark and Beautiful LEGO: Wild. He lives in Washington with his girlfriend and dog.

Posts by Lino

A mythical fox of a different kind

Can someone help me with a tech question? How do I set the parental controls so that my parents can’t watch Fox News? While The Brothers Brick IT team and I are working that out, I’d like to show you a fox of a different kind. This Kyuubi no Kitsune (Nine-tailed Fox) built by Jessica Farrell is a well-known character in Japanese folklore. Jessica tells us that this magical creature lives for an incredibly long time and grows a new tail for each century of spiritual training and wisdom. Upon gaining its ninth tail, the Kitsune has reached its full powers and its tails may begin to turn golden or white in color. Its natural form is that of an ordinary fox but the powerful Kitsune is able to shape-shift into other forms, particularly that of a beautiful young woman, and get up to all sorts of mischief!

Kyuubi no Kitsune (Nine-tailed Fox) Inset

She also tells us that this model is comprised of 4,304 elements and took three weeks to design and build. I am particularly fond of the intricate textured stones and the flowing brook. The entire setting instills a tranquil feeling for me and the Kitsune’s expression exudes wisdom. Now that is a Fox network I would watch!

This wouldn’t be the first time we were enchanted by Jessica’s mythical beings. Check out this dragon and an uncanny walking house.

A Star Wars post sure to make you “Mad About Me”.

Let’s face it, you can’t get that jaunty, upbeat tune out of your head now. I know it, you know it and builder Minicoop4 knows it. The best thing to do is just ride it out and maybe re-watch Star Wars. These five Jizz-wailers (tee-hee!) are so good at playing that one tune that it’s the only request they ever get. Trust me, I’d love to keep sputtering out the lowbrow jokes real thick here but any innuendos I may have had in mind were already exhausted by the world’s most important news source so you’ll get no more jokes from me.

Cantina Band

Some neat facts about the song though; it commonly goes by the Cantina Band Song but it’s actually called “Mad About Me”. The band of Bith aliens is called Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, but if you want it played at your wedding, you’d have to credit composer John Williams. If you want to audition for the band, be sure to have a black turtleneck and a snappy pair of gray slacks. It also helps if you have cleavage showing. Forehead cleavage, that is. OK, maybe I had one dumb joke left!

Red Sonja is a thing of dreams from a much evolved builder

For folks like me, building people and other bipedal figures can be a bit difficult. I’d build them fine enough, but even the slightest shift in weight could result in a fragile creation toppling over, so often it’s just easier to build them with both feet planted firmly on steady ground. The end result is a little stiff but at least we’re not cleaning up a toppled LEGO mess. But Letranger Absurde has built plenty of human figures. Even his own humbler beginnings were admittedly a little rigid, but we are witnessing a great builder evolving into a greater one, as evidenced by this Red Sonja creation. Her proportions and fluidity of motion are suitable enough to grace a Frank Frazetta or Boris Vallejo fantasy illustration. The builder tells us that this is indeed his most difficult creation to date but the end result is absolutely worth the effort.

Red Sonja

Here is another recent creation that illustrates how well this builder is evolving.

The cheese stands alone

We’ll soon return you to your regularly scheduled Baby Yoda or Star Wars spaceship or whatever you folks are demanding more of but first I wanted to show you this cute near life-sized rat built by Keiichi Kamei. The rats that occasionally invade my backyard are a bit bigger than this but his stance, his little ears, his bare tail and even his hands are all pretty spot on. I’d be more agreeable to sharing some cheese with them if they weren’t so invasive in real life.

rat_01

This is not quite instructions but you can sort of reverse engineer your own with the help of this photo. Neat, right? We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

rat_08

For Baby Yoda, wackadoodle, the internet has gone.

Builder Miro Dudas knows that the formula for success is to build Baby Yoda or anything from The Mandalorian, really. I have not yet seen the pivotal series from Disney+ but in gleaning from the official trailer, internet memes, and prior TBB articles about The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda, I’ll try to surmise the plot of the entire series. Here goes:

Baby Yoda

(any spoilers are purely coincidental)

Click to see if I’m right!

Greebling with a side of more greebling!

It finally happened! This new creation by Angelo Favretti has me at a loss for words. So instead of coming up with the words you can fill them all in Mad Libs style and post them in the comments section.

This (adjective) spaceship is totally the (possessive noun) knees! I like how it is divided into (a number) sections, each more (adjective) than the last. I’m willing to wager my (noun) that this took a metric (unit of measure) of time and LEGO to complete. We’re all (adverb) blown away by the amount of (verb ending in “ing”) greebling this thing has! It’s like a (noun) exploded in (a place) and this is the (adjective) result. I think the gray (plural noun) and the white (plural noun) are (adverb) nice parts usage. (Brothers Brick staff member) says this might be the (adjective ending in “est”) spaceship we’ve seen all year and (famous person) just might agree. Let’s hope for more (adjective) (plural noun) like this in 2020!

Foto 1

A midnight snack and a dip in the pool sounds good right about now.

The premise of Gremlins was to never expose these adorable Mogwai to bright light, never get them wet and never, ever feed them after midnight. But how do they know what time zone they’re in? Plus it’s always midnight somewhere so did they take that into consideration? They broke the rules anyway and drama ensued but in the 80’s you didn’t really need cohesive plots to make a movie watchable. All you needed was Phoebe Cates. Grant Masters proves you don’t need a ton of LEGO to recreate a pretty convincing facsimile of Gizmo, the adorable star of Gremlins who wasn’t Phoebe Cates.

Gizmo

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

This holiday season, Star Wars fans are flocking to movie theaters to see the final installment in the Skywalker saga. Since Star Wars came out in 1977, we’ve grown older, some of us have had kids of our own, some have bought homes, held more than a few jobs, some of us may even be looking as old and grizzled as Luke Skywalker himself. No matter how we turned out in life, Star Wars fans who were children or young adults in 1977 recall the year that changed their lives immesuably. An entity named NS Brick Designs has sparked a sense of wonder and nostalgia for older Star Wars fans with a LEGO rendition of the original Tom Jung pulp poster that started it all.

Luke’s robe billows open revealing his massively muscled chest while a subservient, sultry Leia slinks at his feet holding a blaster. This wasn’t the reality of the movie; Luke wasn’t all that ripped and it turns out Princess Leia could hold her own and wasn’t going to play second fiddle to a farm boy from Tatooine. But pulp images, especially this one inspired by the fantasy art of Frank Frazetta, have a way of capturing the imagination and bending perceptions a bit. Now in modern times, we are calling the newest movie the last of the Skywalker saga, but we have new heroes to look up to such as Finn, Rey and Poe. Thanks to a dedicated fan base and thanks, in part, to images like this one, the magic and lore of Star Wars has persisted with us most of our lives and will likely remain with us for generations to come.

Santa’s ’40 Ford Coupe is the alternative to traditional science.

It’s been proven by…um…science or something that Santa travels the world via a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer named Dasher, Dancer and…um…Vomit and Nixon, maybe? I don’t know, it’s been awhile since my last science class so I’m a little rusty on the names and how it all works. But that doesn’t stop builders like Isaac W. from defying traditional science and going with alternate forms of transportation such as this chopped ’40 Ford Coupe. As a diehard car dude, I am all about this sleek, top-fueled alternate ride!

Santa's chopped '40 Ford Coupe

Now I’m aware that the ’40 Ford Coupe has fairly ample trunk space but I have a thirst for toys as big as the Colorado Rockies. How does Santa accommodate the likes of me? As stated earlier, it has been awhile since science class but I know enough about science to realize it’s going to take a lot more than a coupe trunk to get toys to all the good children of the world. Thankfully, Isaac already has that solution figured out with this matching trailer. Isn’t science grand?

Santa's chopped '40 Ford Coupe

Alright, break it up, dummies!

There is so much to love about this digital ice breaking scene by Tong Xin Jun. The striking color choices of the Land Rover Defender and the vessel it is pulling is appealing to the eye and seems to be this builder’s signature move. The broken ice patterns are nothing short of mesmerizing in their execution, their glass-smooth tops are accurate for a windswept arctic tundra. This is achieved by lying bricks and slopes on their sides in a SNOT (Studs Not On Top) configuration. The slopes change direction only at the bow of the vessel, accurately depicting how ice chunks would react to being plowed through and the transparent bits in the boat’s wake is an excellent touch. The entire composition is indeed a work of art. The scene seems a bit precarious however. Ice chunks smaller than the Land Rover may not support its weight and, as seen from this view, I squint and wonder why all the minifigs would be shirtless in a frigid arctic scene.

Icebreaker

Click to find out why.

When was the last time you danced?

The new Creator modular comes out January first and, while this is exciting news, the general consensus is that it is rather plain. That would not have been said if this creation by Joshua were the new modular instead. This Dancing Modular is part Dancing House by Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunić, part Krzywy Domek and part funhouse mirror. The dizzying, sweeping windows juxtaposed against curving transparent balconies is a compelling sight to behold, and the garden roof terrace brings a bit of nature to what otherwise might be forboding architectural chaos.

Dancing Modular

The interior boasts some brightly lit, yet quaint, well-appointed spaces such as this one. Continue reading

By popular demand, here’s more The Mandalorian stuff!

We expected a lot from Disney+ and The Mandalorian. We knew it was going to be a gritty western-style drama set in the Star Wars universe and starring a no-nonsense bounty hunter but perhaps we didn’t expect him to win surrogate father-of-the-year in some heart-warming hijinks with an adorable “baby Yoda” (not really Yoda). I’m one of the few holdouts waiting to see the series at a later date, but week after week the internet is apparently delighted with the relationship between “Mando” and his 600-month-old infant ward. I’m sure Omar Ovalle is much more attuned to their weekly shenanigans than I am as evidenced by these neat constraction figures. Here we see The Child in his spherical bassinet, The Mandalorian in his custom painted helmet and chest armor, and a nicely built speeder bike.

Mandalorian Speeder Bike -

It is a safe bet that Omar enjoys building custom figures. Here is a previous time he customized Technic figures into Star Wars characters and another time he customized constraction figures as the cast of Game of Thrones.