Posts by Matt Hocker

Kick back and relax in this stylish loft apartment

“I would love to live there!” This was the first thought that entered my mind upon seeing this warm and welcoming loft apartment, built by Heikki M. Thanks to the iconic large open space and towering windows, this living space looks like it’s straight out of Manhattan. The composition of the entire scene is excellent, with the carpet, table and couch drawing your eyes to some impressive-looking masonry. I like how the furniture feels simple but modern, with each piece playing off of one another to form a cohesive still life. Even the portrait of Michael Jackson is well-placed; his side-turned head makes it look as if he’s admiring Heikki’s pad.

Loft Apartment

Speed through the turns in this beautiful Bugatti

Pixeljunkie is back on the scene, turning once again to the pages of automotive history. You might remember us sharing his 1955 Buick squad car and luxurious 1930s convertible. This time, he brings us a French racing legend in the form of the 1928 Bugatti Type 37A. Back then the competition for consumers was fierce, and touting a car’s racing performance was used as a means of advertising. We have to give Pixeljunkie the Golden Cup for this one because it is every bit as epic as the car it is based on. The lovely blue and white color scheme, the shiny trim, the little windshield…I love it all.

1928 Bugatti Type 37A at the Fairmont Hairpin

Despite his ongoing thirst for speed, Pixeljunkie has since taken time out of his schedule to recreate a scene from the 1929 Monaco Grand Prix. There’s even a cameraman ready to photograph the fantastic finish!

1929 MONACO Grand Prix

Now that you are caught up on Bugatti’s heritage, what not race on over to our review of the cutting-edge Chiron?

Comes the morning, and the headlights fade away

LEGO bricks are forever. They are all I need to please me…and I am very pleased with Victor’s 1985 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, as driven by James Bond in The Living Daylights (1987). Victor has done an excellent job of sculpting out the body to replicate the look of 007’s famous ride. The use of ratchet minifigure accessories as windshield pillars works really well here, and they are angled in such a way that matches the profile of the Aston Martin. Bond’s bells and whistles are also present, including a side-mounted skis and a giant flame for a speedy getaway through the snow. If you peek inside, you will even notice the interior upholstery is textured! It’s a design that is best shaken, not stirred…

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante - The Living Daylights

Would you dare to join this den of dino-riders?

Some of my fondest childhood memories revolved around dreaming about dinosaurs. In the late 1980s, Tyco indulged me with prehistoric playthings in the form of Dino-Riders, and I pined for a world where I too could ride a triceratops. These memories came flooding back when I saw Jme Wheeler’s series of builds depicting his own dino-riding universe. Jme brings each setting to life with some excellent scenery, but he has also gone one step further by creating backstories for each scene. This particular build depicts the relationship between Gunther the fisherman and Cornelius the Carnosaurus, who was rescued by as a juvenile by a once-lonely Gunther. What’s particularly excellent is how Jme used brick-built water to make it look like Cornelius is drinking water, although I would imagine his presence sends fish into a frenzy.

FB (Low Full)

Click to see the rest of the dino scenes

Deep in the forest, a magical and mysterious abode awaits...

A fantastic piece of fantasy just popped up in the form of the home of the white lotus priestess by jaapxaap. Jaapxaap’s use of a wide variety of angles and bright colors help create a building that feels both wonderfully organic and magical. I wouldn’t have thought of doing a purple roof, but it works really well here and compliments the orange and brown hues of the surrounding terrain. A number of fun little details can be spotted in this build, including wild looking toadstools, a brilliant brick-built stork, and plenty examples of the priestess’ signature flower. You will even find a small porch with a telescope, perfect for any astrologer.
 
White lotus priest

This prehistoric Polacanthus is dino-mite!

Dinosaurs are the name of the game today at TBB, so let’s take a trip to Western Europe and turn our clocks back to the Cretaceous period, because we’re going on a prehistoric safari to find Polacanthus! Polacanthus is Greek for “many thorns.” Vlad Lisin’s version of the herbivorous dinosaur lives up to its name because it looks quite sharp indeed. A mix of LEGO system and constraction elements are used to achieve a wonderfully organic looking dino. Polancanthus’ head is particularly stunning, thanks in part to a realistic-looking mouth achieved through the use of a battle droid torso and Ninjago snake skull helmet. This behemoth looks prepared to graze through some serious vegetation.

As you explore prehistoric past, don’t miss the fearsome Carnotaurus by Nathan Haseth.

When it comes to building your experience points, Squall’s gunblade is a simply striking solution.

Back in 1999, the Sony PlayStation was the undisputed king of home video game consoles. If you owned a PlayStation and were a fan of turn-based RPGs (role-playing games), Squaresoft delivered a treat in the form of Final Fantasy VIII. Those of you who’ve played the game will instantly recognize this awesome model of Squall’s Gunblade by Letranger Absurde. I think it’s safe to say Letranger Absurde has earned enough experience points with The Brothers Brick to level up!

Final Fantasy VIII - Squall's Gunblade

Off-road adventures with Land Rovers, Chevys and Scouts...Oh my!!

If you have been following The Brothers-Brick for a while, you might remember us sharing Pixel Fox’s off-roading vignettes. One of Pixel Fox’s hallmarks has been blending LEGO bricks with real-life materials for landscaping. His latest model is a spectacular Land Rover Discovery traveling through the African wilderness. The dirt may not be LEGO, but it doesn’t feel out of place and adds an air of authenticity to the vignette.

Land Rover Discovery Series 1

Next up, we have a bright orange International Scout. Originally introduced in 1961, the Scout is considered to be the forerunner of the modern SUV. This is a really fun scene by Pixel Fox that reminds us why we shouldn’t feed the bears.

International Harvester Scout 80

Last but not least is a 1970s Chevrolet C/K pickup truck, ripping through the swampland of the Southern U.S. This scene appears to utilize real water but, unlike real swamps, you would be hard-pressed to find any mosquitoes. It also features minifigures making some questionable decisions, but I guess what happens in the swamp stays in the swamp.

Chevrolet C/K 3rd Gen

The plastic always shines above the clouds

Who needs an island in the sea when you can have your own private enclave in the sky? This splendid floating homestead was built by -Littlejohn and his brother Isaac for InnovaLUG’s collaborative display at Brickworld. While this size of the islands may be small, the builders packed a lot of detail into each one. I love the idea of subsistence farming above the clouds, which is made even more exciting through the use of bright and cheery colors. The little house completes the scene quite nicely; it looks so quaint and inviting that I wouldn’t mind living there!

Villum Homestead

Fill your tank up at this 1960s Italian gas station

What has six legs, barks, and has a lot of gas? The answer, of course, is this lovely 1960s AGIP gas station built by Norton74. AGIP was founded in Italy back in 1926, and the company’s mascot is an unusual looking six-legged fire-breathing dog. For this model, Norton74 drew inspiration from his childhood memories of classic AGIP gas stations, and the results are spectacular. The structure’s rounded walls and sloping roof are not only characteristic of the period being represented; they also add a visual interest that really makes this model “pop.” Other fun details include a pair of slick looking gas pumps, utility poles, and even a cute dealer display for Pirelli tires. Finishing off the entire scene is a sharp looking yellow AGIP tanker truck.

The Italian Way: AGIP gas station and OM Leoncino tanker

But wait; there’s more. Flipping the gas station around reveals a fun backyard junkyard, which is something you would almost expect to see behind the real deal. Someone had better lift that oil drum upright, though!
The Italian Way: AGIP gas station and OM Leoncino tanker

Full steam ahead on the farm!

Steam traction engines first appeared on farms in the 1850s, and they were massive vehicles used for everything from hauling implements to powering belt-driven equipment. Use of these vehicles declined with the rise of the internal combustion engine, but their legacy lives on in the form of modern farm tractors. Thanks to builders like Bricked1980, their legacy also lives on in LEGO form! Bricked1980 does a really good job of capturing the look and feel of the vehicle, along with providing a rendered background that feels like an agricultural field. The color scheme is pleasing to the eye, consisting of a black boiler, green body and brass accents. Bright red wheels add a splash excitement. It’s worth noting that Bricked1980’s model is a digital render and, as such, it features some parts in non-production colors. However, it presents a sharp looking image with an equally great looking model.

Float away from Sam Sinister in this adventurously colorful hot air balloon.

From 1998 through 2003, the LEGO Group’s Adventurer’s theme offered kids an exciting play-theme that also introduced some great new colors and parts. Orient Expedition was the final subtheme in the series, and it gave us a yeti, elephants, and even an anthropomorphic tiger. German fan site Rogue Bricks recently ran a contest based on re-imagining the Orient Expedition subtheme, which resulted in this excellent collaboration between builders Markus Rollbühler and Grant Davis. Markus built the colorful hot air balloon, while Grant created the biplane piloted by none other than the villainous Sam Sinister!

The Race to Mount Everest

Markus’ hot air balloon pays homage to set 7415, Aero Nomad, right down to its inclusion of Johnny Thunder and Dr. Kilroy. It is downright gorgeous to look at, and I especially love the way Markus used a mixture of curved slopes, dishes, tiles, and Technic parts to create the rounded shape of the balloon. The use of hot dog and turban pin elements for the balloon’s ornamentation is also particularly inspiring. To finish things off, the rendered background does a great job of bringing the entire scene to life!