Posts by Matt Hocker

A streetcar named Peter Witt

Some people call them streetcars. Some people call them trams, and other people call them trolleys. Whatever you know them as, Nouvilas’ version of a Peter Witt is so nice it’s “off the tracks.” A Peter Witt is a type of tram car, named after the man who designed the first one back in 1914. Nouvilas built his streetcar for a collaborative diorama representing Harlem, New York, in the 1930s. I really like the way the cheese slopes flare out to create the curve of the “bumper,” and the chocolate brown and tan color scheme feels authentic for the period….almost makes me hungry for a Nestle bar!

Peter Witt Streetcar

Click to see the full Harlem layout

Calling all cars! Calling all cars!

Pixeljunkie is wanted dead or alive by the LEGO police. His crime? Impersonating a 1955 Buick police car with amazing detail! He modeled his car after one that appeared in the 1950s American action crime drama TV series Highway PatrolA number of American cars of the 1950s were famous for their decadent levels of chrome trim, and Pixeljunkie’s Buick does not disappoint. For example, use of the Bellville bucket handle to form the shape of the grille is incredibly effective and brilliant!

Lego 1955 Buick Century - Highway Patrol

An abandoned hangar leads to a remake of a classic LEGO train set

Alexis Dos Santos has been chugging along with some new train models, and this rustic scene consists of two separate structures. Alexis’ “Abandoned Hangar” on the left serves as a tribute to the history of trains, while the building on the right celebrates the history of LEGO trains. I really enjoy the way these two buildings play off of one another, with the darkness of the hangar giving way to the bright and colorful rail yard.

Abandoned Hangar

Continue reading about this model

Who shot first?

Was it Greedo, or was it Han? How about Markus Rollbühler? Markus wanted to gear up for the new Solo: A Star Wars Story movie coming out next week by building Solo’s DL-44 Heavy Blaster for a contest hosted by theRogueBricks Flickr group. He has done such a wonderful job recreating this Star Wars that I’m almost convinced he personally presented the gun to the space cowboy himself. I enjoy Markus’ attention to detail, including the textured leather grip. From a distance, it almost looks like the real deal!

Han Solo's DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol

Born to build on the bayou

In the U.S., Louisiana is sometimes known as “bayou country” thanks to its marshy, crocodile-laced swamps. Life on the bayou can be rough and tough, as Sebastian Bachórzewski shows us in one of his latest models. By mixing various earthy colors and greens, Sebastian captures the combination of muddy swampland with wild overgrowth. His rustic cabin shows signs of weathering within a harsh environment, and the way the bright green algae meets the dark and murky water is sublimely beautiful.

Swampy water

Around the world in 80 studs

These mosaic sculptures by ZiO Chao have so much depth, they’re bordering on bas-relief. We’ve shared ZiO Chao’s landmark sculptures before, and he is back at it again and is ready to take us on a trip around the world with a series of 3D mosaics.

Click to continue touring the world with the rest of the mosaics

Too many cooks in the kitchen...

LEGO photography is an art in and of itself, as demonstrated by brickexplorer’s images shared on Instagram. This particular scene is cute and funny thanks to well-executed visual storytelling. It’s a tale of the guy who thinks he can cook but is so distracted by his pets that he sets his food on fire. Meanwhile, Brickexplorer’s failed little chef is oblivious to the woman shouting at him from behind. If the fish flopping around near the dishwasher is any indication, this guy is about as good at taking care of his pets as he is making dinner.

Everything about this scene is lively and fun to look at, thanks to the builder’s use of color and lighting. The way the sun shines brightly through the window reminds me of a morning sunrise. And editing the image to include smoke makes this scene all the more believable.

If it looks like Galidor and quacks like Galidor....

Gali-what? For the uninitiated, Galidor was a line of quirky buildable action figures released by LEGO back in 2002. Galidor coined and subsequently destroyed the word “glinching,” which was used to refer to the interchangeability of the various body parts. LEGO had great expectations for Galidor and invested a great deal of money in promoting the product, which included a tie-in TV show, video games and promotional McDonald’s Happy Meal toys. Despite LEGO’s efforts, Galidor was a huge commercial failure and has been a running joke in the LEGO fan community every since. Between all the laughter, there has been very little in the way of discussion of what Galidor could have been….until now. Ryan Howerter brings us this great model of Jens, but look closely…

Jens

Read more about Ryan’s Galidor model

A Steamtastic Special Delivery

Thanks to builders like Roland Skof-Peschetz, the age of steam is alive and well. According to Roland, this the K&K Luftpost uses this flying postal vehicle to deliver mail to the most remote locations of Austria. Upon seeing his quadcopter, the positioning of the four blades instantly reminded me of commercially available drones. Amazon, take note…We would like to see this quadcopter used for your Prime Air delivery service!

Austrian Air Mail (redux)

Check out more deatils on this Air Mail craft below

This classic 1970 1/2 Camaro packs a lot of muscle

From the 1960s through the early 1970s, muscle cars were all the rage in the USA. The thirst for increasingly powerful engines gave rise to cars like this sporty black & white 1970 1/2 Camaro Z28 RS crafted by Thomas Gion. Thomas’ design is pretty spot-on, with the front-end in particular having all the right curves and detailing. Staggered pointed tiles make for an eye-pleasing hood, and ice skates are cleverly used to replicate the Camaro’s iconic split bumper.

1970 1/2 Chevrolet Camaro RS/Z28

The Camaro’s back end also looks pretty sleek with the way the rear windshield tapers into the body. This thing looks like it’s capable of some serious speed and is ready to go VROOM!

1970 1/2 Chevrolet Camaro RS/Z28

Cool off with this Hot Piece of Waterfront Property

If you’re traveling through Northern Italy, you might encounter the picturesque city of Lecco. In his latest masterpiece, “Memories of Lecco”, Dario Minisini chose to model a representation of the city’s renowned waterfront architecture. I really enjoy the overall composition of this model, which has made an excellent use of color. The brown and lavender buildings make for an excellent contrast to one another, and the mixing of old light yellowish-gray and light blueish-gray bricks creates a vintage-looking patina that feels authentic.

There is certainly no shortage of charm here. What makes Dario’s model so memorable is the amount of thought and effort that went into incorporating so much detail. A look at the tree with half its leaves missing suggests Fall must be right around the corner. Weathered-looking roof shingles are made possible with parts such as the boat oar, and the benches utilize classic Fabuland fences to great effect.

Fuel, Give Me Fire, Give me the Gas Station I Desire!

This rustic gas station was built by Markus Rollbühler. He started things off with the Ford tow truck, which then served as the inspiration behind the surrounding architecture and landscaping. According to Markus, he’s “not much of a car builder,” but I can’t help but be impressed by the intricate-looking towing mechanism on the back of his vibrant, bright-light-orange truck. Thanks to the excellent use of darker colors, Markus’ gas station really looks like something you might find while cruising down Route 66.

Of Rust and Gasoline

There are plenty of little details to enjoy, including the building’s tilted siding, the custom-built outdoor furniture, and the little red bird in the tree. In particular, I’m loving the design of those trees, which uses several green feather parts as leaves. This same technique was used in one of Markus’ models we featured back in October. In fact, that particular tree looks like it might have been transplanted next to this gas station.