Posts by Michael

Straight from the Boonta Eve Classic, it’s Anakin Skywalker and his custom podracer!

This dynamic vehicle is lovingly crafted from LEGO by Matt in excellent detail! I’ve always loved this podracer, and this build reminds me why. The engines are slick, and the cockpit is stylish. Of course, it doesn’t hurt it’s the fastest racer ever! Can you hear those engines purring, the energy binder humming? Some cool parts usage at work in those racing engines, like the yellow helmets from the LEGO Space theme. Another nice callback, this time to the Arctic theme, are the yellow snowshoes on the engines’ midsection. They have the waffle cutouts perfect for those vent covers! Something I appreciate is the use of transparent cones for that undulating effect of the active energy binder.

Anakin’s Podracer

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Picture perfect fairytale furniture

These delightful LEGO furniture pieces from Brickdesigned bring charm to the cottage in which they reside. No one knows who lives in the cottage, but who wouldn’t want to live in such a cute environment? Perhaps if we take a closer look at the items we can discern some things about the owner… The clock is built into a felled tree with accompanying wildlife, while the hat indicates they enjoy frolicking in the woods, too. The tree’s wide base is cleverly achieved with a brown minifig torso! Moving on to the bed, we see they like to keep things tidy with a made bed. The checkered pattern is lovely, and I particularly like the tree branches for the bedposts. The standout pieces here are the red minifig hands making up the frill of the throw rug.

The snacks on the table suggest the owner likes sweets balanced with just a touch of health! The table and chair speak of comfort without too much fuss. Honestly, that chair looks more comfortable than many wooden chairs I’ve used myself. Finally, there’s the fireplace. The mantle is chock full of cool items: a message in a bottle, books galore, a tea set, some coins, and a cool hourglass. I love how the mantle and the fireplace are constructed! The studs-not-on-top (SNOT) approach for the logs supporting the mantle is charming. The cauldron cooking over the fire is a nice touch, too. We may not know who lives in this space, but we do know one thing–they live happily ever after.

Get some high fidelity from this tubular amp

Prepare yourself for the high quality sound coming from this valve amplifier by LEGO LowNotes. While built from LEGO, I have no doubt in the capabilities of this amp with a little imagination! The first thing that strikes me are the large tubes with those warm filaments. Red and orange transparent studs give the filaments that glowing look. Bars comprise the input/output needles in the center of the control panel with transparent doors for the glass. Valve amps are favored for their warm tones, higher fidelity, and softer clipping thresholds, and everything about this build is just as smooth and crisp. This build could easily blend in with any audio setup–the only thing to give it away is the lack of cords coming out the back.

LEGO Amp

This Xenomorph build has some bite

Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise are cool and terrifying at the same time, and this LEGO sculpt by Grantmasters is no exception! Based on the collector’s edition of the Alien: Weyland-Yutani Report, an informational book on the franchise, there’s so much detail packed into this low relief sculpt. Those slopes making up the brunt of the face look like they were made for rendering a Xenomorph, but the build really shines with the greebling on the sides of the face. Hinged cylinder links frame the face and connect to each other with a rope element across the top of the head. The Corners of the mouth feature many elements, such as minifigure arms and hands as well as some skeleton legs. The weapons orbiting the Xenomorph stand in for tendril designs. However, I think they’re present to guard the Xenomorph so it doesn’t leap out at the unsuspecting.

Head Shot 1

Revisiting the classic TIE Fighter from Star Wars

TIE Fighters are one of the most iconic spaceships in pop culture today, and one of the most fun to see built with LEGO. Faku Saku returns to the classic ship with this redesign of an earlier TIE Fighter model he did a few years back. Redesigned and built from the ground up, the wings on this fighter stand out with some exquisite details. Right from the gate, we can see Faku kept the grille tiles for the solar panel detailing on the outside of the wings. Tiles and wedges nicely fill in the inside of the wings. The points where the wings attach to the ship’s body feature greater screen accuracy than the original model. And the outside of the wings? They have a cleaner and stronger appearance than most builds I’ve seen for a Tie Fighter!

TIE fighter v2

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Capturing the legendary King of Fish

Legends are immortal and reach across time to transport us through their stories. Piotrek Przytuła tells one such story through LEGO–the Polish legend of King Sielaw. Long ago, the Masurian Lakes was ruled and guarded by Sielaw, King of Fish. At the behest of the Prussian gods, he protected the waters from greedy fishermen and settlers. Piotrek tells the story through a cross-section so we can see both above and below the waterline. The background is simple, which helps it set the scene and blend behind the impressive action. I do love how the shades of blue grow darker as the water gains depth.

Find out what happens next in the legend

Explore the cosmos with Captain Future!

Eric Druon lovingly recreates the Cosmo-Liner spacecraft from the 1978 anime Captain Future. The ship is really cool, from both a design and LEGO model perspective, bringing to mind visions of a deep-sea diving vessel. The viewport of the ship is hexagonal as if it’s destined to be made of LEGO! This calls for the use of the transparent blue canopy from the 2000 Artic LEGO toy line. The color palette of the ship is simple and quite clean, letting the canopy shine as the focal point. Looking at the design, I can’t help but think the original designers were inspired by TIE fighters. Star Wars premiered a year before the anime aired, leaving room enough for the artists to be inspired by that hit movie. Regardless of the ship’s origin, this build is inspiring in its own right!

Capitaine Flam Cosmolem

Fun fact, the anime was based on the pulp sci-fi character Captain Future. The character’s original adventures were published in the eponymous pulp magazine from 1940 to 1944. The anime was imported into many countries and was particularly successful in France. It was in France that the character’s name changed to Capitaine Flam.

Tiny tall tales

Working with a limited number of LEGO pieces can be a real challenge, but builder Dan Ko rises to meet it with this tiny but awesome build! Building with as few pieces as possible really pushes you to get creative on how to represent your subject, and Dan shows us the way with all the clever parts usage. For example, minifigure skater helmets make up Alice’s shoulders while mugs make up her hair. Orange leaves stand in for the Mad Hatter’s hair sticking out from under his hat. I love the use of shuttle bay doors for the book’s pages! Minifigure hands make up Rapunzel’s flowing hair, which acts as a bookmark of sorts for the open book. And there’s particularly crafty usage of the transparent handle as the heel of the glass slipper. Go ahead, take a closer look and see what wonders you’ll find among these tales!

Once Upon A Time

Minifigs galore from the Hundred Years’ War

Travel back in time with this LEGO battle scene from the Hundred Years’ War by builder Hunter Erickson. This build depicts the Battle of Poitiers, fought between the French and the English in the year 1356. This was but one of many clashes in this series of armed conflicts fought over the French throne. Edward, the Black Prince, led the English forces in this battle, while King Jean II led the French forces. This LEGO scene depicts the battle much the same an artist would have painted the event at the time of the conflict. Layering the background, the sky behind some brick-built hills achieves a great forced perspective. I just love the colors of the plates and bricks making up the rising dawn! The scene is densely packed with minifigures engaged in deadly combat. In blue are the French, fighting to push back the ever-advancing troops of the English. And waving across the battle from the mounted soldier is St. George’s flag, wonderfully rendered with round plates, studs, and clips to capture cloth in motion.

The Battle of Poitiers, 1356

The outcome of this battle will side with the English, despite the two-to-one odds against them. King Jean II was captured, along with one of his sons. Their ransom and the peace talks would take another four years to complete, but eventually, hostilities ceased in 1360 with the Treaty of Bretigny. England regained Aquitaine, was paid the ransom for Jean II and his son, and renounced the claim on the French throne. However, this peace was fleeting–hostilities resumed ten years later, continuing the Hundred Years’ War.

A happy little brick-blending robot

This smiling mixer by Filbrick blends big LEGO bricks down into little ones with delight! The robot just wants to help you build by offering a variety of brick sizes. The happy little appliance possesses wonderful rounded edges and arm joints, which make the red bricks stand out with their hard edges. The curvature in the top of the processor lid is made possible by hinge plates. The bricks inside the blending swirl are suspended using transparent pieces for that added kinetic feel. Of course, the LEGO fun doesn’t end there! The backsplash, plug and outlet, and the kitchen utensils are all brick-built, giving the whole scene a fun, playful atmosphere. The inclusion of a DUPLO brick is a nice touch–always good to see other LEGO products make appearances with the more widely known lines.

mixer 2/3

A scenic path to a forest retreat

Builder Salt_city_bricks gives us a lovely LEGO retreat in a peaceful forest. Two travelers make their way home after an adventurous walk through the forest. They cross a cute little bridge that uses headlight bricks, open studs, and flex tubing for its curvature. Vibrant trees and flowers surround the house on the hill and the babbling brook. There’s not a bit of space left unused on the forest floor! It’s full of plant life, even growing up the sides of the hill to wreath around the multi-story house. The color blocking breaks the scene up into smaller areas to explore.

Unbenannt1

Take a closer look at the trees and flowers

Merrily the hobbits roll along

Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and the newly joined Merry travel by ferry in this LEGO vignette by Thorsten Bonsch. This series from Thorsten follows the first part of The Fellowship of the Ring. Here, we see the four primary hobbits traveling across the Brandywine River into Buckland. The color palette of this build is outstanding, allowing each detail to stand on its own among the others. When it comes to the building techniques, the roofing tiles on the structure draw my eye. It’s a simple technique, but quite effective. It’s just tiles on plates, but the tiles aren’t pressed down on the raised end. The rest of the structure is cool too, with the disheveled layers and angled brown supports. This is one of those locations in a LEGO build that I would love to visit if it were a real place. I would listen to the sounds of the lapping water on the riverbank and the nocturnal sounds of nature around the river.

07. The Ferry

This scene you may recognize from the movie as well, with a Ringwraith bearing down on the hobbits. In the book, upon which this vignette is based, this scene had less pressure on it. The book takes a lot longer to get Frodo and company out of the Shire, but there’s only so long they can take with a movie runtime to consider. Either version, the wraith takes the long way over Brandywine Bridge. Silly Ringwraith, shortcuts are for hobbits!