Animals are one of the hardest things to build in LEGO, due to their natural shapes and smooth surfaces. Unless you’re opting for robotic versions, you can’t just cover tricky parts up with any old light gray part and call it mechanical greebles! Brick Surgeon has done a wonderful job building a perfectly natural, realistic, and non-robotic LEGO bison. Here it’s being ridden by a warrior named Megedagik, whom we can only assume is too cool for horses.
Don’t miss the excellent use of minifigure hair pieces for the bison’s shaggy head, and assorted plants around the scene. The builder has used olive green minifigure heads as cacti — effective part use, further enhanced with some pretty lavender buds.
Slicing and dicing with a sword bearing the name Brandenburger Tor, this mech by
zi zy looks ready to fight (and win) against anything that crosses its path. I like the character that the builder has managed to incorporate into this build. Its stout appendages, flat head that’s barely there, and aggressive stance give the mech a threatening appearance.
I particularly appreciate the use of a single lime part (a round stud) as the “eyes” of the mech, as it completes the appearance of the mech with a small drop of color.
Swiss builder Marshal Banana has created a LEGO version of a scene from Star Wars: Rouge One depicting an Imperial Star Destroyer hovering menacingly over Jedha City like the proverbial Sword of Damoclese, and the result is truly breathtaking. The rockwork is simple yet quite effective, while the construction of the actual star destroyer is full of details including a docking bay, laser cannons represented by binocular parts, and tons of aesthetically pleasing greebles. Jedha City is instantly recognizable in the distance, with its single towering structure.
The rear shot (which is also beautifully edited) reveals full engine detail and wedge plates used to achieve some complex angles.
Don’t forget to check out the behind the scenes shot, which reveals the ingenuitive use of a computer monitor as a light source for the scene.
Modelling human proportions and shapes in LEGO can be very challenging, but Umamen does a fantastic job with this brick-built Spiderman figure. The model captures Spiderman’s lean-yet-muscular build we have seen in comics since his creation. I particularly like the use of an actual LEGO spider as the logo on the chest. It just goes to show that sometimes NPU (“nice parts usage”) can mean using a spider as… well… a spider!
And don’t miss the model’s extreme poseability:
If there’s one clear sign the Cyberpocalypse is upon us, it’s that indoor plumbing has ceased to exist, and we are forced to use communal toilets on the street, or (though a little more civilized) public porta potties for our sanitary needs. Thus, my most recent build for the ABS builder Challenge features exactly that: a communal porta potty smack-dab in the middle of the shantytown. How much would I have to pay you to use it?
The roof of the main black building was my main inspiration for building this scene. I was able to come up with a cool roof technique using the seed part for the challenge: the handheld minifig fan, which enabled me to use the part a total of 24 times in this build.
I don’t know much about the DC Superhero universe beyond the recent movies, but I do know this scene by Andrew Cookston is masterfully constructed. I love the use of the tooth plate pieces as icicles, while the placement of Batman (have you spotted him yet?) lurking in the shadows, just out of focus, is perfect. I viewed the photo a few times before I noticed him!
The presentation overall is outstanding — fantastic photography, with a wonderful focus, good lighting, and smart steam effects.
This month I am taking part in the ABS Builder Challenge against Legofin, Julien Andries, and Aaron Newman, all of which have already built more than two creations using the minifigure handheld fan seed part. I am a little behind, as this submarine is only my first entry to the contest. However, I think the extra time was well spent, as I am very happy with how the build turned out. It uses the fan part a total of 12 times, 16 including those used on the fish as fins. Four of these are used as an intake, barely visible on the bottom of the cockpit.
Eight are used on the back as the fins on the propellers:
I probably should have saved the fish for a separate entry, since this is such a hard part to find uses for, but they fit so well here and added a lot to the photo, I just couldn’t resist.
Living in southern California, I hear a lot about the California condor during my frequent visits to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. And rightly so, because in 1987 condors went extinct in the wild, with only twenty-two individuals remaining in captivity. With the help of the LA Zoo, these three institutions bred the condors in captivity and reintroduced them into the wild. Now their combined population is over 440. Aaron Newman has built a deceptively small version of the condor in LEGO bricks, and the result is wonderful.
The model makes perfect usage of the minifig fan piece, the seed part for the current round of the ABS Builder Challenge, along with many other assorted spike parts, and minifigure katanas.
Transformers are among the toughest things to build in LEGO. Even if it’s not the movie kind, building something that transforms into a simple cube can be nearly as challenging. However, Milan Sekiz has done just that, and the result is super cool.
It’s common to sacrifice looks when building something functional, because there are so many limitations on which parts can be used in certain spots. But Milan has gotten the best of both worlds, making an awesome robot that can still transform into a perfect cube (plus the head and antenna).
I adore futuristic LEGO trains, but sadly it’s a very small niche that we rarely see. Fortunately builder Frost has broken tradition and created a wonderfully futuristic planetary express, complete with trans-green accents and lots of mechanical detailing. The model looks like it would be right at home jetting across the surface of a distant planet.
The builder has even incorporated power functions to propel the train and power 16 working LEDs.
Military vehicle master Andrew Somers has broken from his usual realistic style and built a neat futuristic space truck that wouldn’t look out of place among Last Days on Mars concept art by Christian Pearce. Along with the usual working suspension and steering, the build features working grabber crane, and lots of eye catching mechanical detailing. I love the use of the stickered space logo tile on the side of the cab as it provides a dash of color and a bit of realistic context to the build.
CrashHelmets seems to be relatively new to the LEGO hobby. But his latest build, the Asp Explorer from the game Elite: Dangerous, makes be believe otherwise. The builder has managed to skillfully integrate some rather complex angles, making this ship a spot-on representation of the one in the game. Don’t overlook the excellent color blocking either, as subtle splashes of white and orange complete this build’s aesthetic.