Anyone who’s been following the adult LEGO builder community for a while knows that one of the things we love best is making novel use of seemingly “useless” pieces. And as far as these clever uses go, the more unusual the element is, the better. Vince Toulouse has dug deep into the bins of useless pieces and come forth with a striking spaceship made almost entirely of these oddities–a tugboat with a rugged utilitarian aesthetic. Vince points out a few of the more unusual elements for us, including the steering compartment made of a Fabuland caravan shell. We also spy a slew of other elements from the quirky Fabuland theme, as well as many other difficult-to-use elements like the skateboard ramp, elephant ear, and even the whole elephant head. See how many more oddities you can spot in Vince’s ship.
The ship isn’t just a vehicle for fun techniques, though. It’s also a great design, and the inside is marvelously detailed.
Click to see more of this ship
This microscale LEGO rendition of Istanbul’s most famous landmark has been masterfully created by George Panteleon. The tan and dark tan elements blend seamlessly together to create the sweeping curves and rounded roofs of the 1,500-year-old building. The huge dome, which encloses a ceiling height of 182 feet, is created from the planet hemisphere element for Bespin. George has rigged the interior with lights, allowing the model to glow warmly, and added a lovely wood base. It all comes together as a wonderful display piece.
LEGO has revealed the next LEGO Ideas set: 21315 Pop-Up Book. Chosen back in May from the crowd-sourced LEGO Ideas platform, the book’s final design has been kept secret until now. LEGO has figuratively taken the covers off the set which includes 859 pieces to build the book and two stories that fill its pages, as well as four minifigures and one microfigure. The set will retail for $69.99 USD when it is available November 1st.
The Pop-Up Book is the brainchild of two fans, Jason Alleman and Grant Davis, two names you may recognize. Both Jason and Grant are regulars here on The Brothers Brick, having a long history of building excellent creations. However, Jason’s name may ring a bell for another reason, since this isn’t his first LEGO Ideas set. Jason also created 21305 Maze. (Check out our interview with him about that project.) This brings Jason into the exclusive double-feature LEGO Ideas club, which was previously occupied solely by Ellen Kooijman who created 21110 Research Institute along with 21302 The Big Bang Theory.
Click to open up the new LEGO Pop-Up Book and get a closer look inside
Builder Pixeljunkie’s latest creation is a charming old auto shop where a group of builders works to restore a classic car to from its barn-fresh state to a splendid showpiece. A series of images transcribe the journey, beginning with the mottled and rusted car and a simple blueprint of what might be.
Throughout the scenes, the workshop is packed full to bursting with intricate details that bring the scene to life. Surrounding the crew is all the detritus common to a mechanic, from tools and dusty equipment to overflowing waste bins and parts shelves. This shop truly feels lived in. Continue reading
Neo Classic Space has existed for some time as a modern interpretation of the nostalgic grey and blue theme from the early official LEGO space sets of the late 70s into the 80s. But builder AFOL anon is stepping up the game with the sleek space cruiser. The SHIP (easily clocking in the 100-stud length for a SHIPtember entry) retains the styling of its smaller cousins, with an arrowhead shape, side-mounted blasters, and spoiler, while simultaneously smoothing out the hard edges.
I particularly love the shaping from the rear, where it gives off faint vibes of a Super Star Destroyer in classic space livery.
Hard science fiction spaceships often conform to a few venerable aesthetics, key among them a predominance of NASA-like white. However, in LEGO builder halfbeak‘s timeline, a group of disgruntled astronauts have broken ties with NASA and formed their own space agency, so it makes sense they’ve inverted the usual colors. This marvelously gangly spacecraft is powered by antimatter, which it captures in huge nets.
It’s rare that a spaceship can rival a sailing ship for rigging, but the wiry electromagnetic nets surrounding the vessel are a truly fantastic bit of LEGO engineering, painstakingly pieced together with string and a variety of thin LEGO elements, such as fishing rods. The repetitious use of LEGO radar dishes throughout the craft brings a unifying motif, and they make for an especially interesting texture along the ribbed twin prongs on the front.
There’s just 1 week left to one of our favorite LEGO conventions, BrickCon. Located in the heart of the Northwest at the foot of Seattle’s famous Space Needle in the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, the event is open to the public Oct. 6-7. You can get your tickets here. Last year tickets sold out, so if you plan on going we recommend not delaying any longer.
If you’re an adult builder who would like to attend the full, 4-day convention (which starts Thursday) with panels, prizes, and more, online registration has closed but you can still register at the door.
The Brothers Brick will be there with a large layout of Ninjago City, a collaborative project we’re hosting with our readers. You can read more about the collaboration and even see some of our building progress.
The Brothers Brick is an official sponsor of BrickCon.
Called the Celestial Barracuda, this marine-inspired vessel by LEGO designer Niek Van Slagmaat (most recently of 21311 Voltron fame) is one of the more uniquely designed spaceSHIPs of recent memory. Traversing the inky deeps of space and reality as an interdimensional transport ship, the ship takes the form of a sinuous fish. Niek expertly strikes a balance between placing tiles for a smooth exterior and strategically leaving studs exposed to create a textured, weathered hull. He’s also used a sprinkling of dark tan among the orange bricks, highlighting where the orange paint has peeled over eons of space travel.
The ship’s fish-like features aren’t just for show, though, as they serve a more utilitarian purpose in supporting the small fleet of nimble craft that surrounds it like pilot fish. Continue reading
The Mercedes Benz W196 was built for the Formula 1 circuit in 1954, and famously carried a very simple livery of silver paint with big red and white numeral badges. A tiny car with the narrow, bulbous body of yesteryear’s racecars, the W196 is a difficult car to capture in LEGO at any scale, let alone minifigure scale. And yet that’s exactly what Pixeljunkie has done, and boy does it look great. Featuring a very large percentage of LEGO’s metallic silver pallette (plus some custom chromed wheels), this remarkable little car looks ready to win the world championship one more time.
There’s only 1 week remaining to build an entry for our Microscale Magic contest and have a chance to win the biggest Harry Potter set of them all, the massive 6,000-piece 71043 Hogwarts Castle! There are some great entries already, but we think our readers might have a few more excellent scenes up their sleeves, or maybe even still in your imaginations. So don’t delay, as the contest ends before the stroke of midnight Sept. 30.
We have two categories for you to enter with big or small creations, each with their own awesome prizes. And the person who builds best in both categories will get their very own 71043 Hogwarts Castle, the largest LEGO Harry Potter set ever.
- BIG category award: 75954 Hogwarts Great Hall + 41615 HP BrickHeadz (prize worth $115 and donated by TBB)
- SMALL category award: 75953 Hogwarts Whomping Willow + 41615 HP BrickHeadz (prize worth $85 and donated by TBB)
- MASTER WIZARD award: 71043 Hogwarts Castle! (prize worth $400 and kindly donated by The LEGO Group)
Be sure to read the full contest rules, and put your entries in our flickr group here.
LEGO builder bbchai brings a bit of old-school class to the scene, to the tune of a lovely violin and bow paired with a bust of the famous musician Mozart. This wonderful composition would look great on any music lover’s desk. The clips which make up the embroidery on Mozart’s jacket are a superbly simple technique that works perfectly, and the lightsaber handles for the wig’s white curls are similarly great.
The violin and bow are masterpieces as well, with the plate 1×2 with handle making for excellent F-holes. Of course, they have a nifty little stand to hold them with the care they deserve.
Erstwhile LEGO gearhead guru Lino Martins is mixing it up, bringing us a big vignette of a haunting brackish backwater with a dark secret. This collection of treehouses forms a small bayou village, whose residents are sworn to placate a fearsome beast with blood sacrifices, often in the form of giant alligators lowered into the creature’s tentacled arms by means of a rickety contraption. The smooth dark green bricks make excellent ponds of stale water, with a smooth finish of algae broken only by a few small ripples as the monster’s arms raise.
What with the swamp being infested by an otherworldly horror, it’s best not to disturb that calm water, or indeed get anywhere near more than is absolutely necessary. That, plus the lack of land in the middle of swamp, means the townsfolk of Mangrove Swamp have all the necessities built on raised platforms, from farming to swine raising. Continue reading