About Bre Burns

Bre is an Oregon native who came to Seattle with her partner, Jessie, in 2015. She briefly worked for the LEGO Group as a Brick Specialist before she left to pursue her dream of being a Zookeeper. Now she works at Woodland Park Zoo, but LEGO continues to be a huge part of her life. She and her partner are active members of both SEALUG and FabuLUG, and enjoy building creations big and small that span across many themes.

Posts by Bre Burns

Bringing LEGO to life with a handsome macaque

It takes a great deal more skill to sculpt with basic LEGO bricks than you might think. The ability to produce organic curves from rectangular bricks is awe-inspiring, and strikes envy in those of us who are always searching for that perfect shape. Upon seeing this life-size Rhesus macaque, I knew it had to be the work of Felix Jaensch, who is a master of the art. I must say, it really could not have been done better!

Rhesus Macaque

Adult males like this one (just in case you weren’t sure if it’s a male) are about 18-25in long and weigh an average of about 16-19lbs. They have an expressive face, which is perfectly captured here. Additionally, the lovely use of a select few slopes gives the fluffier bits texture and character, and the minifigure hand to finish the nose is genius!

Rhesus Macaque

Rhesus macaques are probably the most commonly known macaques in the world. That’s partly because these monkeys have a massive home range in central and southern Asia, and are invasive in several other places in the world. They’re also widely studied and used in research due to their high level of intelligence and fairly close physiological relation to humans. It was a study of their blood that led to our understanding of the Rh blood-typing system we use today!

If you like Felix’s style, check out some of the other life-size animals we’ve featured, like his Red Panda, Macaw, Rabbit, or American Kestrel.

Building good fortune on a rainy day

In many Asian cultures, koi ponds symbolize luck, good fortune, and abundance. They also tend to represent courage and perseverance. Perhaps that’s why, even with the abundance of rain, this geisha isn’t afraid of her makeup running!

Banter aside, this expertly photographed build by Architeclego is stunning. I personally find heavy rain beautiful and almost calming. From inside, its enveloping, rhythmic drone is even cozy. This is one of those picture that provokes those feelings.

While the photography in itself is compelling, the build is not to be overlooked! I’m a fan of the layout and recessed pool, and I especially like the inversion of the arch bricks for the roof. We certainly hope to see many more pieces of art like this in the future.

Stately castle lodgings for a weary traveler

I’m a sucker for the stories behind builds. I’m also one for nicely cut lines and color choice in architecture. This build by Brother Steven displays all of those traits. Although we’ve seen it done before, the journal of an adventurer chronicled in LEGO is a fascinating concept, and done well by Steven. This particular creation is part of a series of builds, all following “Zenas Abbington” as the hero. There are so many lovely aspects to the castle: the round base, the shape of the towers, the pearl gold carriage wheel in the windows, and the accents on the front door. Let’s not forget how adorable those sheep are too!

Rosewood Hall

And the flip-side is just as pretty! That tree is magnificent, with its color and angled branches. I’m also a big fan of the underside of those mushrooms! It’s no wonder that this, coupled with a few other creations, won a “Brickee” at BrickFair Alabama 2019!

Rosewood Hall

Some of the details of this build are reminiscent of other creations from Steven’s magical world, such as this floating castle we featured last year.

More than your average LEGO City garbage truck [Video]

What’s a city layout without the staple vehicles: police, fire, ambulance, bus, delivery, mail, garbage? You gotta have them all! LEGO has released a few generic garbage/recycling trucks, but none of them are this cool. At first glance this build by Scott Hasse looks a bit like an average set. But up close it’s pretty nifty. Rather than the typical manual dump action displayed in the City line, you get a truck that works much more like the ones you see on the street in real life.

LEGO Automated Side Loading Garbage Truck with minifigs

A simple turn of the knobs not only grabs and dumps the bins, but also compacts the refuse into the dump collection in the back. The whole thing is really smooth and works like a charm! An if you had a fleet, you could put tiles on the sides to indicate garbage vs. recycling or compost. Would anyone else besides me get hours of entertainment from playing with this thing? My next step would be to motorize it!

This could become a real set one day, you never know. But in the meantime, you can use some simple instructions to build your own little garbage truck.

A new “swim” on LEGO Creator set 31088 Deep Sea Creatures [Video]

Inspired. That’s all I can say about how I feel every time I see one of Jason Allemann‘s new creations. And maybe a little jealous at how talented he is. Recently, we wrote and article about his update to the LEGO Forma mechanics with a custom shark. This time he has taken a recently released official set, LEGO Creator 31088 Deep Sea Creatures, and brought it to life. It’s done so well that you would think the set was always intended for this purpose.

Swimming Shark Redux

With the turn of the crank or an attached motor, the drive mechanism of this build gives the shark an appearance of organically gliding through water. The most impressive part (as always with Jason’s builds) is how smooth and seamless the motions are. Truly fluid! And as a bonus, this creation isn’t just for admiring from afar! He has kindly shared these (and many other) instructions on his website so that others can build it too!

31088 Deep Sea Creatures is actually on sale at Amazon right now, along with LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book, the official set that both Jason and Grant Davis collaborated to design!

HispaBrick Magazine issue 032 now available for free download [News]

In case you didn’t know, today is International Women’s Day! As tribute and in celebration of all the wonderful women in the LEGO community, HispaBrick’s latest issue showcases articles and interviews featuring incredible female builders and designers from all over the world.

Guys and gals alike will appreciate this issue. I’ve had a chance to read it myself, and as a female builder, it makes me proud of how much we bring to the table in a community somewhat dominated by the guys. But genders aside, the current issue is something everyone can learn and benefit from. Particularly intriguing is the interview with a few of the designers who are responsible for your favorite Collectible Minifigures. Best of all, the magazine is completely free to download.

Here’s Hispabrick’s press release:

Today is International Women’s Day, and the HispaBrick Magazine team has worked hard to create aspecial themed issue to participate in this celebration. HispaBrick Magazine 032 celebrates the Female Fan of LEGO (FFOL) in many different ways. The theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is #BalanceForBetter. To promote this theme we have invited Regina Mateos Rodilla to write an editorial as well as an article about what being a fan of LEGO means to her. We have also included interviews with female builders like Sachiko Akinaga, Mariann Asunama, Alice Finch and Jessica Farrell. Karine Linder from Stuck in Plastic has provided us with some insights from photographers like @by_a.n.n.a and @lady_brick. We interviewed Tara Wike and Austin Carlson who work for LEGO on the collectible minifigures series, and Asha Seshan and Anika Brandsma talk about their passion for LEGO Robotics. Patricia Tsoiasue talks about 2×4 Day, and Evelyn gives us an insider look into how some kids live their LEGO passion. This and much more makes for another issue full of different and engaging LEGO-related content. To underscore this celebration, we have decided to make this a free issue (like all the previous issues), so come over and download it from our website at no cost whatsoever. Spread the word: it’s free!!

A collection of New Zealand’s most famous birds

New Zealand has some of the most interesting fauna in the world, with many of their animals not found anywhere else in the world. While on holiday there, Patrick B. was so enamored by the birds that he decided to recreate them in LEGO. The results are lovely! This collection showcases the Kea, Pukeko, Kakapo, and the iconic Kiwi. I have to say, that last one is pretty adorable in LEGO form. Here in Seattle where I live, we have a pair of gorgeous Keas at Woodland Park Zoo. These endangered mountainous creatures are quite intelligent and always busy. They’re one of my favorite birds, and nicely done here.

New Zealand Birds

Back in 2013, Thomas Poulsom also did a couple of these New Zealand birds (and a badger). And a bit more recently, we’ve featured an article about another LEGO build of the critically endangered Kakapo. It’s a parrot unlike any other in the world! Check it out, and then learn more about what you can do to help them.

A medieval hero’s welcome

There’s nothing like coming home to your family after a long journey. Perhaps in this case, a long quest or crusade. You know that feeling you have when you see your house after having been gone a while? This scene of a warrior being welcomed by his family, built by Tom Breugelman, is reminiscent of that feeling.

Front

Of course, the real hero of this build is that cottage. The angles and rockwork are superbly done. The architecture immediately catches the eye. And all of the colors throughout the scene come together perfectly, but especially in the cottage. Now, if you’re looking for something similar, how about a house with many faces?

A distinguished wizard of the eighth level

If you’re familiar with the Discworld novels, you likely know exactly who this is: Archchancellor of the Unseen University, Mustrum Ridcully. I must admit, I am not familiar with the books, but if you’re like me, that doesn’t lessen my enjoyment. This bust, created by the exceptional builder Eero Okkonen is gorgeous. The lines and features of people are hard enough to capture in drawings or clay, let alone LEGO bricks. Take a guess how he built those scowling lips. Genius!

Mustrum Ridcully bust

We feature Eero’s incredible (and prolific) work often. Just take a look at his Slimefoot or an archer inspired by Lyndis from Fire Emblem.

Around and around, the seasons come and go

In some ways this rendered microscale build is simple, but my eye was drawn to its neat little features and techniques. Everything fits so nicely against each mountain segment in this model designed by Aukbricks. Simply put, it’s clean and elegant.

The Mountain of Four Seasons

The overhead view doesn’t do it complete justice. I believe the best way to view this build is to watch it as it’s turned. The Technic axle pins make for great crops and the books are lovely rooftops. The trees made from foliage elements are also perfect. While the techniques aren’t entirely new and unique to this build, the cohesive combination is beautiful.

We recently covered another one of Aukbricks’ renders, a holey sports store!

Holey moly this is one cool sports shop!

Welcome to a sporting goods store that sells itself before you even walk in! The look is inspired by a real store in Japan, but in LEGO it can’t be more gorgeous. What’s even better is that this render, created by Aukbricks, is actually completely buildable, with all the parts existing in their appropriate colors.

Sporting Goods Store

But if the outside isn’t beautiful enough, the inside is incredible. The zoom-worthy photos will make you fall in love even more. Every detail is perfectly placed, and essentially covers every bit of minifigure sports equipment LEGO has ever made. Even the brick-built equipment is perfect, from the treadmill to the ping-pong table. And I’m a big fan of the frogs used to create a rock wall on the third floor.

Sporting Goods Store

If you love this you should also check out Aukbricks’ Friends kitchen and family house. And for something totally different, she even made a giant minifigure!

Beware of Snowmaggedon!

Last week it snowed a fair amount in the Pacific Northwest. Here in Seattle, citizens were all but losing their minds, stockpiling food and survival supplies, and fearful of leaving their homes. As someone who comes from a place that sees a lot of snow, it’s a little funny. But now serious snow is hitting states all across the country. This terrified LEGO snowman, built by Joseph Grysban, may not be built for this purpose, but it’s the perfect mascot for Snowmaggedon.

The Frantic Snowman

Other than the look on his face, the best part of this build is that he’s motorized and runs away from the snowballs! A pair of Power Functions L motors and a battery box are perfectly hidden inside his body. Additionally, the snowballs don’t just drag behind; instead, they roll around their center.

Snowpocalypse  jokes aside, we realize that these storms have been very serious and scary for thousands of people. We hope those of you who have been affected are safe and we wish you a swift return to normalcy. Hopefully you were at least able to get a good amount of building done while stuck indoors!