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 SEALUG, FabuLUG and SquatchLUG, and enjoy building creations big and small that span across many themes, under the name Renegade Bricks. Bre is also the Theme Coordinator for Technic/Mindstorms and a member of the Senior Staff for BrickCon.

Posts by Bre Burns

An icy castle of the Great North

When I first saw this I thought it captured “cold” perfectly. Cool colors and just the right amount of snow and ice in the right places. But this LEGO castle, built by Jonas Kramm, goes beyond that. What’s impressive to me are the angles, shaping, and use of so many different elements to achieve the look. For example, he fit a Technic pulley wheel into the new Minions eye element to create a unique window, and dark brown scabbards are used for trim detail. Additionally, there are a number of pieces making up the icicles and snowdrifts. Most notable are the minifigure accessories used on top of the lamp posts and under the eaves of the front door. A couple of my favorite parts are the fiber optic cable for icy flowing water and the hidden parrot. Find them? Zoom in to take a closer look!

Wolfholm

Jonas has been very busy lately! Take a look at more of his work in our archives.

I am Whomping Willow!

One of the most popular movie quotes (and memes) of the past couple years is, “I am Groot!” The lovable Marvel character found his way into our hearts with his unique personality and this singular repeated phrase. Always the kind to help out a friend, and certainly a brethren, it’s only natural for him to lend himself to a fellow famous tree. Builder Letranger Absurde has expertly crafted a microscale Whomping Willow using a LEGO Groot bust as the trunk. Topped with an adorable Ford Anglia, it’s a perfect representation.

Whomping Willow

Great minds must think alike, because as wonderful as this is, it’s not the first Groot-trunk. Back in 2017, our contributor, Benjamin Stenlund (Henjin_Quilones) used the same piece on his “South Gate of Lleidr Castle” build.

In the mood for more Groot? Well, you’re in luck, because we have a little “Moody Groot” just for you! How about more from the Wizarding World and Harry Potter? We have a ton of that too!

Rollin’ royalty

These days, the lap of luxury presents itself in the form of Bugattis and Lamborghinis. But back in the day, what was the best vehicle gold and jewels could buy? A tricked out carriage of course! This royal ride, courtesy of LEGO builder Jonas Kramm, screams opulence. You couldn’t cram any more pearl gold elements in there if you tried. At least, without it looking too gaudy… Okay, maybe it is just a wee bit gaudy, but it’s also awesome! Pairing with the dark brown and pink is magical. There is superb, deliberate element usage and shaping all around. Using tassels on the horse’s heads is one of my favorite parts, as well as the use of the ring to make the lattice window look round. The funkier ideas are neat too, like the Cheshire Cat’s tail for a harness and his head topping the standard, as well as the large figure shin guard for a tree trunk (and excellent idea borrowed from 70620 Ninjago City).

The Royal Carriage

You can find more of Jonas’s brilliant work in our archives.

How to build a safe to go with your brick bank [Instructions]

Looking back, I spent a lot of time as a kid-builder hoarding the LEGO money and gems. Every shiny item either went into the good ol’ 2x2x2 container box or a brick-built safe. Of course, my safes were rainbow-colored and typically had a lid instead of a door, but hey, they got the job done. Building 10251 Brick Bank took me back to those days. But so many builds could use a good safe, not just a bank! Perhaps you have a mansion or a mobster hideout? If you need a little inspiration (or instructions) on how to build one, Tiago Catarino is your guy! One of his recent tutorials features this adorable little safe with plenty of storage for those gold bars, coins, and cash.

Click the link below to follow along with Tiago as he shows you how to build this sturdy hideaway.

See the video tutorial

What treasures does this library hold?

Ah, another detailed seek-and-find LEGO build. Gosh, I love these! Whether builder Micah Beideman meant it or not, this scene falls into that category perfectly! The sequel to the first chapter in the life of “Preston the Potion Master” doesn’t disappoint on the excellent parts usage front. Every corner is filled with eye-candy! Although, I’m personally a big fan of the lovely spiral staircase and bookshelf right in the center. The door and gold elements at the top are a great starting focal point! Another excellent detail: the large “buildable figure” shin armor from Knights Kingdom that is used on the lower fireplace. Altogether, the perfect angles and color combinations really make this build stand out!

Potion Brewing

Stay tuned for the final chapter of this tale. Meanwhile, take a moment to enjoy another very similar and related build, a potion shop. Or try this garden greenhouse at a different scale.

The castle with windows a-plenty

The 1×1 plate with a printed black square showed up in 2017 as an architectural element in a few different LEGO sets. It has become a popular detailing element, especially in micro builds. This castle by Luka (First Order LEGO) has used it here to give this lovely little castle windows and contrast. He also used air tanks for the gate and seep, as well as white wands on the spires. I’m not sure if it’s intended, but the icy white and grey-blue look gives me a wintery vibe. Even more so with the nifty use of the medium blue Exo-Force hair on the lone tree near the base of the castle.

White Castle

While you’re here, check out more of Luka’s excellent builds in our First Order LEGO archives.

How to build a swell little well! [Instructions]

Former LEGO designer Tiago Catarino continues to deliver fun techniques in his free tutorials! I’m a big fan of this little well. It’s simple and easy to build, yet the unique roof design gives it character. The best part is that you can put it into a number of settings and decorating around it would be seamless. Of course, it’s probably best suited to a medieval square, don’t you think?

Click the link below to watch the video and see how it’s done!

Watch Video!

Galidor lives!

This build actually has nothing to do with the defunct theme, but you can’t help but notice that Galidor staff in the center. When Cody Avery designed this angelic LEGO character inspired by the renaissance art adorning the tombs of saints, it might not have been intended to be the focal point. But we certainly admire how perfectly it fits. It’s also ironic that something from LEGO’s least “LEGO-like” theme could be used to make something so lovely. It’s a beautiful story of rebirth, with or without the staff.

La Tomba Dell'angelo

A different Galidor-inspired build better explains the history of the theme. We feature loads of creations using similar parts. Also, check out another of Cody’s builds, The Elder Beast.

An organ only the devil could love

Well, not really. We think this fiendish-looking organ is pretty cool. But it sure is scary! There are pipe organs found in churches and then there’s this. LEGO builder [VB] says that his inspiration came from the “Hellmouth” of the middle ages. The unfaithful would perish within its fiery maw. Organs, while beautiful, often have a creepy sound to them, and we can only imagine what this would sound like. Wondering if that face (faces?) is what people of the 1300s were having nightmares about? Yep, this matches the Google images. Sweet dreams.

Music of the Deep

While you’re here, check out [VB]’s other creepy creations.

SPIKE on a bike [Video]

Several months ago, we reviewed LEGO Education’s new product, SPIKE Prime. And just a couple weeks ago, we featured news about the latest addition to the Mindstorms theme, the SPIKE-esque 51515 Robot Inventor. This new generation of programmable robotics brings bright colors and fresh ideas to the table. We’re already seeing some awesome builds coming from the education community, like this bike by the folks at Creator Academy Australia and Project Bucephalus. What’s so awesome about it? It’s self-balancing. This little guy can ride along on its own without tipping over (as long as there isn’t a wall). Click the link below to see it in action!

Click to watch!

Silent and deadly

Owls are fascinating creatures. You may be disappointed to find that they are not the wisest of all animals, as suggested in much of western pop-culture. (Or even birds for that matter.) But they have several extraordinary traits. For one, they have a special row of comb-like feathers on the edge of their wings that help provide silent flight. They also have superb binocular and night vision, with a neck that can turn 270 degrees, giving a much wider field. They also have “facial discs” like this LEGO model built by Eero Okkonen. The rounded collection of feathers on their faces aren’t for show. They, combined with asymmetric ears (a pair of off-set and different-sized holes on either side of their head), allow owls to determine exact positioning of their prey.

Great Grey Owl

Although this build is, of course, for show, I admire the effort Eero puts into giving his creations realism. Using the dishes and chain links to decorate his Great Grey Owl’s face, along with that classic stern expression, was an excellent choice!

While you’re here, you should take a look at more of Eero’s excellent work. And for those birders out there, we have plenty of builds of the avian variety in our archives.

The answers you seek lie within the bricks [Video]

Like Zoltar, ask this guy a question or make a wish, and you’ll actually receive answers. Well, maybe not the best answers, but how many fortunes lay it out straight? You won’t be able to fault Teun de Wijs once you watch the video of this extraordinary LEGO build. This mechanical fortune teller doesn’t just move his arms and bend over the crystal ball. Oh, no, my friends, this guy is the real deal. Inside his box is an ingenious mechanical randomizer. You heard that right, folks. An internal block with four answers will spin and be stopped at random, like a coin flip. It’s up to the powers of the universe to provide an answer to your question. Like a Magic 8 Ball, they may not be the most helpful answers, but beggars can be choosers. Don’t question the man with the epic batarang mustache, he’s just the messenger. And careful what you wish for, because we all know how that turned out in the Tom Hanks movie, Big.

Scratching your head trying to figure out what I’m talking about? Click below to watch the video of the automaton in action!

See the video of how it works!