Posts by Simon Friesen

Relive the adventure of Jedi: Fallen Order with a LEGO Stinger Mantis

The Stinger Mantis is the iconic hero ship and base of Cal Kestis and his NPC companions during his adventures in the Jedi: Survivor and Fallen Order games. This fantastic piece of Star Wars design is recreated in high LEGO detail in this model by Tim Goddard. Tim has spared no expense, and pushed LEGO’s clutch power to achieve the outstanding greebling (or scientific texturing, if you will) on the ship’s vertical fin. I love the details on the outboard engine; the front of the engine is a white life preserver, while the rear nozzle features a ring of clip-and-tube-holders.

Stinger Mantis

Check out more views of this cool LEGO Star Wars model

In the Shire, there’s always time to take a break from your chores

J. R. R. Tolkien imagined Bilbo Baggins’ door as a circular construction, green and impressive in size (for a hobbit). Peter Jackson ran with the description and the gently rustic feel of the Shire and created an organic-and-tudor style mix that Gus has wonderfully captured here in the blocky medium of LEGO. There are so many details to love in this scene; the fence is made from a pair of whips, while the circular window to the right of the door is a bicycle tire! The organic side of the hobbit style is on full display as Gus has achieved both a cobbled circle for the windmill tower, and a smooth roof-line mimicking the slope of the of the hill – not to mention the striking red of the wood slats in the door. With all of this excellent building on display only one question remains; are these two folks Bagginses or Tooks?

The shire

Imagine a bowling ball, but angrier

“Carcinisation”; a very fancy word that means “some animals tend to look more like crabs over time”. This build by Djokson demonstrates what might happen if even our tanks turn into crabs! Djokson has tone a fantastic job of creating a round rolling shape for the tank using unusual parts. The Crab-Tank’s forehead is made from a handful of rubber handles from the short-lived Vidiyo line, the yellow disks on either side of the body come from the old X-Pod line (oh the nostalgia!), and the little warrior in the cockpit is sporting a old technic helmet for protection. I don’t know about you, but I’d feel crabby if I had to square up against that thing!


The Castle of the Sword stands at the ready

Despite being named Castle of LEGO Sword, most of the knights defending this fortress are armed with literally anything else. Luckily for them, this build by Yujie Jiang is instead named after the giant stone sword mounted inside the keep. This build has character as big as its gigantic sword. For starters, said giant sword is an outstanding up-sized replica of the classic LEGO sword that was produced in multiple forms between 1978 – 2016. This sword makes excellent use of 4×4 round bricks and is studded with neat little gems. The tower’s design is effective as well, with a door made of tiles mounted inside a 1×6 arch, and the general structure using 1×2 profile bricks, chisled pentagonal shields, and the extra touch of the carved lion head above the door.

Castle of lego Sword (3)

That sword, though, is a thing of beauty. It’s approximately human-sized and can be pulled out by any friendly giants passing by that would be willing to offer a hand to defend the kingdom. Would you be worthy of pulling the sword from the stone tower?

Castle of lego Sword (11)

This owl won’t ruffle any feathers!

Occasionally, an excellent example of great parts usage shows up online. One of the most recent such examples is this Colorful Owl by Nikita Filatov! This artist has done a splendid job of repurposing parts from the Wildflower Bouquet to create this adorable little friend of an owl. The dark purple bicorn hats make up the fluffy plumage of the owl’s wings, while the belly feathers are made of magenta paddles, and the eyebrows, which add so much character to the little bird, are made of wavy swords. If you, like me, didn’t recognize the disks that make up the whites of its eyes, have no fear; in that tan color, they are from the Wildflower Bouquet – and the part was made originally for the wheels of the James Bond Aston Martin. I’m looking forward to seeing more builds from NikiFilik. This one has been a (wait for it…) hoot!

Colorful Owl

Hanging up the sword of Martin the Warrior

Deep in the heart of the Mossflower woods, south of the gently-flowing River Moss, sits the storied Redwall Abbey. And when you need a cozier space to have your meal than the Great Hall, you can pull up a chair in the Cavern Hole, built for us in LEGO by Evancelt. This smaller dining hall is lovingly rendered for us in (plastic) brick form with a hearty feast upon the table. Evencelt here has made excellent use of third party parts for this build. The mouse figures and weapons – including the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior mounted on the wall – are from Crazy Bricks’ Mouse Guard series, and the stained glass windows are excellently repurposed from BRIQUESTORE’s Harry Potter stained glass prints. Going back to 1st party bricks, I love the living edge table made from various curves and arches holding a feast made from various printed tiles and food pieces. The chairs are also an excellent piece of design; managing to look both unique and similar enough to form a set. I hope they have saved a chair for me by that fire!

Redwall Feast

This kingfisher knows all the greatest fishing spots!

With all of the excitement for the new official kingfisher LEGO set, it’s no wonder other builders – like Ryan Van Duzor – are giving us their own unique take on the subject. This LEGO model captures a kingfisher in its most exciting moment as it just hits the water and drops in on those unsuspecting fish. If you’re like me and didn’t recognize those fish right away, don’t feel too bad; those are Duplo fish that were discontinued in 2018. The air-water boundary in this scene is skillfully held together by transparent slide shoes and the kingfisher is crowned with feathers from the Chima line. While this bird may not make a splash, I think the build will!

Five mechs for fighting in the wasteland

Bartosz Sasiński has been busy building LEGO models this 2024. His new line of light-blue mechs are part of a diesel-punk series named “For Fuel!” The hero of this lineup is the sword-wielding M-D1 walker brandishing the golden blade from various Ninjago sets. This build features a number of rarer parts used to great effect: The horns in bright light blue are from 76414 Expecto Patronum, and the gold tubes were only available in two sets from 2021.

Amazing build and massive sword aside, I’d argue the greatest strengths of this walker are two-fold; its outstanding color-scheme, and its party of allied mechs. The medium blue of the armor contrasts with iron brown of the mechanical parts. These fighting vehicles have seen some hard use in unforgiving conditions and the rusty color of the struts and joints reflects that.


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Cast off to 1996 with the Space Pirates

Captain Redbeard sails again on this LEGO model by Okay Yaramanoglu! This whole build is a love letter to the classic Pirates set Red Beard Runner from 1996, with everything from the masts and crane to the fast-flying escort and hyper-cannons mirroring the details of the original set. The pair of rowboats used as “air” intakes is an inspired decision, and Yaramanoglu has added some great greebling around the deck using various small and textured parts. That said, those sailors on the prow are starting to turn blue. Maybe someone should get them a spare oxygen tank?

Red Beard Space Runner

A hidden outpost with hidden treasure

In the forest, beside the waterfall, the forest folk maintain an outpost to keep an eye out for the local villages – as depicted in this LEGO model by Sandro Damiano. There’s plenty to love in this model: the birds are out in force, along with a squirrel, a bunny, and even a hidden spider! There’s a huge variety of parts that went into making the characteristic black trees of the local forest, while the waterfall mostly consist of windscreens in two sizes.

Outpost in the forest

From the back of the model, you can see the details of the hidden outpost. Beyond the bunk beds, dining hall, and armory, there’s a hidden path behind a moveable dresser that leads to a tunnel below the waterfall to where the secret treasure is hidden! Are these forest folk friend or foe to the local villagers? Do they even realize they are there?

Outpost in the forest

This fashionable singer takes center stage

Small builds have a poetry to them; you need to choose pieces specifically to evoke the shape of your subject. This LEGO build by Jens Ohrndorf is a striking example of pieces used efficiently and effectively to create a singer (who may be a poet herself!) The stage monitor is two pieces, an inverted wedge and a tile, and the wonderfully retro microphone is no more than six parts in total! I also like the way the singer’s two-tone blue outfit contrasts with her gold belt and the wood floor of the stage. Do you think she sings the blues?

Live on stage

An arctic diorama full of life

Dive into the chilly waters of the far north with this adorable LEGO build by seb71. This build features a host of micro-scale fauna for you to enjoy. The whale is made from a pair of balloon panels, and the extremely lost penguin is mostly made of black and orange teeth. The local Inuit is using a wand to fish for supper under the watchful eyes of a walrus and polar bear. I sure hope they have a plan to get back to their igloo; that polar bear looks hungry!