About Rod

Rod likes building stuff, particularly steampunk and microscale. He's built for a number of the Dorling Kindersley LEGO books, including LEGO Play and the Awesome Ideas book. When he's not building, he writes, and has published a trilogy of old-fashioned adventure stories. To pay the bills he works in innovation and marketing for one of the world's biggest brewers, inventing new beers and ciders. This is clearly the best job in the world.

Posts by Rod

Vroom vroom chugaboom

We’ve covered our fair share of LEGO hot rods, but here’s a refreshing steampunk take on the style from Martin Redfern. The scale used allows Martin to pack loads of smart touches into this delightful dark red automobile. I particularly like the front grille, the horn, and the driver himself — his pith helmet and monocle fixed firmly in place.

V12 Hot Rod

The vehicle’s engine is an obvious highlight, so I was delighted at this view which allows us to take a closer look at all the details Martin has lavished on the model…

V12 Single seater

Anything but junk

With the forthcoming LEGO Ninjago Movie and it’s accompanying sets, we’re fully expecting a wave of fabulous Eastern-themed creations. Ming Jin gets in on the action early with this lovely little fishing boat. The brick-built hull is well-shaped, and the black awning lends this an obvious Oriental flavour. But my favourite touches are hanging lantern and the trailing net — subtle additions which create a sense of a working boat.

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I, for one, welcome our robotic lemur overlords

We have a complicated relationship with lemurs here at Brothers Brick. On one hand, they’re cute, cuddly, and good at fishing LEGO bricks from down the back of the couch. But on the other hand, they’re messy, nibble on our server power cables, and smell a bit. Maybe we should look to replace our lemur with one of Mitsuru Nikaido‘s mechanical versions?

LEGO Mecha Ring-tailed lemur-01

This is a great model — natural curves and shaping, with lots of cool functional-looking robotic greeble stuff going on under the smooth plating. Nice use of a hot air balloon plate piece as the lemur’s back — a lovely sinuous curve. And that tail — magic.

Who wouldn’t want to live in this LEGO house?

Despite all the different “genres” in LEGO building, there’s something deeply satisfying when our beloved bricks are used to build a really nice house. This creation by betweenbrickwalls is stunning — a stylish contemporary home, with a hint of Modernism about the design. You might imagine a predominantly dark grey and tan colour scheme would look drab, but here it lends the model a smart contrast, and offsets the surrounding autumnal tones. I particularly like some of the details of the structure — those four brick fin-like pillars, and the raised section over the stream.

Autumn Stream House MOC front II

Don’t miss the detailed interior, including a beautiful spiral staircase…

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Tranquil hilltop temple

This lovely little LEGO temple is exactly what you need at the end of a busy day — the perfect place to let your cares slip away with the passing clouds. John Cheng‘s landscaping is nicely-done — rugged and uneven enough to create a natural feel, with an obvious bamboo forest vibe. The temple itself is relatively simple, but neatly put together, with the black and gold providing a strong contrast to the surrounding greenery. The toro lantern is particularly good — whilst we’ve seen many of these before in LEGO creations, this might the first I’ve seen using the hollow-stud “Apollo” 1×1 round piece on the sides. It’s an effective texture which I’ll be stealing for my own Oriental scenes.

Temple up the hill

Living space for living it up

We’ve featured a few of Heikki Mattila‘s stunning LEGO interiors, but they just keep getting better and better. This beauty uses a touch of forced perspective to create a sense of space and openness — the shelf on the far wall, and the TV and speakers, are built lower and to a slightly smaller scale than the rest of the apartment. As ever, the clean lines of Heikki’s scene wouldn’t look out of place in a fancy furniture catalog or interiors magazine. Personally I think it’d make a great venue for a stylish party. Where’s my invitation?

Evening in the Living Room

Space explorers looking for a hug

The Prometheus movie wasn’t to everyone’s taste, but that doesn’t stop it providing inspiration for good LEGO models. Grant Masters has created a wonderfully eerie scene of curious astronauts about to get themselves into a whole world of trouble. The build itself is relatively simple (although I do like that backdrop of arch pieces), however the use of dry ice and LED lighting, coupled with good photography, creates a striking image.

Discovery

Truck stands separate from the others

This orange truck by LEGO 7 is a nice little build, but perhaps unremarkable — until you spot the clever use of the orange brick separator to provide the stylish stripes of the tipper bed. This is a great example to show anyone who ever talks about “useless parts” or “specialist pieces removing the imagination from LEGO nowadays”.

Dump truck

You can get a better view of the truck’s rear in the image below, and see the shaping the brick separator provides to the lip of the tipper. Sometimes the deliberate use of an “unusual” piece can stick out like a sore thumb, a gimmick rather than really adding to a model. But that’s not the case here — the separator is well-integrated and genuinely enhances the creation.

Dump truck

An elegant carbine for a more civilised age

We see plenty of well-built LEGO recreations of weapons from videogames, and I’m full of admiration for the scale modelling skills on display. But I also love when builders produce something which doesn’t rely on existing sources for inspiration. This steampunk machine gun by Martin Redfern is a lovely model — full of chunky cartoony detail and classic ray gun styling. The bullets on the belt are excellent, and the flared muzzle and touches of gold give this a wonderful Flash Gordon feel. And don’t miss the use of a gold elephant trunk part for the trigger.

Belt Fed Machine Pistol for a Golden Age.

It’s like microscale, but turned down to -11

Nanoscale — taking microscale building and shrinking it further. Karf Oolhu takes teeny-tiny city building to the extreme with this lovely little creation. There’s an impressive amount of texture and detail on these buildings, especially when you consider the entire model occupies a footprint of only 3 x 3 studs! Particular kudos should go to the use of an official LEGO pen top for the building at the rear right. Sweet.

Nanopolis

Bwahaha. Soon I will rule this world

Your mileage may vary when it comes to LEGO’s Bionicle-style “constraction” figures. However, even the most militant “bricks-or-nothing” builders should recognise excellent construction skills, regardless of where some of the parts come from. Kelvin Low has simply smashed it with this stunning large-scale Skull Knight figure.

skull knight02

Kelvin has made smart choices with the large armour pieces — couple those with some beautiful greebling details between the plates, and a stylish splash of colour in the cape’s trim, and you’ve got a great piece of work. I love the sense of heft and power in this model. You get the impression the Skull Knight would stomp you into dust as soon as look at you…

skull knight04

Moving LEGO tribute to the fallen of Passchendaele

Dan Harris is one of British historical building collective Bricks To The Past. On this, the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1’s Battle of Passchendaele, he offers a moving brick-built tribute to the fallen. In particular, it commemorates the loss of Welsh poet Ellis Humphrey Evans. You can read more about the poet and his work in Dan’s blog post. In the meantime, this quiet little scene provides a poignant image with which to commemorate the thousands of young men who gave their lives.

Hedd Wyn