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

An enchanting destination for tiny pirates

Following up on his lovely micro version of the LEGO Pirates Skull Island set, Letranger Absurde (aka Vitroleum, aka Pacurar Andrei) is at it again. Here’s his take on 6278 Enchanted Island — and it’s a cracker. The landscaping is perfect, with tan curved and wedge plates peeking from beneath the green to suggest the curve of the beach. The textured rock parts are used well, the palm trees are excellent, and the red canoe is a nice touch. But the star of the show has to be that central rope bridge constructed from bucket handles. Lovely.

Moving house – post-apocalypse style

Post-Apocalypse or “ApocaLEGO” is a LEGO building theme which can see more dull brown and grey creations than the most boilerplate of steampunk. Here’s a glorious exception to the rule by Rat Dude: an imaginative take on the genre which sees enterprising survivors build a moveable dwelling out of transport containers and a truck — like some mobile version of the stacks from Ready Player One. Revelling in its central idea, this model is gloriously detailed, festooned with every likely requirement of the wasteland warrior catered for — solar power, fresh water, air con, a vegetable garden, and even an outhouse for the effective disposal of waste!

Post Apocalypse LEGO crate house

This thing is well worth a closer look, and the builder has provided some imagery of various angles. Great attention to detail on the model — just look at all the little touches that have been crammed into it. This layer upon layer of detail has created an engaging model within a building theme that usually leaves me cold. I can’t imagine a better ride in which to tour our dystopian future.

Post Apocalypse LEGO crate house

Bumblebee bot is a tasty Transformer

We’ve seen our fair share of LEGO Transformers models (notably the collection of brick-built robots by Alex Jones and Joachim Klang). But here’s a smart little version of Bumblebee in his Camaro iteration by Jerry Builds Bricks. The model is a neat design — not only does the car look sleek and smooth, it transforms into the robot without the addition of any more parts. I particularly like the use of the textured Technic part for Bumblebee’s face — it adds a level of detail beyond what you might expect at this scale.

Transformers Camaro

The last LEGO house east of the sea

We’ve seen brick-built versions of Middle Earth’s Rivendell before (including Alice Finch and David Frank’s astonishing build) but here’s a microscale creation depicting Elrond’s home — “the last homely house east of the sea”. This tiny model by Isaac Snyder is nicely done — I love the way the buildings nestle into the surrounding rock, and the muted colours he’s picked. The various techniques and pieces used for different pillar designs are a little masterclass in microscale architecture — well-worth a closer look.


LEGO version of James Bond’s submersible Lotus Esprit

Considered by many to be the best Bond movie of the Roger Moore era, The Spy Who Loved Me features an undoubted highlight — Bond’s Lotus Esprit sportscar transforming into a submarine. Nicknamed “Wet Nellie” (in homage to Little Nellie, Bond’s famous gyrocopter) the car’s stylish lines and aquatic abilities immediately earned it pride-of-place on most 70s fantasy car wishlists. If you always wanted one, why not follow Luis Peña‘s lead and build your own LEGO version? It’s unlikely you can afford the real thing — in 2013 Elon Musk bought the prop vehicle from the original movie for a cool £550,000!

Wet Nellie - Lotus Esprit S1 Submarine

Despite its tight dimensions, Luis’ model includes all the details you’d expect, including the wheel arch fins and the iconic slatted windows. It also features a smart interior…

Wet Nellie - Lotus Esprit S1 Submarine

The only thing that seems to be missing is a compartment for dumping Alka Seltzer tablets into the water behind the vehicle. That’s how the moviemakers created the streams of bubbles trailing from the sub during the film’s underwater sequences!

Unsettling figure will haunt your dreams

Sometimes the most effective LEGO creations are those that skillfully employ a sparse economy of parts. This creepy figure from Cezium does exactly that–building genuine character from a handful of pieces. Whilst this (blind?) old lady appears to be only gathering herbs, her eyeless visage and the skull-bearing staff create a real sense of unease. I suspect there’s nothing but a frame beneath the cloth habit, but it doesn’t matter, as what is visible is well done. The face (built from an upside down Raptor body no less!) and the skull are excellent, and the use of spider leg parts for the staff’s tips is perfect. Couple the model-building with atmospheric photography and you have a wonderfully unsettling LEGO creation.

Baba Ludmila

Howling at the moon

Some guys go through more razor blades than others. Here’s a fun LEGO werewolf portrait by The Knit Knight. The staring eyes give this an appropriately intense feel, but the jagged teeth somehow make the character kind of goofy-looking, too. There’s a nice use of different shades of brown to create the impression of fur, and the textured wedge forehead and curved wedge nose make an effective combination.

LEGO Wolfman

A dead good hearse

If you’re going to hell, you may as well ride in style. At least that’s what Krzysztof Pusz appears to be suggesting with his LEGO hearse–a funeral ride crewed by a sinister band of flame-haired skeletons. The vehicle is simply done, but well put-together with a nice expanse of glazing allowing sight of the coffin within. The use of black paint rollers and golden tassel pieces make for a great set of spooky lamps down the sides.

LMC Hearse #Halloween

Krzysztof has also taken regular photos of the vehicle, manned by a more everyday set of undertakers…

LMC Hearse

Recreating the classic era of pirates

Fancy rebuilding some of your favourite LEGO sets from your youth, but daunted by the prices of the collectors’ market? Letranger Absurde (aka Vitroleum, aka Pacurar Andrei) shows the way. Why not build a teeny-tiny version of them instead? 6279 Skull Island is a classic set from the mid-90s heyday of LEGO Pirates. Pacurar’s version perfectly captures the overall feel with the big skull, the jetty, and the palm tree — but the important details still make an appearance despite the scale. Don’t miss the little cannon on the end of the jetty, the hoist, and the fabulous little rowing boat — all employing a bunch of tenuous part connections, but lovely anyway. And a printed X tile as a Jolly Roger? Love it.

6279 Skull Island Micro

Cute kraken is cracking me up

Behold the beast as it rises from the depths! Fear his googly-eyed gaze! Smirk at his cuteness! And bow down before Kelvin Low‘s innovative LEGO parts usage. This giant Kraken menacing a medieval town’s waterfront is a great example of what can be done when imagination meets even the most specialised LEGO pieces. The aquatic monstrosity is built from T-Rex parts! The colours of the dinosaur torso and tails work perfectly as Kraken-skin, and the threatened town is a nice little collection of microscale buildings. This is just plain old good fun with the bricks.

LEGO Kraken

Microscale Magic! Harry Potter LEGO building competition – winners announced [News]

We saw some fabulous entries to The Brothers Brick’s microscale LEGO Harry Potter building contest — click here to see photos of all the entries. However, despite the amazing quality on display, there can only be three winners — one in each of our two categories, and the MASTER WIZARD who will win a copy of the stunning 71043 Hogwarts Castle: the largest Harry Potter LEGO set ever released.

Click to see the competition winners…

A consular ship, on a diplomatic mission

For a spaceship whose screen time is brief, the Tantive IV occupies a special place in the hearts of Star Wars fans — probably because everyone remembers that first moment of A New Hope as the ship thunders overhead, pursued by the formidable heft of an Imperial Star Destroyer. Tino Poutiainen has put together a detailed LEGO version of this famous spaceship, with every signature element in place, from the hammerhead barrel-shaped cockpit through to the red striping and the midship comms array.

Tantive IV

The model is half a meter long and apparently separates into two sections for easy transport despite its beefy 2kg. Much of that weight must be in the rear section — an impressive recreation of the corvette’s multiple engines…

Tantive IV engine block