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

Super-cute super brothers superbly put together

Whilst we’ve never had an official set, Mario and Luigi are no strangers to LEGO. Many builders have tackled these gaming icons before, but it’s always good to see another take. These figures by ZiO Chao are excellent — tightly-built in a chibi style, but immediately recognisable, and full of character. The outfits are perfectly captured, the faces expressive, and I love the stands beneath each figure. Don’t miss the brickwork on Toad’s mushroom head, and the simple but effective way ZiO has captured Toad’s face. Lovely stuff.

LEGO Mario Luigi Toad

You have 20 nanoseconds to comply

When these cops come to kick your door in, they don’t mess around. Armed to the teeth and itching for a fight, the squad’s tactical mech carries a faint whiff of ED-209 from Robocop. However, Tim Goddard‘s model is a throwback to an altogether different slice of retro cop sci-fi–LEGO’s Space Police theme of 1989. There’s a tonne of lovely mechanical detailing in amongst the black, and the blue panels and red cockpit give the model some striking standout. I love the guns and missile launcher this thing is carrying, but the smaller arms hanging beneath the cockpit are the killer detail, lending the model some goofy character along with its more obvious menace.

SP59 Tactical Deployment Walker

Kinetic LEGO sculpture of the Luck Dragon from The Neverending Story [Video]

Stranger Things season 3 will undoubtedly have given Limahl’s royalties a boost with its use of the theme song from The Neverending Story. But if you’re a fan of the original movie, then Jason Alleman‘s latest creation will have you smiling and humming the song to yourself without a single reference to Hawkins, Indiana. He’s put together an excellent LEGO version of Falkor the Luck Dragon.

LEGO Neverending Story

Jason is the undisputed master of LEGO kinetic sculpture, imbuing his creations with wonderful motion, and this model is a perfect example. Check out the video featuring the Luck Dragon in flight, and Jason talking through the design process.

It’s not faster than you need, it’s just faster than you’re used to

The Muscle Car of the Future — that’s how Blake Foster describes his latest LEGO creation. It’s a perfect fit for this beefy beast of a speeder. This thing looks like it’s bursting with engine power, and along with the lovely colour blocking, it’s bristling with functional-looking greebles. Check out the fins on those intakes up front, and the wonderful curved piping which creates a common design element across both the front and back sections visually tying the whole model together.

Centauri Industries Crater Maker 5000

Even better, Blake’s speeder appears to run on fuel provided by everyone’s favourite mega-corporation, Octan…

Crater Maker 5000 - Refueling Stop

You won’t get Grant out of Montana, he’s a digger

Since Jurassic Park roared onto cinema screens in 1993, many LEGO builders have recreated their favourite scenes. We’ve lost count of the number of T-Rex vs Ford Explorer dioramas we’ve seen, and many of the other action sequences have received their own brick-built tributes. However, Jonas Kramm has chosen to revisit one of the calmer moments near the film’s beginning — a dinosaur excavation in the Montana Badlands. Jonas has captured the scene perfectly — Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler are brushing away at the exposed Velociraptor fossil, surrounded by piles of gear. The dinosaur fossil is nicely put together, but the assorted equipment rewards closer inspection. I particularly like the rendition of the red “shotgun holder” — fired into the ground to generate a sonar image on the computer screen. (A screen which Jonas has thoughtfully shaded from the Montana sun, just like in the movie!)

LEGO Jurassic Park - Montana Velociraptor

A classic LEGO rendition of a legendary spacecraft

What better way to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing than with some LEGO Classic Space? The celebrated theme’s iconic colour scheme meets the most famous craft in humanity’s (admittedly short) space-going history in Dallen Powell‘s fun digital LEGO model. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing but admiration for the recent 10266 Lunar Lander set, but I wouldn’t be able to contain myself if LEGO released this version alongside it. Eagle looks the business in this livery, and Dallen has made some great choices — the landing pads in red are simply perfect. And check out Benny, how pleased does he look with his new ride?!

LEGO Classic Space Moon Lander

Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood where Christopher Robin builds

“Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of springs…” Well, not in this case. Here we get Winnie The Pooh and Tigger, created in LEGO bricks by BrickinNick. These renditions of the Disney versions of A. A. Milne’s classic characters are immediately recognisable and great fun. Pooh looks a little less rotund than usual, but he’s probably about to sort that out by guzzling an entire pot of honey. The model manages to catch Tigger mid-bounce, which is no mean feat. There’s a real sense of energy and movement in the pose, and Tigger’s colour scheme and facial expression are spot-on.

The wonderful thing about Tiggers

The Brothers Brick Readers’ Survey 2019 – last chance to tell us what you think and to win a LEGO Lunar Lander set [News]

Complete our 5 minute survey and you could win a 10266 Apollo Lunar Lander LEGO set! This weekend is your last chance to tell us what you think.

Thank you to the thousands of you who have already given us your feedback. We genuinely appreciate your input — it will help us build a better TBB. Click here to take the survey.

The survey is open until Sunday 30th June.

The survey may only be completed once per participant. The free Lunar Lander set will be awarded to a survey respondent picked at random after the survey closes. The prizewinner must be over the age of 18. An email address is required to enter the prize draw. The email address will only be used to contact the prizewinner to arrange delivery. All email addresses will be deleted once delivery is arranged. In the event of the initial prizewinner not responding to contact within 3 days, a new prizewinner will be picked at random. TBB reserves the right to substitute some form of voucher of similar value in the event of shipping proving ridiculously expensive.

Not all those who off-road are lost

Decked out in sponsor stickers, and sporting a nifty black and yellow paint job, Ian Ying‘s latest LEGO Technic vehicle is a cracker — a beefy buggy of a 4×4 off-roader. With its fat wheels, roll cage, and striking colour scheme, I can just imagine this baby roaring across the dunes in Baja, or maybe taking on the Paris-Dakar Rally.

LEGO Technic Off-Roader Pull-Back Motor

This is one of those LEGO models which looks just as good from the rear, especially in this low-angle shot, which gives the vehicle the impression of being packed with engine grunt. That’s not too far off the mark here, as Ian has built a Technic Pull-Back motor into the heart of this model, giving it a nifty turn of speed.

LEGO Technic Off-Roader Pull-Back Motor

(One small niggle — the spare tyre is different from the rest. But that’s nit-picking at an otherwise excellent build.)

2,000-brick LEGO version of Edinburgh Castle and gardens

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its castle atop a volcanic plug of rock, and the Princes Street Gardens, a public park lying between the city’s Old and New Towns. It’s my home, so I’m obviously biased, but it’s widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and dramatic city centres in the world. The challenge of recreating my home city in the brick has haunted me for years, and I finally decided to take a proper crack at it. After 18 months of off-and-on building, multiple orders of bricks, and a great deal of cursing and starting over, this 2,000(ish) brick model was the result.

LEGO Edinburgh Castle and Prince Street Gardens

The model is 75cm by 40cm and captures the upper stretch of the famous Royal Mile, the Castle Rock, and the whole of the gardens — including the train tracks, the Scott Monument, the art galleries on The Mound, and the various churches which are dotted across this slice of the city.

Over a total of a year and a half, I was probably building this for three months or so, with flurries of activity punctuated with periods when I couldn’t bring myself to even look at it! Google Maps was a constant companion throughout the project, allowing me to zoom in on individual buildings to capture detail, or zoom out to understand general scale and comparative distances. It’s amazing how much you learn when you look in this level of detail at somewhere you think you know well.

Once the model was completed, I wanted to get some images against a real sky. The photo below captures one of my favourite views of the city — looking out from Waverley Bridge across the Eastern section of the Gardens, the National Gallery and Royal Academy buildings ahead, and the Castle looming over everything in the background. As happens often in real life, one of the city’s many double-decker buses has managed to get into the shot…

LEGO Edinburgh - The National Galleries and Castle from Waverley Bridge

Whilst I’m pleased with how the final model turned out, at the moment I’m saying I’m never attempting such a project ever again! However, I’ve already caught myself looking at maps of the city and idly wondering in which direction I should extend the diorama. I think it’s only a matter of time before I’m engrossed in mini city-building all over again.

Danish waterfront built in Danish bricks

Nyhavn is Copenhagen’s “New Harbour” district–a bustling waterfront and canalside area of the city popular with tourists. Miro Dudas put together a microscale LEGO slice of Denmark’s capital, complete with multicoloured houses, outdoor seating for the area’s many bars and restaurants, and some cute little boats. Using 1×2 bricks “edge on” is an effective technique for all the windows, and don’t miss the underside of 1×2 jumper plates used to create some of the ribbed metalwork of the waterfront pilings. The large base, spelling out the district’s name, is relatively simple, but enhances the presentation of the model, making this microscale creation feel surprisingly large.

NyHavn “New Harbor”

Space speeders beware, here come the cops

If you’re thinking of running a red light around Ganymede, or maybe breaking the warp limit off Titan, you’d best look out. The LEGO Space Police just got themselves a new Galactic Interceptor, courtesy of F@bz. The unusual curved black carapace might catch your eye, but you’ll linger on the details of this lovely spaceship. There’s lots of clever parts usage on display here, providing cracking little touches all over the model. The sensor-studded front end is a particular delight, nicely balancing the grey engine fins at the rear. However, the sweetest detail has to be the red rubber band placed around the Space Police logo and a black shield — it provides a wonderful highlight in a smaller resolution than is usually possible in a LEGO creation.

Galactic Interceptor (01)