This dangerous looking spaceship is filled with clever techniques and interesting parts. The extensive use of Technic gear racks is especially menacing, but the real standout here is the innovative sticker usage. They weren’t custom printed. Rather, Adrian chopped up a bunch of the yellow stickers from set 75053 The Ghost (from Star Wars Rebels) and placed them on the model in an interesting pattern. The stickers were already printed to be scruffy-looking, but the builder wanted them to be even scruffier. So he abraded the stickers by rubbing the model back and forth on a wooden table. The stickers aren’t shiny and smooth any more, but the result is definitely worth it.
It may not cut through much, perhaps not even warm butter, but this gorgeous little LEGO chainsaw by František Hajdekr is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. And it really works! The Technic panels and liftarms fit together as snugly as a jigsaw puzzle. Inside you’ll find a battery box and a Power Functions motor. The safety guard also acts as a safety catch. A simple trigger controls the action. But why take my word for it? See for yourself!
Long before Elektra and Black Widow, there was Princess Diana of Themyscira, better known as Wonder Woman. She was created in the 40s and started out fighting Axis military forces, before taking on gods from Greek mythology. A television icon in the late 70s, she’s finally getting her own movie in 2017. And why not? She’s awesome! So is this poseable figurine from Victor. The model uses a mix of Technic parts, System bricks, and Bionicle armor to create layers of texture which strike a perfect balance of toughness and femininity. The builder has chosen to arm her with a sword and shield instead of the better-known Lasso of Truth, but he has included a scale model of her Invisible Jet.
The Arvo Brothers have struck again with another incredibly beautiful and photo-realistic model. This time, it’s a scooter inspired by the totally retro Vespa P200. The P200 was imported to the US in the late 70s and early 80s, a time when steep angles and blocky designs were common — making this an ideal subject for LEGO modeling. The taillight design chosen here is an exact match to the original ride, executed perfectly in brick. I really like the scale of this model, with larger parts used for broader strokes, leaving smaller parts to fill in the details. If you wish you could build like this, fret not: the builders have promised a PDF of instructions is forthcoming.
In computer graphics, a sprite is an image that represents a discrete element. Sprites are sorta like cels from animation: and some older video games swapped out sprites to simulate animation. One such game was the Super Nintendo classic The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. In a way, the pixels in a sprite are like the 1×1 elements in a LEGO mosaic. Genius idea: build sprites with LEGO! My sprites are 3 plates tall, and don’t require baseplates. Here’s our hero Link, lifting the Master Sword.
Finding sprite sheets (grids of sprites in a single file, used for animation) on the internet to reference was easy. Finding 1×1 plates in the right colors was hard. Believe it or not, LEGO doesn’t make 1×1 plates in every color. Building Princess Zelda and Ganon was almost as difficult as beating the game.
Adventure Time, c’mon and grab your friends! We’re off to very distant lands. Lands where cute and quirky vampires like Marceline have complex relationships with Jake, Princess Bubblegum, and even the Ice King. Biczzz started this incredible mosaic as a 2D project, but then ran out of tiles. Solution: upgrade it to a 3D project! I’m glad he ran out of tiles, the depth and layering created by the cheese slopes is quite impressive.
The People of Laaf is an exhibit in the Netherlands amusement park Efteling, which is older than Disneyland. It’s a fairytale land of animatronic puppets who have their own language and architectural style, and the whole thing is accessible by a small monorail. Koen‘s giant representation of the park captures the unique turrets and rooflines of the park quite nicely. But what I love about this model are the cobblestone paths and the towering trees. Make sure to click through the photostream for a full tour, including some side-by-side comparisons to the real park.
Surely you’ve heard of Salvador Dalí, the great Spanish painter known for his vivid surrealist imagery. In 1976, he painted Gala contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at a distance of 20 meters is transformed into the portrait of Abraham Lincoln, which is not totally unlike our modern “magic eye” drawings. The name may be long and unwieldly, but it’s a very literal description of the painting.
Does it work? Let’s try an experiment. Have a look at Max to the well‘s excellent representation of the painting. You can clearly see a figure standing in the middle of the model, facing away from you. That’s meant to be Gala, Dalí’s wife, staring at the sea. Now, move your chair back, away from your computer. You probably won’t be able to go 20 meters, but you can probably go 5 meters (about 16 feet). Now what do you see? Be honest, it looks a little bit like Abraham Lincoln, doesn’t it?
You may now return your seat to its regular upright position.
Here we go with a couple more brilliant vehicles inspired by the concept art of Ian McQue. I think there are two great reasons builders seem to love McQue’s work. First, it looks “dirty,” like something you could find in the industrial zones of any city — near the water or not. Industrial spaces are functionally the opposite of luxury spaces. And second, McQue’s hovering boats represent a kind of palpable halfway point between now and later. It’s obviously the future in his paintings, but it doesn’t look too much different than now. It’s easy to get a feel for what belongs in that world and what doesn’t.
British builder redfern1950s has captured the airship feel very well with his two latest models. The orange one fits the industrial style very well, featuring plenty of lights, sirens, and other safety devices protecting simple hooks and pulleys. The red one is more of a throwback to a previous generation, more steampunk than dieselpunk. But both have the flaps and chains and lamps that make the skies seem a little more weird than they used to.
Have you ever seen abject poverty up close, where it lives? The brain almost doesn’t want to accept it: you literally cannot believe it. People can’t possibly live like this: but they do. And ironically, there is a kind of beauty there: colors that a designer would never choose, patterns that leave the eye wanting. The humanity of it cannot be contained. Shannon Sproule perfectly captures the heartbreaking chaos and vitality of economics gone horribly wrong in this wonderful vignette. And the presentation, spoofing the classist bias of the LEGO Architecture line, really hits home. Don’t expect to see this set in the next catalog.
Although this vehicle is titled “Light Armored Squid Attack Fighter”, it doesn’t look like a squid. Squids are soft, cuddly, and cute. No, wait, that’s kittens. Squids have eight tentacles, ink sacs, and lightless fishy eyes. Actually, this space fighter (ink jet?) from BobDeQuatre doesn’t really look like anything with which I’m familiar. But the unique curves and thoughtful patterning appear nautical indeed. Like something one might find scuttling near a coral reef. Why not a squid? Anything with guns like this can call itself what it likes.
Honestly, just about anybody with a handful of bricks and minimal finger dexterity can accidentally build some minifigs that look like they belong in the Star Wars universe. But this gang here is more than just slapped together. TR Brownridge has carefully assembled a band of no-good brigands that makes the phrase “scruffy-looking nerfherder” take on a whole new meaning. Now you can see why Princess Leia thought that phrase was such a good insult, and why Han Solo was so offended by it.