Taking us back to Qing Dynasty China, ElviN has built a historically accurate version of the iconic Double Dragon Bridge. The diorama is packed with the comings and goings of day-to-day life: there’s a peasant fishing in the Nanpan River; a platoon of soldiers marshals a criminal across the bridge; whilst at the other end a farmer waits to herd his cattle over to the other side.
Growing up in the 1990s, Street Fighter II was all the rage in arcades and home video game consoles. One of the most iconic characters from the series is Ryu, whose signature special move is the hadouken in which he releases a massive fireball with his bare hands. Thanks to John Cheng, we now have a slick-looking chibi version of Ryu getting ready to unleash his famous attack. John’s representation was instantly recognizable, right down to Ryu’s tattered sleeves (made possible through the use of the 1×2 modified plate with 3 teeth). Moreover, the figure is fully articulated, perfect for recreating Ryu’s wide range of moves.
You might imagine that the golden crystal in the centre of this scene is the treasure of the shrine, but I believe the true treasures are all the crazy building techniques that Grant Davis has used in his Mountaintop Shrine. From a distance it may look like nothing special and the foliage on the periphery is nothing new, but a closer look will have you looking for your jaw somewhere under your desk (or under a bus seat if you are reading this on a mobile device).
The very composition and colour choices are great for setting up a bright, positive and somewhat cartoony atmosphere, but that is only the first thing to draw your attention. This attention is retained by amazing building techniques I have hinted at in the previous paragraph. Starting with the obvious, the cobblestone wall behind the shrine uses all sorts of round pieces from ends of bars through small ball joints to 2×2 tiles and more to achieve a highly realistic effect. But there are more subtle details too. For instance, you can see that the path leading towards the shrine is not just tiles connected flatly to the base, but is in fact irregular, as if damaged by centuries of disuse. Another subtly irregular thing is the left pillar (built out of frying pans stacked on one another!), which is standing at an angle. One more unique thing and the last I noticed myself is the tree, using the new leaf pieces set in such a way that they make a coherent treetop.
Click if you want to see a behind the scenes video
Referencing the 2016 Disney live action version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Junglebook, Jellyeater leads the viewer’s eye into the action in his model through a distinctive stretched vertical design. In the foreground Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther are tussling energetically with the great ape King Loui’s minions.
However, the real joy in this build is found when you follow the rocky path of Bandar-log back up the steps to the rear relief. From out of the gateway, framed by lovely detailed ruins formed from of all things handcuff elements, pokes the mighty face of King Loui himself, green eyes glowing. It’s the perfect capture of a great cinematic moment!
To celebrate the biggest LEGO Harry Potter set of all time — 71043 Hogwarts Castle — The Brothers Brick is hosting a “Microscale Magic!” building contest. We want to see your most creative microscale LEGO builds of anything from the Harry Potter universe. Build whatever you like – perhaps your favorite location, creature, character, or classroom. But beware wizardy builders – anything you put together has to be in teeny-tiny microscale!
There are magical prizes to be won, and the builder who is crowned MASTER WIZARD will win the massive new 71043 Hogwarts Castle LEGO set!
Read on to see details of the fabulous prizes and the competition categories…
BrickHeadz builds work pretty well for all things coherent and familiar, such as consistent uniforms or builds of famous characters. This fantastic family of four by Adam Dodge stands out among the usual BrickHeadz characters because they each have a bit of a unique attribute to show off, from the fiery human torch with his transformation to flames and the Invisible Woman showing off her powers with a partially invisible leg to Dr Reed Richards aka Mr Fantastic flexing his arm.
The unique piece here is the Thing, which breaks away from the typical BrickHeadz template in size and works well with the brick studs exposed. I wanted to call out to Adam that I did notice his slip-in of Captain Salazar’s forehead printed piece, which works quite well on the base as cracks due to the weight of Benjamin Grimm.
Click to see the individual builds up closer
My head hurts in a good way while looking at this intriguing build by Sheo. There’s so much to look at more closely to figure out how the flooring tessellation effect was achieved. The walls are an especially enigmatic and puzzling construction with a smooth look that belies its complexity. What also makes this scene great is how the structured hard-edged build, which looks like it came out of a sci-fi world, is also laced with tentacles, and various other organic odds and ends such as claws to add some life to the scene.
The backdrop certainly does steal the limelight, but the seemingly lost droids still deserve a callout for all the interesting parts they use blend in with the theme. See how many unusual elements you can identify in the droids.
The Final Fantasy video game franchise has been going strong for over thirty years, but of its many incarnations, the 1997 Playstation release of Final Fantasy VII continues to hold a special place in my heart. TBB regular Moko has reignited my nostalgia with a beautiful rendering of the game’s protagonist, Cloud Strife.
What really makes this version of Cloud unique is Moko’s commitment to remaining faithful to the original in-game character design. Like his 32-bit counterpart, brick-built Cloud is a little blocky and rough around the edges but full of brilliant charm. I love that the figure is fully poseable, and Moko did an excellent job of capturing the character’s iconic golden, spiky hair. It would be great to see the game’s other characters recreated in this style.
There have been many entries in the continuing Isles of Aura saga, a series of floating islands creations, but I wanted to spend some time touring Isaac and John Snyder’s latest effort: the Town of Khevroa.
We’ve previously featured models from the Isles after the concept’s genesis as Models Inspired by Music and later with Brother Stevens’ Sunset Slumber among others. However, this latest scene has some great examples of packing a lot of detail and building variety into one small town.
Continue deeper into the town
Sometimes I wonder which would be the slower vehicle — the paver that lays asphalt on roads, or the Zamboni ice resurfacer. While I’m pondering over it, here’s a Zamboni build to add to your city ice skating rink for all minifigure inhabitants to enjoy a smooth slidin’ surface to skate on, courtesy of de-marco.
And best yet, you can build it yourself with these video instructions.
Prepare for action in hostile territory with Ben “Spaceship!” Smith’s phenomenal APC transport, the DT-92 Rigellian Dropship.
Technically, I’ve led off this article with the money shot of the rear 3/4 of the ship, because I am enamored with Ben’s gorgeous engine arrangement. There are crisp lines to follow all over the ship and clean color blocking in its asymmetrical form. The dropship deviates from the predominantly aerodynamic characteristics of the spacecraft we’re used to seeing in TV and movies – which is a great subject to explore as we approach SHIPtember when many in the spaceship-loving LEGO community will put out massive plastic spacecraft in a tight timeframe.
The dropship has some really fun bits scattered throughout the model but one of the features I think gets a little lost in the dramatic photo lighting is the VTOL engines that appear as if they would actually swivel on 2×2-stud turntables depending on how the ship is swooshed. I also like the integration of the 10248 Ferrari F40 windshield piece although I think it adds a bit of a quirky, off-putting Eagle 5 space Winnebago look to the cockpit.
Sometimes the best designs come from constraints. When it comes to LEGO creations, builders are constrained by the size of their collection or the colors that LEGO elements are available in. In the case of this lovely model of a Bullfinch by Peter Ilmrud, one of the constraints is a glass dome from Ikea to keep his creations dust-free. If this looks familiar, there’s a good reason. We recently featured Peter’s Aladdin vignette also designed to fit under a glass dome. This Bullfinch, based on the LEGO Ideas Birds set 21301 fits perfectly atop a snow-covered branch, looking rather stately. I can almost hear chirping.
The tree is skillfully constructed to fit inside the glass dome, without feeling too cramped, or too minimal. The curved wall at the base provides a nice anchor to the scene and the use of loosely poured ice-cream scoops as freshly fallen snow is perfect.