Category Archives: Building Techniques

Not sure what SNOT is? Want to learn innovative new ways to create awesome LEGO models of your own? Peruse our posts about LEGO building techniques to pick up tricks & tips from the best.

Achieve serenity with free LEGO building instructions for an “Outlaw Spaceship” from TBB [Instructions]

As a holiday gift to our readers, The Brothers Brick commissioned talented LEGO artist Tyler Clites to design a LEGO model that everybody can build. This custom “Outlaw Spaceship” should make any sci-fi fan’s heart twinkle like a firefly in the depths of space.

Custom LEGO Outlaw Spaceship

Our simple, step-by-step instructions and parts list will help you assemble this unique model unveiled for the first time here. It’s full of LEGO building techniques you won’t generally see in an official LEGO model, so it’s also an opportunity to learn a few tips and tricks. Let us know in the comments if you like these instructions, and we may do them more regularly in the future.

See the step-by-step instructions and parts list for our Outlaw Spaceship

A neat historical flick made from the brick: “Chicago Pile-1: A Brick History” [Video]

Recently, Dave Pickett from the YouTube channel Brick 101 created a video for the Argonne National Laboratory called “Chicago Pile-1: A Brick History”. The final product turned out great. Coming in at 2 minutes and 51 seconds, the animation is full of all sorts of thoughtful touches. From the composition of the scenes to the LEGO buildings found within, this is absolutely the work of a maestro.

But how exactly did he make it? David’s behind the scenes video gives some insight.

Watch the behind-the-scenes video and learn more about how LEGO stop-motion movies are made

There’s an app for that

In this technology-driven age, our devices have a big impact on our everyday life. We have devices to track our sleep, devices that shop for us, and devices we wear and carry with us wherever we go. With this collection of LEGO creations, nujumetru has captured the wonderful and sometimes disturbing relationship we have with our technology.

The Gang's All Here

See more photos of each model in the series after the jump

Amazing detailed recreation of a city train station in Germany

The City Station of Trossingen in Germany built by Steffen Rau is simply breathtaking. The architectural detailing and color are astounding and eye-popping, with intricate features on the facade that look like it took some marvelously complex techniques to achieve that even an architect would be proud of. The siding just below the roof which was most likely wooden gives a beautiful compliment in color to the red roof tiling and a nice contrast with the mid-section in black and white.

Trossingen Station 6

The back of the building features the train tracks and a platform with minifigure commuters waiting for their train to arrive.

See more of this massive LEGO train station

Bugatti in a haystack

What classic car collector or enthusiast wouldn’t flip out to find this car in a barn? Norton74 has put together an instantly recognizable scene in this LEGO creation depicting all the excitement of a treasure hunt.

Barn find | Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix

The farm clutter is wonderfully deliberate and is immediately familiar to anybody who has driven down a country highway on the way from here to there. From the wood piles and crates to the toppled gas pump. And don’t miss the hay stacked up inside the barn. What really sells the narrative is the loosely placed tiles, which add to the barn’s weathered appearance.

I feel the need, the need to burn some rubber

I’m a fan of the Studs-Not-On-Top (SNOT) techniques, especially for builds where you want the finished model to have few of the iconic LEGO studs visible. It’s a feat made even tougher on a smaller build, particularly if you need to keep the model looking true to its real-life counterpart. However, builder Jonathan Elliott seems to have a knack for pulling it off well. I still can’t decide on a favorite—the Mercedes AMG in white or the grey Porsche 911 Carrera, maybe? Actually, at this scale, I can own them both.

Lego Speed Champions for Adults

Click here to take a closer look

The future of details is now

There are times when a LEGO creation is futuristic because it is a spaceship, robot or another sci-fi element. There are other times, when the build itself is futuristic in its construction techniques and concepts. This spaceship by Nick Trotta is one of the cases when these two aspects intersect. LEGO creations keep evolving and advancing with time and this one is at the cutting edge for sure.

Heavy Light mk/5

From complicated angles to unique solutions for round shapes, there is a lot to see on this little spacecraft. The best and most progressive parts, though, are the technical details like hoses and gears, carefully enclosed by surrounding panels. So many different colours would not look good in most cases, but Nick has balanced them into a pleasing colour scheme.

For more inquiring readers, the builder has a video showcasing his creation in detail.

Guy Smiley Killing Drone [Instructions]

Have you ever wanted to build your own meatbag killing machine? Or perhaps a robot helper for your minifig friends? Have you seen a drone made by some dude who goes by Guy Smiley on the internet, and thought I need one of those…? Well now’s your chance, because I made instructions for my deadly little robot, to fulfill all your LEGO drone building desires.

 

Portapoc

If there’s one clear sign the Cyberpocalypse is upon us, it’s that indoor plumbing has ceased to exist, and we are forced to use communal toilets on the street, or (though a little more civilized) public porta potties for our sanitary needs. Thus, my most recent build for the ABS builder Challenge features exactly that: a communal porta potty smack-dab in the middle of the shantytown. How much would I have to pay you to use it?

Portapoc

The roof of the main black building was my main inspiration for building this scene. I was able to come up with a cool roof technique using the seed part for the challenge: the handheld minifig fan, which enabled me to use the part a total of 24 times in this build.

Stepping up from Kragle to drilling, cutting, and sanding – a chat with Randy Sluder [Interview]

Purists look away now, as we go inside the mind of self-proclaimed LEGO outlaw Randy Sluder and see some of the innovative building he is doing around the LEGO monorail system. Randy calls himself an outlaw because he’s not afraid to cut, drill, sand, and glue to create shapes LEGO never made. However, even he has lines he won’t cross — he only uses genuine LEGO bricks and the same glue LEGO themselves use on their large display models!

Union Pacific M-10000: Image 2

TBB: So Randy, tell us a little about yourself…

Randy: I’m a graphic artist by trade and have always liked the Art Deco style, so I gravitated to the Streamliner period of trains between 1935-1955. It was a time when “form follows function” wasn’t in vogue, the emphasis was on great design. And many people don’t know that Art Deco train design was as important to the movement as the architecture.

TBB: Where does your interest in monorail trains come from?

Randy: All my life I’ve been able to hear the sound of a train, at night, no matter where I’ve lived, and because I’m a wannabe “rail fan”, and a LEGO geek! What started as a fun project for the grandkids has blossomed into a cottage industry. In building a track for them I thought it would be nice to have a few more monorails. In researching LEGO monorail designs I found most were childish, block-type designs with the better ones made from current LEGO train bodies. Nobody was designing alternate vehicles for the LEGO monorail system. So after a lot of interesting research, I started creating trains for the monorail track.

Pennsylvania Railroad GE GG1 Locomotive

Click to read the rest of the interview

Build your own LEGO Citroën DS and then drive your minifig self through the Vézère Valley [Instructions]

The vintage French Ghostbusters-themed Citroën DS we featured here a few days ago was certainly adorable, but what if you want to build your own early 1970’s LEGO Citroën DS? Creator OutBricks comes to the rescue with step-by-step instructions for the DS on which he based his “Ecteau-un”.

Citroen DS

You can see the builder explain how to build your own LEGO Citroën DS, as well as what parts you need, in this tutorial video.

A well-built stick hut as sturdy as stone

It’s a bit strange when a LEGO creation is sturdier than the subject it represents. Such is the case with this weathered hut by Grant Davis, which looks like a bunch of bricks were thrown together without proper connections and then collapsed immediately after being photographed.

A Weathered Lodging

That is most definetely not the case, as Grant shows in his very informative video, where he even turns the build upside-down — and it remains intact! The ground texture and colours should also be pointed out, as the builder achieves a very realistic effect by using closely related colours in natural looking patterns.