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.

The Brothers Brick Explore: LEGO Classic Space [Feature]

Classic Space – one of the perennial LEGO building genres, ever-popular amongst fans for its nostalgic nods to iconic official sets of the past, and the opportunities it presents to depict an optimistic expansionist vision of humanity’s intergalactic future.

This building genre takes its primary influences from the LEGO Space sets released between 1978 and 1987, and the follow-up themes released during the late-80s and beyond, when factions like Futuron, Blacktron, and the Space Police were introduced to the universe.

But the genre is about much more than just the official sets. Take a trip with The Brothers Brick as we blast off on our grand tour of LEGO Classic Space…

Click to read our in-depth overview of the Classic Space building genre

Happy little trees

You know about Bob Ross, right? If not, the short version is that he was an amazing painter, best known for his peaceful and calm teaching method. Quite often, he would fill his canvasses with “happy little trees,” conjuring entire forests with just a few elegant brush-strokes. Builder Emil Lidé (Full Plate) has a similar talent, creating trees with a flair and minimalist style that evokes nature with just a tiny selection of LEGO elements.

Not satisfied with just one tree, Emil has created seven distinct varieties for us to enjoy.

Microtrees

All seven are great, but there are a couple of standouts that I wanted to take a closer look at. (All seven are detailed in the builder’s Tree Techniques album on Flickr.)

Continue reading

Build your own LEGO pumpkin napkin rings for Thanksgiving dinner [Instructions]

Last year, my family requested that I build some LEGO napkin rings for Thanksgiving dinner. I eagerly set out experimenting with LEGO turkeys, Pilgrim hats, brick-built pies and more, but those all were too complicated for an already-full dinner table. The design needed to be simple, stable and instantly evoke the Thanksgiving spirit. The idea struck that a simple pumpkin ring would work perfectly for a harvest table.

I experimented with a few options, since the opening had to be big enough for a rolled napkin but strong enough not to split when holding it in place. After trying and failing to get the right shape using a studs-up technique, it became apparent that rotating the whole build on its side was the way to go. TBB’s Chris Malloy provided a final moment of brilliance suggesting the curly whip for the top, and the design was complete. Continue reading

Build James Bond’s Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me [Instructions]

Looking back at the action scenes from the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me make them seem downright cheesy today. Having said that, the reason why the Lotus Esprit is still remembered and loved is just how realistic the way the car submerged and reappeared on the sandy beach. Simple designs are sometimes the key to making things rememberable. Hachiroku24’s take on this vehicle not only looks great from the sides, but also has great detailing on the rear using simple 1×1 plates for its rear tail lights.

Lego 007's Lotus Esprit

Click for full instructions to build your own

The epitome of scrooge in LEGO parts

You could almost say that this is the perfect example of being a Scrooge, well, sort of anyway. In the world of LEGO custom building, there’s a term defined as Nice Parts Usage (NPU) where a LEGO element is used in a very different way from its original purpose. Well, if Scrooge McDuck knew this, he’d repurpose every single LEGO brick in his possession to avoid buying new bricks that he doesn’t really need in the first place. This build by Logan W. is simply filled with NPUs that shine through, from the Bionicle parts to pneumatic hoses, helmets and even a unique-colored piece from Boba Fett’s buildable figure for Scrooge’s beak.

Scrooge McDuck

How to Build your Dragon: Make your own LEGO Toothless [Instructions]

We’ve come to enjoy the many LEGO creations from Build Better Bricks not just for their quality and variety, but because they often provide inexpensive building instructions. Their latest is the titular dragon Toothless from the How to Train Your Dragon series, which just released its third movie recently. I love the dragon’s eyes, and Toothless’ low profile is captured perfectly, along with key details like his makeshift tail fin.

Toothless

You can check out the instructions for Toothless on B3’s website.

A classic cartoon captured in Classic Space [Instructions]

With the recent release of the 70841 Benny’s Space Squad set from The LEGO Movie 2 and the upcoming 40th anniversary of Classic Space, there is bound to be a spike in popularity for what is already one of the most popular LEGO themes. Contributing to this spike is this creation by Miro Dudas, a rover that is heavily inspired by a classic car most of us are probably familiar with… The Flintstones‘ car!

Benny's PT-Cruiser

The build captures the angular and minimalist style of Classic Space sets, but its simplicity has an added bonus – why not make your own with the instructions provided by the builder? Miro has built the rover in a few alternative themes himself, both digitally and physically, as seen below.

The future is here with Futuron

Take a dive into the ocean of creativity with this colorful birdy [Intructions]

You’ll never know when the next wave of creativity will hit your mind. Our good old friend, colleague, and founder of Brickset.com, Huw Millington gave rein to his imagination as he was reviewing the latest LEGO Creator polybag, 30545 Fish Free Builds. Along with an exotic fish shoal Huw even came up with a couple of fancy birds. This grumpy birdie, which has something in common with Zazu from The Lion King, has instantly captured the hearts of the Brothers Brick team.

Now, we suggest our readers to join the fun and build your own version of Huw’s bird! Here is a short building guide for you to start with, but go ahead and build it the way you like it! Put it on a branch of a tropical tree, or make it sing with its beak wide open. And don’t forget to share your creations with us!

Ace lace work

I’ve been advocating for many years now the joys of building LEGO models that use bricks as a two-dimensional medium. This genre often works best when it takes its cues from folk art, and Azurekingfisher has done just this in their run of lacework-inspired squares. Whilst essentially simple monochrome designs, the repeats and generation of negative space created from the selection of bricks result in sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing patterns. As a sequence, the stepped scaling of the three pieces adds further interest. Frame them, hang them on your wall and you have that most elusive of things: LEGO art!

square

How to build a Pave Low helicopter with LEGO: Part 3 [Feature]

It’s done! Building my Transforming Bumblebee distracted me for a bit. However, I actually completed my Pave Low helicopter before the Beetle. In parts one and two of this series I explained how this sort of model has gotten a lot more complicated. Thanks to newer parts and techniques, the simple solutions I would have been happy with ten years ago just don’t hack it anymore. In this third and final part, I finally unveil the finished article.


Click here to continue reading…

LEGO Bumblebee in beetle form is one sweet ride [Instructions]

The new, much-anticipated Bumblebee movie has inspired LEGO fans to build some fantastic creations recently, from this large-scale figure by Ekow Nimako to this transforming model by Jerry Builds Bricks and this cute model in Volkswagen Beetle form by hachiroku24 is the latest. One of my favorite details is the gently curving back of the car, which very closely matches its real-life inspiration. The extra curvy front wheel well is also a very nice detail and helps to complete this iconic car profile.

Lego Bumblebee car MOC

Click through to see the parts list and instructions to build your own LEGO Bumblebee

It’s never too late! You still have time to build a Christmas themed BrickHeadz [Instructions]

If you have the Go Brick Me set on hand, you’re in luck! You have all the parts to build this cute penguin in black and white. Builder Stormythos designed this lil’ Christmas-themed fella with only the parts available within the kit. I love the detailing around the neck with a festive scarf that trails down to the front.

If you have a bigger stash beyond the Go Brick me Kit, you may want to try building this Elf on a Shelf. It breaks away from the standard BrickHeadz template with extended arms and feet which makes it a little livelier.

Get the instructions here and start building! And if you somehow don’t have the Go Brick Me set, it’s not too late to grab one off the online shelves for a loved one! It’s a perfect gift for hours of fun!