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.

This tiny LEGO furniture is made out of books

Letranger Absurde has been playing with the LEGO book binding and book cover to create some tiny furniture. The outcome is really pretty! Not only the book binding got the furniture treatment, but the suitcase element got incorporated into the build as well. According to the description, connecting the books can be quite the challenge. I am really curious to how these are constructed. So if your castle or house interior needs to be spruced up, go and buy yourself some books!

Tiny Furniture

This isn’t a spaceship, it’s a LEGO brain-teaser

As you might imagine, being the managing editor for The Brothers Brick entails looking at a lot of LEGO creations. With space being one of the most popular LEGO genres, I’ve seen my share of spaceships. And while I see plenty of spaceships I love, it’s not often that I come across models that truly cause my jaw to drop, but spaceship guru Nick Trotta routinely does so with his mastery of brick geometry. One of the best spaceship builders around, Nick’s latest creation, dubbed the Heavenly Strike, is a perfect example of how you can fit LEGO pieces together in truly mind-blowing configurations. So I’m going to dive into this one a bit more than we do on our usual articles because I’m absolutely enthralled.

Heavenly Strike: Three-Quarters View

At first, you see a superbly slick spaceship with an impeccable color scheme (with a few gorgeously custom copper-chromed elements). It’s angular and appropriately futuristic without being over the top. And, while it’s easily overlooked, that display stand is quite a nice creation on its own. But look closer, and you’ll start to see that very few pieces align in the way that you’d think they should, and nearly every surface is fitted an odd angle.

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Microscale AT-TE just needs a miniature Ahsoka to be perfect [Instructions]

One of the coolest new vehicles introduced by the Star Wars prequel trilogy in my opinion is the 6-legged walker known as the All-Terrain Tactical Enforcer or AT-TE. Not only is it too low to the ground to trip up with tow cables, but it’s packed with guns, including a massive top-mounted heavy cannon. Jason Allemann has built a remarkably detailed model that not only looks great, but it can also walk on its own.

AT-TE Redux

But the fun doesn’t stop here. You can build one of your own with these instructions provided by Jason, and if you are really ambitious, you might even put yours on a vertical cliff face to re-enact the scene from the Clone Wars animated movie.

And if you want your own Ahsoka Tano, this year’s 75283 Armored Assault Tank includes a gorgeous Ahsoka minifig along with an awesome “Ahsoka Trooper”.

Idea to actual: How we made some Wonder Woman LEGO Art [Feature]

Once a year, my long-distance partner Alyse Middleton and I, Chris Doyle, try to take a week of vacation together. With the realities of life in the USA in 2020 limiting the potential destinations, this time we opted for a “Quarencation” at my place. Kind of a bummer, but staying here kept us within easy reach of my LEGO workspace…and that paid out some nifty results. We were able to take an idea we had been kicking around all the way from concept to physical model. Working in the style of the new LEGO Art sets, we created a mosaic of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman.

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman - LEGO Art Style

I’d built a number of mosaics in the past, so I had a few ideas on how we could approach making a new one. And while that experience was helpful, we ended up taking a very different route to reach our goal. Come along with us on our journey of highs, lows, seemingly endless moments of “I guess we’re starting over again“, and, yes, eventual triumph.

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Build your own microscale Nintendo Entertainment System [Instructions]

If you are as excited about the recently announced Nintendo Entertainment System LEGO set as I am, but your wallet has felt the impact of the global pandemic, fear not! You can experience all the nostalgic feels (in a slightly smaller dose), when you build your own miniature model using these instructions by Thomas Gion. You’ll have to build a TV on your own, although LEGO Designer Chris McVeigh has free instructions for a variety of old televisions which could provide the perfect inspiration.

Miniature LEGO NES

A solution for yellowed LEGO bricks

White LEGO bricks turning yellow, it’s a builders’ worst nightmare. Some builders would discard the yellowed bricks but not Ayrlego. The yellowed white bricks were used in combination with white, light grey, and tan masonry bricks to create a weathered look for the Port Woodhouse Cavalry Stables. Mixing 1×1 round bricks in different colours for the roof further adds to the weathered look of the building.

Cavalry Stables, Port Woodhouse

This build features a lot of classic LEGO elements and their newer/replacement counterparts. The window pane lattice diamond and the window shutter, the new pane lattice with the old window and the old shutters, the old horses in the stable next to the newer more articulated ones and even the use of old and new redcoat torso’s for the minifigures.

How to build a safe to go with your brick bank [Instructions]

Looking back, I spent a lot of time as a kid-builder hoarding the LEGO money and gems. Every shiny item either went into the good ol’ 2x2x2 container box or a brick-built safe. Of course, my safes were rainbow-colored and typically had a lid instead of a door, but hey, they got the job done. Building 10251 Brick Bank took me back to those days. But so many builds could use a good safe, not just a bank! Perhaps you have a mansion or a mobster hideout? If you need a little inspiration (or instructions) on how to build one, Tiago Catarino is your guy! One of his recent tutorials features this adorable little safe with plenty of storage for those gold bars, coins, and cash.

Click the link below to follow along with Tiago as he shows you how to build this sturdy hideaway.

See the video tutorial

Build your office at home

With most of the corporate world working from home these days, it’s easy to miss the cubicle life. You can reminisce about the good old days with this LEGO creation from Tiago Catarino.

LEGO Cubicle

I love the curved desk and the drawers next to the chair. Minimalist is the word that comes to mind in describing how Tiago was able to cram in so many details with so much subtlety. I can’t help but smile at the crooked sticky note. One thing is for sure, when I get out of quarantine and continue working on a scale model of my office, this cubicle is certainly going to be there.

If you’d like to build your own office cubicle, Tiago has provided us the instructions on his YouTube channel.

TBB cover photo for June 2020: The General Store with Everything

This month’s cover photo, from Andrea Lattanzio, brings us this blast from the past with an incredibly detailed LEGO general store. The diorama is littered with items you might find at a remote general store, and luckily Andrea provides a close up look at the details (see below). Candy machines, phone booths, tools, and gas, this general store has you covered no matter your needs.

General Store

Here’s that closer look at some of the items you’ll see surrounding the general store. The water tower is a clear standout, but some of the other details like the power pole, the cable holding up the chimney pipe, and the cat going after that bird nest. This entire scene is a delight to take in.

General Store in detail

Want to see your own LEGO creation featured across TBB social media for a month? Check out the submission guidelines and submit your photo today.

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How to build a bitty bowling lane [Instructions]

Although it kind of sucks to be stuck at home these days, one upside is the number of glorious LEGO creations coming from builders all over the world. But if you’ve got builders-block or need something small to get you started, Tiago Catarino keeps the instructions rolling! When you can’t go to the real bowling alley, why not build yourself a little lane? This adorable build would look great with several lined up together!

LEGO Bowling Lane

As always, Tiago has provided a visual tutorial. Follow the link below to build along!

Click to watch the video

How to organise and sort your LEGO collection, by the Mad Physicist [Feature]

With a lot of people holed up in their homes, as a result of stay-at-home orders to reduce the spread of COVID-19, The Brothers Brick has been getting questions on how to best organise one’s LEGO collection. There are obviously many different ways to do this. These range from not organising it at all, via sorting elements by colour or type, to giving every type of element in every different colour a separate container. The latter is seen by some people as the “ultimate” or “most advanced” sorting solution. A behind-the-scenes discussion among our contributors revealed that we all have somewhat different sorting systems. So, for those of you staring at a large pile of random unsorted LEGO, we’ll be sharing our ideas in a few feature articles. We’ll also go into the process of cleaning and sorting your LEGO.

In this installment, we kick off with our very own Builder in Residence, Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad physicist.

Click to read more about how Ralph sorts his LEGO collection

Can you solve this? The LEGO Reverse Engineering challenge will have you scratching your head [News]

Most of us are staying home a lot more these days, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably already built all the LEGO sets laying around your house and have run out of ideas for your custom build. Our friend Ryan Howerter has just the thing to solve your brick doldrums and keep you flexing your LEGO muscles with a little brick workout. Introducing the Reverse Engineering Contest, a daily challenge wherein you, the viewer, are tasked with recreating a tiny but deceptively complex model with your own bricks. Ryan will be posting a new challenge to his Instagram every day from now until August, so you’ll have plenty to keep you busy.

Much like the crossword puzzle in the papers, there are no prizes to be won in this contest, just a victorious sense of accomplishment and expanded knowledge of your favorite highly sophisticated interlocking brick system.

Designed by Ryan and his friends, each of these small creations uses only a handful of elements and looks pretty simple, but don’t be fooled: there’s more than meets the eye to these brain teasers. Here’s today’s challenge to get you started.

Some might be simple to you, but no matter what your skill level, others are sure to have you pulling your hair out and wondering if Ryan has invoked the Kragle. However, the only shenanigans that may be involved with building the models are weird pieces and outside-the-box thinking. Ryan says that none of the solutions include things like stickers, flex tubing, or rubber bands–and certainly no Kragle. Can’t find the right parts to make it work? Give it a try in a digital building program like Studio or Mecabricks.

And if you get stuck, Ryan will be posting the answers every Sunday to a Dropbox linked in his Instagram bio (so as to not accidentally spoil anyone). This is the fifth time Ryan has run a challenge like this, and I’ve had a blast puzzling out the devious intricacies of previous challenges and can’t wait to see what else is in store this time around.