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.

Building “Pursuit of Flight” is still attainable [Instructions]

Nearly a year ago, we featured this exceptional kinetic sculpture by Jason Allemann. The “Pursuit of Flight” later went on to become a finalist in the recent LEGO Ideas review round. A week ago, LEGO announced which projects made it into the next production run, and unfortunately, Jason’s “Pursuit of Flight” was not one of those projects. But do not despair! He has made the full instructions available to anyone who is dying to build this wonderful piece of art.

Pursuit of Flight Instructions

For those big Star Wars fan out there, you can try your hand at a trench run variation of the original model.

As you may know, this is not the first time that Jason (also known as JK Brickworks) has been a LEGO Ideas finalist. He has actually previously won the coveted opportunity to have his build become an official set… twice. He’s responsible for 21305 Maze and 21315 Pop-Up Book (the latter in collaboration with Grant Davis).

Building this Super Mario block is no mystery! [Instructions]

Sometimes it’s easy to look at a LEGO model and over-complicate the build process. But this Mario Bros mystery cube isn’t tough to make, and designer Tiago Catarino is happy to show you how!

LEGO Mystery Cube

Click to watch the tutorial video

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.)

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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.


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