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.

Massive CAT themed Sloth Walker

Making its way through the canopy, this enormous piece of LEGO equipment keeps a steady grip on the weaving branches of the rainforest canopy. Builder Charlie Jones brings us his second ambling piece of construction equipment with a CAT-themed color scheme. Perhaps suited for traversing the jungles of Pandora from James Cameron’s Avatar, the Sloth Walker’s crew clambers about its hanging body, making their way up its legs to the thick branches to survey the unique biomes and the territory below. The builder spent almost 200 hours working on this beast, along with the branches above, and it surely paid off with an impressive final product. First off, the branches of the tree are ingenious, if not a bit laborious. Time consuming as they may be, their repetition and semi-woven pattern provide a convincing effect on the overall build.

CAT Sloth Walker

The Walker, if you can really even call it that when its making its way upside down like this, is its own masterpiece though. At just under a meter long, every centimeter of this build is detailed and intentional. Using droid bodies and arms on the claws gives a delightful industrial texture, while the pneumatic-like structures in the front arms compliment a convincing design. Of course, I can’t go without mentioning that awesome domed canopy for the pilot, providing a full view around them. Using the frames of Harry Potter’s glasses from the Hogwarts Icons set as the framing for the cockpit was an ingenious move, honestly.

I commend those workers on the outside of the craft. Making my way over the exposed engines, hanging on as the arms and legs move above me, I’d hope to at least be tethered somewhere safe. I wouldn’t want to fall and get caught by the tether only to get crushed by some mechanical components. I leave this part of exploration to this brave crew, I guess, and just move on to commending Mr. Jones for a magnificent build. Keep up the good work, mate!

Intergalactic Insect Extermination

Is your quadrant overrun with insect infestations? Ask for the Insectoid Incinerator by builder WyndGekko. The latest craft by an talented designer, this ship features a twin prong weapon system straddling each side of the pilot’s canopy. The massive heat output from the weapon discharge is managed by the large vent systems next to the pilot. Angular plating covers the engine and fuselage while giving the ship a sleek but aggressive presence. Simple landing craft can be seen below the ship, allowing for easy traverse throughout the universe, as long you have enough uranium in your engines!

Insectoid Incinerator

Speaking of engines, check out the ones that the Insectoid Incinerator is sporting. Twin boosters on each side compliment the weapons in the front while providing a boost to your pulse engine while you make your way through a system. You never know when you’ll need to engage your warp or close in on an opponent in the skies of an alien world but with engines like these, you’ll never have to worry. The builder chose a sleek, tapered nozzle for the boosters featuring barrels in light bluish gray. The Rock Raiders drill piece makes for great bulky design for the main engine and WyndGekko’s choices for the larger, stubbed nozzle were wise. I also love this better angle of the white and red plating over the ship’s body. From above and at this angle I can’t help but think of Kill la Kill or Gurren Lagan. Not too shabby of a way to dig to the heavens if you ask me.

Insectoid Incinerator

One Kooky Covenant

Throwing a Classic Space twist onto a concept design from Alien: Covenant sure is one way to do SHIPtember. Flickr Builder Space Kook brought their A-game this September with at least five different ships over 100-studs, either in length, width, or height. Jumping around between scales, Space Kook drew inspiration for their fourth build, the LSS Covenant. Taking design cues from early concept art of the USCSS Covenant Colony ship from the Alien movie, large solar panels flare out at the rear of the ship. Progressing further up the body, past the cargo holds, you’ll see a little fighter or drop ship peaking over the main hull of the colony vessel. Decked out in blue and yellow with white and black accents, the choice to craft this ship in Classic Space regalia allowed Space Kook a plethora of parts and design cues. Between the two references, it’s no wonder this creation has such a satisfying bow. The bumble bee stripes and yellow view screen complete the Classic Space homage while sensor arrays and directional boosters grab the eyes as satisfyingly accurate greebling.

Shiptember 2022, The LSS Covenant

This builder really went the extra mile during SHIPtember to accomplish the Herculean task of building not just one, but five massive 100-stud vessels. The techniques and parts used show off  Space Kook’s ingenuity with the process across all five and it’s definitely worth checking out the other four ships that they created this year.

The face of the last Toa

This model hit the feed and gripped the mind of every Bionicle fan that saw it. Builder Sandro Quattrini took brick-built figures to the next level with this fresh take on that iconic Toa face, sans Kanohi. The builder’s take on this warrior’s body varies slightly in their recreation of classic figure-building pieces but pays proper homage to the original nonetheless. Nice parts usage abounds throughout the design as Sandro adorns a brick-built Bionicle with the remains of the Jungle Dragon. Surviving the Ninjago apocalypse can be pretty brutal but not so much for the Toa.

The Last Toa

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All-mighty Atalanta

Employing some delightful designs within the overall model, Builder Alexandre Bigeard has crafted a sleek spacecraft full of detail. Fans of ships such as this know well the similarities and slight differences that pop up as designer after designer tries their hand in this style. Panels made of stacked brick and laden with details attach at varying angles to a greebly central frame. Technically intricate pieces line every visible surface to really sell the spacey them. Industrial colors of gray, black, and tan are augmented with lines of red and yellow, lining this up to be quite the lurker within the dark void of space.

ATALANTA Battle cruiser (side)

More details and an exploded view on this build below

One mech, two mech, tan mech, blue mech

It’s not everyday that you can trace the evolution of a LEGO design by a builder through their photos. But Bartosz Sasiński has the development of his four M-Series mechs well-documented. Their first addition, the M-1, was posted over a year ago. And it features chunky armor and stable click-joints. As a result, the build looks sturdy, with some interesting textures running up the torso and around the cockpit’s exterior. But more than anything, that striking color scheme of greens, white, and dark gray make this chunky boi pop.

M-1

See the evolution through version 4 below

Restocking Fort Stockton

Part of a larger LEGO concept by the builder, this model of the docks at Fort Stockton, Wullham features some lovely architecture, delightful parts usage, and realistic rock formations. Flickr Builder Evancelt enjoys historical era models full of red jackets and muskets set against natural scenery with old buildings. Here they used some simplistic parts as crenellations and molding along the top of the fort, while cleverly employing letters with a red seal as diamond-leaded windows. Well-molded sea grasses and foliage compliment the sharp change to rock as we move down to the dock. Basalt formations are a delightful bit of geology that we don’t see enough of in LEGO builds or real life. Using dark grey at the base to illustrate the spray and waves of the sea on the rocks is a great decision that adds to the realism of the build.

Supply Dock at Fort Stockton, Wullham

Of course, the multilayered dock is also wonderfully detailed. Multiple shades of brown make up the boards, while reddish brown and dark brown in the supports mirror the water effect used on the rocks. The lamp piece is a good period setting element that matches well with the flat-topped chest. I love seeing historical models that aren’t focused on war. Sure, these are soldiers at a Fort but still, this is more about daily life than about a battle and I’m all about that. Not to mention how soothingly executed that blue sea is on the eyes. Well done, Evancelt, well done.

Then why is it a HAMburger?!

This cyborg version of an old Fabuland figure is pretty torn up about your food choices. Flickr Builder Moko has been making mechs for a long time and, after creating some cyborg versions of LEGO animals, they’ve moved on to some LEGO legends. For the unfamiliar, Fabuland sets were introduced at the end of the 70s and went out of production at the end of the 80s. As Moko puts it in his blog, Fabuland offered a more “picture-book-like world view” with anthropomorphized animal citizens. Think of them as the middle sibling between Duplo and LEGO with a twist of Richard Scarry’s Busytown. Though these figures and sets aren’t produced by LEGO anymore, they still have a core fan group among some collectors due to their rarity and obscurity.  Here Moko has created a mercenary cyborg soldier with an edgy appetite. The plethora of detailed, hinged elements that Moko uses combine in the arms, legs and bodies provide a thick, responsive frame to protect the rider within. Fully armed and prepared for combat, this mech only has one week spot but its a necessary one. After all, how else are you supposed to keep eating during battle? Can’t have crumbs in the cockpit either.

FabuSoldier 01

Aside from all of the amazing details and angles that Moko has created, the solid yellow crystal piece with a red brick as French fries is a stand out detail here. The color-blocking and range of motion that Moko employs always renders a satisfying product that reads well and strikes envy in LEGO mech fans everywhere. Either that or fear, given its intense arsenal and bulk.

The LEGO boar of Erymanthos

Don’t let the weapons sticking out of the creature’s side, Hercules really is trying to take him in alive. This June seems ripe with Kaiju-inspired creations and Builder MySnailEatsPizza has added their own to the mix. Based on the fourth of Hercules’ twelve labors, this massive boar terrorizes the villages and forests surrounding Mount Erymanthos. A brick-built snout and face blends in with Technic and Bionicle pieces in the body. A smattering of bones of those that have fallen before it compliment its numerous, massive tusks.

The Erymanthian Boar

Pig out on some more pictures below!

Spooky castles at a distance

This latest model by builder LEGO Monkey certainly provides some challenges moving level to level. Adorable, spindly castles are perched on floating islands connected by cascading waterfalls. The whole thing reminds me of a level from Kingdom Hearts 2 that I remember playing through back in 2006. Where’s Sora, Donald, and Goofy when you need them? While they’re out protecting the universe with Mickey, I hope you have Glide Lvl 3 unlocked for this tour of the castles’ grounds. Horns and minifigure accessories adorn a variety of light bluish grey elements to make delightful towers and halls which come to a cute, curved point. Angled and sloped pieces are used in dark bluish grey to create each of the floating islands, while different shades of green elements make up the lawns and foliage. Vines stretch between each block and blue flame elements are wedged together to make microscale waterfalls reaching down to the trans-blue and clear tiles of the sea below.

Mage Mountain

Honestly, I’m not sure how each of these islands is staying up but I love the results in this edited photo. Whatever spooky actions LEGO Monkey used to keep them in the air, I hope they can keep the magic going.

Phoning in a solar sailor

One of my all-time favorite games doesn’t have a name but its variations are known by many. The “telephone” game, in its many forms, gravitates around the idea of altering a phrase, image, or item slightly as it’s passed around to each participant. While most of us played it as kids, some adult fans of LEGO like to play a version of their own that is often out of this world. Builder Eli Willsea created the STG-2 Sailer as the 4th iteration in the latest telephone series. The small, rockhopper-style craft somewhat reminds me of the starter ship in No Man’s Sky (NMS) with its compact body and raised back portion. More NMS parallels arise with the solar sail sections with boosters firing off behind them. The sails creatively use the balloon sections from Friends sets and Sweet Mayhem’s Systar Starship along with some golden rigging for deployment and retraction. The coloration and parts usage give this ship lots of curves and angles that really catch the eye, an essential part of good spaceship building. Greeble, or detail, all you want but if your ship doesn’t visually swoop it’ll probably end up resembling a flying, mechanical potato. Thankfully, Eli knows how to avoid the spud fate and instead made a fantastic little puddle jumper that the next builder will have fun emulating.

STG-2 Sailer

Street corner coffee shop

There’s nothing better than a relaxing stroll through the alleys and streets of a quaint LEGO village, this one constructed by Y. Muto. Multiple levels of terraces attach to the different buildings perched above the tight courtyard below. Delightful roofing techniques in different colors give the different rooftops their own individual character. Each building’s window treatments seem to provide a place for window gardens or ivy. I especially love the different color tiles contrasting the white walls of the green-roofed building with the bay windows.

Green Street Corner

Check out what else is brewing in this build!