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 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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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!

The shrine of nature will make you see the light

There is something about the jungle that just fills me with all sorts of unexplainable pleasant feelings. While I understand that the humid hell filled with insects that is a real-life jungle would evoke a different kind of emotion, that does not mean we can’t enjoy an insect-free jungle shrine from our armchairs, like this one built in LEGO by Jonas Kramm. This is more than just a pretty build though, Jonas has created this “Shrine of Nature” to explore the unusual use for minecraft animal head pieces as described in his article on the New Elementary blog.

Shrine of Nature

The focus of the build is the central pattern built out of multiple Minecraft wolf heads in two staggered rows, with a lit up translucent green background, giving a mysterious tone to the creation. The exotic and unique plant and animal life in the scene are great too, using all sorts of exotic pieces in unique ways.

How to build a Pave Low helicopter with LEGO: Part 2 [Feature]

Progress on my Pave Low helicopter has been slow. In Part 1 of this series, I explained how I am using new parts and techniques to build an up-to-date version of the model I built ten years ago. In this second part of a short series, I’ll explain one of the difficulties I ran into. I plan my models such that actually building them is usually a fairly straightforward process. I used my old model as a template and had an idea of how to do most of the other things in my head. As a result much of the model so far indeed came together quite easily.

MH-53M Pave Low WIP (december 16th)

Note the words “usually”, “most” and “much” in those last three sentences. The tail on my old model was quite narrow and I wanted the new one to be wider, using curved slopes and bricks. However, the fin is tilted aft at a roughly 45 degree angle, with a horizontal fin on top of it. I only had a loose idea of how to this. Actually building it took about eight frustrating hours of tinkering and trial-and-error. The diagonal part is attached to the tail boom using clips and plates with bars. The horizontal fin uses a similar attachment. A major problem was positioning all of this at the proper angle. I wanted as few visible gaps as possible and the tail should also be reasonably sturdy. This was asking rather a lot. The result is an improvement over the old one, but I’m still not completely happy.

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How to build a Pave Low helicopter with LEGO: Part 1 [Feature]

A few months ago, I wrote three articles on how I built the E-1 Tracer aircraft model. I haven’t built much in the intervening months, but recently I have started on a new project: an MH-53M Pave Low helicopter. This is a somewhat different cup of tea. It’s not a fixed-wing aircraft and I am not starting from scratch. Instead, I am starting with an old model that I built ten years ago.

MH-53M Pave Low WIP (december 4th)

This means that there is a lot less planning involved. The proportions of the old model were pretty much spot-on, but there are many parts and techniques that didn’t exist or weren’t possible ten years ago. As a result, the old model looked, well, old.

MH-53M Pave Low (20)

In this and subsequent articles, I’ll go into how I am building this new version and how newer parts and techniques change how I approach the design.
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Build your own mini LEGO Aston Martin DB5 with working features [Instructions]

No, not the 10262 James Bond Aston Martin DB5 LEGO set from earlier this year. As remarkable as the working features on the official LEGO set are, hachiroku24 has scaled the iconic vehicle down while — rather miraculously — retaining many of the car’s functions.

Lego 007's Aston Martin DB5 with working gadgets

Learn how to build your own LEGO Aston Martin DB5