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.

Portapoc

If there’s one clear sign the Cyberpocalypse is upon us, it’s that indoor plumbing has ceased to exist, and we are forced to use communal toilets on the street, or (though a little more civilized) public porta potties for our sanitary needs. Thus, my most recent build for the ABS builder Challenge features exactly that: a communal porta potty smack-dab in the middle of the shantytown. How much would I have to pay you to use it?

Portapoc

The roof of the main black building was my main inspiration for building this scene. I was able to come up with a cool roof technique using the seed part for the challenge: the handheld minifig fan, which enabled me to use the part a total of 24 times in this build.

Stepping up from Kragle to drilling, cutting, and sanding – a chat with Randy Sluder [Interview]

Purists look away now, as we go inside the mind of self-proclaimed LEGO outlaw Randy Sluder and see some of the innovative building he is doing around the LEGO monorail system. Randy calls himself an outlaw because he’s not afraid to cut, drill, sand, and glue to create shapes LEGO never made. However, even he has lines he won’t cross — he only uses genuine LEGO bricks and the same glue LEGO themselves use on their large display models!

Union Pacific M-10000: Image 2

TBB: So Randy, tell us a little about yourself…

Randy: I’m a graphic artist by trade and have always liked the Art Deco style, so I gravitated to the Streamliner period of trains between 1935-1955. It was a time when “form follows function” wasn’t in vogue, the emphasis was on great design. And many people don’t know that Art Deco train design was as important to the movement as the architecture.

TBB: Where does your interest in monorail trains come from?

Randy: All my life I’ve been able to hear the sound of a train, at night, no matter where I’ve lived, and because I’m a wannabe “rail fan”, and a LEGO geek! What started as a fun project for the grandkids has blossomed into a cottage industry. In building a track for them I thought it would be nice to have a few more monorails. In researching LEGO monorail designs I found most were childish, block-type designs with the better ones made from current LEGO train bodies. Nobody was designing alternate vehicles for the LEGO monorail system. So after a lot of interesting research, I started creating trains for the monorail track.

Pennsylvania Railroad GE GG1 Locomotive

Click to read the rest of the interview

Build your own LEGO Citroën DS and then drive your minifig self through the Vézère Valley [Instructions]

The vintage French Ghostbusters-themed Citroën DS we featured here a few days ago was certainly adorable, but what if you want to build your own early 1970’s LEGO Citroën DS? Creator OutBricks comes to the rescue with step-by-step instructions for the DS on which he based his “Ecteau-un”.

Citroen DS

You can see the builder explain how to build your own LEGO Citroën DS, as well as what parts you need, in this tutorial video.

A well-built stick hut as sturdy as stone

It’s a bit strange when a LEGO creation is sturdier than the subject it represents. Such is the case with this weathered hut by Grant Davis, which looks like a bunch of bricks were thrown together without proper connections and then collapsed immediately after being photographed.

A Weathered Lodging

That is most definetely not the case, as Grant shows in his very informative video, where he even turns the build upside-down — and it remains intact! The ground texture and colours should also be pointed out, as the builder achieves a very realistic effect by using closely related colours in natural looking patterns.

Take the gold, take it!

With a career spanning four decades, Hayao Miyazaki holds a hallowed place in the crowded world of anime. Maybe that’s why it’s impossible to go to any convention without tripping over Miyazaki cosplayers or wander through any store in Japan without stumbling across a Miyazaki aisle. But 15 years after it’s release, his Oscar-winning film Spirited Away remains his best selling and most popular work – and holds a special place in many a fan’s heart. The movie’s character No-Face (カオナシ) has become particularly iconic, and DOGOD Brick Designs brings us this beautiful LEGO interpration of the mysterious monosyllabic spirit:

Unlike a much cruder version of No-Face that yours truly built back in 2010, this version actually features a hinged action revealing No-face’s terrifying mouth, complete with recently consumed frog spirit! Which is also highly reminiscent of the motorized No-Face piggy bank that is currently at the top of my shopping list.

Ah… Ah…

Piecing it all together

Do you ever feel like the pieces don’t fit? That you don’t fit inAnne Mette V illustrates many examples of the seemingly insurmountable social chasms that can exist in today’s world. Superbly staged and photographed, each thought-provoking situation is sitting on its own brick-built misfitted puzzle piece perfectly juxtaposed against the black backdrop.

Fit in...

We see the divide between the haves and have-nots, and the awkward feeling of not fitting in with the cool crowd. Anne has included discrimination of many kinds in her LEGO creations including age, race, sex, class and ability.

Fit in... Fit in...

The next time you see someone who appears to be having a hard time fitting in, offer them a hand, a smile, or a friendly conversation. You might just make a new friend and help move all the pieces a little closer together.

Fit in... Fit in...

And yes, the pieces do actually fit together.

Let’s build some meat! [Instructions]

DOOM is still a thing, right?! A couple of years ago I built a Miniland scale diorama of this classic videogame (there’s even a video that will take you right back to 1993). Below is a building guide for the game’s hero, commonly known as “DOOM Guy” (click here for embiggened version). This version is equipped with a basic shotgun. If you wanna kit him out with other hardware, or build him some enemies to blast, I’d suggest using photos of the original DOOM diorama as inspiration.

LEGO 3.18 mm connection analysis by New Elementary [Guest Post]

Ready to build something awesome this weekend? To inspire you with some new building techniques you may not have thought of on your own, here’s an in-depth article about the unique 3.18 mm connections available throughout the LEGO System of play. This article by Tim Johnson originally appeared on New Elementary.

Questo articolo è disponibile anche in italiano su Old Bricks


I am sure that many people, upon seeing these models, would cite them as proof that LEGO® have lost their way “since I was a kid, when it was just bricks“. Whilst these are indeed new parts, the fact is that the changes that brought them into the LEGO System occurred in the 1970s.

3.18 mm bar connections

Read the full article after the jump

Classic 1963 Porsche 911 zooms along the Autobahn

If you don’t have a couple hundred thousand dollars to spend on your own 1963 Porsche 911, you can always build one in LEGO. Michael Jasper has built a lovely 911 in black, reflecting all the iconic bulges and curves of the original. Much of the car’s sides are built studs forward, while the curves on the fully detailed underside are built studs down.

LEGO 1963 Porsche 911

How do we know so much about the car’s interior structure? Because Michael has posted this (literal) cut-away view highlighting the complex techniques he used to achieve the vintage vehicle’s shaping.

LEGO 1963 Porsche 911 cutaway

All we need is a bit of wind to grind the grain

Windmills have been utilising the energy of the wind power to automate tasks such as water pumping of grain grinding since 500-900 A.D. in Persia. This LEGO windmill by Issac S was inspired by some of the windmills seen in the video game Skyrim and was built for the 2017 Brickstory contest in the Early Middle Age category. The textured stone base of the windmill contrasts nicely with the wood and lighter stone central section and inspired use of the upturned barrel is the cherry on top.

Holt Windmill

The model features working windmill blades and a grindstone that are simultaneously operated by a crank on the back of the windmill. Issac has shared a video of this feature in action.

If you want to read more about the landscaping and, in particular, the tree seen in the left hand corner of this build, Issac has shared a tutorial. Originally this technique was used by Joeri Riddler and Issac has unpacked the design to allow others to develop the technique.

Build your own LEGO Mass Effect M-6 Carnifex in preparation for Andromeda [Instructions]

In the same format of the instructions for my Ronin Titan, I present the first life size weapon build in this tutorial style: the M-6 Carnifex hand cannon from the Mass Effect series. See the list of parts needed, then follow the step-by-step video below and be prepared for the challenges the Andromeda Galaxy sends your way. The video shows techniques I commonly use for working triggers and slides on weapon builds at this scale, as well as one technique I sometimes use for angled pistol grips.

Mass Effect 2 M-6 Carnifex

If LEGO be the food of love, build on [Instructions]

I’ve been meaning to create a Brick-moji building guide for a while – the problem was deciding which one(s) to feature! After a couple of failed attempts and with Valentines Day looming, I finally settled on the “Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes”, an emoji that consistently ranks among the top ten most widely used across the web (…the original that is, not my model).

Now, you weren’t really going to just get roses and chocolates AGAIN were you?! Click here for an embiggened version of this guide, and build it for that special plastic-loving person in your life!