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.

Build your very own BrickHeadz Leprechaun [Intructions]

Looking for a bit of Irish luck? Now you can build your very own BrickHeadz Leprechaun this St. Patrick’s Day. Sorry, no wishes granted by this LEGO fellow, but maybe a little luck will rub off on you.

Instructions to build your own BrickHeadz Leprechaun after the jump

Cross the bridge and find yourself

Many people use LEGO building as a form of meditation, but not quite as many use LEGO to literally build meditation. Andreas Lenander definitely uses it at least for the latter — that we can be sure of. The build is very atmospheric, but secretly, it is also quite technical in its construction.

The journey...

The Journey represents an old traveler crossing a bridge amongst blooming trees. The surrounding landscape is not bad, but the bridge is really the impressive part. The railing uses Elves fence pieces with a well-known curve technique. The bridge itself is just stacked plates carefully curved to follow the railing’s curvature – a construction that seems very unstable, but Andreas says that it actually holds together quite well. The trees should be noted too, densely packed with flowers, nicely designed trunks, and lanterns hanging off the branches.

A study in landscaping

More often than not, landscaping techniques in LEGO creations serve a secondary purpose, like helping a building or a story feel complete. While this little landscape by Emil Lidé does contain more than just plants and rocks, that hierarchy of motives is inverted here. Instead of the landscape augmenting the “story,” the decrepit wall and building’s remains add some purpose to the dense and diverse foliage.

Swebrick Masterbuilder (5 of 5) Continue reading

Explore Endor, Jakku and Hoth driving one these brilliant motion sculptures

Star Wars saga is all about two things – machines and locations. Of course, some may say it’s also about the Force, family relationship and friendship, but none of this would work without iconic spacecrafts and mesmerizing sceneries. Chris McVeigh reveals a very special collection of three vignettes featuring our favourite pieces of machinery. But what is absolutely cool about these builds is that each of them has a motion feature, which brings an AT-ST, the Millenium Falcon and an AT-AT to life with a simple turn of the crank.

AT-ST on Endor

Click here to see this adorable collection of moving models!

BuWizz in style with the Technic Corvette C1 [Instructions]

JamesJTechnic on YouTube brings us this classy 1961 Corvette C1, powered by a BuWizz motor and remote control.

This model demonstrates an excellent use of Technic panels for the body side panels, hood, and trunk lids. It also features a detailed front bumper. The removable hard top provides a nostalgic touch. I like how the model uses flexible hoses on the hood to add contoured ridges to the model’s hood.

Powered by the BuWizz motor and remote control, the Corvette drives and turns thanks to a Power Functions M-Motor and Servo Motor.

If you want to build this classic yourself, the building instructions begin at 2:28 in the video.

It’s still hip to be square

The latest trend for castle creations have focused on organic and colorful shapes, showcasing complex building techniques and intensive parts usage. A leading pioneer of this style is Derfel Cadarn, who created a guide in 2011 showcasing some detailed techniques that many builders have referenced. Before then castles used to be square, which you can see in examples from prolific builders from the previous decade such as Rocko, Darkspawn, and even hachi from the early 2000’s.

This brings me to the latest creation by Brother Steven, which purposely features simpler building techniques reminiscent of the old style of castles. The white walls and the staggered towers are strikingly solid features, an effect that is best achieved with the bread and butter technique of stacking one brick on top of another.

Aldingham Keep

Mesopotamian manor

Where do the nobles of Mesopotamia gather to discuss politics or who owns the most camels? Sam Malmberg will show you the way to his desert retreat where drinks are served and the dancers are divine.

Armathain Manor

This build features prominent Arabian-themed architectural elements, and the use of colored paneling adds character to the predominantly gray structure. The slanted stone railing and the angled brown awnings are great techniques that have broad architectural applications.

Armathain ManorArmathain Manor

LEGO BOOST 17101 Creative Toolbox [Review]

The 17101 BOOST Creative Toolbox represents the latest initiative from LEGO to introduce children to the worlds of engineering, robotics, and computer programming. LEGO recently expanded their range of supported devices, so we’re finally able to bring you a review without purchasing a brand new iPad. LEGO has targeted the 7- to 12-year-old age range for the BOOST product, one of the youngest demographics for a LEGO robotics kit. Unlike the MINDSTORMS series of products that features Technic, BOOST liberally incorporates LEGO SYSTEM brick (in addition to Technic) as the mechanical parts of the robots.

For this review, I engaged the services of an appropriate expert: my 6-year-old daughter, Artemis. Overall, she had few difficulties building the Vernie model, although she occasionally lacked the hand strength to push the Technic pins in holes (particularly when seating multiple pins at once).

Who has two thumbs, builds robots, and won’t eat broccoli? This girl!

Read our Boost review after the jump

Find your link to nature

How do you create a tree using chains? It seems an unlikely element to form the organic branches of a bonsai tree, but in this creation by Tim Schwalfenberg, each of the connected links forms a knot on the gnarled bark. The result is highly original and undeniably striking. Tim doesn’t say how many chains he used, but it’s certainly more than you might expect, if my own experiences with LEGO chains are anything by which to judge.

Chain Tree

Tim hasn’t stopped with just this one tree, though. He’s actually created a series, each explore different techniques.

Continue reading

The coziest hole you ever did see

Last month we featured Patrick B.‘s lovely version of Bag End, Bilbo’s house in the Hobbit and later Frodo’s in The Lord of the Rings. It turns out Patrick wasn’t done making cheery hobbit holes, though, as now he’s followed up with Samwise Gamgee’s home on Bagshot End, which is just as welcoming and snug.

Bagshot Row 3 (Sam´s Home)

It’s loaded with details, including lots of clever uses for unusual elements, such as the unusual Scala flower pot and vase paired together along with mini-doll Belle’s light yellow dress as large garden jars. Each section of this homely dwelling bears close scrutiny to tease out all the shrewd techniques. Continue reading

The speediest way to travel the future

It doesn’t take a big model or a lot of pieces to be clever with LEGO. In fact, one of the best ways is to take take a piece and find a use for it so good that it looks like the element was purpose-made for it. Case in point: the hood of the tiny speeder by F@bz, which was originally the barding (blanket) of a Friends horse. It’s also worth pointing out the background made of brick anti-studs and spaced plates, with a Mars Mission aero tube in the foreground.

SBK speederbike (01)

A tavern in colonial times

The Green Dragon Tavern in Boston inspired  Jonas Wide to create his own colonial tavern set in the fictional continent of Celestia. It is a place where the latest scientific ideas are discussed and treks to uncharted territories are planned. A few techniques add a layer of complexity to an otherwise straightforward rectangular building such as the offset windows and the use of the gold bars on the quoins.

The Gilded Cup