The retro future of LEGO transport has a lot of options available to experience, including this cloud skimming, Dieselpunk Boat by builder Mark van der Maarel. His use of curved slopes and modified plates to form the smooth shaping of the hull is simple but exemplary, as is the chosen colour scheme. The rusted and worn look of such a craft, along with the eccentric crew, screams of adventures aplenty.
The deck crane brings the functionality needed for this sky trawler, though the highlight for me is another simple addition for the sake of detail: the boat hook. This necessary piece of equipment adds a nice touch of realism despite only being constructed from two pieces, a pirate hook hand and a rigid hose. It makes me kind of curious to know what he is puling in at such a height.
To be sure, there is a motorcycle culture and as anti-establishment as they seem to be, they follow a certain set of rules. The trike is sort of a fringe entity, a head-scratcher, among a group who are already on the fringes themselves. Similarly, there is also a car culture. They may appear to be counterculture but a car enthusiast putting boatloads of time and money into a showstopping “trailer queen” has sort of become “The Establishment.” Enter the rat rod. This is a growling, filthy punk of a car born to flip the proverbial bird at the established norms. You’d want a tetanus shot just to look at one in person, let alone sit in one. What’s great is, with very little money and found parts, they also steal attention, and often top prizes away from the expensive showstoppers. With this in mind, here’s Pat Lacroix’s Rat Trike.
See more of this gnarly rat rod.
A cornerstone of gaming, the role-playing online game World of Warcraft, has recently had a resurgence. The re-release of its original form (before seven expansions) has had millions hooked, me including. I guess that explains my lack of activity in the LEGO world… But while everybody else is busy killing boars and growing out their hair, Chi Hsin Wei has been building. The result is Illidan Stormrage, one of the central characters in the Warcraft storyline.
The character is obviously instantly recognizable, with the torn wings, green demonic tattoos and his weapons, the warglaives of Azzinoth built using lime green dragon wings. The muscles of the upper body are quite impressive, as is the construction of the character’s pants that look like they have not been changed for ten thousand years…
Crazy swingin’ cool are the cats in the city
over the fence and down the ally, walking kitty.
Ol’ Dane Erland blows into a dented saxophone
a sweet melody under a bright lonesome moon
and conspires with a hep BrickNerd named Tommy.
In the back alley we share our hopes and dreams
with anyone who’ll listen, even a rat if you please,
if it’s not much trouble to spare some cheese.
Bicycles and dreams ain’t damaged out here,
they just got more character, more stories to tell.
In the ally, a fire escape doubles as a patio
where we lay down beat poems, can you dig it, Daddy-O?
When you’re having a bad day, sometimes it’s nice to just sit down and watch a fun science fiction movie like The Fifth Element. There are great characters, an engaging story, and a universe that is willing to give us flying cars. Davdup brings that love of the vehicles into LEGO form with renditions of a police cruiser and Korben Dallas’ taxi. Slightly bigger than minifgure scale, these beauties feature smooth curves, complex angles, custom stickers, and build details straight from the movie.
The police car is a solid build (I love the grille tiles in the window) that accurately captures the utilitarian vehicle. Davdup has chosen to also include a window-delivered to-go order from McDonald’s, giving us a great callback to the movie. The interior is also pretty sweet, using a Technic pilot’s yoke for the steering wheel. Continue reading
If you’ve read The Brothers Brick for awhile, you may have seen us reference the word “greebling” or “greebles”. The term was first used by special effects artists working on Star Wars and it describes all of the doodads and doohickeys on the surface of an object to help things like spaceships look more…well, spaceshipy. This effect is used heavily by LEGO builders, in fact, if you search Wikipedia for “greeble” you’ll find a photo of a LEGO creation. (Heck yeah!) Ethen T uses this effect, not for spaceships, but rather in a clever mosaic render of a LEGO skull. Subtle light gray, then dark gray parts rounds out the effect nicely and adds dimension to an otherwise flat-ish surface. This piece acts as a stark reminder that inside each of us is a disgusting skeleton hell-bent on scaring neighborhood kids! This is why I can’t wait for Halloween.
And be sure to check out our LEGO glossary for explanations of greebling and many other bits of LEGO terminology!
Building a properly scaled motor vehicle can be a challenge, considering the unnatural proportions of the LEGO minifigure. That challenge was undeniably met by Robson M who has not only built a pair of well-proportioned vehicles scaled to fit their LEGO occupants but also meet the additional challenge of making the convoy military armored vehicles. I was thoroughly impressed by the Humvee (on the left), and the Oshkosh M-ATV (on the right) based on the build alone, but when I looked up the reference material, I was even more impressed by so many amazing details captured in plastic.
For the Humvee, I think my favorite detail, besides the front grill, is the round tile for the air intake on the front right fender. The Oshkosh features a roof-mounted armored turret with a gun, and there is plenty of room in the back for any extra gear needed. I bet there is even room for a case or two of MRE rations.
When you live on a planet where 71% of its surface is covered in water, boats are a pretty common sight and an important part of many of the population’s livelihood. Considering this, it is no surprise that boats are such a popular subject with LEGO builders around the world. This digital model built by Edouard Clo is full of great details familiar to anyone who has spent time on a fishing boat. There are winches for pulling the days catch fore and aft, and a small dingy as well as racks of fishing poles, and car tires used to protect the hull when it comes in to dock. The model also features a very nicely curved hull, which can be almost as challenging as getting your sea-legs.
Good LEGO microscale buildings manage to capture the essence of their subject, but the very best also trick the eye into looking much bigger than they really are. Rocco Buttliere showcases his skills once more, this time tackling the UNESCO-listed Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.
The real thing took 140 years to complete and is a masterpiece of Italian Gothic. Rocco’s version is a masterpiece of microscale, standing maybe only 20 bricks high, but somehow feeling much larger. That’s a testament to the level of detail packed into the model, the result of studs-in and studs-out building, and a great selection of parts, including two types of turntable bases, grille tiles, tooth bricks, Technic pins, and lightsaber hilts. Match all that with a beautifully captured dome, and a smart colour scheme, and you end up with a LEGO church which is fully worth of your praise.
1967 was the year Formula 1 changed forever, as the birth of the Lotus 49 set the bar not only as the car to beat, but also to replicate. Fifty-two years on, Pixeljunkie has presented us with a gorgeous homage to this feat of engineering mastery. Sporting the classic colour scheme and markings of driver Jim Clark, this brick rendition has some stunning custom chrome pins as well as some nicely employed stickers to really bring the realism to the fore. Working within the Minifig scale can be an obscure challenge that restricts an amount of detail. I feel Pixeljunkie has made some excellent compromises without straying too far from the source material.
Looking at the rear of this beautiful build, we find a minifig hammer head used ingeniously as the gearbox. I’m not sure another piece could have been used so well in this application. I’m also a massive fan of the many uses builders find for the rubber tread attachments. Using them as wheel hubs on top those metallic silver dish rims, has really captured the era well.
If this open-wheel beast inspires you, check out another of Pixeljunkie’s classic race machines, the Alfa Romeo P3.
Demons stalk the night. Or at least they do in Jayfa‘s world. This LEGO Bionicle creation is a wonderfully dark and brooding character, put together using a prototype mask and custom-designed wing membranes. The pose is excellent, powerful and intimidating, and the colour scheme is spot-on — those splashes of trans-blue work brilliantly with the pearl gold against all the black. Inexperienced warlocks beware, this probably wasn’t the low-level denizen of the Netherworld you meant to summon…
It is safe to say that most builds featured here on The Brothers Brick are large. Not all of them are massive dioramas that take up a kitchen table, but they usually require at least hundreds, if not many thousands, of pieces. This build by alego alego is an exception. I count no more than 15 or 16 elements used in the whole build! However, it perfectly captures the essence of a small hut surrounded by stony paths and grass, a water feature, bridge, and blossoming cherry tree. Nothing is out of place, nothing is extraneous. Each element is chosen for its job with precision.
The base is a shield from the Knights Kingdom II Sir Rascus constraction figure, which most builders have probably set aside in a box as unusable for any future build due to its awkward size and shape (I know I have a few of the KKII shields gathering dust somewhere, never used — picked up on a whim from BrickLink). The printing on the hut looks even better than it did as part of an ice cream cone, and the conical hat is the perfect roof; a sausage makes a lovely curved bridge, too. Leaving the flowers still on the sprue was a nice touch to give the tree a more spreading foliage. I’d love to sit by the water for a while, eyes closed, sleep–, er, “meditating”.