Brickheadz are like The Terminator — no matter how much you might want them to die, they just keep coming. Yet despite some of the ambivalence out there towards the style, this Terminator transformation by Dick Cheung is just too delightful to miss out on! From flesh and skin to the infamous exposed red-eye and the final exoskeleton in all its glory! My favorite part has to be the special effect of censorship via the mosaic pattern — a nice touch to avoid Arnie’s full-frontal.
Jizō or Kshitigarbha statues are a unique part of Japanese culture,standing quietly around temples or cemeteries like little beings — tiny guardians or protectors. These cute LEGO versions by delayice capture a peaceful and serene atmosphere. In recent times the statues are believed to be protectors of children and unborn babies — offering some comfort for mothers who have had losses, helping them find peace amongst calamity, and reassurance their loved ones will always be protected and comforted in the afterlife.
It’s not often a little LEGO model gives me the full-on creeps, but this Bionicle creation from PaleoBricks is giving me a bad dose of the heebie-jeebies. The ghastly face, the tattered cape, the chains — all come together to create a haunting sense of despair. But it’s the stance that does it for me — the hunched shoulders and the sense of a lurching gait. This is great posing, lending the model genuine character. I can’t help but imagine this thing shuffling through the night towards my house. Shudder.
Sometimes a LEGO model shows up which just makes you smile. Tuts Panga‘s Classic Space speeder might not be the most complex creation we’ve ever seen, but if this doesn’t cheer your soul then there’s surely something wrong with you. The vehicle is delightfully chubby and the retro colour scheme is spot-on. I’m also a fan of the minimalist scenery, it provides a bit of context but doesn’t distract from the main focus — the grinning minifigure who’s clearly having a whale of a time in his new ride.
Inspired by some of the submerged ruins found in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Joseph Z. has made imaginative use of a pane of glass to create an excellent LEGO scene — a wandering traveller taking a moment’s rest by a tranquil pool. The ruined stonework is nicely put-together, with a depth of texture suggesting both weathering and antiquity, but it’s the use of dark grey below the waterline vs the lighter grey above which caught my eye. I also like the way the grass stalks placed under the water-lilies suggest the plants’ continuation beneath the surface — it ties the above and below-water elements together, making this more than simply two different models separated by the glass. Perhaps a fish or two wouldn’t have gone amiss, but that’s nitpicking at an otherwise lovely piece of work.
Crows are often attributed ominous and intimidating characteristics, but interestingly enough, this one by John Cheng would have none of that. While the head seems a bit large, the beak leaves no question as to what bird this build represents. John uses just enough specialized parts to give a clever build, while still incorporating lots of more traditional slopes. For a seemingly simple creation, the builder has achieved plenty of character and realism.
We’ve seen Alice In Wonderland LEGO creations before, but Martin Redfern proves himself a master of quirky character once again with this version of Alice encountering the Caterpillar. Alice herself is fun, and the caterpillar curling over to peer down at her is nicely put-together. However, it’s the little touches which elevate this model out of the ordinary — the funghi-flavoured foliage at Alice’s feet, the shaping of the big mushroom, and that hookah pipe. Don’t miss the white snake used as a curl of smoke — we’ve seen it before, but it’s perfectly placed here.
The stripped-back colour scheme used in this model could easily have seen it turn out as a big lump of grey bricks — a common problem in LEGO creations depicting modern maritime vessels. However, this offshore patrol ship by Luis Peña has a really pleasing level of detail. The depth of texture around the bridge is excellent, and the microfigures on the forward deck create a sense of the appropriate scale in which to consider the model. The isolated splashes of colour offered by the helicopter and the flags manage to break things up a bit, and the use of Technic bricks for portholes down the hull may be obvious, but it’s also effective.
It’s a cool model, however the white backdrop for the photography is a little stark. Might have been nice to set the scene with a “sea” of loose trans blue 1×1 plates or something?
From Random Vector‘s imagination flies the beautiful stealth starship Void Raven. The dark color scheme not only evokes the stealthy feel of the spacecraft, but also places the spotlight on brilliant texturing and clever parts usage throughout.
The pair of translucent blue Bionicle masks inside of an inverted tire in the rear, and the arrays of tread links, are my personal favorite details highlighted here.
Red, who is at his best creating characters with uncommon Bionicle and Hero Factory pieces, presents a very charismatic figure of a space smuggler. Large insectile eyes and a pair of antennae is all you need to create a very vivid image of an anthropomorphic fly. One moment you put it in some bright armour and give it a gun, the next it is already smuggling goods!
If I had to pick one element of the LEGO world where building styles and expectations have changed the most in the last few years, I’d suggest landscaping has seen the biggest transformation in techniques and general quality. The level of detail, clever brickwork, and creativity on display in a good piece of landscaping now is amazing. EdgelessAbyss provides a great example — a scene where the rockwork is the absolute star of the show. The restrained use of colour, the way the tumbledown ruins blend into the surrounding earth, the solitary figure — the elements all comes together to make a bleak and beautiful fantasy scene.
The builder says this was based on the style of the Dark Souls III and Berserk videogames. However, I’d love to see them use these techniques and styling on a version of Ahch-To, the Star Wars planet whose distinctive rocks and twisting stairs were filmed on the Irish island of Skellig Michael.
There is no doubt that William Navarre is one of the best and most active LEGO builders out there, churning out build after build of great quality almost every week. This one and his previous creation were built for the Colossal Battle Contest.
This naval battle has a lot going for it; the positioning of the ships is very expressive and dynamic, not to mention how well they are constructed. The scale is deceiving and the details are amazing — from the burning elements of the sinking ship to the rigging on the victorious side, each vessel is worth looking at individually. What I like best though, is the surrounding water, achieving a realistic look with two layers, a top textured one, and the bottom for colour (and a great look from the side!). William’s creations seem to have a theme of their simpler environment ending up capturing my attention even longer than the build’s focal point…