I love single-use LEGO elements, those pieces that are so specialized that they can only be used to make the one thing they were designed to build. Take, for example the head of a dewback from Star Wars. It’s very useful for building, well, a dewback, but not much else in the hands of an average builder. But in the hands of a master, like Simon Hundsbichler, that same piece becomes a mossy hill in a microscale creation. Add in one of the hip assemblies from the same creature, a video camera as a tower, a Bionicle leg as a coniferous tree, a werewolf head as a cliff, and about thirty other pieces, and you have a miniature masterpiece.
They say all snowflakes are unique, and that seems to also apply to microscale castles in the snow. This excellent creation by Simon Liu is rich in clever part usage. Orange unicorn horns, tread attachments, and 1×1 roof tiles add just the right splash of color to the grey stone. In the castle there are plenty of clever angles and building techniques to explore. I like the use of rail plate to form the walls, and that inverted bucket at part of the main tower. For the snow, various tooth plates in white add texture and context for the scene. It’s a tiny winter wonderland!
Spending all this time indoors would be easier if everyone had a cozy reading nook like this one by Jonathan Fictorie. I love the details like the open book, tasty beverage in a brick-built wine glass, and the rustic feel for the chair and end table. The textures of the brick the wall are only surpassed by the intricate stained glass work in the window. This model has all the comforts of home I could ask for.
Despite the cancellation of the event where I was going to display them, I’m still building a collection of LEGO minifig scale experimental aircraft. I like building them, and there’s always next year (or the year after that). The latest addition is the British Aerospace EAP. This stands for Experimental Aircraft Programme. Americans may object to the spelling of “programme.” However, they should bear in mind that it is British. The name is still terrible, though. It just doesn’t have the same ring as, say, Spitfire, Hurricane, Lightning, or Tornado. Furthermore, it doesn’t suggest that it refers to an actual aircraft rather than to some study.
It was designed in the early eighties, as a technology demonstrator for a new fighter to counter the Soviet MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker. These jets were far more advanced and agile than most of the jets that served NATO. Italy’s fighter was the ancient F-104 Starfighter. The RAF and German Air Forces still used F-4 Phantoms, from the sixties. The new Soviet jets outclassed all of them. New Tornado jets entering service wouldn’t fare much better, because they were fighter bombers. The three countries started collaborating on a new fighter. However, as is common with European defense programs, the collaboration soon ran into political difficulties. Germany hoped to collaborate with France, instead and withdrew its funding. Nonetheless, the UK’s defense industry forged ahead, with private and with UK and Italian government funding.
British Aerospace built a single prototype. It’s a very pretty aircraft, with an elegant fuselage, a cranked delta wing, and canard foreplanes. It first flew in 1986 and was retired five years later, after about 250 flights. The French would only collaborate with Germany if the French industry could have the lead. So, when the time came to build a production aircraft, Germany joined the UK, Italy, and Spain. They built the new European Fighter Aircraft, popularly known as the Typhoon. Now, that’s a good name. The British, with their EAP, paved the way, though.
When I first saw this I thought it captured “cold” perfectly. Cool colors and just the right amount of snow and ice in the right places. But this LEGO castle, built by Jonas Kramm, goes beyond that. What’s impressive to me are the angles, shaping, and use of so many different elements to achieve the look. For example, he fit a Technic pulley wheel into the new Minions eye element to create a unique window, and dark brown scabbards are used for trim detail. Additionally, there are a number of pieces making up the icicles and snowdrifts. Most notable are the minifigure accessories used on top of the lamp posts and under the eaves of the front door. A couple of my favorite parts are the fiber optic cable for icy flowing water and the hidden parrot. Find them? Zoom in to take a closer look!
Jonas has been very busy lately! Take a look at more of his work in our archives.
LEGO supplies builders with the parts to bring a wide variety of interests to life, and many builders take their inspiration from real-world objects and vehicles. Vladimir Drozd has a talent for building large Technic scaled vehicles jam-packed with details and moving parts, and his latest creation, the Scania LK 141 is no exception.
This workhorse features a full steering assembly and a motor to move both rear axles simultaneously.
Some places are inviting, but this microscale Seaside Shoppe by Halhi141 seems to be a grumpy fellow. Maybe I’m seeing things, but the crossbeams, red awning, and doorway arch make a perfect little face screaming “Go away!” And who puts a store on a remote island anyway? Still, that didn’t keep me from appreciating the excellent LEGO building techniques in play. Check out the minifigure scaled book that forms the roof, and the clever binocular chimney with cattle horn smoke. The landscaping is also worth a closer look, as cherries are used to create some perfect little shrubs. And I really like the curving path made from a animal tail element.
Mircoscale creations, when done right, pack a ton of detail into the tiniest places. Just check our archives for even more tiny goodness!
Here’s the scene; you get a sweet haul of used LEGO from a garage sale at a great price. Their loss, your gain, right? You race home to inventory your new acquisition only to find there’s plenty of LEGO as advertised but also some busted Matchbox cars, a few hairs you’d rather not speculate on their origin, one stinky flip-flop, and a DUPLO van body. Aw, nuts, “baby Legos”! You can let it totally harsh your mellow or you can do what Edward Lawrence did and build a custom surf van out of it. Introducing “The Duflo”, it uses System LEGO parts to construct a kickin’ sound system a knuckle-dragging stance, and a re-colored surfboard from the 10252 VW Beetle set. The exhaust pipes fit just perfectly in that cutout area. It’s like it was meant to be!
Up-and-coming builder Aubrey Beelen presents a detailed cyberpunk street scene with a food vendor. While the scenery appears desolate, it is colourful and packed with stickers that enhance its futuristic nature. The fun, rugged minifigures also reflect the genre of the build alongside the vibrant speeder. In addition to a detailed exterior, the food stall includes cooking appliances and Power Functions LED lights that brighten up the kitchen.
Sophie welcomes you to her LEGO study where you can not only find all sorts of books but also all sorts of parts being used in a very unusual and inspiring manner. Eli Willsea uses all kinds of bricks, plates, and tiles in dark grey to add texture to the castle walls. At first I was drawn to the creation because of it’s brilliant use of book covers and windows for the staircase. Both parts have a very distinctive purpose but are used for something completely different in a really creative way.
It took me a little while to notice that the book covers and windows weren’t the only parts used in a very original manner. The bookcase was made by using a boat. Adding some small bricks and bars made it blend in so nicely with the rest of the creation that you would almost not notice it at all.
One of the most popular movie quotes (and memes) of the past couple years is, “I am Groot!” The lovable Marvel character found his way into our hearts with his unique personality and this singular repeated phrase. Always the kind to help out a friend, and certainly a brethren, it’s only natural for him to lend himself to a fellow famous tree. Builder Letranger Absurde has expertly crafted a microscale Whomping Willow using a LEGO Groot bust as the trunk. Topped with an adorable Ford Anglia, it’s a perfect representation.
Great minds must think alike, because as wonderful as this is, it’s not the first Groot-trunk. Back in 2017, our contributor, Benjamin Stenlund (Henjin_Quilones) used the same piece on his “South Gate of Lleidr Castle” build.
The historical capital of Bohemia is scaled down in Jet Kwan’s LEGO micro-build of the Prague skyline. Composed of a total of six individual buildings, this brick-built skyline gives us a little taste of one of the largest cities in Europe. Accurate to its real-life counterpart, Kwan’s choice in buildings showcases Prague as the cultural center that it truly is and we will take a closer look at a couple of these structures.
A dominant feature of the old town of Prague is the Church of Our Lady Before Týn, whose spires are elegantly rendered here using black telescope elements in combination with palm tree tops and 1 x 1 cones to achieve the multi-point effect. The structures neighboring the church are minimally depicted by orange 1 x 1 slopes.
Kwan expertly reproduces Frank Gehry’s post-modern Dancing House using very small elements, mostly 1 x 1 slopes, tiles, and bricks.
The historic Charles Bridge which established Prague as an important trade route between Eastern and Western Europe is comprised of mostly 1 x 4 arches with various 1 x 1 decorative elements such as the grey minifigure statuettes.
Overall, these micro-models serve as a testament to LEGO’s creative potential even in its smallest pieces. For more close-up views of individual buildings please check out Jet Kwan’s Instagram page.