The answer is this awesome LEGO Classic Space-inspired vehicle by Alec Hole. Boasting an incredible 32 wheels across 8 axles, this monster moon buggy is one of the greebliest vehicles I’ve seen recently. (If you don’t know what greebles are, be sure to check out our glossary.) Alec says he was inspired by a similar-looking vehicle by Piotr Turecki, which was built using a 1980s palette of LEGO elements. All I can say is, I would have killed to have this thing as a kid.
As contributors for TBB, we see a lot of very interesting LEGO creations, and their sources of inspiration are as diverse as the parts used to build them. If you were to ask what the most unusual source was, I would have to say that real-life viruses would be near the top of the list. Take this model by Dwalin Forkbeard which depicts the AP32 Phage, of the Tectiviridae family. You don’t have to know what this means to appreciate Dwalin’s masterful construction using a bunch of the Nexo Knights hexagonal panels to craft a near-perfect sphere. But if you are curious, a phage is a virus that infects and replicates within bacteria. Sounds like the stuff of nightmares.
The pod also features several manipulators in three different designs to help the pilot complete its assigned tasks. The interior is surprisingly roomy, despite the use of more panels loaded with instruments.
If you like Dwalin’s Phage model, check out another virus-inspired creation we featured previously on TBB.
Travel deep into the jungle and pay a visit to its denizens with City Son‘s stunning LEGO wildlife model. Tigers, parrots, a mandrill, and even a skunk inhabit this overgrown temple.
Figural modeling has always fascinated me. I am always blown away by builders who can create organic models that really capture the essence of living creatures. This is a prime example of how to do it right. Each animal on its own would be a model worthy of notice. Combine them together with some beautiful scenery and you have something truly spectacular.
There is something glitzy and glamorous about New York City, shown in countless movies and TV shows and books and magazines and every other form of media through the years, including LEGO sets. Fame and fortune, celebrity status, larger-than-life personalities, all are connected to the Big Apple. Importantly, New York is home to Wall Street, epicenter to the world’s largest financial market, and fortunes are made and lost in moments with bold or rash deals by brokers. If things go well, and a broker gets rich, perhaps starts managing a hedge fund, or otherwise gets a heap of money large enough to make Scrooge McDuck jealous, then he (or she) can afford to buy a condo in 15 Central Park West, built here in 1/650th scale by Spencer_R, the builder of many famous skyscrapers.
The property was purchased for $401 million, and the total cost of development, including the land, was $950 million, but when they sold the 202 units in the two buildings they went for over $2 billion; that’s about $10 million per condo, for those of you without easy access to calculators or who struggle with mental math (like me). It is one of the most successful real estate ventures in history due to the over billion dollars in profit. It probably helps that it borders Broadway on one side and Central Park on the other. Notable residents, besides those Wall Street hotshots, have included Alex Rodriguez, Robert DiNiro, Sting, and Denzel Washington. Now that is fancy living!
I’m sure Spencer’s version did not quite cost $950 million to make, but he must have spent a bunch of money on tan headlight bricks, since the build features quite a few. The hollow square base and back of that part make for some excellent windows. The stacked 1×2 transparent plates alternating with tan is simple but highly effective at this scale, too. The courtyard is simply constructed, making good use of inset 1×2 grille tiles for the gates and some transparent light blue elements for the glass-bottomed fountain (the pool is underground, lit by the light shining through the fountain, by the way – though Spencer did not build the pool, I don’t think).
If you love this building and want more, we have previously featured Spencer’s Transamerica Pyramid and a NYC skyline build, as well as the World Trade Center site. We also featured another New York City building, the Hearst Tower, earlier this week, albeit by a different builder.
In a world where human influence seems more and more destructive, it can sometimes feel like there is less hope for life every passing day. Patrick Biggs tackles this topic with an expressive character that seems to embody wild plant life. Now, we should not oversimplify the ecological crisis to just deforestation, but as a symbol this creation is quite powerful. It may be a touch ironic to talk about such problems through plastic bricks, but if it makes just one person consider their carbon or plastic footprint, the world is better for it.
The character’s leafy face has a perfect shape and an expression achieved by two simple pin holes. The body has much more detail than I would expect from brown. But the character would not have the impact it does without the burnt stump it is presented on, as well as the flowers sprouting from said stump under the gardener’s influence.
The best architecture, oftentimes, like the best LEGO builds, is not terribly original; instead, it repeats the same forms over and over again, but in arrangements that show precision and careful thought. Within that repetition, there is room for extreme creativity (which is how we get such diverse LEGO builds, despite everyone using the same basic parts). In fact, Gothic architecture includes subtle differences even in areas that are “matching,” like the columns going down a medieval church; look carefully and you’ll see that not one of them is exactly like the others. And yet they are still matching and repetitive. This library entrance by Brother Steven illustrates this nicely. Similar to the Cathedral of Notre Dame, one of the crown jewels of Gothic architecture, the towers are of different heights.
Looking at the towers and the walls, there is something beautiful in the repetition of the shapes, something that ties it all together into a cohesive whole far better than anything novel could have. The 1×1 round bricks is the most obvious example, but the use of a studs-out strip beneath them heightens the repetition. The arches in the walls also match, with some having the Nexo shields and others having small statues. From there, subtle variations (like modified plates on one tower, and a small gap between the 1×1 round bricks and the studs-out strip on the other) add visual interest in a Gothic way. Gold accents, like the floral hinges on the doors and the unicorn horns on the battlements, set things off, and the white tree and verdant vegetation give the primarily-tan build the color it needs to pop. And pop it does!
It never fails, someone builds an animal or another and it always makes me smile. What I like is beginning to become predictable. I hope you can be as enthralled by Marco Gan’s rhinoceros hornbill as I am. The rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros) is the state bird of the Malaysia state of Sarawak as well as the country’s National Bird. This particular cutey is a charming female as her eye is white with red rims made from a small wheel and tire assembly and a radar dish (males would have red with black rims). My favorite part is the tongue made from a snowboard. The hanging spider acts as a reminder that in the jungle, there is always something alive needing to eat. It is clear that Marco cares deeply about the animals of Southeast Asia, as this isn’t the first time he’s delighted us with jungle creatures. Check out these tapirs of his we featured previously.
If life was like the Frogger game, this frog-mech would likely run over you. Without a reference of scale, it is hard to tell if Mitsuru Nikaido intended for this to be a delicate little mech, or a kaiju behemoth capable of toppling over the mightiest of city towers. Just to be safe, I’m going to err on the side of assuming any encounter on the road would lead to a car being totaled. What is clear, however, is this mech is fully posable and the shaping is just perfect. The spool for an eye is an excellent touch.
It would seem that white animal mechs with gray, black and yellow accents are totally Mitsuru’s thing as there are several more like it in his photostream. Here are previous times we featured a crocodile, a dragonfly, a lemur and a crane and locust creature double-feature, along with another picture of the frog mech, just for good measure.
Having seen Mad Max: Fury Road several times, I can state that the stars of the show are not so much the actors, the scenery, nor the plot but rather the cars. Vehicles seen in the movie were actual working pieces of over-the-top post-apocalyptic automotive mayhem. One such example is the Gigahorse built by Kale Frost. Driven by inefficient water wasting baddy Immortan Joe, Gigahorse was constructed by stacking two 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Villes, along with two beefy V16 engines and a menacing plow up front. Massive tires complete the look and the end result is a thing of automotive nightmares.
The vehicles of Mad Max: Fury Road have captured the imaginations of many a builder. Here is a previously featured Gigahorse as well as the Plymouth Rock and the Doof Wagon. Safety and practicality mean nothing in the Mad Max world!
Manhattan’s Hearst Tower is one of the city’s most distinctive skyscrapers and DeepShen has built an impressive LEGO version of this interesting block. The faceted corners of the tower’s 182m height give it a striking visual signature, enhanced by the interesting contrast between the modern skyscraper and the 1928 cast stone facade which surrounds its base. This, the original Hearst building, was intended to be the ground floors of a skyscraper, but that construction project was put on hold by the Great Depression. In 2006 its purpose was finally realised — a protected landmark, the facade was retained as a street-level front for the stunning new building which emerged from its heart.
DeepShen says the model used roughly 20,000 LEGO pieces and is built to 1:156 scale. By my calculations that makes this creation around 110cm high — so it’s as impressive in scale as it is in shaping.
As a parent, there are some things I don’t want my kids to see. Most of them are things like violence, sex, or drugs on TV, or scary and frightening scenes. Yet there are other things, too, but for different reasons; in this latter category I count this amazing collection of custom-made fire trucks by Steven Asbury. I can already hear the clamoring and whining, “Daddy, I want ALL of those fire trucks! Build them!” But I can’t. For one, I don’t have enough red pieces to build all those trucks, and for another, I don’t posses Steven’s vehicle-building skills. The scaling between trucks and alongside minifigures looks amazing, with details surpassing the LEGO Group’s official fire trucks. This particular grouping of trucks makes up Fire Task Force 3, modeled after Los Angeles’ Task Force concept. From ladder and search & rescue trucks to ambulances, there is pretty much everything you would need to respond to just about any emergency in your city.
“Sveitserhus” is the Norwegian name for the Swiss Chalet style of architecture popular across Northern Europe during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Nowadays in Norway, surviving houses of this style are usually painted in white, and that’s the colour scheme Birgitt Jonsgard has chosen for her beautiful LEGO version. This stark all-white model might initially look simple, but the level of texture in the house’s “woodwork” is particularly impressive — with the style’s signature detailing and fretwork given due attention.
Birgitte has lavished as much care on the little details as on the house’s structure itself. Don’t miss the flowers in the garden, and the interior curtains and blinds, and the various furnishings visible through the windows…