Recently, my favorite entry in the Call of Duty franchise — Black Ops II — was added to Xbox One backwards compatibility. I picked up Treyarch Studios’s 2012 vision of combat in 2025 again, and felt inspired to build my favorite rifle in the game: the M8A1, a rifle based on the real H&K XM8.
In addition to being inspired by the design of the gun itself, I was motivated to build by the color scheme. Most of the rifle in game is tan, but its carry handle has a subtle bronze color. I showed this color difference with two LEGO colors: tan, and medium dark flesh. The latter color is fairly limited in parts selection, which made its implementation a fun challenge.
Working features on the LEGO M8A1 include a moving trigger, removable curved magazine, and a sliding ambidextrous charging handle. The tactical rail on the carry handle can attach a LEGO reflex sight that projects a red aiming dot onto a window piece. I show and discuss these functions, as well as a few techniques used to achieve the detail on the weapon, in this four minute video.
See more photos of the M8A1 on my Flickr, or check out other LEGO Black Ops weapons we have featured, such as the PDW-57 SMG and KRM-262 shotgun.
This little Chinese LEGO village by Toltomeja is adorable. I love the irregular base and the squat buildings. There are some great details like the wavy patterns in the water and flippers-as-tiles roof design. But the real star of Toltomeja’s scene is that beautiful Chinese bridge and winding path.
The main photo doesn’t do nearly enough to show off the sweet curves of the sidewalk, so be sure to check the alternate angles.
There are a few things that make a LEGO model stand out if executed particularly well – life in motion, and organic shapes. This build by Timofey Tkachev does both well, with this killer whale in an iconic breaching display. It is strange to know that to date, we have little knowledge on why whales perform this elegant dance of the waves, with only guesses on what it could mean. We still enjoy their majestic maneuvers nevertheless – and find ourselves amazed by it not only in real life but with this cleverly constructed jump that almost seems to be defying gravity.
Graffiti has been a fact of life since the pyramids were built, but you may not have ever seen LEGO graffiti before (unless you’ve been reading The Brothers Brick for a really long time). Roman says he started with the minifig street artist and then came up with the larger build. The backward bandana as a hood is inspired and it’s good to see he takes his respiratory health seriously.
I love the dripping paint from the freshly painted wall and the items chosen to inhabit the scene. It is a concise frame for a cool piece of instantly recognizable graffiti.
Following up on a previous excellent wild west-themed creation, Brick Surgeon brings a very different, less action-packed view of life on the frontier, while keeping the building and composition style very similar. This latest vignette has a very morbid feel to it, with muted colours, dead trees and a freshly dug grave.
There are many details to appreciate here — the trees are excellently built of course, as they seem to be the focal point of the build. Other parts of the creation are not lagging behind much, with the cleanly built tent, very interesting rocks, and a brick-built vulture on one of the trees. An apropriate choice for the background colour connects all this into a very cohesive whole.
Amsterdam’s 165 canals were created over the centuries to stimulate trade and transport, reclaiming land to expand the city. They continue to define the city’s landscape as a network of ‘water streets’ and in 2010 Amsterdam’s canal ring was recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. Palixa and the Bricks built a canal corner in LEGO, capturing the essentials of the canal, canal house, and two barges. There’s a busy street scene with a florist, book store and a cheese shop on the ground floors and lots more going on inside the modular buildings.
See more of this lovely city in the Netherlands
Lynn MinMay from the Robotech/Macross anime series is brought to life by SPARKART! in a modified Brickheadz doll. The styling emphasises the head over other features, with her eyes capturing that genuine anime sparkle. Below you’ll find the parts list and instruction guide to build your very own singing space celebrity.
Click for parts and instructions
The Battle of the Alamo in 1836 marked a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. This LEGO version of the Alamo by Jason Hlavenka looks just like the iconic Texas landmark as it is seen today.
The detailed facade is worth taking a closer look for its clever building techniques, such as the barred windows.
You can see more photos on Flickr.
In the old days, animals were often used in wars — most often horses, sometimes hounds and even elephants. Alexander Blais throws all the historical realism out the window with this crazy creation of an “escargoliath” with an archer tower on its shell to beseige the city of Boldiron. The animal has a sense of motion to it, and slow motion at that.
The spiral on the shell is simple, but it gets the job done and the round organic shapes are captured very well, although the studs possibly give it too much of a “fuzzy” feel.
We’ve covered our fair share of LEGO hot rods, but here’s a refreshing steampunk take on the style from Martin Redfern. The scale used allows Martin to pack loads of smart touches into this delightful dark red automobile. I particularly like the front grille, the horn, and the driver himself — his pith helmet and monocle fixed firmly in place.
The vehicle’s engine is an obvious highlight, so I was delighted at this view which allows us to take a closer look at all the details Martin has lavished on the model…
A closer look shows some of the detail used to give a lot of character to the Hall. There are different textures represented with the wooden main structure, a stone opening, the green landscaping, and vegetation on the roof. It’s no surprise to learn Paul won a prize for this creation at Brickfair Virginia earlier this month.
Here’s a LEGO temple to stir the soul of an explorer. W. Navarre has covered his pyramid temple with just enough foliage and texture to create an Indiana Jones adventure spirit in me. I want to scout out these ruins for anything that glitters and sparkles. The mix of greys, and the tumbledown rockwork makes for a real sense of age and decay, whilst the shaping of the structure creates the unmistakable feel of Central or South American antiquity.