LEGO fans take many shapes. Some enjoy building official sets, while others dive into their imagination. Still others take great pride in hunting down every minute variation of 2×4 brick, or in capturing beautiful images of minifigures. For some, though, LEGO is a career path. Aaron Newman has been building with LEGO all his life, and has successfully navigated the dream that many fans have: not just building with LEGO, but getting paid to do it. Aaron has been on a rocket trajectory, moving from fan to full-time LEGO artist and then to a contestant on LEGO Masters Season 1. We’ve interviewed Aaron before about his work as a fan and on LEGO Masters, but now he’s moving to Denmark as the LEGO Company’s newest designer, so I caught up with Aaron once more to learn about his journey and how he approaches building.
The last LEGO castle theme was LEGO Nexo Knights. Whether you think that was an actual castle theme is debatable. LEGO has released some castle-themed sets since, but not a full-blown castle theme. Sure, Harry Potter sets are mostly castles, but it’s just not the same. So, what do you do when LEGO doesn’t sell what you would like to buy? You create it yourself! Aaron Newman created not a castle set, but an entire castle theme titled Dragon Lands. Filled with elves, orcs, wizards, knights, and of course dragons. Each model looks like it could be produced by TLC. Each set comes with action features and the minifigures have a background story. Even the photography is comparable to LEGO catalogue quality.
Aaron’s amazing work doesn’t limit itself to an amazing cathedral that hinges open to reveal its lavish interior. The theme also includes a ship with festive flags, ruins covered in snow and ice, a sea serpent, a massive crossbow, a rock-dropping dragon, and last but not least a very inclusive cast of minifigures to accommodate these lovely creations.
“Are you not entertained?” Former LEGO Masters contestant Aaron Newman presents his latest creation: gladiator mechs. While similar in style, each mech is unique and distinguishable. The yellow winged “Bugbite” has insect like features and reminds me of the iconic Bumblebee. The dual wielding “Whiplash” stands tall and majestic like some of LEGO’s larger mech sets. “Pinhead” is capable of delivering heavy blows with a second set of arms. These builds may be on the smaller size, they are meant to represent massive battle bots piloted by a “trophyfig.”
With this scale established, we now have to look up at them, as Aaron’s photography and editing gets us to do. The lighting of the actual build is interesting and allows them to blend in with the custom background of a futuristic stadium that Aaron carefully crafted. This unconventional composition gives the impression of a render, or even a shot from a high budget film. Aaron has really gone above and beyond to present his amazing builds in outstanding ways.
You can see more of Aaron’s build’s here
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The Freemasons are a super-secret fraternal organization that apparently rules the world and everyone’s dad seems to be a member. Regardless of who they are and what they do exactly, you have to admit they have some cool iconography. Season one LEGO Masters contestant Aaron Newman has been commissioned by the Scottish Rite Masons of Lexington, Massachusetts to build their double-headed eagle logo. I’m in awe of the ruffled textures of the eagle achieved by leaving the studs exposed in some places while covering them in layered tiles in others. The sword and banner are certainly not without their charms but I’m most impressed by the “33” encased inside an equilateral triangle. This is a shape not easily achieved in LEGO but Aaron does it with finesse. The crown and even the eagle itself seem to be floating in space and this is achieved and is quite structurally sound, thanks to the use of transparent Technic beams.
Be sure to check out the video as Aaron explains the model more in-depth. And while you’re admiring this build yourselves, go ahead and forward this article to your dads and they will likely respond in turn with a knowing yet solemn nod.
I loved chivalrous romances and fairy tales as a kid, and as a teen, I delved deep into epic fantasy novels, so it should be no surprise that as an adult, my primary building interest in LEGO has been the castle theme. It seems that Aaron Newman‘s primary interest has also been castle, as his earliest builds are castle builds (and he designed his own unofficial castle theme). Now, he’s a top-notch builder, and he’s branched out into every other theme over the years, but it’s always nice to see someone returning to their roots in an impressive way. These miniature castle scenes are just that. I can’t decide if I like the floating village with a windmill or the picturesque watermill the best, but they’re all stunning.
Don’t miss more of Aaron Newman’s LEGO builds, and be sure to browse the LEGO castle builds archives while you’re here. You are sure to be inspired. And if you just absolutely love these tiny scenes, Aaron has provided free building instructions for them so you can put them on your desk at work or home.
The governments of the world spend a lot of money on military hardware. Maybe they should look to Aaron Newman for ways to save some funds. I mean, LEGO is expensive, but it’s not THAT expensive. And these micro-machines look pretty capable to me. Aaron has shared three quality builds, each with clever scale reductions. Standout details include the guns on the battleship made from modified 1×1 round plate, the curved sand-green slopes on the wings of the plane, and the modified cone in the tank’s barrel. If you’d like to build your own, Aaron has made the instructions available for free.
LEGO may not produce official military sets, but that hasn’t stopped the fan community from building their own. Our military archives feature some great builds ranging from the historic to the fantastic. (As well as reviewing the sets that LEGO sort-of-but-not-quite let slip through the cracks.)
Having a bad day? Thoughts of a global pandemic got you down? Just stop right there and look at the pure joy that is Aaron Newman‘s LEGO creation.
OH MY GOODNESS. They’re adorable! The little noses and teeny eyes longingly looking into my soul makes me melt with happiness. How can you say no when one of them begs for a treat?
Ok, time to be serious. Aaron says he made the doggies as a commission project. He tried to build them on a 1:1 scale, but decided he could do better if the scale was 1:2. It took a long time to get the right look for the eyes, ears and collars, but he’s very proud of the final result.
So are we, Aaron! Thank you for sharing this incredibly heart-warming build with us.
It has been nearly a year since LEGO Masters: USA announced their teams and it’s nice to check in from time to time on how some of the contestants are doing. Aaron Newman clearly has seafaring vessels on the brain with this stunning research vessel. He tells us that it’s over 20″ (50cm) long, and features three levels of accessible interior details. He goes into greater detail about this build on his blog. We’ve been smitten with his work before. Give it a looksy.
LEGO builder and former LEGO Masters contestant Aaron Newman is no stranger to The Brothers Brick, and his latest creation earns him another mention for good reason. Aaron designed the Lost Boys hideout, the iconic location from the 1953 Disney adaptation of Peter Pan. In typical fashion for Aaron, the model is designed as a playset. So it has lots of action features throughout the model: the tree opens up in several places by pulling a string, and there is a secret rock passageway, a basket elevator and a light-up fireplace.
The lineup of minifigures is great as well, combining a few official Peter Pan characters from the Disney Collectible Minifigure series with a handful of custom figs that are excellently put together. Especially the Darling family is spot on. Beyond the figs, don’t miss the curved tapered panel used as hammocks. If this was an official set, I’d buy it!
This month’s cover photo, from Aaron Newman, features the Gods of Olympus. From Hades to Zeus, Aaron has recreated these Greek Mythological Gods in LEGO, while capturing the essence of what makes each of these mythological characters unique. Hit up Aaron’s blog post to learn more about his approach to each minifig.
And if you’re looking for even more Greek minifigs, Aaron has also recreated some of the most well-known Mortals and Monsters from the pantheon of Greek myth. I’m a big fan of Icarus, who looks to have just flown too close to the sun, but honestly, these all look great.
This black castle by Aaron Newman which he calls Grimstone is a delightful blend of classic fantasy and a bit of industrial revolution, with smokestack-looking towers, and a hint of castle Greyskull, with those black claws flanking the main gate. The sloping bridge over flaming hot magma leads to a dilapidated town that is looking a bit worse for wear. I also love the many shades of orange plates used for the lava.
Today’s tough times have a lot of us thinking that the past was a soooo much nicer place to live in. That’s probably true in some cases. But things were tough in ye olden days of the early 1970s, too. I mean, what if you were a couple of single parents who found themselves facing complex family dynamics? Like where are you supposed to fit six kids and a maid in a small California home? Yes, dear reader, I’m talking about the troubles faced by the The Brady Bunch. Aaron Newman has built a super-accurate rendition of the famous TV dwelling out of LEGO brick, and brought all those sitcom troubles back into the forefront of my mind.
But first, let’s take a moment to admire this LEGO recreation. The layout and shaping are painstakingly accurate to the house as it appeared on the show. I like the use of angled plates and tiles to minimize the seams between the three segments of the roof. The choice of mixing in just a few exposed studs adds a nice bit of texture there without overpowering the eye. The real highlights for me, though, are plants and trees that decorate the lot. The three palm trees on the right are particularly nice, using clip-ended bar holders to allow for a gentle sway away from rigid angles. I also want to call out the spiky pant base in dark orange in the shrubbery.
If you want more information about the build, including a look at the back yard, I suggest swinging by Aaron’s own write up of the build. And if you want to learn more about Aaron? Well, then you can check out the relevant Brothers Brick builder spotlight. But let me also leave you with one thought to ponder. The dad on the show, Mike Brady, was an architect, right? That job pulls down pretty decent pay. Why the heck didn’t he just buy a bigger house? I guess that really does show times were tough back then, too.