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.
Originally hitting store shelves in Europe in 2000, and then rolled out to North America in 2001, the LEGO Bionicle theme played a key role in hauling the company out of its financial woes of the late 1990s and helped to build the foundation of the all-conquering toy company LEGO has become. Aaron Newman pays tribute to the original lineup of figures released under the theme, but he’s done it with a twist — these are all built with classic System bricks. The six Toa Knight figures are nicely done, immediately recognisable to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the originals. Kopaka, the Toa of Ice, was always my favourite, and I love how Aaron has captured his iconic mask. The presentation of the models is spot-on too, well-photographed and then just a touch of special effects to give a hint of the elemental powers at play.
I’m not saying it was aliens–but it was aliens! Builders Aaron Newman and Tristan Cain teamed up to build a close encounter of the ancient kind. Cleverly named “Parthenonsense,” the scene depicts a microscale Greek-inspired city being visited by a red “chariot of the gods.” The city itself is enjoyable to look at, with curved walls, a bridge, and buildings of varying heights. I particularly enjoy the UFO, which has a self-sustaining habitat under its dome. The beam of light over the lighthouse is a nice touch, almost as if the spacecraft is engaging in oneupmanship with its terrestrial subjects.
To learn more about the model, visit Aaron’s personal blog post on “Parthenonsense.”
What’s the perfect LEGO accompaniment to binge-watching Stranger Things Season 3 today? Of course, it’s building the incredible official LEGO set of 75810 The Upside Down. But you should also check out this amazingly terrifying Demogorgon from expert builder Aaron Newman. Built in a large scale, it captures the otherworldly horror perfectly, with its gangly limbs and menacing flower head.
If you like this, be sure to read our interview with Aaron Newman. Want to see more LEGO Stranger Things? Check out these other incredible LEGO models:
75810 The Upside Down [Review]
LEGO Chief Hopper’s Cabin
LEGO Stranger Things Minifigures
LEGO Stranger Things BrickHeadz
LEGO Stranger Things Miniland Figures
While many LEGO castle builders use at least some shade of gray somewhere in their medieval fortifications, many try to push themselves outside this monochrome palette if possible. On the other hand, sometimes using self-imposed constraints can unlock new levels of creativity. In the case of this microscale village by Aaron Newman, complete with cathedral and an impressive keep, the inspiration came from the task of building a prize for a castle building contest where the use of gray is prohibited. So, whoever wins this prize will still get the benefit of a little gray in an otherwise colorful world.
One of my favorite details about this model are the many angled walls, which reflect a great many real-life castles and ruins around the world. One more missable detail is the sideways bricks that flank the entrance to the cathedral. For the round towers, Aaron borrowed a technique from a previous microscale castle of his featured here on TBB.
This latest LEGO creation by master builder Aaron Newman is the stuff of nightmares for those who enjoy perfectly manicured lawns and neatly tended gardens. If that is you, stock up on a few 50-gallon drums of your preferred herbicide, or else dial your lawn service’s emergency line immediately! Inspired by the manticore of classical mythology, Aaron’s “planticore” is part flower, part root, part weed, and fully territorial. Stay away from the dandelion head that’s reminiscent of the lion that formed part of the manticore, as well as the many blooms at the tail that effectively evoke the scorpion stinger. The aggressively-posed beast is joined by a swarm of brick-built bees and fierce female faeries to ruin your country club’s casual croquet tournament.
Aaron is well-known in the LEGO community for both his creature builds and his dynamic minifigure poses, and he does not disappoint in either category here. I am personally quite partial to the various Elves hairpieces on his faeries, and the way he uses legs taken off of the hips for more natural stances takes them to the next level. Don’t miss the pink afro minidoll hair as a clever clover blossom, either. The croquet wicket, with the DUPLO ball on its way through, sets the small scale of the build beautifully, and the editing effects with the grass and sky lend it a wonderful outdoor atmosphere. I suspect that I have several stray planticores roaming about in my own yard, judging by the weeds and chaos I see out there; or maybe I am just too busy trying to build LEGO like Aaron to prune and mow…
Sauron, the evil creator of the One Ring at the center of the Lord of the Rings books and movies spends the majority of his screen time as nothing more than a giant flaming eye at the top of his dark tower of Barad-dûr, he does make a brief appearance at the beginning of the film version of The Fellowship of the Ring, in the physical form of a towering spike-armored figure with a mighty mace, which he uses to lay waste to countless enemies. Aaron Newman has built an amazing model of Sauron poised at the edge of a lava flow, holding up his creation, perhaps just after pouring his cruelty, his malice, and his will to dominate all life into the One Ring.
The distinct helmet and armor feature some of the new blades found in many of the Ninjago sets released last year, as well as a very nice ragged cape made from a couple of large capes. I am especially glad that Aaron chose to build his model in gray rather than black, as it would have been much more difficult to see all those great details.
Last year, the LEGO Group launched an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign for LEGO Forma. With LEGO Forma sets shipping this year, it was only a matter of time until someone incorporated the skins into a custom LEGO model. Aaron Newman took fish fins and turned them into the wings of a colorful, magical bird. If you didn’t know they were from LEGO Forma, you just might think they were made for this build.
Adding further context to the model, Aaron created a scene in which explorers discover the majestic bird. Looking at the team members, at least one can’t handle all the colors.