One of the best things about building with LEGO for a hobby is that you can ignore it. What I mean is, when you don’t have enough time at hand, you can just park your hobby for a little while. Unlike sports, where your condition deteriorates. Or gardening, where the weeds take over. Or horseback riding, which tends to not go so well after not paying attention to your horse for a couple of weeks. Whenever I am crammed at work I tend to not build with LEGO at all. I do however keep my minifigure parts close by because I do enjoy putting together funky LEGO minifigures. In their latest creation, Darth Bjørn proves that they are an expert when it comes to building funky Star Wars minifigures.
The gold flooring in this build also deserves a mention. I didn’t know LEGO produced different tones of gold bricks, but apparently, they do. (Yes, and not all of them were intentionally different. – Ed.) Darth Bjørn used the two tones to create the pattern on the floor, which I personally haven’t seen before. I am really curious about the construction underneath the tiles. And last but not least there is a really simple but elegant design for drinking glasses. A transparent round plate is combined with a colored trans round tile and then turned upside down to mimic the rim of a drinking glass.
Fans of Ben 10 may recognize this Earth-68 version of the conflicted Doctor Animo, a genius in mutagenic effects and subsequently frequent bad guy. This build by The Underscored Double is an awesome representation of the character. The modeling and color-blocking hit on key points of his design, like the tech strapped to his chest or the exposed brain, antennae, and goggles. The claws are also a perfect match with the lime green accents. In addition to this villain, we’re also given a great version of an alien on Ben’s Omnitrix, the Stinkfly. The ghostly green color palette, as well as the translucent green head, compliment the wealth of interesting Bionicle and Galidor pieces used by the builder to mold this complicated character.
If you enjoy builds like this, check out some more characters. If you’d like to see more by this builder, you can find them on Flickr or Instagram (@theunderscoreddouble).
Far away, on some advanced planet, there are probably cyborg animals. I mean, the likelihood of Earth-like creatures seems reasonably high. And cyborgs aren’t just made from our imagination. Look at prosthetics — medical advancements are headed there more and more. Matt Goldberg gives us a glimpse of that with his latest LEGO build. This bee has circuitry! While the trans-blue Insectoid wings call attention, there are other great features too, like the marbled Bionicle Mohtrek mask used in the abdomen. My favorites are on the head, where skates are used for mandibles and minifigure hands attached to sausages form the antennae. Also, let’s not forget that colorful flower, cleverly built with purple Bionicle Pakari masks.
We try to keep it light here at TBB. But on a somber note, did you know our bees are in trouble? Without bees and other pollinators, we’d starve. We’re not going to be able to develop cyborg bees anytime soon, and even if we could, the real thing deserves our help. Please take a moment to learn what you can do, and check out these sites for more information on bees and their impact. Every act helps – even small and easy ones like planting a little bee garden and providing a refreshing bee bath.
Bart de Dobbelaer never ceases to amaze me with his LEGO creations. Ever since his ‘The Life Aquatic With Clumsy Pete’ series, he has been making one astounding creation after another. First Contact is no exception to this. It features an out of this world landscape with a spaceship in a colour scheme that will send you on a trip down memory lane. The space crew is carefully conducting their work without noticing that their presence hasn’t gone unnoticed. Bart is a master at building alien creatures from obscure LEGO parts. He always manages to use the parts that I am never able to think of a good use for.
If alien life does exist in the universe, it would likely come in forms that we can not even imagine, like this pair of critters taking a break outside their battle tank to stop and smell the methane flowers. This digital scene by Ivan Martynov makes about the best use of the hotdog part that I have seen in quite a while, to attach the crowbar-footed legs to the bulbous underside of this most unearthly “tank”.
Syd Mead, the designer behind the iconic look of Blade Runner amongst other movies, has died aged 86. Chances are, if you’re into sci-fi and LEGO then you’ll have tried to recreate one of his famous designs — The USS Sulaco from Aliens, the light-cycles from Tron, Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, or this, the famous Police Spinner from Blade Runner.
Click to see a selection of LEGO models inspired by Syd Mead’s work
When you think of Star Wars, the first things that come to mind are likely spaceships and laser swords. But cantinas occupy an only slightly less iconic place in the lore of that galaxy far, far away. One of those seedy, backwater bars is the Half-Pint Cantina, proprietor Hass Mavoc, brought to us in LEGO form by bcinman6. A character from the builder’s own imagination, Hass is a Sarian barkeep with some excellent shaping to achieve his alien features. Most notable are the red Hulk arms used behind the eyes and the space armor for the mouth.
Back in 2013 Tyler Clites contributed a fantastic tutorial to the Brothers Brick on how to photograph your LEGO creations; and his latest creation proves once again that not only is he one of the LEGO community’s most talented builders, he’s also a master at presenting his work. Of course the featured spaceship has all the hallmarks you’d expect from Tyler: nice piece usage throughout, wonderfully shaped engines, and appealing splashes of colour for detail. However, as he notes, he wanted more for this craft than a shot of it flying through space. With a repurposed rock base, and the creation of some creepy bug aliens, we now have a story to be told. Hunkered down for repairs in the middle of nowhere, the ship’s auto turrets save the day. Mix in ace lighting effects and a swirling mist, courtesy of a vape pen, and you have what I have previously written about, the perfect marriage between LEGO and photography.
Although Sad Brick’s War of the Worlds diorama occupies a tiny base plate, it still packs in some serious detail and a sense of scale completely at odds with its diminutive size. It’s one of the perpetual ironies of LEGO building, that working small creates some of the best representations of physically huge vistas.
A few rotated and misaligned transparent cheese slopes become a broiling ocean, unbelievably hot dog sausages are reimagined as the suspension arches on the Golden Gate Bridge – a design adapted from builder Li Li’s brick-topper badge for Bricks by the Bay 2017 – and a minidoll syringe doubles as
a submarine periscope Alcatraz Island’s watchtower. Setting the scene for one of the littlest, and best, brick-built aliens I’ve seen, to cause havoc in.
If you’re wondering what a group of bikers is doing in front of a Mesoamerican temple, then I appreciate your imagination, but also recommend a closer look at this LEGO creation… Joking aside, this Alien Construct by Tirrel Brown embraces the otherworldly aesthetic of Mesoamerican architecture and takes it one small step further, onto another planet.
The trees and alien flowers deserve a bit of attention, but it is a good thing that the greenery is not too distracting, as your main focus is and should be on the alien temple in the middle. The simple yet interesting design is very futuristic, while a brick texture gives it an ancient look. An important thing to notice is what appears to be white patterns in the construct – it is actually light aqua, one of the LEGO colours closest to white. This subtle change makes the pattern almost glow.
There are few monsters in the history of movies that strike more terror in audiences and fans than the Queen Xenomorph imagined by James Cameron in the movie Aliens. Here at TBB we have featured many LEGO xenomorphs in the past, but in my opinion, this Queen by Manufactura Jarema is one of the best, most detailed queen models I have ever seen.
There are so many details that are worth mentioning. For one, the use of two black clip elements used to create the tapering barbs on the flexible tail. Also, the hinge piece on the arms is the perfect part for making thin yet posable limbs. Besides the many wonderful details in the Queen herself, the stand which contains great environmental structure also features another hero of this model, the Facehugger!
It’s not often that we see LEGO creations that incorporate the large Technic figures that LEGO included in sets back in the late 80’s through the 90’s. Similarly, most of the LEGO xenomorphs we’ve featured largely use standard System bricks to recreate the terrifying creatures from the Alien movies. Weilong Yao breaks with both of these traditions by building a work loader around a Technic figure and incorporating lots of Bionicle in the alien itself.