What can you build using eleven pounds of Technic beams and wedge plates? If you said a LEGO midi-scale Star Destroyer you might be correct. However, if you said White Spirit Wolf you are likely Michael Kanemoto. Wedge plates and Technic beams are not the first things that come to mind when replicating natural elements but Michael pulls off the look nicely. He tells us this labor of love took about one-hundred hours on and off from April 30th to July 14th.
I particularly love the eyes; there’s a depth and cunning knowing to them. I’ve only viewed wolves from a safe distance but this LEGO creation possesses the same mesmerizing gaze as a real wolf in the wild. How can you stare into this face and deny it whatever it is that spirit wolves want? I’m smitten!
I can’t help but wonder if in the olden days, tales of wonder and awe that spread through the tongues of villagers would somehow be dubbed as fake news today. I’m so glad that the fake news of the past centuries (AKA folk tales) still stands today though, simply because it’s harmless while capturing the imagination and awe of magical creatures like this Scottish Kelpie by JakTheMad. The shoulders and thighs and tail structure are accentuated by parts from buildable figures quite appropriately. And of course, you can’t go wrong with a horse rearing pose, although it requires some mad skills for balancing the centre of gravity with such a build.
In my opinion, rats have earned an unfair reputation… maybe it started with the whole bubonic plague thing, or maybe it’s the fact that they have a tail that looks like a snake. Whatever the reason, I think that we can all agree that this rat by Felix Jaensch is anything but common. The subtle angle on the side of the face is a nice touch, and the underside of a round plate for ears, along with simple sloped parts for the hands and feet are simple but effective.
The passenger pigeon went extinct in 1914, the victim of deforestation and overhunting. Matt Goldberg pays tribute to this lost species with a beautiful LEGO recreation. This build is a complex mix of Technic, Bionicle, and System parts, with overlapping panels recreating organic curves. Minifigure arms help shape the head, and small radar dishes and 1×1 round plates give this bird just the right mournful eye line. I also like the inclusion of some props to give some context to things. The perch may be a simple build, but the tan creates a nice color contrast for the plumage. It’s a somber image, but a lovely one.
Birds are a popular subject for LEGO builders. For more avian goodness, check out some other featured models.
In a LEGO world of massive castles, spaceships, and battle mechs, sometimes I appreciate the littler oddball things. My case in point; this manta ray by DanielBrickSon. It makes me wonder what it would be like to be a manta ray just gliding in the ocean depths without a care in the world. It’s a pleasant thought, really. Daniel calls it Mantax, which my limited research cites it as being the German name for the Pokemon Mantine. It also shares the name with this old Bionicle figure. Whatever it’s called and whatever the inspiration, I think it’s pretty neat.
“The panda who shot up the restaurant” is a classic example used to illustrate the importance of punctuation — he “eats, shoots, and leaves.” But thankfully these beautiful LEGO pandas by Vincent Kiew don’t appear to be toting any weaponry. The bears are well-sculpted, and their faces are excellent. I also like their angled ears — a subtle touch that adds a lot to their realism and character. The bamboo stalks and tree are simple but effective, and offer the opportunity to show one of the bears in action-clambering-mode — something which happens for about 15 minutes in a day with real-world pandas!
Vincent has been on a roll with the LEGO animals recently. In the past few weeks he’s given us an adorable LEGO hedgehog, and an impressive show-jumping LEGO horse.
Builder Aiden.builds pulls plenty of feathers to create this beautiful LEGO model of a magpie in flight. I must admit to really loving LEGO bird models, especially seeing how builders treat the wings. This magpie has a beautiful wingspan using one of my favorite pieces, Shaft Ø3.2 Wing 9M inserted in a Bad Robot arm and clipped on to a flexi tube (Outercable 160Mm). The result is a lovely organic shape using a variety of thoughtful colors. The body is equally well done using quite a few different Technic fairings and the beak and eye are a perfect finisher.
Owls are fascinating creatures. You may be disappointed to find that they are not the wisest of all animals, as suggested in much of western pop-culture. (Or even birds for that matter.) But they have several extraordinary traits. For one, they have a special row of comb-like feathers on the edge of their wings that help provide silent flight. They also have superb binocular and night vision, with a neck that can turn 270 degrees, giving a much wider field. They also have “facial discs” like this LEGO model built by Eero Okkonen. The rounded collection of feathers on their faces aren’t for show. They, combined with asymmetric ears (a pair of off-set and different-sized holes on either side of their head), allow owls to determine exact positioning of their prey.
Although this build is, of course, for show, I admire the effort Eero puts into giving his creations realism. Using the dishes and chain links to decorate his Great Grey Owl’s face, along with that classic stern expression, was an excellent choice!
While you’re here, you should take a look at more of Eero’s excellent work. And for those birders out there, we have plenty of builds of the avian variety in our archives.
Don’t ask how I know this but when dealing with a gelada it is best to not make eye contact, don’t bare your teeth and for the love of God, don’t ever look at his butt. Nevermind the series of unfortunate events that may or may not have occurred to make me privy to this information, just heed my warning and don’t ask questions. With that said, I’d like you to take an indirect glance at this awesome LEGO gelada built by Andrew Steele. With some clever parts usage, this model possesses the correct stance and facial gestures of a real gelada about to attack. (Not that I would know.) This build is so clever you may want to smile, but I would advise against it. In fact, you ought to just move on and check out the other toothy beasts Andrew has built.
Safer still, you might like to peruse our animal archives. I’m sure they’re not all dangerous and someone had to have built an adorable puppy at some point.
There’s plenty to love about this LEGO lion built by Djokson. His black color and tan mane are both visually striking and a refreshing change from the usual animal fare. This gives him an otherworldly quality that I’m quite fond of. As if that wasn’t endearing enough, this is a dedication to a creation that Patrick Biggs built seven years ago. A group of friends has also dedicated a bunch of builds for Patrick’s birthday. I can see why so many other builders would gravitate to him. He seems to be a swell guy. We’ve featured Patrick plenty of times before and while we’re at it, Djokson is no slouch either.
Leave it to Joss Woodyard (Jayfa) to build something so alien yet we can still recognise it as a feline. That is a testament to this builder’s excellent choice of color, shaping, and pose-ability. The pneumatic T-bar as his nose and the Hero Factory armor as the mane are stellar parts usage. This is one cat I’d not want to meet in a dark alley or even a well-lit alley for that matter.
This satiated pose makes me feel slightly better but still.
I advise you to give this cat some catnip and tuck into Jayfa’s archive to see the other times we were totally wooed by his stuff.
Every LEGO build probably has a backstory that may or not be expressed explicitly by the builder. There’s ideation, inspiration and “Eureka!” moments that happen. This build of a hedgehog has a slighly sad note behind it. It was created as a lovely memoriam by Vincent Kiew upon hearing about a pet hedgehog’s passing, built as a gift for a bereaved friend halfway across the globe.
The hedgehog has tiny claws very much like the actual little spiny mammal and looks just as cute sitting cupped in Vincent’s palm.