We take a break from spooky builds and space ships to share some lovely family imagery from Vincent Kiew. These panda bears are super adorable, super emotive, and superbly constructed. It’s rare to see BrickHeadz eyes in such a realistic depiction of animals, and yet they seem the perfect fit here. I love how the shaping of the adult and cub are each unique, but use many of the same parts to unify the build. The green bamboo shoots add just the right pop of color, too.
Turns out they’re also fun to accessorize. This is the Mario crossover the world needs right now.
As a bonus, these pandas are also have a good level of articulation, allowing for even more expressive photo ops.
Can’t visit a natural history museum or an aquarium? Luis Peña has us covered with his LEGO build of a couple Devonian sea critters – the larger of which is the Dunkleosteus and then its smaller prey being the Stethacanthus.
Peña certainly got all of the anatomical details of both fish correct from the eye placement on the Dunkleosteus to the anvil-shaped fin of the Stethacanthus. Both builds are also are seemingly correct in terms scale as the Stethacanthus was actually a pretty small shark-like fish. Peña’s use of differing white slope pieces is effective in rendering the teeth of the Dunkleosteus; I also appreciated his use of the feather-pin element as the tail for the tinier fish. Thankfully the Devonian age has passed; these sea creatures seemed to have been pretty frightening, whether big or small, but it’s definitely pleasant to be able to learn about them in some capacity.
This orangutang made by Lestrange Absurde is giving me very strong The Jungle Book vibes. King Louie was added to Rudyard Kiplings original story. King Louie has been portrayed as an orangutang in the 1967 version, and a gigantopithecus in the 2016 remake. This creation by Lestrange Absurde looks soo sweet and gentle. There is a rediculous amount of brilliant modified plate use. Just look at the fur, bottom lip, nose, fingers & toes and last but not least that cute as a button belly button.
Some LEGO creations look more like what you traditionally think of as art than others. Large scale sculptures are a good example of this, and Ekow Nimako’s are my favourite LEGO sculptures, and his latest piece is no exception. Part hawk, part Lynx, this Griffyx cub is all beauty.
While this isn’t the first time The Brothers Brick has shared one of Ekow’s creations, this is the first one that I’ve had the pleasure of writing about. And like Lino before me, I’m having a hard time picking my jaw up off the floor and finding the right words. LEGO sculptures are so often made up of the easier-to-acquire-in-mass-quantities bricks, most notably the most basic of all LEGO elements, the 2×4 brick. But Ekow’s palette includes a much more vast array of shapes and sizes of LEGO pieces. In what I can only imagine is a ridiculously thoughtful process, he’s able to craft the best, most organic-looking brick-built shapes I’ve ever seen.
Take the Griffyx. Just by looking at it, you can feel the way it’s stretching its neck as if it just woke up and it’s loosening up its muscles. You can see the flick of its tail, as it whips back and forth. The fur looks soft to the touch and the wings – expertly engineered out of smaller chima wings – look primed and ready to take flight. I don’t get those same strong sensations from other brick-built sculptures, only Ekow’s. Will my editors allow me to go as far as to say he’s the greatest LEGO sculpture of our time? Nothing against all the other brilliant brick artists out there, but Ekow is just rewriting the game.
Bob Ross taught a generation of artists and would-be artists to paint, myself included. He had a soothing, gentle demeanor about him and a voice that could squelch a prison riot. You can tell he was a guy that just loved the world and all the lakes, mountains, creatures and trees within it. Happy little trees, he called them. Soothing, mellow little trees without a care in the world, yeah, that’s nice. He taught us that there were no mistakes in your world, only happy accidents. This LEGO Bob Ross Corgi by BrickinNick has surely had a few happy accidents in his day, probably on the rug. But do we get mad at the little fellah? Nah, he’s just doing what he’s put on this planet to do; paint happy trees and maybe pee a little behind the couch. Yeah, that’s nice. And wouldn’t you know it, BrickinNick got us all mellow and groovy before. Give it a gander, my friend.
If you ever find yourself wandering through the lush tropical forests of Lanyu Island, off the coast of Taiwan, you may come face to face with a Lanyu Horned Owl. But don’t be frightened! The Lanyu Horned Owl’s piercing yellow eyes and pointed ear tufts are just for show and it’s probably only looking for a nice midnight rodent snack. Our nocturnal friend comes in peace, as we find it calmly perched as Ian Hou’s latest LEGO bird creation. Ian uses a combination of curved sloped bricks for the owl’s wings and staggered wedge plates to render the plumage on its face and backside. Dark tan shell pieces form most of the owl’s chest feathers. The result is a wonderfully realistic build, shaped in all the right ways.
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.