Last month, a story on LEGO bricks being used to help an injured turtle went viral. An Eastern box turtle was found with multiple fractures on its plastron (the name for the underside of a turtle/tortoise shell). Veterinary staff at the Maryland Zoo of Baltimore performed surgery, but they were concerned about allowing the turtle to move freely while healing properly. According to zoo employee Dr. Ellen Bronson, turtles take much longer to recover than mammals and birds due to a slower metabolism.
To help the turtle move without injuring itself again, Garrett Fraess (the Zoo’s veterinarian extern) and his colleagues sketched out some plans for a wheelchair…
Click here to read how people help turtles to recover…
If you are a huge fan of the Voltron LEGO set, you might also be interested in the “Form Your Most Imaginative Voltron Scene!” contest on LEGO Ideas. The contest has produced some excellent entries, such as aido k’s breathtaking tribute to the green lion, “In its Element.” The entire scene is comprised of an excellent likeness of the lion’s head, which is split into mechanical and organic halves.
See more of this custom LEGO Voltron model
When it comes to ocean-dwelling mammals, the majestic black and white killer whale (also known as an orca) is a fan favorite. The killer whale’s beauty is matched by its power, which can be seen when they breach the surface. Both of these characteristics are expertly captured by timofey_tkachev in his model of an orca leaping out of the waves. I am especially impressed by the builder’s ability to use a variety of curved and angular slope elements to capture both skin color patterns and the sleek shape of the whale’s body. The brick-built base with with waves following the whale’s trajectory is also a wonderfully believable touch, plus the builder included instructions for an added bonus.
From a Breaking Bad scene to this bearer of babies, these LEGO creations by LEGO 7 couldn’t be more different. Although totally different, this stork is another recognizable character. And fun too! Seen wearing the red hat in the Disney classic Dumbo (and other cartoons), he is the legendary baby delivery bird.
Actually, the baby myth came from the original Hans Christian Andersen tale “The Storks,” and it was told to children who were too young to understand where babies really come from. One of my favorite things about this build is that the bird actually has posable wings, which swing outward. The body shape is great, as well as a nice marriage of System and Technic parts. Another thumbs up!
Builder Timothy Jones brings to life a large Cockatrice in a majestic pose. I’ve since learnt that a Cockatrice is a fictional and mythical beast. It’s supposed to be different parts of a serpent, dragon and rooster all combined together. This does have certain elements of those, and it’s pretty grand with the wings spread out — I’m especially impressed with how it all holds up given the amount of weight those wings must have.
It’s easy to love life-like animal builds (at least for me), but some certainly stand out more than others. This giant rock tortoise by Ralf Langer is one of those builds. The shaping is truly splendid, especially when it comes to the head, and the eyes are also quite expressive. In addition, the engineering to stabilize and support the head and neck had to be pretty tough to master!
According to Ralf, this was sort of an accident. He was going for something else but apparently that something really wanted to be a tortoise instead. I think this birth of art has happened for many of us, and I’m especially grateful for builds like this. Apparently the rest of the tortoise isn’t quite finished, so I have my fingers crossed that there will be more to come soon!
Some of my fondest childhood memories revolved around dreaming about dinosaurs. In the late 1980s, Tyco indulged me with prehistoric playthings in the form of Dino-Riders, and I pined for a world where I too could ride a triceratops. These memories came flooding back when I saw Jme Wheeler’s series of builds depicting his own dino-riding universe. Jme brings each setting to life with some excellent scenery, but he has also gone one step further by creating backstories for each scene. This particular build depicts the relationship between Gunther the fisherman and Cornelius the Carnosaurus, who was rescued by as a juvenile by a once-lonely Gunther. What’s particularly excellent is how Jme used brick-built water to make it look like Cornelius is drinking water, although I would imagine his presence sends fish into a frenzy.
Click to see the rest of the dino scenes
Dinosaurs are the name of the game today at TBB, so let’s take a trip to Western Europe and turn our clocks back to the Cretaceous period, because we’re going on a prehistoric safari to find Polacanthus! Polacanthus is Greek for “many thorns.” Vlad Lisin’s version of the herbivorous dinosaur lives up to its name because it looks quite sharp indeed. A mix of LEGO system and constraction elements are used to achieve a wonderfully organic looking dino. Polancanthus’ head is particularly stunning, thanks in part to a realistic-looking mouth achieved through the use of a battle droid torso and Ninjago snake skull helmet. This behemoth looks prepared to graze through some serious vegetation.
As you explore prehistoric past, don’t miss the fearsome Carnotaurus by Nathan Haseth.
Sheep by Maxime Marion is a cute brickfilm about being true to yourself instead of following the flock. It is also a joyous celebration of the 1×1 round eye tile and its siblings the eyelash tile and the stink eye tile. Maxime creates a wide variety of emotions and expressions using various combinations of these three simple pieces.
I would argue that these eye tiles are some of the most important parts added to the LEGO palette in the last decade. Just as the introduction of the minifigure led to a major shift in the scale of vehicles and buildings, the introduction of the eye tile has led to a huge increase in character-focused creations, both in official sets and in fan creations. I hope more brickfilmers follow Maxime’s award-winning example and start incorporating brick-built characters into their films. Watch Sheep below.
Most people know that New Zealanders got their “Kiwi” nickname from their beloved national symbol, the Kiwi bird. But did you know that there is another iconic bird from that country that is just as important? Its name is actually Kākāpō, which means “owl parrot” and it really is quite unique! Flancrest Enterprises is so passionate about this bird, that they recreated it in LEGO, with posable wings!
What makes the Kakapo so unique is that it’s not like any other parrot in the world. It is large, heavy, flightless, and nocturnal. Their wings and tail are quite short, and they have large feet for climbing and cruising around on the forest floor. In addition, one of their most interesting features is that they don’t form tight bonds. Males engage in “lekking” where they gather together to engage in competitive display and entice females. Males will then mate with multiple females, while the females mate with a single male, and there is no paternal help with the young.
Above all, the most notable thing about the Kākāpō is that it’s critically endangered. There are less than 150 left. Naturally they don’t have any predators, but humans have both destroyed habitats and hunted them to near extinction. Fortunately, there are amazing people working on conservation and recovery programs. If you’re like me and think these special, adorable birds deserve a comeback, learn more and give them your support!
It may seem like Vincent Kiew took a page right out of the Planet of the Apes from the big screen for this creation, and it’s a good page to pick from, starring a primal ape heavily armed and ready to go bananas. Those scary-looking cartridges in the ammo carrier feature a nice use of red lever bases, while the ears look perfect with the 1×1 tooth tiles.
If you go to the beach this summer, you had better watch your step. If you don’t, you might just trigger a painful pinch from PaulvilleMOCS’ little hermit crab! If you’re wondering why the shell looks so real it’s because it is. While it may not be a brick-built solution, it works quite well and makes the LEGO hermit crab look delightfully authentic. In addition to this, the sandy scenery makes this little crustacean all the more believable.