I love a LEGO build with details that make my eyes wander, trying to look for every amazing element and how it’s placed just where it needs to be to give that maximum effect and wow factor. Let’s pick a few of my favourites here from Anthony Wilson’s eye feast of a kitchen creation. First things first, that angled tessellation of the flooring gives it a more natural, less of an “anyone can do that with LEGO” feeling, which sets apart a regular builder from an experienced one.
While that fridge and the air-conditioning unit don’t necessarily look like the units I have at home, I immediately knew it was meant to represent Mitsubishi-branded appliances. Not everything needs to replicate real life, but clever ways of bringing out details delight the visual senses. Last but not least, creative uses of elements are not about difficult builds but also about placement instead. The light switch and key hanging beside the door are fine examples of these visual details that require little effort but make a world of a difference.
LEGO’s Bionicle lore runs deep, encompassing a complex world history from its inception to the heroes we all recognize as the various Toa. Even the theme’s origin story is fascinating, as David Robertson recounts in Brick by Brick the Bionicle theme was originally envisioned as a metaphor for battling cancer, with the bio-heroes (cancer-fighting drugs) being delivered to the world (body) in pill-like canisters. Builder Anthony Wilson is participating in a fan-run challenge to create the Toa Helryx, which the lore names as the first Toa in the Bionicle world.
No sets or images were ever produced of this Toa, but Anthony has sculpted this regal figure from the few descriptions. The brick-built mask, so central to Bionicle characters, is crafted from multiple elements, most notably the silver Nexo Knights shield, whose ribbed edges look marvelously organic here. Another great detail is the giant mace Helryx wields, which is tipped with a Technic differential.
While lighthouses used to serve a very valuable purpose, with all the advances in technology it seems like these days they are more likely closed and abandoned. But in this pastoral scene by Anthony Wilson, four friends are enjoying the peace and quiet to do a bit of fishing, and to gaze out to sea. There are lots of great details from the curvy whitecapped made from a variety of unique parts to the old truck and the weathered boat. But my favorite part is the rocky shore, which uses some long sloped parts more often used in spaceships.
When I look at this dilapidated cyborg creation by Anthony Wilson My first reaction is to feel sorry it, as it seems to have sprung a leak, spilling ooze out of its chest. Until I take a closer look at the tank on its back and see some poor creature wriggling around inside. In any case, I love the many gears cobbled together to form the torso and the gangly, mismatched arms.
February is over, and LEGO builders who participated in the month-long building challenge known as Febrovery even got a bonus day with this leap year. Several rovers have been featured here on TBB this month, but this open-topped model by Anthony Wilson instantly caught my eye, mostly with the presence of something not usually seen in space exploration vehicles, a tree, and a very nicely sculpted one at that. I would say this tree-topped rover was a breath of fresh air.
If you feel a longing for vibrant colors, piece, and quite, try spending a day at Anthony Wilson‘s underwater lab. Built for fundamental marine research, this facility looks like a proper resort: huge windows, glass tunnels, and out-of-this-world species diversity right in front of you. I bet this place was engineered by those escaping anything happening above the water. It took me at least a couple of minutes to spot all the different fish captured in this build. I must admit, now I feel a lot calmer and happier.
When I think of castles, I usually think of a grey structure, especially when the castle is built from LEGO bricks. There are only so many LEGO colors that look like stone, after all. Perhaps something tan would work, or black if the castle is for bad guys. And then comes Anthony Wilson, building a castle out of red and dark red. Those aren’t stone colors! What could he be thinking? It is called outside the box, I believe, and sometimes it even works. Given the Ninjago figures with multi-tailed canines and the transparent blue crystals, the red creates a beautiful fantasy atmosphere.
I’ve always admired builders who can do excellent round towers, and this is no exception. Someday I’ll have enough 1×1 round bricks to play like a big kid, too. The variation in colors is just right, and a 1×2 plate here and there creates a refreshing change in textures from the smooth 1×2 tiles. Don’t miss the stud shooters serving as broken crenelations at the top, or the wheel arch over the window. The slick round black base ties it all together and makes the presentation oh-so-sharp. Almost as sharp as those magical crystals look…Almost.
I’ve been a fan of LEGO’s Bionicle for a long time. I came out of my dark age just as the theme was launching in the US back in 2001, and they were some of the first sets I bought. When the line came to an end a decade later, LEGO fans kept the theme going strong with tons of unique creations. Anthony Wilson is among those builders, and their latest offering, Valkyrie: Toa of Lightning, is breathtaking. The base figure has a strong color theme in white and purple, with a brick-built mask. Quality building techniques are at play throughout the model, my favorite being the small offsets created in the armor on the thighs. (The unique shaping of headlight bricks allows for the gap.) There is also a lot of great part usage, including tricycle frames in the hips, worm gears on the legs and forearms, and even a zip-line handle in the chest. As impressive as the base figure is, what made me want to write about this model are the lightning effects. A couple of minifigure-accessory magic sparks hint at the awesome discharge happening on the Toa’s right arm. Made up of layers of hero factory armor and weapons, the angular electric effects have an almost liquid quality to them.
The build on the Valkyrie is probably several levels above what LEGO would have released for a kid-friendly set had the line continued. So maybe, just maybe, Bionicle is better off left in the hands of the fans. Oh, who am I kidding. They need to bring this theme back, and soon.
If you are preparing your castle for a siege, you need to stock up on lumber, not just to keep out the cold, but to deprive your enemies of building material for siege engines. You could do this with manual labor, but why bother with that when you have a wizard who can bring the ultimate lumberjack to life? In this case, the wizard is Anthony Wilson who has built a mighty golem he calls the Tree Feller. And judging from the sparsely wooded scene, he has been earning his moniker. Anthony’s model is a perfect blend of castle building techniques and constraction figure sculpting. I especially like the arrowslit/visor, and the patches of moss throughout the towering hulk. Of further note is the great use of partial minifigs wading through the swamp water.
I’m afraid I missed out on Bionicle almost entirely, as it started getting big right as I faded into my dark ages, and was mostly gone when I came back out of them. It’s a shame, really, since they had some incredible parts and a wide range of colors for those parts. That being said, I have always been a classic LEGO System guy, largely eschewing Technic and the ball-joint-based Constraction style for the old-fashioned stud connections. I usually scroll through photos of LEGO creations and skip past anything Bionicle-related, in fact. But sometimes a creation of that sort is so good, so perfectly balanced and detailed, that I cannot help but admire it. Such is this Toa by Anthony Wilson. The colors pop with the trans-pink in both the crystalline base and the accents of the figure, and the pose as she strides across the base exudes confidence and swagger.
Sweet Mayhem’s starship’s windscreen makes for an excellent shield, ready to deflect any attacks from an enemy. The glinting pink eyes shine out from behind the Matatu mask in a menacing manner that befits her name, Tuyet the Tyrant. The textures of the base, with the spaced-out 2×2 tiles and the greebles beneath, complements the presentation perfectly, but the highlight of the whole build for me is the midriff, so sleekly captured with the shoulder armor piece. It evokes the exposed stomach of so many heroines of nerdy fantasy games and comic books, yet in a way that still says that she’d kill you without a second thought, and easily, too.
Large spaceships get the geeky type quite excited, and we LEGO builders are some of the geekiest. Over the decades, this has lead to a standardized criteria of what qualifies as a large space ship – 100 studs in length. While I do love every large spaceship out there (as the especially geeky type of person I am), I wonder if this criteria has started to impede creativity. With an annual celebration of large LEGO spaceships (also known as SHIPs) every September, the bricks of the world have been concentrated to bring us many elongated spacecraft that quite often measure exactly or just over 100 LEGO studs long. What about bulkier 90 or 80-stud spaceships that so rarely get made? On the other side of the coin, this cultural phenomenon has been a great source of inspiration to builders who may not have otherwise built a big hunk of space metal, not even a medium sized one! Another point is that this common perception of what qualifies as “large” is a uniting factor in the community.
The third side of this (apparently three-sided) coin are builds that are basically the definition of an elongated spaceship, but still manage to impress immensely! Anthony Wilson brings us a creation that has some amazing textures, negative space and colour blocking. What I love most about Anthony’s Pelicon-3 is the bridge area, with windows on either side, revealing a busy interior filled with trophy minifigures.
Recently I wrote an article that mentioned there are a few names that spring to mind when considering LEGO-built characters. Another one of these prolific builders is Anthony Wilson. His newest creation is Aquasaurus, an impeccable display of form and function working so well together, that it hurts my head.
His incredible use of colour is always refreshing to see. This build harks back to the colour palate exclusively used for the Arctic City and Town sets, which I have always enjoyed. Relatedly, one thing that separates this from the pack, are those excellent gill fins, set in the ever-elusive teal. Though not made of many pieces in this elegant creature, the contrast it creates is brilliant. In a creation of such scale, articulation can also be a challenge to hide and keep functional. Wilsons subtle use of colour specific Bionicle parts, achieves this flawlessly, giving the limbs of this creature an exceptional pose. I find myself wondering how much this beast would weigh, as his use of balance on that black pillar is great, leaving only a tiny footprint of a base below.
For another look at Anthony Wilson’s beautiful use of colour, check out his Western Woods.