It’s a tribute to the enduring power of certain images that I cannot hear the word “cowbell” without thinking of Blue Öyster Cult and fevers. And the LEGO minifgure torso looks remarkably like a cowbell, if one ignores the holes where the arms should go; so when I faced the challenge of coming up with creative uses for the part, I just had to build a cow with a cowbell around her neck. The whole time I was building it, I had to resist the idea of scrapping the build and trying to craft a hairy Will Ferrell holding the cowbell instead, and “The Reaper” was playing on repeat in my head. Ever try to build LEGO while dancing around playing air cowbell? It ain’t easy. I snuck in another torso in the barn, and added some of my dad’s old bushes and trees around it for some microscale detail in the background. LEGO is truly a multi-generational toy!
Ah, farms. One hundred percent of us humans eat, but in the United States, less than six percent of the population is involved in growing it. Now, I’m not a farmer, but I did enjoy some tomatoes and peppers from my backyard garden this year, so I feel downright rustic as I type this article on a state-of-the-art laptop with high-speed wifi. But having grown up in the upper Midwest, part of America’s Breadbasket, I feel kinship with this rural LEGO scene by John Snyder. Do I own a tractor? No, but I kind of wish I did. Do I keep chickens? No, but my wife has been insisting that we should. Goats, too, though I don’t think city ordinances would allow them. Maybe someday I’ll have a barn and an awesome windmill to draw up water from the well. Mine probably won’t be made of LEGO shields, though.
Some LEGO builders say that architecture and scenery merely exist to serve as backdrops for cars or trains. Looking at this display built by Andrea Lattanzio, I beg to differ. While the classic first-series Mustang Hardtop is beautiful on its own, the barn behind it is equally delightful. Andrea achieved the barn’s dilapidated look through effective use of brown and dark grey tiles, which are not pressed down all the way. Personally, I find it difficult to ignore the satisfying feeling of pressing two LEGO pieces together but, when they’re tilted just a little and with varying degrees, the rustic charm is undeniable.
Other highlights include the rusty broken gas pump and an American flag, which is cleverly formed out of plates with clips in such a way that makes it look as if it’s waving in a light breeze. The car itself cannot be overlooked; the lines are sleek and the construction is smooth. Curved slopes on the hood are ideal parts in creating the perfect angle, and the use of clear slopes for the windshield is simple but feels representative of a real Mustang.
What classic car collector or enthusiast wouldn’t flip out to find this car in a barn? Norton74 has put together an instantly recognizable scene in this LEGO creation depicting all the excitement of a treasure hunt.
The farm clutter is wonderfully deliberate and is immediately familiar to anybody who has driven down a country highway on the way from here to there. From the wood piles and crates to the toppled gas pump. And don’t miss the hay stacked up inside the barn. What really sells the narrative is the loosely placed tiles, which add to the barn’s weathered appearance.