A step into the portal should have been the beginning of an adventure on another world. Instead, it was the expedition into a nightmare. Or at least that’s what builder Bart de Dobbelaer would have you believe with his newest LEGO model.
Not only are these intrepid explorers unaware of the monstrosity behind them, but they’re also in the dark about the fabulous building job on Bart’s creation! This landscape is truly unearthly, with black spiky plants pushing their way out of the ground and forgotten stone arches pointing to dangers left and right. The monster itself is a clever use of ancient Bionicle pieces. I like the wheels around the eye sockets as a gruesome bone-like skeletal superstructure. Very frightening. Very cool.
LEGO creations are true to the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” in that they can tell amazing stories without any text. And even though Bart De Dobbelaer has provided a story alongside his creation, this one can speak for itself.
The backdrop of rusty and grimy metal – effortlessly conveyed with simple colour choices (dark grey metal, dark orange rust, and sand green algae) – tells you a lot about where we find ourselves. This isn’t a peaceful, pristine repair shop. No, it’s a rough and tough place. Those walls have seen some stuff. The bold colour choices extend to the numerous bots as well, with their rusty metal frames being complimented by a smorgasbord of fun parts usages in red and yellow. If you’re a LEGO parts monkey like me, you’ll have a heck of a fun time trying to identify everything used to build these bots. Lost in the chaos is the titular repairman himself, doing what he can to strap these bots together and keep them running. While I have hope he can fix some of these robot folks up, the story might not have a happy ending for all of them, as the smattering of loose yellow and red parts tell the story of those bots that didn’t make it to the party.
We all know Mike Wazowski as Sulley’s best friend and working partner at Monsters, Inc.. He supports Sulley about being the number one scarer. But if it were up to Bart de Dobbelaer, Mike Wazowski would have looked a bit more like a number one scarer himself. Bart based this LEGO creation on the art of Austen Mengler and I have to say, this Mike looks ready to collect some serious screams! Although this creation looks quite small, in reality it must be quite big. Mike’s iconic eye is made of hot air balloon parts which means there is an entire hot air balloon hidden inside this figure.
When humanity finally makes it out into the farthest reaches of space and potentially finds extraterrestrial life, it’s doubtful it would look much like the lifeforms we know. And this alien world scene by LEGO builder Bart De Dobbelaer looks the part perfectly with a thick growth of…something. Plus, with its moody lighting, striking colors, and ominous planetary body in the background, the scene is highly atmospheric (so much so that the explorers don’t have their helmets on!). The large, scattered dark blue slopes make an interesting texture that’s reminiscent of broken shale. Look closely and you’ll spot lots of cool parts being used, but my favorites are the clear rings from Clickits on the alien growth.
There are very few LEGO builders whose creations give me the chills, but Bart De Dobbelaer is definitely one of them. Intruder Alert is where we see all of Bart’s photography, editing, and building skills combine into one work of art and the result is haunting… and gorgeous. My eye is immediately drawn to the silhouettes of the unidentified intruders, poised and ready. The walls are decked out with greebles and ominous neon lights have been cast to really set the atmosphere. The ribbed hoses running across the length of the floor, several of which are slightly bent, add to the realism of this scene. According to Bart, we’re looking at his entire light bluish gray collection greebled on the walls of this passageway. The spikes on the armed intruders, the textures on the floor and walls, and the curvature of the entrance all work in harmony.
Got your favorite sci-fi soundtrack playing in your head? Then you’re ready to check out some more of Bart’s creations.
This creepy build by Bart De Dobbelaer combines great LEGO part usage with eldritch horror. Or maybe this creature from beyond just wants to borrow a cup of flour. Who are we to judge by appearances? I mean, sure, the mouth full of tentacles ringed by dozens of teeth does seem a bit aggressive. But the multiple claws forming a spiky head of hair might just be a fashion statement. You know, like those DOTs bracelets that ring those not-at-all-evil eyes. The outer frame is pure evil, though. The gold accents may be shiny, but the expert use of brown organic curves of different thicknesses is unsettling in the extreme.
Bart excels at finding just the right balance between craftsmanship and horror. Take a minute to check out some of the other creations that we’ve featured.
Bart de Dobbelaer never ceases to amaze me with his LEGO creations. Ever since his ‘The Life Aquatic With Clumsy Pete’ series, he has been making one astounding creation after another. First Contact is no exception to this. It features an out of this world landscape with a spaceship in a colour scheme that will send you on a trip down memory lane. The space crew is carefully conducting their work without noticing that their presence hasn’t gone unnoticed. Bart is a master at building alien creatures from obscure LEGO parts. He always manages to use the parts that I am never able to think of a good use for.
There’s been a slew of stunning LEGO builds recently that is based on the work of conceptual artists and I, for one, am thrilled. My case in point; this neat creation by Bart De Dobbelaer is called Containment Breach and is inspired by the work of Francesco Lorenzetti. Here is the specific reference material. Bart makes great use of color and composition to replicate the unsettling feel of Francesco’s piece. The fearsome red creature is nestled in the shadows and stands out in stark contrast against gray, white, and black. As one commenter on his Flickr stream puts it, “This is classic Bart” and well…I have to agree. Here’s another recent creation by Bart to show you what they mean.
Builder Bart De Dobbelaer gives me the vibe of an artist similar to H.R. Giger, with imaginative creations that are out of this world — alien forms that raise the hair on the back of your neck. This scene seems to be the breeding ground of a mother alien, spawning her offspring and preparing to infest and attack in search of their next meal.
I’m not sure who’s actually going to be the next meal though, the hunter or the hunted? It seems so awkward, because the tables have been turned and now the egg-filled mother alien is a delicacy on her own.