Are you here for massive castles, mechs and spaceships? Well hang on there, Sonny Jim, you’ll still get plenty of that. But sometimes you have to stop to appreciate the smaller things, like this iBird built by Dicky Laban. This tiny fellow is comprised of under 30 pieces and is a robotic bird inspired by the cassowary, which is a dinosaur-like bird that lives in the tropical forests of New Guinea, East Nusa Tenggara, the Maluku Islands, and Northeastern Australia. See, we have robots, dinosaurs and birds in one post; all three can be just as cool as castles, mechs, and spaceships any day. Aren’t you glad you stopped in? We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.
There is an ancient manner of hunting that involves the use of a trained hawk to catch the prey. Few now practice such an art, but LEGO builder Hongjun Youn has created one such hunter, who is perhaps one of the two left in Korea, the builder’s home country. Shown with his hawk perched on his shoulder, the pose is regal, the sort of thing you might see in an old National Geographic magazine. What sets this build apart from the crowd is the level of texture, something difficult to do with hard plastic bricks. While the hawk is one of the better ones I have seen at this scale, the best feature is the deeply lined and weathered face of the hawker, implying that he has spent most of his time outside exposed to the elements.
Speaking of the face and the elements, it took me a while to figure out what pieces the builder used. A deep dive into Bricklink revealed them to be a hockey mask from the 2003 Sports theme and another hockey mask flipped upside down; together they make for an impressive and expressive visage. The glorious fur texture around the neck and boot cuffs, as well as the neck feathers of the bird, is accomplished by the use of this armor piece, and the layering of various tattered cloth elements completes the look. All in all, this pair of hunters looks ready to set out into the wilderness and bring back some game.
It never fails, someone builds an animal or another and it always makes me smile. What I like is beginning to become predictable. I hope you can be as enthralled by Marco Gan’s rhinoceros hornbill as I am. The rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros) is the state bird of the Malaysia state of Sarawak as well as the country’s National Bird. This particular cutey is a charming female as her eye is white with red rims made from a small wheel and tire assembly and a radar dish (males would have red with black rims). My favorite part is the tongue made from a snowboard. The hanging spider acts as a reminder that in the jungle, there is always something alive needing to eat. It is clear that Marco cares deeply about the animals of Southeast Asia, as this isn’t the first time he’s delighted us with jungle creatures. Check out these tapirs of his we featured previously.
Here’s a little something different courtesy of aukbricks. This piece of art was created using just twenty elements, ten each in yellow and black. Compared to most LEGO models, there’s not much physical cohesion to this build. In fact, it looks like there are only two pieces actually connected to each other. The image of the bird comes from careful part placement and alignment.
This is a digital render, but it could be replicated in the real world as it uses only existing part/color combinations. I particularly like the use of tentacles for the tail feathers. The bananas that do double duty as claws and as detail in the head are a close second.
There are no limits when it comes to the fantastical creations that can be created from the wide range of LEGO elements. A recent favourite of mine is Jayfa’s model of Rygas the Basilisk. The colour palette is visually striking, and the part selection is outstanding. While it might seem obvious to use a 4×7 wing piece on a bird, it’s rather ingenious to use it as the side of the belly rather that actually on the wing! When it comes to plumage being recreated, other techniques include the connection of a dinosaur tail piece to a small horn and the cacophonic positioning of Hero Factory flame elements.
However, my absolute favourite aspect of this creation is its posture, especially the feet. Not satisfied to duplicate a single design of a foot, Jayfa has designed two separate positions for the feet in a way that really brings the beast to life. It’s not just standing there, but what is it doing? Is it dancing or ready to pounce? Couple that with the look on its face, and I think anyone challenging this monster is in for a bad time.
Who is more curious, the flock of crazy LEGO birds or the bemused kitty? Whatever the answer Morlon Empire’s build has me grinning from ear to ear. Working from a single seed part, in this case a banana that doubles as a beak, he’s created an expressive feathered character. They look fabulous en masse with their necks craning at different angles. Morlon deserves a feather in his cap for creating such an amusing scene from such a simple idea and only a handful of bricks.
For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is finally here. In observance of the season, Jarema has built a small, yet elegant-looking LEGO bird returning from the tropics. It doubles as an excellent case study in how just a few parts can go a long way in modeling a subject that is instantly recognizable. Coupled with the tilted beak, black wings staggered above white wings imply we are birdwatching from beneath the clouds.
Meanwhile, the placement of each element is carefully calculated. Red crowbars make for excellent feet stretched out in flight, and the mechanical arm doubles nicely as a neck. I particularly love how the minifigure epaulette has been used to form the bird’s belly. It looks like it could hold a fish or two!
Last year, the LEGO Group launched an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign for LEGO Forma. With LEGO Forma sets shipping this year, it was only a matter of time until someone incorporated the skins into a custom LEGO model. Aaron Newman took fish fins and turned them into the wings of a colorful, magical bird. If you didn’t know they were from LEGO Forma, you just might think they were made for this build.
Adding further context to the model, Aaron created a scene in which explorers discover the majestic bird. Looking at the team members, at least one can’t handle all the colors.
The wizarding world of J. K. Rowling has been generating quite a lot of interest in the LEGO community recently, in large part thanks to the recent revival of the official Harry Potter LEGO theme. There have been many amazing creations and many contests dedicated to it (such as our own Microscale Magic contest), showing how popular the universe of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts is among LEGO fans. Revan New‘s latest creation is the winning entry to a contest on bricker.ru, the goal of which was to create a magical animal that does not exist in the books and movies, but very well could.
The builder has obviously succeeded in making an animal that looks coherent with the fantasy of J. K. Rowling’s universe, but it is much more than that. The head of the bird is an intense mix of rounded parts representing feathers and the body is full of wedge plates and slopes to get this same effect of feathers and colour patterns. A nice little detail is translucent fins used as tail feathers, giving the bird a truly magical feel. But Revan New does not stop there. He adds a little stand for his wavebird complete with velvet and a magic wand.
You’ll never know when the next wave of creativity will hit your mind. Our good old friend, colleague, and founder of Brickset.com, Huw Millington gave rein to his imagination as he was reviewing the latest LEGO Creator polybag, 30545 Fish Free Builds. Along with an exotic fish shoal Huw even came up with a couple of fancy birds. This grumpy birdie, which has something in common with Zazu from The Lion King, has instantly captured the hearts of the Brothers Brick team.
Now, we suggest our readers to join the fun and build your own version of Huw’s bird! Here is a short building guide for you to start with, but go ahead and build it the way you like it! Put it on a branch of a tropical tree, or make it sing with its beak wide open. And don’t forget to share your creations with us!
This gorgeous and extremely lifelike yellow-crested cockatoo by Timofey Tkachev shows off some expert sculpting techniques. Building a feathered friend from LEGO bricks isn’t easy, especially when you want to capture the variety of textures in its plumage. Timofey has opted for a clever counterpoint between a patchwork of angled slopes for the breast and smooth Technic panels for the wings. In addition, little highlights have been added through the use of specialist elements: a croissant, banana, dinosaur tail and others pieces are all hidden away in the model, each adding to its crisp detailed finish.
I must admit that animals often catch my eye by themselves, but this immersive group of builds by Sven Franic is even better. It’s easily recognizable as Hedwig and a collection of Harry Potter’s possessions. But what impresses me the most is the exceptional attention to detail and unique use of parts. Take the ink-spill or the black hotdog wick on the candlestick, for example.
The conical hat from LEGO Ninjago sets was an excellent way to finish off the handle of the wand. Additionally, the 6-stud shooter and gold wheel were a great solution for the lamp filament. I admire the body-shaping for Hedwig, as it’s not an easy feat to produce nice feathers on a bird looking straight on, let alone from the side.