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.
Sven is not a stranger to building birds. Back in June he produced a pretty epic toucan. You could even build your very own cuckoo clock bird using Sven’s excellent instructions!
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!
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!
There are some builders that we can’t help but showcase again and again. These are the incredible artists that somehow manage to consistently produce one beautiful build after another. One such builder, Felix Jaensch, is at it again. His LEGO animals are always superb, and stand as frozen replicas of their real-life counterparts. This handsome male kestrel is certainly no exception. He shares a remarkable, regal resemblance to the real bird, only slightly larger to capture the detail.
Kestrels are very unique predators. At least in the US, they have sometimes been mistakenly called “sparrow hawks” for their size. But these little birds are not hawks at all. They have the distinct “tear” marks and notched beaks of the falcon family. They also hunt and dispatch their prey with their beaks instead of their feet. One unique thing about kestrels is that they hover-hunt. Which means their wings are specially designed to fly almost stationary, less than 80 feet off the ground. Then they dive at their prey. Also, they can see the ultraviolet glow of vole urine, which is left in trails through fields. Additionally, males and females are dimorphic, meaning that they look different from each other. Males are smaller and more colorful, while females are larger and more neutral.
I have actually had the lucky opportunity to work closely with a mated pair of these magnificent little birds, Simba and Nala. I was captivated by their charm as I helped train them for an Ambassador Animal program at a wildlife rehabilitation center. Unfortunately, both birds were un-releasable due to previous injuries. Simba was missing an eye from hitting a window, and Nala had a bad wing from being attacked by a cat. It’s a stark reminder of our impact on wildlife. You can help by supporting your local wildlife center, putting a bell on your cat, and placing deterrents on/near windows.
Chungpo Cheng, that’s who! You might remember Chungpo’s work from a few weeks ago when we shared his stunning, super-sized Star Wars battle droids. This time, he chose to make big versions of the classic LEGO owl, rat and “cheese slope” elements. In particular, the owl is packed with lots of personality. Those big eyes and upturned eyebrows make Chungpo’s owl look warm and approachable. I almost want to hand-feed the little guy some birdseed!
Chungpo has sculpted an excellent likeness of the original owl piece. He has even photographed the two side-by-side for comparison. Continue reading