Tag Archives: Books

New orange spaceman joins the Classic Space LEGO minifigure lineup [News]

The old-school Classic Space astronaut is of the most beloved and iconic minifigures of the last 40 years, and later this year it will be available in orange for the first time. The figure will be an extra in the upcoming new edition of LEGO Minifigure: A Visual History from publisher DK. According to the Amazon UK listing, where it is available for pre-order, it will be available Oct. 1 for £30.00.

Originally available in black, blue, red, white, and yellow, the figure featured prominently in space sets for more than a decade across the 1970s and 80s. Recently, LEGO has been picking up on the nostalgia fans have for the simple spaceman and have been filling in the lineup with additional colors. In 2014 the Ideas set 21109 Exo Suit included a green version, and of course Benny from The LEGO Movie proudly wears an original blue suit. Last year for The LEGO Movie 2, he was joined by two rereleases of the white and yellow space figures, along with another new addition: the pink version, in 70841 Benny’s Space Squad. Now, DK’s new book adds an eighth color to the lineup, bringing us one step closer to having a space minifigure for every occasion.

I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore

I love books. In fact, I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany. Ok, perhaps I was just imagining the mahogany, but I do have lots of books, and some are leather-bound. I don’t own an e-reader of any kind, and hope never to do so, because the magic of holding a book, especially hardcover, is irreplaceable. People give me strange looks when I pick up a used book at a store and give it a sniff and say, “Ah, that’s a proper year 1900 binding…a good vintage.” Builder Lego_nuts must have a soft spot for books, too, because this build evokes the magic of literacy, the opening of portals to adventure. Dorothy looks worried, unsure if she should continue on with the story, but the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man are encouraging her to journey to the next page. Will she go on? Like, seriously, isn’t there a movie version she can watch instead?

“Don’t be afraid, you will have a wonderful adventure!”

The build is beautifully executed, utilizing a clever camera angle to capture the scene on the right-hand page. The foliage and warm lighting from the doorway are stunningly inviting, drawing the viewer deeper into the moment. The left-hand scene is lovely, too, in a bas-relief kind of way, though far fancier than the house that Dorothy is described as living in (if you don’t believe me, read the text on the pages in the picture). I am impressed by the photography and setup that went into this one, making me want to swing from that rope and journey on with my fellow adventurers.

Escape the mecha and spaceships of our society and build a cabin in the woods

Inspired by the book Walden; or Life in the Woods, Andrea Lattanzio escapes from the fast food restaurants and gas stations (and futuristic rovers!) of the modern world into the wilds through his latest build. I wonder if Thoreau, the main character of the aforementioned book, would choose LEGO as his outlet instead of escaping to the wild if he had lived in modern time?

Walden; or, Life in the Woods

The diorama captures everything a self-sufficient cabin in the woods would have (including a bit of the woods). The textures and little imperfections on the cabin capture the hand-crafted appearance very well, most notably the tiles on the roof pressed down only half way and the window with a half-plate offset in its top and bottom halves. The pine trees are done quite well, with leaf elements placed at convincing angles on the central axis. The use of the old tree stump piece adds a lot to the atmosphere, as do the inspired choices of gray homemaker hair part as a stone and brown stud shooters in the dead tree on the right side of the diorama.

The stairs actually move in this incredible LEGO model of Hogwarts

One of the magical aspects of Harry Potter and especially Hogwarts Castle is that ordinarily static things move. Pictures that in my house just hang there, with the people and things in them remaining frozen in time, always the same, in a wizarding house would be full of moving and talking, and even sentient, figures. And while we do have moving staircases in the Muggle world (we call them escalators), they don’t typically abruptly change their destinations; not so in Hogwarts, not so. The trouble is, we have not seen a single good moving staircase or moving picture in any official Harry Potter set. Fortunately for us, Jonas Kramm has filled the void with a brilliant build depicting both. There are innumerable gilt frames filled with magical chaps and dames, plus one of those moving staircases that so befuddled a young Potter and his pals in their early days of school. The moving functions are elegantly integrated and perfectly executed.

Hogwarts Magical Staircase

See the stairs and pictures move below

We all float down here, Georgie!

Our more sensitive readers who suffer from Coulrophobia may want to look away from bbchai‘s latest killer clown creation. Pennywise is here to lure you down to the sewers where you will get cotton candy, and rides, and all sorts of surprises! And balloons too… all colors. I suggest picking the red one.

Pennywise (IT)

While my black heart will always belong to Tim Curry as Pennywise, there is no doubt that the current incarnation is terrifying in ITs own way. This LEGO version is just as frightening and implements some wonderful parts use to create the famous clown’s costume and face. I really like the teeth used to make the frilly collar and the use of the actual minifigure frilly collar as cuffs is smart and clever. I’m also quite fond of the white lipstick pieces as fingers and the interpretation of his oversized forehead utilizing the curved wedge piece. Not to mention those eyes! Jeepers creepers, what scary peepers!

Of course, no IT collection is complete without Georgie. The hapless victim is wonderfully rendered here in his iconic yellow rain slicker. The builder has even included the toy that started the whole mess, the humble paper boat. But does it float? Oh, yes, gentle reader, it floats. And when you’re down there with Pennywise… YOU’LL FLOAT TOO!

Ride now! Ride to Gondor!

The city of Minas Tirith in the realm of Gondor is one of the most iconic locations from Tolkien’s beloved The Lord of the Rings books, and was brought to life perfectly in the film adaptations. Builder Nicola Bozzolan has crafted the capital stronghold in LEGO, and it looks amazing. Using over 7,000 pieces, Nicola spent more than 60 hours making the White Tower nestle just perfectly among the mountains, with its seven-tiered system of defensive walls.

Spreading out on the Pelennor Fields, the curved city is rendered excellently in microscale. High at the top of the central spire of rock is the palace of the kings of Gondor. The emblematic white tree of Gondor is in the central courtyard, with its ancient sweeping branches represented by a LEGO feather.

A warren for the Weasleys, built of more than bricks

This amazing LEGO family home for the Weasleys has been beautifully constructed out of approximately 5000 bricks by the talented team of Martin Latta and Camille Jongy. The Burrow, as its fondly called, is a magical masterpiece of constructed quandaries. This rendition pays excellent homage to the fictional homestead found on the outskirts of Ottery St. Catchpole in Devon, England. It’s the texture work here that really does it for me. The meshing of vertical and horizontal sections throughout gives an unmistakable feeling of the hodge-podge expansion of their family home. Presumably held together by assorted masonry, magic and carpentry, the colour palette used over this impressive build is marvelously apt. The earthy tones and techniques involved in texturing the Burrow are only one side to a plethora of perspectives through you could look at it.

The Burrow

Click here to see more of this magical homestead

This planter will grow on you

Realism in LEGO sculpture is a difficult thing to achieve, and when it’s done right it can be amazing. Barbara Hoel has created a tiny slice of (plant) life that feels very real indeed with Small Planter on Books. The human-scaled books each have their own unique style and size. The variations in the spines make this feel like a real pile of tomes, and not just a repeated build in different colors.

Small Planter on Books

The planter and greenery really are what really caught my eye, though. Seeing a plant that is, perhaps, not the perfect specimen of health is pretty unusual. One side of the plant looks like it’s been kept out of the sun a little too long, while other parts are thriving. Unicorn horns and transparent green ball joints represent new growth. Rare blue capes and technic gears make for some vibrant flowering bodies and buds.

There is a detail view of an alternate build of the planter in Barbara’s photostream. I recommend checking it out for even more great botanical creations.

The being that rises from the abyss

Out beyond the stars there’s a world of terror, and sometimes it comes closer than you might wish, especially if you live in a Lovecraftian tale. Among the worst terrors of that place is the legendary Cthulhu, imagined in LEGO form by Hongjun Youn. A multitude of Bionicle Kalmah masks gives the perfect tentacled element for otherworldly shaping for the head and torso, while Dino tails fill in for the larger tentacles.

Cthulhu

With its uncannily flowing shape, it’s no small wonder losing one’s sanity was the most common reaction to the dread horror.

Cthulhu

This huge LEGO diorama brings Hobbiton to life

The iconic landscape of Hobbiton is a stark contrast to the majority of other locations presented in the stories of J. R. R. Tolkien, and its unique style is quite the popular theme for LEGO builders to tackle. Coming off the tail of a large Middle Earth-themed collaboration, Jake Hansen has joined forces with Cole Blood in what I hope is not the “Last Alliance”.

Hobbiton

The large scale of the diorama–16 32×32 baseplates, or about 11 square feet–really brings the best out of the rolling hills made of stacked plates. Continue reading

A spellbinding tour of Dumbledore’s office

“It was a large and beautiful circular room, full of funny little noises. A number of curious silver instruments stood on spindle-legged tables, whirring and emitting little puffs of smoke.” That’s how J. K. Rowling’s described Dumbledore’s cluttered office, and it’s the sort of evocative prose that gets the LEGO builder’s creative juices flowing. Jonas Kramm certainly seems inspired, creating this amazing model for TBB’s Microscale Magic contest. It’s a detail-perfect build: there’s the sorting hat on its shelf, and there’s a tellurium that cleverly utilises a microphone element, and over here a magnificent orb represented by a Bionicle Zamor. The crowning accomplishment has to be Fawkes the Phoenix, whose feathers are inspirationally shaped from plume and mechanical claw pieces to great effect.
Dumbledore's Office


This LEGO model was built as an entry for TBB’s Microscale Magic contest. Coverage on TBB of an entry will not be taken into consideration during judging, and will have no effect on its ability to win, either positively or negatively.

The two staves — awesome life-size LEGO prop replicas from The Lord of the Rings

Staves may be little more than glorified sticks, but they have managed to work their way into the very heart of fantasy symbols. Some of the most famous examples are found in The Lord of the Rings, wielded by some of literature’s most famous wizards. Jon & Catherine Stead have recreated in 1:1 scale a pair of the wizard staves seen in The Lord of the Rings films.

The staff of Saruman the White is a remarkably clean model built around the Star Wars planet elements for the orb. Unless you zoom in, it might be hard to recognize the staff is actually LEGO. This is even more impressive if its mere five hours of build time are taken into account. The builders also share the exact piece count, which is 831 for this particular model, and it measures 91 inches in length.

Saruman's Staff - 1

The staff of Gandalf the Grey is an impressive creation in a completely different way. It is not quite as accurate to its movie representation as Saruman’s staff, but the complexity of the source material makes its recreation a much more impressive achievement. The spiraled headpiece is created using multiple arch elements wrapping around the shaft. The build was completed in an impressive four hours using 938 bricks. It measures 61 inches in length.

Gandalf's Staff - 1