Frequently featured for his impressive LEGO train builds, Pieter Post comes in strong once again, this time tackling the Bavarian D XII locomotive in its natural habitat. Before getting into the train itself, please take a moment and appreciate the German countryside laid out in this impressive scene. The impressive mix of fields, brambles, and reedy water leads to a carefully constructed incline topped with the train tracks. Building this hill at a bevel along the track’s curve, and with a clean slope of pieces merging the angled plates into the hill’s underside, the whole ordeal is impeccably clean! And make sure to give the scene a hard look to appreciate all the brick-built wildlife populating the scene, as well as the stud-reversal technique Peter used to make that gorgeous bridge.
But as in all of Peter’s scenes, the train is the real star of the show. You’ll have to forgive me for not knowing all the lingo, for I’m no LEGO ferroequinologist. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the form of a well-recreated locomotive. Clad mainly in black, this engine sports highlights in gold, with a set of brown and red-paneled water tanks on either side of the boiler. I always appreciate Peter’s detail to the undercarriage: a symphony of bars, clips, and minifig accessories perfectly replicating the real thing.
Any good engineer will tell you that scale models are a great way to test out grand ideas in a safer and cheaper environment. For some LEGO builders, though, scale models are just an excuse to flex your engineering muscles. This bridge by Clemens Schneider is a great little microscale build in its own right. It’s an attractive design with some nifty microscale vehicles, including what appears to be a police chase! What I am most impressed by however is the engineering behind it, which was meticulously planned out.
The valley and the gentle curve of the bridge are already accomplished by bending rows of bricks, exploiting the tolerances that are built in to LEGO bricks. But those flex tubes aren’t just for show! They actually work as a real cable-stayed bridge would. The schematic below shows some of Clemens’ thinking for this clever little build. The outer pair of cables are tensioned together with string (yes, it’s LEGO string), and the tension which can be adjusted to slightly alter the shape of the bridge. The green links have metal train axles in them (still LEGO!), the friction of which further helps to support the bridge. I’m seriously impressed by the thought that went into this!
There is something about pretty sunsets that make people want to take pictures of them. Same apparently goes for LEGO sunsets. This build by gGh0st features a wooden bridge that is covered in tree branches. In my humble imagination this bridge connects the village to the castle. On it we can see a lot of villagers trading and selling their goods. We can spot a baker, a guard, a troubadour and several customers. Apparently the livestock are allowed to walk the not enclosed bridge freely, which to me sounds like asking for trouble, but apparently for these people it works.
If you look closely at the rocks forming the mountains on which both the castle and the village are built, you’ll notice that it is a mumbo jumbo of different pieces. I have no idea how they are connected but it looks amazing. There even are little vines creeping between the rocks. You’ll notice these a lot better when you take a look at the midday picture of this creation. If you take a closer look at the background of the creation you’ll notice more rocks at the bottom of the picture and these rocks are formed out of loose unconnected LEGO bricks which is an easy yet very convincing method to make a rocky background. Not everything has to be a hassle.
It’s good versus evil in this LEGO ninja encounter by prolific builder Andreas Lenander. The rock work and attached vegetation has so much of that craggily goodness, setting an excellent scene for this showdown. The spindly trees, shaped primarily by flexible brown tubing is quite excellent! I appreciate the structural similarities of the large and small saplings; not an easy feat with these plastic bricks. But the star of this build is that awesome bridge technique. Relying heavily on connections not sanctioned by LEGO, the clips and bars forming this simple arch provide an even, repeatable texture that feels unique and yet still at home with the torii and the shrine at opposite ends.
Microscale LEGO builds can either be the most beautiful or the wonkiest creations out there. Builder Gilles de Crombrugghe pulled all the stops when it came to creating this gorgeous jungle temple scene, from nice piece usage to clever techniques. The choices he made helped create an engrossing, detailed, and realistic scene that feels like an Indiana Jones version of Polly Pocket. Opposing orientations for bricks help create the smooth blue outline of the pool of water. Headlight bricks in the base help attach the waterfalls which cascade serenely to clouds of mist made of ice cream and popcorn pieces. Brown Technic chainlinks make for a wonderful rope bridge with plenty of rickety slack. Steep, stony islands of meticulously sculpted slopes and modified tiles rise from the water, isolating the long-forgotten sacred grounds. At least, until the research team found their way there.
Ralf Langer tells us that he has built a LEGO version of the Rakotzbrücke in Germany and I was like; yep, you totally pulled that off nicely, dude. It looks just like it! Pretending I knew what I was talking about lasted nearly five seconds before I turned to Google to figure out; what the heck is a Rakotzbrücke? It turns out it’s a man-made bridge that was built over a lake in Kromalu Park. The arched bridge is designed to create a perfect circle when it reflects in the still waters below. It’s also known as the Devil’s Bridge due to the belief that the magical circle must be the hands of the devil. Oh, cool! Now we all know something. I’m loving the dark still water and the overall dreadful mood of this eerie creation.
It’s no secret that the elves of the North Pole are some of the world’s most proficient toy makers. But not every elf can devote themselves to the craft. To keep an operation like the North Pole running smoothly, you need elves devoted to all kinds of other disciplines. Lepralego is paying homage to the hardworking elves behind-the-scenes with this magical village build. This bridge is where North Poleians can come for some wonderful fresh baked goods, reindeer supplies, and even a stylish beard trimming. Or, they can spend their days off ice skating on the frozen river. The detailed stone work of the bridge and playful tilt of the shops’ roofs would make this feel right at home among LEGO’s official winter village offerings.
A few episodes into The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime and fans of the original series by Robert Jordan have already sounded off about what’s disappointed them. Being outside that group but familiar with the disappointment a book-to-film/series adaptation can bring, I can understand a few of their points. Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve seen so far. Pacing and casting choices aside, the series has inspired fans of the series and LEGO to create their versions of its iconic moments and places. Builder Douglas Hughes brings us the second in a series of scenes he’s contributed to a Randland-inspired collaboration. Here he’s created his own version of Whitebridge in Andor. Or should I say the White Bridge? Both, I guess, so take a moment to appreciate all those detailed and ornate buildings rising up to match the height of the bridge.
I recall going to LEGO World in Utrecht with my uncle to just look at some of the awesome builds created by the attendees. Every once and a while, you’d stumble upon a LEGO creation that you spotted before online. It never ceases to amaze me that you can still spend a good amount of time looking at a creation in the brick even though you thoroughly analyzed it online months prior. Bridgetown by Markus Rollbühler is one of those builds I’d just love to see in real life. This creation is quite massive. The rocks and pillars at the base are not just there to support the small town on top of them. They are quite detailed and actually little works of art themselves. Building a tower out of curved slopes will always impress me. These round pillars even contain windows with a lovely detailed window canopy and a flower-filled windowsill.
As if that is not enough, each of the town’s houses is a standout itself. We get a hexagonal tower with a dome top of which I have no idea how it is constructed. We get a church with a brick-built clock dial. There are even cordless electric drills incorporated in the roof of the church. The corners of the building are rounded off, which adds a nice touch to the church. On the rim of the city, there are two Tudor-style houses. The one on the left uses treasure chest lids for the woodwork. On the one on the right macaroni tiles are used. I could go on for hours about this one, but I think you should just zoom in and explore all the lovely details and techniques for yourself.
I’ll be honest with you, Ninjago was never really my cup of tea until LEGO produced the Ninjago City line. The best thing about these sets is builders like Wochenender using their imaginations and expanding their Ninjago Cities. This Ninjago City Temple is exactly what every Ninjago City inhabitant needs to get away from the busy city life. I love the use of different shades of plates underneath the trans light blue tiles to represent the depth of the water varying at places. A special mention needs to go out for the use of the candle to represent cattails. These water grass plants get the LEGO treatment quite often. Most of the time, a 1×1 round or a 1×1 cone part are used to represent the ‘corn dog’ looking flower. Seeing a different part fulfill this purpose is quite nice.