Some places are inviting, but this microscale Seaside Shoppe by Halhi141 seems to be a grumpy fellow. Maybe I’m seeing things, but the crossbeams, red awning, and doorway arch make a perfect little face screaming “Go away!” And who puts a store on a remote island anyway? Still, that didn’t keep me from appreciating the excellent LEGO building techniques in play. Check out the minifigure scaled book that forms the roof, and the clever binocular chimney with cattle horn smoke. The landscaping is also worth a closer look, as cherries are used to create some perfect little shrubs. And I really like the curving path made from a animal tail element.
Mircoscale creations, when done right, pack a ton of detail into the tiniest places. Just check our archives for even more tiny goodness!
This month’s cover photo, from Pieter Dennison, is a model of the Dunedin Railway Station in New Zealand. From the tower to the topiary garden, this scene captures all the nuance found in the Dunedin Railway Station, reportedly, one of New Zealand’s most photographed buildings. If you’d like to learn more about this build, read our previous coverage of this LEGO Dunedin Railway Station that Pieter spent five years building.
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I have never been enthralled with steampunk. Maybe it’s because I’m not the biggest fan of the Victorian Era in general, let alone a fantastic version of it filled with steam-driven automatons. Despite that, I can recognize a cool LEGO build when I see it, no matter what era it is from. And that is what this steam-church by Dwalin Forkbeard is. Inspired by a church in Ukraine, this particular one lacks a second tower (due to lack of parts) and the square in front (also due to a shortage of parts), but it looks great just as it is. I love how the smaller chunks of city life are connected to the central build by pipes, linking them together without needing to make a giant plaza. And I do like pipes. I also like seeing the planet half-spheres used for domes. Add in some handcuff ornaments and one amazing gas lamppost, and you have something special. Isn’t that right, old chap?
Builder Pete Strege brings us an architectural marvel with his latest building, The Apple Square Research Center. Lately, I find myself enamored with architectural builds, and this one ranks amongst the best that I’ve seen. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time looking at it and still find new things to be inspired by.
There are many standouts to this model but the overall shape, color scheme, and that gorgeous dome are the aspects that leap out first. The triangular shape of the building itself is a difficult task but the builder meets the challenge admirably. The arched window above the door is beautiful and shows another example of mastery over complicated shapes. The color scheme is rich and detailed, utilizing a limited palette to create a cohesive look without devolving into a mess. The combination of the various brown tones on the building with the dark red and gold accents really shows off the beautiful earth blue and black roof.
Read on to see more about the incredible dome
The new Creator modular comes out January first and, while this is exciting news, the general consensus is that it is rather plain. That would not have been said if this creation by Joshua were the new modular instead. This Dancing Modular is part Dancing House by Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunić, part Krzywy Domek and part funhouse mirror. The dizzying, sweeping windows juxtaposed against curving transparent balconies is a compelling sight to behold, and the garden roof terrace brings a bit of nature to what otherwise might be forboding architectural chaos.
The interior boasts some brightly lit, yet quaint, well-appointed spaces such as this one. Continue reading
LEGO’s new Creator 3-in-1 31105 Toy Shop Town House and its predecessors remind me of a yearly recurring mini-modular theme for a younger target market. This yearly 3-in-1 tradition has always caught my eye in one way or another, simply because it’s a faint reminder of its bigger cousins the ever-popular Creator Expert Modulars, like the recently announced 10270 Bookshop, but without the hefty buy-in cost. This year we get a 554 piece Toy Shop Town House to explore. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for us. The set is expected to retail for 49.99€, and will be available in January.
LEGO geometry typically involves lots of right angles. There’s really only so much you can do with a product that is based on a brick. However, that squareness need not be pejorative and can serve instead as an inspiration to mess with expectations. That is what this temple by Jaap Bijl does. While the building itself is based on the good old ninety degree paradigm, it is set crooked to skew the perception of the creation. Is it being swallowed by sand? Probably. This is likely the perfect example of what happens to a building built on sand, rather than solid rock. Foundations matter, people!
The build uses surprisingly little studs-on-top construction, as the steps are built sideways, most of the facade consists of tiles, and the beautiful blue stripe is being all kinds of SNOTty (or Studs-Not-On-Top-y). Then there is the dome on top, which is also studs-every-which-way. My favorite bit, though, is probably the texture of the tan area between the sections of dark tan and blue stripes, as well as above the doorway; the jumper plates and regular plates make for a very cool look, just like uneven weathered brick. The decay of the structure is lovely, even if the golden-weapon-equipped men guarding it are not.
When building with LEGO, one of the more frustrating things is when the bricks just don’t seem to line up right. Oh, sure, LEGO has amazing interlocking technology built in, and that helps. But when you’re trying to do something fancy with half-stud offsets or SNOT, sometimes those joins are a little less than static. El Barto has taken this pain point and turned it into something lovely with their rendition of the David E. and Stacey L. Goel Center for Theater and Dance at Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH. Built with meticulous attention to detail, the walls use a repetitive mis-alignment to create a zig-zag pattern that matches the textures of the real building. Even better, the whole build sits askew on the display stand, mirroring those interesting angles.
The sides and back of the building also have that great texturing. The rest of the landscaping is also well executed, with brick-built trees and curving walkways.
If you’d like to see it in person, this creation will be on display in the lobby of the Goel Center for the remainder of the academic year. I just wonder if the display table is also at an angle…
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.
Click here to see more of this magical homestead
Once you sample gelato, you won’t look at ice cream the same way anymore! It’s absolutely creamy and delightful, and a little bit goes a long way. Builder Sebastian-Z has taken the famous Italian dessert and given it a LEGO home. The architecture is iconically Italian, complete with an outdoor dining area and tall shuttered windows. Looking through the tall first-floor windows reveals a glimpse of the interior, though the exterior steals the limelight. The lighting in the central courtyard is a nice touch, as is the greenery alongside the building and crawling up its walls.
To be truly appreciated, the building is best viewed from multiple angles. I didn’t notice the sculpture in the courtyard until seeing this composite image. It’s a delicious looking build that will leave you exclaiming, “Buon appetito!”
17th Century Europe was a period rife with change, from feudal powers to the birthing stages of parliament. It also brought with it a decline in houses constructed of wood, giving way to stone and brick-built abodes. Benjamin Calvetti has replicated this style with stunning class, and his English Cottage is jam-packed with lovely details. The continuity in stone work, from the bordering fence line to the walls of the cottage, speak more of the local quarry than they do of a random handful of LEGO bricks.
See more pictures of this quaint cottage, including a fully furnished interior!
This gorgeous piece of LEGO architecture by Andrew Tate is an Art Deco fantasy. Growing up near beach towns as a kid I saw tons of places like this with names like The Dunes, Ocean Vista and The Tides. They were bright, cheerful buildings with tropical color schemes and sun burned beach goers coming in and out. I was fascinated by the various examples of architecture, which ranged from Art Deco design to that of the Atomic 50s.
Get a closer look at this Art Deco architecture