Some may call it a creative rut. I prefer to think of it as “finding my groove.” I had a blast building characters from the TRY Channel, and thought MST3k would be a great theme to continue with. It’s no secret that I’m a huge nerd when it comes to LEGO versions of MST3k things, and when a table-scrap of Tom Servo “just happened”, I knew it was too late to turn back. And, soon enough, Joel and Crow T. Robot had joined him on a stage based on the Season 2(ish) Satellite of Love.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to a LEGO convention, but years ago, after the public went home, there were all sorts of “unsanctioned, after-hours” events for attending adults. Of those, “drunken speed building” was always a fun time. Or at least, I think it was a fun time. I honestly don’t remember a lot of details. Possibly because I was participating in drunken speed builds. Ah, youth. Anyway. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, drunk LEGO building.
Recently, the TRY Channel featured a bunch of Irish comedians getting drunk. Pretty common video topic for them. But immediately afterwards, they challenged the same folks to try their hand at building LEGO sets. I’ve already shared my LEGO-versions of two of the sets of TRYers. Today we finish up the series with Jamie Jay Car and Shannon Keenan‘s attempt to build set 75946 – Hungarian Horntail Triwizard Challenge. Like the other folks in the video, they do their best, but success wasn’t really in the cards for them. Shannon was pretty frustrated with the set from the get go, even “accidentally” tearing up the instruction book. Jamie gave it an honest go, but eventually just gave in to the chaos and started putting stickers all over his face. Good times.
I wanted to bring some new elements to this set of characters. Jamie’s shocked expression meant leaving behind the Mixel eyes I’d been using on everyone else, and going with 2×2 radar dishes. And black hot dogs for his eyebrows, because sometimes 1×2 tiles just aren’t enough. Shannon’s ash-blonde hair was a challenge for me, as no shade of LEGO brick really captured it right. I went through a couple of variations before giving in and ordering the parts I needed in dark tan. The torn instruction booklet is the insert from a Harry Potter collectible mini-figure. Sometimes, sacrifices must be made.
I’m looking forward to an excuse to build more members of the TRY channel in this format. At my age, it’s safer than getting involved in drunken speed builds of my own. Maybe. (When’s the next convention again?)
You know what isn’t supposed to mix? LEGO and booze. But sometimes it does. And wow, can it be a lot of fun to watch. Recently, I shared my tribute to the TRY channel’s drunken LEGO building. It featured one of the three pairs of TRYers who attempted to build sets while smashed out of their gourds. The people I depicted enjoyed my creation, but it didn’t end there. One of the other people in the video, Mary-Claire, asked if I could build her and Lolsy Byrne next. So…here we are.
MC and Lolsy’s attempt at building Yoda’s Hut (75208) didn’t quite go as smoothly, but I think it’s fair to say they had a great time anyway. Even if MC was momentarily confused if their set was from “Sky Wars” or some other franchise… (To be fair, she was really drunk!)
I ran into a couple of challenges in making recognizable likenesses. Lolsy’s nose ring (made from a minifigure gold ring) was difficult to position. Luckily the 2×1 curved slope of her nose has a notch that allowed for the ring to sit on the top of a 1×1 Technic brick built sideways off of her lip. That allowed enough of an offset to have at least almost half of the ring “exposed” below her nose, and flush with the rest of her face.
Mary-Clare’s mouth also gave me a bit of trouble. Eventually I found a combination of 1×2 and 2×2 plates for her lips and a 1×2 rounded plate for her teeth that worked. The mouth assembly is “studs down”, so the connection point on the underside of the 2×2 plate creates a nice suggestion of a tongue…an unexpected but welcome side effect.
I also wanted to add a little something extra to this second build, so I decided to animate a bit of the video. (From about the 6:00 mark). At that point, Lolsy has a few choice things to say to anyone who has a problem with their Star Wars knowledge…click on through to see her LEGO avatar in action!
In these dark times, I find a lot of comfort in watching silly YouTube videos. In heavy rotation for me (builder Chris Doyle) is The TRY Channel. There, a bunch of Irish comedians react to odd foods and activities. It’s really funny. Sometimes the challenges involve a lot of alcohol, and thus feature drunk Irish comedians. This, to me, is even funnier. Imagine my delight then, when TRY released Drunk Irish People Try Building LEGO Sets. I’ll give you a quick recap of the episode: It doesn’t go particularly well for most of them.
Two of the TRYers, though, Dermot Ward and Bláithín de Burca, manage to get through more than two-thirds of the build of the 76119 Batmobile set. I felt really bad for them when time ran out and they had to stop. So, being the sort of person who builds with LEGO myself, I thought I’d make a little alternate-reality ending for the video where they did finish.
This was one of my first times building characters in the likeness of “real people”, as opposed to robots or super-heroes. I think they turned out pretty recognizable. Dermot likes to joke that he has an oversized head, so there are a few extra bricks in his forehead. His mostly-unbuttoned plaid shirt, though, was a real pain at this scale. I used a combination of headlight bricks and 1×1 tiles to get a suggestion of the pattern. Creating a version of Bla had some challenges as well. I used rubber bands for the straps on her top, and digging into my sticker stash to find something to use for the decoration. A pair of chrome grill tiles and some Brickheadz glasses complete her look. I also built a tiny Batmobile, Batman, and Joker. Because context matters.
The best part of this build for me was when the TRYers reacted to it. It’s super gratifying when a bit of fan art gets a big thumbs up from the people depicted in it. And Mary-Claire wants me to work up versions of her and Lolsy next. That sounds like something I’m going to have to…Try. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)
Builder Alex Jones (Orion Pax) has a laser-focused talent to bring our favorite Transformers to life. They not only look great and recognizable in their humanoid form, but it takes skill to also make the same builds look fabulous in their alternate vehicle modes using LEGO bricks. This is not an easy task indeed and would likely take tons of hours of experimentation. These sets of builds feature; Autobots Ironhide, Cosmos, Mirage, and Powerglide each decorated with the unmistakable patterns and prints from the original box designs from the 80s. They certainly don’t make morning cartoons like they used to!
The incredible brick artist LEGO7 has brought these two teenage fools to ABS with perfect articulation. The 90s proved itself as an era of animated comedic satire with the likes of many cartoons, though none poked their finger as hard as Beavis and Butthead. The shaping of each grungy hairpiece is instantly recognisable, as is their position on their much-loved couch. His remarkable ability to construct facial expressions is not lost here either. The use of a pink 1×1 round plate as Beavis’s gum line is so perfectly placed, that I cant help but hear the sniggering laugh coming from these two delinquents. The colour scheme used in their attire has been excellently chosen, showing their worn out AC/DC and Metallica T-shirts. Even the slight twist of each inner leg, brings these two socially inept teens to amazing brick built likeness. All they need now is a decrepit lounge room and some headbanging play features.
To experience some of LEGO7’s other excellent characters, check out his Animal Music Box.
Disney’s Donald Duck recently celebrated his 85th birthday, and his companion Daisy is technically 82 (she was originally introduced in 1937 as Donna Duck). Koen Zwanenburg is just in time for the party with fantastic looking LEGO versions of the beloved pair. Thanks to a variety of curved and angled elements used, the sculpting of each character’s body looks spot-on. Their eyes are particularly expressive and well angled, especially Daisy’s partially closed eyelids. Meanwhile, Bionicle ball and socket joints used as legs look to be just the right size. Donald looks especially happy, with Daisy giving him a birthday kiss.
You can feel the Synergy emanating from this bright and cheerful Jem set by Samuel Hatmaker. You may remember him as the creator of the popular Golden Girls project on LEGO Ideas (It reached 10,000 supporters but failed to pass the review). This time, he has built a complete playset that includes four separate pieces capturing all the glamour, glitter, fashion and fame of the 80’s hit cartoon, Jem & the Holograms.
Sometimes one doesn’t need a proliferation of parts to make something fun and recognizable as Michael Jasper proves with this clever Peanuts scene. Building small can be tricky, especially when trying to represent characters as iconic as these, but Jasper does an admirable job by employing a variety of clever part combinations.
The Schroeder minifig features his classic striped shirt, and his blonde hair is perfectly coiffed. His beloved tiny piano is a simple but effective little build that pairs nicely with the bust of Beethoven. Snoopy is on hand with his best buddy, the enigmatic Woodstock (represented here with just five parts). The Snoopy build deserves closer inspection with its inspired use of a white saucepan to create the body, and the skeleton legs work great as dog paws. A small but mighty build!
Something I’ve always wondered is if both BB-8 and R2-D2 converse in the same droid language. As it turns out, based on the Data Files from Star Wars, it seems that BB-8 speaks a 27th-generation droidspeak — I assume a newer form of communication. This means that BB-8 could be spewing out vulgarities at poor old Artoo and he’d be none the wiser. These two builds by Rui Miguel Anacleto of the two famous droids are some of the best-looking LEGO-built droids that I’ve seen at this scale.
Granted, the dome of R2-D2’s headpiece isn’t quite round, but I like how the detailing is captured by utilising printed parts from the official versions in their individual polybags.
One glance at this amazing LEGO Muppet creation by Andreas Keinbart and I can already hear Beaker frantically meep-meep-meeping. Based on the recurring Veterinarian’s Hospital setting from The Muppet Show, the huge multi-level motorized diorama features many of the beloved Muppet characters in brick form. Up top in the lab are Dr. Bunsen and Beaker, with Sweetums coyly hiding in the back.
Incredibly, many of the characters are animated with LEGO gears and motors. Beaker’s mouth, of course, opens and closes, and Sweetums peaks in then goes back into hiding.
Down below in the operating room are Dr. Bob (aka Rowlf), Nurse Piggy, and Nurse Janice, along with their patients, a rabbit, a chicken, and Baskerville the Hound. Continue reading
The Super Deformed (SD) aesthetic, sometimes better known as Chibi designs, has a unique appeal when representing characters, emphasizing cuteness and innocence. I think it works well with LEGO as a medium, especially when filled with details. Though this pair may not transform into their vehicle forms, these two best buddies Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, are built by Choi Dam Baek (최담백).