Chinese builder Qian Yj has been producing beautiful architectural models for a few years now, many of which can be found in the TBB archives, including the hexagonal Tianfeng Pagoda and the Sichuan home. The builder’s latest creation is a mammoth tribute to the Wuliang Hall of the sprawling 400-building Xiantong Temple complex in China. “Wuliang” translates to “infinite” or “immeasurable” but we think it measures up quite magnificently.
A prolific LEGO builder who’s graced our pages before, Ted Andes has presented a creation I resonate with at the moment, Winter. I’m typing this from Victoria, Australia, where the frosts and bleak days have been many. This beautiful vignette, a small capture of a snowy morning on the edge of a siheyuan. I can almost feel the stillness in the air.
Andes’ parts use is always exceptional, though not just in obscure part usage. His harness on basic parts to get the maximum effect is outstanding. The bare tree is made from roughly thirteen different pieces, twisted into some outstanding, gnarled forms. See if you can spot them all — can you see any I’ve missed? The river and its edging is also another highlight for me. The 4L trans-light blue bars surrounding some fish is a nice touch, giving the impression of icy cold, rushing water. Having the land predominantly in two colours has also worked elegantly, while the simple touches of trans-clear near the edge of the river have brought it closer to the reality of the camping trips I’ve taken in winter.
In the Chinese city of Wuhan, you can find the 51.4 m Yellow Crane Tower (黄鹤楼). The current iteration of the tower was completed in 1985, but the tower has existed in various forms since at least the year 223. Chinese LEGO fan Smoker Nie (聂汉卿) has built a beautiful replica of the tower, which took a painstaking eight months to design and 1,400 hours to build. It consists of 163,100 pieces and stands at a massive height of 158 cm (≈5.2 ft). This is made all the more impressive by the fact that this is only his second LEGO model. (His first was the Aiwan Ting Pavilion.)
Following the court case against LEPIN in November 2018, the Chinese counterfeiters are back in the news again and, this time, the police are involved. On Tuesday, April 23rd police raided the Shenzhen plant belonging to the notorious manufacturer of imitation LEGO products. Shanghai police orchestrated the raid, which led to four arrests including the leader of LEPIN’s parent company, Meizhi. According to a post on the Shanghai police’s Weibo account, over 200 million RMB (nearly 30 million USD) of LEPIN products were confiscated. This included more than 630,000 finished sets, 200,000 boxes, 200,000 instruction leaflets and manuals, and over 90 production molds.
There has always been something very special about LEGO Seasonal sets. It’s not just the subject matter of the sets, but also their unusual designs and formats that look nothing like regular retail LEGO themes. In 2019, LEGO will be making holidays even more special with a stunning lineup of Chinese Lunar New Year LEGO sets. Although these might be only available in China and the rest of the Asia Pacific region, there’s still an excellent way to take part in these celebrations — the new LEGO BrickHeadz 40354 Dragon Dance Guy brings a festive holiday mood in a very funny format.
Hong Kong’s bustling urban atmosphere is exciting, but sometimes it’s nice to take some time out to relax and enjoy nature. It’s worth hopping on the MTR bound for Lantau Island, where you can visit the quaint fishing village of Tai O. Alanboar Cheung has captured the spirit of Tai O in LEGO-form, right down to the green mountainous landscape behind it. He has included the town’s famous stilted homes, a dragon boat, and the squat-looking sampan boats. One of the sampan even features a traditional Tai O water wedding.
This head-on shot of the display is great for honing in on all the tiny details. Techniques like forced perspective and layering also help maintain the illusion of depth. Take me to Tai O!
LEGO announces region specific sets for the China and Asia Pacific Markets that’s slated to be released from January 1st, 2019 onwards. At the moment, two sets showing events from the festivities related during the Lunar New Year’s celebration are featured. The two sets are scenes celebrating the family dinner on the Eve of Chinese New Year, and the famous Dragon Dance. According to Niels B. Christiansen, Chief Executive Officer of the LEGO Group, this is the first time LEGO has made sets for a specific country or region.
When it comes to building historic Chinese architecture from LEGO bricks, it can prove challenging to capture the sweeping curves of rooftops and ornate details. While we’ve seen builders employ a variety of techniques for this, with his model of the Aiwan Ting Pavilion, Chinese builder Smoker Nie has managed to pull off both the shape and the details in an especially eye-pleasing manner. Aiwan Pavilion is located on Mount Yuelu in the Chinese province of Hunan.
Smoker’s building is an excellent likeness, both inside and out. According to the builder, 12350 LEGO bricks were used in its construction.
Taking us back to Qing Dynasty China, ElviN has built a historically accurate version of the iconic Double Dragon Bridge. The diorama is packed with the comings and goings of day-to-day life: there’s a peasant fishing in the Nanpan River; a platoon of soldiers marshals a criminal across the bridge; whilst at the other end a farmer waits to herd his cattle over to the other side.
LEGO Certified Professional Prince Jiang has created a splendid replica of Dazheng Hall, a historic landmark from the Northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang. Dazheng Hall is the oldest part of the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which was built in 1625 and served as the home of the Qing Dynasty’s first three emperors. Prince Jiang’s model was built to kick off the grand opening of the LEGO Certified Store in Shenyang’s Joy City Shopping Mall.
LEGO has unveiled the next two additions to the Architecture line as the towering 21042 Statue of Liberty and 21041 Great Wall of China. Lady Liberty has 1,685 pieces and will sell for $119.99 USD. The Great Wall has 551 pieces and will sell for $49.99 USD. Both sets will be available June 1.
Get a closer look at the new LEGO Architecture sets
The first Flagship store opened in Disney Resort in Shanghai back in May 2016 and was the largest LEGO Brand store in the world back in its opening. 2 years later, The LEGO Group has announced its second store scheduled to open in Autumn (end of the year) at Shanghai ShiMao Festival City in People’s Square located in the heart of the city. The new store is expected to be slightly more than half the size of the Disney Resort Store at 6297 sq feet (585 square meters) over two floors. In comparison, the first store was around 10,764 sq feet spread (1,000 square metres) over two floors.
Last year, the Shanghai Skyline LEGO Architecture skyline was revealed and with this new store in place, it is another stepping stone for LEGO’s growth in China. Read our review of the Shanghai skyline here.