If intergalactic asteroid mining sounds like an interesting prospect, Scott’s LEGO microscale New Bedlam Mining Hub delivers the goods. According to the builder, the mining colony of New Bedlam earned its name for the lawlessness and chaotic growth that comes with rapid development. Scott’s city fits the part, with foreboding dark towers covering the asteroid’s surface. Thanks to an extensive use of black and trans-neon colored elements, the colony also has all the grittiness of a red-light district in the stars.
If there was ever a “Master of Microscale” it would be Jeff Friesen. As the author of LEGO Micro Cities and builder of our 2017 Creation of the Year, he knows how to pack a big punch in a small space. It’s incredible how he is able to create a whole world on a 20 x 20 stud baseplate. I love this latest piece, a medieval village and castle, for its levels, layout, and lovely parts usage. This time around, Jeff used several flick missiles to help form the lower towers.
I’m also a big fan of Jeff’s consistently perfect color palette. While this one is more simple in terms of colors, it holds true to form in the fact that there is zero monotony. The two-tone base gives it dimension and a slight complexity. If you love this build as much as I do, stay tuned for our review of the book, LEGO Micro Cities. Also, check out our interview with Jeff Friesen about his “Cityscapes” series.
We at TBB always take pleasure in seeing builders take their creations to new heights. Here we have Marcel V. execute on that quite literally, with these structures dubbed “Giap-Towers,” where minifigures and their humble abodes float amongst the clouds. After featuring this floating steampunk cityscape just a few days ago, we loved their simplistic charm and have chosen this to be TBB’s cover photo for October 2018.
Want to see your own LEGO creation featured across TBB social media for a month? Then read the submission guidelines and send us your photo today. Photos that do not meet the submission guidelines will not be considered, and will be removed from the group.
With all the clamour online surrounding LEGO’s new Betrayal at Cloud City set, it’s great to see a builder with a very different take on life in the sky. Marcel V has taken inspiration from the super-talented anime illustrator Chong Fei Giap, famed for his sprawling cityscapes. Wonderfully photographed with the nimbus mist swirling around the towers’ stilts and only a cable car system to get around, the model really captures an other-worldly quality. Still, the mind boggles as to how the inhabitants pin their clothes to the precariously hung washing line–I hope they have a good pulley system! Marcel plans to take the model to the Skaerbaek LEGO fan weekend in Denmark next month; for those of us who are not lucky enough to attend, you can still check out detailed images of each of the balanced abodes on his Flickr stream.
If you’re traveling through Northern Italy, you might encounter the picturesque city of Lecco. In his latest masterpiece, “Memories of Lecco”, Dario Minisini chose to model a representation of the city’s renowned waterfront architecture. I really enjoy the overall composition of this model, which has made an excellent use of color. The brown and lavender buildings make for an excellent contrast to one another, and the mixing of old light yellowish-gray and light blueish-gray bricks creates a vintage-looking patina that feels authentic.
There is certainly no shortage of charm here. What makes Dario’s model so memorable is the amount of thought and effort that went into incorporating so much detail. A look at the tree with half its leaves missing suggests Fall must be right around the corner. Weathered-looking roof shingles are made possible with parts such as the boat oar, and the benches utilize classic Fabuland fences to great effect.
We singled out Jeff Friesen’s Cityscapes as our 2017 Creation of the Year. If you’ve missed it then, these are still very much worth a look, and even if you’ve seen them, they’re so mesmerising that you may find something you missed earlier on. It’s almost soothing and appealing to let your eyes wander around these intricate builds.
We could not resist reaching out to have a deeper discussion with Jeff to understand the mind of an artist that could create something so different and unique with the very same bricks all of us see and build with every day.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, e.g. where are you based, your LEGO history, and your work (LEGO/Photography and real life if it is different)?
I’m an award-winning photographer based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, which is on Vancouver Island. I have vivid memories of playing with LEGO from the age of 3 (that was in the early 1970s). I had a shoebox full of white and red bricks in the classic sizes, mostly 2 x 4s. Those bricks were used to make everything from aeroplanes to cities to double-decker car ferries for Matchbox racers. Recently, I was wondering why the brick selection was only red and white. After doing some research it appears the bricks must have been a hand-me-down set from the 1960s. Back then LEGO used to have basic building sets in just red and white.
The late 1970s brought with it the dual treasures of minifigures and Space LEGO. I essentially lived in a Space LEGO drama for a few years. Blue, trans-yellow, and grey were the primary colours of that era. As a child, the actual LEGO building is just the beginning of the fun, and then you get to play with what you’ve made. As an adult, I’ve replaced the play phase with photography.
It’s amazing how LEGO has been there through every stage of life, and now my daughter’s life.