Builder Jayfa is a Bionicle- and constraction-system whiz, and one of his latest technological terrors is this bone beast from the beyond. The skeleton dragon employs rows upon rows of tiny teeth for the vertebrae, and a marvelously sculpted head using largely classic System bricks perfectly incorporated into the constraction elements in the body. The aggressive pose helps bring the beast to life (or should that be undeath?), and Jayfa notes that it took a few revisions to get the creature to stand without supports, strengthening the legs and adjusting the balance.
After a hard day breathing fire and scaring unsuspecting villagers, even dragons need a little down time. Anthony Wilson has built one of the most distinguished, chilled-out dragons I have ever seen. In his relaxed position, this dragon is able to effortlessly enjoy a cup of tea without disturbing those fine Magenta wings and the floral decorations in his ‘hair’. I particularly love the use of the lime Gresh helmet for the dragon’s flared nostrils and Corroder Claws to form the head shape.
A closer look at the relaxed dragon shows that he likes nothing better than a Jammie Dodger to dip into his cup of tea. Milk and no sugar please, he’s looking after that fine figure. I love the cute little teapot suspended from the tip of the dragon’s tail, while the cup and saucer really look the part.
Where is this bizarre LEGO creature heading and what does he hope to find once he gets there? Only builder Vince Toulouse knows. Described simply as “the pilgrim,” this alien creature is terrifying, elegant, and beautiful all at the same time. While the overall design is rather simple, it’s the details and unusual parts choices that really elevate this creation.
You can check out more photos on Flickr
When you think it can’t get any worse, sometimes life likes to surprise you. Such is the case with this band of pirates as Dwalin Forkbeard tells us: The pirates have survived an unfortunate battle with an Imperial ship, only to be attacked by an ancient sea monster. They are doing everything they can to escape, going as far as blowing into the sail, but will that be enough? Judging by the skeleton on the animal’s back, they do not even have to be eaten to meet a tragic end.
While the textures are somewhat simple, the inner construction of the creature has to be impressive to achieve the smooth, rounded shaping. The segment on the back resembling a small island is a common theme with sea monsters, but I have never seen it done in LEGO before, and a conservative amount of seashells and other sea animals spread across the monster really gives it a realistic impression. While the whale (or is it a fish? Is it any of that, even?) is obviously the focal point and the best part of the build, its surroundings help, too — the raft is positioned so that it gives a feeling of action and the water spilling off the diorama looks just so dynamic.
Possessed by the fever to follow the call of the wild, this magnificent tiger stops by the water to drink, or possibly to bathe as one of the few cats who actually likes water. Tigers are actually often portrayed in LEGO and we have even featured some in the past. There is something about the tiger that makes it ideal for a great builder to show off their skills — the shape itself is somewhat difficult to capture, but getting the colours right is a whole new level of difficulty. Simon NH did not let that discourage him and has created one of the best LEGO tigers I have seen so far.
The shape is achieved with plates and wedges set up at different angles and some exotic parts rounding off the edges. The fur on the chin and the rounding on the back are especially good. The cat itself is great, but Simon did not stop there. Any good tiger needs a good jungle to go along with it — and what a good jungle Simon has made! The plant life is unique and the ground colours and textures flow very nicely. But my favourite part, except for the build’s focal point — the tiger, obviously — is the water, which uses many colours we do not associate immediately with water in LEGO, but somehow it looks distinctly like it.
The Rainbow Lorikeet is a species of parrot found in Australia — unmistakable with its bright red beak and colourful plumage. Gabriel Thomson has built this fantastic LEGO rendition, complete with a tree branch to perch upon, and a little avian friend, a Superb Wren. I love the bright blue plumage of the Wren, a display of colour designed to attract the ladies in real life. Both birds have been well-shaped to give an accurate, natural appearance — no mean feat with plastic bricks instead of feathers.
If you want to see this model ‘in the brick’, it is on display in LEGO House — the new LEGO experience over in Billund, Denmark.
Crows are often attributed ominous and intimidating characteristics, but interestingly enough, this one by John Cheng would have none of that. While the head seems a bit large, the beak leaves no question as to what bird this build represents. John uses just enough specialized parts to give a clever build, while still incorporating lots of more traditional slopes. For a seemingly simple creation, the builder has achieved plenty of character and realism.
Red, who is at his best creating characters with uncommon Bionicle and Hero Factory pieces, presents a very charismatic figure of a space smuggler. Large insectile eyes and a pair of antennae is all you need to create a very vivid image of an anthropomorphic fly. One moment you put it in some bright armour and give it a gun, the next it is already smuggling goods!
Beasts from Bricks: Amazing LEGO Designs for Animals from Around the World is the latest LEGO instructional book from Quarry Books, authored by LEGO artist and designer Ekow Nimako. This is the second book in the series following Birds from Bricks. The 144-page book presents illustrated step-by-step instructions to build 15 animals from around the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, Antarctica, Oceania, Central/South America, the Caribbean, and North America. Each set of instructions includes a couple of paragraphs of information about the animal’s characteristics and habitat. Also included is a bonus gallery of Ekow Nimako’s more complex, large-scale animal designs.
I am not sure whether Kai NRG lives in the southern hemisphere or not, but spring is starting for some people out there and this creation of a mother bird feeding its baby definitely captures the feelings of the season.
Kai says the bird is some sort of lark, but he could not get the colours of the feathers accurate enough. There are some interesting part usages in the baby bird, but even more so the elephant tail/trunk pieces used as the nest (a requirement for the ABS building contest, for which this creation was built). I have mixed feelings about the tree though. On one hand, the leaves are, understandably, not perfect and the textures may be a bit too intense. On the other hand though, the very idea of building a segment of a tree in 1:1 scale and the complex shaping and angles involved are very impressive.
Although the scarlet macaw is native to the humid evergreen forests of tropical South America, you may wish to take this opportunity to have your own as a desktop pet. There are definite advantages to owning the LEGO version designed by British builder Alan Mann; it will be a low maintenance and looks pretty without requiring too much grooming or feeding.
Alan has also provided an opportunity to enjoy the scarlet macaw in its natural habitat. The wild, open space of the forest is a much better place to see a real macaw, but your LEGO macaw will regress into a statue-like state and refuse to fly if released into the wild.
I’ve always wondered about birds of the same family and their natural talents. A distinct difference between a parrot and a cockatoo are their capabilities of speech – cockatoos aren’t as skilled in that department as their colorful cousins. This brick-built perched cockatoo by Alanboar Cheung looks deceptively simple, but with the added twist of using LEGO brick separators for its feathery crest. It just goes to show that as long as there’s a stud exposed, a connection will find its way. I really like how they can also be raised as a surprised cockatoo would react.