Many people seem to have more time on their hands recently, with much of normal life disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. And as a result, contests are popping up out of the woodwork to give LEGO builders some inspiration, whether it’s Reverse Engineering or Alphabet Starfighters. Included in that is one called Style It Up, where the rules dictate color choices and style rather than content. Since the first week’s challenge is to build something with only one color, jnj_bricks went straight to black. As in black panther. Now, if you have ever tried to photograph LEGO, you know it can be a challenge to get the lighting right. When your build is black, it gets about a billion times harder because it reflects everything. Yet this cat is perfectly captured mid-step, standing out against the black foliage.
A lot has gone into the panther, with teeny tiny parts giving it an organic shape. I see flippers, a mohawk, and a cap, to name a few. But minifig arms and gobs of horns for the grass add further details, and the scene as a whole is both dynamic and vibrant, despite being monochrome.
Feel inspired? There is still time to hop over and get some entries in.
Early last year, I wrote an article about a pair of LEGO meerkats and mentioned the species’ vigilance and protectiveness. And it’s true, these little guys are one of the most family-oriented animals in the world. It’s the job of every member to take a fearless rotation as babysitter or sentry, and when there’s danger they act as one “mob” to defend themselves. Quite impressive! When I saw this build by Felix Jaensch, I swore I had seen it before. But maybe that’s just because he’s such an incredible artist of lifelike LEGO art.
While these guys are certainly impressive, I wouldn’t even say this is his best build. We’ve featured many more, including a rabbit, macaque, red panda, hamster, kestrel, and blue and gold macaw.
Can lots of legs get you there faster? One species of centipede is nicknamed the cheetah of the desert, so maybe. I’d like to think that if I had a whole bunch of legs I could rest some while using the others, like the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. Well this LEGO myriapod, built by Vince Toulouse, doesn’t really have that option. Its 36 pairs of Insectoid legs have places to go and people to carry!
To see more creatures with many legs, check out this this little cutie, or this centipede mech. For the bravest, take a look at a mech from your nightmares.
If you ever watched Avatar: The Last Airbender, you probably thought that things like flying bison sounded cool. Because bison are cool, and things that fly are even cooler, right? Or perhaps you loved Fantasia 2000, with the flying humpback whales. Whales don’t fly, but wouldn’t it be neat if they did? Perhaps that was the inspiration Tim Schwalfenberg had, as he created this delightful build of one of the great flying whales of the Eastern Cloud Sea, carrying a passenger who could well be from The Last Airbender based on his looks. Rolled up cloth and vinyl elements make for a nice detail on the back, and I always love seeing barrels made from two half-barrels joined together. Add in a spectacular harness, and you have a creation ready to soar above some lands, gallivanting through some airwaves.
If you are anything like me and were raised watching plenty of Disney movies, your idea of what a fairy looks like is probably skewed towards Tinkerbell. That is, a relatively benign, miniaturized, and heavily sexualized female (big breasts, tiny waist, long legs, etc.) that hangs out in bushes or around flowers. Now, that’s all well and good, I suppose, for those who get their kicks that way, but it leaves out an enormous portion of the realm of Faerie. LEGO builder Alexey Tikhvinsky gets it. Eschewing the dainty feminine for something that reminds me of the Polynesian culture in Moana (I told you I’ve watched plenty of Disney movies), Alexey has created something with wings (like Tink), garbed in plants (also like Tink), and holding a spear (not like Tink). The stormy eyes paint a picture of something definitely not benign if the spear didn’t clue you in first. This is the real Faerie. Don’t mess with it. It isn’t called the Perilous Realm for nothing.
Guys, have you ever seen a Eurasian Pygmy Owl? If you haven’t, you need to look it up because they are one of the most adorable animals on the planet. Between their tiny stature and sweet expressions, these little predators swoop in and snatch your heart. This LEGO version is built by none other than the incredible Eero Okkonen. It’s a slight departure from some of the characters he’s known for, but this bird is just as lovely. How can you resist that little face?
If you’d like to see more owls, check out this fierce flyer and these builds of Hedwig.
Chinese New Year is little more than a week away and, according to the Chinese zodiac, we are entering the Year of the Rat. When it comes to heavenly rodents, Ian Hoy has another cute critter in mind. Of course, I’m talking about the guinea pig! This little guy is beautifully sculpted with angled and curved slopes to capture the adorable chunkiness of domestic itty-bitty piggies. The facial expression is priceless. As for that bit of yellow in his hands, if you thought it might be a morsel of cheese, you would be sadly mistaken. It’s actually yuanbao, a gold ingot that was used as a form of currency in China from the Qin Dynasty through the Qing Dynasty. I wouldn’t mind dropping a few yuanbao myself if it meant this little fellow could join the colorful cast of zodiac animals.
I’m a firm believer in the tried and true mantra, “good things come to those who wait.” While we didn’t know it, we had to wait a full year for this formidable looking fire gorgon built by Andrew Steele; that’s how long it took him to build the beast! It’s no wonder either, because at 1.4 m (4.6 ft) in length the fire gorgon is as big as some children! Building big allows for more detailing, and the sculpting of this creature’s body is phenomenal.
See more of the ferocious fire gorgon.
The premiere season of the Disney+ Star Wars television series, The Mandalorian, has ended, and as with any Star Wars product, it has inspired many, many LEGO fans to create custom models based on the shows vehicles and characters. While I would never admit being tired of seeing more models of the baby who is not Yoda or the Razoecrest, the unsung hero of the show, in my opinion, is the Ugnaught Quiil, and his herd of female blurrgs. It looks like Letranger Absurde agrees, as evidenced by this scene showing Quiil spouting wisdom from his lofty perch.
Can someone help me with a tech question? How do I set the parental controls so that my parents can’t watch Fox News? While The Brothers Brick IT team and I are working that out, I’d like to show you a fox of a different kind. This Kyuubi no Kitsune (Nine-tailed Fox) built by Jessica Farrell is a well-known character in Japanese folklore. Jessica tells us that this magical creature lives for an incredibly long time and grows a new tail for each century of spiritual training and wisdom. Upon gaining its ninth tail, the Kitsune has reached its full powers and its tails may begin to turn golden or white in color. Its natural form is that of an ordinary fox but the powerful Kitsune is able to shape-shift into other forms, particularly that of a beautiful young woman, and get up to all sorts of mischief!
She also tells us that this model is comprised of 4,304 elements and took three weeks to design and build. I am particularly fond of the intricate textured stones and the flowing brook. The entire setting instills a tranquil feeling for me and the Kitsune’s expression exudes wisdom. Now that is a Fox network I would watch!
This wouldn’t be the first time we were enchanted by Jessica’s mythical beings. Check out this dragon and an uncanny walking house.
Woodlice are terrestrial isopods and, among other nicknames, are affectionately known as “roly-poly pill bugs” for their ability to roll into a ball. Though this ability is a natural defense mechanism, Japanese builder Moko drew inspiration from the woodlouse for their latest LEGO mech. Moko’s mech emulates the woodlouse’s segmented body thanks to staggered round shell detail elements, which appeared in black in 2012 Hero Factory sets Black Phantom and Toxic Reapa. This black armor is also reminiscent of the crab-like Garthim from The Dark Crystal.
As an added bonus, Moko’s woodlouse mech rolls into a ball just like the real thing. While the real life woodlouse does this to protect itself, I think it’s safe to say this mechanical critter can also use it for quick getaways. Now, that’s using your exoskeleton!
(With apologies to Prince)
I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, so forgive me if it goes astray. When I saw this MOC I could have sworn it was judgment day. The guy was all golden, there was LEGO lightning everywhere. Transparent yellow radar dishes, you know Matt Goldberg really cared.
Something something……Tonight we’re gonna party with the creepy Eye?
Okay, so maybe the lyrics don’t exactly scan, but being just a little off-kilter seems very appropriate for a review of this creation. The Eye is a mysterious figure that really grabs your attention. A skillful mix of Bionicle, Hero Factory, and System parts combine in way that meshes well, while at the same time feeling like things don’t exactly align correctly for this reality.
Matt built this as a Secret Santa gift. You have to hope the recipient was impressed. Maybe a little frightened. Maybe a bit of both.