You don’t need me to tell you that life can be a wild, wondrous, and sometimes convoluted journey. Daniel Cloward (AKA Dan the Fan), with the help of his friend Julian, has built what might be a LEGO homage to how wild and wonderous a journey his own life has become. I love the odd shapes, whimsical colors, and textures. I also very much enjoy the title of this article, not made up by me, but by Dan. Sometimes whatever happens next is not entirely controlled and maybe we have to just enjoy the journey for now. He tells us the confusing proportions and wacky details are a testament to what may be happening in his own world. We’re a fan of yours, Dan the Fan. You all can be too. Check out our Daniel Cloward archives to make it happen.
Daniel Cloward is no stranger to builds with a storybook sensibility. But his latest creation is one of the most impactful pieces of LEGO storytelling we’ve seen. This ramshackle space is the cloud-based home of a pilot who needs to fix his airplane so he can return down to the world he’s left behind. But the pilot can’t bear to face the people below that he has wronged, and so his plane sits broken and incomplete, as does his life.
There are so many details in this space that speak to the lonely pilot’s state of mind – the pictures of old friends on the wall, maps of places once explored. And there’s a ton of great technique at work here: the arching entrance way, the blend of bars and tiles in the floor, the use of forced perspective. The genesis of this build was an Iron Builder round with antenna base and handle pieces as the seed part. They may not be immediately obvious, but there are plenty of them buried in this build. Try and pick them all out.
Daniel Cloward has constructed this charming winter scene featuring a cottage on a snow-covered hill. This LEGO build has an organic feeling about it, created through the curves in the rounded hill and the sloping angles of the cottage. The use of light purple on the roof is unusual but effective, as it blends in with the background sky. Claws form the leaves of the trees with the white pieces portraying snow steadily dripping off the leaves. It’s probably best to get inside quick and snuggle down by the fire, with a cup of hot chocolate at hand.
Elves seem to have a knack of building their dwellings harmonious with nature in most fantasy stories. Whether it is an ethereal treetop palace or a hidden valley lodging (very specific, I know), elven architecture is one with its surroundings. Books and films such as The Lord of the Rings made this trope popular – which isn’t a bad thing. However, builder Daniel Cloward shows us that sometimes this is not the case.
An elven city sits on coastal cliffs, built from the same stones, as shown by light grey LEGO elements. However, it is abandoned and has been overgrown with trees, shrubs, and other vegetation depicted by various green pieces. Only the white tree with lavender foliage remains of the original elf-nature harmony, as it seems to be part of the original city. The bright colours of that tree stand out from the grey and greens of the rest of the build. This small diorama really shows off the story of nature vs man-made (or elf-made) structures falling to ruin.
Interested in more elves and their architecture? We have some more elven creations for you.
Other than having a dark sense of humor, why would I title an article about this LEGO gas station in such a way? The service station has a well-worn feel. There’s a couple of motorcycles and the patrons there seem friendly enough. But when you take a close look at this creation by Dan the Fan you begin to see several minifig torsos used in creative ways. There are two in gray holding up the shell sign and four in dark gray acting as the base for the water tower. Several more upside-down torsos comprise the trim design of the building while another two in red make up part of the gas pump. My favorite use of the minifig torso however is in the road sign, partially comprising the shape of Texas. Can you spot other uses for the minifig torso? (Other than the ones obviously used as minifig torsos.)