Halloween has barely passed, but holiday themed everything has already arrived in the shops near me. Perhaps the season’s greetings has also prematurely arrived in other spheres as well, such as the LEGO blogosphere! Koen Zwanenburg’s render of a gingerbread LEGO Star Wars dogfight is case in point!
The X-wing starfighter pictured, much like last year’s LEGO employee gift is sweet, but instead of being candy inspired it is the X-wing imagined in the form of gingerbread. The color scheme consists of browns with whites, greys, and some splashes of gum drop and candy cane colors. The TIE fighter on the other hand is a strict snowflake icing and cookie design — no extra sweets for the dark side. Overall, this is a pretty sweet render, and it certainly makes me feel that holiday sense of cheer.
We rarely focus on the piece count when discussing digital builds. Well, it’s not surprising since accumulating a palette of real-life bricks is a lot more challenging than copy-pasting some from a digital library. Nevertheless, designing something mind-blowing always requires a lot of skill and an artistic eye — whether you work digitally or not. I was totally taken aback by a diorama Finn Roberts revealed the other day. Being a result of thorough planning and an enormous amount of designing, this digital masterpiece brings back one of my childhood hobbies — spending hours spying insanely detailed posters from LEGO promo catalogs.
The composition, the focal length, the depth, even the angle — everything seems to be just perfect in this photo. Finn shares that it took him seven months to finish the designs of the facades. And these are just a part of the whole diorama, which weighs in at nearly 12,000 pieces. The crowded alley of the pier fit about 60 minifigure characters; I find a new one each time I look at the image! And if you are not into minifigures, check out these amazing shots of the facades. The longer you look, the more parts you notice that didn’t make into the final shot even though they are still there.
A jack and an ace. In blackjack, this is a winning hand. In the hands of Ivan Martynov? They’re something a bit more scary. The Jack of Clubs, here, is full of twisty organic shapes that lure the eye towards the center of this digitally-created image. There you find that the red highlights are actually a demonic figure (Jack, I presume) entwined into the larger club shape. Is Jack on some sort of throne? Are those wings? Is this a torture rack? Ivan doesn’t give us any firm answers. I have a feeling we wouldn’t like them anyway.
But that’s not the only card in this deck. You also get get the Ace of Diamonds. I’m even less sure what’s going on here. But suddenly I’m very glad that some of these parts don’t exist in our reality. Yet.
Ivan excels at creating nightmares out of digital LEGO. Don’t believe me? Go look at our archives.
Living in Seattle, or in any major port town, for that matter, this scene by ExeSandbox is a familiar sight. What is much more unexpected about this model is the massive scale. Notice the “small” rolling cranes in the foreground are this crane base, which is 16 studs high! Even though this model is a digital render, this in no way diminishes the amount of effort involved in putting this together.
The builder includes a nice surprise detail in the cargo ship’s name, Leg Godt, the Danish phrase “Play Well”, from which LEGO derives its name.
At The Brothers Brick, we tend to like LEGO digital models that adhere to some constraints. In general, the build should be something that would be possible in the real world. Oh, the scale can be huge, the parts gleefully recolored, but it needs to be…possible. But every now and again a creation comes along that breaks the rules in just the right ways. Inspired by a real-world build by Patrick Biggs for a Bionicle contest back in 2007, LEGO artist Marko Petrušić (Cezium) has created a digital re-imagining of Temperance that doesn’t rely on legal LEGO connections or that pesky law of gravity. Dragon heads are layered to form majestic wings, and a gold-toned tire serves as a halo. Yeah, this digital build may not be possible in reality, but that’s how it goes with mystical beings sometimes.
Be sure to check out Marko’s other featured LEGO creations for even more fights of fantasy and wonder.
After a long, hard afternoon of repelling alien invasions, sometimes you just need to sit down for some shawarma. This virtual LEGO build by Lego_nuts captures this quiet post-credits moment from the first Avengers film in exquisite detail. I love the details hidden among the carnage like the printed 1×1 round tiles in the vending machine. And making the fries out of LEGO Rocks works pretty well, too. It really does just look like a still frame from the movie.
Composed 2385 bricks, the scene took 15 hours to build. If you’re interested in how this shot was…dare I say it?….assembled, you’ll enjoy this video that goes through the entire process.
These days it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to spot digital LEGO creations. Renders and 3D modeling have progressed to the point where all the easy “tells” are gone, and you really have to know your subject matter to spot custom colors and parts. (And that’s assuming there are any to look for!) But virtual creations can go so many places that physical models can’t, allowing for builds that can even make you wonder if they’re based on LEGO bricks at all. I mean, look at the A-10 Asimov, created by noblebun. This ship is gorgeous. And also a complete flight of fantasy.
For starters, Noblebun has made great use of the ability to recolor parts. There big pieces like the front quarter-domes, in a I-wish-they-made-that matte dark grey. A minifigure’s police hat cast in light grey becomes part of the engine detailing. And unfortunately the chromed-copper discs sitting under those Technic gears aren’t standard issue, either. Some pieces are completely outside of the released shapes that LEGO offers. The curved pipes include custom nested 90 degree bends that we can currently only dream of. But, wow, do they look fantastic.
More importantly, though, is how these fantasy parts are built into the whole. There are some really great building techniques in play here. Check out how the use of inverted and standard sloped brick combine to create the white band. And how that same combination, built slightly differently, creates the impression of vents in the grey areas.
A rear shot showcases the amazing build in the engines. To me, they’re reminiscent of the jet exhaust on the UCS Batmobile. Just much bigger, more complex, and more awesome in general.
This is the sort of deep fake I can really get behind. Sure, this creation may only live in the realm of pixels and math, but I’m okay with that. It’s an amazing feat of construction and imagination.
Nostalgia time! Let’s travel back to the early 1980s and the classic sci-fi TV mini-series V. If you’re unfamiliar, the basic plot is that friendly human-looking aliens visit Earth. Yep. Just some run-of-the-mill totally benign alien pals. Totally legit. The fact that any more summary would require a “spoiler warning” tag should give you an idea that things go downhill from there. But I digress. We’re here to look at a great LEGO creation, after all. Huw Gwilliam has recreated the iconic Visitor Tanker Shuttle. This sleek craft has lines very similar to the Eagle-One from 1975’s Space: 1999. What? You haven’t seen that show either? *sigh* It’s probably streaming somewhere. Go watch it. You’ll be glad you did. Even if 1999 didn’t play out quite the same way in our reality.
Anyway. Huw’s model. It’s cool. Check out the Technic toothed plates in white on the cargo pods and in grey in the landing gear. The custom graphic work on the windows, Visitor logos, and minifigures is also top-notch.
Retro-TV-Space is totally a theme, right? Because I could sure use more of this sort of thing.
There’s a lot to get excited about with regards to Star Wars these days. I admit I was feeling pretty burnt out on the franchise, but then I watched the trailer for the upcoming Mandalorian series. The visuals are nice, but I’ve come to expect that from Disney. The story concept sounds interesting, but I’ve been fooled by story promises before. No, what really gets my blood pumping is hearing my favorite filmmaker, Werner Herzog, utter the line “Bounty hunting is a complicated profession.” Builder Ethen T is also pretty excited for the series, as evidenced by their latest digital mosaic.
Using 4675 pieces, Ethen has managed to capture the dusty, gun-slinging feel of the trailer. A dark tan background grid is the platform for a replica of the Mandalorian’s helmet. The helmet itself is a mixture of tiles and plates, making use of the various shades of grey LEGO has released over the years. There’s even a single piece in white, adding a tiny pop of contrast. It’s the little touches, though, that make this an outstanding build for me. The use of rounded tiles keeps the build from looking boxy, and the orientation of the grille tiles in the center of the helmet convey a sense of motion, drawing the eye to other areas of the build. Bounty hunting may be complicated, but I think Ethen’s mosaic is up there, too.
As those with some knowledge of Latin might expect from the user name, Corvus Auriac seems to have a thing for crows. Crows are among the most intelligent of birds and are often known to make use of tools. Corvus the builder is also a tool user, as demonstrated by this lovely digital render of Arminius, The Crow. Creating a recognizable avian can be a challenge, yet Corvus manages it in only 20 pieces. Among the creative part choices are Minifigure wings, a tooth for a beak, and a flipper for the tail. Even the branch is a nice little build, making use of an elephant tail and carrot top.
Although this is just a flight of fantasy (brick) at present, Corvus says that a real-world version is on the way. I’m looking forward to seeing it!
Many years ago, builder aukbricks lived in Japan. Although they haven’t returned yet, there’s a seed of yearning that has grown into an evocative virtual creation. The central focus is a suitcase that contains a visit to a garden filled with greenery and sakura blossoms. The inside lid is a mosaic of more blooms and buildings in the distance; the blockier texture giving the illusion of depth from a slightly out-of-focus background. There’s also a guide book and a luggage tag that features features a brick-built Kanji for longing, a character which also carries the meanings of “yearn for” and “adore”.
Stepping into the garden, you can imagine a walk along the cobblestone path leading to the bridge over the stream. It feels just as peaceful and relaxing as you could hope for.
Consisting of nearly 6,500 bricks, this digital build only uses parts in LEGO-released colors. Longing may be a dream, but it’s nice to know it could become reality, too.
Specializing mostly in digital builds, CK-MCMLXXXI has made quite the beauty of a spaceship with his recent build, The Solomon & Guggenheim. Certain bricks may not exist in the colours used in this build, but that is really not the main quality of the creation. Pieces like a tile with UNITED text print (from the LEGO Ideas Saturn V) and all sorts of modified tiles such as ingot pieces, pentagonal tiles and 1×1 tiles with a rounded side make for some great patterns and colour blocking that look like a legitimate spaceship. The shaping with a large portruding segment on the bottom and all sorts of crazy angles just add to that and the end result is quite an enjoyable sight.