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.
Digital LEGO models can be a polarising topic — many people would say it’s not “real building”. Strictly-speaking, they’re correct, but occasionally a CGI image comes along which demands attention for its imaginative construction without being a wish-list model of unavailable pieces in rare colours. This stylish and minimalist vision of submarine warfare by Mark B. is a cracker, rendered or not. The microscale ship and submarine models are nicely put together, but it’s the colour choices that set the tone and make this look so cool. I’d love to have this hanging on my wall as an art piece.
Someone call an ambulance, there’s been a murder! I find Steven Reid‘s latest scene a little disturbing. Why aren’t the yellow bricks helping? Are they really just going to stand there and watch?
I don’t often post digital LEGO creations, but this one caught my eye, and it doesn’t seem to feature any of the “cheating” which digital builders can succumb to — no impossible connections or parts/color combos that don’t exist.