I never had bunk beds as a kid. There was plenty of space in my bedroom for friends to sleep over on a camp bed, but somehow bunks always seemed more fun. Guess I’ll have to suage my nostalgic regret with Markus Rollbühler‘s LEGO-built version instead. The bunks sit at the heart of a charming little model — a child’s bedroom, packed full of furniture and belongings. The scene was created as part of a challenge to build something with no more than 101 pieces, and the restriction lies at the heart of some creative parts use. Don’t miss the swivel chair with its backrest made from an old-school minifigure cape, and the little bulldozer on the floor. I also love the Belville shoe used as a computer mouse and the anglepoise lamp on the nightstand. This is one of those LEGO models which manages to be both cute and clever at the same time.
From movies to TV shows to LEGO models, we all love a bit of Star Wars action. But one of the persistent criticisms of the franchise is the peculiar need it appears to have to return to similar planetary environments over and again. In an entire galaxy of apparently habitable planets, it seems weird we keep ending up on desert or frozen worlds. Here’s a LEGO creation that decides instead to revel in the possibilities of alien environments, setting a battle between the Republic and the Trade Federation on the colourful world of Tealos Prime. I love the bright foliage and unusual tones in the scenery here — a brilliant contrast with the typical grey vehicles of the Star Wars universe.
The scene, a collaborative effort from Tim Goddard, Mansur Soeleman, and inthert is an absolute cracker — massive in scope despite the micro scale employed on the individual models. Check out this wider top-down view which reveals the full size of the layout, with scenery ranging from forest to cliff-side landing pad, and the impressive array of vehicles from both factions…
We see lots of LEGO buildings and battles, from sci-fi through to fantasy scenes. What we don’t see as often are brick-built “special effects” which capture the dynamism and danger of an explosion as well as in Joseph Zawada‘s siege scene. Chunks of masonry and minifigures go flying in different directions, and trans-red and yellow projectile bars effectively create a feeling of energy and heat as the blast tears the castle wall to pieces. The wall and castle gate sport a gnarly level of texture and some smart arches to break up the expanse of grey, and the wider landscaping provides an effective backdrop for the combat action. But it’s the explosion which catches the eye and makes this feel like a still from some epic movie. I feel sorry for the castle’s defenders — it looks like there’s another boom coming with that trebuchet unleashing the next bombardment.
Out for a walk in the forest, and you stumble across an ancient inter-dimensional portal. What to do, what to do? Only one thing for it — grab your gear and see where it takes you. Andreas Lenander‘s LEGO portal gate is nicely weathered, creating a sense of age and decay, and the tree is wonderfully gnarly and twisted — a result of it being constructed mostly from minifigure lasso pieces. However, the eyes are drawn inexorably to the glowing blue portal, a collection of around 600 stacked lightsaber blades, backlit to create a stunning effect. It looks great, but I dread to think what happens when Andreas tries to move this thing!
It seems like the old ways aren’t quite forgotten yet, and they’re not about to go quietly, either. In this diorama by Carter Witz, an alliance of Lion Knights, Royal Knights, and Forestmen are invading a modern City hamlet. It looks like the classic army has embraced some new tech, though, as one of the Forestmen rides a new-style horse, and both sides of the clash are built with excellent modern techniques.
In fact, don’t let the amusing storyline cause you to overlook the details in this build, which is rife with complex approaches to achieve its polished look. From the carrot tops embedded in the building’s wall to the upside-down teeth above the windows, Carter spared no expense to make the scene come to life.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably lost plenty of sleep wondering if there will be goats in outer space. Thankfully, Andreas Lenander has built a LEGO diorama that ought to squelch our nocturnal worries. It’s a rather neat Goat Transport Facility on Epsilon IV that uses robots and other science-y stuff to make sure the future and outer space still have these lovable and occasionally delicious creatures around to chew your socks or whatever. Amazing details abound whether they be the repetitive use of ingots, well placed tire rims or flex-hoses. My favorite part would have to be the adorable goats in their own floating hermetically-sealed containers. You can say the containers are…totes-ma-goats. Tee hee. Hah! Am I right, people? Hilarious, right? No? OK, I’ll just let myself out. Sorry.
Not every LEGO creation has to be made exclusively with LEGO bricks. Of course, there are some whose radical purist dogmas forbid anything besides what was intended by The LEGO Group to be used in creations, but they are extremists. Many builders would say that cutting, gluing, or painting go too far, but most other things are okay. And some say that anything goes, as long as the end result looks cool. Now, I’m not sure where Inthert falls among these groups, but this creation transcends mere LEGO and becomes something different with the inclusion of a real-world spray bottle. It may not be the sword of Exact-Zero, or the Polish Remover of Nail, but its incorporation into the build is both genius and surprising.
It seems that Farmer Gary needs to water his field, and has come up with a novel way of distributing the necessary fluids. Will it work? Unlikely. But the build, built for MOC Wars 2020, is great. Check out that weather vane, for example, using an ice skate and a minifig hand. Or the grass, with sand green 1×1 clips. The variation in texture between the building, the path, and the vegetated areas works perfectly, displaying a keen eye for detail. If only Farmer Gary were so keen.
As a teacher, I am blessed with the company of large groups of children, happily building with LEGO. But all is not always quiet on the western front. One misplaced brick can cause a meltdown of epic proportions. If you’ve ever been a witness to one of these tantrums, then Eli Willsea‘s latest LEGO build will seem very familiar and might trigger a meltdown of your own! Built for MOC Wars 2020 on Flickr, this scene is perfectly suited for the “I’m melting” category in which it is entered.
I love a model with a story, especially one you can get with one look at the image. This tells a whole story in one frame like any good comic. The construction (or destruction as it were) of the little girl character is masterful. The expression on the face and the arms outstretched in rage tell you everything you need to know about her current mental state. Her angry eyebrows made with guns and with minifigure claws standing in for a furrowed brow is a terrific use of parts. The streaming tears and the simple arch shape for a mouth add to the emotion of the character. The melted body and dress have a great organic feeling to them expressed in curves and round tiles.
The scene is completed with a picket fence, a nicely rendered fire hydrant and a sideways built sidewalk complete with sewer drain that looks about to swallow the girl up as she slowly melts onto the pavement.
Some LEGO models create a sense of adventure, some an uneasy feeling of impending doom. Others, like this beauty by Eli Willsea, invoke a calm meditative state, and a wistful desire to lose oneself in the depths of the creation. The twin hot air balloons bob over a dramatic seascape, overlooked by a doubtless-expensive Frank Lloyd Wright style clifftop home, but the star of this show is the brick-built sunset — striking colours, combining to create a glorious sundown moment.
This was one of those LEGO models which seemingly popped out of nowhere during the creative process. I started off fiddling around with the new mudguard pieces, thinking they might make for interesting detailing, and almost before I knew it, I had something reminiscent of a muscle car engine grille. At that point, the retro racing vibe kicked in and the rest of the model came together in a couple of hours. I think asymmetry always adds an interesting spark to a model, and so the off-centre elements — the stripe and the protruding engine — were in the plan from an early stage. The domed cockpit came late to the party, but it’s the part of the model I’m most pleased with. I feel it adds a Jetsons-esque touch of the retro-ridiculous, and makes the model more fun than it might have been otherwise. Similarly, the addition of the Friends sticker on the front wing fitted with a racing theme, but represented a change from the usual livery applied to futuristic LEGO vehicles.
Once the model was complete I obviously had to build some kind of backdrop for it. The panel-based scenery is plain and simple, but that’s okay as I’d always planned to motion-blur the hell out of it! I know some people prefer to see their LEGO models in plain and unfiltered images, but for me this one demanded some oomph. I’ve been watching a lot of the Netflix F1 documentary recently, and I was trying to capture something of the same feel, conveying the dynamic nature of the hover car racing competition I had in my head.
This gorgeous LEGO diorama by Stephan Gofers shows us the ocean’s full depth, from the vivid coral reefs below the waves, to the sleek 3-master sailing on its surface. The pirate crew has captured a hapless guard, forcing him to walk the plank. In no short order, he’ll be admiring the fantastic marine life from a much closer vantage point, and since he’s not wearing handcuffs, we can assume he’ll swim safely to shore to become a new castaway.
While the colorful reef draws the eye first, the ship itself is a lovely model, eschewing LEGO’s pre-made ship hull elements and instead opting for a planked-look made of brown tiles and curved slopes. The furled sails made of curved white slopes also look excellent. Continue reading
This Fallout homage by Ralf Langer captures that moment you step out of the vault perfectly (and such a memorable moment it is in every game). Between the desolate landscape and the lonely billboard, it’s hard not to think of the better times before nuclear war, but let’s look at the positive side of things. Take a close look and you’ll spot many details that bring this Fallout scene to life — from the tires and exposed wires surrounding the vault entrance, the tears in the billboard leaving exposed boards, and the subtle curvature of the desertscape (we’ll be watching your Instagram for your technique reveal). The simple yet awe-inspiring contrast between the vault and the open world drew us to this image for March’s cover photos on The Brothers Brick social channels.
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