Minnesotan Hypolite Bricks gritty Coruscant Level 1313 diorama exhibits his penchant for dynamic, textured LEGO dioramas.
For those not familiar, Star Wars 1313 was a promising but ill-fated video game focused on the darker underworld of the Galaxy Far Far Away’s capital planet Coruscant. The concept has recently been revived on the final season of The Clone Wars. This model appropriately features Imperials, aliens, droids, Quarren and Twilek artwork (ads or graffiti?), and -of course- death sticks. There are some neat greebling and detritus strewn about, and you can imagine the sort of shady dealings going on in each alcove.
Check out prior featured works from Hypolite Bricks like the N1 starfighter in Rebellion hangar, and the bounty hunter attack on Republic senators. In all models, you can really feel the hustle and bustle of the “used universe” that is so instrumentally Star Wars.
If we can find an Earth-like planet within a reasonable distance, or perhaps terraform one of our closer neighbours, then we’re going to need to transport a bunch of plants to its surface. In this LEGO space scene, Sam Malmberg imagines how the interior of a seedling transport ship might look. There’s an impressive variety of plant-life on display, within an equally smart selection of vivarium equipment. The viewport and the wall panelling brings the styling of the Nostromo to mind, but thankfully there are no terrifying aliens threatening the crew. I love the inclusion of a microscale companion vessel, visible through the window, creating the sense of a convoy of intrepid colonists heading out together for a new world.
My friend Doug Hughes isn’t always outspoken, but his LEGO builds are certainly bold! I’m constantly impressed by his unique designs and clever parts usage. This latest piece chronicles the entertainment of a jester in a royal court. But I have to be honest, I almost lose the jester in the majesty of the whole scene. The perfect curvature, the bold colors, and the mix of architectural styles all pull you into every independent detail. You get lost in loving the floating pillars, or statues, or trees, or gold designs, or even the texture created by the underside of jumper plates. Then you step back again and the whole thing paints a harmonious picture. Brilliant.
While you’re looking, I would play a little eye-spy. Then check out another favorite of mine, Doug’s Seanchan Greatship.
I have just one question for Martijn Valkenburg; how do I sign up for Springvale Watch? I mean, this LEGO diorama has it all; beautiful scenery, peace, and quiet, and a few friends in shiny helmets to talk to. It’s like he tapped into all my good dreams right there. I’m loving the repetitive use of ingots adding texture along the wall and edges of the tower. Curved tiles make for excellent arches over the windows. The use of masonry bricks in the crumbling section at the base of the tower leads me to believe that not all was peaceful at Springvale. But on this clear, beautiful day there is nary a catapult or impending army in sight. For now, the biggest enemy at Springvale just might be allergies.
This months cover photo is a cozy looking bedroom by lokiloki29 is a very comfortable and fun place to hang out for a growing young adult. The detailing in (and outside) the room is not only made up of LEGO accessories but also micro-builds that fit the theme and scale so perfectly.
The space shuttle on the shelf and the plane immediately jump out of this diorama, but some favorite aspects are Timmy’s Mario bedspread and that microscope utilizing 2x connector pegs with knob to create the eyepiece of the microscope, simple yet elegant. You’ll also not the variety of trophies above his bed, Timmy must be a great scholar. Can’t wait to see Timmy’s grown-up lab once he’s learned the secret of LEGO plants.
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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.