Tag Archives: Douglas Hughes

The Hells Angels set the stage in this massive moving WWI diorama

With the exception of the past couple of years, I’ve been a staple at BrickCon in Seattle since 2005 or so. This year, I wasn’t a registrant but snuck in unnoticed (almost). While there, I was treated to this wonderous LEGO stage show put on by Douglas Hughes. The table presence of this massive creation was quite impressive, even with the curtains closed. But as the curtains parted, the intro music started and the real show began! As described by the builder, “As the curtains part you can see biplanes circling both above and below the zeppelin which maneuvers up and down.The soundtrack transitions to biplane maneuver and machine gun noises, and a red biplane swoops to the center stage from behind a cloud, gently rocking back and forth. Soon enough the red plane sidles back behind cloud cover and the finale begins to unfold – a little biplane corkscrews down in an uncontrolled dive until it hits the zeppelin.” He goes on to say; “Red lights flash, explosions rock the air, and the zeppelin slowly breaks apart revealing smoke and fire rising from within. The curtains begin to close and the finale fanfare plays – the show is over!”

Hells Angels

I guess you had to have been there. No, seriously, you had to have been there! The builder hasn’t provided a video of this beast on motion just yet but I can attest that this was an amazing work of art. I didn’t stick around long enough to find out, but this had to have won one of the top prizes, I’m sure. Chime in in the comments to let us know what awards this won or just to tell us what you think.

Three cheers for brick-built backgrounds! Ra! Ra! Ra!

I always say it, there are just not enough Stargate builds out there. That seems to be changing more and more, as seen here with this vignette by Builder Douglas Hughes. Somewhat of a double hitter for references, this model follows in the style of our 2021 Creation of the Year with its own distinct character. Capturing some Stargate history, Douglas imagined the false god moving into his new apartments. A Cheops class warship shoots a matter stream down into the Great Pyramids of Giza as the sun sets behind it, the Nile alight with a red glare. Clever building techniques and color-blocking create a gradient that effectively emulates the dulling brightness of the setting sun. The use of black bricks for the pyramids and ship is a great way to achieve the silhouette effect. The translucent red river is my favorite part though, as it’s a perfect way to capture the depth of field with an added layer of realism.

Ra the Goa'uld

This is a great example of the power models like this have and Douglas did a fantastic job with its color and layout. Maybe 2022 will bring us more of these delightful vignettes in addition to more Stargate love. Whatever it brings, I hope its not a bunch of Goa’uld in a Cheops.

The White Bridge of Randland in LEGO

A few episodes into The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime and fans of the original series by Robert Jordan have already sounded off about what’s disappointed them. Being outside that group but familiar with the disappointment a book-to-film/series adaptation can bring, I can understand a few of their points. Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve seen so far. Pacing and casting choices aside, the series has inspired fans of the series and LEGO to create their versions of its iconic moments and places. Builder Douglas Hughes brings us the second in a series of scenes he’s contributed to a Randland-inspired collaboration. Here he’s created his own version of Whitebridge in Andor. Or should I say the White Bridge? Both, I guess, so take a moment to appreciate all those detailed and ornate buildings rising up to match the height of the bridge.

Whitebridge

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Down, down, and away?

“Mayday!” – well that’s never good to hear. Douglas Hughes fashions a little red biplane in some big trouble in this LEGO micro-model.

Mayday!

The background featured in this postcard-like photo is brick-built using a number of different elements including various slopes, bricks, and plates in light blue and white for the red plane to crash through. The plane’s body mainly utilizes the plane minifigure costume featured in the series 21 collectible minifigure set, with some added parts to create a second pair of wings and a cockpit. Black 2×2 round tiles serve as a smokey cloud trailing behind the plane – the signifier of disaster. Overall for a minimal build, its concept is surely conveyed.

I’ll take “Things We’ll Miss” for $200 please, Alex.

Alex Trebek was a TV staple and gameshow icon until his passing in November of 2020. We were all saddened by this and that is why it is such a treat to see this touching LEGO tribute built by Douglas Hughes. He tells us he and his wife would watch Jeopardy daily and so Alex Trebek was an important part of their lives. The clean, swooping set design, the figures and the sticker work are all quite impressive in their own right. Douglas, however, wins the bonus round with the inclusion of lights, Power Functions and Mindstorm EV3 components.

Tribute to Trebek!

Check out this impressive video to see and hear Alex and these legendary contestants in action.

Douglas is a diversely talented LEGO builder who has been featured several times here on The Brothers Brick before.

The smell of heat and oil

Sometimes a LEGO creation enables you to smell, feel and imagine a whole slew of things that aren’t even there. Take this render by Douglas Hughes, for example. It is called Sunset in the Gulf and it depicts a helicopter and oil rig silhouetted against the sunset. I can imagine wearing ear plugs to squelch out the noise and a hard hat that barely contains the sweat and grime. I can envision wrenching on an uncooperative bolt with all my strength, filthy coveralls and a squeal of machinery. Do I have an overactive imagination? perhaps I do, but an imagination fueled by life experiences. While not quite an oil rig I have been in the boiler rooms and engine rooms of ships and there is a certain taste and smell to an environment like this.

Sunset in the Gulf

While your experiences and feeling for this piece may vary, at least for my ol’ reptile brain this conjures up rusted memories of now ages gone by. And for that, Douglas, you have my kudos.

Mobile Strike Force: ready!

During the pandemic, a group of LEGO fans have begun playing a virtual military conquest game a bit like Risk, except each person’s army consists solely of the creations they build to populate it. Douglas Hughes has mobilized his military in a big way with this absolute unit of a transport plane, which he’s fittingly dubbed “Chubs.” The stylized aesthetics of both the plane and the dock equipment reminds me of the Micro Machines I had as a kid, and I can’t help but want to start playing with this epic transport.

CHU-85 "Chubs" Ekranoplan!

Interestingly, Doug’s sculpted the plane studs-out, which allowed him to get the complex curves the fuselage needs, while still leaving the interior mostly hollow. That would be a difficult balance to strike using other methods, such as stacked slopes.

I want to play a game

Only one thing pops in my mind with a scene like this, a creepy scene that Jigsaw would put one of his victims in. This one looks a little harmless compared to the more complex contraptions that we’ve seen in the sequels, but a reminder of the classic cult film Saw, that took the world by surprise with a tiny budget and making big headways. This scene by Douglas Hughes, pictures a classic man-tied-to-the-chair movie trope, but what makes it stand out as a LEGO build are the details. They say the details bring a scene to life. The closed-circuit camera, the air vent, that electrical outlet plug outlet, and the old school looking heater all lend the weight to the sense of reality. What’s the story here? Well, for me, reality kicks in for Saw movie is when the director yells “CUT!” and everyone gets a break and grabs a sandwich and coffee, and that’s my secret on how I get through watching a horror flick.

The Interrogation

Fooling around in the royal court

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.

The Jester's Travels

While you’re looking, I would play a little eye-spy. Then check out another favorite of mine, Doug’s Seanchan Greatship.

LEGO mobile radar base on an alien world

Colonizing alien planets is the adventure of a lifetime, but things don’t always go as planned. This LEGO radar outpost by Douglas Hughes supports a group of colonists and space marines in their efforts to tame the wild unknown. The best part about a radar outpost with treads is you can make a not-so-quick getaway when the going gets rough.

SCR-888 Mobile Radar Unit\

This serious ballista vehicle is not messing around

When you need to defend your outpost from aerial attack, you need an anti-aircraft Ballista. Like this one built by Douglas Hughes, which features not one, but two substantially armed turrets; one sporting rocket launchers, the other, twin machine guns. The cab is very well sculpted with angled panels, and that blue striped detail is a nice touch.

Ballista mobile anti-air unit!

The vehicle is based on the Anvil Ballista from the multiplayer sci-fi game Star Citizen. But Douglas didn’t just build an amazing vehicle, he motorized it (maybe you noticed the cleverly integrated control box on the side) and lit the cab as well.

Ballista cockpit!