I always wanted to make a mecha dragon, even as far back as 2012 when I fell in love with LEGO dragons. I always knew it would be gray and greebly, but it almost seemed like cheating. Light gray is the LEGO colour with most the available detail pieces, so it would make finding solutions to building problems easier than I would like them to be. Ironically, this is the most complicated dragon build I have made yet (of which there are 24 now, including some more open interpretations of what a “dragon” is). I working on building this one on and off for 2 months from late December to mid-February.
It’s amazing what a talented LEGO builder can achieve when they step outside their comfort zone. Andreas Lenander was inspired to build something “Bionicle-ish” and I think he nailed it. The contrast in building styles between the complex dragon and the studs-up base is the perfect way to make the dragon stand out.
The dragon’s neck is particularly well done, being constructed mainly out of robot arms to resemble scales. Robot arms are actually used throughout, also being used for teeth and the tips of the black horns. The Piraka leg pieces are the ideal choice for the ridge of the dragon’s face: they give it that undeniably rigid-skinned lacertilian look.
Builder Corvus Auriac takes us to a magical place with this amazing render of a microscale castle. The towers are exquisitely detailed with just enough randomness to look real, while still feeling like an absolutely massive structure perched atop a rock. The dragon, named Beowulf, is one of the better microscale designs I’ve seen, actually have four legs like a proper dragon (and not a wyvern, which only has two). The frog for a head is perfect. As with all great microscale models, you’ll be rewarded by spending some time poring over the minuscule details to see what parts have been cleverly repurposed.
We’ve come to enjoy the many LEGO creations from Build Better Bricks not just for their quality and variety, but because they often provide inexpensive building instructions. Their latest is the titular dragon Toothless from the How to Train Your Dragon series, which just released its third movie recently. I love the dragon’s eyes, and Toothless’ low profile is captured perfectly, along with key details like his makeshift tail fin.
You can check out the instructions for Toothless on B3’s website.
We see a lot of LEGO dragons, but they’re rarely as cute as Marius Herrmann‘s version of digital superstar Spyro. This winged beastie, familiar to PlayStation (and N64 and Xbox One) owners, is a delight, perfectly capturing the cute styling of the character. It’s worth taking a close look at this model to check out some of the details. Don’t miss the smart segmenting of Spyro’s underbelly, the subtle ridges down the tail, and the use of dismantled minifigure legs to provide the dragon’s nostrils! The base is a nice touch, adding more visual interest than simply displaying the model alone, and I love the inclusion of Sparx, Spyro’s flying insect pal.
An ominous black dragon hovers low over Kale Frost’s stunning microscale castle. Although small, this model is filled with movement and atmosphere. The perfectly placed transparent slopes convincingly replicate waves crashing against its rugged coastline, and it’s matched by cleverly selected tile and foliage bricks, which complete the landscaping. The castle itself is a cunning amalgamation of unexpected pieces. It even manages to use what may potentially be the least useful LEGO elements ever, the trigger from a stud gun, which is doing duty as a detail in one of the towers – bravo!
I used to think that a dragon without wings was simply a lizard, but I wouldn’t dare say that to the face of this wingless dragon built by Leonid An. His name is Glaurung the Fierce, and with his athletic, lean build and large claws, this dragon looks like it could easily rip any opponent to shreds, especially a heckling human who dares mock his lack of wings.
What I love about this dragon in particular is the way the builder has used repetition throughout the body, neck, and tail to achieve a very clean organic figure. For example, the robot arm piece is used at least twenty times, laced through flex tube to give both the subtle and more drastic curves the body of the dragon required. The 2×2 round tan boat studs are used as armor plating from the top of the neck of the dragon, all the way down underneath the belly to the tail, making for a wonderfully consistent aesthetic.
Who wouldn’t want a fantasy-themed coffee machine? To meet the demand, Anthony Wilson has built an adorable little fellow named Vay the coffee dragon. Vay is packed full of character, thanks to a pair of big eyes and the positioning of his body. His fistful of coffee beans is the essence of hospitality. This is in contrast to the hand tucked behind his back, seemingly saying, “what are you waiting for? Drink up!” Vay’s sleek curved body suggests he is fast in flight, which seems appropriate given his daily caffeine intake. Equally impressive is the coffee machine itself, which uses transparent colored pieces to show the water level in the reservoir. We dare you to drink this cup of joe. It’ll give you scales on your chest!
Capturing all the flourishes of traditional Chinese aesthetic style, Space Brick’s Shrine of the Golden Dragon is another effortlessly elegant build. Like his ramen and sushi bar, he’s once again tapped into his subject and adjusted his building techniques to match. The eponymous dragon is a single sweeping curve, detailed with simple gold studs to replicate scales. The base is a thing of beauty too, with a backdrop of wonderfully stylised clouds. It’s not just a great LEGO model it’s a marvellous ornament too.
Who needs riches when the best part of your day is food? This plump little guy is all about his next meal rather than gold. Sassafras the “Happy-Go-Lucky” dragon is the work of Mitch Henry, who designed him for a dragon building contest hosted by Jayfa, an excellent builder we’ve featured numerous times. This adorable creation caught our eye for its unique character and parts usage. Do you have an idea for a cool dragon? Give the contest a shot!
This LEGO dragon tamer by Jayfa may not be a reference to everyone’s favorite dragon-taming movies by Dreamworks (or the books that preceded them), but it’s nonetheless epic. The tamer himself is a mashup of claw- and tooth-shaped elements that somehow weave together into awesome armor, and there’s no denying that having greaves made of dragon skulls must give you an edge in intimidating the beasts.
But the real masterpiece here is the dragon with its vivid magenta highlights. From the exceptionally clever brick-built eye (made with a white rod element flanked by two yellow minifigure hands) to the armor plating down the neck made of robot arms and teeth, everything works together beautifully to give the creature grace and personality.
There were so many terrific creations for our Microbuild Magic! Contest that it was incredibly difficult to choose the winners. While not everyone can win, there are still more that are certainly worthy of a spot on our front page. One wonderful build that caught our eye was this little recreation of Gringott’s Bank, complete with the Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon. The artist behind the build is Zed, who also recreated Harry’s “Cupboard Under the Stairs” for the competition. There were several Gringott’s scenes, but this was one that really stood out.
I’m a big fan of the clever parts usage on the dragon, as well as the contrast of the dark vaults below. The wand-sprue gate is a perfect touch. Overall, the build is clean and elegant, and made even more so by the black background and crisp photography.