Norlego takes us on an LEGO Adventure with everyone’s favorite non-licensed LEGO adventurer Johnny Thunder! In some creations, the minifigures are the last things that get added to bring the scene to life. My guess is that in this creation, the minifigures were created first and inspired the rest of the build. All the usual suspects are there. We have Johnny, Pippin Reed, Dr. Kilroy, and wherever Johnny goes his nemesis Sam Sinister follows. Also, there are Slyboots, Mike and Harry Cane. This time they are portrayed in a more realistic skin tone rather than yellow.
Norlego built an irregularly shaped base with lots of angles and exposed studs, perfectly mimicking the desert lands of Egypt. What would an oasis be without some lush palm trees? These are made beautifully. The use of the prickly bush for the dead leaves at the base of the palm tree is a really nice touch. The colour of the swordleaf indicates whether a leaf is dead, doing fine or a baby leaf. Or maybe I am just looking into it too much? Last but not least I think the table deserves some love. It is made out of triangle road signs. The seams between the road signs make the table look fold-able which would really be handy when going on an adventure.
Want see more Johnny Thunder creations? Check out these articles.
If it was tricky enough to put together a shortlist of the best LEGO creations of 2020, but narrowing it down to a single “best model” proved even harder. Every model on the shortlist was excellent, and there was much debate amongst the team. However, after a great deal of discussion, The Brothers Brick is delighted to announce Koen Zwanenburg‘s Tutankhamun Mask as our LEGO Creation of the Year 2020.
Click to see more photos of the LEGO Creation of the Year 2020
Johnny Thunder is a theme that always had my interest. He was LEGO’s Indiana Jones before they started producing licensed sets. Johnny has seen it all. From Egypt to the jungle straight to Dino Island. He even went on an Orient Expedition. Ruben Ras shows us an update for LEGO set Sphinx Secret Surprise. Ruben’s rendition of this set is instantly recognizable. Everything is there! The Sphinx, the tent, the desert car, and the obelisk covered in brick-built (!) hieroglyphs. As if that were not enough he even swapped the raised base plate for a brick-built base. Of course, this ‘set’ comes with all the main characters: Baron von Barron, Dr. Charles Lightning, Johnny Thunder, Lord Sam Sinister, Miss Gail Storm, Pharaoh Hotep, and a skeleton mummy. Every single character got an update. The best thing about this has to be that not a single sticker was used.
Despite a lifelong fascination with archaeology and ancient history — and even a trip through Sinai, Cairo, and Karnak at age 19 — I must admit that Egyptology has never been particularly interesting to me, obsessed as its public portrayal is with glittering treasures and kingship. Nevertheless, I’m reading the excellent The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby Wilkinson right now, in which I find the chaotic Intermediate periods especially fascinating. Koen Zwanenburg is also fascinated with ancient history, and has built this amazing life-sized version of the boy king Tutankhamun’s mask from 16,000 LEGO bricks.
See more of this life-size ancient Egyptian wonder!
Talented character builder Leonid An taps into the primal iconography of ancient Egypt in his LEGO depiction of the gods Set and Horus. Set, the dark god of storms, disorder and violence is suitably built from black elements, utilising a row of ball joints to covey a muscular body; modified bricks added to the side of his face neatly imply the tapering of a jackal-like snout.
Horus, the sky god, meanwhile displays a leaner torso made from bowed bricks, and a craftily sculpted falcon head, formed from a variety of unexpected parts.
Built together, the two bring to life the epic myth told in the famous Chester Beatty Papyrus; of the contest between Set and Horus to determine the rightful king of Egypt.
Finnish builder Eero Okkonen shows master-class LEGO character creation with the Herald of Scales, imagined in ancient Egyptian styling. The inspirational seed part for Eero here was the mini-doll skirt used as, well, segments of the Herald’s skirt! Equally notable is his use of chains as both embellishment and supports on her staff, and again as beautiful braided hair.
Eero details the artistic and building processes on his blog, which you can read here.
So many great builders are gonna be exhibiting at Brickworld this year, I almost don’t know who’s work I’m most excited to see! But a series of busts by Tyler Halliwell (The Deathly Halliwell) will probably be somewhere near the top of the list. Check out this latest addition to his collection, the Sandman, from the Neil Gaiman comics (er, I mean “graphic novels”) of the same name:
And this suitably bling-y bust of Anubis, jackal-headed Egyptian god of the afterlife:
In his latest effort, the simply titled History of the World, Lasse Vestergård has wonderfully combined microscale architecture with collectible minifigs to create a timeline starting with ancient Egypt and ending with modern America. I’ve seen many fellow hobbyists construct brick-built display units for their minifigs but never one with such panache or purpose.
Lasse also took the time to make the back of the display interesting as well, by including a map of the world.
“And of course, with the birth of the artist came the inevitable afterbirth… the critic.” My only complaint about this otherwise fine project is with the title, which is a little misleading as the model seems focused on western civilization to the exclusion of the rest of the world. However, when you try and boil down the entirety of human history into a dozen vignettes, you’re bound to leave somebody out.
Continuing our batch of “How did we miss that?!” posts from photos submitted to the new TBB Cover Photos group on Flickr, here’s a lovely rendition of Abu Simbel in Egypt by Kristi McWii (customBRICKS).
Kristi uses minifigs for the monumental statues of the seated pharaoh Ramesses II.
When I visited Deir el-Bahari, our Egyptian guide told us an easy way to remember the name of the pharaoh who had the colonnaded temple built for herself near the Valley of the Kings and Luxor. “Hot sheep suit,” he said. “You know, hot, like the sun, with a suit made from sheep.” The weather forecast placard in the hotel lobby had informed us it was going to be 45° C (113° F) that day. Standing there in the blazing desert sun, it was hard to imagine wearing a wool suit. And today, it’s hard to forget how to pronounce Queen Hatshepsut’s name.
Similarly unforgettable was her mortuary temple, here recreated wonderfully in LEGO by Harald P. (HP Mohnroth).
See many other wonderful LEGO models of historical structures in Harald’s LEGO Architecture set on Flickr.
Via GodBricks, so you can’t blame me for necro-posting — which is sorta appropriate for an Egyptian model, I guess.
For those of you who might be curious, Tanis is located along the tributaries of the Nile in Lower Egypt. It was the political capital of Egypt between the 20th and 22nd dynasties (though a few rivals popped up here and there). Its primary dieties included Amun, his consort Mut, and their child Khonsu. It was abandoned somewhere around the 6th century.
Sheshonq I inhabited Tanis in the later part of the 22nd dynasty, and some of our readers may be more familiar with him by the name Shishak. Most scholars agree that these two are one in the same, based on hieroglyphics left in Karnak. The military campaigns, though, were in different areas, so there is some debate.
This particular pharoah gets a big-screen mention in some film with Harrison Ford.
Daniel (K3GM) has created an amazing representation of Tanis, Sheshonq, and the procession of the Ark to a hiding place there. His creation is just dripping in detail. I’m just amazed at the detail in the throne room, and the Ark is just….shiny. Glorious.
Go check it out. Seriously.
I’m liking the imposing majesty conveyed by Jonathan Gilbert (Shmails) in this loose micro rendition of the Abu Simbel temple complex on the Nile in Egypt.
He’s also made a quite a nice vignette from the opening scene in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.