Tag Archives: Eli Willsea

Monday morning at the watering hole

Frequently featured LEGO builder Eli Willsea is on a roll with a series of vignettes, this time building a scene around a collectible Minifig and a crustacean, who share something something in common: The hermit and the hermit crab meet each other at the local watering hole. The candle piece is used to create several bamboo stalks above the scene and as a path for the crab to follow to the water. Recently released Ninjago sets that include the katana in lime green make perfect plants along each side.

Pals at the Waterhole

If you like this build, be sure to check out some other vignettes by Eli we’ve featured here on TBB previously.

One clean looking Western scene

Hardly any studded surfaces are visible in this eye-catching model created by Eli Willsea. Instead, a variety of slope and curved pieces are mainly used, forming a staggered appearance of rocks. There is also a wonderful colour gradient in the rocks, as the light sand tone develops into a warm orange. The slight angle given to the side supports of the mine entrances assists in making the scene look even more realistic. The main characters appear to be in quite the dilemma, as they attempt to swing to safety while being pursued by some fearsome bandits.

Swinging to Safety

Mistborn: Scouting Keep Venture

Fantasy books have long given inspiration to LEGO builders like Eli Willsea. This time the source comes one of my personal favorite authors, Brandon Sanderson and his Mistborn trilogy. Eli has perfectly captured the high class ballroom of the Venture mansion, with absolutely gorgeous window frames, and the main protagonist, Vin, skulking about in the mists above. This build was completed within 24 hours for day 5 of RebelLUG’s Vignweek competition. The prompt of the way was to only use the original 7 colors that LEGO bricks were available in. Aside from minifigures, you will only find parts in black, white, light grey, red, blue, yellow, or green within this build.

Mistborn: Scouting Keep Venture

Beachy fun at the Sidewalk Cafe

LEGO Paradisa was one of the first attempts of LEGO to cater to girls and for its time really was groundbreaking. It brought us new colours, female figures and overall a beachy fun vibe. It is nice to see that up to this day the theme still inspires people. Eli Willsea hit the nail on the head with this creation. We get a remake of the 6402 Sidewalk Cafe. There are a lot of architectural details with columns, laced fences and croissants used to highlight the arches. Best part about this build has to be the plant trellis. It starts with flex tubing and minifigure hands on the side of the build. The horizontal trellis is made with bars with claws and hands and I have no idea how it is held together but I love it!

Sidewalk Cafe Revamp

This microscale factory will blow your mind

Builder Eli Willsea uses the barrel of a cannon to great effect as smokestacks in this intricate microscale factory. The many little buildings with red roofs make me think of something straight from the mind of Dr. Seuss, looking a lot like a scene from The Lorax. Tiny tread pieces are used to make ladders. Watch your step on your way home from a long shift, as this factory has one thing in common with Imperial construction… no handrails.

The Spoon Factory

After a busy day of digging, these explorers like to shred

Eli Willsea brings us a double dose of fun by combining two LEGO themes into one. This mash-up of Adventures and Island Extreme Stunts brings the best of both worlds into a radical ancient skatepark, with plenty of obstacles like ramps, stairs, and even a quarter pipe. I like to think that Dr. Kilroy is trying to deduce the perfect sequence of tricks to open a secret passage.

Stunts in the Desert

A set of roofs you’ll absolutely a-door

The first in a trio of LEGO creations from different builders, this nefarious deal for a poisonous potion is brought to us by Eli Willsea. The wooden beams and boards creating the patchwork docks on which the vial of poison is exchanged are absolutely terrific. There’s some excellent use of the minifig hand to create ladder rungs, and just enough chaos in the various bar part choices to give that ramshackle feel. But the highlight of the build for me lies in the houses in the background. The color choices are perfect, and perfectly compliment the brown skeleton on which they’re all built. And those roof tiles! Each utilizing a different type of hinged panel (large entry door, kitchen cabinet door, or book cover), they are an absolute marvel to behold! The varied look between the domiciles shows off Eli’s design prowess while feeding that feel that this is the wrong side of town.

An Unsavory Deal

And if you’re wondering about the other two builds in the series, stay tuned!

Bones and desert ruins forgotten by all but Time

Sun-bleached bones and an abandoned structure standout in the LEGO desert landscape by Eli Willsea. A feeling of loneliness and sorrow pervade the scene. Was this a sacred site with a sacred creature left alone due to unforeseen turmoil? Or was this creature the victim of sacrifice or punishment? None can say what happened here, only that the creature is long gone, its bones still bearing the weight of being tethered to the place. The structure around it towers overhead, an impressive mark on the landscape. Minifig roller-skates give detail to the capitals of the pillars. The banners on either side of the entrance stairs are seamless in their fitting, giving form to the staircase. High overhead, quarter tiles are wonderful vertical detailing for the entrance roof. The blending of soft and hard edges gives the scene a gentle, yet harsh, quality, not unlike the sand surrounding it.

Forgotten Bones

Who needs Romeo when your balcony looks out at an amazing propagation station

Big LEGO castles are the bomb, but small really detailed medieval scenes also tickle our fancy. This scene by Eli Willsea is a great example of a small castle setting packed with little details. We are treated to a lovely balcony scene featuring a young woman looking out over a room filled with greenery. There is a trellis for a climbing plant which happens to be two green snakes. The integration of the bar with 3 leaves into the wall to turn it into a climbing plant is lovely. The brown flex tubing intertwining between the leaves works amazingly well as a plant stem. I love how this continues over the wooden beams hanging over the balcony, giving it a patio feel.

Gloria's Garden

There are a lot of trans-clear tiles used to represent a propagation station. I absolutely adore the use of the Captain Marvel mohawk used to represent a box of presumably hay. The use of the Minions hair as table legs is stunning in its simplicity. The best feature of this creation has to be the use of the minifigure action pose bar with stud to make the railing of the balcony. So clever and visually appealing!

Intergalactic Telephone Crew: Volume Two

It’s been a while since we covered the fourth of 8 builds from the second round of the Starfighter Telephone Game, or STG, so lets do a recap as we highlight the final build in the series. The STG-2 Beyonder, built by Simon Liu, the spaceship legend himself, made for a super strong finish for the whole game. For those not in the know, the game includes eight builders, passing along a spaceship design that they reimagine and redesign with each subsequent build. As such, the form and function can shift and change in dramatic ways from the first ship to the last. The bright green canopy surrounded by white angular canopy pieces smooth out the cockpit and compliment the triangular shaping achieved with the left and right roof tiles that Simon pulled from the Bone Demon set. Dark grey mock-wings stretch out from the green, white, and blue fuselage while gold tiling on the engines can be seen peeking out from behind the craft. Unfortunately Simon hasn’t provided much of a look at the back. Thankfully, the front is so beautifully built it’s worth appreciating on its own. The greebly, detailed interior of the cockpit feature’s many LEGO fans’ favorite frog piece as this sleek ship’s pilot.

STG-2 Beyonder

Check out the previous ships!

Phoning in a solar sailor

One of my all-time favorite games doesn’t have a name but its variations are known by many. The “telephone” game, in its many forms, gravitates around the idea of altering a phrase, image, or item slightly as it’s passed around to each participant. While most of us played it as kids, some adult fans of LEGO like to play a version of their own that is often out of this world. Builder Eli Willsea created the STG-2 Sailer as the 4th iteration in the latest telephone series. The small, rockhopper-style craft somewhat reminds me of the starter ship in No Man’s Sky (NMS) with its compact body and raised back portion. More NMS parallels arise with the solar sail sections with boosters firing off behind them. The sails creatively use the balloon sections from Friends sets and Sweet Mayhem’s Systar Starship along with some golden rigging for deployment and retraction. The coloration and parts usage give this ship lots of curves and angles that really catch the eye, an essential part of good spaceship building. Greeble, or detail, all you want but if your ship doesn’t visually swoop it’ll probably end up resembling a flying, mechanical potato. Thankfully, Eli knows how to avoid the spud fate and instead made a fantastic little puddle jumper that the next builder will have fun emulating.

STG-2 Sailer

Frigid bridges and cold, old stone

Winter may have passed, but its scenes still provide a tranquil allure. This small model by Eli Willsea is a delightfully cartoonish landscape of such a pleasant, icy kingdom. Aqua slopes and curves are built studs not on top, aside from the few exposed to secure the tiny trees and little huts. Using unicorn horns in sand green for different sizes or types of trees is a great method at this scale, but my favorite are the bridges. The mold for wands includes two of the pieces attached to a non-System piece for structural stability. Eli was smart here, wedging unattached wands into the gaps in the wand molds to create small wooden bridges connecting the islands. It might not be “legal” but it certainly suits the scene. Of course, the most complex element is the focal point, the Cold Castle itself. While the nearby huts sport maroon roofs, the castle is capped by dark azure. The stone spires of the structure seem to make use of inverted building techniques to secure the lightsaber hilts. Those create pressure to hold the forks of the bucket handle wedged above the inverted, rounded gold tile used as the castle gate.

The Cold Castle

This miniature scene is yet another example of the subtle skills that builders like Eli Willsea make use of for their models. It’s one thing to know how to operate within the System but another entirely to know how to break the rules. It starts as a simple suggestion, an experiment in limits, and becomes a signature that builders can rely on to set them apart.