LEGO has explored underwater themes a few times over the years. In particular, I have a fondness for the mid-1990’s Aquazone line. It featured bright yellow colors, exploration-based vehicles, and some pretty cool builds. Finnish builder Tino Poutiainen has also taken the yellow submarine concept to heart with Expedition into the kelp forest. This classy undersea build features a vessel with some very good natural camouflage. That is, assuming fish don’t have a particularly good sense of scale. Based on the image description, the divers are looking for the “incredibly rare yellow-finned bladderwrack fish.” It doesn’t seem like they’re looking too carefully, though, as I think I spotted a couple on my own.
I like how the sub isn’t the usual short-and-flat glider style you often see in craft like this. Instead we have a tall and narrow vessel, complete with impressive vertical fins sloped at interesting angles. The mimicry between the sub and the sea-life makes this little scene one you can quickly tell your own fish stories around. (You should hear about the one that got away.)
There’s a lot of beauty under the sea. There’s also a lot of creepy looking fish. jarekwally brings us a bit of both in this underwater vignette. Created around two tricycle frames, a bone-white fish swims among a colorful coral reef. I’m not sure you’d want to come face-to-face with whatever breed of fish that is, but the rest of the scene is certainly somewhere I’d like to visit.
This whole build abounds with creative part usage. The fish continues it’s unusual construction with minifigure wings, Mixel eyes, and cattle horns. Each plant in the reef has it’s own clever combination of elements, too. There are multi-colored flower-edged round plates, 2×2 round petal bases, and even purple 2×2 gears.
LEGO builders have often explored the theme of “speeder bikes” – flying motorcycle-esque vehicles with a grand and glorious racing tradition. (Or, for those looking for the possible origins of the trope, a callback to the forest chase scene in Return of the Jedi. Although usually built in minifigure scale for maxium swooshability, there’s no reason that one couldn’t make a larger version. In fact, Eero Okkonen has done just that in Kiirus Ögonblick and The Carp Speeder, mixing skill in large figure builds with…a fish. Not just any fish, though, but a carp. A blue and orange, jet powered, mechanical-hybrid carp….Because why not?
See more of this fishy speeder bike.
In Japanese mythology, the giant catfish Namazu lives in the mud under the islands of Japan. When this creature thrashes, violent earthquakes result. Not a good thing, but that hasn’t stopped Japan from embracing Namazu as a mascot of sorts for earthquakes. Catfish are a common image on earthquake-related signs, and even appear on the Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) logo. And, as you might expect from a monster-turned-mascot, sometimes those catfish images are just adorable. Case in point: [Jack Frost] has built a LEGO version of Namazu that will melt your heart, even as it shakes your world.
There are a lot of fun aspects to this build. Although a couple of studs can be spotted, the majority of the body is sculpted in smooth black elements including Hero Factory armor. Meanwhile, the flame colors in the Legend of Chima energy effects used as fins invoke the destructive aspects of earthquakes. But the large and expressive eyes and charming smile somehow try and make that seem like not a big deal.
Somehow, though, I think we should probably just be terrified.
Hammerhead sharks (Sphyrnidaeare) are found worldwide in warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves. They are aggressive hunters who feed on smaller fish, octopuses, rays, squid, crustaceans and even other sharks. However, this particular hammerhead shark, rendered by Dallen Powell, would rather help you install new cabinets in your kitchen or build a deck out back. He’s the type of shark that knows which nails work best with joist hangers and which ones are best for baseboard molding. With this shark, it is always hammer time. The expression on his toothy face says that he gets the pun too. You should nail down the rest of Dallen’s content as he is no stranger to pun-filled renders. Now, who has that one song stuck their head? You know the one. Sing it with me. “Y’all gonna make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here!”
LEGO FORMA is the company’s first foray into crowdfunding. It is described as an “experience designed for adults looking for a fun and engaging way to reconnect with their creative side”. The LEGO FORMA crowdfunding exercise began in late September 2018, and finally shipped in January to UK supporters, with shipments to US supporters following up in mid-February after a brief delay from shipping issues.
During the campaign, the base setup cost $85 USD in the US Market and $88 USD in the UK Market, and included the box set 81000 with the default Koi Skin Pack, and 3 additional separately packaged skins. Fans could also take the less costly option of just getting the base pack (single Koi Skin Model) for $45 USD (US) $46 USD (UK) and additional skins at $15 USD (US) / $16 USD (UK) each. Now that the crowdfunding is completed, if you’re looking to pick one up, the only way currently is to turn to the secondary market such as Bricklink or eBay where they’re already commanding a premium. Let’s do a quick dive into the details of this unique experience from LEGO.
Click to see the full review of the FORMA experience
Called the Celestial Barracuda, this marine-inspired vessel by LEGO designer Niek Van Slagmaat (most recently of 21311 Voltron fame) is one of the more uniquely designed spaceSHIPs of recent memory. Traversing the inky deeps of space and reality as an interdimensional transport ship, the ship takes the form of a sinuous fish. Niek expertly strikes a balance between placing tiles for a smooth exterior and strategically leaving studs exposed to create a textured, weathered hull. He’s also used a sprinkling of dark tan among the orange bricks, highlighting where the orange paint has peeled over eons of space travel.
The ship’s fish-like features aren’t just for show, though, as they serve a more utilitarian purpose in supporting the small fleet of nimble craft that surrounds it like pilot fish. Continue reading
They say space is full of stuff of all sorts — Death Stars, teapots orbiting the Sun and even a red roadster. Sheo. explores some of the most distant corners of the outer space to find an interstellar… fish. Yes, he calls his latest LEGO creation a giant space fish, and it’s hard to argue since we have no idea what else can be floating up there! The real highlight of the creation is, of course, a gray sphere right in the middle of the body secured with some crazy amount of red tentacles. Does this creature look intimidating? Absolutely. But can a lonely traveller escape its attraction..?
Mammals aren’t the only creatures that want to explore environments that are clearly designed to kill them, and this bold fish adventurer is going where no fish has gone before, with the help of a shiny brass mech suit. Built by Andrew Lee, this clawed fish suit is basically an exercise in using the available inventory of pearl gold elements, which is a pretty limited offering, pulling from Hero Factory, the few basic elements that are available, and a variety of minifigure accessories.
Brick-built aquariums are often extremely cool, but how many can say their LEGO sea-creatures actually move? My guess is not too many. But one clever builder, Mark Smiley, has managed to create an adorable little “LEGO Clockwork Aquarium” that does just that! With the turn of a crank, the fish move in a circle along the tank perimeter. There’s also a crab that hops up and down, and a starfish that spins! If you look closely, you can even see a little Easter Island head in the corner, and a shrimp in the helmet. The whole thing is modular and customizable. But just wait until you see it in action!
Click to watch the video of the tank coming to life!
This amazingly cute little fish is a perfect showcase for how to exploit the natural shapes of LEGO bricks to form imaginative creatures. Builder gonkius uses two curved slopes meeting each other to form a perfect fish mouth, and a curved fender element suddenly looks as if it were always made to be fish fins.
However, this adorable little fish is also a perfect example of complex engineering that looks deceptively simple. Think you’re pretty good with LEGO? Maybe you can even reverse engineer some of the builds we highlight. But how many parts does it take before a model is too complex? This fish has only 39 pieces. See if you can reverse engineer this guy using only the image above.
We’ve got the instructions below if you want to skip straight to the solution and build one yourself! Let us know in the comments if you think you figured it out without the instructions.
Click to see the instructions
Piranha fish have something of an undeserved bad reputation. But this unfortunate creature, built from LEGO by Sebastian Gren, certainly looks like he come off worst in an argument with his fellows. This is a fun model, but it’s well-built too. The bones of the skeleton are perfectly-arranged, with the use of a LEGO fibre-optic cable to provide a flexible spine, and the face has plenty of ugly piranha character. The presentation helps as well — the simple base, with its touches of greenery, effectively suggests an appropriate river bed base.