A while back IKEA released a line of LEGO-compatible storage boxes. We’ve seen some creative builds based on them before, but this creation by Chi Hsin Wei (LEGO7) is a little sus. Sorry, I mean “fishy”. The white IKEA box makes for a perfect insulated container, transparent 1×1 brick makes realistic ice, and metallic silver tile and slopes add just the right sheen to the saury. The brick-built sign with pricing really elevates the build, giving everything context and letting you imagine visiting your favorite fish-monger for the catch of the day.
I don’t want to carp on about what a great build this is forever, so I suggest you go check out some other featured fishy builds.
This group of life-sized koi fish by Ian Hou of DOGOD Brick Design has awed us before, but we had to return to it for this month’s cover photo. Not only is this model lifelike from looks alone, it also evokes a feeling of zen associated with koi ponds. Looking at Ian’s photography, these look so good on display, like true sculptures. I would love to have these adorn my home to put me at ease when I’m stressing about building. Hopefully, this cover photo will offer the same feeling of calm for our readers. Once you’ve taken in this work of art, check more of Ian’s creations here.
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There’s something just completely tranquil about the sight of koi carp. Location probably has something to do with it because they regularly are featured in serene garden landscapes. Ian Hou does these beautiful fish justice with this new LEGO creation. I can just hear the bubbling water and imagine these graceful koi feeding on fish pellets. The stylistic waves as a stand offer just enough visual cues to make this a truly lovely project. This is a welcome moment of zen to finish out a rather tumultuous year. If this is totally your jam then you should check out some other fish in our archives.
This must be LEGOception. These LEGO pieces are made of LEGO pieces. LEGO is not the only one producing LEGO pieces on a much bigger scale. Chungpo Cheng is no stranger to this concept himself. He has made quite a few creations based on a single LEGO piece. In this image the key, fish and chicken get the upscale treatment. In his photo stream you can find more of his upscale creations.
Can’t visit a natural history museum or an aquarium? Luis Peña has us covered with his LEGO build of a couple Devonian sea critters – the larger of which is the Dunkleosteus and then its smaller prey being the Stethacanthus.
Peña certainly got all of the anatomical details of both fish correct from the eye placement on the Dunkleosteus to the anvil-shaped fin of the Stethacanthus. Both builds are also are seemingly correct in terms scale as the Stethacanthus was actually a pretty small shark-like fish. Peña’s use of differing white slope pieces is effective in rendering the teeth of the Dunkleosteus; I also appreciated his use of the feather-pin element as the tail for the tinier fish. Thankfully the Devonian age has passed; these sea creatures seemed to have been pretty frightening, whether big or small, but it’s definitely pleasant to be able to learn about them in some capacity.
Here’s the thing, my LEGO collection is seriously outdated. I haven’t kept up with the newest sets for a few years, and I’m not familiar with the latest parts. Plus, all the teal that I own date back to pre-2006, so… you get the idea. But sometimes these limitations can push a builder to create something more interesting. When I see this Seahorse and Moorish Idol build by Ben Cossy, I can immediately appreciate every brick that has gone into it (and name each one on the top of my head). Using just a few standard, classic parts, Ben captures the essence of the two sea creatures quite effortlessly. The exposed studs on these creatures resemble textured scales of their real-life counterparts. The layered plate construction on the Moorish Idol and flexible hose spine on the seahorse add to the realism. This marine life build is genuinely calming and even reassuring to look at. It’s like they’re telling me, “Hey, it’s ok. You don’t need the latest parts to build something cool.”
Take a deep dive into our archives to see some more ocean-inspired builds!
LEGO builder Mitsuru Nikaido is back with another one of his animal mechs and this time he’s left off the protective exoskeleton. Instead, you have a fish that has a…regular skeleton. This fishy mech follows the same white and gray color scheme that his other animal mechs have so it makes for a great new addition to the line. As always, Mitsuru has demonstrated some very nice parts usage. I’m particularly fond of the repeated use of these handlebars along its backbone. I advise you clear your schedule, settle in, and check out these mechs by Mitsuru and others.
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!”