I’m normally a stickler for proper grammar and punctuation but as anyone giving away a box of old shoes on Craiglist can attest, sometimes you really gotta yell to get your point across. That means all-caps and lots of exclaimation points. You can forgive my yelling when it comes to this LEGO Leonidas of Sparta bust built by George Panteleon. Any mention of Leonidas or Sparta pretty much brings out the wrestling voice in everyone. George’s LEGO building skills are worthy of all the excitement anyway. Click here to see what I mean. If after that you’re not climbing to the top of Mt. Olypmus and yelling the praises of George’s skills then maybe, just maybe, you don’t have a pulse.
Our readers of Greek descent can rejoice. Talented LEGO builder George Panteleon is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the 1821 Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire in style.
Theodoros Kolokotronis was a prominent military leader and one of the key figures of the Greek Revolution. Frankly, I had to Google him but once I did I had learned that George’s rendition is spot on! The mustache, long gray hair, and helmet are particularly inspiring but my favorite detail is the gold filigree on his jacket. He tackles the gentle slope of the shoulders; not an easy feat in LEGO. Even his epaulets accurately depict the gold lion crest that the real revolutionist wore. George is well-versed as a builder and no stranger to our pages. Check out our archives to see for yourself.
Fixed gears, no brakes, and eye-watering speeds – what more could an adrenaline junkie want? If you’ve never watched the sport of track cycling, I’d highly recommend visiting a velodrome (or at least watching it on TV during the Olympics this summer). It’s not just biking in circles. These insane athletes zip around the bowl-shaped track, vying for position like gravity-defying daredevils. Being aerodynamic is key, as demonstrated by this LEGO kinetic sculpture, built by George Panteleon.
Though the mechanism is simple, it’s so satisfying to see the rider’s legs “pedal” the bike. My favorite elements of this build (other than the fact that it actually moves) are the paint-roller handlebars and the shoulder armor turned helmet!
We’ve also featured several of George’s vehicles, a giant watch, and some outstanding character sculptures!
George Panteleon brings us a car we’ve seen before. It’s the classic Mini. LEGO released the mini cooper set a couple of years ago. George’s rendition may or may not be a different version of the mini car. I couldn’t tell you because I am no expert when it comes to cars. I do know that I really like his rendition of the mini. LEGO released 4 sand colors (red, purple, green and blue) and then decided to not use them all that often. George proves that that is a shame by using sand green to make this lovely build. There are a lot of nice little details on this build. The car grill is made of the back side of the masonry bricks, the microphone utensil gets turned into direction indicator lights and the bar holder with handle gets turned into a side way mirror. Best thing about this has to be that you can actually open the doors and even pop the hood. I say job well done!
I never had a dirtbike as a kid or as an adult. I’m too prone to cracking my noggin, I guess. George Panteleon shows us what life is like for the less accident-prone among us with this amazing and detailed LEGO Yamaha XT550. George tells us this model was constructed with 460 parts and it is 31cm long and 18cm high. I would feel safer with this LEGO version over the real thing but only just slightly. With my luck, I’d still find a way to bust my fool head while building this. Somehow LEGO accidents are plentiful in this household. You should see the broken nail I’ve endured while building this.
European readers will recognise these busts of two big-nosed cartoon characters named Asterix and Obelix. These Gaulish warriors are from a French comic series with the same name, following their fantastic adventures and fight against the Roman Empire. They sometimes get temporary superhuman strength by drinking a magic potion brewed by their village druid. George Panteleon built the perfect portraits of the titular heroes, each instantly recognisable by their characteristics. Asterix is the small but strong warrior with his signature winged helmet. Obelix is his sidekick, overweight with permanent superhuman strength because he fell into the cauldron of magic potion as a baby. Obelix’s double chin and broad shoulders set him apart from Asterix, all with the clever usage of rounded bricks. Smaller quarter-dome bricks give the shape of the noses, cheeks, and helmets of these cute but fierce characters.
The new Joker movie by Todd Philipps in my view tells one of the best origin stories for the Clown Prince of Crime. Being a fan of the Dark Knight and the various original treatments of his arch-enemy over the past decades, no comic panel could have told the tale that was told with the amazing embodiment of Joaquin Phoenix on the big screen. While this LEGO bust of the Joker by George Panteleon isn’t from the movie, it bears a striking resemblance to the Joker from Batman: The Animated Series, especially that nose and that wide grin. The amazing brick layering techniques in which every single piece seems to fit perfectly and brings this character to life gives me the chills.
I’m not a watch guy. I mean, I have a watch, and I wear it every day, everywhere I go. It is even an analog watch, not one of those new-age digital ones (and don’t get me started on smart watches!). But I don’t go in for fancy watches. If I did, I would probably daydream about a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. I don’t make enough money to even begin to think about daydreaming about buying one, however. One of these timepieces new starts at over $12,000 (depending on your metal of choice), though Paul Newman’s 1968 Daytona sold a few years back for a record $17.8 million. Builder ZetoVince (George Panteleon) has solved the problem of price by building a Rolex Daytona out of LEGO bricks instead of buying it. And what a watch! The scale is deceptive, but this is a massive build; the face of the watch is almost 7 inches across (or 17 cm). With this on your wrist, you are sure to impress your colleagues.
The yellow and light bluish grey do a good job of filling in for yellow gold and Oystersteel, one of the colorways of the Daytona (this one starts at just under $17,000, in case you were curious). The Technic gear rack, with its teeth and assorted pin holes, looks fairly comparable to the numbers and little hash marks around the outer rim of the real watch. Second only to the gear rack in inspired parts usage is the yellow flipper at the 12:00 mark that mimics the golden crown of the Rolex logo. The only thing that could have improved the watch is a black face, rather than just black dials; or else grey dials (okay, I confess, I have been doing some Rolex shopping while writing this article. Maybe I am a watch guy…). But what sets this build apart from any other is that box. Who has a giant watch box sitting around? Or perhaps it was built just for this LEGO creation, which is some serious dedication. Either way, it is time (get it?) to go buy a watch.
Legendary car builder George Panteleon tells us that one of the most iconic and beautiful generation of Porsche 911 is the 1973 Carrera RSR. I consulted the records of all things beautiful and iconic and that statement checks out. He started with the yellow one about a year ago but has not photographed it until recently. Later he wanted another with a more striking color scheme so he went with the white with blue and red racing stripes.
Each consists of 779 pieces and features a fully detailed interior and opening trunk, hood and doors.
George’s prowess with car building doesn’t end with this perfect pair of Porsches so be sure to check out his other automotive wonders on his photostream. If you are inclined to build a few dream cars of your own, his book How to Build Dream Cars with LEGO Bricks may help with that.
If you ask me, cafe racers are about the coolest style of motorcycle out there. And you can’t get much better than a BMW motorcycle, so this sweet LEGO build by George Panteleon of a BMW R100 Cafe Racer is about as good as it gets. George’s bike-building skills are on full display here, with a perfect frame made of Technic elements combined with a motor and tank of regular System bits. It’s scaled to match the official LEGO BMW R 1200 GS bike, sharing tires with the roadster. Now if only LEGO would make this their next motorcycle kit…