Engineering mastermind Grant Davis comes to us today with an infinitely brilliant design: a machine that knocks over and resets ten LEGO dominos. The simplicity of the tan dominos atop a plain gray box with only “D-O-M-I-N-O” spelled out on the front belies the complex machinery within. Grant has rigged up sections of of the base to open, revealing liftarms that right the fallen dominos in reverse order. This allows for another round of toppling via a different poking device, again hidden in the base. But the really impressive genius here is the magnet system in each domino making sure that the rectangular tiles always fall and reset into the same positions. To hide the standard LEGO magnet in a two-stud width without sacrificing any exterior design is truly marvelous!
Of course a picture can only do this build so much justice. Check out a full explanation of Grant’s design process, and the final product in action, in the video below. Oh, and prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor, as well. This machine isn’t designed to reset that…
The spring equinox has just been and gone, so the days are getting longer and summer is on its way. To get us in the mood, Grant Davis has crafted an idyllic-looking bit of LEGO coastline. The still pictures on their own are already making me long for a bit more sunshine (especially having just been through the Finnish winter!), but these only tell half the story…
When I first joined the online LEGO community about 20 years ago, I had to choose an avatar to represent myself online. I decided to draw the LEGO frog in MS Paint and use it as my avatar. The frog piece was released in the year 2000. Over the years some LEGO parts get redesigned. It is however my honest opinion that there is no way to improve the iconic little frog. For its time it is very detailed and still very cute. Four amazing builders decided to celebrate the piece and I could not pass it up the chance to take a closer look at them.
Roanoke Handybuck’s frog is currently visiting the Swamp with a lovely dock featuring some paint brushes and a beautiful architectural sculpture using red parrots.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about getting whisked away somewhere on a plane. But hopefully not a plane that uses an actual whisk to hold its propellers on, like this one does. But I suppose the whisk is the least of this pilot’s worries, as Grant Davis has constructed quite the impressive belch of black smoke coming from the engine of this seaplane. The texture of the smoke is quite impressive, and I particularly like the black smoke near the engine, made from what I think are a couple of TIE Fighter pilot helmets. The use of the small ship in the background to create a forced perspective horizon really makes it feel like this pilot is isolated, which adds a wonderful additional element of drama to the scene. I don’t imagine making engine repairs while rocking on the open ocean is an easy task. Hopefully his radio still works.
Grant Davis never ceases to inspire with his exceptional LEGO creations. This adorable cottage is far from some craggy shack. The color combos and shape set the stage for visions of a quaint ocean hideaway. But it’s tough to decide if the best details come from the sand blue spoilers used for clapboard siding, or the magnificent rocky outcropping upon which it sits. The seamless transition from the smooth boulder foundation to the building is excellent. One can also appreciate the conical hat used as a barrel lid, and skates used as door handles.
Grant Davis must know I am partial to a good brick-built insect. It is my dream to one day have framed Entomology display made entirely out of LEGO bricks. Now all I have to do is convince my partner that this is suitable decoration for a living room. These wonderful bugs by Grant might help me convince him. The body of the beetle is build using the vehicle spoiler for the antennas Grant used minifigure whips. There is an interesting mixture of brown parts used in the making of the branch. The flower on the branch must be some sort of parasitic plant species because it looks like it is not part of the branch itself. The eggs used for flowers petals is a very lovely touch and the presentation of this creation is simply sublime.
One of my guilty pleasures is spending too much time on Zillow. I’m not really looking to buy a home, I’m just curious about what they look like inside. But if I was browsing the site and saw anything as modern and cozy as this build by Grant Davis, I might start trying to convince my wife we need to move. The modern stairway grabs your immediate attention, but there’s so much here to love, from the beautiful bay window to the hardwood floors (look closely, they’re not just long tiles). And that steamboat on the top shelf cleverly uses sideways radiator grilles for its windows. I hope the steamboat comes with the house, because I’m ready to make an offer on this place.
There was a time when LEGO builder Grant Davis was a regular here at The Brothers Brick but lately he’s been as rare as truck nuts on a Prius. That’s because he’s been away at the university. But that’s all about to change because he is competing in the ever-popular Iron Builder competition against our friend and recent TBB alumni Benjamin Stenlund. Grant calls this one “The Experiment” and, like many sci-fi movies and Florida Man stories, it features toxic goo, tentacles, and a situation that’s about to get calamitous. This is only his first entry in this competition so we can expect to see plenty more from Grant and even Benjamin soon. Iron Builder always means job security for us. Speaking of job security for us, check out the other times we were totally gaga for Grant’s stuff.
Things are getting a little ridiculous here. The level of Grant Davis‘ genius LEGO skills lately is making me want to be better at life. Making a popcorn machine is neat, but what’s really cool is that it functions. Yup, the “popcorn” pieces come out of it just like the real thing, using a motorized piston at the top. It’s an excellent idea that I wish I would have thought of myself. But on top of that, we have to address the font. Can you imagine a better way to replicate that old school cartoony movie theater style?
If you look closely, you can see the piston moving up and down. It “pop” out just the right amount at the right timing to mimic the real thing.
You can see all of Grant’s LEGO builds (including many with a common parts theme) in our archives.
Ah, nature. It feels great to get out of the house and stretch the legs, hiking strenuously over hill and dale to find the perfect vista by a babbling brook to soothe the troubled soul. Or, you could save yourself the strenuous part and just look at this beautiful waterfall built by Grant Davis, like me. From the smooth rock, comprised of larger elements not often seen in LEGO cliffs, and the hint of greenery at the top, all the way down to the sparkling blue pool and perfectly captured foam, it is a satisfying blend of the complexity of technique and simplification of texture and hue. While I do not envy the folks in that unfortunate boat at the top of the falls, I can at least reassure them that they are just falling into a pile of flowers.
If you love builds of waterfalls, check out the TBB archives of waterfall builds. Or if you just can’t get enough of Grant (and who can?), here are some more of his builds.
LEGO builder and co-fan-designer for the Ideas Pop-Up Book set, Grant Davis is on a roll lately. As in, one of the best runs of excellent builds in a short time I’ve ever seen. In this latest project, the candlestick holder and rose are lovely. But the real hero of the display is the “lace” tablecloth. Made up of 16 white nets and adorned with both older and new flower elements, it’s certainly convincing. Anyone who has worked with nets in this way knows how tricky and fiddly they can be, but these are expertly held together with carefully hidden connections. There are even white tusks/tails clipped to octagonal parabolic rings for the more intricate center. LEGO has never looked so delicate.
LEGO Builder Grant Davis has been having a lot of fun lately with the 4×4 flower part. Here he’s used it to decorate the roof of this Gingerbread House. But this isn’t the only smart usage of parts in this sweet treat. A gingerbread house is typically decorated by piping icing onto the gingerbread base, and Grant used all sorts of organically shaped white parts to mimic this. Among the parts he used are the egg, the candle and a lot of round, half-round and quarter-round tiles. The use of rubber bands beneath the eaves and for the X-shaped windows deserves a quick mention too. Did you spot the different types of helmets he used for candy?