Today we get to see one of our favorite LEGO artists might have fared as a more traditional user of ink and paper. We’re quite familiar with the work of 2016 TBB Builder of the Year Grant Masters as a LEGO artist: sometimes it’s an adorable kung fu panda, other times it’s a lifesize steampunk pistol, or even primeval anatomy. Grant is a master of scale and always brings excellent, inventive parts usage to the table.
As related by the builder, this “drawing” is meant to represent the start of the drawing process, the rough shapes and lines only just starting to come together as opposed to a completed, clean rendering. Swooping curves are achieved with whips, katanas, and even a high-pressure sprayer.
Ah, robots. Despite not being alive, somehow they manage to capture our hearts. Try hating WALL-E or R2-D2. Try it, I dare you. I knew you couldn’t. I suspect they’re just trying to soften us up for the impending AI overthrow of humanity, but in the meantime, it’s fun to think about helpful and friendly sentient robots. Take this one by Grant Masters; it’s inspired by the movie Elysium, and is here helping this child who broke his leg. Adorable, right? See the trust in that kid’s eyes? Any moment now the robot will rip his face off with those pincer hands and stomp on him with those grille and roller skate feet. The greebles and textures look perfect, and the contrast between the body plates in white and the technical stuff underneath in black makes for a sharp image. Almost as sharp as those pincer hands.
There is something beautiful in simplicity. How few parts can be used to still capture the essence of a thing? For Grant Masters, the answer is approximately twelve. It is an eclectic collection, from Belville doll feet to a white phone receiver, to a bandana and scarf. Capping it all off is the face from the new Chinese New Year set printed on the BB-8/porg head piece. The bamboo in the background, the dynamic pose, and the hat perfect it, making it a true work of art.
The premise of Gremlins was to never expose these adorable Mogwai to bright light, never get them wet and never, ever feed them after midnight. But how do they know what time zone they’re in? Plus it’s always midnight somewhere so did they take that into consideration? They broke the rules anyway and drama ensued but in the 80’s you didn’t really need cohesive plots to make a movie watchable. All you needed was Phoebe Cates. Grant Masters proves you don’t need a ton of LEGO to recreate a pretty convincing facsimile of Gizmo, the adorable star of Gremlins who wasn’t Phoebe Cates.
Many older fans of LEGO might long for the days of yore, before we had fancy things like minifigures and molded animals. Grant Masters liked those good old days when we had to build our own horses. After all, the first LEGO horse wasn’t introduced until 1984, years after the first castle sets with brick-built horses. With his latest creation, Grant took it a step further and built his own people too!
The use of some pretty basic elements give his Crusaders a sturdily armoured look. And though he’s rejected newfangled molds for people and animals, he’s adeptly sculpted a horse with the use of new elements, such as the curved slopes, quarter round tiles, and my current favouite use of the power blast piece, giving the horse’s head just the right shape.