Tag Archives: History

Preserving Hong Kong’s heritage; State Theatre captured in 40,000 bricks

The State Theatre (皇都戲院) is a former cinema in the North Point area of Hong Kong. It is currently in a poor state of repair and faces demolition, despite being a Graded building and part of Hong Kong’s heritage. Originally known as the Empire Theatre, it was renamed the State Theatre in 1959 and was a cultural hub in post-war Hong Kong. Alan Boar and Mythbot collaborated to build this historic building in LEGO as a way to raise awareness of its plight, encouraging support for the preservation of Hong Kong’s historic buildings.

LEGO STATE Theatre

Don’t miss all the  street levels details like the Classic Tram , Leyland Truck, food vendor, as well as a hubbub of pedestrian activity.

Soldiering on amongst the trees of Ardennes in 1945

The Battle of the Bulge was the German’s last offensive of World War II. Although it initially caught Allied forces off guard, especially in the heavily wooded Ardennes region, it proved to be a major disaster for Germany that hastened its inevitable demise. Dunedain98 has build a wintry scene from this battle that depicts American soldiers preparing to attack an StuG III Assault Gun alongside a derelict, battle-damaged home.

Ardennes - 1945

A view closer down to the action from minifigure eye-level really shows off the atmosphere with the snow-laden trees and the offensive anticipation in the air. Continue reading

A tale of pirates, hidden treasure, English sailors and Spanish conquistadors

Life on the Caribbean island of San Escobar is anything but peaceful. The conquering Spaniards have a strategic fort while some English sailors have just arrived on HMS Falcon in time for afternoon tea. On the other side of the island,  a pirate ship approaches looking for hidden treasure! This huge and impressive diorama by Ciamosław Ciamek has everything required to tell a great story; a pirate ship, English sailors, Spanish soldiers, hidden treasure and a monastery full of moonshine-brewing monks. What could possibly go wrong?

01 Mission - San Escobar, 1715

A  closer look at the monastery shows off its nicely designed red sloping tiled roofs, an impressive dome and the main façade that was inspired by La Estancia Jesuítica Santa Catalina in Argentina.

25 Mission - San Escobar, 1715

There are lots more close-up views to enjoy in the builder’s San Escobar album of images.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Soyuz flight with a stunning minifig-scale version of the legendary spacecraft

Japanese builder KEI ABE isn’t just an expert on the history of early space exploration, but also nails the construction of Russian Soyuz spacecraft in LEGO bricks. He started this amazing set back in March, and now a whole fleet of Soyuz ships is ready for countless space missions.

Minifig-scale LEGO Soyuz-0

Continue reading

Around the World in 26 LEGO scenes

It’s time to go on a journey around the World with Denmark-based builder Lasse Vestergård, who has built a huge scenic sculpture complete with handy globe to help keep you on the right track.  Around the central globe are two circular stages each showing scenes from different countries. There are 26 countries in total, including Denmark, Greenland, UK, Italy, Spain, Israel, Australia and lots more in between. Each country has a few minifigures that represent part of the history,  heritage and culture. There are lots of fun minifigures to spot, such as a mermaid in Denmark, footballer in Germany, Leprechaun in Ireland, Medusa in Greece, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus in Israel, Shakespeare in the UK, and so on.

LEGO Around the World

See more details of this geographic sculpture

Step inside a typical Malaysian heritage house

Heritage houses are wonderful older styled buildings with a typical façade that can be found dotted around many locations in Malaysia. Vincent Kiew has created a beautiful LEGO heritage house complete with detailed interior. I love the façade with its wooden louvre shutters and architectural decorations above the arched windows. The use of a mix of white and older yellowed white bricks really adds to the ‘antiquated’ appearance. The same slightly worn down appearance is provided by the mix of colours in the main left hand side of the house with light grey, white and the odd sand green brick as an aesthetic colour scheme.

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Vincent has created a detailed interior for the house, complete with kitchen, living room, bedroom, study, toilet and more. The build is an accurate representation of a typical house and is structurally sound despite being made of LEGO.

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It’s worthwhile taking a closer look at all the fantastic interior details that have been added. Most of the interior decorations and furniture are made of wood or stone with some lovely artistic details.

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If you liked Vincent’s heritage house, you may also enjoy his LEGO recreation of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown that we featured last month.

The Manhattan project’s Trinity test

No, it’s not the tagline of a new superhero blockbuster, it’s Brian Kescenovitz‘s LEGO version of the day in July 1945 when humans created the world’s largest synthetic firework display ever seen, proving conclusively the destructive truth behind Einstein’s famous formula: Mass times the speed of light squared really does equal a whole lot of kinetic energy.

Trinity test

Brian’s chef-hatted mushroom cloud looks just like one of the old photographs of this event. The stunning lighting effect was achieved using a tight-beam flashlight shining straight down and shooting with a long 1.6 second exposure. I love how the miniature New Mexico mountains and blurred objects in the foreground give this micro-scale fulmination a real sense of magnitude.

Disclaimer: Playing with nuclear weapons is really a very silly idea.

As American as apple pie

Four score and twenty.. No wait. The only thing we have to fear is… Uhhhm. Mister Gorbachev tear down this… Hang on. Ok, got it: Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company – George Washington. And George seems to be in pretty good company in this collection of busts by Tyler Clites depicting the Founding Fathers. WISHING OUR STATE-SIDE READERS A HAPPY AND SAFE INDEPENDENCE DAY FILLED WITH FIREWORKS, FRANKFURTERS, AND FREEDOM!

There is no force in the world that can rival the Roman war machine

The Roman war machine was an impressive force in its time and to this day inspires many people, for better or for worse. This time it is for the better, as the Russian LEGO building duo Dmitriy and Anna have created an extremely expressive legionnaire using a relatively limited selection of bricks. There are many simple solutions for complex shapes, like exposed studs as the kneecaps and chin, as well as curved slopes that capture the shape of lorica segmentata perfectly.

Veni, vidi, vici

The warrior’s weapons should not go unnoticed either: while the gladius in its scabbard is not quite perfect, I do not see how it could be done much better, but the pilum and scutum are basically flawless.

But where are Princess Ida & the Totem?

Ok, I have to admit when I first saw this I immediately thought it was supposed to be from Monument Valley, the addicting puzzle game from ustwo. But alas, Bangoo H was actually building the Hanging Gardens of Babylon – one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. However, my misinterpretation of the source material most certainly did not take away from the fact that this is a serene little model that is wonderfully built.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon LEGO

The cascading water, terraces and steps all come together to perfectly represent some of the funnest levels of the…oh sorry…I mean, the ancient Babylonians’ amazing feat of engineering.

I betcha if you spun the base those two staircases would line-up perfectly, and a few stacked 1×1 yellow bricks couldn’t hurt either…

Beware the Barqan Fire

Looking like a cross between napalm and chili sauce, Barqan Fire appears to be nasty stuff with a lingering afterburn. Jonas Wide showcases the weapon’s devastating potential in this explosive vignette. Everything about the build is pure class: the tiled roof is simple yet grand, the hints of woodwork and sand green give subtle highlights throughout, and the style of architecture is excellently done. The centerpiece, though, is the fire-breathing beast spewing hell itself at the nearby wall, which Jonah has enhanced with a light brick behind the explosion for extra effect.

Siege Workshop in Barqa

Jonas notes that “the soldier doing the final adjustments to the pumping mechanism has however unknowingly built up way too much pressure in the cylinder…” Let’s hope a bigger explosion isn’t imminent!

Siege Workshop in Barqa Siege Workshop in Barqa

Et tu, Brute?

Beware the Ides of March – so warned the soothsayer in Julius Caesar of the traitorous act committed on the 15th of March, 44 B.C.E. Performed by Marcus Brutus, made infamous by William Shakespeare, the betrayal is now immortalized in LEGO by legophthalmos. The builder has chosen the perfect expressions to represent the characters: Caesar appears regal and pensive while Brutus looks devious and cunning. With Senators looking grim as they rush towards them with swords drawn and the Roman guard running towards the fracas in very soft focus, there’s no mistaking the inevitable conclusion.

Ides of March - 44 B.C.