Tag Archives: Immersive Scene

Cooking up something special with bananas

The LEGO banana element is not necessarily the most useful piece, right? It has only one connection point, at one end, and no matter what you do with it, it still looks like a banana. That has not stopped LEGO from using it all over the place, whether that be gold bananas in Ninjago sets, grey ones in Mixels, or white, teal, and dark blue from various Chinese festival sets; but it still looks like a banana. But when I was taking my almost-two-year-old to the bathroom the other day, I realized that the handles on the faucet looked remarkably banana-like, with the same curve and general shape. So that got me thinking: could I make a kitchen that used a banana sink? In my own collection, I have only yellow and gold bananas, so it had to be a gold sink, but brass is coming back in, right? Or was it in, and now it’s back out again?

The Nocturnal Kitchen

The rest of the kitchen came together around the sink, scaled to that. It’s loosely based off of the kitchens from my last two houses in layout, though the dishwasher should be to the right of the sink for better accuracy. It ended up using almost all my dark brown tiles and bricks and plates (as well as slopes!) for the cabinets, so I’m glad I did not go bigger, and if you look closely at the sand green walls, you’ll see that they are largely made of 1×2 plates. I am not looking forward to taking this one apart. The ceiling came last, but I knew I needed one, since I wanted an immersive shot, and those always look more convincing with the ceiling and a controlled light source. So I made it studded, to replicate the horrible textured ceilings that so many houses have (including my own), and made the light for the photograph come through the ceiling fixture, with a little reflecting in from the window and the banana moon (which would have been better in white, admittedly). I’m fairly pleased with the build, though I do think the floor is ugly, and so does my wife, but that’s the tiles I had in abundance, so that’s what I used. Maybe we’ll remodel it someday.

If you like this build, you’ll probably like this collection of LEGO kitchen builds. And don’t forget to tune in to the Iron Forge competition, where the banana is the seed part.

Not all bounty hunters are Mandalorians

I’m one of those annoying Star Wars fanboys who liked Boba Fett for no good reason. What did he do to deserve the adulation poured down upon him? Nothing. Ok, he had some menacing lines, and cool looking gear, and an awesome spaceship that flew the wrong way (or maybe landed the wrong way), but beyond that all he did was get embarrassingly knocked into a Sarlacc mouth by a blind guy with a spear. But as we all know by now, bounty hunting is a complicated profession, and the popular love for Mandalorians and their ilk has only grown, getting featured in The Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars, Rebels, and even getting their own eponymous show. My love has grown correspondingly, too. So when one of the categories for this year’s Space Jam was to build a LEGO bounty hunting ship, I was all about that, and started making something inspired by the Razor Crest.

Harvester II

Click to read more about my design process

Sounds good to me.

Stellar photography and LEGO construction collide in this amazing Green Arrow scene by Andrew Cookston. Andrew has made use of custom minifigures and accessories as well as traditional LEGO elements  to bring this comic book panel to life. This battle with villain Onomatopoeia just speaks to us. Because, you know, onomatopoeia

BANG!

If this style of image appeals to you, check out the other immersive scenes we’ve featured!

Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, cyberpunk?

Some people like horror movies, because they like being terrified by monsters and gore. I don’t. I hate horror movies, in fact. Instead, I go in for cyberpunk, because I like being scared by a desolate tech-heavy future. Bleak metal buildings, an utter dearth of plant life, and gritty scrappers with doctorates in electrical, aerospace, and mechanical engineering (how else could you keep such sophisticated tech running, kitbashing decrepit robots and speeders on the fly, right?), are all the things that give me nightmares. And I love it. This LEGO scene by CRCT Productions hits that perfect cyberpunk sweet spot, with the immersive scene, the optimal balance between greebled and smooth surfaces, and the dim light with brightly glowing signs.

LEGO Cyberpunk Industrial Zone

I love the pipes on the left and the roller coaster track on the right, and that little orange-lit shop down the street gives the scene so much added depth and realism. The builder resisted the temptation to overpopulate the street, and instead carefully chose a few well-placed soldiers to give a dreary, not-quite-but-almost deserted life to the scene. Ok. Now that I’ve looked at this for a bit, I need to get outside for a walk in the park or read one of my many leather-bound books to get that future of technological horrors out of my mind.

Do you like this kind of stuff too? Then check out the cyberpunk archives of TBB!

He may be Gandalf the White, but he’s looking rather grey today

Tragically underused in LEGO builds is the immersive, cinematic shot. Sure, it’s vastly easier and faster to build a vignette, or a stand-alone building, but I deeply admire builders who can move their creation beyond plastic bricks and into an entire world filling the frame. Nathan Smith is one of those builders, playing with light and camera angles to put the viewer in the scene in a believable way. Are there many mind-blowing building techniques on display here? No, not really, though that door does look quite nice. But nothing is out of place, with meticulously arranged leaves and crates, and the smooth walls of the citadel allow the lighting effects to shine. And shine they do, illuminating a ruminating Gandalf perfectly.

"Before the Siege"

Love LEGO builds inspired by The Lord of the Rings? Then check out the TBB LEGO Lord of the Rings archives. They’re epic!

On the shores of the sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-Earth

The bittersweet ending of The Lord of the Rings is a scene that impacted many readers and viewers such as myself. It is the last we see of our beloved heroes after so many trials and tribulations in their story. In this scene, our heroes join the elves on a boat departing Middle-Earth to “a far green country under a swift sunrise.” Many see this as an allegory for death and the journey beyond, whether it be heaven or something else. Like Bilbo, I like to think of this in a more optimistic way: a new adventure in an unfamiliar land. JNJ Bricks captured the moment in the Grey Havens right before their departure in a striking, immersive LEGO scene.

Grey Havens

The minifigures of Frodo, Gandalf, and the hobbits stand in the foreground, out of focus and facing away. The elves wait by the boat, ready to take them on their journey out of the completely brick-built harbour. LEGO parts make up everything in this scene, from the water to the sunset sky between the cliffs. My favourite detail, the arches, and towers across the water look just like the movie, despite being so small. The boat, being grey, is distinct enough to not blend into the background. The accuracy of this scene invokes the same emotion in me as I experience while reading the book or watching the movie. Now I am in the mood for some of Tolkien’s poetry…

Going, going, gondola!

I love immersive builds, where everywhere you look there is LEGO, except the sky (I don’t like brick-built skies, due to the brick pattern). It’s like I’m one of the minifigures, standing in the scene, seeing the sights. It is my preferred building style, at least when buildings and rooms are involved, and one that I (Benjamin Stenlund) used in my latest creation. Set in the Guilds of Historica’s fifth guild, Varlyrio, in the Venice-like capital of Illaryian, it depicts a slice of daily life, with gondoliers poling, shopkeepers selling, families visiting, soldiers guarding, sailors lounging, and rogues prowling.

A Varlyrian Vacation

I tried to vary up the action of the figs to make it lively without being cluttered, and to vary the patterns of the houses to make it homogeneous without being monotonous. All of the buildings have the same roof style, with tiles pressed down on just one end, but three colors are used (you can barely see the lone dark grey roof on the right) to mix it up. Varying the patterns and heights of the buildings helps to make it visually interesting, but basic patterns get repeated. It’s like a block of modular buildings, if LEGO made modular buildings that were just rickety facades with no interiors. I don’t build interiors, unless it’s going to be visible in the shot, since it won’t be seen. That’s just wasted effort for my purposes. Another secret is that the water ends just around the corner under the bridge, where it stops being visible. It’s all about the camera shot, for me. And yet, it looks so nice, I’d like to visit the place myself. If only I were about 1.5 inches tall…