Here’s a gentle reminder that there’s still beauty to be found in nature. Japanese builder Takamichi Irie shares a lovely LEGO rendition of a cicada. I really admire the fragile construction of the wings. Whips, bar holders, tubing, and minifigure hands combine in a delicate symphony of nice part usage.
Reading up on cicada’s life cycle, I’m reminded that many varieties spend most of their lives underground, only emerging once a year. Some don’t even appear for 13 years or more. There’s something familiar about that right now. Can’t quite put my finger on it, though.
If you like this bug, be sure to read our interview with Takamichi. This builder has been making amazing insects for a long time.
If we were ever to encounter alien life, there is every reason to believe that they will look nothing like us. The many conditions required for life as we know it to evolve are entirely based on our own little blue/green world. And if you are going to invent life in the form of LEGO creations, the only limit is your imagination. Take this scene by Djokson, for example. These insect-like creatures and their troop transport would fit right in on many science fiction worlds and the human troops that encounter them would have the fight of their lives.
The troop transport creature is appropriately named the Flea, for its obvious ability to jump clear across the battlefield. Heads-up!
A quick Google search reveals that over the last decade the Brothers Brick team has featured at least a couple of brick-built wasps and dozens of impressive space hangars. But have we ever shared wasps inside a space hangar? Thanks to the latest sci-fi work by incredibly talented Sheo., now we have. We have no clue where these giant wasps came from and how they became a popular mean of interplanetary cargo transportation, but we are sure you can spot a ton of excellent building solutions in the picture below. The futuristic cargo crane is my favorite part of the build; just look at those adorable wheels!
Around my house, especially in the summertime, killing ants becomes a hobby. There are lots of different sizes and colors coming in and trying to eat the piles of food that my kids drop on the floor during meals — big, small, red, brown, and black. But I smush them all. R 194 appears to have a different view on ants, one that is decidedly more pleasant and whimsical. Instead of a voracious intruder, we get a curious explorer, lighting up its way with a lantern, ready to dig with a shovel and pick, and investigating with the magnifying glass. The mandibles look spot on with the tooth elements, and the antennae are perfect made with paint rollers. The shaping on the head and the articulation of the joints looks great, and I love the delightful yellow boots on the hindmost feet. But I still don’t like ants in my house.
Hop around! Hop around! Hop up and up, and get down! In devising solutions for building robots, it’s sometimes best to start with examples found in nature. When Moko set out to build his latest LEGO mech, he looked to the springy grasshopper. Moko’s model is both an excellent representation of the insect and has just enough metallic bits to make it feel mechanical. Hopping power is provided by the legs’ robust hydraulic system, while the black pistol feet likely give it the ability to stick to nearly any surface.
If I had to identify my favorite insect, I would easily respond “dragonfly.” Why? Because dragonflies eat mosquitoes. Simple as that. Now, they also have a cool name — I mean, who doesn’t like dragons, right? They also have fascinating eyes and neat wings, and they don’t sting, bite, or infest; really, what’s not to like? And indeed, what’s not to like about Grantmasters‘ dragonfly build? The insect is perfectly poised above a verdant leaf with eggs of some sort on it, ready to zoom about eating things that want to eat me.
The wings, so delicate and transparent, make brilliant use of some garage doors. Rancor fingers and paint brushes make for some crooked legs. Palm tree trunk sections create a wonderfully segmented tail, just like the real thing, and the mandibles are recreated by a fist. Then, of course, there is the banana bee, and the egg-eating snake worm, and a leaf made from a watering can and dragon wings (appropriate enough for a dragonfly, right?). Nice piece usages abound!
Surveillance technology gets a creepy boost with Marty McFly, Cole Blaq’s latest creation. I’m not sure if this steampunk drone is designed to extract information or blood. It looks like it could do either. Or both. Probably at the same time. Like I said: Creepy.
From a LEGO perspective there are lots of things to love about this build. The spear gun proboscis and minifigure whip antennae fit the insect shaping well. The plastic insect wings are effectively incorporated. My favorite details, though, are the Imperial astromech droid heads. Those transparent domes perfectly combine the suggestion of circuity and faceted eyes.
Cole provides more great views of this creation in his blog post. While you’re there, take some time to explore this builder’s other amazing creations.
Did you know that praying mantises are one of the fastest animals on the planet? They creep deceptively slow as they stalk their prey, but these stealthy strikers can snatch a meal twice as fast as the blink of an eye. Now, I don’t think this mantis, built by DanielBrickSon, is going to be making any sudden moves, but it sure looks good! The body-shaping is accurate, and the use of the Ninjago sword for the front legs is a perfect touch. I have to say, though, one of my most favorite parts is the use of the shin guards for the branch bark, a technique first seen on the cherry tree in Ninjago City.
Another fun fact: male mantises can continue to mate, even after the female decapitates them. She will eat him and any other would-be partners in order to give the eggs the best chance of survival. Romantic, huh? If you like LEGO animals, take a peek at some other (non-cannibalistic) creations, like a handsome boar or this colorful Bioni-frog.
It’s been a long and bitter winter for those of us in the northern hemisphere. But the official start of spring is just a month away and signs of this most rejuvenating of seasonal changes are already in the air. Dario Minisini has an idea of what awaits us with a colorful scene featuring two of spring’s dramatis personae, the butterfly and seeding dandelion. The windborne seedlings add a sense of movement to the creation, almost photo-like in its composition. For the spring people out there, there’s no doubt this bright image will have them hankering for more.
Mosquitos aren’t good for much, if you ask me. Except, perhaps, one thing–being turned into excellent LEGO models, like this one by Omar Ovalle. A rework of an old model, Omar has given it new life with giant ant wings and a proboscis fittingly made of a harpoon. The creature’s silver sheen makes me wonder if this is, in fact, a creature at all, or if it’s perhaps a drone-squito, AKA my newest nightmare.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a butterfly. Then again, I can’t remember the last time I saw a live chicken or cow. Living in the city does have its benefits, but sometimes we forget the beautiful living creatures on mother earth. These three butterflies remind us of how simple things can easily be forgotten in nature and how wonderful LEGO bricks are, how the simplest of things can bring color to remind us of life. Johan Alexanderson didn’t make these random-colored, but instead takes their shape and color from actual butterfly species. The green foliage, though made of seemingly random parts and elements trick my vision into thinking I can almost smell the morning dew.
Brothers Brick regular Alanboar explores the link between LEGO art and science in his latest Butterfly Mimicry creation; his exquisite case of mounted butterfly specimens being made in honour of pioneering naturalist Henry Walter Bates. The concept of Batesian mimicry argues that harmless species, such as these butterflies, evolve the markings of poisonous animals avoided by predators.
Tracing the subtle differences in pattern across these beautiful LEGO butterflies, each created from a limited set of elements, reminds me of our understanding of the malleability of genetic code and the way Bates’ work foreshadowed these discoveries.