It’s always fun to see what LEGO builders can come up with when encouraged to think of new ways to use particular pieces. And that’s exactly what Tom Loftus has done in this abandoned throne room with dark red 2×3 shields. The first place you’ll notice it is as the seat of the three thrones, which I really think works well.
I particularly like the overall design of the two smaller chairs – the seashell piece makes a very nice palmette on the seatback. The other place these shield parts are used on the floor, in a really genius kind of way. By arranging the front of the piece in a triangle, the handles on the back form a simple pattern. Repeat that 30 or so times and you have a really stunning looking floor. As a bonus, the spaces between the handles work really well for the overgrown motif, as they create the perfect gap for plant elements to be stuck into. A final note about the whole overgrown look: rather than just use clear bricks as windows and leave it at that, Tom covered the opposite side of the clear bricks with tree branches, blocking some of the light that would come through, just like vines on a real overgrown window.
A long journey to colonise distant star systems require long, space-y psychedelic songs made by musicians such as Pink Floyd, Gong, and Brian Bennet. I was listening to Life on Mars by Dexter Wansel, when I saw pictures of The Ark by Ben Smith. One year in the making, it is a massive rotating vessel which resembles something from the television series The Expanse. Inside, tiny nature habitats built by collaborators Tim Goddard and Inthert provide residence for the people voyaging across the stars.
Almost a meter in height, this SHIP hides a custom steel frame to bear the weight of electrical motors, LED lights, batteries, and thousands of LEGO parts. This behemoth of a build is as detailed as it is large, with plenty of greebling to feast the eyes. When taking a closer look, one can marvel at the geometric achievements of circular and conical sections of varying diameters. As for those not as keen for grey space machinery, there is some microscale landscaping by Tim Goddard and Inthert. For there must be life within this cold ship, as the inhabitants yearn to settle down on a distant planet.
See Ben Smith’s flick album documenting the long and arduous build process of The Ark. And put on some Pink Floyd while you’re at it…
Fledgings look to expert builder Inthert and crane their necks to see what he builds next. Specialising in spaceships, he finds the right pieces to build intricate shapes that bring beauty to otherwise now-generic vehicles. He presents us with a pink-haired lady piloting a small and unique starfighter with an unusual shape. When taking a gander from different angles, we can see that this ship has the shape of a plump bird, with the elements of a fighter jet.
Bird puns aside, this well put together craft checks all the boxes that satisfy a parts- and technique-oriented coot such as myself. A bulky body with downwards sloping wings that resemble a small bird gliding on a current is perfect. Aside from unique parts like a white Slizers visor in the front and two sizes of barrels, the use of inverted slopes for small intakes is ingenious. There is minimal greebling, but it works just as well, as less is more. Last but not least: the wing and landing gear function: the landing gear swings out as the wings fold in.
Only Inthert can make it so simple and work so well. But my favourite part still remains the girl with the lavender coloured Elves hairpiece. Something about a pink-haired girl being the pilot makes an already perfect spaceship even cooler.
See more perfect builds by the talented Inthert here.
Did you do a double take? Same here! If you’re still confused, zoom in. This is the most exceptional upscale of LEGO pieces I have ever seen. Prolific builder Inthert has pulled off a bit of genius with this latest creation. While every element is expertly crafted, a few stand out as top notch. Minifigure parts, for example, are one of the hardest things to build, but including one was a must. Yet among many piles of unsorted brick are not one but two torsos, and one’s even holding a lightsaber. These torsos are identifiable from both distance and up close, and Luke’s even incorporates string to finish the illusion. Moving on, there’s a cheeky tribute to the “brittle reddish-brown” epidemic, which couldn’t be more spot-on. (Rest in pieces, 1×3 plate!) But my most favorite detail has to be the black airtanks with the flexible hose “neck bracket” wrapped around a brick stud.
Something else to marvel: there is not a single exposed real top stud among the brick-built copycats. Now, if you’ve been bitten by the upscale bug, you can see more enlarged LEGO elements in our archives. You can also check out more builds from Inthert.
These are challenging times. I’m pretty sick of hearing that. Even more, I’m pretty sick of living it. But occasionally…occasionally…challenges can be pretty great, too. I mean, it’s hard to be too grumpy when great LEGO builders challenge each other and we get to look at the sweet, sweet results. One such outcome is the 4-D4 Recon & Fighter Craft built by Inthert. Challenged to build a ship around a specific 10x4x3 canopy in under 48 hours, the resulting ship still looks like it took months of work.
The orange version of the canopy is lifted from 2007 Mars Mission theme, but that’s not the only callback. The black, white, and orange color scheme is also a direct tribute, as are those orange wheels. The curve to the front of the ship is the result of some very tricky building, but it’s the triangular bracing at the ends of the arc that makes me smile the most. Or maybe it’s those tank treads. Or the texture and pattern from those grey wedge plates. It’s hard to make a choice. It’s all just so tasty.
Anyone else suddenly hungry for a re-release of Mars Mission?
I hear it all the time from would-be builders that they just don’t have enough pieces in their collections. “I can’t make anything cool,” they bemoan, as if having a billion LEGO elements at their disposal would make building easier. Now, in some respects, that is true; having more parts does expand the horizons of what you can build. But more importantly, building cool things comes from an eye for how to use the parts one has, rather than the parts one wishes one had, and a small collection is as good as a large one in that respect. Take this windmill by Inthert, for example. It’s not huge. It didn’t take a lot of parts. Granted, there are some specialty parts like the green palettes and the green feathers, but most of what is in the build could come from the collection of anyone who has a few sets. It’s in the art of arrangement, the way the parts are used, that the coolness comes. And that comes not from having a ton of bricks, but from using them a ton and getting familiar with them.
For example, who, having the fence piece, thinks to put it into the bottom of a jumper plate? Not I. And the tiny round tower, the artfully placed foliage of all sorts, the grille tile fence…the list of clever constructions goes on. And the little Heroica figures are just the cherry on top. And it did not take a billion bricks! So what are you waiting for? Go get your collection out and start building something, if you aren’t already. With this quarantine, I know you have time.
From movies to TV shows to LEGO models, we all love a bit of Star Wars action. But one of the persistent criticisms of the franchise is the peculiar need it appears to have to return to similar planetary environments over and again. In an entire galaxy of apparently habitable planets, it seems weird we keep ending up on desert or frozen worlds. Here’s a LEGO creation that decides instead to revel in the possibilities of alien environments, setting a battle between the Republic and the Trade Federation on the colourful world of Tealos Prime. I love the bright foliage and unusual tones in the scenery here — a brilliant contrast with the typical grey vehicles of the Star Wars universe.
The scene, a collaborative effort from Tim Goddard, Mansur Soeleman, and inthert is an absolute cracker — massive in scope despite the micro scale employed on the individual models. Check out this wider top-down view which reveals the full size of the layout, with scenery ranging from forest to cliff-side landing pad, and the impressive array of vehicles from both factions…
Not every LEGO creation has to be made exclusively with LEGO bricks. Of course, there are some whose radical purist dogmas forbid anything besides what was intended by The LEGO Group to be used in creations, but they are extremists. Many builders would say that cutting, gluing, or painting go too far, but most other things are okay. And some say that anything goes, as long as the end result looks cool. Now, I’m not sure where Inthert falls among these groups, but this creation transcends mere LEGO and becomes something different with the inclusion of a real-world spray bottle. It may not be the sword of Exact-Zero, or the Polish Remover of Nail, but its incorporation into the build is both genius and surprising.
It seems that Farmer Gary needs to water his field, and has come up with a novel way of distributing the necessary fluids. Will it work? Unlikely. But the build, built for MOC Wars 2020, is great. Check out that weather vane, for example, using an ice skate and a minifig hand. Or the grass, with sand green 1×1 clips. The variation in texture between the building, the path, and the vegetated areas works perfectly, displaying a keen eye for detail. If only Farmer Gary were so keen.
Some LEGO creations are great at telling a story. Take “Clunker” by Inthert, for example. The story here is: “Mining asteroids is a sucky, sucky job.” This scene of futuristic yet questionably maintained drilling equipment is full of great details and part usage. In particular, I’m enjoying the Minecraft-esque blocks that are being removed from the surface. I’m all for hyper-realism in LEGO creations, but when you can keep things “blocky” for a reason…well, it’s a nice treat.
A stand-out technique is the texture of the rock, created by layering lots of ball-socket plates. A more subtle, yet impressive, trick is the use of the firing pins from stud shooters braced diagonally in the underside of 1×1 plates. I hadn’t seen that one before. I shouldn’t be too shocked about that, though, as this build is part of the MOC Wars 2020 competition. You have to be as tough and skilled as these miners to survive that.
Don’t get me wrong; I love LEGO space ships. The more swooshable a build, the happier I am. Sometimes though, it’s not about the ship, but the people who keep them flying. In Repair Yard, builder Inthert shows us a slice of life from the mechanics who keep things moving. (And, apparently, the cat that helps out, too.) This model was created for a contest focused on the creative use of grill tiles, and there’s certainly several great examples of that here. Note how they are used with crossbows in the radar array on the right, as texture for the crates, and the steps in the stairs on the gantry. Look even closer, and you’ll see them as part of the engine detailing (coupled via minifigure handcuffs, no less) and the work stations in the background.
The rest of the build is fun, too. I like the crack in the paved area created by keeping a slight gap between sloped elements, and the choice of lilac for the plant stems gives the whole thing a nice extraterrestrial vibe. I do wonder, however, if I’m reading the story of this vignette correctly. It sure looks like the mechanic on the ladder pushed that shiny red button, giving the other tech a face full of soot from the engine. Surely Inthert would be nicer to these characters, right?
There seems to be some LEGO builders who, when they sit down to build LEGO models, they really pump them out..and in fine form too. Inthert’s recent experimentation with new parts has brought out some great technique and this follow-up ship to his previous creation, 6-H Cargo Hopper, holds its own. Named the TRE-O, it has an almost Microscale feel, which may be partially due to the impression the solid white leaves. There are so many tasty combinations in this little vessel, so let’s just talk about a few. The curved top 1×2 brick dominates the front arms, which slide beautifully into a wheel arches. Twin 1×4 curved slopes adorn each fin further up, giving it another nudge toward its microscale feel. Another fun detail is the new 2×2 plate with thin rotation stem acting as the base of an antenna mount.
The new pneumatic liftarm with connections for hose has instantly proven itself as a perfect engine or thruster, and this shot shows it off really well. Though the back to back 3×3 slope wedges (introduced in the Overwatch range) look great, the shaping of the rear portions of th three fins sets the stern off for me.
This charming little cargo hauler by Inthert has so many great parts I’m not sure where to start. Actually, I know exactly where to start. Take a look at the pilot, sitting in the perfect cradle made from two of these shoulder pieces from LEGO 75973 D.Va & Reinhardt from the Overwatch theme put together. Genius! There are also a few of these Technic hinge parts, used on either side of the thruster intakes. Now, moving to the back, the black cargo rig makes perfect use of the little holes at the center of the red turntable bases to secure your deliveries.