Tag Archives: Iron Builder

The clouds make for a lonely home.

Daniel Cloward is no stranger to builds with a storybook sensibility. But his latest creation is one of the most impactful pieces of LEGO storytelling we’ve seen. This ramshackle space is the cloud-based home of a pilot who needs to fix his airplane so he can return down to the world he’s left behind. But the pilot can’t bear to face the people below that he has wronged, and so his plane sits broken and incomplete, as does his life.

The Lonely Pilot

There are so many details in this space that speak to the lonely pilot’s state of mind – the pictures of old friends on the wall, maps of places once explored. And there’s a ton of great technique at work here: the arching entrance way, the blend of bars and tiles in the floor, the use of forced perspective. The genesis of this build was an Iron Builder round with antenna base and handle pieces as the seed part. They may not be immediately obvious, but there are plenty of them buried in this build. Try and pick them all out.

So it begins...a new year and a new Iron Forge

LEGO builder Francis Wiemelt has aptly named this piece So it begins. This is apt because it is a new year and this is Francis’ first entry into the first Iron Forge competition of 2022. That’s a lot of firsts! He goes on to tell us that the seed part is a lever (base or antennae), used here twenty-three times in the Uruk-hai army, and eight times in the fortress itself. Iron Forge competitions mean frantic building and stress for a chosen few intrepid builders, constant entertainment for you, and job security for us. Kinda like The Hunger Games. Good luck, Francis Wiemelt and may the odds be ever in our favor…or something.

#1: So it begins...

Horsing around under the sea with this LEGO seahorse

I have nothing but respect for any LEGO builder who participates in any Iron Builder challenge, the fan-driven challenge where a single seed piece is used in inspiring ways.  The latest example is this build by -LittleJohn, where the seed part is the wind-up key in dark orange. Not only does it work perfectly as the wobbly bits along the seahorse’s back, but it also makes up the long kelp strings, held together by Minifig hands.

Horsin' Around

Phone home and tell them about this great parts usage

My first thought when looking at this build was that LEGO already makes an E.T. that would scale perfectly. But it turns out that using the official E.T. pieces wasn’t in the cards for builder Dan Ko, as this is his first creation for an Iron Builder competition. The seed element is the toy winder key in dark orange, which explains why it’s subbing in for the titular alien in this box art recreation. It’s an out-of-this-world repurposing of the part. And we have to award bonus points for the video game controller acting as Elliot’s hair.

Ride to the Sky

This LEGO Ikea showroom might require an allen wrench to recreate.

Iron Builder competitor Brickleas has taken the challenge to the land of Norsemen and ready-to-assemble furniture. This time the seed part has been used to create a chair, some decorative lighting fixtures, and a hood over the stove. But Brickleas didn’t stop at creating a cozy home scene. This build goes the extra mile by zooming out a few feet to reveal that we’re in the showroom of an Ikea. The arrow on the floor guiding shoppers and the black rigging hanging above the fake walls is sure to inspire flashbacks in anyone who has tried to navigate the labyrinthine superstore. “Why do I have to follow these arrows through the whole complex? I’m just trying to buy an affordable shelf for my UCS Batmobile!” Sorry, got a little lost in memories there…


A lovely scene at the seashore

When you are feeling stressed out, where do you go to unwind and re-connect with nature? Maybe someplace like this tropical beach by Brickleas, built for an Iron Builder contest using the white radar dish piece, used quite skillfully as steps, a sign, and shades to block the sun on the roof. And in case you missed it, the seagulls as well. One of my favorite features, aside from the shack, is the sand and surf, using slopes and bricks in shades of tan, including dark tan for the sand at the water’s edge.

Iron Bay

The release of a balloon string tugs at our heartstrings

Sometimes it can be easy to forget that LEGO isn’t just a medium for spaceships, dinosaurs, and sports cars. Brickleas reminds us that LEGO can be fine art with this Iron Builder submission inspired by Banksy’s Balloon Girl. The seed part for this match-up was the 3 x 5 deltoid panel, and it has been put to excellent use here as both the balloon and the girl’s dress. The use of varying shades of gray adds an extra feeling of depth to the hills, and there’s an excellent sense of motion in the girl’s windswept hair. The result is a powerful build that evokes a wistfulness in the viewer.

Fading Dreams

A whale of a Jeep Rubicon

The ever-popular Iron Builder competition is heating up like Georgia asphalt in July and we’re pretty thrilled. Our friend and recent The Brothers Brick alumni Benjamin Stenlund is climbing the summit with this delightful little Jeep Rubicon. The seed part was used four times here along the fenders. But to me, that isn’t even the most exciting part. Did you wonder how I came up with the title? Well, it turns out Benjamin used two Duplo whales, a big one and a little one, as part of the rock formations. That’s some brilliant parts usage right there! Good parts usage is the reason Benjamin has been featured a lot lately. Rooting for the other guy? He’s no slouch either. Then check out how Grant Davis is measuring up.

Crossing the Rubicon

Beep and Sweep: A robot’s guide to mopping floors

Looks like there is a lot of cleaning to do for this poor robot, as Benjamin Stenlund astounds us again with another encapsulating scene. It’s great to see a fully enclosed build, like this, with atmospheric lighting, which suggests that this display has a story to tell. The model is an entry in the Iron Builder contest with the current challenge being to build a model featuring sand blue spoilers. These spoiler pieces appear not only on the robot but also in the fans and the lights on the walls.

Robots make poor life choices

Ursula’s tentacles have been cleverly used as the mop head with the handle made out of candlestick pieces. I love the idea that even in a futuristic hangar, they still require a mop and bucket to clean the floors. Check out more articles on Benjamin’s stunning builds.

Living atop the wave-worn coastal rocks

Grant Davis never ceases to inspire with his exceptional LEGO creations. This adorable cottage is far from some craggy shack. The color combos and shape set the stage for visions of a quaint ocean hideaway. But it’s tough to decide if the best details come from the sand blue spoilers used for clapboard siding, or the magnificent rocky outcropping upon which it sits. The seamless transition from the smooth boulder foundation to the building is excellent. One can also appreciate the conical hat used as a barrel lid, and skates used as door handles.

Life On The Rocks

While you’re here you should check out some of Grant’s other work. Also, take a peek at some other excellent cottages and all sorts of landscape techniques.

In space, no one can hear babies cry

This LEGO spaceship creation from Jake Hansen is another entry in the Iron Builder Contest, this time having to use the Crane Grab Jaw LEGO piece. The piece is used well as reclining seats on the spaceship bridge, which is populated by four babies. The black hoses are a nice touch, reminding me of the early LEGO space sets, and the choice of orange and blue accents lighten the scene up without overpowering it. What appears to be a flux capacitor on the left side of the console is a nice touch. I’m curious what the mouse on the lower right is up to; maybe it’s cutting through the power coupling?

Baby Bridge

Watch out for the Legolex

Bored of looking at your own bland wristwatch? Look no further than the Legolex. Carefully crafted by Benjamin Stenlund, the Legolex has style and grace. Spoiler pieces connect together along the comfortable strap. Brown link chains create the textured border around the delicately placed face of the watch. An elegant crown is used to complete Legolex logo so that others know you have a great taste in watches. And with a Legolex you will always know what time it is. It’s Lego time.

The Legolex Sand Collection

All jokes aside, we’re sad to say Benjamin is leaving our team. We wish him all the best on his future endeavours. Be sure to follow him for more of his wonderful creations, and of course, we hope to see more of his amazing creations here on TBB.”