Tag Archives: Iron Builder

Tiny LEGO model of El Dorado hides a surprising secret

This LEGO microscale model of El Dorado, the legendary city of gold, by Justus M. packs a lot of tiny details into such a small scene. I love how the leaf element here takes on a different size at this scale. The builder adds many small colored plates and other parts in pastel that are common with South American cultures. But there is more to this model than meets the eye. Subtly included ramps turn this scene into a GBC (Great Ball Contraption) module. See if you can spot the 20 gold handcuffs used in this Iron Builder entry.

El Dorado [GBC]

Warships used to look so much flashier

You know what the problem with military vehicles is these days? It’s all so grey. Or stealth black, sometimes. Or a drab green. Or some – anyway! Point is, they’re not very interesting colours. Back in the day, warships on the high seas sometimes had a fair bit of bling on them. Joe (jnj_bricks) harkens back to these flashier days by throwing some golden LEGO handcuffs at this Man-of-War. Coupled with that dark blue, it looks rather smart. Sure, it’s not very practical – you could see this coming a mile off. But isn’t that for the better, so that we can appreciate this masterful little build?

French Man of War

How it’s made: nano-fig special

Ever wondered how LEGO’s nano-figs are made? Caleb Schilling has given us a sneak peek at their production line mid-manufacture. Bet you thought it was all ABS and injection-moulding, eh? Think again! Now I’m no expert, but I believe that inside this machine, there are tiny little gremlins (smaller even than nano-figs) armed with tridents, who carve these pieces out of coloured plastic. These tools of theirs are wonderfully versatile. You can see two of them sticking out the side, which when pulled presumably give the gremlins a poke, so they know which shift to be on. Some older ones also seem to have been re-purposed for the conveyor belt. How resourceful! It’s a wonder such production methods aren’t used elsewhere, really.

(Hm? What do you mean, I’ve failed the trial period for TBB’s production expert…?)

The Factory

Slicing at life with a pixilated pitchfork

Confused by the title? Sounds like an impossible task, much like participating in the Iron Builder competition where two LEGO builders try to use a single part as much as they can. And IB gladiator Jonah Schultz has taken a huge stab at using the Minecraft trident in this “slice of life” scene. It contains such ingenious use of the wrong end of the weapon, throwing tons of sand green diamonds all over the place for various fencing and knobs. But don’t miss the drainage grate, composed of the trident’s prongs.

Slice of Life

Cut through the swamp, they said. What could go wrong, they said.

This scary LEGO swamp scene is brought to you by Caleb Schilling. It’s his first entry into the new Iron Builder competition so that means job security for us and scores of entertainment for you. Speaking from experience, Iron Builder is difficult so, like our adventurer, Caleb is probably feeling like he’s waist-deep in peril right about now. The seed part this time around is the Minecraft Trident. It’s been used to excellent effect several times in this swampy scene. Among the spooky creatures lurking in the background is a shadowy Woody. Unsettling stuff, indeed!

Into the Unknown

Wyrms: like dragons, but cuter

Supposedly, the difference between dragons and wyrms (and wyverns, and drakes) lies in the number of limbs they have, and whether they have wings or not. That may be so, but the name “wyrm” just sounds cuter than the others, don’t you think? Maybe that’s why Jonah Schultz refers to this adorable little LEGO guy as a wyrm, even if it technially has too many limbs to be one. That minifigure-leg snout is too cute to belong to a fire-breathing monster! How do we square this particular circle? Maybe Wyrm is its given name? Wyrm the Dragon. Yeah, that sounds fitting! If a little confusing…

The Wyrm's Treasure

Winning at Minecraft, fatherhood, and LEGO

You may have noticed that the LEGO corner of the internet is currently awash in builds featuring the Drowned trident from Minecraft sets. And that must mean we’re amid another round of Iron Builder. Defending champ Caleb Schilling channels his love of LEGO minecraft with this tribute to the wholesome meme known as “Are ya winning, son?” The perfect recreation of the pixelated game on the son’s computer monitor is spot-on (and a great use of the skeleton head 1×1 plates I was drooling over in this recent review). The look of the two brick-built characters is wonderful, especially the little details like how the kid’s shoes bend outward slightly at the ankles, or the 1×1 brick with a stud on the side for the father’s mouth. And the trident part definitely takes center stage, used brilliantly in the legs of the desk. Intertwining the prongs to form a right angle is quite the pro LEGO move!

Are ya winning, son?

So GLaDOS to see you

Ivan Martynov has turned to everyone’s favourite evil-robot-overlord-with-homicidal-tendencies for inspiration in the Digital Iron Builder contest. This doesn’t appear to be GLaDOS herself – but there’s no telling whether it’s just as evil or not. The seed part is a SPIKE sensor, an unusual part in its own right. It does look superb as the iconic eyes of Aperture Science technology though. In a way it makes perfect sense for this particular part use – the colour sensor is basically an eye, of sorts. The massive robot in the centre would be impressive enough on its own here, but the addition of a turret and Personality Core really ties everything together.


Remember to take a break sometime–the cost could be deadly

This LEGO build comes to us from builder Ghalad through the Digital Iron Builder competition this year. It features the use of the SPIKE Prime color sensor, wonderfully used for the eyes of the skeleton and on the headphones. Every detail of this build is great with so many parts usages from Technic to the more classic LEGO pieces. I don’t know about you, but I really like the use of Mixel joints for the framing of the collarbone. I’m not particularly familiar with the finer details of skeletal anatomy, but this skeleton looks to be fairly accurate, which is something I can appreciate. I know this is a digital build, but this would be awesome to see IRL just to look at it from every angle.

The Cost

Something’s fishy about this holiday scene…

At first glance, this North Pole build by ForlonEmpire is as heartwarming as it is well constructed. A young penguin interrupts Santa’s fishing expedition to offer him a present. Santa himself is teeming with great parts usage, from the big-fig arms getting an upgrade as Santa’s upper arms, to the pair of bucket handles doing double-duty as his belt buckle. And the semi-circle tiles as bows are inspired. But the more you think about it, the more sinister this scene becomes. Why is there a sled full of presents in this remote location? The answer is obvious. Santa has laid-off his elf work force because penguin labor is so much cheaper. This penguin isn’t giving Santa a gift. He’s made the gift in exchange for a fish. Santa’s cornered the market on herring and if the penguins don’t work, they starve! Merry Christmas!

The North Pole

A creation so good it’ll give you arachnophobia

Writing for TBB is pretty great. Sure, we’re chained to our desks and at the mercy of our lemur overlord, but we get to write about some cool LEGO creations. Every once in a while though, we get creations like Eli Willsea‘s terrifying spider here. All this does is give me the heebie-jeebies. Which, to be fair, may be the point. With those big pointy teeth in the drooling mouth, you can imagine where this creation gets its name – “The Hunger”. If only the construction of this beast wasn’t so good, then I might be able to stop looking at it…

The Hunger

We look for these nightmare-inducing creations, dear reader, so you don’t have to.

Happy (cup)cake day

While I have gotten LEGO as a birthday present quite a few times in my life, I’ve certainly never gotten a birthday cake made of LEGO! This delightful party spread by Lego Monkey has all the right trappings for a great birthday for an Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL), however, with not just the gift, but the cake and even the coffee also made of the brick. Of course, it’s part of the ongoing Iron Builder competition where Lego Monkey was tasked with using the teal cylinders in as many ways as possible, hence their proliferation on the cupcake and bow.

Birthday Cake!!