This slick little racer by Isaac Snyder is disguising a secret; flip it over and it’ll keep right on going. I’ve seen some RC cars in the toy aisle that have similar features, but I don’t recall seeing a LEGO racer that does it before. The front wheels are actually pairs of 6×6 radar dishes from a Monkie Kid set, which add a flash of teal to really make the bright color scheme sing. The best part? The whole model clocks in at just 101 pieces.
Brick building animals in minifigure scale can be quite a challenge, but Isaac Snyder has risen to the occasion with a brick built elephant to go along with the official LEGO mouse. These cuties are called Olli and Rolli, with Olli being the elephant. There are loads of tales and fables about elephants and mice. In some they are enemies, in others they are friends, I even read one where the mouse kills the elephant because it keeps stepping on its nest. These two however seem to be best friends. Although Olli’s legs aren’t poseable he looks like he is going places. The best part about Olli has to be his feet. The truncated cone actually looks like it was designed to be an elephants foot. With the stud holes functioning as the nails. Olli’s ears and trunk are poseable which allows for a lot of great expressions to be made. And the eyes could be switched with LEGO’s ever-expanding collection of eyes printed on 1×1 round plates.
Just as Spring has sprung around here Isaac Snyder has Autumn on the brain with this Tryandal Woodlands. But as it turns out, March signifies the onset of Autumn in the southern hemisphere, so… Yeah, maybe my title and premise aren’t as funny and ironic as initially thought. Plus, last week, it was snowing and 36 degrees Fahrenheit here, so who knows what’s going on in the world. Either way, Isaac tells us Autumn is a magical time for him, and if that inspires him to build a LEGO creation this good, then I’m inclined to agree. With only 101 elements, we are taken to a magical land complete with Elven towers. It’s rather breathtaking, truth be told. Here are some of the other times Isaac had us whisked away to magical lands.
There’s always a ton of cool builds that show up in February thanks to various “Febrover” contests. This year was no different with Isaac Snyder’s (on Flickr as -soccerkid6) M-Tron rover and loading station.
First off, so many shields! It’s incredible to see so many of one piece used so well. The shield shape gives the base of this build a concrete look, very fitting for space-corporation LEGO design. I’m also a huge fan of the use of ladders as the frame. It feels like this whole build was taken right out of an industrial outpost controlled by M-Tron.
But the rover is the real star of the show. The wheels were installed backward so Isaac could use the grey disk as a detail effect, which is very clever. I totally dig the mini-crane on the back as well, with again a ladder being used, this time as the crane arm.
M-Tron should really make a comeback. If it does, I hope it looks like Isaac’s stuff!
Of course the bird is the word, but the bird is also the nerd as evidenced by wise old owls and the fact that little birds have a tendency to provide information to people. The cerebral nature of the species is also captured in Isaac Snyder’s brick-built avian critters sporting some stylish specs.
The pair of fowls here appear to be around the size of an average brickheadz model and they are crafted out of bricks and tiling as well as slopes which allow for curvy avian features. Both builds utilize two 1×1 cheese slopes to fashion beaks and 1×2 plates to minimally render their feet. The penguin and the owl also feature the squinting eye 1×1 round tiles, but each bird has their own distinctive eyewear – the penguin with its round frame and the owl with a square one. While simple and compact, these builds are still certainly a hoot!
Isaac Snyder shows us a LEGO castle creation can be vibrant and colorful too. He used colors I normally wouldn’t consider using. The grass is not just greener on the other side, and it is lime green. The trees are in full autumn colors. The little bakery has lovely dark turquoise details combined with a dark blue roof. The use of the curved windscreen for the roof over the entrance is absolutely stunning. But the absolute best-used part has to be the pentagonal wedge and a wand used as a store sign.
In a cottage in the woods, there lived a… dinosaur trainer? Sure, why not. This pastoral scene by Isaac Snyder is a perfect blend of simplicity and technique from the textured foundation to the interesting use of spiky vines tree branches. I really like the mostly smooth tile roof, with just a few studs for visual interest. And take a closer look at that door, with those “espresso handles” for hinges… nice parts usage!
When I think back to the LEGO sets I loved most as a kid, two come to mind: 6075 Wolfpack Tower and 6048 Majisto’s Magical Workshop. What made them special? Well, perhaps it was the opening functions they both had, so that I could have both a fully-enclosed building and a fully-accessible interior for my characters to live in. That, and I loved both wolves and dragons, so they had cool shields. Some castle builders (myself included) generally just build an interior room or exterior tower or wall from a particular angle, with a rainbow of parts behind the scenes. It saves time and bricks to do so. But when Isaac Snyder constructs a building out of LEGO, 99 times out of 100 it includes a full interior. Every part of the build is playable, accessible, and carefully thought through. It is like the sets of my childhood, only a billion times cooler and more detailed.
I adore roofs made from cheese slopes, and surprisingly for someone as prolific in the castle genre as Isaac, this is his first use of the technique. The chairs on the waterwheel look perfect, and everything has the polished Snyderian look one expects from Isaac; nothing seems out of place. Inside the structure, several things stand out, the first being that every level is accessible via a ladder or stair, with specific holes in the floor to move minifigures around. Kid me would have had a heyday making characters go up and down the stairs, falling through the holes, and so on. Second, there are beds and other practical furniture, which castle sets seldom had. Friends sets do, but not castle. Third, and perhaps most excitingly, the mill really spins! The gears connect to the grindstone, so you can make your very own ABS flour. Play functions and aesthetics. What more could one want?
Isaac Snyder has created a LEGO room that feels so welcoming, it may as well be a snapshot lifted from a modern living magazine. The fireplace looks warm and inviting, as does the seating arrangement in front of it. It’s the perfect spot to read a book, and the bookshelf is just a few steps away. I love the recesses in the wall for the shelving and storage of logs for the fire, and the staircase is minimalism at its finest. That modern clock hanging on the wall is pretty spiffy, too. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to turn off the lights and take a nap on the couch. Zzzzzzz
Ah, the pirate life — it’s all palm trees and rum, blue skies and treasure chests. Oh, and scurvy. And tropical insects. And crabs. Regardless of the reality of the pirating lifestyle, it remains a perennially popular subject for LEGO builders. Here’s Isaac Snyder‘s take on a small pirate hideaway — Cutthroat Cove — a rough wooden shelter built into the rock, complete with jetty and a lookout position on the cliffs above. The vegetation and the dual-coloured rockwork are nicely done, and the mix of browns used for the shelter gives it an appropriately ramshackle feel.
This shiny microbuild by Isaac Snyder is anything but small when it comes to character. There’s a picturesque punch packed into a small space, along with a mythical quality. The way the buildings are perfectly nestled in the rocks makes it seem like these LEGO bricks were always destined to be part of the build. With the ice cream clouds, it seems fit for a snow globe souvenir from Mt. Olympus.
There are lots of microscale castles out there. Some just stand out. This one by Isaac Snyder caught our eye for how clean and picturesque it is. The colors and angles work nicely as the castle tucks neatly into the mountainside, with a lovely seaport scene in the water below.
Isaac also built this lovely minifigure-scale watchtower. I’m a big fan of the scattered brickwork as well as the decoration and architecture on top of the tower.
Both builds are entries in the Colossal Castle Contest XVI. If you love building under the castle theme, maybe you should check it out!