We’ve been sharing an early look at a number of sets based on the latest season of Ninjago. Today we tackle the smallest of the bunch, 71745 Lloyd’s Jungle Chopper Bike. This 183 piece set will be available March 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £17.99. Is there enough here to be of interest to both Ninjago fans and the wider LEGO audiences? Come along as we take a close look!
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Click to read the full hands-on review
Some places are inviting, but this microscale Seaside Shoppe by Halhi141 seems to be a grumpy fellow. Maybe I’m seeing things, but the crossbeams, red awning, and doorway arch make a perfect little face screaming “Go away!” And who puts a store on a remote island anyway? Still, that didn’t keep me from appreciating the excellent LEGO building techniques in play. Check out the minifigure scaled book that forms the roof, and the clever binocular chimney with cattle horn smoke. The landscaping is also worth a closer look, as cherries are used to create some perfect little shrubs. And I really like the curving path made from a animal tail element.
Mircoscale creations, when done right, pack a ton of detail into the tiniest places. Just check our archives for even more tiny goodness!
You may recall a prior post featuring Dale Harris and his Neo-Fabuland concept. It was Boris’s Post Office, an adorable little scene, and while it may have looked like big, clunky Fabuland pieces designed for littler hands, it was actually meticulously constructed out of “regular” LEGO bricks. Back then he alluded to the fact that it was merely a small module that would eventually be part of a much larger layout. Well, feast your eyes on Edward’s Island! The aforementioned Barty’s Post Office is there about centered on the island but that is accompanied by a whole assortment of adorable Fabuland denizens and their primary-colored buildings.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
I was a kid in the ’70s and ’80s with above average drawing skills but typically childish tastes in what I liked to draw. With the Hardy Boys, Johnny Quest and Treasure Island well within my wheelhouse of influence, it was a sure bet that many of my childhood drawings included some kind of skull island. Whether it be a Dino-Skull Island, Rhino-Skull Island or Bat-Skull island, I was totally into it and would imagine a whole slew of baddies who inhabited these remote, exotic islands hellbent on ruling the world. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that…not much has changed in my adulthood; my art still boasts similar themes from childhood, including a skull island lair or another from time to time. This is why I was so thrilled to find a kindred spirit in Bob DeQuarte.
In one fell swoop, this builder rekindled so many childhood dreams and sparked, let’s be frank, more than a few recent ones. For this, I am thankful for builders like Bob. Anyway, I just wanted to say my piece about this awesome island. I hope you can all be as thrilled about it as I am. Just in case we’re tracking on a similar wavelength, here is another time Bob opened a magic door into childhood dreams.
Every year for the past few summers, right around now talented castle builders start coming out of the woodwork and displaying their creations for the Summer Joust. One such talented castle builder is Carter Witz, who has built the ruins of some ancient civilization on the edge of a tropical island. Unlike most such builds, however, Carter has set most of the building beneath the waves, implying either that the level of the sea has risen or that the level of the land has sunk. Or were the original inhabitants merfolk? Our only clue is that the builder has titled the work “Flooded…”. Whatever the events were that befell the now-ruined tower, it is an impressive build.
Large sections of rocks often get to be tedious, but Carter has kept the rocks looking interesting by varying the pieces and techniques on the way up. Minifigure arms on the submerged trees make for effective branches, and the tan gears look like nice corals. There are even ball joint pieces used as some sort of sponge, perhaps. The nicest detail, though, is the fish hiding in the hole in the tower. They don’t mind at all that the place is flooded.
No LEGO creation impresses me more than a well done microscale build. When building bigger, you can essentially sculpt any shape imaginable with basic bricks and plates. With microscale however, the parts you choose can make or break your design. Take david zambito’s Calm Seas for example, and focus on the trees and the ship. AT first glance, the trees might look pretty straightforward since he uses a leaf to represent a tree canopy. For their trunks though, he’s used a long horn instead of a straight bar, and this choice makes the tiny palm trees lean in a way that feels natural.
Next up is the brilliant little ship. Before I gush about the bow and sails, I’d like to recognize the apt use of a droid arm as the bowsprit. While it wouldn’t have been my first choice, now that I’ve seen it, I can’t think of a better piece to use in its place. Now on to the true stars of this build…. The obvious standouts are the crocodile heads as sails, which stand out as trapezoids, whereas most LEGO elements are rectangular. What’s more, the ridges over the eyes make them appear to be blowing in the wind. My favourite aspect of the entire build is the mummy’s headdress as the bow of the ship. Not only does the part fit in with the scale, but its functional areas are both used: the ship connects to the inside where a minifgure head would normally go, and the stud on the front of it is the connection point for the bowsprit. Take a closer look yourself and see what other amazing parts usage you can find.
Sergeant Chipmunk is back with another one of his beautifully textured, fantastically displayed LEGO scenes. Some past creations from Sergeant Chipmunk featured here on the Brothers Brick include Hailstone Point, Securing the Seas and my personal favorite is the western-themed From Sunrise to Sunset!
I have some puzzling thoughts about this picturesque little scene. The titular astronomer has clearly landed already. The boat is tied up, but not unpacked. There are even freshly caught fish and a roaring fire with a pot of fruit boiling away. The telescope is propped up and ready to go. But where’s the astronomer? All of Chipmunk’s other models star minifigures in key roles. Not this time. The easiest answer might be that the astronomer is inside the tower. Or are they underwater spearfishing for more to eat? Did they become the parrot atop the roof? Have they fallen off the bridge with no one to save them? Maybe the intrepid astronomer spotted aliens through the telescope and they arrived to whisk him/her away! Share your theory in the comments!
Sometimes the most surprising detail in a microscale LEGO model can be the simplest one.
Sad Brick demonstrates this in a simple island scene showing a cherry tree as the centerpiece. I enjoy the use of flower elements still attached to each other to sculpt very spherical foliage. Small gold hut-like dwellings help sell the scale of the massive tree. Approaching the island is a ship with a few more great part usages, like the wing from the chicken suit wearing collectible mini-fig, and a twisted white rubber band for the ship’s wake.
Who needs an island in the sea when you can have your own private enclave in the sky? This splendid floating homestead was built by -Littlejohn and his brother Isaac for InnovaLUG’s collaborative display at Brickworld. While this size of the islands may be small, the builders packed a lot of detail into each one. I love the idea of subsistence farming above the clouds, which is made even more exciting through the use of bright and cheery colors. The little house completes the scene quite nicely; it looks so quaint and inviting that I wouldn’t mind living there!