I’m thinking of adorning my home with aquarium decor even though I don’t have any fish. I mean, think about it; tikis, skulls, mermaids, pirate ships. It’s pretty much the decor I already have minus the DayGlo paint. Or better yet, I can move all my stuff into this awesome LEGO Coral Castle by Jake Hansen. With bright coral, various lifeforms, and seaweed made of flex tubes there is a lot to love here. But my favorite detail is the fish made from beehives. I mean, come on, that’s just brilliant! Jake is competing in Iron Builder and, as brilliant as the beehive fish are, that is not even the seed part. This one is. He tells us twenty-four were used in this undersea diorama. This Iron Builder competition is just firing up so I get a feeling we’ll be seeing plenty more great builds from Jake soon.
Jake Hansen’s LEGO dinosaur reminds me of the rubber dino toys I used to own as a kid. They were bright in colour and most of them looked quite friendly. Except for the meat-eaters. They looked really serious but that was mostly due to the sharp teeth. Then Jurassic Park came along and all of a sudden most dinosaurs were earth-toned. They also made the velociraptors quite a lot bigger but that’s a story for another day. This Stegosaurus by Jake is colorful and really friendly looking. For the spine fins Jake used the crane grab jaw which looks splendid from this angle. I am curious how it looks from the front. The half round tiles have been used as toenails which works perfectly. Last but not least there is a quite Jurassic part used in the foliage that is dinosaur-related. It is the dragon arms, which later were used by LEGO on dinosaurs as well.
I’m often reminded that good landscaping can really make or break LEGO scenes or buildings. When builders like Jake Hansen build their structure right into the landscape through – chef’s kiss – words are hard to describe how good it can look. Jake is pretty masterful at LEGO landscaping, and his new pieces never cease to amaze me. The composition of slopes gives the perfect look of natural stone. The natural curves of the landscape perfectly nestle the structures of this hidden jungle temple and the smooth spring water it surrounds. A couple features I’d like to point out are the curving staircase, brilliantly constructed out of flags, and the table made from a brown witch king’s crown. Does anyone else wish this was a real place we could go and explore?
Builder Jake Hansen shows us you can make body parts out of body parts. Let’s look for all the body parts. The headdress uses hands and arms to represent tree branches. The eye sockets are made using LEGO minifigure torsos, and the same goes for the skulls around the Shaman’s belt. In fact, those look absolutely brilliant in their simplicity. But the absolute cutest has to be the minifigure legs used as toes–an absolute winner to me. The use of colour in this creation is also gorgeous, especially when it comes to the contrast between the vibrant necklace and headdress and the more muted grey of the figure.
Are we late for the Christmas party? I imagine building toys is an all-year job and while many of us have already packed away our Christmas lights and decorations, Jake Hansen graces us with a late Christmas hurrah. When the LEGO build techniques are this good, it doesn’t matter what the calendar says, really. I mean, just look at that crooked door and those slightly askew windows and chimney. That is no easy feat in LEGO! The colors and thick snow are all holiday perfection. Jake seems to make awesome build techniques his regular thing. This makes me want to get festive all over again and try that expired egg nog in the back of the fridge. What’s the worst that can happen?
Besides, we could all use some bonus Christmas cheer this week, right?
In these dark times, I’m all about seeking out wisdom to brighten the world. Jake Hansen has presented us with an interesting option: The Frog Council. Perched atop graceful columns, these three wise amphibians invite the viewer to ask questions. Questions like “How did Jake come up with the idea of using baseball caps for egg cups?” Or maybe “Are those minifigure hands adding details to LEGO vines?” Oh sure, you could ask them something important like “How can we improve the world?” Or even “Why did LEGO get rid of the classic grey color?” But, c’mon. They’re frogs. There’s probably an upper limit to what they’re willing to share.
Where did these frogs gain their secret wisdom? Maybe it was from perusing our frog archives. But probably not.
This colorful creation by Jake Hansen (Mountain Hobbit) jumped right out at me with the inviting use of colors that spellbind and luring me to a place where it’s mystical that I almost want to drive right into the canvas of LEGO bricks of which it’s sculpted with. The imagery is vertically split into three: the cool flowing blue of the waterfall streaming, the dark orange earth that paves the path to the hidden abode, and the muted green of the grass work in a perfect combination of something that seemed like it spun off an artist’s color wheel. The equally bright and random colors mushrooms fitted with various sizes of technic gears in tan bring the magical land to life.
I’ve recently started being interested in the idea of collaborative LEGO builds. Everyone does their part and they all come together to create an amazing piece of art. Such is the case with The Village of Thornefeld a terrific medieval village collaboration from Cole Blood, Timothy Shortell, Grant Davis, Eli Willsea, James Libby and Jake Hansen.
I had the pleasure of seeing this model in person at Bricks Cascade. Photographs can never quite capture the grandness of these large creations, but it was joy to see up close. What’s incredible about this build, besides it’s huge size and masterful execution, is the cohesiveness of the whole thing. Each builder worked within a tight color scheme and used matching rock styles to make all the sections mesh seamlessly. I love the way the ground slopes slowly upward, creating a wonderful rolling landscape and various levels. This is great territory for storytelling which each builder does nicely, creating a bustling village that’s full of life.