Tag Archives: James Zhan

These Irises were made for walkin’, and that’s just what they’ll do.

The walking iris is an interesting plant. When it reproduces, new plantlets form at the top of the flower stalks. This added weight causes the stalks to bend to the ground, where the new plants take root. Repeat that a few times, and you have a flower that “walks” around the garden. This exceptional botanical recreation by James Zhan captures the unique beauty of this plant, and adds in a swanky LEGO base to boot.

Walking Iris

Seen close up, you can appreciate the building techniques that have gone into the flowers. There’s some very clever part usage including minifigure ski poles and crowns, as well as a 1×1 plate used as a tiny mosaic to give the petals a splash of color. I also like the varied joints in the greenery, allowing for some very organic curves.

Walking Iris

Flowers have always been a popular theme for custom LEGO creations, and we’ve seen some great sets coming directly from LEGO recently, too. What sort of botanical build do you want to try?

Because flying fish are the best kind of fish

True story; one of the best days of my life involved flying fish. I was in the Navy and got reassigned to gyro school while we were deployed out in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of waiting until we pulled into port, they hired a small craft to meet our ship. I was (carefully) hoisted over the side, and onto the craft. Usually, the captain gets a series of bells to announce his or her arrival and departure. Little enlisted schlubs like me didn’t get the same treatment except during our final departure from the ship. So they rang me off with bells and headed for shore. Here’s where the flying fish came in, jumping over the craft in droves as we sped through the water. I felt like freakin’ James Bond on a special mission! Once on shore at Panama City, Florida, I was reverted back to common schlub transportation but for an hour or so, I felt pretty special. Thanks for the memories, James Zhan! It would have been extra-cool to depart on a piloted flying fish like this.

Flying fish

A flower is worth a thousand bricks

LEGO may have released an official Flower Bouquet set now, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got a monopoly on great-looking life-sized flowers made out of plastic bricks. This beautiful orchid by James Zhan shows that there are a lot more possibilities waiting to be explored. This one comes in a lovely 2×2 brick vase (something the official set lacked) and isn’t just cut flowers but instead the whole orchid plant. Look closely and you’ll even spot some bamboo stakes that help hold the flowers aloft. And my favorite detail is the succulent planted at the base, a common accompaniment to potted orchids.

orchid2.0

Look closely at the coral and spot a seahorse

Welcome back to the Brothers Brick’s LEGO nature documentary series, Planet Brick. Here you can see, hidden among the coral atop a 1×1 brick, a tiny little pygmy seahorse. Yes, James Zhan’s creation is well hidden, away from the mouths of crabs, rays, or fish looking for a little snack. The pink and red specks of this pygmy’s pigment help it to blend in with the vibrant colours of the coral, home to a number of other tiny camouflaged sea creatures. If a predator gets too close and the tiny little seahorse and tip the LEGO brick below it over and hide inside. A truly remarkable little creature to find on the reef. Stay tuned for our next episode as we explore other brick built flora and fauna inhabiting Planet Brick.

Pygmy seahorse

Save money on flowers to buy more LEGO

I think most of us will agree that a nice LEGO set or custom creation can spruce up your interior decor quite a lot. I personally am also a fan of adding flowers to my home. After all, they look good and they smell good. However, after about 10 days they have to be replaced and they cost quite a lot of money. Money I could also spend on LEGO. James Zhan offers a solution to this problem with his lovely creation called ‘Flower and zen’. And to me, the title says it all! Now all I have to figure out is how to get my LEGO to smell like flowers.

Flower and Zen

Which one of youse ordered the shark fin soup?

Beware shark fin soup enthusiasts. It’s not so much my thing but in China shark fin soup is considered a delicacy served at traditional weddings and banquets.The practice has been condemned by the Humane Society International as millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins and it sort of upsets the order and sustainability of other things in the ocean. Enter James Zhan and his toothy Nightmare Amalgam-Z. This creature can walk up on land, politely tap you on the shoulder with this Bionicle part while you’re dining, then maybe proceed to chomp on your face. You don’t want that, do you? We all gotta eat, I know, but driving a certain species to near extinction isn’t cool. So let’s be cool, otherwise you get this guy and we’ve already established what he does. So are we cool? Good!

Nightmare Amalgam-Z