These little LEGO fellers are cute as all heck! In true JK Brickworks fashion, builder duo Jason Allemann and Kristal give us not one, or two, but four critters with entirely different movements. It’s a bit maddening that they make it look so gosh darn easy. These simple mechanisms come together in a fun and unique display of kinetic magic.
Of course, standing still in the picture above doesn’t do them justice. But as soon as you see them move, you’ll be captivated. Click the link below to watch the full video!
The recent trend in the LEGO-sphere community has all been about magical floating compression structures, better known as a tensegrity – a portmanteau of “tensional integrity”. The fad started with a very rudimentary build on a Reddit and soon spawned many more creative iterations. We pick a few of the more outstanding ones that we’ve seen that has impressed us. A couple of them come with build videos and instruction guides for you to build your very own.
Early on when Jason Allemann from JK Brickworks first revealed and eventually submitted the wonderful Pursuit of Flight on LEGO Ideas. He also recreated two variations, a scene with Santa and his reindeers, and also modification of the scene that captured many Star Wars Fans hearts with the nail-biting Trench Run scene from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
While we’ll never get to see the Pursuit of Flight be made into an official LEGO set, he’s released the building instruction guide and parts for the Trench Run.
You can download the parts and instructions from the JK Brickworks website here, which consists of an add-on guide if you wish to motorise the setup.
As you may know, this is not the first time that Jason (also known as JK Brickworks) has been a LEGO Ideas finalist. He has actually previously won the coveted opportunity to have his build become an official set… twice. He’s responsible for 21305 Maze and 21315 Pop-Up Book (the latter in collaboration with Grant Davis).
The one thing that JK Brickworks does well is to combine LEGO bricks and motion. Well, okay, there’s more to their builds than that. There’s also the stellar look to their creations. And the great photos they take of them. And…well, look, we’re dangerously close to just doing a Spanish Inquisition tribute here. Let’s just say they’re a master at their craft and move on. Because JK Brickworks has finally entered the realm of the GBC, and it’s a wonder to behold. (That’s a “Great Ball Contraption” for those of you who haven’t encountered them yet.)
In Robot Dreams a quartet of workers rhythmically and endlessly pass tiny LEGO basketballs to each other. Each one has unique coloring and characteristics, but otherwise they’re just extremely decorative cogs in a machine. There’s an old saying about sled dogs – unless you’re in the lead, the view never really changes. Kinda makes you feel bad for at least three of these robots.
But words don’t really do this one justice. You need to see it in action. And, thankfully, there’s a video that not only shows this one in motion, but also gives some great looks at the Technic gearing and methodology that brought these robots to life.
In Greek mythology, Apollo is a somewhat complicated figure, so it seems only fitting that he’s the subject matter of Jason Allemann’s latest kinetic sculpture. Building upon his previous galloping horse, he’s expanded the moving parts in this creation to include the horse’s legs, bodies, necks, heads and tails, as well as the chariot body and wheels and Apollo himself. He’s done such a good job making the overall movement look natural, it can be hard to pick out what parts are actually moving independently of each other. It all just flows together quite well.
Like everything Jason designs, the mechanics behind it all are quite clever, but even without the movement, this would still be a well-designed static model. I really like the way he’s sculpted the head and face, using a simply gap between pieces to represent the eyes and brow. Also pleasing are the choices of gold elements to adorn the chariot, giving it that ancient and regal look. The relatively new 22 long hose with connector ends is an especially smart choice for the reins. Watch the video he made and take a moment to be mesmerized by the model’s motion and hear about all about the mechanics from Jason himself.
You can always depend on Jason Allemann to take all things LEGO to a new level. For Halloween this year, the actual action of dishing out treats to tiny monsters, ghouls and all toddler-sized superheroes has been automated. It’s powered by a Mindstorms EV3 control unit and motor.
It holds a total of 40 candy bars separated by Technic axles acting as dividers. The buttons are connected to lift arms which go all the way to the back activating touch sensors to release the sweet goods.
It might be an accurate statement to say that Jason Allemann is having the best month ever. First he was our keynote speaker at BrickCon, where he also designed the commemorative model that we featured here. And now he…or rather JK Brickworks, has completed a series with this model. Why the distinction? Jason is merely the “J” half of JK Brickworks. “K” stands for Kristal and she is the driving force behind this model that is the final part of a trio of sculptures that explore the human mind. The first model, which can be seen at The LEGO House in Billund, explores the mind of an artist. The second sculpture explores the mind of an engineer. This third sculpture, however, might be the most therapeutic for a lot of us. It delves deep and gives us a peek inside a tortured mind.
It was a pleasure to meet Jason Allemann a few weeks back at BrickCon. He was our very funny keynote speaker and if you don’t know him by name, you may certainly know him as the builder who specializes in feats of engineering such as his now famous Sysiphus model and the two times his LEGO Ideas submissions became actual sets; once with the 21305 Ball Maze and the 21315 Pop-Up Book. If you were lucky enough to attend BrickCon this year, you may have had a chance to get your grubby little mitts on the exclusive convention model, which is of this LEGO builder building LEGO, built by Jason, also a LEGO builder. See, it’s totally meta! Like all of Jason’s models, movement is a key feature with this one. You turn a crank and this little fellow toils busily on his LEGO model of the BrickCon logo.
Also, if you happen to have a Power Functions motor you can hook that bad boy to it and this little guy will really cook! But don’t just take my word for it, watch this build video of the designer building the model, then later hooking up a motor to it. Brothers Brick’s own Chris Malloy did the graphic design for the packaging. Neat!
BrickCon 2019 is only one month away. For those who don’t know, each year BrickCon hosts some of the most talented builders at the longest-running LEGO fan convention in Seattle. The general public can see the amazing models these builders bring during the weekend of October 5th and 6th by purchasing tickets. However, registered builders have their own private convention during BrickCon, participating in classes, games, workshops and a keynote. This year, we are excited to announce the keynote will be delivered by Jason Allemann of JK Brickworks and is sponsored by none other than The Brothers Brick.
Jason (the J in JK Brickworks) is no stranger to The Brothers Brick. We last interviewed him about his latest LEGO Ideas set 21315 Pop-Up Book. (And yes, we said latest because he also created 21305 Maze and has another project currently under review.) He is known for his mastery of movement, creating kinetic sculptures out of LEGO like Sisyphus pushing a boulder, a galloping horse, motorized rail cars and most recently a graceful flying luck dragon. Not only does he share his build process, but he also goes to the effort of sharing instructions for most of his creations helping us all become better builders. If anyone epitomizes BrickCon 2019’s theme of “Just Build It,” it is Jason.
BrickCon 2017’s keynote was given by Ty Keltner, who built the food pictured below for The Brothers Brick collaboration.
In addition to the keynote, The Brothers Brick is also organizing a reader collaboration called the Brick Banquet–a life-size LEGO potluck. Builders attending the full private convention can bring any full-scale food item to the TBB table to participate in the feast.
Stranger Things season 3 will undoubtedly have given Limahl’s royalties a boost with its use of the theme song from The Neverending Story. But if you’re a fan of the original movie, then Jason Allemann‘s latest creation will have you smiling and humming the song to yourself without a single reference to Hawkins, Indiana. He’s put together an excellent LEGO version of Falkor the Luck Dragon.
Jason is the undisputed master of LEGO kinetic sculpture, imbuing his creations with wonderful motion, and this model is a perfect example. Check out the video featuring the Luck Dragon in flight, and Jason talking through the design process.
When you build something really interactive, you naturally want to show off how it works. At conventions you might spend a whole hour repeating a demo. Then another. And another. And another… Until you realize you haven’t eaten all day. Of course, leave it to Jason Allemann to find a truly impressive solution to this problem. After he and his wife’s arms got tired opening and closing the LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book, she told him it was time to make an automated, page-turning bookstand. So he has! And it’s brilliant!
As usual, Jason has developed a genius and inspiring mechanism. Just watch the video for the full explanation of what’s going on behind the scenes of this elegant lectern. I don’t know about you, but I find it mesmerizing!