Replicas are a dangerous business. Sometimes they look too good, and people mistake them for the real thing (I think of the elder Dr. Jones breaking a “Ming Dynasty” vase in The Last Crusade), but sometimes they are horribly disappointing (see most full-size car replicas). But when the replica is made in a different medium than the original, it is easy to tell it apart from the real one while still looking good. This lovely fire engine by Jens Ohrndorf is a striking example. Made to imitate a classic wooden toy, it checks all the boxes: simple figures that slot into place; a moving ladder; the wheels really spin; and it is red. But it’s not wood, but genuine ABS plastic LEGO bricks. With nary a stud showing, it is exceptionally clean, and a casual observer could be forgiven for thinking it something else but LEGO. That’s the point. It’s a replica. And an exceptionally good one at that.
While they sometimes get a bad rap, vultures are incredible animals. These threatened and endangered birds hold a very important place in the ecosystem. They help to prevent the spread of disease as they scavenge for carcasses. Their heads are bald because it’s actually a cleaner way to eat. This build by Jens Ohrndorf caught my eye because of the way he used the parts to create that iconic vulture look. The elbow pieces and Technic gears that make up their necks are perfect. Altogether with the skeleton, it’s a really cute little build.
Another fun fact: vultures don’t necessarily circle because they see a dead or dying animal below. They’re pretty big and heavy as far as birds go, and it takes a lot of energy to flap around long enough to spot food. So they use their massive wingspan to their advantage by letting circular warm air currents carry them up as high as they can get, and then gently soar back down. Very little energy wasted. Efficient, eh?