Sky islands have been a favorite subject for many a LEGO creation. And it follows from logic that when all the rocks are floating up in the air, then so, too, are all the precious metals and minerals contained therein. Builder John Snyder shows us what a mining operation might look like suspended amongst the clouds with this glorious bit of steampunk-ery. The outpost is abuzz with gears, vents, winches, and pipes. And located right at the center of the whole shebang is the furnace, about to smelt another load of aerially-harvested lode. It was no-doubt uncovered in one of the neighboring rocks using that hot air balloon/drill combo. It’s one of the most ingenious uses of the LEGO ornament bulb I’ve ever seen!
LEGO builders John and Isaac Snyder collaborated to bring us this magnificent winter tavern. It’s packed to the top of its steep roof peaks with great detail, and you can just feel the inn standing as a bulwark against the blustery winter winds. I particularly love the snowy forest surrounding the tavern, which makes it feel much more immersive than a stark building on a bare setting. You could (and should) spend some time poring over the intricate parts usages through the build, but take note especially of the Thor’s hammers surrounding the door; I’ve seen them used as stonework before, but they fit so well here.
LEGO fans draw inspiration from all sorts of places. Movies, series, books, architecture and travelling are the first things that come to mind. Music is one that we tend to skip over because it is less visible and often more interpretive. However this lovely creation by John Snyder shows how music can inspire an amazing creation. John explains that the music by Lee Muzzy & Ian Spacek has three different themes, using trees as a medium John shows how he interpreted the three different themes.
The first theme sounded slightly eerie, mysterious and industrial. After that came the middle part in which the mood shifted to something more magical, serene and peaceful. This reminds me a bit of Rivendell. The last part of the song gave an ominous foreboding. John surely managed to capture the way he interpreted the music in the brick.
Next to LEGO I am a huge board game nerd, and I love it when hobbies collide. Isaac and John Snyder drew inspiration from one of my favourite board games. Everdell is a worker placement game in which you build the homes of the many forest critters that inhabit the forest of Everdell. The artwork was done by Andrew Bosley and Dann May. The playing cards depict forest locations but also its inhabitants. The illustrations on the cards look truly as if they came straight out of a fairy tale. I can surely see why Isaac and John would draw inspiration from it. In this creation we see the Everdell chapel which is built on a rock in a foggy lake. A grey Belville tower roof has been incorporated in the landscaping and to me it is mind boggling that this large piece blends in with the scenery so well.
The resemblance to the source material is really amazing. The Tudor style is done exceptionally well, and including yellowed and damaged white bricks to depict the decay of the building is really clever. On the playing card there are no animals included but it is nice to get some forest critters in there to make the scene appear more alive. They even get cute custom outfits made out of capes and rubber bands. I am curious to see if these two will keep drawing inspiration from this lovely board game. One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t mind!
This soba noodle bowl looks so good it’s hard to believe it’s made of LEGO! This creation comes from builder John Snyder for the annual LEGO contest RogueOlympics hosted by Roguebricks. John started with an idea for how to build the radish slices, and the rest came together from there. Bicycle wheels inserted into inverted radar dishes comprise the bright radish slices. Arm pieces from the LEGO Friends toy line make up soba noodles, which is a pretty cool use of parts I haven’t seen before. Even the chopsticks are brick-built! Of course, part of what makes well-crafted food look so good is the plating, and John doesn’t disappoint. The color balancing stands out, allowing the eye to pass over each part of the soup in a wonderful flowing movement. I don’t know about you, but now I’m hungry!
For many of us, our first LEGO collaborations are with our siblings. Brother builders Isaac and John Snyder know that life gets away from us as time goes on, but thankfully they managed to get another session in that gave us some great results. After knocking out the Everdell castle they took a little trip to the countryside of Alnya to show us a day in the life of a Dwelf. Lush with wildlife and foliage, this little cottage on the edge of Allnar forest is full of interesting parts usage and plenty of character. That purple door certainly makes a statement, but I love the buckets on the chimney or chainlinks around the well.
I love how hobbies or interests are able to bring people together. I am quite the LEGO nerd and thanks to LEGO and its community, I’ve met so many lovely people. My partner on the other hand is quite the board game geek and thanks to him I got sucked into the community that comes with the dice. What never stops to amaze me is the amount of love that goes into designing board games. John Snyder and Isaac Snyder drew inspiration from the game ‘Everdell’. The game is filled with cute forest critters and almost magical surroundings. For their latest build, they decided to give the ‘Castle’ card the LEGO treatment.
The castle wall looks really organic and irregular at the top due to a fine selection of pieces. We can find dinosaur tails, spider legs and plant limbs used for the wooden castle gate. Each wooden beam gets adorned with a white horn, claw, cone, lever base, or a bulb to represent fresh snow. The main tower has a crazy angle to it and I can’t figure out how the bricks are connected at the place of the angle. My guess is flex tubing but I might be wrong. It may as well be friction and gravity. There are cattle horns used in brown as architectural details. We get flags made out of pentagonal tiles with a little crown attached to it with a rubber band, which looks like a little layer of fresh snow on the top of the flag. The inhabitants of the castle are LEGO animals, which makes this build less than minifigure scale, which allows for parts to be used in a very original way. The skis used for doors look massive and add a sense of grandeur to the castle. Have you spotted the brave little blue hamster defending the castle?
Forced perspective is always the way to go when you want to get noticed by TBB. Using niche LEGO parts in a clever way is another way to get blogged. John Snyder did both so I have no choice but to write an article about this amazing build. The forced perspective is created by building something that is further away on a much smaller scale than the things in the foreground. The background is too blurry for me to identify cleverly used parts, but the objects in the foreground are a lot easier to identify. The path is made of 1×2 round plates mixed with plates in dark tan. This makes the path look like it is made of cobblestones. A simple technique with a great effect. The tree is made using several limbs of Chewbacca. The print on this piece works perfectly for tree bark. When it comes to foliage John got really creative. The autumn leaves are made with toy winder keys. The fallen leaves are made using star stud holders. For the grass John used minifigure claws
There are a few things that really get me in the Christmas mood. One of them is a LEGO gingerbread house. Over the years, LEGO has produced more specialized LEGO parts, and they often come in white. It never stops to amaze me to see how fans use these pieces in their gingerbread houses. This however is not the case for John Snyder. They have been getting creative with the toy winder key for a seed part challenge. If this build is completely symmetrical, which gingerbread houses often are, more than 50 winder keys are used in this build. But it’s not just the use of the winder keys that is very creative. The inclusion of the old window is very nice and makes it look like there is no physical door; it’s just outlines piped on with icing. The house comes with candy canes, gifts, pine trees covered in snow, and lollipops that use a dish that to me at first was unfamiliar. At first, I thought it was from a Belville fairy set, but it turns out to be a Friends part.
Check out more LEGO gingerbread houses here.
This gorgeous build is a collaboration between brothers, Isaac Snyder and John Snyder. Together, they have produced this visually stunning piece, demonstrating the inventive ways in which LEGO can be used to form shapes. The model mainly relies on flexible tubes to portray the outline of the horse, with claw pieces creating the pointed hair ends of the horse’s wavy mane. In order to maintain the bends of the tubes, rods have been inserted in just the right places to create curves in the rubber. It is an elegant creation that may require a second glance from the average person before they realise that the portrait is actually made out of LEGO.
It might be just me but this LEGO creation by John Snyder is giving me serious ‘Shadow and Bone’ vibes. Okay, I confess I just binged the series yesterday and this might actually have nothing in common with the show except for the white stag. John limited himself to using only 101 parts for this build, which sounds like an enormous challenge. Even though the stag is white it blends in perfectly with the white birch trees. The trees use a similar building technique as we’ve seen in the Birch Books modular. This is quite a small creation but using a reflective surface as base gives it the illusion of being quite a lot bigger.
Behold! Another fun little LEGO creation by John Snyder featuring a woodland gatherer. I’ll be honest, my first thought upon seeing this build was, “Oh, look! The Wicked Witch of the West!” But then I saw the title and realized it was an insanely cooler character, Gnepnug the Forager. I’ve never seen anyone use a Bionicle leg plate before as a face, but this works! The use of multiple minifigure capes for worn-in clothing was a clever idea. I also appreciate the lack of a baseplate, with John instead opting for what appears to be a green LEGO sail piece.