Tag Archives: John Snyder

Stag in a birch forest

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.

White Stag

Gnepnug the Forager gathers mushrooms

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.

Gnepnug the Forager

LittleJohn says “Hay there, farmer!”

LEGO builder John Snyder says “hay there, farmer!” To which I reply “hay there right back!” Frankly, I know nothing about farming, but I do enjoy a friendly greeting replete with puns so I figured I ought to jump at the chance to feature this John Deere tractor and hay baler. If you’re as a-moo-sed by this as I am, then you should check out -LittleJohn’s other stuff. He’s been building a lot of amazing stuff lately. But before you go, let me try my hand at a farmer joke. Here goes. How did the farmer find his cow? He tractor down. OK, admittedly that could use some work. Sorry, I’m just going to let myself out now.

Hay There Farmer!

And the LEGO Oscar goes to...

This creation byJohn Snyder might reek a little bit of garbage. And that’s just the way we like him! It’s everyone’s favorite grouch, Oscar from Sesame Street. I am so glad to see that this rendition of Oscar in LEGO does the character justice. He looks fuzzy and hairy thanks to the abundance of wire connectors and some leaves. He is sporting his classic brown monobrow which makes him look extra grouchy. John even went as far as to use LEGO packaging to create all the garbage. Most of the non-brick parts in this shot, are produced by or for LEGO. Can you identify where they came from?

Headdress of an Aztec king

The famous Aztec ruler Montezuma was fierce and massively successful at expanding his empire by conquering opponents – until he wasn’t. After reigning for over 17 years, he was killed during the Spanish conquest. His purported headdress (likely not actually his) was stolen by Hernán Cortés and currently sits in an Austrian museum. It and the slightly less flamboyant headdresses of Maya and Aztec warriors are now a big part of popular culture. They’ve even been regularly depicted in LEGO, both officially (recent and old), and through custom models like this one, by John Snyder.

An Element of Discovery

Of course, what makes this build so cool is not necessarily the history of the subject matter. What makes it awesome is the excellent use of parts. The green feather elements are naturally perfect, but can you see how they’re attached? The use of green cable clips is genius! Other things to look for are the alternating modified plates for the feathers in the back, hands for accents, and the interesting use of a Technic differential gear for the pedestal.

As you likely know, John is a prolific builder, and we’ve featured his work many times. I’m sure we can expect more great things very soon. And while you wait, check out some other Aztec-Inspired builds.

The queen will never win the game, for Rumpelstiltskin is my name

My uncle, who also happens to be an adult fan of LEGO, always says: ‘You don’t have to have a lot of different parts to build something amazing. You have to have a lot of the same parts to build something amazing.’ John Snyder proves my uncle is right. This creation consists of mainly two parts. The leaves in bright light orange to represent the straw. The 1×2 rounded plates are used to create 1×2 rounded bricks which make it easier to build round shapes. Out of these bricks which support the roof are made. The sheer size of this creation is about as impressive as the excellent lighting.

Straw into Gold

Mix that funky music

I’m not going to pretend I know a lot about music, but I’m sure many are familiar with what an audio mixer looks like – lots of switches and lights, the functions of with I’m personally not familiar with at all. However, as a person who gravitates towards gadgets, these switchboards certainly do look cool to me, or maybe John Snyder’s LEGO model of one makes them look cooler than they are.

Heavy Metal Soundboard

The switchboard body uses some standard bricks, tiles, and slopes in black assembled via the SNOT (studs not on top) technique. This build is part of an Iron Builder challenge, the seed part is the modified 2×3 plate with bar in dark red, but there are many other interesting small elements utilized here such as the broad-brimmed castle helmets which serve as dials and the technic piston cups in yellow. Of course, I am a fan of trans-clear elements, and Snyder has thrown in a few of those like the minifigure heads at the far left and some light pieces that look exactly like LED lights. Snyder’s model certainly makes me want to learn more about these cool pieces of tech and how exactly they work.

Dystopian novels are so 1984.

Can you judge a book by its cover? Conventional wisdom says “no,” but John Snyder may have a different opinion. The elegant book binding here is complemented by some slice-of-life details that are every bit as charming. This creation is part of the Iron Builder contest, and this round focused on the challenge of incorporating modified 2×3 plates into the build. We can see them in action in the book bindings on the cover, and in the dark red flowers. The golden carriage wheel on the cover matches the yellow centers to the flowers as well as the gold coins, but did you know that the black cloth bag there is (probably) also a LEGO element? It looks to me to be a Wolfpack Pouch. Now there’s a part you don’t see every day.

Treasured Tome

If you’re in a literary mood, why not check out our book archives? You just might learn something new!

Home, home on the range

Ah, farms. One hundred percent of us humans eat, but in the United States, less than six percent of the population is involved in growing it. Now, I’m not a farmer, but I did enjoy some tomatoes and peppers from my backyard garden this year, so I feel downright rustic as I type this article on a state-of-the-art laptop with high-speed wifi. But having grown up in the upper Midwest, part of America’s Breadbasket, I feel kinship with this rural LEGO scene by John Snyder. Do I own a tractor? No, but I kind of wish I did. Do I keep chickens? No, but my wife has been insisting that we should. Goats, too, though I don’t think city ordinances would allow them. Maybe someday I’ll have a barn and an awesome windmill to draw up water from the well. Mine probably won’t be made of LEGO shields, though.

Western Homestead

Do you like farms and barns and livestock, too? Then check out our TBB farm archives! And don’t forget to look up John Snyder, too, and you’ll see why he’s competing for the title of Iron Builder.

An Orc-tastic Fishing Hideout

Sometimes, pillaging the land of righteousness just seems like too much work. So do what LEGO builder John Snyder does: put your feet up, cast in your line and relax.

Orc Hideout

There are a ton of little details that really make the build come alive. From the mossy vines growing all over the swamp to the different shades of brown used to look like wood rot, it’s all here. I especially like the use of pirate hook hands to hang the fish up. The roof tile work is equally exquisite.

My only gripe about this build is that I’m begging for more. It’s so good that I want to see the same thing spread out over dozens of baseplates. Congratulations on a job well done, John!

Goblins and dwelfs, oh my!

Most adult builders looked at the little goblin figures from LEGO’s Elves theme with some distaste. I suspect this was due to the bright colors and limited elements that make them up. I know I felt that way. They are difficult to fit into a build, even a fantasy one, because they are too cartoonish to be taken seriously. Given the right setting, though, perhaps they could be useful. Take, for instance, this build by John Snyder. Bright colors, like lime green grass and a purple wagon roof, tie the goblins and their garish hues into the overall build. The layout itself is unique, with large brick-built tomes bookending the multi-level scene. Plus, as always with a Snyder build, there are play functions. The small dwarf-elf (or dwelf, as the cover implies) is in trouble, about to fall through a trapdoor into the subterranean lair of the goblins. Could anything be worse than being captured by those almost-useless rainbow-colored creatures?

Dwelf Tales: Treasure Heist

Send those undead warriors running back to their mummies!

I love winning. Nothing quite compares to the thrill of victory, whether that is beating your friends at a casual game of Scrabble or annihilating your four-year-old son in an epic basketball throwdown where you channel prime Wilt on a six-foot net. John Snyder loves winning, too, and also loves seeing the bad guys lose. In his latest massive diorama, John depicts the forces of the wicked Desert King, a resurrected mummy-wizard, being routed by the armies of good Queen Ylspeth. I haven’t seen this many mummies running away since Brendan Fraser was a major Hollywood star, and it looks great. Everywhere you look, there are highly detailed buildings, ornate arches, intricate domes, meticulously-laid streets, and more.

The Grand Victory at Al Tajir

See more of Al Tajir here