If there is ever a license I hope LEGO revisits, it is LEGO Avatar. In 2006 there was a wave of Avatar sets counting no more than two sets. To be honest, the Fire Nation Ship might be the worst thing that ever happend to the Avatar franchise, and I am counting the live action remake of the show. The current super hero sets contain a lot of energie effects that would work perfectly for bending. And we simply need an Appa made of LEGO. Someone who might agree with me on this is Jonas Kramm. His latest creation is the Western Air Temple and it is just stunning. The big ugly rock pieces are hardly noticeable and the temples are constructed quite elegantly by attaching book covers to rounded windows. The star of this creation however has to be that brick build Appa using boomerangs for legs.
If you were looking forward to the LEGO Ulysses Space Probe set, but like the majority of fans didn’t get one when they sold out in mere minutes, you can do what Jonas Kramm did and build your own design that’s even better than the official one! This gorgeous model has significantly more detail than the official one, and employs drum lacquer gold elements instead of yellow, which really amps up the coolness and accuracy.
And when I say that you can do what Jonas did, I really meant it. Jonas has provided free instructions for his design.
High school chemistry class sometimes had its appeal. A great experiment can have a whole class oohing and aahing over various liquids changing color, shattering objects, and sometimes even blowing stuff up. A failed experiment can lead to a would-be chemist losing eyebrows. Unless, of course, the loss of eyebrows was the intent of the experiment, then that would be considered a success. But either way, eye protection is a good idea. Thankfully, LEGO builder Jonas Kramm included eye protection with this build as well as a Bunsen burner and a test tube containing a chemical that may or may not singe off your eyebrows if treated improperly. The whole shebang (or she-BANG!) consists of only 101 LEGO pieces, making Chemistry 101 an inevitable part of this title. The rest was a line from Mystery Science Theater 3000. I don’t know about you, but I’m having a good reaction to this experiment. Here are the other times we were favorable to Jonas’ stuff.
As a kid, I developed a mild obsession with prehistoric creatures, especially dinosaurs, and loved looking for fossils along limestone bluffs. I found a tiny trilobite or two, and a few segments of worms, but never anything cool like a chambered nautilus. That would have been awesome, since all the pictures of plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs had nautiloids, too. And then one day I discovered that animals of that sort still exist, and look almost the exact same as they did 200 million years ago. Mind blown! And then I see that Jonas Kramm built one out of LEGO bricks, and, as is usual for Jonas, the build is amazing. But he also did it with only 101 pieces. Mind blown again.
It’s a study in concise use of LEGO elements since there is no wiggle room to get complex and piece heavy; every element has to be carefully considered, like a DUPLO plant and a pearl of great price in the oyster. The colors are spot-on, and the cephalopod eye staring at me is perfect. My only complaint is that the shell of Jonas’ model does not exhibit a precise logarithmic growth spiral. Come on, Jonas! Why can’t you do the impossible with just 101 LEGO bricks?
How does one turn an onion dome into a teapot house? Just ask Jonas Kramm! This little creation contains exactly 101 parts and my guess is that the onion dome is what inspired the build. Note the use of the Wampa horn, baseball bat and hinge top as architectural detail. The use of the flintlock musket as a tree trunk is really clever. And the rocking chair design is simple but effective. All I am wondering now is how Jonas managed to obtain a featureless friends face.
Jonas Kramm never stops to amaze me. He always manages to incorporate the weirdest parts in the most original manner. This golem is no exception. I know for sure that this golem would not get past border security because it is smuggling contraband. There is at least one troll (minus the arms) and two pumas hiding in this golem figure. The foliage and little critters attached to the golem’s back add to the likability of this critter. It is also nice to see the 4×4 Belville mushroom top. The entire creation looks mystical and magical.
Using only 101 pieces, Jonas Kramm creates a brilliant two-mast ship inspired by Käpt’n Blaubär. As you’d expect clever part usage abounds, but the best bit may be the rowboat that gets upscaled into the ship’s hull. The doubled white 3×4 curved panels for sails are brilliant as well, giving a great sense of motion to the build. There’s even a tiny masthead mermaid made from an orange bow and a a carrot top for a tail.
The 101 piece limit comes from the contest rules for the RogueOlympics, and Jonas has pledged to be back with even more 101 element creations. Maybe these builds can help inspire you to try your hand at your own microscale building!
Sure it’s January but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a nice gathering with immediate family involving fancy turkey dinners. In fact, during this ongoing pandemic, a fancy dinner at the dining room table could be just what you need to break away from the monotony of lockdown life. That being said, Jonas Kramm’s dining room model is good to go for all seasons.
The interesting use of elements is what really draws me to this model. I really love Kramm’s use of the tennis racket element in his wicker chair builds. The blonde hair-piece next to the turkey element really makes an appealing souffle. Other eye-catching uses of parts include a single red stud in a bowl either serving as ketchup or cranberry sauce and of course, the lamps made out of the black sausage pieces connected to golden eggs. Kramm’s model is just filled with a warm family vibe.
Stop for a moment and listen. Can you hear the whole world signing with relief as we say goodbye to 2020? There are so many things we want to be different in 2021, but probably it’s not about my bedroom, which I have to stay in since March. Changing the scene now is almost impossible unless you join Jonas Kramm and his fabulous vignettes. Earlier this year, he shared a wonderful collection of interiors, and now one more room joins the company.
As usual, Jonas is at his best when mixing elements from different themes and eras. For instance, an old fence piece from Fabuland is used as a footboard for the bed. The whole build is a wonderful collection of ideas waiting to be borrowed by numerous fan builders.
While I’m boringly American in culture, I do have a significant amount of Scandinavian ancestry, as attested by my Swedish surname. Though I’m sure my ancestors were the same lowly farmers in Sweden that they were when they arrived in the United States several generations back, I like to imagine that somewhere among my forebears were some axe-swinging Vikings pillaging Irish fields so green with Led Zeppelin playing in the background, rowing longships like this LEGO one designed by Jonas Kramm across the North Sea. On they sweep with the threshing oar, seeking that rich western shore, crewed by a small army of CMF Series 20 Viking warriors. The serpent prow of the ship is lovely, as is the simplicity of the whole construction. Valhalla, I am coming!
Everyone loves a good throwback to the ’80s or ’90s, and these days people are opting for analog musical devices over digital. What better build encapsulates these trends than Jonas Kramm’s boom box LEGO model?
All of the details on this build are done exactly right – from the dials to the tape deck. The speakers, as well as the switches, are composed mostly of yellow 9V track switches with black minifigure hands for extra detailing. The majority of the model comprises teal bricks and tiling; some yellow 1×2 slopes also form a stylish border around the box’s perimeter. Kramm even includes a couple of brick-built mix-tapes ready to be played. Overall this build really brings me back to the days before iPhones, iPods, and wireless internet, back when all we had was FM-AM radio and maybe some tapes to play around with.
LEGO is cool. Puppets are cool. Dragons are cool. Put them all together like Jonas Kramm did? You get something so cool it’s icy. And yet…somehow super hot. Built for the Iron Builder contest, this feisty creature was inspired by the 9V Train track switch element, but I think the coolest bit of NPU (“Nice Part Usage”) has to the the Minifigure Headdresses used to form the dragon’s mouth.