One of the magical aspects of Harry Potter and especially Hogwarts Castle is that ordinarily static things move. Pictures that in my house just hang there, with the people and things in them remaining frozen in time, always the same, in a wizarding house would be full of moving and talking, and even sentient, figures. And while we do have moving staircases in the Muggle world (we call them escalators), they don’t typically abruptly change their destinations; not so in Hogwarts, not so. The trouble is, we have not seen a single good moving staircase or moving picture in any official Harry Potter set. Fortunately for us, Jonas Kramm has filled the void with a brilliant build depicting both. There are innumerable gilt frames filled with magical chaps and dames, plus one of those moving staircases that so befuddled a young Potter and his pals in their early days of school. The moving functions are elegantly integrated and perfectly executed.
Messing with the timeline? You’d better watch out — the Commission are bound to send their best agents after you. Jonas Kramm takes inspiration from Netflix’s dramatisation of Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s Umbrella Academy, putting together this cool pair of busts depicting Cha-Cha and Hazel, a pair of professional time-travelling assassins. For those who haven’t seen the show, the pair of killers arrive in our time wearing huge carnival costume heads. Jonas has perfectly captured their sinister yet cartoon-like appearance, and the use of umbrellas as neckties works well for the suits but also acts as a nice little nod to the show’s title. If only we could use Cha-Cha and Hazel’s time-travelling abilities to make season 2 arrive a little sooner.
We’ve covered Jonas Kramm‘s series of vignettes based on Jurassic Park all the way up to the climax of the movie. Has it been a thrill-a-minute? You bet your 65-million year old amber cane it has! The last we saw, the power to the park had been turned off by Dennis Nedry as he attempted to steal and escape with frozen dino embryos. This of course caused havoc at the park, with all the dinosaurs escaping; this is not a big problem when we’re talking about a mild-mannered Brachiosaur, but it is when there are T. rex and Velociraptors amongst the beasts.
And that is exactly the issue Dr. Sattler has as she tries to restore power to the security system; she has climbed down into the maintenance area, only for a nimble and crafty raptor to attempt to eat her. They can open doors, you know. Jonas has packed the small footprint of the vignette with loads of details, especially the black fencing that forms the border. The grating everywhere gives it a technical look, perfect for a breaker room, and the panel with the lever looks great. The raptor bursting through to eat Ellie is terrifying, though, so let’s move on to a happier scene.
Can there ever be enough dinosaurs in the world? Well, in a world without any living dinosaurs, I would have to say no. Where’s the Deinonychus with a saddle to take me for a ride, or the Quetzalcoatlus flying service I dreamed of as a kid? Nowhere, since places like Dinotopia and Jurassic Park only existed in science fiction. Jonas Kramm tries to fill some of the void inside me with his awesome vignettes from the first movie of the Jurassic franchise, which is appreciated but never enough.
Speaking of voids, that is just what Jonas fills in this next set of builds, with both the Ford Explorer and Jeep Wrangler many fans of the film complained were absent from any of the official LEGO sets so far (especially the huge 75936). The Jeep stolen by Dennis Nedry is stuck in the mud and high pointed on a log, and the hapless tech wizard has been blinded by the toxic spit of the Dilophosaurus. A stud shooter is cleverly used as the log under the Jeep, and the crowbars make a great frame for the windshield as they did in LEGO set 75916‘s Jeep).
To celebrate the launch of the third season of Netflix’s sci-fi drama Stranger Things, TBB kicked off a contest on the Fourth of July, challenging our readers to build other locations from Hawkins, Indiana not featured in the LEGO Stranger Things 75810 The Upside Down. The challenge was actually quite simple — the LEGO creation needed to feature both the normal world and its “Upside Down” counterpart location, as we showed in our own free instructions to build a LEGO Castle Byers. It’s been great to see builders interpret this design brief in so many different ways, through the contest entries on Flickr. Today, we’re happy to announce the clear winner of our contest — “Barb’s Disappearing” by talented German builder Jonas Kramm.
Faster than a T. rex can eat a lawyer, Jonas Kramm continues cranking out Jurassic Park vignettes. After bringing us the raptor dig and introductions of John Hammond and Dennis Nedry, Jonas now takes us to the Tyrannosaur paddock. Everything about this scene is iconic from the colorful Ford Explorer touring vehicle to the T. rex bait behind the fence. There is some excellent composition here, including the angling of the fence and lush landscaping behind it. Judging by the smile on Lex’s face, she probably hasn’t seen the goat yet.
Renowned builder Jonas Kramm is no stranger to the world of Steampunk superheroes. In 2013, he created an amazing Steampunk Batcave, and now returns to the theme. This time he has re-imagined Marvel’s Ant-man and the Wasp as Geantelman and the Steam Wasp. The Wasp is a bit removed from her spandex-clad cinematic counterpart but still sports a version of the iconic Pym bug-control helmet. The rest of the figure features an interesting mix of parts, including wings constructed from window lattices, a torso from Talia Al Ghul, and skirt from Elizabeth Swann Turner.
Geantelman also wears a steampunk version of the ant-control helmet, but that’s overshadowed by the giant ant he’s riding. (I say giant, but is it really? Who can tell with these size-changing heroes. For all I know this could be a 1:1 scale build.) The ant is full of great details, like the use of a Nexo Knights breastplate with shoulder pads as the eyes. Multiple copies of Luke Skywalker’s cape form the wings, a mining helmet is used as the lower jaw, and the often-used ice cream scoops represent steam. The real stinger though? That has to be the wind up key on the end.
“Hey, we were saving that!” Those were the words first uttered by Dr. Alan Grant when he and Ellie Sattler met “dinopreneur” John Hammond, who would take them on a wild ride through Jurassic Park. Thanks to Jonas Kramm, we now have a LEGO vignette of this iconic introductory scene, in which John Hammond invites himself into the scientists’ trailer (and to the bottle of champagne in their refrigerator). The little room is packed with plenty of detail, including a table cluttered with fossil hunting instruments like a miniature microscope and sifting tray. However, the star of the show is the open fridge and its lovable old benefactor. He has a kind of biological preserve that’s right up their alley, spared no expense!
Jonas continues the Jurassic Park fun with “Dodgson, Dodgson….we have Dodgson here! See, nobody cares.” Who cares? We care, because this is a another enjoyable build depicting the film’s introduction of Butterfinger-loving bad guy, Dennis Nedry. It also features Dodgson showing Nedry the embryo canister disguised as a shaving cream can. It’s the third in a line of Jurassic Park LEGO vignettes, the first of which was his splendid raptor dig site. Being a big Jurassic Park fan, I can’t wait to see what Jonas comes up with next!
Over the last few months, we reviewed the Wild West Saloon and the popular Löwenstein Castle custom LEGO sets from Bricklink’s AFOL Designer Program (ADP). Since we received an early review copy, it arrived without the actual packaging and manuals. Bricklink has now generously sent us the actual packaging backers can expect to receive. With box-in-hand, we wanted to provide our readers with a quick revisit of the set, this time only focusing on the unboxing experience and instruction manual.
Last year Bricklink hosted its first AFOL Designer Program (ADP), a grand effort to make fan designs come alive and be available for purchase. If you’re unfamiliar with Bricklink, it’s an Amazon-like marketplace for purchasing current and discontinued LEGO products. This includes the sale of individual LEGO bricks for restoring sets or making original models known by many fans as My-Own-Creations, or MOCs for short. The Brothers Brick features fan-designed creations every day, and we often receive questions regarding instructions or if they can be purchased. While ready-made MOC kits are not a new concept, where Bricklink’s ADP program shines is in how it took the needed time to solicit builds from the community and used a Kickstarter-like system for fans to determine which sets would be produced for purchase. Best of all, the program received an endorsement from the LEGO Group.
As of now, all of the sets have been selected and are slated to ship this month to the proud supporters who funded them. Bricklink has provided an early copy of the Wild West Saloon by Jonas Kramm (aka Legopard) to the Brothers Brick. When it comes to the number of supporters, this design ranked second to the Löwenstein Castle we recently reviewed. This set comes with 1496 parts, is priced at US $149.99 before shipping, and does not come with any minifigures.
Building replicas of real-world objects is a common theme with LEGO creators, and while they span the range of size, from larger than life to microscale, creating 1:1 scale models like this Underwood typewriter by Jonas Kramm is a true art form. This model of the classic typewriter fits a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. There is so much attention to detail in this model, but I especially love the two gold tiles used as the attachment point for the typewriter’s case. If I close my eyes, I can almost hear the clickety-click-clack of the keys.
Christmas may have come and gone, but Jonas Kramm is still celebrating with this elaborate scene calls “Christmas at Hogwarts.” I love the composition of this build, which is filled with plenty of excellent architectural details and brick-built furniture. Jonas drew partial inspiration from The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, a modern point-and-click adventure game. This is where he found the idea for the curved balustrade and fireplace depicting stacks of books. Some of my favorite details include the bat-a-rang used in a candelabra, gifts tied with LEGO rubber bands and Belville bows, and the dark orange easy chair. The tree also looks nice, with enough decorations to make it stand out but not distract one’s eye from the rest of the image. I’m sure Harry would approve!