Tag Archives: Kinetic sculpture

A huge step up from those stud shooter “play features” [Video]

Masters of LEGO Technic animations, builder duo Jason Allemann and Kristal (Collectively known as JK Brickworks) have unveiled an amazing animatronic archer. Styled after the Greek goddess of the hunt, Artemis, this charismatic sculpture features some lovely white drapery and an adorable deer in the background.

You’d be forgiven if you thought the archer would “just” pull back on her bow and then reset back to a “getting ready to fire” pose in an endless loop. But this statue goes well beyond those expectations by actually launching that arrow! Totally freaked me out the first time I saw it happen.

Want to know how it works? Check out the full video below to learn all about this creation and its construction!

If you like this creation, you’ll be equally amazed at the other builds from JK Brickworks that we’ve spotlighted!

Just add butter and a good movie

Things are getting a little ridiculous here. The level of Grant Davis‘ genius LEGO skills lately is making me want to be better at life. Making a popcorn machine is neat, but what’s really cool is that it functions. Yup, the “popcorn” pieces come out of it just like the real thing, using a motorized piston at the top. It’s an excellent idea that I wish I would have thought of myself. But on top of that, we have to address the font. Can you imagine a better way to replicate that old school cartoony movie theater style?

Iron Popper (Functional)

If you look closely, you can see the piston moving up and down. It “pop” out just the right amount at the right timing to mimic the real thing.

You can see all of Grant’s LEGO builds (including many with a common parts theme) in our archives.

Get on your bike and be on your merry way!

Time goes by, seasons change but this merry bicyclist keeps on keeping on. That’s the premise to this fun new LEGO creation by Bricksom Parsom. I see the chain belt drive and the gears, but what does it do when you turn the crank? I won’t spoil it for you. You just have to watch the video to find out.

Bicycle, Bicycle, BICYCLE!

The answers you seek lie within the bricks [Video]

Like Zoltar, ask this guy a question or make a wish, and you’ll actually receive answers. Well, maybe not the best answers, but how many fortunes lay it out straight? You won’t be able to fault Teun de Wijs once you watch the video of this extraordinary LEGO build. This mechanical fortune teller doesn’t just move his arms and bend over the crystal ball. Oh, no, my friends, this guy is the real deal. Inside his box is an ingenious mechanical randomizer. You heard that right, folks. An internal block with four answers will spin and be stopped at random, like a coin flip. It’s up to the powers of the universe to provide an answer to your question. Like a Magic 8 Ball, they may not be the most helpful answers, but beggars can be choosers. Don’t question the man with the epic batarang mustache, he’s just the messenger. And careful what you wish for, because we all know how that turned out in the Tom Hanks movie, Big.

Scratching your head trying to figure out what I’m talking about? Click below to watch the video of the automaton in action!

See the video of how it works!

Doggone adorable prairie dogs [Video]

These little LEGO fellers are cute as all heck! In true JK Brickworks fashion, builder duo Jason Allemann and Kristal give us not one, or two, but four critters with entirely different movements. It’s a bit maddening that they make it look so gosh darn easy. These simple mechanisms come together in a fun and unique display of kinetic magic.

Prairie Dogs

Of course, standing still in the picture above doesn’t do them justice. But as soon as you see them move, you’ll be captivated. Click the link below to watch the full video!

Click to see how it works!

“Oh, and keep an eye on the staircases. They like to change...”

While the Harry Potter books speak of the staircases changing, they don’t exactly explain how. Magic, obviously, but in what way is not entirely specified. It’s a little bit of interpretation and movie magic that created the incredible swiveling staircases that Percy Weasley refers to in the first film. I would guess that building one as a set prop was challenging. But it could very well be possible that this LEGO version, built by Sebeus I was just as difficult to engineer. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary build, but a turn of the crank brings the diorama to life.

Functional Moving Staircase

We’ve been teased with a video of how the staircase shifts 90 degrees (made into a sped-up GIF below), but I’m dying to see the internal mechanics! It’s one thing to build a revolving platform. But to make the banisters change brings a whole new level of complexity!

Want to see more? We have plenty exciting builds from the magical world in our archives. You can also take a look at another stunning build by Sebeus. (Hint: it’s from a completely different movie!)

A giant, lumbering herbivore [Video]

As soon as I saw this picture, I knew the build had to be from Dan Schlumpp. There are loads of dino nerds out there, and plenty LEGO dino nerds, but few have tackled movement so well. Dan has created several iterations of these prehistoric animatronic creatures. Each time he continues to perfect his skill. It’s not just the movement, it’s also the complexity of the specific dinosaur he’s trying to emulate. Wrapping organic-looking armored plating around a finite mechanical frame isn’t easy. But I’d have to say this heavy-footed Triceratops is my favorite thus far. That head is excellent!

Remote controlled walking Lego Triceratops

Of course, you have to watch it walk to appreciate the build fully. The gaps in the body are necessary for the ability to create realistic movement. That movement is what makes the gaps forgivable, though, because that hip and tail swing is awesome! They really bring this creature to life.

We’ve had the pleasure of covering Dan’s previous iterations, including one of his initial dino skeletons, as well as more recent Stegosaurus.

 

The master of smooth moves

King of Pop, Michael Jackson, is known all over the world for his unique style. From his outfits to his dancing to his unmistakable voice and catchy tunes. He was and still is an icon of popular culture. Today you’ll continue to find him all over the place, even in LEGO models. Taiwanese builder Vakaisme has paid tribute to the musician with one of his most famous dance moves. That moonwalk mechanism is indeed smooth!

Michael Jackson

Click here to see more…

A kinetic sculpture fit for a god [Video]

In Greek mythology, Apollo is a somewhat complicated figure, so it seems only fitting that he’s the subject matter of Jason Allemann’s latest kinetic sculpture. Building upon his previous galloping horse, he’s expanded the moving parts in this creation to include the horse’s legs, bodies, necks, heads and tails, as well as the chariot body and wheels and Apollo himself. He’s done such a good job making the overall movement look natural, it can be hard to pick out what parts are actually moving independently of each other. It all just flows together quite well.

Apollo

Like everything Jason designs, the mechanics behind it all are quite clever, but even without the movement, this would still be a well-designed static model. I really like the way he’s sculpted the head and face, using a simply gap between pieces to represent the eyes and brow. Also pleasing are the choices of gold elements to adorn the chariot, giving it that ancient and regal look. The relatively new 22 long hose with connector ends is an especially smart choice for the reins. Watch the video he made and take a moment to be mesmerized by the model’s motion and hear about all about the mechanics from Jason himself.

A LEGO builder builds a LEGO builder building LEGO

It was a pleasure to meet Jason Allemann a few weeks back at BrickCon. He was our very funny keynote speaker and if you don’t know him by name, you may certainly know him as the builder who specializes in feats of engineering such as his now famous Sysiphus model and the two times his LEGO Ideas submissions became actual sets; once with the 21305 Ball Maze and the 21315 Pop-Up Book. If you were lucky enough to attend BrickCon this year, you may have had a chance to get your grubby little mitts on the exclusive convention model, which is of this LEGO builder building LEGO, built by Jason, also a LEGO builder. See, it’s totally meta! Like all of Jason’s models, movement is a key feature with this one. You turn a crank and this little fellow toils busily on his LEGO model of the BrickCon logo.

BrickCon 2019 Event Kit

Also, if you happen to have a Power Functions motor you can hook that bad boy to it and this little guy will really cook! But don’t just take my word for it, watch this build video of the designer building the model, then later hooking up a motor to it. Brothers Brick’s own Chris Malloy did the graphic design for the packaging. Neat!

Kinetic LEGO sculpture of the Luck Dragon from The Neverending Story [Video]

Stranger Things season 3 will undoubtedly have given Limahl’s royalties a boost with its use of the theme song from The Neverending Story. But if you’re a fan of the original movie, then Jason Allemann‘s latest creation will have you smiling and humming the song to yourself without a single reference to Hawkins, Indiana. He’s put together an excellent LEGO version of Falkor the Luck Dragon.

LEGO Neverending Story

Jason is the undisputed master of LEGO kinetic sculpture, imbuing his creations with wonderful motion, and this model is a perfect example. Check out the video featuring the Luck Dragon in flight, and Jason talking through the design process.

A pair of LEGO lookouts

Meerkats are pretty incredible little creatures. They live in tight-knit family groups and are known for fearlessly defending each other from predators. When they are old enough, every family member takes a turn at keeping watch. This wonderful sculpture by Andreas Weißenburg is a lovely tribute to those exceptional lookouts.

Automatic meerkats 3

What’s even more impressive is that these sentinels actually move their heads from side to side, scanning the horizon. The inner mechanisms are simple, but clever and efficient. It involves two continuous belts catching and turning gears at different times. The resulting movement really brings them to life!