Great Ball Contraptions (GBCs) are one of the most fascinating and mesmerizing pieces of LEGO art out there. GBC layouts at any convention will always enjoy an onslaught of wonderstruck fans. But what those fans may not know is that many LEGO GBC modules were inspired by one person. Of course, not all of them – there’s tons of originality in the hobby. That said, a household name amongst GBC enthusiasts is Akiyuki. His incredible designs have been the inspiration for hundreds of builds. Now he’s back with an incredible new creation, his “Five Tilted Rings” module.
Jason Allemann typically builds kinetic sculptures without minifigures in mind. But this time, he’s decided to come at it from the little guys’ perspective! The most recent addition to the JK Brickworks collection is a cute little LEGO ski chalet. Now it’s time to hit the slopes, so come with us as we take a tour!
In general, it has lots of character and fun details, but the most prominent feature is, of course, the lift. When the skier is placed at the bottom, the mechanism effortlessly carries the figure to the top of the slope. It’s a slick mechanism, and the only thing that would make it better would be if the skier came back around on his own to be picked up again.
In 1878, Eadweard Muybridge studied animal locomotion and took a series of pictures of a trotting horse to see every phase in a stride. How? He placed 24 cameras around a racetrack, each 27 inches apart. As the horse trotted past, a tripwire each shutter was snapped. Combined, those pictures became a precursor to motion pictures, and technically, the first GIF. In honor of this, Tobias Munzert has built a mechanical LEGO version that gallops in stride with the original animation.
The mechanics are timed really well to get that genuine look of a horse in motion. If you look closely, you can see that even the head pushes forward slightly. You should also take a closer look at the excellent parts usage on the neck, head, and feet!
Fixed gears, no brakes, and eye-watering speeds – what more could an adrenaline junkie want? If you’ve never watched the sport of track cycling, I’d highly recommend visiting a velodrome (or at least watching it on TV during the Olympics this summer). It’s not just biking in circles. These insane athletes zip around the bowl-shaped track, vying for position like gravity-defying daredevils. Being aerodynamic is key, as demonstrated by this LEGO kinetic sculpture, built by George Panteleon.
Though the mechanism is simple, it’s so satisfying to see the rider’s legs “pedal” the bike. My favorite elements of this build (other than the fact that it actually moves) are the paint-roller handlebars and the shoulder armor turned helmet!
We’ve also featured several of George’s vehicles, a giant watch, and some outstanding character sculptures!
Or as RJ BrickBuilds likes to call it: a Brickshaw! This has to be one of the most adorable automata RC builds I’ve ever seen. It’s powered by a large LEGO Power Functions motor, IR receiver, and battery box. I love how the elements are hidden in plain sight, as the seat and the little guy’s torso.
I’m not sure what it is about a cartooney character with giant eyes, but you can’t help but smile when you see one. And that’s not the only thing that makes it cute – the waddle-run gives it extra character. He’s working so hard, he deserves a tip! The colorful cart itself is also instantly recognizable, with the Technic panels covering the battery doubling perfectly as a seat blanket.
Alex Trebek was a TV staple and gameshow icon until his passing in November of 2020. We were all saddened by this and that is why it is such a treat to see this touching LEGO tribute built by Douglas Hughes. He tells us he and his wife would watch Jeopardy daily and so Alex Trebek was an important part of their lives. The clean, swooping set design, the figures and the sticker work are all quite impressive in their own right. Douglas, however, wins the bonus round with the inclusion of lights, Power Functions and Mindstorm EV3 components.
Check out this impressive video to see and hear Alex and these legendary contestants in action.
Douglas is a diversely talented LEGO builder who has been featured several times here on The Brothers Brick before.
The last time I watched Howl’s Moving Castle was at least 10-12 years ago, and as nerdy as I am, I only did because my best friend dragged me away from ultimate frisbee and into my high school anime club one day. Admittedly, I barely remember it. But what I do know is that it was the first thing I thought about when I saw this LEGO windmill built by Alexey Tikhvinsky. I have lots of pull-back motors in my collection, but I never know what to do with them. This is the most clever use I’ve seen thus far. When the winds shift, and your windmill won’t whirl, why not build one that walks?
Don’t believe me? Watch the video! This thing actually does walk around. Clever gearing allows for both that and the blades to turn at the same time. My personal favorite part is engine piston elements mounted on axle ball joints for more stable feet.
Here’s a little diorama that captures what it must have felt like to be a sailor during the Age of Exploration. Ferdinand Magellan’s ship Victoria was the first vessel to circumnavigate the globe, and it was a mere 69 feet long. No doubt rounding the horn in a ship that small must have felt a bit like aboard the ship in TonyFlow76‘s little kinetic sculpture.
When you think of Christmas songs, chances are one of the top ten that comes to mind is “Little Drummer Boy”. While not everyone in the world celebrates Christmas, I’m sure many of you can appreciate the most recent LEGO kinetic sculpture built by Jason Allemann of the JK Brickworks duo. Before the thing even gets moving, it’s clear that the ox and sheep are adorable.
Once the crank starts turning the magic starts. The little trio are mesmerizing to watch. Builds with timing can seem so complicated on the surface, but as Jason often shows, the inner-workings aren’t all that complicated. Still, it’s hard not to be jealous of how easy he makes it look.
As always, the instructions for this build can be found for free on the JK Brickworks website. This also isn’t the first kinetic holiday model! We’ve featured a flying Santa’s sleigh, Santa’s elves working on toys, and even a robotic cookie decorator.
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!
When young Youtube woodworker, Are Baloni decided to build an awesome transforming bookshelf, LEGO builder Deborah Higdon chose to take it a step further. Is it possible to make it with LEGO? That answer is yes, and the outcome is excellent! From the first picture, it looks normal, but wait until you see how it works!
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?
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.