Tag Archives: Luis Pena

How to build your own pocket-sized Taj Mahal [Instructions]

LEGO currently has two display models of the iconic Taj Mahal available to buy. One that is massive and expensive, and new one that is smaller and more affordable. If you’re like me, poor and easily scared by any number over the £50 price tag, you start wishing for LEGO to produce more and more small microscale builds. Luckily, Luis Peña built a tiny Taj Mahal consisting of just 80 pieces, and small enough to fit in your pocket!

LEGO Micro Taj Mahal

Click to see the instructions

A gas mining colony with a view [Instructions]

For the last several years, I can’t imagine the evening of May 4th without rewatching The Empire Strikes Back. Nor the story, neither the sceneries get old. And speaking of the alluring Cloud City, this hilariously tiny rendition of the location by Luis Peña is surely a micro masterpiece. It is built with just 31 pieces, and there are even instructions available for the model.

Cloud City (LEGO Model with instructions)

I adore the use of LEGO cloud elements. So, in case you haven’t got the latest UCS-style 75308 R2-D2 yet, I see no reason not to build a tiny copy of the Cloud City to put on an office desk.

Cloud City (LEGO Model with instructions)

Beachfront property worth building

Aloha, maybe? Wherever this is, I want to go there right now and forget that there are travel restrictions in place. The Beach Resort from builder Luis Peña is everything I could want in a tropical getaway.

Beach Resort

Not only is this clearly an oceanside resort, but it’s also a really fancy one at that. The light blue transparent bricks are a crisp, clean contrast to the white on the buildings, giving them a very expensive look. The choice to make each structure different was a good one, with the triangle building and the curvy building having a five-star hotel vibe. The beach huts are just fantastic. They’re made with few pieces but you still know exactly what they are!

I could see myself lying under the tiny palm trees, but there’s a pandemic going on so I’ll have to wait until next year.

An artistic stretch of buildings dedicated to the arts

Microscale buildings can be a challenge to design, but Luis Peña knows just how to make them sizzle. Inspired by the architectural work of Santiago Calatrava and Oscar Niemeyer, the custom buildings in Opera and Museum are filled with unusual elements and a ton of class. My favorite touches are the Mysterio Helmet orb/sculpture, and the Web-effect railings on the bridge. The curves from the balloon panels create a great sense of motion for the scene, too.

Opera and Museum (LEGO Architecture Project)

If tiny buildings are your thing, take a stroll through our archives for even more compact goodness.

Build your own LEGO Cahuil gull [Instructions]

From the Andean condor to the black-necked swan, Luis Peña García has shared his appreciation of South American birds and wildlife by recreating them in LEGO. This time, Luis builds the Cahuil gull, also known as the brown-hooded gull. The red minifig flippers make excellent webbed feet for navigating the marshes and freshwater lakes. The 1×1 printed round eye tile is the perfect representation of the Cahuil gull’s white feathers around its eye. Simplistic and full of great part usages, this lil’ guy is the perfect desk buddy or shelf display.

Gather up your parts and begin building! Click here to for the instructions on how to make your own Cahuil Gull

The Coveted Mythosaur Skull Pendant

We all saw the child sporting a very fashionable Mythosaur skull necklace in season one of The Mandalorian (no season two spoilers here). If you can’t find one of these beauties online why not build one for yourself like Luis Peña García has out of LEGO elements?

Peña crafts his LEGO version of the pendant using a menagerie of light grey elements, small black plates in various sizes, and a couple pieces in flat silver. In order to give the skull form, Peña mainly utilizes the light grey slopes and tiles in various shapes and sizes while the black plates that the grey pieces are assembled on serve as the negative space creating eye and nose sockets. Peña most cleverly uses a few binocular pieces in grey for the teeth of the fictional creature. Overall this build is spot on in its depiction of the Mythosaur skull pendant, wear one of these babies and the Mandalorians will know that you are legit!

I’ll never be your beast of burden. Well, okay, maybe just this once.

Here at The Brothers Brick, we love a good Bantha build. Luis Peña shares a really cool one – rife with plenty of clever techniques. The fur is made of a combination of quarter-circle tiles and rock elements, with ribbed 2×2 round brick for the legs. The horns are achieved by stacking tan 1×2 modified rounded plate, covered with more quarter-circle tile and topped with Wampa horns. The best detail, though, has to be the great use of a yellow rubber-band for the mouth. It gives this creature just a hint of a cheery smile, and I like that.

LEGO Bantha

I’d love to see a mash-up of some of the techniques used here (particularly those sweet horns) with some of the other Banthas we’ve spotlighted. Maybe some adventurous soul is already hard at work at a UCS scale version. Well, we can dream, anyway.

It’s a fish-eat-fish world

Can’t visit a natural history museum or an aquarium? Luis Peña has us covered with his LEGO build of a couple Devonian sea critters – the larger of which is the Dunkleosteus and then its smaller prey being the Stethacanthus.

Dunkleosteus chasing a Stethacanthus

Peña certainly got all of the anatomical details of both fish correct from the eye placement on the Dunkleosteus to the anvil-shaped fin of the Stethacanthus. Both builds are also are seemingly correct in terms scale as the Stethacanthus was actually a pretty small shark-like fish. Peña’s use of differing white slope pieces is effective in rendering the teeth of the Dunkleosteus; I also appreciated his use of the feather-pin element as the tail for the tinier fish. Thankfully the Devonian age has passed; these sea creatures seemed to have been pretty frightening, whether big or small, but it’s definitely pleasant to be able to learn about them in some capacity.

A trio of South American birds [Instructions]

You don’t have to be a birdwatcher to appreciate this collection of South American birds by Luis Peña. Each South American bird is built from between 35-55 LEGO pieces and would look great on your display shelf, desk, or bookshelf.

First is the Black-necked swan, which swims on a small stand of water.
South American birds in LEGO (with instructions)

Check out more instructions from Luis

A little bird to watch

With all the time I have been spending at home lately, I find myself paying more attention to the birds that live in my neighborhood, from feeding a family of crows in my backyard to listening to the calls and songs of feathered friends of all shapes and sizes. This tiny LEGO sparrow by Luis Peña is quite a lovely model, and very expressive. Luis shapes the wings with quarter tiles and that flat tail captures the look of the real-life inspiration, the Rufous-collared sparrow.

Rufous-collared Sparrow

If you enjoyed this bird, be sure to check out more recent birds from Luis on his flicker page

The Douglas DC-3C has the quintessential airplane shape

Maybe it’s because this retro shape was so commonly illustrated in children’s books but, when I was a child learning to draw, I’d put pencil (or crayon) to paper and all my airplanes turned out pretty much like this. Without even knowing its name, I seemed aware that this is what the quintessential airplane should look like. Luis Peña not only provides  me its name — Douglas DC-3C — but a stunning 1:40 scale LEGO model, which is much harder to build than to draw. A trip to the National Aeronautical and Space Museum in Santiago, Chile inspired this model. He tells us that LAN Chile bought several of these craft in 1946 after they were originally used as cargo planes during World War II, then refurbished them for a second life as passenger planes.

Douglas DC-3C 1:40 Scale LEGO Model

This particular model measures 73 cm (28.74 in.) wide and 49 cm (19.29 in.) long. To Luis this represents an important part of Chilean aviation history and, in my childhood mind anyway, the most perfectly quintessential airplane shape. This is clearly not the first time we’ve been delighted by his work.

An icebreaker, but not the desert-island-album question kind

I have an icebreaker for you. No, I don’t mean one of those icebreaker questions like “what is in the trunk of your car right now?” (Eldritch Horror game, reusable shopping bags) or “what childish thing do you still do as an adult?” (Well, duh!). I’m talking about a roughly 2,000 piece LEGO Antarctic icebreaker built by Luis Peña. This is the new icebreaker of the Chilean Navy, currently under construction in Asmar, Talcahuano, and should be set to sail by 2022. Equipped with two SH32 Cougar helicopters, it will be the most modern icebreaker in South America, and the largest and most complex ship ever built in Asmar. The ship itself still has no name, but the project is called Antarctica 1. Perhaps they will let the internet decide a catchy name for this vessel. I mean, what can go wrong?

Icebreaker “Antarctica 1”

Oh, I thought of an icebreaker question that I can’t see backfiring in any way: Which Brothers Brick contributor annoys you the most? What can go wrong, indeed?