When considering what LEGO creation to write about there were the usual offerings of a cool spaceship, castle diorama, Star Wars something or other…and a pretty mustachioed man vacuuming. Then I was like; hell yeah, this is the one I want to write about! Upon closer inspection, I realized this little scene built by Mark van der Maarel looked a bit familiar and recalled that it depicts the Queen video for their song “I Want to Break Free”, showcasing the entire band in drag. Freddy looks particularly ravishing in a pink top, heels, and a short skirt as he sings about how he’d like to be free from a toxic relationship. We’ve all been there, right? I mean the toxic relationship part. Also the vacuuming in heels part. I mean seriously, I’m like two bags of female-packaged M&Ms, a bag of Cracker Jills (not Cracker Jacks), and a Bud Light away from totally making this my Friday night thing.
Using only 101 parts, Mark van der Maarel has produced his version of everyone’s favorite drummer, and it absolutely rocks! I don’t know if I’ve seen someone evoke Muppet fur with so few LEGO pieces before. And his part usage skills go well beyond the feather plumes. The sausages as fingers, the elastic bands on Animal’s wrists, even the choice of the bulbous eye pieces are spot-on. Contrasting that with the clean lines of a black T-shirt, it definitely evokes the controlled chaos that is Animal playing his drums.
In the beginning, there were just troubling shades of grey. But then there was an industrial accident of some sort. And then OSHA came along. And then the company had some heavy fines levied against it as they refused to install adequate safety railings. At least, I think that’s the story this scene by Mark van der Maarel is telling us. There’s probably more to it. But whatever happened, LEGO minifigures were never quite the same ever again. There are lots of fun details here, but my favorite has to be the X-Pod lid that forms the base of the yellow pool. That splash is pretty sweet, too.
This creation uses only 51 elements, easily qualifying it for the 101-max requirement of the RogueOlympics. There have been a lot of great builds coming out of that contest, so be sure to check out our archives for even more quality minimal-part creations!
When was the last time you raised your eyes to the sky? There could be so much hidden above the clouds, for example, a community of brave aviators hopping between mountain peaks in their agile airplanes. A breathtaking collaboration project by amazingly talented German LEGO builders, Vaionaut, Ben Tritschler, Marcel V., Mark van der Maarel, Markus Rollbühler, Sylon-tw, and Willem (Steinchen), called Skytopia, is full of steam- and dieselpunk vibes, including huge propellers, flying boats and tons of wood and metal.
The retro future of LEGO transport has a lot of options available to experience, including this cloud skimming, Dieselpunk Boat by builder Mark van der Maarel. His use of curved slopes and modified plates to form the smooth shaping of the hull is simple but exemplary, as is the chosen colour scheme. The rusted and worn look of such a craft, along with the eccentric crew, screams of adventures aplenty.
The deck crane brings the functionality needed for this sky trawler, though the highlight for me is another simple addition for the sake of detail: the boat hook. This necessary piece of equipment adds a nice touch of realism despite only being constructed from two pieces, a pirate hook hand and a rigid hose. It makes me kind of curious to know what he is puling in at such a height.
This mini-windmill model, built in collaboration between Mark van der Maarel and his son, resonates with positive energy. It’s wonderful to see the pieced-together building style normally associated with post-apocalyptic creations being used to covey a green message. The salvaged sails and junkyard components of the windmill are offset by wonderful foliage and neat tulips formed from lever bases. Nature is thriving here, a theme that resonates with LEGO’s recent plants set made from sustainable plastics.