A frequent staple of the Brothers Brick, LEGO Designer Markus Rollbühler knows his way around the LEGO kitchen. He’s dished up a hearty broth containing soft flex hose noodles, minifig leg mushrooms, some yolky eggs, and a white and pink spiraled narutomaki. Gotta say the photography really helps the model shine as well. I’d order this in a restaurant.
This month’s community cover photo features a mind-bendingly detailed alchemist workshop by Markus Rollbühler. Look carefully, and you might think that he’s used Photoshop to mirror one side of the image. A cheeky way to save bricks! However, look even more carefully at the shadows and reflections and you’ll realize it’s not a digital trick, but a full LEGO creation with perfect symmetry.
The immaculate photography complements such an expertly crafted creation. I wonder if the alchemist who resides here is creating such a symmetrical scene through some kind of magic, or are they just OCD?
Want to see your own LEGO creation featured across TBB social media for a month? Then read the submission guidelines and submit your photo today. Until next time, stay well and be safe, and practice social distancing whenever possible as we need it now more than ever!
Up next from TBB Auctionhouse, we have this magnificent piece, “Canvas Warrior”, ABS on canvas, by the brilliant artist Markus Rollbühler, circa 2020. Bidding will start at $1M. Do I hear one? You, with the itchy nose. Please note the American Western style, with the Native American astride a horse, riding out of the picturesque Rocky Mountains. Do I hear two? Ah, you, scratching your eyebrow. Note the rippling pectorals, made from a LEGO minifigure torso. This could be the cover of the latest Nora Roberts novel. Do I see a hand for three? You there, lady with the cough, yes. Three million. This is a fine example of stereotypical Wild West art, folks. There’s buckskin fringe, a rifle, even some scrub bushes. Four million, from you, Mr. Itchy Nose. Wonderful. Five? Do I hear five? The impressionistic landscape even includes some plesiosaur flippers. And that horse! It will leap out and impress all your guests? Five! Yes, you on your smartphone. Five million! Going once, going twice, sold!
Symmetry in art is a funny thing. It is the cause of much disagreement. Some find it fascinating and perfect, while others see it as unnatural and repetitive. I fall squarely in the first camp. I find symmetry and the attention to it in art to be fascinating. Two of my favorite directors, Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick, deal heavily in symmetry to great effect. Builder Markus Rollbühler taps into this form with great aplomb and gives us a LEGO creation that is quite beautiful and fascinating to examine.
At first, I thought perhaps there was some visual tricky going on here, but closer examination reveals this to be a fully realized, symmetrical model brimming with detail. There is some really fun parts usage, like Minnie Mouse’s skirt for the planters in the front and those beautiful purple potion bottles. The treasure chests as table legs are another nice touch. It should also be noted that those brick walls aren’t just stacked bricks! They are actually tiles placed on SNOT (Studs Not On top) pieces, providing a much more dimensional and realistic look to the walls. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go stare at this photo some more and revel in the perfect symmetry of the world between those walls.
Well, what do they have in common? Absolutely nothing! Sorry to disappoint you, but this is really more of an abstract art challenged driven by a contest to build a LEGO creation in a single color. Builder Markus Rollbühler cleverly builds a gravity-defying paint bucket and a tiny pirate ship sailing off the edges of spilt paint. So, since we’re on the topic, what’s a pirate’s favorite color? For sure it’s not yellow, but.. if you’ve not gotten it yet, it’s ARR-inge.
I never had bunk beds as a kid. There was plenty of space in my bedroom for friends to sleep over on a camp bed, but somehow bunks always seemed more fun. Guess I’ll have to suage my nostalgic regret with Markus Rollbühler‘s LEGO-built version instead. The bunks sit at the heart of a charming little model — a child’s bedroom, packed full of furniture and belongings. The scene was created as part of a challenge to build something with no more than 101 pieces, and the restriction lies at the heart of some creative parts use. Don’t miss the swivel chair with its backrest made from an old-school minifigure cape, and the little bulldozer on the floor. I also love the Belville shoe used as a computer mouse and the anglepoise lamp on the nightstand. This is one of those LEGO models which manages to be both cute and clever at the same time.
As I have undoubtedly said before in these pages, and will almost certainly say again, I love immersive LEGO scenes, the sort that fill every corner of the image with LEGO (or a neutral sky background, as often I’m not too fond of brick-built skies). There’s something magical about being able to step into a creation that way. But it takes a lot of bricks, usually, and some meticulous planning of angles to make it work. There is a more natural way, and master-builder Markus Rollbühler shows us how: build a fantastic vignette that fills the frame and then put an iPad behind it with the rest of the scenery.
Some simple techniques in the build go a long way, such as tiles pushed down only partway to create a weathered brick arch, loose bricks on their sides for cobblestones, and some of his signature bushes made of grass stalks and leaves. The perfect lighting, the minifig posing, and the iPad’s added depth all lend themselves to a delightful scene. And no fancy Photoshopping required!
Time and again, Markus Rollbühler continues to amaze me with his attention to detail, and the “oohs” and “aahs” continue with his latest build — a charming farmhouse. In addition to having excellent composition, the scene also features some excellent use of parts. The thatched roof effect is achieved with dozens of claws, the smoke billowing out the chimney is actually a rat flipped upside-down, and the cork in the wine pitcher is represented by a microphone. The greenery is also enjoyable, especially the effect produced by placing 3-leafed plant elements atop the stems of bushes.
Be sure to also browse our archives to discover more of Markus Rollbühler’s LEGO models featured on the Brothers Brick.
Minifgure accessories are an often underused section of the LEGO parts palette. While many builders may think up creative ways to integrate these parts outside of the use they were designed for, many of us lack the quantity needed to carry out our ideas. Markus Rollbühler manages to pull it off with ease though with his latest mech Black Widow.
Obvious standouts are Count Dooku’s lightsabers and the skeleton pattern armour, and both elements help give the legs an organic shape, while the armour’s print is perfect for an arachnoid style mech. I’m personally quite excited to see the relatively new neck bracket with 4 handles used to help shape the body of the mech. When that piece was revealed, I expected to see it in more creations and I’m hoping this is the start of a trend. Non-minfigure parts are expertly used here as well, such as the main section being flawlessly shaped with a Zamor Sphere holder forming a natural spine. Finally, my favourite bit of texture is created using a Technic connector on the legs – not only is the piece functional, but it looks good too!
For sure, the most epic LEGO battles of the late 90-s took place in deep oceans, where heroic Aquanaut miners fought against the villainous Aquasharks. Many years have passed, but the heroes (and antiheroes) are not forgotten — although, some of them have evolved a lot since then. LEGO designers Chris Perron and Markus Rollbühler team up and dive deep to find out that the waters are still as dangerous as 20 years ago. Now, the battlefield teems with giant sharks like this Mega Shark Scout. Designed for espionage attacks, the shark looks absolutely terrifying; aggressive design and the striking contrast of black, blue, and transparent orange picture an enemy you better avoid at all costs. But can you name all the pieces used for the design of the circle section right behind the shark’s head?
It turns out Fabuland has a good boy in charge of fire safety. Markus Rollbühler presents Barty and his shiny red Fire Brigade Bulldog Mech. This is part of Markus’ ongoing campaign to build one mech a week for a year, which is what we call job security at the Brothers Brick. So long as he keeps cranking out quality builds, we’ll have something to write about. No blazing fire (and incidentally no rug either) is safe from Barty’s watchful patrol. Even if he does ruin your one-of-a-kind Persian Fine Serapi Handmade Wool Area Rug, how can you stay mad at Barty when he has a face like that? With him it’s either nice rugs or unwavering fire safety. Make your choice.
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.