Tag Archives: Mike Nieves

An adorably unconventional couple

The holidays are approaching and gifts are on everyone’s minds. Though this time of year always brings its challenges, any gift-giving occasion can be a builder’s excuse to create something personal with LEGO. For instance, figure builder Mike Nieves recently gifted his newlywed friends this elegant fox posing in the snow with a fluffy penguin. Presumably their favorite animals, I’m sure the couple was delighted to receive this gift. I do wonder if they used them as cake toppers though.

Taking a look at the models individually, we can see that the builder had a good idea of the necessary forms and connections. The penguin’s thick, grey body consists of two mirrored sections of stacked plates and slopes. Modified plates are used as happy little feet peeking out from under the body. The wings’ connections are hidden but hinged, allowing it to flap about adorably. The rotating head even has a tiny opening mouth, which is pretty cute.

The fox is rather impressive. The slender, brick-built face closely matches the natural angles of the animal and this trend continues down the body. Clever connection points allow Mike to build out from a central core to achieve the fox’s figure. The chest is fluffy and the paws really stand out but that tail is the true star. I mean, the way the color blocking takes advantage of the structure is just smart.

It’s worth taking a look at the back of the fox to get a better idea of how it’s put together. Plus, I just wanted to look at that tail again. Achieving curves like that with LEGO is difficult and Mike really did well with both of these. What a great wedding gift for LEGO fans.

As solid as a lone wolf

Did you know that real lone wolves (the four-legged kind) are actually essential for wolf survival? The ones who choose to go their own way as a juvenile do so to find new territory and start their own pack. They are brave and resourceful and keep the genes strong by preventing inbreeding. This LEGO wolf by Mike Nieves is strong in more ways than one. Its stoic, determined expression makes way for solid body-shaping techniques and overall structure. From nose to tail, shoulder to paw, the body-in-motion pose is on-point.

While you’re here, take a look at a couple more of Mike’s builds, as well as tons of other animal-related LEGO creations.

LEGO Piplup will catch your heart

You would have to have a heart colder than Elsa’s Ice palace to not get a serious case of warm feelings from this adorable Pokemon by Mike Nieves. Mike makes great use of a few of the new 1×1 quarter tiles. And the clever construction of so many curved and angled details in the face, collar, and wings left me scratching my head about just how the builder put this cote Piplup together. The gentle curves and slopes used for the ice chunk and the blue water are a very nice touch.

Pokemon Piplup

“How can you build this? There’s no pictures!”

“Well, some people use their imagination.” Mike Nieves has used his imagination to create a wonderfully whimsical representation of Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Mike’s character build may not have a defined face, but the pose and setting is iconically Belle. Thanks to her outstretched hand and head tucked in a book, I can almost hear her singing.


Thanks to an extensive use of curved and angled slope elements, Mike has done a great job of capturing the look of Belle. As we can see in this shot, sloped elements are also used to convey a sense of motion with the flow of Belle’s dress. There is some incredibly nice detailing here, including the clever ribbons for the hair and dress.

If you like Mike’s model of Belle, you won’t want to miss his other LEGO Disney character builds.