“Miniland” is the name of the area at LEGOLAND theme parks where master model builders have created landmarks and cityscapes. Built at a scale about twice as large as the size of models built for minifigs, the building style is also popular with LEGO fans who aren’t professional model builders themselves.
It may seem like an ordinary day to you or me, but in Kit Nugent’s (KitKat1414) world, things are a bit more interesting. In this masterfully built LEGO slice of life, a man is confronted by the fact that 25 Friends Horse Saddle in Dark azure has infected his home. As you may have guessed, this is part of the Iron Builder competition, where the challenge is to incorporate the seed part (in this case the aforementioned saddle) into a build in the most interesting ways possible. Not only are there the “easy” wins of a flower pot or bookshelf, but Kit has incorporated them into a standing lamp and even a chair’s backrest. But the best use to me is turning a bunch of them into floor trimming. Oh, and that rug made of carrots is pretty sweet, too.
More inspired part usages (include more saddle-y goodness) await in our Iron Builder tag!
A courageous hero through many adventures, this legendary Nintendo character has been brick-ified by builder Sybricks with only 101 pieces. This Brick-Link is fantastically detailed, from Master Sword and Shield to iconic green tunic and swoopy haircut. Typical Miniland figure-building techniques get turned on their head with the molding of Link’s hair, hat, and face (those pointy ears are clever). Bulky building in the arms partnered with clever color blocking gives the effect of Link’s puffy tunic and white undershirt. Inventive parts usage helped the builder recreate the Tri-force on Link’s shield along with the hilt and blade of the sword.
Given the parts limit, Sy couldn’t build the entire figure as he wanted. I hope he explores the theme again though so Link can really kick some butt one day. Until then, he can hang with Stuck Chuck from Kid Cosmic.
Sporting the Netherlands’ colors in honor of their gold and bronze medals this August, this Miniland-style figure wonderfully captures the motion of a record-setting athlete. Clever building techniques allow builder James Zhan to construct the jersey and shorts into the figure’s body. Nice parts usage in the elements for the hair partner with the positioning of the arms to help sell the feeling that the figure is falling. The figure’s prostheses are posed for the furthest distance while their entire body is suspended with a clear stand.
The tenacious smuggler turned burgeoning rebel general, Han Solo, really saved the galaxy by cutting open that poor Tauntaun. Thankfully, his quick thinking made good use of the dead creature’s lingering heat. Before you start wondering if that residual heat would really keep Luke alive through a night on Hoth, just remember that Han says he’s putting up a shelter. The real tragedy is that Han knew he’d be sacrificing that, er, magnificent creature when he left Echo base. He was warned! Still, I’m sure Luke was grateful, both for being saved and for being unconscious during his nap in a Tauntaun carcass. Mostly. Anyway, this playful Miniland-scale Star Wars model by Ochre Jelly hits me right in the nostalgia.
The Miniland building style allows for playful details in brick-built figures. Ochre Jelly is fond of this style and has built some iconic scenes and memes in the past. Here he’s done a wonderful job with the Hoth versions of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker from the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back. Their respective outfits translate well to bricks and plates with proper color blocking. Han’s fuzzy hood achieved with exposed studs is pretty neat and his stance captures his mood perfectly.
The scale of the figures definitely allowed for more detail and curves in the Tauntaun. Big, thick legs and distinctive claws, along with a saddle and amazing horns, match well with the source material. Those Minifigure arms used as guts are a real clincher, though. A mess of blue clips and plates seem like blood pooling under the multi-colored assortment of Minifigure body parts with hotdogs thrown in for good measure. Delusional Luke probably appreciates that warm goo a little bit, right?
I’m just glad that the LEGO Group hasn’t made scented bricks because we do not need to know the actual difference between the outside and inside smells of a Tauntaun.
As a concept, Batman has some issues. In today’s world, a billionaire who gets his jollies from beating up the economically disadvantaged is…not a great look. Luckily there are some brighter aspects to his mythos to help balance things out. Robin became his kid sidekick back in 1940, and his bright costume and cheerful quips brought a little light to the Dark Knight. Oh, sure, you could point out that this was just adding “child endangerment” into the mix, but I’m trying very hard to be upbeat about things today. John Moffatt, at least, gives me a real reason to smile with this LEGO recreation of the Boy Wonder in Miniland scale.
Sure, some of these connections may not be 100% purist, but the Robin character has always been one to break the rules, at least a little bit. Headlight bricks are used for Robin’s shoulders, and also provide an interesting connection point for the not-quite-attached 1×2 tiles that create the angled shape for the gloves. I also like the cape, made out of click-hinge plates.
Is this just a start of a heroic run of Miniland figures like John’s Avatar collection back in 2015? Only time will tell. But I hope so.
You ever have one of those days when you mention something in idle conversation, and suddenly every site you visit online is advertising a related product to you? I have, and it’s downright creepy. But you just know retailers are looking for even more invasive ways of getting their products in front of you. And, unfortunately, I think we may be getting a glimpse of that future right here. Taking inspiration from pixel artist Kenze Wee’s Cyberpunk vending machines, LEGO builder lokiloki29 has created a futuristic drone that combines convenience with an unsettling feeling of “buy or die”.
Built at miniland scale, this creation looks completely plausible. The variety of products on display do look tempting, and Ninjago-sourced logos are right in line with the aesthetic. Cheery red domes and curves create the impression of a friendly gumball machine. My favorite detail, though, is minifig hammers as feet. Those dainty pads makes this whole thing seem cuter somehow. Maybe I will get myself a little treat from this scuttling nightmare that followed me home.
In addition to the amazing LEGO models created by builders all over the world, The Brothers Brick brings you the best of LEGO news and reviews. This is our weekly Brick Report for the third week of November 2019.
LEGO Star Wars miniland displays at LEGOLAND parks all over the world are in their last days. Read on to find out when they will be removed and what caused the change.
TBB NEWS & REVIEWS: This week we reviewed an iconic vehicle from the Caped Crusader and took a look at the new Disney+ Mandalorian set.
Have you ever played one of those games where you look at an image and find the hidden details? They used to be in magazines, but these days there are loads of apps for them. And now, there’s even a 3D LEGO version! This greenhouse, built by César Soares, is a hidden-gem masterpiece. While there are lots of LEGO creations with incredible parts usage, this one goes above and beyond, and may be one of my absolute favorites!
No spoilers! Take a moment to scan the whole thing, and read below once you get stumped. Can’t remember where you last saw that part? We’ll fill you in on a couple of those hard-to-pinpoint pieces!
Talented LEGO artist Dave Kaleta has been producing large dioramas at “Miniland” scale for several years, illustrating key moments of his life, from his first date, wedding, and pregnancy announcement with his wife to the first months with a new baby. Dave has updated his series with another first — a flashback to the first steps of the toddler we first met still in his crib two years ago.
Titled “One Small Step,” the scene is full of life and detail, including realistic details like the electric heater plugged in to the wall next to the fireplace. But it’s the people and animals who truly bring this scene alive — mom lets go of the baby as dad waits for him across the room, with a cat and dog in the background cheering the little guy on.
Enchantments, potions and magic! What else would one need? César Soares sure knows what is important in life – who cares about all that pointless real stuff, right? Joking aside, this is a pretty impressive creation. The builder says he has wanted to build in this scale for quite some time, and I can totally agree. Minifig utensils and the thicknesses of some bricks are often out of proportion with the minifigs they are made for, and that often looks very cartoony. This is not a bad thing on its own, but some times, it is nice to see more realistic Miniland scale creations like this one.
I have said that this creation is impressive, and just being built in Miniland scale is obviously not enough to achieve that. The scene is filled with unique part usage, most notably cloth pieces. Just look at the broom and the unrolled scroll! And still there is more to see, like legs of the chair and table that are tilted off right angles, clever use of the log minifig costume under the table on the right and the wall texture, which uses a technique most often seen as floor, due to how unstable it would be when set upright. I wonder what kind of magic César used to keep it in place!
Back in 2011, LEGO introduced the 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van to its line of Creator vehicles (followed more recently by the lovely 10252 Volkswagen Beetle). Both these official sets are at a larger scale than LEGO’s own Miniland scale, which is the scale that TBB’s own Ralph Savelsberg frequently builds his cars and trucks in. Ralph’s latest vehicle is VW’s T3 Westfalia camper van, complete with a pop-up top for extra head room when you head inside after a long day of drinking cold beverages from a cooler while sitting in your lawn chair.
Ralph makes extensive use of hinged connections and 1×1 “cheese” slopes attached sideways to achieve subtle angles throughout the model, from the section below the windscreen to the shape of the van’s body underneath the sliding door. Naturally, the interior upholstery is a lovely checked pattern of orange and tan.
France is very, very good at cheese, fashion and wine—and occasionally at engineering autos. A legendary Peugeot 607 from the early 2000’s turned out to be good enough to merit being recreated with LEGO pieces somewhat 15 years later by Latvian builder Rolands Kirpis. If you’re a long-time Rolands fan, you’re likely used to his unique style of building which largely avoids curved slopes yet achieves a smooth look anyway. The scale of the car is similar to the famous Miniland vehicles, yet just a little bit bigger, giving more space in the design for smooth transitions and some neat touches like pretty accurate mud guards.