This amazing LEGO model perfectly captures the mismatched style of the mechanical castle from the anime film Howl’s Moving Castle. In the film, the castle walks on spindly legs, spluttering and puffing out smoke as it goes along, as indicated by the clouds of smoke rising from the various chimneys. You can tell that the model’s creator, Marcin Otręba, has carefully studied the original design as all the strange contraptions protruding out of the castle have been faithfully recreated in this small scale. In order to portray the circular brickwork under the domed turrets, rounded 1×2 plates have been angled to form ringlike patterns.
If you’re a fan of Hayao Miyazaki films, then this LEGO creation inspired by the 2001 release Spirited Away by Chris Xenyo will be instantly recognizable. These little fuzzy-looking critters, known as soot sprites, or Susuwatari are formed from soot, and they can lift things much heavier than themselves. Without a job to keep them busy, they sometimes revert back to soot.
Even though the model is fairly simple, the attention to detail, from the spiny look (made from black levers) to the thin and spindly arms and legs (made from flexible tubing) is very accurate to its on-screen inspiration. Even the background which includes the tiny tunnels where the Susuwatari makes their homes, and the wooden platform that borders their path to the furnace, make this scene jump straight out of the movie.
Studio Ghibli’s animated movies are a constant source of inspiration to LEGO builders, and Kiki’s Delivery Service is no exception. Here’s the film’s feline duo, Jiji and Lily, re-created in the brick by car_mp. The curves of the cats’ bodies are nicely done, particularly the studs-out section depicting Lily’s neck fur. But as with other cartoon-themed creations, it’s the addition of the large Mixel eye tiles which injects a bunch of character and fun.
We’ve featured half a dozen or so Savoia S.21 flying boat from Porco Rosso over the years, but it remains one of my favorite LEGO aircraft whenever I run across a new version. This latest incarnation of the racing plane from the 1992 Hayao Miyazaki film is brought to us by Volker Brodkorb. The airplane’s huge engine mounted forward of the cockpit makes this plane instantly recognizable, as do the striping on the angled wings.
Volker uses curved slopes attached studs out to achieve the sloping shape of the boat-plane’s hull, and the pop of yellow on the front of the propeller is a lovely touch.
Kiki’s Delivery Service is a 1989 Japanese animated fantasy film produced, written, and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The film’s protagonist Kiki is a trainee witch who has a black cat called Jiji as her best friend, and CK HO has built a fantastically cute LEGO version of Jiji the cat. Like most cats, Jiji has a lot of personality, but the English-dubbed version of the film showed Jiji with a cynical and sarcastic attitude as opposed to cautious and conscientious in the original Japanese.
We loved Jiji so much here at TBB that we asked CK to make some instructions and he very kindly obliged to allow us all to have a best friend called Jiji.
One of my favorite Miyazaki characters is Porco Rosso, and we’ve seen many LEGO versions of Porco’s iconic red plane before. But this character portrait of the gruff pig himself, in all his metaphor and charm, is something special. It’s no surprise that it comes from the hand of Eero Okkonen, whose fantastic brick characters regularly grace our blog.
We’ve seen a lot of LEGO renditions of Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky, including a gorgeous scene of Laputa among the clouds and a beautiful music box floating fortress. But there’s always room for more, so here are a few that caught our eye.
Mel F‘s lovely little version is a joy. Mel built it to be a desk ornament, and it’s got that perfect balance of size and complexity to subtly show co-workers that LEGO is cool, but you’re not insane (that comes later when they see your LEGO room).
Another gorgeous version comes from builder 米 基, with this terrific soaring castle surrounded by clouds. It even has Dola and her pirates’ tiny gliders flitting about beneath the massive fortress.
Korean builder Hwang Byeong Jun has released step-by-step instructions for the amazing Laputa: Castle in the Sky music box that we featured last month, complete with details on how to integrate the music box into your LEGO build.
All of Hayao Miyazaki’s films are whimsical and absolutely beautiful – and we here at The Brothers Brick are big fans, as evidenced by our continued highlights of LEGO creations from our favorite films throughout the years.
I present you with this collaborative LEGO music box by Banghoo H and Yeom-E. This intricate build features Laputa, the castle in the sky, and a steampunk-inspired, gear-filled mechanism to play music at the base.
Stephen 趙(Chao) (obscurance) makes his first appearance since 2009 on this venerable blog, with this gorgeous “Savoia S.21“. The S.21 is a fictional seaplane / fighter that appears in the anime Porco Rosso, directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
According to Wikipedia: “While the plane depicted in the film never existed, Savoia was an actual Italian aircraft maker which produced a considerable number of flying boats in the 1920s, during which the film is set. An actual Savoia S.21 even existed, though the fictional one does not closely resemble it—the Cant.Z 501 “Seagull” is probably the closest real-life match. As a matter of fact, Hayao Miyazaki is said to have drawn his Savoia S.21 from his childhood memories of Macchi M.33.”
Constant readers of the blog will no doubt be familiar with this model, as 4 outstanding builders have taken a shot at the Savoia over the years. When I discovered how often the Savoia had been featured I was tempted to send the draft to the trash can, but I enjoyed seeing the unique approach used by each builder over the years and hope that you will too.
I watched My Neighbour Totoro for the first time just after Christmas. I wish I had seen it years ago, because it was absolutely wonderful. So seeing legorobo:waka’s model of the iconic Catbus was right up my alley! I love the somewhat simplified/blocky style…and that smile is just spot on!
But the coolest feature is definitely the movement:
Check out the full photoset for all the views.
I was looking through flickr user’s Sydag’s new aircraft models earlier, and was shocked to discover that we’ve never featured any of his stunning airplanes here before. Sydag has been building some of the best small aircraft to be found, including this latest pair of Hawker Sea Furies, decked out for the Reno Air Races. Be sure to check out the other photos of them, as Sydag’s included lots of terrific details like folding wings and a de-cowled version.
While I’d love to highlight all of his planes, this lovely version of Porco Rosso’s plane from Miyazaki’s film grabbed my attention in particular. It looks spot on, and the display is wonderful.