When I think about unique LEGO creations, I usually picture them in vibrant colors, considering just how many colors LEGO elements come in these days. But like fine art and photography, sometimes using a more limited palette, or choosing to go black and white can introduce interesting design constraints. Builder Mitsuru Nikaido is known for creating stunning mechanical models of animals from around the world, both past and present. but with this recent series, they are taking their LEGO creations into the future.
These two robot companions are full of interesting details like the two different sizes of ski sleds used for the feet, and the revolver used for the digits of the tall skinny fellow. But I think my favorite detail is the top half of the light gray turntable used for the shoulders, hips, and knees. There is another great robot in the series, which looks like it could be the next model from Boston Dynamics, but is surprisingly less creepy.
I wonder if there is a beekeeper equivalent to Captain Ahab, forever obsessing over one special white honeybee. Whoever that beekeeping Ahab is, they should look no further than this LEGO creation by Christian Lintan. My hunch says once discovered, this monochrome mech will put up a good fight. It might even make Beekeeper Ahab wish they would have pursued something less dangerous, like stamp collecting. I’m loving those Bionicle transparent wings though. If you enjoy LEGO builds with a monochrome palette, be sure to click the little blue link to see what others have done, including at least one entry by Christian.
Being an artist has some perks. If you can imagine a world that doesn’t exist, simply invent it through art. As Bob Ross advised, just paint in those happy little trees! That is, in a sense, what First Order Lego has done here in LEGO. With a paint palette and brush in the composition, we see just a hint of color with a Mediterranean-style village at the base of a massive tree. It is just enough to clue us in that this builder is pretty good with color but the real star of the show here is what is not “painted”. Monochrome is notoriously difficult to draw or paint. It relies heavily on texture for great effect and that is what is done here in spades. Hundreds of mini wheels make up the leaves of the tree which creates breathtaking visual effects.
There are even more little houses going up the slope of the trunk that are just like the other ones except “unpainted”. He tells us it was all built-in under two weeks and had won the top prize at Bricking Bavaria, a LEGO convention in Germany. A well-deserved win, in my opinion. Here we see the artist “painting” his world with beautiful happy colors. The closeup makes it clear that the entire sculpture stands on Death Star halves. What brilliant details!
When I first saw this magnificent LEGO sculpture by Ekow Nimako, I knew it had to be his. The elegant, all-black theme is his trademark. But what I didn’t realize is that this is much more than a beautiful fictitious character. This is Anansi, an important deity in West African mythos. Ekow has a wonderful talent for pulling you in and inspiring you to look further, both literally and figuratively. So I’m here to share the gift of what I learned… and you might want to zoom in.
Click to see more pictures and learn about Anansi
The new Everyone is Awesome set is, well, awesome. But inclusivity and cool monochrome minifigures aren’t exactly new ideas. Just ask Andreas Lenander – they’ve been building in those themes for a while now. Andreas has combined earlier builds into a stellar group display that showcases the full range of melty creative possibilities. Out of the group, my favorites are still the black and white builds, even if the stark contrast there doesn’t lean into the more colorful…hold up. Is that Batman I see hiding behind the red waterfall?
Don’t think that Andreas is limited to one thematic style, though. Check out a full range of great builds that we’ve featured in the past!
LEGO 40516 Everyone is Awesome set was announced just a few days ago. Designed by Matthew Ashton, Vice President of Design at LEGO, it is the first set that directly addresses the LGBTQ+ community.
LEGO is celebrating diversity by revealing a new product that features 11 monochrome minifigures arranged as a Pride flag. 40516 Everyone Is Awesome was designed by LEGO’s Vice President of Design Matthew Ashton and draws its name from the catchy tune in The LEGO Movie. Ashton says, “I wanted to create a model that symbolises inclusivity and celebrates everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love.” The company plans to for the set to be available in time for Pride Month in June. With 346 pieces and 11 minifigures, the set will be available June 1 for US $34.99 | CAN $44.99 | UK £30.
The Mogul steam locomotive, also known as the “2-6-0”, is a pretty classic-looking train especially for model or toy trains. František Hajdekr fashioned a sleek looking light grey LEGO 2-6-0 in monochrome, and it is certainly a beauty.
While most LEGO train are built to run on track, this train does not, but there is an upside to that because in this build Hajdekr uses technic pulley wheels in combination with gears to render locomotive wheels and these are pretty aesthetically pleasing choices. I think the fez piece in black flipped upside down for the chimney was also a clever use of parts. The brick-built train tender hauled by the engine contains many different types of black LEGO elements serving as the fuel source for the engine – coal. With all the right parts and pieces, this build is ready to go full steam ahead.
Taste the rainbow? No, that doesn’t seem right. Build the rainbow! With minifigs in matching colours! That’s better. Caz Mockett did exactly that when she undertook the challenge of building isometric minifigure habitats in most of the current LEGO colours. The massive rainbow collage you see below is beautiful, but the vignettes really shine individually. Take a closer look and notice the details and parts usage. Each isometric habitat tells a unique story of the minifig and their surroundings.
Few builders tackle the challenge of building in monochrome, working with LEGO elements of the same colour. When they do, it’s usually in white or a shade of grey, and the build is something sculptural. Caz on the other hand went for all the zany colours LEGO has to offer, from earthen tones to magentas and azures. She shows true dedication in collecting rare and expensive minifigure parts for her coloured habitats.
Check out each minifig habitat in Caz’s photo album, or hear the builder talk about them in her YouTube videos documenting each build.
Monochrome geometric shapes descending into infinity – this is the only way to describe Simon Liu’s amazing “Hexahedral” LEGO model which can also be referred to as “Cube City”. Surely it is an interesting architectural concept, the model itself reminds me of drawings done by M.C. Escher, with all of its interesting perspectives, spaces, nooks and crannies.
The visible city portion of the build is divided into cubicle-like zones each containing various buildings and houses, these are mostly rendered using 1×1 modified headlight bricks topped with either a double or pyramid 1×1 slope – all in light grey. Various other small pieces including a ton of 1×1 tiles, ingots, 1×2 grilles, levers, and other modified 1×1 pieces are included to create intricate designs and spaces within the cubicle zones. Any area that has not been carved into this slab of stone-colored brick is plated with 1×1 tiles in a minesweeper-like grid. This build is just wonderful to look at especially with the visual contrast Simon creates between empty space and grey plastic.
It is the Year of the Ox and we have not yet gotten tired of your OX-related LEGO creations. My case in point, Ian Ying knows that what glitters is pure gold. It’s an ox, it’s expertly crafted in LEGO and it’s entirely gold. What’s not to love? It’s especially poignant being that 2021 is a Golden Ox year and is said to be a very lucky year indeed. We haven’t had a golden ox year since 1961 and I’m told that year wasn’t without its charms. Other builders have used monochrome with some pretty amazing results. Also, check out some other Year of the Ox creations that we have featured.
An experiment occurred when Christian Lintan accidentally discovered some cool connections with another project which, in turn, led to this. What you’re looking at is a transforming LEGO Gundam-type mech who can become sort of like Mechagodzilla. He tells us he’s beyond thrilled with the result and we agree. Working in monochrome can be difficult at times but the end result is just about always visually striking. You ought to take some time to check out other LEGO artists who have worked in a monochrome palette.