When I visited, I never got to see the top half of the Golden Gate Bridge due to the ever-present San Francisco fog. But now I feel like I don’t need to because Zio Chao has created an excellent “photograph” of the beautiful bridge. The builder uses forced perspective to his advantage to create a striking 2D image that really looks three dimensional. And let’s not overlook the little sailboat in the corner, which only adds to the effect as it sails into the bay.
What really makes the illusion work is that only one of the supports on each gate is connected, while the other one just floats a bit further back. This gives the effect that the road is actually going through the supports and not across them.
I was born within walking distance of Ogikubo Station in Tokyo, and by the age of ten or eleven, I was using the subway system to get around the city to take foreign tourists to see the sights, earning myself a bit of extra LEGO money. Australian LEGO Certified Professional Ryan McNaught and his team of builders spent more than two hundred hours building this complete Tokyo subway system map from 31,000 LEGO bricks, showing all thirteen lines in their distinctive colors (my favorite line is the Chuo line in orange). The mosaic measures 4.6 meters (over 15 feet) wide and 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) tall, dwarfing the rather tall bloke standing nearby.
From a distance, this may look like any other simple portrait layout of R2-D2, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that it uses an incredible array of parts from Technic beams to droids and even minifigures! Although we’ve seen this technique in the past, Alby Darul has executed it excellently with just a few pieces to capture the Artoo’s iconic lines, giving the mosaic a great sense of depth.
The stern scowl and helmet of Judge Dredd is an instantly recognizable combination, and Grantmasters has captured it well in this flat build inspired by the portraits of Chris McVeigh. This build makes great use of the space with the background behind Dredd simulating the sprawling, dense city in the film. And the use of gold LEGO wings to simulate the pauldron is a master stroke. I am the law!
I spent many hours as a kid playing 1994’s amazing vertical scrolling flight shooter Raptor: Call of the Shadows on MS-DOS, so I instantly recognized this scene by Havoc. It’s a brilliant game for its age, with an upgradeable ship and damage that has to be repaired between missions. I love that Havoc has built the entire interface into the model, including the health bar on the right side, and that explosion which looks perfectly retro.
I hadn’t thought about this game in 20 years, but I decided to look it up again after seeing this fantastic creation and was elated—and more than a bit surprised—to discover it’s not only available on Steam but can be played for free in a browser. Guess what I just spent the last half hour doing?
Finally, builder Havoc has even recreated the pixel art from the cover.
Everything I know about expensive sports cars can fit into a single Duplo treasure chest (with a bit of room to spare). But I can appreciate the beauty of these two Ferraris, especially since they have been transformed into stunning LEGO mosaics by Ryan Link.
The mosaic above features the Enzo Ferrari and is 60 studs wide and 27 bricks tall, while the mosaic below is the Ferrari 625 TRC which is 50 studs wide and 16 bricks tall. Ryan used a “studs not on top” (SNOT) building technique with both horizontal and vertical plates to achieve these high-resolution mosaics. The end result is so beautiful that I may become a classic sports car fan after all (Just don’t try to make me drive stick shift).
This LEGO mosaic by Joe Perez features a fiery sunset behind the Statue of Liberty in sharp silhouette, combining standard mosaic techniques for the sunset with sculptural techniques for Lady Liberty. Joe says he created the sculpture based on a photo he took in New York on his honeymoon.
Last month we featured an impressive Lite Brite-style LEGO creation by British builder Jonathan Gale. Apparently that build was just the beginning of Gale’s lightsaber balancing escapades. Like Picasso, Gale won’t be satisfied to leave this building style behind until he’s mastered it. So far, he has experimented with both hexagonal and grid-based light-saber arrangements. His most recent build uses 2695 lightsaber blades to create the iconic LEGO logo.
This LEGO portrait of Frankenstein’s monster by David Alexander Smith employs a nifty negative-space technique to create a classic movie-poster feel. The lurching lines lend an air of misshapen monstrosity to the face, and the monotone palette imitates the harsh lighting of ancient horror flicks.
This pixilated classic space logo by Jonathan Gale is one of the most impressive LEGO creations I have seen in a long time. If you look closely, you’ll see that his build is made up of thousands of LEGO lightsaber blades (5520 of them to be exact). There is an LED light behind the blades, giving the translucent pieces a glowing effect.
Jonathan said he was inspired to try this building technique after a LUG meeting where he realized that 25 LEGO lightsaber blades fit perfectly into a 2×2 stud square. This build took over 10 hours to complete and, according to the builder, came with a constant and serious risk of collapse. I can’t even imagine the amount of patience it took Jonathan to complete this beast.
While I have not yet played this particular title in the Legend of Zelda series, the LEGO mosaic version of Link in wall merged form built by Hans Demol is instantly recognizable. In game, Link can take the form of a wall painting to traverse the worlds and puzzles in interesting ways, and Hans shows this with a stacked plates mosaic style that works well for both the painted Link and the uneven brick wall texture.
In this close-up of Link’s face, you can see several different colors used to achieve the painted look.
Kids, the key to a really great photo-realistic mosaic is to build big, using simple colors. Oh, and make sure you choose an extremely cool character. Let me tell you, nobody is cooler than Sir Michael Caine. If you only know him as Alfred in the Nolan Batman trilogy, or as Austin Powers’ “fahjah,” you are missing out on one of the hippest cats in the history of British cinema. David Hughes has captured an iconic photograph from 1965, 5 years before Caine finally quit smoking.