Thanks to an ongoing round of Iron Builder, which sees two contestants pitted against each other to build a variety of LEGO models using a specific element, we’ve been seeing an explosion of builds employing the dynamite bundle, from arcade machines to detailed kitchens. Cecilie Fritzvold, in particular, has been on a roll, sticking that dynamite piece into builds anywhere she can fit it, including into this amazing dragon scroll, where nearly 50 of the bundles make up the twisting body of the beast.
And lest you think Cecilie is cheating by just neatly arranging a bunch of pieces on a tiled baseplate, look very closely and you’ll see that each piece is attached with a clip, meaning you could actually hang this on your wall. Well, except for that brick-built hangar, maybe. The two long black Technic axles that stand in for the string might not be up for the task.
LEGO has revealed an entirely new product line of mosaic sets featuring pop culture portraits called LEGO Art. The four initial sets revealed include Iron Man, Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, and Star Wars Sith. Each of the adult-targeted sets contains an average of 3,250 pieces, a new brick separator, several new elements, an exclusive signature tile, and instructions and extra parts to build 3 or 4 different designs per set. Each set comes with a curated building soundtrack, and as an added bonus, three copies of either the Iron Man or Star Wars sets can be combined to make an “ultimate piece” triple the size of a single portrait.
Each LEGO Art set comes in a box the size of a pizza and will retail for US $119.99 | CAN $149.99 | UK £114.99. The Iron Man portrait will be available globally (including the US) exclusively from LEGO on August 1st. The other three portraits will be available globally from LEGO and various retailers starting August 1st, except in the US which will have to wait a month until September 1st.
While the societal unrest recently has made it seem like everything is on fire, it’s not quite true. Lots of things are not burning, like the bread in my toaster. Oh wait, that’s burning, too. Well, shoot. Josiah Durand, currently using the Flickr alias of General 尓àvarre, seems to have a similar problem with fire in this LEGO build. While it might be rather flat and mosaic-like, the build is particularly stunning in its flame effects, with the lit-up trans-orange making a beautiful contrast with the tattered black flag. It looks like Josiah used every type of black element in his collection for the flag, too, expertly creating the ragged fringe. But that uneven warm glow, just like the embers in a fire, is what make this great. Now that’s what I call playing with fire!
Here at The Brothers Brick, we’ve taken “political” stands on matters of peace and justice for as long as the LEGO building community has created LEGO art that communicates an important message, whether that message was in support of marriage equality way back in 2006 or freedom of discourse in response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015. Dave Kaleta joins a chorus of people around the world who choose not to remain silent in these excruciating, infuriating times.
From a LEGO build perspective, Dave uses largely disconnected white slopes, tiles, and plates to surround solidly attached black bricks. Dave also leverages the new range of small curved tiles to create the lettering along the bottom of the mosaic. But the build and its techniques are hardly what grab my attention.
LEGO has revealed SPOTS, a new extension of the DOTS product line targeted at boys. The initial wave of the 2D tile-based crafting theme features armbands, expressive emoji picture holders, a flaming skull pencil pot, and the first in a series of “Extra SPOTS” emoji booster packs surrounding space exploration. Prices vary from US $4.99 to $19.99 with availability beginning April 1st.
The creation of SPOTS is partially due to feedback on LEGO’s successful DOTS product line for exclusively targeting girls with bright colors, pastel packaging and glitter. The SPOTS theme again features building with 1×1 tiles (square, round, and quarter-circle tiles), but this time uses more black, white, red and blue colors along with unique prints of bugs, fire, road signs, grotesque emojis and space artifacts that more easily align with boys’ interests.
Now that LEGO has finally gotten with the times and released official versions of Baby Yoda – in both BrickHeadz and minifigure form, LEGO fans can focus on building him in new formats. A devout follower of the Church of Baby Yoda, Neil Snowball, jumped at the chance to build our lord and savior in mosaic form. The likeness is uncanny and the thick black borders give it the stylized appearance of a cartoon or 8-bit video character. One thing is for sure, he’s just as cute in two dimensions as he is in three.
If you’ve read this far, you may be waiting for me to acknowledge that officially, the character is named “The Child”. Listen, I know that. You know that. I know you know that. He may be The Child in official labels, but in my heart, he’ll always be Baby Yoda. Unless he decides to fist bump me, and I try to be cool and call him “Yode”.
LEGO has officially revealed its long-rumored new product line, LEGO Dots. The initial wave of the 2D tile-based arts and crafts theme features bracelets, picture holders, a jewelry stand, a pencil pot, and the first in a series of “Extra Dots” emoji booster packs. Prices vary from US $3.99 to 19.99 with availability beginning on March 1st.
The spiritual successor to LEGO’s previous Clikits play-jewelry product line, the Dots theme centers on colorful 1×1 tiles (square, round, quarter-circle and new gem tiles) with bright colors and expressive prints including emojis, rainbows, glitter, animals, space, music, and more. (Keen-eyed readers will also note that several of the tiles have appeared previously in 21045 Trafalgar Square’s hidden art gallery.)
LEGO builder Peter Ilmrud takes us on a journey to very well appointed baths somewhere along the Mediterranean seaside. Although the model is adorned with all a trove of repeating patterns, the first one to draw the eye is the inlaid tiling in the new coral color, making use of the Friends marine life creatures, which come packaged together in a variety of Friends sets. The tablecloth is also worth noting, with its ornate pattern drawn from Bruce Wayne’s manor. And how many of you recognize the perfume bottle on the table — or for that matter, its light green color?
If you’ve read The Brothers Brick for awhile, you may have seen us reference the word “greebling” or “greebles”. The term was first used by special effects artists working on Star Wars and it describes all of the doodads and doohickeys on the surface of an object to help things like spaceships look more…well, spaceshipy. This effect is used heavily by LEGO builders, in fact, if you search Wikipedia for “greeble” you’ll find a photo of a LEGO creation. (Heck yeah!) Ethen T uses this effect, not for spaceships, but rather in a clever mosaic render of a LEGO skull. Subtle light gray, then dark gray parts rounds out the effect nicely and adds dimension to an otherwise flat-ish surface. This piece acts as a stark reminder that inside each of us is a disgusting skeleton hell-bent on scaring neighborhood kids! This is why I can’t wait for Halloween.
And be sure to check out our LEGO glossary for explanations of greebling and many other bits of LEGO terminology!
There’s a lot to get excited about with regards to Star Wars these days. I admit I was feeling pretty burnt out on the franchise, but then I watched the trailer for the upcoming Mandalorian series. The visuals are nice, but I’ve come to expect that from Disney. The story concept sounds interesting, but I’ve been fooled by story promises before. No, what really gets my blood pumping is hearing my favorite filmmaker, Werner Herzog, utter the line “Bounty hunting is a complicated profession.” Builder Ethen T is also pretty excited for the series, as evidenced by their latest digital mosaic.
Using 4675 pieces, Ethen has managed to capture the dusty, gun-slinging feel of the trailer. A dark tan background grid is the platform for a replica of the Mandalorian’s helmet. The helmet itself is a mixture of tiles and plates, making use of the various shades of grey LEGO has released over the years. There’s even a single piece in white, adding a tiny pop of contrast. It’s the little touches, though, that make this an outstanding build for me. The use of rounded tiles keeps the build from looking boxy, and the orientation of the grille tiles in the center of the helmet convey a sense of motion, drawing the eye to other areas of the build. Bounty hunting may be complicated, but I think Ethen’s mosaic is up there, too.
I’m always impressed when someone builds something with LEGO bricks that doesn’t have a strong tie to an established theme or building style. It takes a special kind of eye to look beyond the mundane, and builder why.not? has that vision. Or they had a vision. Or maybe just a very bad dream. Whatever the source, they have brought to us an unsettling image indeed.
The central eye is built from 1×2 and 1×4 plates, using subtle color variation in light blue, tan, and blue grey to create a convincing iris against a white brick background.
LEGO mosaics are near and dear to my heart, as is the character of Captain America. Bluesecrets brings both together in a stunning creation featuring Cap in his bearded “Nomad” phase. This mosaic is 45 inches wide by 35 inches tall (about 114 x 89 centimeters) and is comprised of nearly 40,000 plates. Many brick mosaics use a “studs out” approach where the top of the brick is visible. In contrast, Bluesecrets uses a “studs up” technique where the plates are stacked on top of each other. This allows a higher level of detail in the image, but requires different (and, in my experience, trickier) craftsmanship as the “pixels” that make up the image are rectangular instead of square.