As a zoology nerd, my favorite things to write about are, of course, animals. When I saw these lovely LEGO birds by Luis Peña, I just couldn’t resist! The creative build features iconic species, including the Hyacinth Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Andean Condor, Black-Necked Swans, Ringed Kingfisher, and Magellanic Woodpecker.
I adore Kingfishers, but I’d have to say that my favorite bird in the series is the Woodpecker. There is some clever parts usage here, giving it character. I love that mohawk headpiece, and the worm that is formerly an “Insectoid” (13757) from 70709 Galactic Titan.
Luis is a talented builder who we’ve featured before. If you like these animals, check out his recent Paleozoic sea creatures!
Sometimes, a relatively simple build can have a big impact. This scene built by Lennart C and inspired by nature is a great example. This black widow spider looking to make a meal of a nearby fly is both beautiful and terrifyingly realistic, which is no easy accomplishment considering how few parts are involved. One of my favorite details is the simple choice of using that longer arm piece for the two back legs, giving the body a more pronounced slope. And speaking of the fly, only six parts are used, but the effect is perfect.
Just one warning. I wouldn’t stomp on this spider if I were you, it would probably hurt you more than the spider.
A contrarian caterpillar makes for a fine bit of building, as seen in this lovely setting by Markus Rollbühler. Alice in Wonderland is a common subject for LEGO creations, no doubt because its whimsical caricatures allow builders to flex their muscles a bit and try out lots of fascinating new techniques. The two techniques I’m most drawn to in Markus’ version are in the flowering plant at the center, with yawning leaves made of upturned dragon heads, and a bright light orange flower made of hand mixers and shoulders.
People have been conveying messages of happiness, love and sorrow with flowers for centuries. Bigger is not always better when it comes to your favourite bouquet, but when it comes to LEGO flora, there’s something special about big flowers. Chungpo Cheng has built a much larger version of the 1×1 Plant with 3 Stems. In fact, the flower is upscaled about ten-fold — a LEGO version is 1.5 cm tall and the upscaled version is 15 cm tall.
Other builders loved Chungpo’s design so much that they decided to build one too. Miro Dudas‘s version has been spotted growing in the wild.
Earlier this month, we wrote about Brick to the Past‘s huge Scottish diorama, The Jacobite Risings, a build taking 10 months and using 1 million bricks. Within this creation spanning 16 square metres, were some adorable, microscale models of the Scottish wildlife found in the Cairngorms. Brick to the past have provided instructions so you can build your own Osprey, Deer, Capercaillie and Black Grouse.
Osprey are a bird of prey and returned from extinction within the UK to make their home in the Cairngorms.
Click for more instructions to make Scottish wildlife out of LEGO
The New Zealand fantail, or pīwakawaka in Te Reo (the language of the native Maori), is one of the cheekiest little birds you will ever meet. Beautifully recreated in LEGO by BrickMonkey MOCs, the fantail is known for its friendly ‘cheet cheet’ call and energetic flying antics. Smaller than a house sparrow, these audacious little guys flit around twittering and swooping within centimetres of your head if you find yourself outdoors in the native bush. The aptly named fantail is one of the most common and widely distributed native birds on the New Zealand mainland.
The largest species of lizard that still roams the earth today is the Komodo dragon. This monster LEGO version, built by Dennis Qiu, is made from about 5500 bricks and sports a very lifelike menacing pose. It might surprise some to know that recently researchers have discovered that Komodo dragons can reproduce without mating ensuring a single isolated female can have male offspring and ensure the species continues. Dennis has used a lot of curved slopes and wedges to achieve this shapely, pose-able LEGO version of the Komodo.
A brave minifigure has volunteered to stand next to this beast to give a sense of its huge scale.
Picture it, Tuscany 1982. The sky is blue, the cypress trees are green and the sunflowers are in full bloom. Sandro Damiano has built a peaceful LEGO scene that is the perfect antidote to some of the post-apocalyptic creations we feature here on TBB. While technically this is not a complex build, the composition and colourful scene has been well crafted in a picture postcard style. I love the meandering stone path and the shapely cypress trees, while the balance of bright colours is ideal for this cheerful scene.
The changing colour of trees and their foliage can be diverse in Alpine areas, usually making the long, steep hike with a camera well worth the effort. Inspired while hiking in the Swiss Alps, Emil Lidé has built an artistic impression of these natural foliage changes by creating a beautiful slice of LEGO mountain. As the eye ascends his build from left to right, the colours change from vibrant green and lime though the autumnal palatte of oranges and reddish browns to peak at the stark, snowy summit.
We have blogged previous builds by Emil, showcasing his skill at capturing the natural world in LEGO. Have a look at his polluted ocean, Krakatoa’s volcanic eruption, changing seasons in microscale and fall in the Avalonian countryside.
It’s easy for LEGO builders to focus on the happy, shiny world of little plastic people surrounded by fake plastic trees, but builder Emil Lidé doesn’t shy away from making a powerful statement with his latest LEGO creation. Did you know that every piece of plastic ever produced (yes, including all the ABS that LEGO is made from) will continue to exist indefinitely in the environment? That there is a floating patch of trash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean hundreds of thousands of square kilometers in size? Emil uses LEGO as a medium to remind us of the impact that our modern lives have on the planet we live on.
As much as I love the message that Emil’s creation conveys, it’s also an excellent LEGO build on its own merits. The tranquil beach scene above the water contrasts harshly with the waste beneath the waves, from the usual tires and barrels to bicycles and even a washing machine.
The Rainbow Lorikeet is a species of parrot found in Australia — unmistakable with its bright red beak and colourful plumage. Gabriel Thomson has built this fantastic LEGO rendition, complete with a tree branch to perch upon, and a little avian friend, a Superb Wren. I love the bright blue plumage of the Wren, a display of colour designed to attract the ladies in real life. Both birds have been well-shaped to give an accurate, natural appearance — no mean feat with plastic bricks instead of feathers.
If you want to see this model ‘in the brick’, it is on display in LEGO House — the new LEGO experience over in Billund, Denmark.
Builder Josephine Monterosso once again demonstrates her flair for out-of-the-box building techniques with this beautiful bird’s nest. We’re used to seeing builds with no exposed studs, but this one seems to take the biscuit, lacking any normal connections whatsoever! Josephine jokes that “there are a few illegal techniques used here”. However, I don’t see any illegal techniques because this isn’t intended to be an official LEGO set.
We amateurs aren’t bound by same rules as LEGO’s designers. If we were, half the stuff you see here would never have existed. So be thankful that people like Josephine keep pushing the envelope on what’s possible with all these tiny little – and often highly flexible – plastic bricks.