Tag Archives: Ocean

Not so hermit, hermit crabs

You’ve probably heard the term “hermit” describing someone who lives alone and avoids others. Hermit crabs get their name from the fact that they protect themselves by living and hiding inside abandoned mollusk shells. But what you might be surprised to discover is that these guys aren’t shut-ins. Like the two featured in this excellent LEGO build by Djokson, they enjoy some company! While they do prefer to have their own shell, they’ll even gather together in large colonies. In regard to this creation, it’s a fantastic use of the Duplo pipe elements. I’m also a fan of the large figure armor for the shells!

Hermits, together

Another interesting fact: hermit crabs will graduate shells as they get bigger. When they outgrow a shell, they’ll hunt for a larger one to slip into, just like we do with clothes. And just like us, their choice of attire can sometimes be odd or questionable. Even LEGO! The unfortunate part is that this usually involves human trash.

While you’re here, definitely take a moment to check out some of Djokson’s other work!

What the shell is this creature?

As a kid, I developed a mild obsession with prehistoric creatures, especially dinosaurs, and loved looking for fossils along limestone bluffs. I found a tiny trilobite or two, and a few segments of worms, but never anything cool like a chambered nautilus. That would have been awesome, since all the pictures of plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs had nautiloids, too. And then one day I discovered that animals of that sort still exist, and look almost the exact same as they did 200 million years ago. Mind blown! And then I see that Jonas Kramm built one out of LEGO bricks, and, as is usual for Jonas, the build is amazing. But he also did it with only 101 pieces. Mind blown again.

Nautilus | 101 pieces

It’s a study in concise use of LEGO elements since there is no wiggle room to get complex and piece heavy; every element has to be carefully considered, like a DUPLO plant and a pearl of great price in the oyster. The colors are spot-on, and the cephalopod eye staring at me is perfect. My only complaint is that the shell of Jonas’ model does not exhibit a precise logarithmic growth spiral. Come on, Jonas! Why can’t you do the impossible with just 101 LEGO bricks?

The Spectre haunts the seven seas

Sometimes a builder has an idea but waits for years for the right LEGO pieces to come out. In this case, Sebeus I was inspired by the Queen Anne’s Revenge set that came out ten years ago and wanted to build a ship with a dark brown hull. It took all of this time but finally, his vision could be built. Behold The Spectre! He tells us that it wasn’t smooth sailing though as the 1×2 jumper plate still hasn’t been molded in dark brown. A point of pride for the builder is this isn’t a very flashy ship. Much of what people prefer to build are extravagant seafaring craft but an understated ship like this was more common back then. His main sources of inspiration were the Lady Washington and the HMS Bounty. This is clearly a labor of love well worth the long wait.

The Spectre

A light for the dark waters

The weather is warming up here in the Northern Hemisphere and so are the waters. Beach and boating season is truly upon us as well as maritime scenes which wouldn’t be complete without a lighthouse. Andreas Lenander’s LEGO model surely embodies this summertime energy.

The lighthouse

Lenander builds his lighthouse on top of a rocky island composed of dark grey and olive green slopes, bricks, tiles, and plates of varying types and sizes. There are two smaller islands similarly composed, all three islands rest on top of a vast sea of light blue trans-clear 1×2 tiles. There are a couple of trees on the main island fashioned out of orange 1×1 flower pieces and yellow leaves which pop against the darker colors comprising this work. While the build as a whole seems ominous, the brick-built light house offers a comforting light to those wandering the seas.

I wonder if his garden is in the shade.

Let’s go on an undersea adventure with this great octopus by Didier Burtin. You don’t normally associate great greebling with aquatic creatures, but if you look close there are lots of fun details here. Sure, the LEGO tires are easy to locate, but what about the hot dog? There’s also a generous helping of hinged articulation, making this one poseable critter. It looks like the octopus has claimed a treasure chest as a perch, and the brown of the chest (and the bright orange leaves festooning it) really make the red and black colors of the octopus stand out.

Octopus

It’s great to see a creation that’s based so firmly on an accurate depiction of a real-life animal. That’s not to say there isn’t also benefit from a more mechanized approach.  What sort of octopus do you want to build?

Because flying fish are the best kind of fish

True story; one of the best days of my life involved flying fish. I was in the Navy and got reassigned to gyro school while we were deployed out in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of waiting until we pulled into port, they hired a small craft to meet our ship. I was (carefully) hoisted over the side, and onto the craft. Usually, the captain gets a series of bells to announce his or her arrival and departure. Little enlisted schlubs like me didn’t get the same treatment except during our final departure from the ship. So they rang me off with bells and headed for shore. Here’s where the flying fish came in, jumping over the craft in droves as we sped through the water. I felt like freakin’ James Bond on a special mission! Once on shore at Panama City, Florida, I was reverted back to common schlub transportation but for an hour or so, I felt pretty special. Thanks for the memories, James Zhan! It would have been extra-cool to depart on a piloted flying fish like this.

Flying fish

Neptune, god of the sea

I must confess Alex’s creations leave me in awe. For his latest figure, he drew inspiration from the Roman gods, Neptune, to be precise. The construction of the head is beautiful. It always amazes me how Alex manages to create faces with so much expression out of LEGO bricks. The face of this figure isn’t the only standout feature of this creation. The best thing has to be the feeling of movement this creation has. The tentacles, hair, and beard all appear to be flowing as if they are underwater. My guess is the bionicle webbed fin armor is what started this creation. It is a perfect fit for an underwater god’s crown.

Neptune

Tiny and tossed about

Here’s a little diorama that captures what it must have felt like to be a sailor during the Age of Exploration. Ferdinand Magellan’s ship Victoria was the first vessel to circumnavigate the globe, and it was a mere 69 feet long. No doubt rounding the horn in a ship that small must have felt a bit like aboard the ship in TonyFlow76‘s little kinetic sculpture.

Using trans-blue garage doors pieces to simulate the undulating sea, a tiny ship is held in place while it rides up and down the massive swells.

 

The Mountain, the Ocean and the River

I know we’ve featured the windmill before, but Hanwasyellowfirst made two additional builds called ‘Ocean House’ and ‘Riverside Scholars’ and they are exquisite! If these were LEGO sets, I would buy them in a heartbeat! There is a lot of creative parts usage in these buildings. I love how the spoked rounded top window look in combination with the ornamental lattice . There are quite a few different roof designs with all sorts of different parts used for shingles. Did you notice the fish ornamental used on top of the roof. I am not sure if Hanusedtobeyellow used it as a nod to the first LEGO ninja sets or if it is just a coincidence, but I am going for the first option. The riverside scholar building has the ornamental fence on it’s side, which looks stunning. The best thing about this building has to be the framing of the door and the foliage on the roof.

The Mountain Windmill, The Ocean House and The Riverside Scholars

Next stop, Plymouth Rock

A moment of American history is frozen in time in James Pegrum‘s LEGO recreation of the Mayflower, the English ship that transported the first Pilgrims to New England. The story goes that indentured servant John Howland was swept overboard during a storm and held on until the crew hauled him back to safety. That splash is represented at the center of the build, carefully crafted out of rows of dark blue bricks and white curved slopes among the turbulent waves. The Mayflower flaunts some brick-built masts and beautiful blue accents on her sides. Plus, the rigging is all string and no prefabs — a solid choice for this level of realism.

Man Over Board

Scuba do’s and don’ts

The ocean life is captivating in this LEGO build by [Jack Frost]. Kelp plants and an elephant tail and candlestick anemone all sway across ocean floor while Sam the scuba diver navigates the water. The build is a wonderful combination of interesting techniques and part usages. For Sam’s scuba suit, the builder uses wheel tires, a printed hinge panel and my personal favorite, aquatic mech arms from the Alpha Team line of the early 2000s. The connections at the figure’s joints are incredible and the flexibility of Sam’s flippers looks remarkably realistic. And don’t forget the neat Hero Factory-armor nautilus swimming past. The movement captured overall brings this scuba diving scene to life.

Sam the Scuba Diver

Like this builder’s style? Check out some more featured creations by [Jack Frost] in our archives!

Time for a swim

Here’s the thing, my LEGO collection is seriously outdated. I haven’t kept up with the newest sets for a few years, and I’m not familiar with the latest parts. Plus, all the teal that I own date back to pre-2006, so… you get the idea. But sometimes these limitations can push a builder to create something more interesting. When I see this Seahorse and Moorish Idol build by Ben Cossy, I can immediately appreciate every brick that has gone into it (and name each one on the top of my head). Using just a few standard, classic parts, Ben captures the essence of the two sea creatures quite effortlessly. The exposed studs on these creatures resemble textured scales of their real-life counterparts. The layered plate construction on the Moorish Idol and flexible hose spine on the seahorse add to the realism. This marine life build is genuinely calming and even reassuring to look at. It’s like they’re telling me, “Hey, it’s ok. You don’t need the latest parts to build something cool.”

Seahorse & Moorish Idol

Take a deep dive into our archives to see some more ocean-inspired builds!