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.
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.
Like this builder’s style? Check out some more featured creations by [Jack Frost] in our archives!
Here’s the thing, my LEGO collection is seriously outdated.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.”
Take a deep dive into our archives to see some more ocean-inspired builds!
LEGO and National Geographic have announced they are partnering on a new line of LEGO City and Friends sets meant to inspire kids to be more environmentally conscious. The new sets (which have been available in most countries since June 1st–available in the Americas starting August 1st) feature ocean exploration and animal rescue themes. The sets include a menagerie of new LEGO animals including a hammerhead shark, anglerfish, manta ray, baby pandas, sloths, alpacas, and multiple elephants.
The sets feature the National Geographic Explorers logo, and LEGO announced it is also donating to the National Geographic Society to fund grants in ocean exploration and species conservation. As part of the campaign, LEGO has also launched an “Explore the World” website and video series to help kids develop creative ideas to address real-life environmental issues.
Strange creatures have been infiltrating our LEGO posts here at The Brothers Brick lately and I couldn’t be more pleased. My case in point; this cleverly built sea serpent by Ivan Martynov. Call me weird but its many eyes and multiple shrimp-like appendages already tick boxes of things I’d totally be into. Add to this the fact that it was inspired by the ghosts of weirdo monster artist Trevor Henderson and you have yourselves one happy Brothers Brick writer. The depth indicator and other details around the border offer the illusion that this creature was captured on camera. Plugging the coordinates found in the lower-left into Google places this encounter at a precise location in the Atlantic north of Puerto Rico. I don’t know about you but I am smitten. We’ve been smitten by Ivan’s work a few times before.
This gorgeous LEGO diorama by Stephan Gofers shows us the ocean’s full depth, from the vivid coral reefs below the waves, to the sleek 3-master sailing on its surface. The pirate crew has captured a hapless guard, forcing him to walk the plank. In no short order, he’ll be admiring the fantastic marine life from a much closer vantage point, and since he’s not wearing handcuffs, we can assume he’ll swim safely to shore to become a new castaway.
While the colorful reef draws the eye first, the ship itself is a lovely model, eschewing LEGO’s pre-made ship hull elements and instead opting for a planked-look made of brown tiles and curved slopes. The furled sails made of curved white slopes also look excellent. Continue reading
Did you know that some people hypothesize the name “walrus” originated from the Danish word “hvalros” meaning sea horse or cow? So naturally, walruses and Denmark-based LEGO would go hand in hand! (Or flipper in brick, I suppose.) And this lovely brick-built pinniped created by Andreas Lenander is as adorable as they come. Look at those little tusks!
Speaking of tusks, part of their scientific name, Odobenus, means “tooth-walker” and refers to how they drag themselves out of the water by those giant canines. So now you know! If you would like to check out more animal builds, take a look at this lifesize-(ish) rat, an elegant buck, or a fishing grizzly bear. We’ve even featured the walrus’s vulnerable neighbor, the polar bear.
For the past year, Peter Carmichael has been texting me updates about an Aquazone base he was building. We both grew up in the 90s, so the classic LEGO themes from that era are full of nostalgia for us, and I’m always excited to see old favorites get a new makeover. But Peter said his update to the 1995 set Neptune Discovery Lab wasn’t going to be a simple redux with modern elements, but something grander. At nearly 6 feet long and using more than 50,000 pieces, I think he delivered.
The highlight of the base is the working Aquazone monorail track, an idea LEGO contemplated in the 90s but never ultimately released. The track makes a large figure eight, winding through the central base before looping around the edges.
I was just researching bobbit worms for reasons having nothing to do with LEGO when I saw this LEGO version by Aaron Van Cleave turn up (for reasons having everything to do with LEGO) and I thought; what serendipity! Although serendipity usually involves a chance meeting with a good friend or discovering someone else likes burnt orange as much as you do. It rarely involves bobbit worms. Yet here we are. The bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois) is a creature ranging from about 4 inches (10cm) to 9.81 ft (299cm) long and inhabits burrows that it creates on the ocean floor. It bursts out of the sand to hunt its prey with terrifying speed. As if that’s not scary enough, Aaron’s version is much bigger and robotic because apparently that is what the world needs now. There is excellent part usage here and the roiling, explosive sand effect he created is accurate. I know this already because…serendipity.
Recently I wrote an article that mentioned there are a few names that spring to mind when considering LEGO-built characters. Another one of these prolific builders is Anthony Wilson. His newest creation is Aquasaurus, an impeccable display of form and function working so well together, that it hurts my head.
His incredible use of colour is always refreshing to see. This build harks back to the colour palate exclusively used for the Arctic City and Town sets, which I have always enjoyed. Relatedly, one thing that separates this from the pack, are those excellent gill fins, set in the ever-elusive teal. Though not made of many pieces in this elegant creature, the contrast it creates is brilliant. In a creation of such scale, articulation can also be a challenge to hide and keep functional. Wilsons subtle use of colour specific Bionicle parts, achieves this flawlessly, giving the limbs of this creature an exceptional pose. I find myself wondering how much this beast would weigh, as his use of balance on that black pillar is great, leaving only a tiny footprint of a base below.
For another look at Anthony Wilson’s beautiful use of colour, check out his Western Woods.
If you have ever visited a LEGO store you probably would have noticed the formidable floor-to-ceiling Pick-a-Brick wall. One bin may contain thousands of flower stems and another may have a crap-ton of these pointy bits (metric crap-ton if you’re Canadian). There’s no telling what you’ll find there and you can take this stuff home by the cup loads. For me, I’m like a kid in…some kind of store. While loading cups full of LEGO bricks can be exciting, building something cohesive exclusively with what you found at the Pick-a-Brick wall can be a tricky endeavor, but Mansur Soeleman clearly saw…a whale of an opportunity.
I see plenty of white 2×2 corner plates, lots of 2×2 plates in light bluish gray and plenty of clips make up the baleen. The end result is a pretty good facsimile of a blue whale. You can say Mansur had…a whale of a good time with this. You see, brilliant puns like that is why I am the highest paid Brothers Brick contributor ever. At least that’s what they told me…or at least that’s what I understood when they said “voluntary”. Wait, what does “conditional trial period” mean?
And if you liked this cetacean built from a limited palette of bricks as much as you enjoyed my puns, we’re sure you’ll also enjoy André Pinto’s bonsai tree, also built from nothing but Pick-a-Brick parts.
Across the world’s oceans, tiny changes in the water temperature have massive effects on the organisms living there, especially the tiniest. Coral reefs, in particular, show in spectacularly tragic fashion the impact of rising ocean temperatures. When the water gets too warm, the algae that live symbiotically within the cells of coral polyps get expelled violently from the little animals. Though the coral polyps are still alive, they are no longer colorful and bright; they are left a cold, dull white, deprived of the photosynthesis-derived energy from the algae and fully dependent on catching little bits of passing debris in their tentacles. Slowly but surely, the vibrant and rich ecosystem that once thrived around the rocky haven of the coral reef dies away, leaving nothing but coral skeletons. Builder Emil Lidé brings this oceanic phenomenon to life in LEGO form beautifully yet tragically.
Emil presents to us the reef on the one hand in full splendor, with diverse forms of coral and plant life along with little fish hiding in the crevices, wandering crustaceans, and starfish; and on the other hand, the reef bleached white, with skeleton arms appropriately front and center, with no animals or plants still living there. This build will be spending the next year at the LEGO House in Billund, if you can make the trip.