Tag Archives: Paul Hetherington

The stage is on fire in this heavenly KISS concert build

You don’t have to be a member of the KISS Army to lick up this sizzling concert scene from virtuoso LEGO builder Paul Hetherington. In this fantasy staging, The Starchild, The Demon, and The Spaceman shred on pedestals above lava, while The Catman owns the drums from atop a flame-spewing podium flanked by metallic demon dogs and backed by a deafening wall of speakers while Detroit Rock City burns in the background. Doesn’t get more rock and roll than that! Paul artfully blends flat typography and graphic design with a minifig vignette to create this popping poster. (It’s a technique he’s used before, including in this TBB favorite golden age batman masterpiece). I find the use of color particularly striking, with flame shafts and geometric brick-built lava matching the KISS logo. While there are few visible LEGO studs on the stage itself, Paul uses an enviable amount of silver-grey elements to mimic the band’s studded leather look in the design. The custom minifigs come courtesy of Big Kid Brix. And is that a Bionicle Kanoka Disk hiding behind The Catman? If you love your LEGO loud, you’ve got nothin’ to lose revisiting Paul’s classic black diamond builds.

The Hottest Band in the World...KISS!

Mid-century Modern Megapalooza

Here at TBB we’ve long admired Paul Hetherington‘s vivid, vivacious LEGO celebrations of pop culture and Americana. Following his “Bricktacular West Coast Modern Show” at the Vancouver Art Museum, Paul has been sharing out more detailed pics of his architectural series on Mid-century Modern buildings from the Vancouver area. Each model is a faithful recreation, capturing the minimalist design, sleek lines, multiple levels, and seamless blending with the environment associated with the movement. Paul said he was inspired to take this deep dive into Mid-century Modern during the pandemic, a style more modest in scale and perfectly suited for LEGO bricks.

Arthur Erickson LEGO Eppich House 1 model

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This LEGO Casa Madrigal from Disney’s Encanto really dances along

At this point, nothing from LEGO builder extraordinaire Paul Hetherington should really surprise me, and yet I was still blown away when I saw this recreation of Casa Madrigal from Disney’s Encanto. But not because it’s wonderfully detailed—although it is—but because unlike any of the other beautiful LEGO versions that I’ve seen, this one really dances along, just like the magical house in the movie.

LEGO Encanto Casa Madrigal Magical Poster

Paul has packed the interior of the house with motors and mechanisms that cause the roof tiles to pulse in rhythm, the shutters and doors to open and close, and even the rain cloud to rock back and forth.

Be sure to check out more of Paul’s amazing work that we’ve featured: Paul Hetherington on TBB

“Incoming message on the viewscreen, Captain”

Builder Paul Hetherington is totally feeling some classic sci-fi vibes with this bridge scene. Given the four spooky spacemen on the viewscreen, the crew of this intrepid starship must be shaking in their space boots! As is typical with his designs, I’m in love with Paul’s use of repeated patterns throughout the ship’s command center. It’s just trapezoids for days along the walls and in the ceiling! And all of them in pearl metallic gray, contrasting well with the blue, light gray, and yellow throughout the rest of the scene. My mind immediately goes to a mash-up of classic Star Trek and LEGO Classic Space, which I’m sure is the intent. And right in the center is a beautiful LEGO-inspired art piece by Robin Thompson, depicting the long forgotten crew returned for revenge!

Dark Side of the Moon

From this angle, you can get a better view of all the switches and dials available to the starship’s crew. I particularly enjoy the use this two-wide windscreen, my favorite LEGO part! And the lighting along the floors and pillars fits right in with the sci-fi aesthetic.

Dark Side of the Moon

You should totally Google Googie if you haven’t already

You may not know the word but you know it when you see it; an optimistic, retro-futuristic feel with upswept roofs, curvilinear, geometric shapes, and bold use of glass, steel, and neon. If it reminds you of The Jetsons, then that’s Googie! Famed LEGO artist Paul Hetherington creates the look nicely with this far-out poster depicting a retro-fab Googie eatery aptly named Comet Cafe. They boast that they have charbroiled steaks so you know that it’s going to be good! The standalone cafe would be impressive enough but Paul has integrated it into a 3-D poster. Just behind the cafe, there are hints of an entire Atomic/Space Age world complete with a hotel, a gas station, and apartments similar to what I lived in when I was single. Lest you forget the funny moniker that encompasses this type of design, Paul has built the word Googie in a funky retro-fabulous font.

LEGO Googie Poster

This view takes us to street level where we get to hang out with everyone from this neighborhood. Like, cool Daddy-O! Be sure to click the little blue link to find out why we think Paul is one of the hippest cats around!

LEGO Googie Poster

Paul puts the Funko in LEGO

If you’re ever in Everett, Washington be sure not to miss the Funko Headquarters Store. It’s like a museum of fun and pop culture. While I am not into Funko Pops per se, I still bring out-of-town friends there on occasion to see the sights and even I couldn’t resist buying a Godzilla boardgame and a Jiangshi hopping ghost figure. There’s likely something there for everyone. Paul Hetherington is a major Funko Funatic so he built the Funko Headquarters Store in LEGO. He has accurately portrayed the outside of the building with their retro Funko sign as well as their secondary sign stating that they are “purveyors of pop culture”.

Funko HQ Store Everett WA LEGO

Just like the actual building, the real feast for the senses lies within. Here Paul has accurately recreated the MARVEL room complete with Hulkbuster Ironman, the Hulk, and even the Green Goblin, Spider-Man, and Deadpool. It’s neat to see so many minifigues shopping for their favorite Pops. Paul has integrated several Funko Mystery Minis to emulate the large-scale POP characters both in and outside the building. But before you LEGO purists have a conniption fit about it, if you’re an adult fan of LEGO, chances are you might have a few other toys lying around too. So why not integrate them? There’s plenty of custom sticker work here to upset the purists as well. The last time we upset LEGO purists we received a record number of complaints from folks with AOL email addresses. Fun!

Funko HQ Store Marvel LEGO

Another amazing section of the store that is also a treat for the senses is the fabulously retro Pop Factory. Here you can create any Funko Pop you want. Why you could even Funko Pop-ify your own curmudgeonly mug complete with a 90’s-era-heavy-metal-guy goatee, steely gaze, and devil-may-care attitude. But I definitely didn’t think about doing that so don’t get that idea in your head!

Funko HQ Store Everett WA LEGO

The Funko Headquarters Store also has a Harry Potter room, Star Wars room…OK, I won’t spoil it all for you but definitely go there sometime to see for yourselves. But before you do, check out why Paul Hetherington is among our favorite LEGO artists.

This motion filled LEGO Pac-Man poster brings the game to life.

More than 40 years ago, Toru Iwatani looked at a pizza with a slice missing, and a video game icon was born. Who hasn’t spent at least a couple of hours trying to eat up as many pellets as possible while on the run from Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde? Pac-Man is one of the longest-running and best-selling video game franchises in history. And LEGO artist Paul Hetherington has paid it proper tribute with this fantastic motion poster build.

Classic LEGO Pac-Man Poster

Paul has made excellent use of LEGO to perfectly capture Pac-Man’s original 8-bit look. Everything from the maze to the ghosts looks like it’s been right out of my Atari. Extra special attention was paid to the logo up top. Not only do the letters perfectly capture the shape of the trademark font, but they’re framed in red and blue lines just like on the original arcade cabinet. Give a look at the poster in action below.

This is what it sounds like when doves cry

Prince is, of course, a music legend who left us too soon. However, he’s also notable for totally nailing his passport photo. I mean, DAMN! How can he look that good? Who doesn’t resemble a crazed maniac in their passport photos? Speaking of crazed maniacs, Paul Hetherington is one of the most talented LEGO artists we know. On the stage of his newest creation, we have the inimitable Prince and the Revolution, but flanking them are Majesty and Divinity, Prince’s beloved doves. This piece also includes Prince’s signature purple piano, firepole, and bathtub.

LEGO Prince and the Revolution

A closer look at the band members and we see a striking resemblance to Wendy and Lisa, Doctor Fink, BobbyZ, and Brownmark, all of which were carefully crafted from existing LEGO minifigure parts. If you’re looking at Prince and thinking whoa, hang on there Sonny Jim, what is going on here? Well, he is a custom-made figure by Citizen Brick and features Crazy Arms made by Crazy Bricks. Us LEGO people get by with a little help from our friends which, I’m aware, is completely the wrong band and song reference.

LEGO Prince and the Revolution

If you’re loving this and are totally jonesing for all things Paul, then we got you covered. If, by chance, you want to know what it sounds like when a TBB writer cries, then remind me to show you my passport photo. Oy, what was I thinking with that face? Like a burst sofa!

There’s not a cloud in the sky…

Well, okay, there’s that pesky mushroom cloud off in the distance. But that’s not going to put a damper on our day, is it gang? Paul Hetherington has delivered a payload of nostalgia with this look at idyllic family life in an era when the worry of nuclear annihilation was as ever-present a threat as a neighborhood HOA violation. Paul says he was inspired for this LEGO creation by the style magazine Atomic Ranch, which focuses on Mid-Century style. And it shows. From the car in the driveway, to the architecture of the home, and even the furnishings inside, Paul has captured a snapshot of the era beautifully.

Atomic Ranch

Click here to take a closer look!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Batman!

What does famed LEGO builder Paul Hetherington do when he’s not impressing us with his amazing talent? Nothing, as it turns out. That’s because Paul is always impressing us with his talent. I’m pretty sure he can just sip a cup of coffee or mow his lawn and we’d all be impressed, by golly! Take this brightly-colored Batman diorama, for example. It seems The Joker has repurposed an abandoned ice cream factory into a…wait for it…I Scream Factory. Of course he has! That Joker doesn’t simply engage in normal bad guy stuff like robbing banks or not picking up after his dog. No, The Clown Prince of Crime goes above and beyond with his own unique sense of flair and style. Dousing Batman’s sweet ride in some kind of oozing radioactive soft-serve goo really takes the cake but the Joker has other tricks up his sleeve.

Batman, Joker's I Scream Factory

Click to discover what else The Joker has in store!

Zoinks! Get a clue! It’s Scooby-Doo!

If you look up Paul Hetherington in the dictionary you’ll find the definition to be builder of awesomely huge LEGO creations. Probably. I don’t know. Does anyone still have dictionaries anymore? Well, if we did, Paul’s smiling mug would be in it. The man has more talent in his little finger than most of us have in the rest of our fingers combined. Go ahead, look it up. I’ll wait. See? This time he takes us back to our childhoods and Saturday morning cartoons with this stunning Scooby-Doo diorama consisting of over 8000 pieces. Most of us would have just bought the Mystery Machine set from 2015 and called this case closed. But Paul integrates the iconic vehicle with an entire mystery mansion.

LEGO Scooby-Doo Mystery Mansion

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Weeping Angels and Cybermen and Daleks – oh my!

The well-known Paul Hetherington is a LEGO builder and artist we’ve covered a few times in the past. His distinct style of large brick-built characters and scenery, mixed with minifigure scale scenes is unmistakable whether it’s Batman, Fabuland, or a giant automaton ripping its robot heart out. His latest masterpiece is his take on Doctor Who.

LEGO Doctor Who Tribute

Typical of all his creations, it’s hard to say what part of it your eyes will be drawn to first. When I usually see something new he builds, I notice one part of it, and think it’s amazing. Then I notice another, and another, and another. My eyes dart around looking at all the components of a complex and beautiful creation. From top to bottom, you start with the clever lettering of the title BBC Doctor Who, then you see the giant Weeping angel and Cyberman surrounding the TARDIS. Continue reading