I was a kid in the ’70s and ’80s with above average drawing skills but typically childish tastes in what I liked to draw. With the Hardy Boys, Johnny Quest and Treasure Island well within my wheelhouse of influence, it was a sure bet that many of my childhood drawings included some kind of skull island. Whether it be a Dino-Skull Island, Rhino-Skull Island or Bat-Skull island, I was totally into it and would imagine a whole slew of baddies who inhabited these remote, exotic islands hellbent on ruling the world. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that…not much has changed in my adulthood; my art still boasts similar themes from childhood, including a skull island lair or another from time to time. This is why I was so thrilled to find a kindred spirit in Bob DeQuarte.
In one fell swoop, this builder rekindled so many childhood dreams and sparked, let’s be frank, more than a few recent ones. For this, I am thankful for builders like Bob. Anyway, I just wanted to say my piece about this awesome island. I hope you can all be as thrilled about it as I am. Just in case we’re tracking on a similar wavelength, here is another time Bob opened a magic door into childhood dreams.
Collective Brick to the Past are a team of expert builders who have been wowing crowds at LEGO shows and conventions in the U.K. with their vast historically researched dioramas. They’ve built massive LEGO displays about the Battle of Hastings, Viking raids on Anglo-Saxon Britain, and the Jacobite Rising. Their latest monumental project is the work of Dan Harris, James Pegrum, Colin Parry and Simon Pickard, and depicts Henry Morgan: Welsh Raider of the Spanish Main. It is their first project to be set outside the U.K. and is based on the buccaneer or pirate – that’s for you to decide – Henry Morgan’s raid on Lake Maracaibo.
The layout features some amazing 17th Century Colonial buildings, a sea fort based on Carlos de la Barra and an array of beautiful period-perfect ships. As always, the diorama has been meticulously researched and filled with all manner of details and surprises.
Dan Harris from the Brick to the Past team kindly agreed to tell us a bit more about the history that inspired the model, the research and building challenges faced in its construction and highlights some of his favourite parts of the layout.
See more photos and read our interview about this huge LEGO diorama
Not all LEGO creations begin with a brilliant flash of inspiration. For instance, earlier this week SuckMyBrick was stumped. An attempt at building a famous celebrity using LEGO bricks didn’t turn out quite as planned, so the builder turned to their flickr followers for suggestions of how to salvage the build. Lucky for us, a couple commenters suggested that the character might work as Guybrush Threepwood, the protagonist of the Monkey Island video game series.
The BrickHeadz eye tiles make fantastic pupils when paired with the 2×2 and 3×3 radar dishes. A variety of curved slopes and curved arches are used to recreate Guybrush’s signature pompadour.
This just leaves us with one question: why is his head mounted on a plaque? I don’t know, but if this was an adventure game, I would definitely check behind it for secrets.
With the new release of the LEGO Creator Expert 10261 Roller Coaster, we now have an all-out amusement park! It’s the piece of the puzzle we’ve long been waiting to add to the collection. On top of that, awesome builders are creating all kinds of fantastic rides to pair up with the Coaster, alongside the Fairground Mixer, Ferris Wheel, and Carousel. Lee Yung Chiu is one of those wonderful builders. His Pirate Ship Ride is a classic that just about anyone can identify with, and he did an excellent job.
Check out the video of it in action. There’s just something about that hypnotic swinging…
Chui’s ride is filled with carnival spirit and joy, as the patrons swing back and forth. The cleverly geared system is run off of a Power Functions XL Motor and Battery Pack. The whole creation is lighted, and also includes a concessions window that can be easily removed and customized.
Arrrrrr, ’tis time to set sail and plunder some lesser vessels with Jerome Kloou and his fantastic LEGO pirate ship, La Saignante. This galleon has three masts, some impressive rigging, and cloth sails. She is displaying the Jolly Roger and has 14 cannons, so not a ship to be taken on lightly. There is no-one in the crow’s nest at the moment so all the pirates must be ashore drinking rum and spending their booty.
Jerome has added some wonderful details, with those 14 cannons and a ‘below deck’ prison cell for naughty pirates who are caught eating extra rations or stealing some of the Captain’s treasure for their own pockets.
The crane is functional and can move up and down, or left and right, to transfer the stolen booty from the ship to the shore. It seems as though the lookout has ‘dropped his pretzel’ from the crows nest earlier …that’s not an official pirate knot.
In case you didn’t quite catch that the first time… LEGO ZOMBIE PIRATE GHOST BATMAN!
We don’t often cover minifig-only “builds”. However, this piece of inspired lunacy by Roman was too good to pass up. Besides, as Andrew (our illustrious founder and Editor-in-Chief) occasionally reminds us, The Brothers Brick originally started as a minifig blog.
Who’d have thought a Pirate Batman and a Ninjago Ghost figure would come together so perfectly. I demand a whole series of undead pirate versions of Batman characters. Vampire Cap’n Joker ahoy!
This month’s cover photo comes to us from TBB regular Letranger Absurde and is entitled Ella “Tall Tide” Kneebone’s Cabin. In this creation he augments his signature style of character building with a beautiful diorama featuring a wealth of gorgeously detailed objects.
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Sweetsha caught this old sea-dog by surprise. I am particularly happy that the pirate’s clothes match the original LEGO Pirate captain. The use of the angry mixel face/thing is also a nice touch. Makes me want to go “ARRRRR!”.
Eli Willsea and Grant Davis built this incredible Pirate scene for BrickCon this year. All their hard work paid off as they took home the trophy for Best Pirate creation. The layout is loaded with fun details. But the best part of it is a functional waterfall that “flows” with bricks. I was very glad that they got that working. It’s a very cool and unusual feature!
Check out this time-lapse video to see how they built it and to see the waterfall in action.
Grant Davis has given this pirate a really bad day. But it’s in a really nice build, so I guess it’s all okay. Just don’t turn your back on any monkeys that might be lurking about. I love that cliff wall. Very nice use of the skull pieces and train bits!
While this pirate model by Dylan Mievis (sparkytron) is top-notch all around, it’s the face and beard that really sell it. There are good parts usages, and then there are ones that are crazy and perfect, and using the large constraction fig head from Chima’s Laval for a pirate face is absolutely in the brilliant category.
Mark and Steven Erickson (AKA Mark of Falworth and Brother Steven) have concocted a lovely little pirate lair. The rock work is crisp and I especially like the different trees and foliage. Definitely a nice bit of work on the part of the brothers. I am wondering what is hiding behind the big boulder in the middle. Inquiring minds must know!