This LEGO Ariel from qian yj is full of character and vibrant colors. Right away we’re drawn to the mermaid’s emerald eyes, with a surprising dimensionality. The way that the fish are swimming around the middle of the frame adds motion to the scene, along with the stingray on the bottom. The sea urchin on the bottom right look amazing, and the green seaweed serves as a great background element.
LEGO builder Qian Yj is no stranger to Asian buildings. Qian’s latest is smaller, poetic, and more intimate in scope and subject. There is some really good detailing work on display, especially on the second building. The brick-based figures add a good human element to the scene, and the color choices work well here. What’s your favorite detail?
Many a great LEGO model has been inspired by a real life place and builder Qian Yj‘s latest build is definitely among them. This beautiful scene is based on the real life Yuehe Street, a popular tourist destination in Jiaxing, China. The small greebling work on the walls in a limited color palette is lovely and really captures the crumbling look of many of the street’s buildings. I love the decorative touches and window treatments utilizing grills and 2×2 turntable bases on the building’s faces and the small cafe on the side. I’m also particularly enamored with the sweeping white supports between buildings. A perfect street to while away the afternoon, sipping tea at the waterside as the boats float by.
I don’t play video games, since I was that poor, deprived kid whose parents never bought him a system, and I didn’t have friends who played them, either. I played with LEGO bricks instead. That being said, I do have nostalgia for certain video games, having watched others play them at certain times of my life. Take Contra, for example. A few guys on my high school cross country team used to play that game in the wrestling coach’s office after practice, cursing up a storm and generally having a good time. Seeing this old TV and console with that logo across the screen built by qian yj brought me back to those halcyon days of youth. With a crowd pressed into the small room, we’d watch bandanna-and-aviator-wearing elder statesmen of the team gleefully shoot pixelated villains.
The curve of the small screen is great, a far cry from the giant flat screens of today. And the antennas, the corded controllers, the cartridge… ah, memories. The small details look spot on. It took me several views, in fact, and a careful zoom, to be sure that the console was made from LEGO and not just the real deal with brick-built accessories. Does it make it play better if the LEGO cartridge is taken out and blown upon? Probably.
Entering a new decade has left me feeling nostalgic for my youth and, since I group up in the ’90s, I was amused when I saw Qian Yj’s LEGO version of an early cellphone. Back then, such phones were such phones were nicknamed bricks due to their tremendous size. This particular model is about as close to a 1:1 replica as you can get, as illustrated by this image of Qian Yj holding the brick in-hand. His replica looks spot-on, from the numbered buttons to the thick antenna protruding from the top. Lime green tiles form the screen and are a perfect choice given the then-state-of-the-art LCD technology.
Chinese builder Qian Yj has been producing beautiful architectural models for a few years now, many of which can be found in the TBB archives, including the hexagonal Tianfeng Pagoda and the Sichuan home. The builder’s latest creation is a mammoth tribute to the Wuliang Hall of the sprawling 400-building Xiantong Temple complex in China. “Wuliang” translates to “infinite” or “immeasurable” but we think it measures up quite magnificently.