When Ralf Langer put together his excellent LEGO headphones and tape cassette, all that was missing was something to provide the tunes. Now he’s filled the gap with a brick rendition of the innovative 80s hardware that reinvented how we listened to music — the Sony Walkman. The colour scheme is a perfect match for the 1979 original, and the details down the side are simply spot-on — don’t miss the use of a silver ingot piece and grille bricks to recreate the volume slider, the offsets so the buttons stand out from the casing, and the nice deployment of the “back-to-back grille tile” technique to make those tiny square holes. I also love that silver stripe separating the blue from the grey — excellent attention to detail.
There was nothing quite like living in the 1980s. Back then, having a single cassette tape on-hand meant being forced to listen to a full album of music and nothing else. It was just one of many technological shortcomings we had to deal with. These two nostalgic builds by Ralf Langer certainly bring back some of those memories. At first glance, the headphones look so realistic. Ralf used LEGO rubber tires to form the ear cushions, and I’m still puzzled by how he incorporated them into the build.
The compact cassette tape is also shaped perfectly, right down to the placement of the capstan and pinch roller openings. My favorite parts are the chain links used for the magnetic tape supply reels. While writing this article, I was inspired to play music from the ’80s over my 21st Century Bluetooth headset; talk about instant gratification!
We often build with LEGO bricks to imitate, in other words reflect, life. While Ralf Langer‘s latest creation is a completely realistic microscale depiction of medieval life, the word reflection has more meanings to it.
First we see a micro mountain village with some cool techniques like the church roof, printed tiles as windows and modified plates as pine trees, but then something interesting in the water catches the eye. Ralf states in the picture description on Flickr that this is an experiment in water reflections, and I can see where he is going with it. A little extra bit is exposed in the description; if you go to the beginning of Ralf’s Flickr photostream, you can see that the building being reflected in the water is a microscale version of his first custom LEGO creation, earlier this year.
Building challenges come in all shapes and sizes, but constructing a wall from LEGO bricks that resists the system’s innate interlocking functionality is something new. Ralf Langer‘s build, entitled “Tear down the wall,” grasps the nettle and gives us something special. Using balanced combinations of plates, Technic elements and masonry bricks, he’s concocted a Jenga-like tumbledown edifice. Compositionally, it’s cleverly used to frame the model’s second feature, a beautiful medieval house that pokes through the collapsing façade.
First proposed by the American physicist Gerard O’Neill in the 70s, an O’Neill Cylinder is a large tube, pressurised with an atmosphere, and spinning to create artificial gravity. The hull features alternating strips of “land” and transparent windows, allowing sunlight to be reflected inside from large mirrors. The cylinder has become an iconic design, familiar from a raft of TV, movie, and videogame depictions of mankind’s future. Ralf Langer has built a beautiful LEGO version of an O’Neill-based space colony, using microscale to ensure his space settlement features fields and trees, flowing rivers, and towering cities. The rings supporting the curved land panels have technical-looking greebles, and the entire creation looks much bigger than it really is. This is epic LEGO sci-fi, depicting a future I’d love to see.