Digital model builder Alice Dee recently showed off a monster evolution of their skills as a builder and how far rendering software has come in 7 years. In fact, things have gotten so good that TBB contributors (myself included) are sometimes fooled at first glance! Alice rendered this model using Mecabricks.
Although the original digital model designed 7 years ago in LEGO Digital Designer was not based on any particular truck, the latest version by Alice Dee is described as Dodge Ram 3500 Crew Cab with monster features. With tough tires and suspension for the rocky terrain included in the model, this beast of a truck will certainly “Grab Life.” I really like the small details like the truck leaving muddy tread marks behind it.
In some ways this rendered microscale build is simple, but my eye was drawn to its neat little features and techniques. Everything fits so nicely against each mountain segment in this model designed by Aukbricks. Simply put, it’s clean and elegant.
The overhead view doesn’t do it complete justice. I believe the best way to view this build is to watch it as it’s turned. The Technic axle pins make for great crops and the books are lovely rooftops. The trees made from foliage elements are also perfect. While the techniques aren’t entirely new and unique to this build, the cohesive combination is beautiful.
Specializing mostly in digital builds, CK-MCMLXXXI has made quite the beauty of a spaceship with his recent build, The Solomon & Guggenheim. Certain bricks may not exist in the colours used in this build, but that is really not the main quality of the creation. Pieces like a tile with UNITED text print (from the LEGO Ideas Saturn V) and all sorts of modified tiles such as ingot pieces, pentagonal tiles and 1×1 tiles with a rounded side make for some great patterns and colour blocking that look like a legitimate spaceship. The shaping with a large portruding segment on the bottom and all sorts of crazy angles just add to that and the end result is quite an enjoyable sight.
Waffles and milk — a delicious breakfast. And the subject for a delicious digital LEGO creation by ExeSandbox. The waffles themselves are immediately recognisable — neat and tidy constructions of tiled bricks and slopes. But it was the scattering of fruit that caught my eye — balloon parts and clown afro wigs! Sadly there are some “impossible” colour/part combinations going on here. That’s normally enough for us not to cover a digital creation, but this one was so good we thought we’d still feature it. The dribbles of maple syrup are a case in point, they are beautifully done — genuinely gloopy and tasty-looking — but they feature some curved elements that don’t come in those colours in the real world. All-in-all, this is a breakfast of champions, but one that will remain a fantasy until LEGO actually makes those bricks.
When LEGO car builders come to mind, Peter Blackert is probably one of the most prolific. Over the past few years, Peter has churned out dozens of high-quality LEGO cars, and it isn’t unusual to see him share four or five new builds in a given week. Peter is well-qualified to be making brick-built cars because he works as an engineer for Ford Motor Company. Last year also witnessed the publication of his book, How to Build Brick Cars. Peter renders his digital models using POV-Ray, and his portfolio of LEGO cars is rich and diverse, consisting of a wide range of makes spanning over 100 years of production. Having looked through his models, we have decided to pick a car for each decade spanning the early 1900s through the 1960s. They look nice individually but, when grouped together, they help tell a story of the motor industry.
1900s – Curved Dash Oldsmobile:
At the turn of the Century, automotive design was still heavily influenced by horse-drawn transportation. This period also represented a mechanical gold rush, with tons of individuals and organizations attempting to make their mark on the industry. One of the most important contributions to the industry during this period was the assembly line, which allowed for cost-cutting mass production. Credit for this development is often given to Henry Ford and the Model T, but the Curved Dash Oldsmobile was America’s first mass production car. Peter’s version of the Curved Dash looks faithful to the original and looks wonderful with its top up or down.
Builder spacehopper’s digital LEGO version of Hedwig finds Harry Potter’s snowy owl elegantly perched on what I hope is a copy of A History of Magic. Although relatively small in scale, the use of slopes in varied shades of grey and white effectively suggest feathers. This works well when contrasted with the more formal tiled technique used to create the magical tomes; I especially like the gold ingot elements added here to give textural detail to the book’s cover. Simple inset amber eyes, so often referred to by J.K. Rowling in her novels, complete the build, bringing Harry’s faithful companion to life.
Steam traction engines first appeared on farms in the 1850s, and they were massive vehicles used for everything from hauling implements to powering belt-driven equipment. Use of these vehicles declined with the rise of the internal combustion engine, but their legacy lives on in the form of modern farm tractors. Thanks to builders like Bricked1980, their legacy also lives on in LEGO form! Bricked1980 does a really good job of capturing the look and feel of the vehicle, along with providing a rendered background that feels like an agricultural field. The color scheme is pleasing to the eye, consisting of a black boiler, green body and brass accents. Bright red wheels add a splash excitement. It’s worth noting that Bricked1980’s model is a digital render and, as such, it features some parts in non-production colors. However, it presents a sharp looking image with an equally great looking model.
This piece of digital art was painted with LEGO elements that we’re familiar with — Technic gears and System tiles. Anthony Wilson provokes thought and makes one peek deep into the depths of the machine. What is the machine? Who is the machine? A still of a slender wanderer perhaps, navigating an endless journey. What is he searching for? The sharp and protruding edges give a sense of evil and danger ahead. Do the elements rearrange themselves to hinder the wanderer or do they give heed to his commands? Or are these the dreams of the toiling, tired and weary LEGO fan in preparation for tomorrow’s brick convention?
There is something mysterious about a build where you’re unable to immediately tell what inspired the builder to create such an enigmatic scene. It seems simple enough, but there’s always a hidden meaning. Even just the title of this build (“Vampires”) left me wondering and compelled me to reach out to the builder, WeNoGrayD to learn more.
Castle was one of the earliest themes introduced by LEGO back in 1978. The theme no longer continues, but fan builders have maintained a strong alliance with this favourite topic to display their creative talents. Sunder59 has built a microscale castle complete with gatehouse and stone fortifications surrounding the town. This is a digital model and has the advantage of using parts that are not officially LEGO parts at present. Despite this, I really like this model and it could easily be built in real bricks with a few small changes.
A closer look at the castle reveals some of the parts that are not currently part of LEGO’s inventory. I spotted three parts in colours that don’t exist yet; dark blue lipstick on the top of one tower, the reddish brown 1 x 1 bricks with studs on 2 adjacent sides and the Technic sprocket on the main tower.
How do you feel about us highlighting digital builds and renders? In a digital age, more and more people share their work online and the renders are improving all the time – is it cheating to use parts that don’t exist yet in those colours, or just part of the advantages of building this way?
When creating this digital LEGO model of three different buildings, Łukasz Libuszewski was inspired by the beautiful architecture of Prague. On the right, we have the pub on the ground floor and a museum showing the old town on the first floor. There is a handy cashpoint just outside the pub, so no excuses about running out of cash when it’s time to buy drinks. There is also a slightly abandoned looking tenement building on the left — it’s definitely in need of repair. Access to the lookout tower is via the central steps, but take care as those shadowy stairs look a little eerie to me.
A view from the rear shows some of the interior design with the old town layout in the museum and some cosy looking tables and chairs all set up in the pub below. I particularly like some of the architectural details such as the tan stonework around the window at the back of the pub and the use of the Elves keys in light blue grey within the look-out tower.
While this build is a digital build, it has been beautifully crafted and, although there a few elements that do not exist in LEGO’s official collection, it looks build-able ‘in the brick’
Modeled on the Messerschmitt BF 109, the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force in World War II, these digitally rendered beauties created by Lego Pilot would have given the P51 Mustang a run for it’s money. Beautifully rendered using the app Blender, it’s getting difficult to spot real models from computer generated ones. Either way, you wouldn’t want to have a pair of these on your six.