At The Brothers Brick, we tend to like LEGO digital models that adhere to some constraints. In general, the build should be something that would be possible in the real world. Oh, the scale can be huge, the parts gleefully recolored, but it needs to be…possible. But every now and again a creation comes along that breaks the rules in just the right ways. Inspired by a real-world build by Patrick Biggs for a Bionicle contest back in 2007, LEGO artist Marko Petrušić (Cezium) has created a digital re-imagining of Temperance that doesn’t rely on legal LEGO connections or that pesky law of gravity. Dragon heads are layered to form majestic wings, and a gold-toned tire serves as a halo. Yeah, this digital build may not be possible in reality, but that’s how it goes with mystical beings sometimes.
If you were to create mechs based on your favorite LEGO minifigures, which would you chose? For Steven Howard, he’s picked three that would top the lists of many people, especially when they look this cool. And I’ve gotta say, the setting sun backdrop and shadows showcase them well. They look like they stomped straight out of the LEGO Movie. But they’re even better up close…
If Hallmark decides to get into the LEGO holiday card market, Aukbricks has created a warm and inviting scene that would be welcome in any mailbox. The hardwood floors, white molding, and candles on the wall offer us a nostalgic vision of an old world home. Meanwhile, the holiday decorations are color-coordinated in classy white and gold – right down to the gift boxes under the tree. According to the builder, this digital render utilizes existing LEGO elements and consists of nearly 4,500 pieces. Try packing all of that in a holiday card!
I’m more than one-hundred articles into this gig and I’m still finding things to go absolutely gaga over. My case in point, these adorable animals as rendered by Instagram user Legotruman. It is so hard to pick a favorite so we’ve constructed a composite image showcasing most of the animal renders here. My heart melts when I look at each of these portraits, which totally wreaks havoc on my hard-edged, devil-may-care image, let me tell you.
As those with some knowledge of Latin might expect from the user name, Corvus Auriac seems to have a thing for crows. Crows are among the most intelligent of birds and are often known to make use of tools. Corvus the builder is also a tool user, as demonstrated by this lovely digital render of Arminius, The Crow. Creating a recognizable avian can be a challenge, yet Corvus manages it in only 20 pieces. Among the creative part choices are Minifigure wings, a tooth for a beak, and a flipper for the tail. Even the branch is a nice little build, making use of an elephant tail and carrot top.
Although this is just a flight of fantasy (brick) at present, Corvus says that a real-world version is on the way. I’m looking forward to seeing it!
Here’s a little something different courtesy of aukbricks. This piece of art was created using just twenty elements, ten each in yellow and black. Compared to most LEGO models, there’s not much physical cohesion to this build. In fact, it looks like there are only two pieces actually connected to each other. The image of the bird comes from careful part placement and alignment.
This is a digital render, but it could be replicated in the real world as it uses only existing part/color combinations. I particularly like the use of tentacles for the tail feathers. The bananas that do double duty as claws and as detail in the head are a close second.
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.