Tag Archives: Science

Scan in the piece where you live

One of the great things about a fandom like LEGO is that it can accommodate and celebrate so many disparate special interests, from tractors to ancient Rome to ornithology. Builder voxel123 give the full otaku treatment to a subject I’ve never seen in LEGO before; radiology. Voxel has previously built medical scanners at minifig scale as well as BrickHeadz tributes to pioneering radiologists, but for his latest series of models, he works at a larger Miniland scale, using Belville dolls to staff the facilities. Each piece of machinery is part of a larger vignette where studless surfaces are crafted with the bright colors and geometric patterns you might see in a medical facility catering to children.

First, we have an open MRI system, a scanner that can accommodate those who might have trouble with the standard tunnel MRI machines, like children or claustrophobic patients.

Open MRI Suite Playset (Miniland Scale) - Scanner room

A waiting room puts younger patients at ease with a miniature MRI model and boxes of plush toys to scan. I especially like the quarter circle tile mosaics, balanced inside a transparent brick, a variation of a technique I first encountered in the Ninjago City Markets karaoke lounge.

Open MRI Suite Playset (Miniland Scale) - Waiting Room

But wait, there’s more medical imaging fun to be had!

Having a ball in LEGO with the fourth phase of matter

From his class on LEGO functions each year at BrickCon to his day job educating children on STEM principles by way of the brick, Brandon Jones has a reputation not only for the creations he concocts, but also for the builders he inspires. And I’m certainly inspired by his latest creation, a replica of a plasma ball lamp, complete with moving lines of “electricity” powered via a Mindstorms motor. The central hub spits out bolts of transparent light blue and pink bricks, dancing in a seemingly random manner thanks to the programmed motor hidden in the base.

Plasma Ball- 1

But why talk about it when I can show you the build in action? Make sure to watch until the room’s lights are shut off, showcasing the interior lighting in the globe that illuminates those electric lines of blue and pink. It’s hard to imagine a closer replica made out of LEGO at this scale.

LEGO Icons Modular Buildings Collection 10326 Natural History Museum – A mammoth modular indeed! [Review]

The first time I was ever able to go to a LEGO store, I walked out of there with a modular set. I was on a work trip to the Seattle area back when I lived in Indiana, and I remember being so excited driving back to the hotel from Bellevue with 10211 Grand Emporium sitting in the backseat. I knew that it would still be weeks until I would be back home building it, but I couldn’t care less. Since then, the Modular Buildings Collection has had a special place in my heart. And while I’m not the kind of builder to keep them all assembled on a shelf, I still see them as the pinnacle of architectural design at minifigure-scale. So, with the impending release of the new LEGO Icons 10326 Natural History Museum, let’s see how it measures up to the rest of its kin. With 4,014 pieces, this is the largest of the modular buildings to date. It’s currently available for pre-order on the LEGO website, with release on December 1, retailing for US $299.99 | CAN $389.99 | UK £259.99.

The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Go on a guided tour of the new museum below!

10326 LEGO Icons Natural History Museum revealed as the next modular building set [News]

After 18 previous installments, the next LEGO modular building has been debuted online. And with 12 more pieces than 10255 Assembly Square, 10326 LEGO Icons Natural History Museum will be the largest modular building to date. The set includes 7 minifigures (not counting two statues), an adorable pug, and an array of museum displays including a solar system model and removable brachiosaurus skeleton. Clocking in at 12″ (31 cm) tall, 14.5″ (38 cm) wide, and 9.5″ (25 cm) deep, the museum fits right in with other modulars like LEGO Icons 10312 Jazz Club and LEGO Modular Buildings Collection 10297 Boutique Hotel. Available for pre-order today, 10326 LEGO Icons Natural History Museum will be available from LEGO.com on December 1, and will retail for US $299.99 | CAN $389.99 | UK £259.99

Explore the museum below!

LEGO makes a 40595 Tribute to Galileo Galilei with their latest GWP offering

Debuting today on the Australian LEGO website, we can now see a new gift-with-purchase available to shoppers. The winner of the Ready, Set, Go STEM! contest on LEGO Ideas, 40595 Tribute to Galileo Galilei celebrates the accomplishments of a renowned polymath and the father of observational astronomy. This build marks another addition to the string of sets celebrating famous individuals, including Amelia Earhart and Jane Goodall. Consisting of 307 pieces, 40595 Tribute to Galileo Galilei will be available from November 1st through November 16th as long as supplies last, from LEGO.com and LEGO stores with a minimum qualifying purchase of US $130 | CAN $TBD | UK £130

Click for more on this new GWP

A LEGO character creation with explosive potential

Ever since a History of Science class my freshman year of college, I’ve read so many books on the history and discovery of radiation. But nowhere in those pages covering everything from the Curies to Chernobyl did I ever come across a scientist like the one depicted in this LEGO bust by Steven Wayne Howard. With the clever implementation of the Ninjago Spinjitzu canopy, we’re able to see all the nuclear reactors sticking out of this mad scientist’s cranium. An array of creature wings make up his wild facial hair, and his sinister visage is driven home with that skeletal bowtie. And the whole thing sits on a plinth that is, quite frankly, the bomb. The whole thing is downright maniacal, and gives me the chills!

The Nuclear Madman

How Anomalocaris, Opabinia, and the Cambrian Explosion changed my life

The broad range of wonderful LEGO creations built for events like the annual BioCup often spark odd memories of my own life experiences. This beautiful Anomalocaris by Care Creations reminded me of Stephen Jay Gould’s 1989 book Wonderful Life, which first introduced me to the panoply of fantastic lifeforms that emerged during the Cambrian Explosion over half a billion years ago. The book changed my view of how life emerged and evolved on our planet, as well as how scientific understanding itself evolves — both mind-blowing to a young missionary kid. One of the strengths of Bionicle is the system’s ability to reproduce organic shapes, enabling talented builders to create much more than Toa.

Anomalocaris Spectrum

I love the minifigure hands on the ends of Anomalocaris’ tentacles, as well as all the smaller creatures the builder has included to give the impression of the early arthropod in its natural habitat.

If you enjoyed this ancient sea creature as much as I did, you’ll love these other Cambrian creatures, as well as this beautiful LEGO ammonite (though of course ammonites emerged about a hundred million years later).

A room built for concocting

No one sets a LEGO scene quite like Victor van den Berg! I mean, check out the old-school laboratory he’s brewed up! Each flask and beaker are carefully placed on the table, drawers overflowing with ingredients, and a wall of shelves loaded with tinctures and concentrates adorn this gorgeous room. Brown arches and pillars carve paths through the dark tan bricks, above a floor tiled to complement the multicolored bottled spread throughout the lab. Add all that to the lived-in touches of the workspace like the armchair in the corner or the cord of wood in a crate next to the wrought iron fireplace, and the space radiates a homey charm.

The Lab Room

But nothing adds warmth to this workspace like Victor’s excellent use of light. From the fireplace, the hanging lanterns, and especially the windows to the rear of the space, light illuminates the build in an uneven and realistic manner. But the focal point has got to be the sunlight pouring in through the skylight. It highlights all the detailed instruments and vials on the central table, best viewed in the photo below. As someone who’s put in a couple of years standing at the lab bench and read a few too many books on the history of science, the equipment here is spot-on for that of the age. Nothing like determining the index of refraction the old-fashioned way!

The Lab Room

Research station amid a vibrant reef

Working with a new part can be a challenge. Finding how they fit into the system can lead to surprises and disappointments. Ultimately, dedicated builders like Tom Loftus find a way. Armed with tons of teal from the Ninjago Jungle Dragon and challenged to examine the functionality of the transparent VIDIYO Canopy (as he calls it), Tom found himself under the sea at this Reef Station. He gave me some insight into some of the extra pieces he worked into the model, including finally making use of the drone elements introduced last year.

Reef Station

Read on to see more of the details in this colorful underwater scene

Sports meets science in LEGO Education’s new BricQ Motion Essential set 45401 [Review]

LEGO Education has been on a roll lately! It feels like just yesterday (nearly a year ago) we were covering a review of SPIKE Prime, their current flagship product. Now we’re checking out a kit that approaches STEAM learning from a different angle. While robotics are awesome, and programming is becoming a more and more common skill, not everyone can afford those tools. The new BricQ Motion line seeks to break barriers and bridge the gap for those who do not have access to those resources. It also hopes to foster more hands-on exploration of physical science. Today, we’ll take a look at the kit geared for the lower primary-school audience, 45401 BricQ Motion Essential. It will retail for US $99.95 | UK (via Education Distribtor)

The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Click to learn more about LEGO Education’s latest release!

LEGO Education seeks to overcome digital barriers with new BricQ Motion line [News]

In today’s modern society, it seems digital technology makes the world go round. Especially in recent history – when thousands of people are realizing that they can effectively work from home – computer skills are hugely advantageous. But not everyone is born with a computer in their hands. So many children don’t have tech-based resources in their learning environment. And STEAM isn’t all about digital learning. Enter LEGO Education’s new BricQ Motion line. Currently the offerings include 45401 BricQ Motion Essential (6+) and 45400 BricQ Motion Prime (10+). These kits promise to foster creative exploration of physical science through sports-themed guided lessons. They will both retail for US $99.95.


Continue for a closer look and to read the full press release

When science and (LEGO) art collide.

In this rather solemn LEGO mosaic by Jaap Bijl titled “Einstein’s One Great Mistake”; a more serious topic is explored – Albert Einstein and his role in the Manhattan Project. If we’re going to get artsy here, I would even say that the color palette and aesthetic of this build are reminiscent of Picasso’s “Blue Period.”

Einstein's 'One great mistake'

The 4×4 petaled flower element is back in multiples, this time in an ominous arrangement forming a mushroom cloud – the shape generally synonymous with nuclear explosions. The rest of the scene in the right panel is formed with various sized plates and tiles in dark hues with white 1×1 round bricks and cones creating the stem of the cloud. A portrait of Einstein is presented in the left panel; his face is carved out of various bricks, slopes, and tiles, for the most part utilizing the SNOT (studs not on top) technique. Einstein’s notoriously unruly and spiky hair is rendered by a synergy of the white 4×4 petaled flower pieces and white dinosaur tails. In terms of composition, although this work could be called a mosaic, it differs significantly from the new LEGO Art mosaics which are comprised mostly out of 1×1 studs. For me, Einstein’s hair and the mushroom cloud both being heavily composed of the petaled flower elements represents a kind of mirroring effect, but I could be looking too deep into this. Either way, I think it could be said that this build is genuinely thought-provoking.