Many people seem to have more time on their hands recently, with much of normal life disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. And as a result, contests are popping up out of the woodwork to give LEGO builders some inspiration, whether it’s Reverse Engineering or Alphabet Starfighters. Included in that is one called Style It Up, where the rules dictate color choices and style rather than content. Since the first week’s challenge is to build something with only one color, jnj_bricks went straight to black. As in black panther. Now, if you have ever tried to photograph LEGO, you know it can be a challenge to get the lighting right. When your build is black, it gets about a billion times harder because it reflects everything. Yet this cat is perfectly captured mid-step, standing out against the black foliage.
A lot has gone into the panther, with teeny tiny parts giving it an organic shape. I see flippers, a mohawk, and a cap, to name a few. But minifig arms and gobs of horns for the grass add further details, and the scene as a whole is both dynamic and vibrant, despite being monochrome.
Feel inspired? There is still time to hop over and get some entries in.
What are you doing with your time? If you answered anything other than building a life-sized motorcycle out of LEGO then let me stop you now. Because Australian builder Ryan McNaught and his team has done just that. Cool, right? It’s probably way cooler than whatever the hell you’re doing right now. But before you go wallowing into a swirling cesspool of self-doubt and despair, let me point out that Ryan is a LEGO Certified Professional. He does this kind of stuff for a living, so that is why he builds such cool things. Toyco in Auckland asked them to build something special for their big store event and this is the result. Ryan tells us that “The Britten V-1000 motorcycle is not only a record-breaking piece of revolutionary engineering, but it is also a Kiwi icon and a testament to the vision of a single man.” Wow, I guess not being tied down to anyone-in-particular has its benefits. So now you can feel less sad about your lonely, uncool existence. See, it’s a post with a positive message!
While you’re mulling that over, here is a close-up of just some of the engine and organic exhaust pipes in detail. Toyco is holding a local contest to guess the exact amount of LEGO pieces this motorcycle contains. That figure is still confidential but based on this close-up I’m going to take a well-educated guess and state 42 pieces. Come on, Ryan, am I even close? You can tell me!
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s yet another post about COVID-19. But I think it’s safe to say that this LEGO build by Oliver Becker has brought virus-inspired creations to a new (microsopic) level. Oliver is a country doctor in northern Germany, so he seems particularly qualified to create this sort of model. Scientific accuracy has never been quite this scary.
We here at the Brothers Brick hope everyone is staying safe, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands. And just like you, we’re looking forward to the day when this sort of build is “historical” rather than “topical”.
René Magritte had something to say about the treachery of images. And the Matrix film series had a lot to say about the nature of reality. It looks like Timofey Tkachev has some thoughts on this matter, too. I mean, a picture of a LEGO sculpture of a scene from an imaginary world played by a real person? That’s some mind-bending stuff if you think about it enough. (Or maybe this self-isolation is just getting to me.) Regardless, this is one stunning bit of sculptural work. In The Choice, Timofey has once again built with an enviable level of photo-realism. I mean, just look at the shaping in those hands!
My favorite detail is the choice to replace the traditional red and blue pills with appropriately colored 2×4 LEGO bricks. Part of me wishes that one of them was a knock-off brand, though. Just for that added bit of snark.
When you want your coffee “to go”, Breado’s Bricks has you covered. This compact LEGO brewer can fit in your pocket! I mean, you probably wouldn’t want to do that. But you could. That’s all I’m saying.
Like other offerings from this builder, there’s extensive use of custom silvered elements to bring a shine to things. But don’t overlook the “standard” LEGO elements in there, too. I like the use of the compass-print 1×1 tile (From the Collectible Minifigure Hiker) and the 1×1 round gauge tile as indicators.
My coffee orders tend to err on the side of “does that come in gallon jugs?” so maybe this isn’t an ideal size for my personal use. But it sure would free up some space in my kitchen.
The best LEGO builds are the ones that look the easiest. Sure, this ladybug by Pistash seems straightforward. There’s “generic” nice part usage like Maleficent hair for the mandibles, and balloon panels for the body. Very nice, but not particularly tricky. And then you notice those spots. Are they glued on? That doesn’t seem like a legal connection method… No, wait. Is that a little bit of exposed string? Those radar dishes are tied on! That’s the sort of lateral thinking that really highlights a creative build.
You may have heard of the Green Fairy associated with Absinthe, but did you know that Guinness has a fairy, too? Perched atop a foamy brew, this red-headed sprite is ready to promote all sorts of questionable decision making.
Okay, maybe I made all that up. And maybe that’s just root beer. But something makes me think this drink is higher octane than that. Only LEGO builder Timofey Tkachev knows for sure.
Built for the Fairybruary contest on DoubleBrick, Timofey has used garage door panels and ice cream scoops to bring the beverage to life. The fairy has some interesting part usage, too, including more of those garage door panels and even Unikitty tails.
My only concern really, is that she’s decided to sit directly in the beer. That can’t be sanitary.
There’s a danger to building realistic LEGO creations in that there is a chance writers like us could pass it up. While seeking out inspiration for articles, my thought process went as follows, LEGO build; cool. Another LEGO build, our readers will like that one; cool. Someone selling their old Atari, maybe? Pffft, whatever, move on. LEGO creation; cool. Wait, go back. Was that? Holy shnikies, that’s LEGO! That reaction is courtesy of Joe Klang and every bit of this stellar Atari 2600 is genuine LEGO. The Atari logo is comprised of 1×2 curved slopes, the chrome jack is a harpoon piece and even the rubber bands are LEGO. Notoriously spotty quality control with brown works in Joe’s favor here as it replicates woodgrain nicely. Even the Pitfall box art with its 8-bit graphics are well played indeed!
Back in 1993, Jim Jarmusch directed a short black and white film, Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California. In it, musicians Iggy Pop and Tom Waits meet at a coffee shop. Then they talk about stuff. It’s worth a watch. There’s just something inherently cool about seeing these two icons having a conversation. What’s even cooler, though, is seeing that conversation recreated in LEGO. Builder Timofey Tkachev has somehow managed to convert Iggy and Tom into perfect brick-built likenesses.
There’s a lot to love about this build. There are dozens of great techniques in play, from the use of 2×2 macaroni tile in the ears to the expert combination of wedge plates in Iggy’s jacket. The relaxed poses are full of complex angles and joins, and Tom’s hair…unf. Just so good.
And the background is just as impressive. Check out the use of transparent tile in the coffee urn, the 90 degree elbows in the coffee cup rims. There’s even a tiny “LEGO News” newspaper 2×2 tile used as small print on the cigarette pack.
Like the film itself, this is a build that rewards the viewer the closer they’re willing to look. I don’t know if I’m inspired or just intimidated.
Continuing our series of behind-the-scenes articles about LEGO Masters, we chatted with Brick Artist Nathan Sawaya in his California studio about how he built all the props for the show, what kind of deadlines he faced, and working with LEGO as a creative medium.
The first half of our interview (conducted jointly with Brickset) focuses on his work with LEGO Masters and serving as their “brick artist in residence.” The second half discusses his personal views on LEGO as a whole, his traveling LEGO installation “Art of the Brick,” and how he went from an NYC lawyer to an LA artist.
Read our interview with LEGO Masters brick artist in residence Nathan Sawaya
These days it’s pretty impossible to escape exposure to a Disney product. They own the lion’s share of today’s biggest themes and properties. (Was that an oblique Lion King joke? You bet it was.) But, before they owned Marvel…and Star Wars…and everything else, Disney created their own in-house characters, too. Like Mickey Mouse. You’ve heard of him, right? Cool. But how about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit?
…Yeah, that one stumped me too. It turns out Oswald starred in 27 animated shorts back in 1927 or so. He made a return in 2010’s Epic Mickey video game. Still managed to fly under my radar, though. Luckily, Bruce Lowell didn’t overlook Oswald. And, as a result, we get an amazing LEGO recreation of this possibly-not-quite-iconic character. The expert use of rounded tiles recreates the distinctive facial styling. Even if you don’t know the character, you know this guy has to be part of the Mickey Mouse Club.
Bruce was inspired by Paul Lee’s 2010 Mickey Mouse build. Paul was inspired in that build by Bruce’s sphere technique. What goes around comes around! (Get it? Round? Like a sphere? Oh, nevermind…)
Baby Yoda continues to infatuate the people of the internet, LEGO fans included. We still don’t know if it actually is a baby Yoda or a baby Yaddle, perhaps it’s just a Yiddle for now. And while we’ve shared a few already, we here at the Brothers Brick can’t get enough Baby Yoda creations. Wilson Du is the latest builder to fascinate us with his version. Recreated for the most part with pieces from the current buildable Yoda set 75255 (US $99.99 | CAN $139.99 | UK £89.99), though with substantially improved eyes, this model was his first creation in 25 years! And more than just being a beautiful sculpture, this little buddy has posable hands to hold a piping hot soup or reach out with the Force. I’m most impressed with how well the chin and mouth have been constructed here, with an expression that’s just begging for chicky nuggies and choco milk.