It’s hard to define which LEGO models are sculptural and which are just a regular pile of bricks, but we know a good sculpture when we see one — even if it’s a funny cartoon character and not the Venus de Milo.
LEGO artist Ekow Nimako is celebrating May the Fourth with this amazing sculpture of the original Sith lord, Darth Vader. This massive helmet is just about life-size and as is typical for Ekow, incorporates a huge variety of LEGO elements ranging from Technic panels to slopes and even the big quarter saucer panels from the 90s. Ekow says this is only the first part of a larger build he’s working on.
From time to time we like to check in with an enigmatic LEGO builder who calls herself why.not?. Sometimes her subject matter is dark. Sometimes it’s real dark. But in every case she has us intrigued. Her latest offering is untitled. They’re all untitled. I mean, it’s not like she forgets to name them, she actually types in “untitled” for every creation she does. But this time we have what appears to be a beautiful, brightly lit angel emerging from an underground place. Black city buildings flank her on either side, even the ground is black. She uses red lighting to not only create patterns on the buildings but to denote the readable words “out” and perhaps “dream”. Could this represent our artist emerging from a dark funk? Is this a new chapter in her life or is it a phase? Either way, we remain to be intrigued. And why not?
A while back IKEA released a line of LEGO-compatible storage boxes. We’ve seen some creative builds based on them before, but this creation by Chi Hsin Wei (LEGO7) is a little sus. Sorry, I mean “fishy”. The white IKEA box makes for a perfect insulated container, transparent 1×1 brick makes realistic ice, and metallic silver tile and slopes add just the right sheen to the saury. The brick-built sign with pricing really elevates the build, giving everything context and letting you imagine visiting your favorite fish-monger for the catch of the day.
I don’t want to carp on about what a great build this is forever, so I suggest you go check out some other featured fishy builds.
In this surrealism-inspired LEGO sculpture, Woomy World achieves a dynamic and organic look through the use of clever part usages and a bright color palette. According to the builder, Technic supports were used as the skeleton for the sculpture. We see some of those beams at the base, but throughout the rest of the build, they are virtually invisible beneath the twisting tree trunk and the bird’s plumage/foliage. Instead, I’m drawn to the gradient of the leaf parts from teal to dark azure, as well as the dramatic flourish of the wings made with flex tubes, a technique used by fellow builder Joss Woodyard. And contributing to the seamless flow of the bird’s transformation, the twisting tree trunk has all of these natural grooves and textures from parts like technic connectors and a Belville saddle.
The Iron Builder competition is based around taking an unusual LEGO “seed part” and incorporating in into amazing creations. brickleas is an expert at this craft, taking a huge pile of 100 blue Large Figure Part Shield Holder with Axle pieces and transforming them into Sesame Street’s own Cookie Monster. The texture of the shield elements does an amazing job of standing in for Cookie’s fur, but the techniques that create the black puppet-mouth and googly eyes are just as impressive. Even that chocolate chip cookie manages to look delicious somehow.
The walking iris is an interesting plant. When it reproduces, new plantlets form at the top of the flower stalks. This added weight causes the stalks to bend to the ground, where the new plants take root. Repeat that a few times, and you have a flower that “walks” around the garden. This exceptional botanical recreation by James Zhan captures the unique beauty of this plant, and adds in a swanky LEGO base to boot.
Seen close up, you can appreciate the building techniques that have gone into the flowers. There’s some very clever part usage including minifigure ski poles and crowns, as well as a 1×1 plate used as a tiny mosaic to give the petals a splash of color. I also like the varied joints in the greenery, allowing for some very organic curves.
Flowers have always been a popular theme for custom LEGO creations, and we’ve seen some great sets coming directly from LEGO recently, too. What sort of botanical build do you want to try?
In the beginning, there were just troubling shades of grey. But then there was an industrial accident of some sort. And then OSHA came along. And then the company had some heavy fines levied against it as they refused to install adequate safety railings. At least, I think that’s the story this scene by Mark van der Maarel is telling us. There’s probably more to it. But whatever happened, LEGO minifigures were never quite the same ever again. There are lots of fun details here, but my favorite has to be the X-Pod lid that forms the base of the yellow pool. That splash is pretty sweet, too.
This creation uses only 51 elements, easily qualifying it for the 101-max requirement of the RogueOlympics. There have been a lot of great builds coming out of that contest, so be sure to check out our archives for even more quality minimal-part creations!
This group of life-sized koi fish by Ian Hou of DOGOD Brick Design has awed us before, but we had to return to it for this month’s cover photo. Not only is this model lifelike from looks alone, it also evokes a feeling of zen associated with koi ponds. Looking at Ian’s photography, these look so good on display, like true sculptures. I would love to have these adorn my home to put me at ease when I’m stressing about building. Hopefully, this cover photo will offer the same feeling of calm for our readers. Once you’ve taken in this work of art, check more of Ian’s creations here.
Submit your LEGO creations for a chance to be featured across TBB social media for a month! Check out the submission guidelines share your builds today. Photos that do not meet the submission guidelines will not be considered, and will be removed from the group.
There’s a lot going on in this sculpture by Adam Betts. Gravity defying, drippy, creepy, and undeniably imaginative, Paint Pouring On A Minifig Skull is a creation that deserves a close look. I like how the underlying skull is a great match for the suggested bone structure of a minifigure head, and how the fondant-like paint overlay perfectly captures the “skin” and facial features as the paint covers the superstructure. The suspended paint bucket is also well done, and I love the tiny touch of the banana splashes.
February’s cover photo brings some luck along with it. /snirk/snirk/
These lucky cats, by Ruobing Dai, are adorned with different decorations symbolizing good fortune and making money, and the detailing is exquisite. Meeeeeow.
But seriously though, I wouldn’t mind putting one of these in every room in the house to bring any kind of luck to this year. They’re super cute and each cat has a unique design on his tummy; a treasure basin, a teeny cat set, and a carp. They’d actually go great in my living room.
Submit your LEGO creations for a chance to be featured across TBB social media for a month! Check out the submission guidelines share your builds today.
Sometimes all it takes is a dynamic pose to elevate a simple build into a work of multi-sensory art. This build of a dancer by Swedish LEGO Masters contestant Rickard Stensby makes me feel many things across different senses. I instantly get the rush of awe and emotion one experiences when watching a live ballet performance from just looking at this build. The figure is in a perpetual pirouette with outstretched arms and legs, along with an upward-facing body. Rickard emulates the spinning motion with a functional rotating base, adding to the energy of this sculpture. In addition, the twirling dress contains intricate building techniques to capture the conical shape with creases.
If you like figures with natural shapes and energetic forms, then check out more sculptures here!
There’s something just completely tranquil about the sight of koi carp. Location probably has something to do with it because they regularly are featured in serene garden landscapes. Ian Hou does these beautiful fish justice with this new LEGO creation. I can just hear the bubbling water and imagine these graceful koi feeding on fish pellets. The stylistic waves as a stand offer just enough visual cues to make this a truly lovely project. This is a welcome moment of zen to finish out a rather tumultuous year. If this is totally your jam then you should check out some other fish in our archives.