For a medium that’s based around the core idea of “you can make anything you want,” LEGO builders just love to impose limitations on their creations. Things like “use only one color of brick” or “it has to be symmetrical,” or even the tricky “you can’t have any exposed studs.” Once again drawing inspiration from the drawings of M.C. Escher, Simon Liu takes that particular set of challenges and overcomes them. (Again.) Escher’s Drawing Hands transforms from flat art into a sculpture of hands creating themselves out of LEGO. Building Hands adds just the right touch of meta-level humor to a great build.
I particularly like how Simon found a clever way around the “no exposed studs” limit. By replicating the studs out of 1×1 round tiles, they both flaunted and followed the rules. Sure, the use of red lights may annoy the “monochromatic purists” among us, but I have a feeling they’re in the minority. No one said anything about limiting the light sources, after all. Or if they did, I didn’t hear about it.
One of the hottest LEGO fads right now is tensegrity sculptures. These builds use tricky physics to create models with sections suspended in mid-air with no obvious means of support. I’ve seen a lot of different approaches, but captainsmog has come up with one of the best. Invocation features a giant flying dragon, suspended in the air by taut lengths of LEGO chain. There’s no Photoshop trickery here. It’s just science. But I’m willing to admit there’s just a bit of magic, too.
Even if there wasn’t mind-bending suspension going on, this would be a great build to look at. The dragon’s belly is constructed of minifigure arms, creating an eerie organic feel to that armor. And the invocation platform is pretty swanky, too. I like the use of minifigure beards to create different versions of drippy candle wax, and the use of glow-in-the-dark tile for lines of mystic power is inspired. There are even tiny little touches, like the candle flames all blowing outward from the downdraft from the dragon’s wings. I love that attention to detail.
LEGO replicas of real-world objects are a challenging subject to work in. Finding the right scale for your creation is a large part of that effort, but builder Letranger Absurde seems to have found a sweet spot in Little Desk. This model isn’t sized for minifigures or humans, but rather just big enough for the LEGO elements to really reproduce the lines and shapes of the objects presented. Of particular note is the sealed letter, using a 2×2 round tile with a flame pattern for the sealing wax. The clock, chest, and wax seal stamp are all well built and instantly recognizable.
What really caught my eye, though, was the melted wax on the candle. It took me a while to figure out what part was used at the bottom of the dribble…it’s a baby rabbit. Now that’s some clever parts usage.
I remember playing with some of these as a kid. We’ve featured jtheel‘s work before with their fantastic Simon Says; I think it’s high-time to kick the nostalgia factor up a bit and relive the best toys from the 80s. Or 70s. Maybe a bit of early 90s. At any rate, let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?
To start, an alternative classic building toy: Lincoln Logs.
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