Tag Archives: Simon Liu

The frog mecha-army leaps into action!

Everyone’s got their favourite LEGO element. It might be the popular headlight brick, or something completely rogue like a Clikits flower. (Hey, each to their own!) I have a sneaky feeling that some of Simon Liu‘s favourite pieces are those pertaining to frogs. Why? Well, he’s listed as a Frog King in a group on Flickr, for starters. And the Frog King has assembled an amphibian army to do his bidding! This exosuit for the rank-and-file, for instance, houses a Super Mario frog hat.

Joint Attack Kombat Exosuit (JAKE)

Click here to see what other frog parts have got an armoured upgrade!

An unlikely mashup: the Kai Fighter

What happens when you’re building and grab a Ninjago fig instead of a TIE Pilot? Generally I toss it back and keep building, but I imagine TBB alumn Simon Liu runs with it, as evidenced by this Kai Fighter, a TIE-turned-mech that’s as cool as it is well done. Ninjago and Star Wars may not be the most common crossover, but after seeing this I can’t wait to see Lloyd Vader and Jedi Master Wu.

Kai Fighter

Do you feel the need for teal?

Every now and then, a LEGO cyberpunk build will pop up that is invariably linked to the New Hashima Brickworld collaboration. And judging by how often they pop up, it’s going to be a massive collaboration. There’s no danger of it lacking colour though – not when Simon Liu is armed with his collection of teal bricks! It’s a neat futuristic take on the humble construction crane, even if it is built with tongue placed slightly in cheek. This is a build for something called MARCHtember. Simon’s description has the low-down on the ‘rules’, but I’m particularly drawn in by this one: “it needs to have teal as a significant colour in the build“. Now that’s a LEGO month I can get behind.

CP Crane

Sand castles don’t last forever, even ones made of the Sands of Time

This LEGO hourglass is something magical with its grains building a castle as time passes. Builder Simon Liu presents this unique hourglass for the Brickscalibur contest. As time moves, so does the construction of the castle. And when it’s complete, time is up. It’s a clever idea to showcase the passage of time and life. Being an hourglass, it represents the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. The build uses a wonderful assortment of tan pieces to give the castle definition. There are even some walls and bits in the top portion of the hourglass from the last sand castle. The build also makes some good use of gold pieces to give the timepiece a gilded elegance. This is a really cool design and idea, and is certainly one of my favorite time-related LEGO builds.

Time Castle

As if babies weren’t scary enough as they are

Thought you were safe from the scary now that Hallowe’en is over? Think again! Simon Liu has collaborated with Micah Beideman to build something which, on the face of it, sounds adorable. I mean, “baby wars.” How scary can it be? As it turns out, pretty nightmare-inducing. The mechanised babies are pretty cute, to be fair, in their tanks with milk bottle cannons. The Scala baby is not a particularly disturbing piece per se, but add some tyre tentacles and you’ve created the most terrifying baby kaiju. I thought the scariest thing a baby could do was scream all the way through a flight – at least this puts that into perspective.

Baby Wars

This pistol will make you beg for mercy.

I’ve never played Overwatch 2, but I’m willing to bet that no weapon in the game is branded with the LEGO logo. That doesn’t stop this build by Simon Liu from being any less impressive. The numerous angles and the rounded shaping are executed to a precision that would make any future gunsmith envious. My favorite detail is putting the oft-unseen reverse side of the masonry brick to use in a sci-fi build.

Mercy Pistol

Wake me up when SHIPtember ends

Talk about a Seriously Huge Investment in Parts, this massive Maersk vessel offers plenty of space for all your cargo hauling needs. Builder Simon Liu, one of the founders of the SHIPtember prompt, has created yet another masterpiece to add to the ranks of this year’s armada. Built to scale with the New Hashima city collaboration that Simon previously contributed to, this cargo freighter will be added to the display as they attempt to make the whole city three times larger. When landed, this gigantic hauler will fit right in with the towers of the current skyline.

Wake Me Up, When

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Intergalactic Telephone Crew: Volume Two

It’s been a while since we covered the fourth of 8 builds from the second round of the Starfighter Telephone Game, or STG, so lets do a recap as we highlight the final build in the series. The STG-2 Beyonder, built by Simon Liu, the spaceship legend himself, made for a super strong finish for the whole game. For those not in the know, the game includes eight builders, passing along a spaceship design that they reimagine and redesign with each subsequent build. As such, the form and function can shift and change in dramatic ways from the first ship to the last. The bright green canopy surrounded by white angular canopy pieces smooth out the cockpit and compliment the triangular shaping achieved with the left and right roof tiles that Simon pulled from the Bone Demon set. Dark grey mock-wings stretch out from the green, white, and blue fuselage while gold tiling on the engines can be seen peeking out from behind the craft. Unfortunately Simon hasn’t provided much of a look at the back. Thankfully, the front is so beautifully built it’s worth appreciating on its own. The greebly, detailed interior of the cockpit feature’s many LEGO fans’ favorite frog piece as this sleek ship’s pilot.

STG-2 Beyonder

Check out the previous ships!

A proper TRON cycle

Veteran builder Simon Liu made the most of an opportunity during his latest review for New Elementary. Given the chance to pick the set he wanted to write about, he jumped on the smorgasbord of glow-in-the-dark pieces available in June 2021’s LEGO Monkie Kid 80028 The Bone Demon. Making use of the angles and curves presented by parts selection in the set, Simon was able to finally execute a proper glow-in-the-dark TRON cycle. As a bit of a dream for Simon, he was excited to pull it off, no matter what the scale. Of course, that meant that things got a little more difficult once he got attached to that swoop of White Glow curve in the center of the bike. Sandwiching the two sides together at a scale he liked only left a tile’s thickness for the core of the body. The wheels were almost too easy, the clever curve using rounded 1×2 plates centered with that tile’s thickness to provide an attachment point for the glowing rims made with 3×3 1/4 arch bricks.  Black detailing on the body is complemented by 45-degree cut slopes near the base and handlebars, completing that quintessentially TRON light cycle feel.

TRON Light Cycle

Just one of a few great builds that Simon worked on for New Elementary, this TRON cycle entices the building community to see what else they can do with a fist full of glow-in-the-dark elements. Clearly, there’s potential for tech and sci-fi models so who knows what use Simon will find for these highly UV-reactive pieces this year. It could make for one interesting SHIPtember if he was feeling adventurous.

Soaring over Arrakis with House Atreides: Dune’s Ornithopter in LEGO

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune has quickly become a hit amongst fans and critics. The cinematography and soundtrack balance perfectly with the classic narrative to deliver a knock-out blockbuster that will last the ages. Much like Star Wars, Star Trek, and others, Dune features a plethora of cultures, planets, and religions. For me and other fans of LEGO, though, it’s the spacecraft and vehicles that really round it all out. The Ornithopters of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic have been a challenge for past projects but Denis Villeneuve’s design team produced a craft that will surely become iconic. When I saw this Ornithopter by TBB alumn Simon Liu, I had to know more. I talked with Simon about avoiding spoilers prior to opening night, his immediate need to build this beauty, and the challenges he faced with its final design.

The Ornithopter

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Some of the best bots are built for hard work

When you design a mechanical marvel to do your heavy lifting, you might as well make it modular, so you can re-configure it to manage the heavy loads in whatever form they take. The Configurable Utility Bot Ecosystem, or CUBE, by Simon Liu is one of a squad of cube-shaped bots that have fully interchangeable legs, arms, and utility tools. The crane looks like it could handle almost any load.


In case you are hungry for more, here’s the mech from all sides. And if you look closely, you’ll see the pilot is not a mere human, but an adorable three-eyed alien. Who better to operate the claw?


Don’t miss the other CUBE bots from Simon Liu!

All right, you know the drill

TBB alumn Simon Liu definitely knows the drill, as this nifty LEGO bot shows. In a striking yellow and dark blue industrial color scheme, this bot looks like what I always hoped LEGO’s various mining themes would be (first Rock Raiders in 1999, then Power Miners a decade later). It does sport that huge chrome drill that only ever came in a pair of Rock Raiders sets, and subsequently doesn’t get used in fan creations nearly as much as I’d like.


Oh, and did I mention the bot is modular? And that Simon has built more than one?

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