There are LEGO builds that hit that sweet spot of nostalgia and realism, and this little red wagon from Ted Andes is one of the great ones. The highlight has to be those great wheels – 3×3 dishes rimmed with a rubber tire, complete with a 1×1 round plate cap. The thin rods for the axles and handle are also perfectly scaled, making this look like a product shot from a retro-toy catalog.
Ted is an expert at creative part usage and unusual builds, as you can see if you take a trip through our archives.
A Gatling gun, grappling hook, chainsaw, and an unfolding semaphore tower is not the kind of things you’d usually associate with little pink bunnies. But LEGO builder Ted Andes has done just that with this Nousagi (野ウサギ) Reconnaissance Tank. This mech-tank looks like it means serious business. However, just a few pretty pink touches and bunny stickers clue us in that one can pilot a tank and still have a playful personality. The open hatch gives us a glimpse of a playful young driver who can still get down to brass tacks when serious reconnaissance stuff needs to happen.
Okay, so maybe this isn’t quite a charcuterie board, I am still unclear on the concept, but I do know such boards were trending in the blogosphere over the holidays. Ted Andes does give us a great minimal LEGO model of a cheese board of sorts with all the essentials – even the casual kitchen mouse.
The board is simply constructed out of one tile panel and several plates in alternating brown and dark tan. As for the arrangement of elements topping the board; we’ve got the mouse from series 18 of the collectible minifigures, for the Swiss cheese we have a minifigure torso in light yellow – arms removed, and of course to slice and dice the cheese there is a minifigure machete which looks great as a cheese knife and then the silver slotted slope piece as a shredder. This little assortment is certainly social media ready.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen an actual digital alarm clock, to me they actually even seem old-fashioned – don’t most people just use their mobile phone? But the physical alarm clock and your iPhone timer have one thing in common – you can hit snooze. Ted Andes gives us a LEGO model of the standard alarm clock with its digital face displaying 11:00, I guess someone hit the snooze button one too many times!
The body of the clock is simply fashioned out of a collection of black bricks, tiles, and plates. There are a couple dials on the right which utilize some rounder elements. Andes uses red minifigure torsos with the arms removed in red to create the display’s numbers – a pretty unorthodox use of parts. The colon between the hours and minutes are some cylinders also in a nice bright red color. While the build is simple, there is still some nice parts usage utilized in the work and the concept is timeless.
Heading into the forest? You’d best watch yourself. There are…things in there. Critters. Faeries who don’t take kindly to intrusion. Don’t believe me? I’ve seen ’em! And so has Ted Andes! Captured their likeness in LEGO, even! Those top wings are from 2015’s 76039 Ant-Man Final Battle, and the lower ones are from the 2004 Alpha Team Mission Deep Freeze sets. There’s Knights Kingdom II shoulder armor, and Bionicle Rahkshi Back Cover armor as their legs. Curved Hero Factory blades serve double duty as swords and long hair. This combination of themes seems almost as mythical as these faeries themselves!
Sometimes it’s a challenge to keep things in perspective. Builder Ted Andes created a sharp-looking table out of LEGO, but called the image “EAT ME”. I wonder why? If you look closely you might spot a small clue…
Let’s take a another moment to appreciate that table, though. The legs are made from lampposts capped with eggs. The table runner has some clever building allowing for a half-plate rise over the tabletop, letting it read more like cloth. The use of gold-toned modified 1×1 round plates for tassels on the ends also works well. The rest of the room is also full of fun details. The vase is a Galaxy Squad Alien Pod in a pleasing shade of transparent purple. The windows are stained glass from the Brick Bank modular set.
At a meta-level, I do enjoy the juxtaposition of scales that Ted has used here. It’s a much larger build than you first expect, but still not human sized, so it’s still kind of small, but still big, and I think I need to go lie down now.
There’s a fine balance in creative endeavours between finding a groove and getting stuck in a rut. There’s no doubt which side of the scale Ted Andes is on with his latest run of LEGO starfighters. Whilst there’s a common shaping and techniques involved in the production of his Corsair models, the variety of styling applied to the variants make for quite a fleet. First up, there’s a red and white beauty, which showcases the use of the Technic panel parts alongside the cockpit…
Ted has put together a whole range of these craft, each a skilful combination of Hero Factory armour, Bionicle pieces, and regular LEGO parts. These are models I’d love to see “in the brick” — I’m sure they’d make for an impressive formation flypast.
Back in 2017, Ted Andes built one of my favourite LEGO Star Wars-esqe ships that could have been a page taken from the galaxy far far away. This year he’s taken that inspiration and made it into a full-blown evolution of a Y-wing and it looks amazingly sleek and fit for a Rebel bombing run.
Utilising the canopy of the X-Wing and the shades of the popular yellow-themed Y-Wing from Star Wars, taking out bad guys never looked so good.
A prolific LEGO builder who’s graced our pages before, Ted Andes has presented a creation I resonate with at the moment, Winter. I’m typing this from Victoria, Australia, where the frosts and bleak days have been many. This beautiful vignette, a small capture of a snowy morning on the edge of a siheyuan. I can almost feel the stillness in the air.
Andes’ parts use is always exceptional, though not just in obscure part usage. His harness on basic parts to get the maximum effect is outstanding. The bare tree is made from roughly thirteen different pieces, twisted into some outstanding, gnarled forms. See if you can spot them all — can you see any I’ve missed? The river and its edging is also another highlight for me. The 4L trans-light blue bars surrounding some fish is a nice touch, giving the impression of icy cold, rushing water. Having the land predominantly in two colours has also worked elegantly, while the simple touches of trans-clear near the edge of the river have brought it closer to the reality of the camping trips I’ve taken in winter.
Builder Ted Andes brings us this scene full of middle-eastern style architecture and serpentine intrigue. A group of warriors battles it out with the forces of evil in the form of a snake-bodied wizard that we only see from the back. I love the way it lets your imagination fill in what might be behind that hooded cloak.
The whole courtyard is full of touches that evoke a feeling of the Middle East. The sand green and white tiled floor is beautifully done and complimented nicely by the sand green tiles with blue and yellow flowers on the wall to represent the elaborate tile work. The impressively large door made from palisades bricks is quite a presence and the use of keys as handles is very clever. The column treatment is elegant with its combination of square, round and palisades bricks as well as an earthy color palette that brings a cohesiveness to the whole scene.
But, it’s the decorated central column that really steals the show. The octagonal fountain at the base is a pleasing shape that draws your attention and mimics the angles of the tiled floor. The use of upside-down gold lamps for faucets gives is a nice touch and the gold scarab finishes this portion off nicely. The central column leads to a cluster of shin guards at the top that blossom into balloon parts topped with a bush to create a beautiful architectural palm tree. The addition of Aladdin off to the side, mopping up with a wry smile, is terrific and leaves us wondering if perhaps he was in on this evil plan the entire time.
Accomplished LEGO artist Ted Andes has presented us with a cute riddle: What’s under twenty pieces, adorable and could potentially demolish your house? Baby’s First Bulldozer. This is a prime example of minimal part use for the win. Also known as the Pamper Pusher, this little guy was built as a part of a collaborative effort for Brickworld Chicago. I always enjoy seeing simple two- or three-piece combinations that just work. The tread system made of the microfighter wheel base, a 1×3 thin Technic lift arm, and a stretched tyre, is absolutely one of those.
It’s certainly not summer yet, even in southern California where it’s still cloudy and stormy. Models like Ted Andes’ streamlined sailboat called the Rhapsody make me yearn for the season’s arrival even more. Although at first glance you might think it’s just your average high-end sailboat, Ted has actually built a futuristic vessel that hovers above the water, almost like a hydrofoil with its white fin-like appendages sticking out from the bottom of the hull.
Close inspection reveals that the hull and sails are constructed almost entirely from assorted Technic panels, allowing the builder to achieve the sweeping curves of the vessel and the cloth-like appearance of the sails. Let’s also not overlook the expertly constructed wooden deck and classic white coloring with blue and red accents. This boat is sure to awe onlookers on any expedition into the bay, whether it’s hovering or not.