While I haven’t been plotting any LEGO villainy in the opening round of this year’s Bio-Cup, I have been working with brown Bionicle bits as of late for my own malicious machinations. So let me tell you, Ted Andes was employing quite the limited part palette when he took on a violin-themed evil-doer, Il Maestro Di Violino. The shape he’s managed here is excellent, and the incorporation of the Kakama Kanohi mask is perfect. For a “last minute entry,” this feels like a well-planned symphony of parts. It immediately conveys “violin” and “villain” with just one glance.
LEGO builder Ted Andes brings us a more upbeat take on the dystopian cyberpunk future with a gorgeous sculpture he calls the Shrine of the Cyber Tree. The tree is made of stacked Vahki head elements from Bionicle, and their angular lines and matte finish creates a striking use for that rarely used piece. The sculpture is surrounded by a simple but elegant stone garden wall, which has great details like one broken egg post cap.
Collaborative displays allow builders to create something bigger and more spectacular than one person might achieve on their own. All it takes is a standard that others can build on independently and come together at a LEGO convention to watch the magic happen. The wonderfully detailed cyberpunk module by Ted Andes is going to be part of a collaborative display in Chicago next year. The speeder bike charging station features some sweet rides built using motorcycle chassis, along with an upstairs noodle shop. Colored wedge plates create angled parking spots, with one of the charging stations on the fritz, which is a nice touch. The noodle sign made with Technic plates and stacks of 1×2 rounded plates is positively delicious.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Ted has another cube for the lower levels of the collaborative city display for folks with a bit more to spend on their transportation. The Tachikoma garage for upgrading your AI-powered four-legged companion looks right out of Ghost in the Shell. The garage includes a smaller speeder bike repair shop around the back.
If you’re looking for love, or looking for great part usage, Ted Andes has you covered – provided you can cut through those plastic clam shells. The concept of using window panes for packaging been kicking around the LEGO community for a while, but the inclusion of DOTS printed tiles gives the whole idea a bit of a boost. Emmet sure seems to think so, anyway.
And if you prefer your vending machines to dispense candy, well, do I have the build for you…
When I first saw this model, I had to do a double-take. It didn’t register as LEGO at first but the second glance proceeded to blow my mind. Builder Ted Andes created this fantastic model for a big competition between builders that happens most summers nowadays. Inspired by the ninth card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot, The Hermit, this model utilizes a slew of old and new pieces from the System and Technic alike. Light nougat hands hold key objects from The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck’s version of the Hermit art. Candlesticks in dark tan make a simplistic staff that fits perfectly with the hands. The other arm lifts up a lantern made with slim black wedge belt wheels linked with bars and studs as the frame while two oppositely oriented triangular clips create a light flare effect to match the card. Spiky Hero Factory armor in white is inverted as a beard that consumes the Hermit’s face while his hood is made of a large Chima Gorilla head. A clever camera angle hides the gold and mouth details of the mask just enough to sell the hood effect. A fabric cloak hides most of the inner structure of the figure which is mounted on a raised mountain baseplate that mostly showed up in Bionicle sets.
The meaning of this card within the Tarot is somewhat clear. It is a time to look within and identify those things about yourself that may need reexamined. Sometimes the answers to life’s questions lie inside and only through introspection will they be revealed. Similarly, Ted Andes has presented a magical model that hides the secrets to some of its construction behind that dark robe and black Technic panels.
Don’t adjust your screens; that is not a LEGO minifigure someone left in a microwave to see what would happen. You’re looking at a Ted Andes creation of an up-sized remote control space rover built for a plush Lenny. Despite being a seasoned writer for The Brothers Brick, I didn’t know these LEGO plushies were a thing until like two minutes ago. I’m apparently the wrong demographic, but they’ve been all the rage with youngins for a few years now. Look, I never said I was attuned to what the kiddos are into; I don’t even know what kind of bourbon they like. Anyway, while you’re trying to figure out how a TBB volunteer can be given the pink slip, check out these other works by Ted Andes whom, it turns out, is a master at making unusual parts seem pretty cool.
Don’t tell anyone but if I had a plushie Lenny I’d probably give him an occasional squeeze for good luck.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Ted Andes’ latest build looks out of place here on TBB. That is until you study the image further and realise Ted has brought LEGO into the home furnishing arena with this side table and its contents. The table itself is a wonderfully designed build that looks like a realistic Walnut or Mahogany wood with a delicate black finish to the table top. The legs capture a delicate, carved, curve and are then braced to add to the stability of this table with additional subtle detailing along the legs.
I’m in awe of the engineering that has gone into creating the perfect circle of the table’s rim and legs through the use of expertly layered plates and tiles to achieve the correct curvature and strength.
The lamp looks to have found the perfect spot too, placed atop the table, amongst the other items on display. The lamp shade is carefully constructed to capture the round end result too, using a Teepee canopy piece, adding a flourish of Native American detail for decoration on the lampshade. And let’s not ignore the power cord falling over the edge of the table too, constructed from tails and Technic connector pieces.
You can explore the remaining contents of the table from when we looked at these in an older post here. I’m hoping Ted doesn’t stop here, and that this inspires more builders to come up with ingenious LEGO builds that look perfect in any home.
Sometimes a simple flower can contain clever secrets. Take this sunflower by Ted Andes for example. It’s one of those models that looks great on its own, but has rewards for the LEGO parts junkie as well. Creative use of Bionicle Vahki eyestalks forms a real sunburst of color for the petals, and those leaves are repurposed pteranodon wings.
There’s a whole lot you can do when creating plants out of LEGO. Our archive is a garden overflowing with sweet techniques.
Sometimes, all it takes is one LEGO element to spark an entire creation into life. Ted Andes provides us with a brilliant example of this, with a charming scene of a walk in the park that was borne of a desire to use the orange parachute in a creation. Said parachute finds a new purpose as the dog-walker’s dress, but that is not where the clever parts use stops! Dark red wing pieces are used for her hair, and a slew of minifigure whips are used as a very convincing low fence. Also of note is the butterfly, which is made of, er, a butterfly piece – albeit one intended for use on minifigures. Ted certainly manages to make using such unusual pieces look like a walk in the park!
In the Grammy-winning “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”, Will Smith famously sang, “Ciga-cigar right from Cuba-Cuba. I just bite it. It’s for the look, I don’t light it.” And, just like the Fresh Prince, Ted Andes likely knows that a lit cigar can be the source of numerous health issues. So, Ted has constructed a cigar and accessories that provide the old-school Hollywood mogul look without the risk of contracting throat cancer. The realistic wisp of smoke that Ted achieved might make you do a double-take, but rest assured everything in this photo is 100% LEGO. Although, come to think of it, biting a LEGO cigar might not be entirely healthy, either. You could break a tooth.
LEGO has been into books as of lately. We got the LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book, the Hogwarts Moments books, the Disney Storybooks, the 40410 Charles Dickens Tribute, and more. So as a LEGO fan, why not hop on the trend? That is exactly what Ted Andes must have thought. They created a series of lovely hardcover books with Art Nouveau-inspired cover art to go along with the Wasp-wing Table Lamp we featured a while back.
The blue book looks quite elaborately embellished with golden details which make the satin white jewels pop. The green book uses Spider-Man’s web as a very artistic cloud and the minifigure butterfly wings are used to represent a magical transparent butterfly. Most of all this is a very ingenious way to display minifigures you like and it can be translated to any theme.
As you know over at The Brothers Brick, we love a good brick build insect. And this LEGO creation by Ted Andes features a lot of them! The ants are completely brick build. They are made out of droid arms, clip claws, t-bars, and bricks with studs on 4 sides. They even have a small gaster made out of tooth plates. We are currently watching a battle between the Blackthorns and the Lavender Leaf ant clans. My bet is the Blackthorns are the black ants and the grey ants are the Lavender Leafs. They are fighting over a half-eaten pheasant leg on the ground. I’ve seen a lot of uses for the curved tapered panel but I’ve never seen it used as a pheasant leg. For the foliage, it looks like Ted dismembered a bunch of LEGO flower bouquets. Which seems like a good cause in this case.