Vignettes are like the haiku of the LEGO world. Usually built on a base 8 studs wide by 8 studs deep, vignettes show a little scene or a moment in time. But like written poetry, there’s plenty of variation on the basic theme.
While it’s best to stay indoors, sometimes you just need to go outside. Particularly when you need to “go” outside. This slice of modern LEGO life from Crises_crs is just cute enough to not be super-depressing.
There’s just the right hint of disrepair to the scene. The mix of exposed studs and 1×1 round tiles has the grass looking a little ragged. The pavement has a similar mix, leaving it just a little cracked. But both the dog and owner look pretty happy in their protective gear, all things considered. You have to wonder where they found that toilet paper, though. My local shops have been out of stock for a while.
With the release of the latest LEGO Ninjago line, we’ve received a cool new collection of arcade pods. Builder Xennethy has transformed the oddly shaped “game cabinet” shells into some awesome vendor stalls. In particular, this collection features news, hat, and vegetable stands.
The cabinet alone is a pretty awkward and cumbersome element, but a handful of simple accessories gives it a whole new life. It’s easy to imagine them in any city or park scene. Click the link below to see close-ups of the nifty builds.
The Pirates LEGO theme is one of the most cherished of all time. It makes sense that even though it is long-retired, fans continue to build fantastic tributes to their epic crusades. Letranger Absurde is one such builder, and has delighted us with this pirate hideout. The shipwreck, complete with cannon, broken mast, and shredded sails, is excellent. I’m also fond of the helmet on a frogs back to make a turtle.
As I have undoubtedly said before in these pages, and will almost certainly say again, I love immersive LEGO scenes, the sort that fill every corner of the image with LEGO (or a neutral sky background, as often I’m not too fond of brick-built skies). There’s something magical about being able to step into a creation that way. But it takes a lot of bricks, usually, and some meticulous planning of angles to make it work. There is a more natural way, and master-builder Markus Rollbühler shows us how: build a fantastic vignette that fills the frame and then put an iPad behind it with the rest of the scenery.
Some simple techniques in the build go a long way, such as tiles pushed down only partway to create a weathered brick arch, loose bricks on their sides for cobblestones, and some of his signature bushes made of grass stalks and leaves. The perfect lighting, the minifig posing, and the iPad’s added depth all lend themselves to a delightful scene. And no fancy Photoshopping required!
I’m all about a good seek and find, particularly when it involves unique LEGO pieces. Personally I prefer finding those parts in a bulk brick bin, but looking at them from a distance is still cool, especially when they’re arranged in such a lovely fashion! This little potion shop built by Sebastian Bachórzewski is loaded with exciting finds. Those fancy shelves are pretty neat too! I spy, anyone?
Brick or human, when you need to go, you need to go. We humans have a place to go around every corner (the less hygienic take “every corner” a bit too literally though), but the plastic brick people have a much harder time to find an outhouse. Or at least they would, if SuckMyBrick had not built this outstanding LEGO outhouse.
The build is visually simple, well photographed and composed. The ramshackle style is captured perfectly with tiles pointing in angles just odd enough to not be 90 degrees and the front door uses a few closely related colours to give a fading impression – but according to the builder, the creation is not as fragile as it looks. The base completes the build with details like fragrant flowers in the back and curved slopes that really add to the cartoony style.
With the recent release of The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars builds have been multiplying faster than Star Wars spin-offs and sequels. For me, none of the sequels/prequels/spin-offs comes close to the magic that is the original trilogy, though I am always happy to see more of the galaxy far, far away; yet the builds inspired by it all are getting better and better. Take this microscale build of Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge from The Return of the Jedi by Okay Yaramanoglu. It captures all of the essential details, from the sarlacc to the bantha and the smaller skiffs, all within a 16×16 stud footprint. Some true fans may object to the beak on the sarlacc, but it is still well done. Perhaps we can edit it out later, when the special edition is released.
The rowboat is an inspired touch for the sail barge, recreating the hull shape so effectively I am shocked to have never seen it done before (or perhaps I’ve just been living under a Krayt dragon skeleton for too long, and it has been done before). The red sails could use some dust or sand on them, since everything on Tatooine is dusty and sandy, but the simple pieces imitate the shape perfectly for this scale. The old Technic toothed plates give some clever connections for the skiffs, and the hair for the bantha is amazing. All in all, I think this is a great Pit of Carkoon.
Between the recent launch of the Disney+ streaming service, and the release of The Rise of Skywalker, there is no shortage of inspiration these days for Star Wars-inspired LEGO creations, and while many builders chose the most iconic scenes to re-create, some prefer to show a different side, like Hypolite Bricks. This scene from the trenches of Hoth is jam-packed with great details. The rebels have a nice E-web heavy repeater blaster, and I bet they are better shots than those Stormtroopers. But I think my favorite part is that hatch next to the turret, which gives the troopers a way to duck out of the cold for a round of hot cocoa.
Some really great large Game of Thrones LEGO creations have been built in the last few years (if I don’t say so myself). Ekjohnson1 has built a number of amazing smaller Game of Thrones models, including this masterful vignette of Tyrion Lannister and Jorah Mormont sailing through Valyria. The amount of detail jam-packed into this small scene is amazing.
Right off the bat, I have to recognize the parts chosen for the custom minifigs. There is no question which characters are represented. Beyond that, there is so much to be in awe of here, such as the wands and claws as reeds. Two techniques stand out as most impressive to me both being held together by gravity and balance. First, the upside-down green hats being used as a plant – amazing. Second, and fittingly described at the bottom of the paragraph, is the use of 1×1 round tiles at the bottom of the model to represent the water simply but effectively.
LEGO builder Deborah Higdon brings us this cheery home vignette to wish us a merry Christmas. Like all the best things about the holidays, it’s simple yet crafted with great thoughtfulness and care. From the shingled tile roof to the clean siding, working porch lights, and the delicate railings wrapped in garland, each aspect of this house is a masterwork of details working together to create a realistic house.
But Deborah didn’t just stop at the outside; after all, what’s Christmas without a comfy interior? The tree has been removed in this photo so that we can see extra interior details, but don’t worry, it’s definitely there. Check out Deborah’s album for more details.
Don’t get me wrong; I love LEGO space ships. The more swooshable a build, the happier I am. Sometimes though, it’s not about the ship, but the people who keep them flying. In Repair Yard, builder Inthert shows us a slice of life from the mechanics who keep things moving. (And, apparently, the cat that helps out, too.) This model was created for a contest focused on the creative use of grill tiles, and there’s certainly several great examples of that here. Note how they are used with crossbows in the radar array on the right, as texture for the crates, and the steps in the stairs on the gantry. Look even closer, and you’ll see them as part of the engine detailing (coupled via minifigure handcuffs, no less) and the work stations in the background.
The rest of the build is fun, too. I like the crack in the paved area created by keeping a slight gap between sloped elements, and the choice of lilac for the plant stems gives the whole thing a nice extraterrestrial vibe. I do wonder, however, if I’m reading the story of this vignette correctly. It sure looks like the mechanic on the ladder pushed that shiny red button, giving the other tech a face full of soot from the engine. Surely Inthert would be nicer to these characters, right?
There’s more than meets the eye with this clever build by Maxim Baybakov. At first glance, you may get vibes of a noir scene of a minifigure murder taking place. While that may seem dark, the truth is hidden in the shadows of two figures seemingly beheading a LEGO minifigure torso. All isn’t what it seems.