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.
It was 90 degrees yesterday. Sure, Thanksgiving is next week. I think that’s why I responded so warmly to this delightful vignette by gGh0st. My favorite shows are already peppered with ads featuring snowmen and elves. The shopping center across the street even has a giant Christmas tree in its center. But this past weekend, on our way to get some ice cream, my wife and I saw some kids playing in our community pool. And who could blame them? It’s hot.
So, it was nice to know someone else wasn’t thinking about gingerbread and raking leaves. This ode to the CMF Series 21 Beekeeper shows him tending to his hive in a backyard that’s ready for some summer fun. I say we join Mr. Beekeeper, grill up some honey mustard chicken, pour some lemonade, and pretend it’s still August.
Do you sometimes feel like the world is going to pieces? Like we’re building to the apocalypse that will be the downfall of civilization as we know it? If so, maybe you should try building your own desert bunker, just like the guy in this LEGO creation by hachiroku92. This cross-sectional vignette lets us get a good look at how this prepper will ride out the collapse beneath the desert sands. And as far as doomsday bunkers go, it’s pretty nice. There’s a sturdy reinforced access point, plenty of provisions, and even a nice sitting area. I’m less clear on what the voids above the bunker are, though, but maybe I’m not up on my doomsday prep.
And I wasn’t actually kidding about building your own doomsday bunker. While it’s not quite a parts list and instructions, Hachiroku92 has made a build video if you want to follow along at home.
Expert builder Tim Goddard is no stranger to grey greebly things. Co-writer of LEGO Space: Building the Future, he excels in spaceships, space stations, space robots, and really anything to do with space. This collection of robots—sorry, droids—must have been child’s play for him, as they are as simple as they are accurate.
While the astromech, the treadwell, and mouse droids are something we’ve seen in Star Wars numerous times, the larger Binary Loadlifter isn’t as common. Essentially a walking forklift, a plethora of greebly parts make up this lanky mechanical beast. Cabinet doors make up the arms, which provide ample space to lift even the large Imperial crates we see. But my favourite parts usage has to be the use of black Bionicle Toa Metru leg armour as the base for one of the smaller droids. Is it a mouse droid? No, those are the tiny ones. Mouse droid XL? My droid knowledge escapes me…
Tim even built a diorama of a room storing some of the crates. This could either be on the Death Star or aboard a Star Destroyer, since the white vertical lines are a defining characteristic of the Empire’s space brutalism. Tim’s iconic greenling takes a minimal approach here, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It enhances the mechanical nature of this cold room somewhere in the coldness of space…
When you get right down to it, Halloween is all about the mystery of what lies inside other people’s houses. Sometimes it’s investigating what is causing the strange events connected to that spooky house on the hill. Sometimes it’s just a question of finding out which house on the block is handing out the best candy. Thomas Gion and his partner have built an ode to both situations with these seasonal microscale vignettes.
The Antechamber. An otherworldly room on the edge of space and time. In this LEGO build by Disty, two intergalactic travelers have come face-to-face for the first time. Will they be friends or foes? Will they enlighten each other about the secrets of the cosmos? Or are they just going to spend as much time admiring those pillars as I have?
It’s probably that last one.
The builder has found an exceptional use for a part that most people might discard as too specialized and has turned no less than 32 Bionicle arms into the framework of a wondrous piece of architecture. The result is a build that’s equal parts “sci-fi epic” and “art museum atrium.” It’s taken five years to get the design exactly right, and the final results are definitely worth it. The colors of the room pair perfectly with the printing on the globe positioned in the center of the room, and the dark purple on the Metroid Prime-inspired alien gives the whole scene a perfect pop.
Oh, castles. Though the LEGO Group did pretty well with the classic yellow brick, fans of LEGO have taken it to new levels. Textured castle walls with ornate and abstract embellishments stand as works of art that emulate life in medieval times through a fantastical lens. Builder Kevin Peeters is one such detailed builder whose models grab the eye and immerse you in a level of realism often sought after. Here he brings us his dream castle, a towering keep with fine carpentry perched on rocks and surrounded by water. Let’s check out this dollhouse-style model that Kevin calls Krylhan Castle.
The outer portions of the model show off various techniques from the masonry of the walls to the angles and insets of the wooden residential sections, Kevin shows us that he knows the system well. Tank treads are used in the main windows, with wheels used in the chimney above. Offset and layered plates help achieve a textured and curved look for the rooves. The display base makes for a great anchor into the world around the castle while still allowing the focus to be on its tall, slim, ornate construction.
There are so many different types of LEGO elements that you can build pretty much anything you can imagine. Some builders make spaceships, some make robots, others make houses large and small. Khang Huynh takes inspiration from familiar sights they see everyday, like this noodle cart stationed next to a dilapidated utility pole. I love the way one end of the cart is propped up an extra stool. The steam added to the photograph, and the dark lighting really help to set the scene.
We’re all familiar with the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Probably everyone reading this can sum it up in just a few words: Magic beans, giant’s castle, golden goose. But how many of us could tell the story in brick form as well as Markus Rollbühler has? Considering this vignette sits on just a 12×12 footprint, it’s amazing how much technique is packed into it. From the books and their detailed pages, to the microscale farmland, to the magic castle in the clouds. I’m particularly enamored with the use of Clone Trooper helmet antennae as a windmill. And that brick built “J” replicating a medieval drop cap is the sort of detail that makes this small vignette a giant-sized success.
Spinning us a magical tale, Chris Perron has built a 12×12 vignette depicting two thieves stealing a magical potion from the storeroom of a busy wizard. Chris was inspired by Harry Potter and Hero Quest, and the influences really shine through. There’s a lot to love in this whimsical build. Chris makes great use of color throughout, and there are plenty of wonderful details like the slightly askew boards on the trap door. The stack of scrolls on the top floor, made by attaching 1×1 cones together with a trio of One Rings is a great touch. One has to wonder what these thieves plan to do with the magical elixir. Restore a fallen comrade? Win the heart of a fair maiden? Or maybe they just think it’s booze…
Myleth Dorei is under attack by a vicious dragon. His terrible flame breath has bisected the island, cutting off the small fishing village from the castle with a trail of charred forest. Will the islanders survive this brutal attack? Only builder Andreas Lenander knows for sure. Andreas has done an excellent job at rendering a complex story in a small space with this microscale vignette. It’s full of lots of clever details, like using some Harry Potter wands still connected to a spur as the castle gate. And the dragon is effectively rendered in very few pieces, so that it’s light enough to be suspended in the sky by the fire that its breathing. But my favorite detail is the hollow space in the center, covered with trans-clear plates that allow the light from an iPhone to shine upwards, creating a true sense of a raging inferno.
You may or may not be familiar with the Unimog – Mercedes’s all-wheel-drive multi-purpose utility vehicle. Usually they can be found constructing European highways or operating farm equipment. LEGO Technic veteran Kyle Wigboldy built the Unimog U-400 with an orange cab cleverly constructed with a combination of Technic elements and traditional LEGO. It took me a closer look to realise that this isn’t an official set from ten years ago, but rather a smaller build. Now that I have taken a closer look, this is in the same scale as the upcoming LEGO Technic 4×4 Zetros, which is based on a similar Mercedes truck.
This build is packed to the brim with functions, such as the Technic essentials: engines, steering, suspension, all-wheel drive. This Unimog model also offers pneumatics, and power take-offs linked to the drive, which allow attachment equipments to be powered from the truck, as demonstrated by the motorised LEGO set. While this build does not come with attachments, it does have a flatbed with variable three-way tilt. You can check it out in the video below:
Check out some other Unimogs that other people have built!
Ralf Langer is on a roll. Using a technique he’s employed previously in some sci-fi builds, Ralf has created a gorgeous display piece worthy of a shelf in any captain’s quarters. And, while the shape of the build is bound to monopolize your attention, there are some smaller details here that are worthy of a second look. I particularly like the way he’s used color beneath the transparent light blue tiles. The ocean gets darker the further out from the land masses you go, creating a sense of ever deepening water. If you’d like a chance to build this yourself, you can sail over to the LEGO Ideas site to lend your support.