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.
Are you aware of the phenomenon called Minifig Habitats? It’s essentially an 8x8x8 diagonal vignette that can be stacked and interlocked to form a pyramid display. However, there is a more popular habitat style that isn’t diagonal and has less open space. These habitats first appeared on Flickr in 2016 and were popularised by LEGO fan sites in the last few years. Since then, they became a nice way for people to show off LEGO Collectible Minifigures in a small dynamic display. Kristel Whitaker takes it to the next level by reimagining minifig habitats into a diorama of a pergola, a balcony, and a potting shed.
The white structures provide a bright canvas for plants to grow on and make the diorama clean and minimalist. In addition, the nougat flooring brings a lovely warm contrast to the blue backdrop of Kristel’s photo. There’s plenty of other colours as well, from the yellows and pinks of the flowers to the blues and reds of the potting shed in the lower right habitat. All of these come together in a concise diorama that are clearly different parts of the same house.
Want to build your own minifig habitats? Here is the template.
They say no one can survive in the Wild West without a gun and a fast horse. But what about sunscreen? I’m not sure whether the hero of this funny vignette by Megacolormix has enough sunscreen in his wagon, but the horse looks particularly excited for the journey. Actually, this is a perfect example of how emotions can be expressed through shape and posture. You don’t need that many different printed faces if you know how to place your characters in the shot. The scenery behind the wagon is a little piece of art; the forced perspective works perfectly here, creating a vast desert stretching to the horizon.
There’s something special about a family building LEGO together. Dave Kaleta and son, Elliot, collaborated on this slice-of-life diorama. It was a gift to Elliot’s grandmother, celebrating one of their favorite shared activities: watering the plants in her back yard together. The quality of the build is stunning, but the sentiment behind this is even more touching. But…since this is a LEGO-focused site, let’s take a moment to appreciate the offset between the tiles in the patio, the use of fences in the chairs, and the expressive characters. Even the watering can is a tiny bit of joy.
If you like this collaboration between Dave and Elliot, you’ll be amazed at the work they did together on their Alphabet fleet.
How small can the dark lord get? This teeny, tiny tower of Barad-dûr from The Lord of the Rings was constructed by LEGO builder Hubba Blöoba, and it’s got all the right notes despite its diminutive size. A pair of grey bananas make the two spikes that ring the all-seeing eye, while clips and slopes make up the jagged tower itself. The atmospheric clouds elevate this little vignette further and give it an appropriate sense of foreboding.
It’s nice to take break from huge builds and enjoy a LEGO creation that’s zoomed in a bit more. Hubba Blöoba invites to visit Middle Earth in this nifty little vignette. The Iron Forge 2021 seed part of the minifigure torso inspired this build, appearing as windows and…clouds? Sure, why not? The rolling green hills are also well executed, as is the forced perspective from the gate in the foreground leading to the seemingly distant burrow. Other cool details are the ox horns framing the front door, and the grill tile forming the slats in the fencing. Careful, though. This sort of creative part usage can be hobbit forming.
Jonesin’ for more Tolkien-esque goodness? Check out some other featured builds!
Isaac Snyder shows us a LEGO castle creation can be vibrant and colorful too. He used colors I normally wouldn’t consider using. The grass is not just greener on the other side, and it is lime green. The trees are in full autumn colors. The little bakery has lovely dark turquoise details combined with a dark blue roof. The use of the curved windscreen for the roof over the entrance is absolutely stunning. But the absolute best-used part has to be the pentagonal wedge and a wand used as a store sign.
Remember when your parents told you that there weren’t monsters under your bed, in your closet, or outside your window? Well, this LEGO build by Flickr user Brixe63 certainly paints a different picture. Not only are there monsters in this little brick-built room, but the room itself is also a monster!
The wallpaper for this room is built out of white and sand green plates and tiles. The monster window utilizes modified 1x1s and 1x2s with teeth pieces in white and red, depicting a bloody mouth fresh after a kill perhaps. Many dark green vine elements creep from the door or erupt through the walls and floor like tentacles looking for a fresh grab. There’s even a ghostly white minifigure hand reaching out from the little cabinet whose drawers are made out of brown bucket handles. The floor is made out of tiles laid on their sides not connecting to any studs, this is a good approach for this build as they can be arranged in a messier way in order to give the floor a lively appearance. This room is definitely a room out of a childhood nightmare, and I am glad I am not the poor minifigure lying in bed in terror.
2020 has been a hard year for everyone, and some of us have put on a few extra quarantine pounds. Ian Hou’s LEGO Santa Claus is no exception, as evidenced by the quarter round bricks shaping his belly. It seems that Jolly ole Saint Nick misjudged how many milk and cookies he’d been eating.
Now a previously comfortable slide down a chimney is a bit more than a tight squeeze! I think Santa jumped in pretty fast and built up some speed too because of the angle on those hinged bricks tell me chunks of that chimney are flying off pretty quickly. And I think he’s noticed too, the 1×3 arches forming his mouth look like his “Ho! Ho! Ho!” has turned into an “Oh! Ow! Ow!”
This month’s cover photo from Andrea Lattanzio takes us back to the wild. The Magic Bus we’ve been treated with before has now been treated with snow, which makes for a lovely winter scene.
The bus remains familiar, but there have been some added details to give depth and texture to the snow. Additionally, trees that were once leaf-filled are now barren and covered with snow, the firs have been replaced with white branches, and the clever touch of icicles added to the bus windows complete the scene.
Be sure to visit Norton74’s flickr page for a bit of history on this bus that no longer resides in Alaska’s wilderness. It’s an interesting story that makes for a great scene.
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I’m loving everything about this other-worldly scene by captainsmog! From the satisfyingly shaped spaceship that is reminiscent of the Rocket Boy LEGO Collectable Minifigure, to the cleverly crafted plants. The creative parts usage is rad and makes me want to go dig through my oddball parts. I particularly love the claw elements used to make the wavy red and orange… thingy? Genius!
This builder is not a stranger to TBB. He built one of the first tensegrity builds we featured.
Who doesn’t like a good LEGO model & vignette predicting the dystopian future of unsanctioned household google robot fights? These particular LEGO robots built by Finn were programmed to nurse and beat each other up.
Finn fashions these robots out of a menagerie of small elements such as slopes, 1×1 circular tiles, 1×1 cheese slopes, and my favorite, the voodoo balls in red, which look like boxing gloves. The robot builds are definitely the highlight of the scene, but the rest of the arena is also brick-built using a number of common elements for the fighting ring. While an underground world of bot battles seems cool, I definitely wouldn’t want to be the target of those machine fists of rage.
Sure, 1×1 studs or square plates certainly can get a mosaic job done, the fairly recent LEGO Art sets are case in point, but there is always more than one approach to an art form. In this recent LEGO model built by Andreas Lenander, he admittedly takes a crack at a different way to mosaic with some inspiration from Katie Walker.
The approach here is primarily utilizing the 1×1 cheese slope in the creation of the mosaic. Lenander not only does a beautiful floor with this process of mosaic-work, but he also creates an amazing brick-built wall that has the aesthetic of a stained glass window using translucent clear 1×1 cheese slopes in popping complimentary colors. Of course, the structures formed by this technique are not stable as there aren’t any stud connections made here, but as long nobody is turning this model upside-down or giving it a good shake, we have an amazing build to look at. Pictured below is a closer look at the painstaking process.