Home is where the heart is, and this residence by Ayrlego, loosely inspired by houses in the civilization-building sim Age of Empires 2 is a sturdy place to raise a family, with strong walls, a nearby source of clean water, and shady trees to relax with the little ones. The textured bricks built into the frame are a nice connection to the building, as well as a frame for the ground made up of sloped bricks.
No matter what kind of creature you are, if you live in a desert environment, chances are you would enjoy a visit to this fantasy oasis by Peter Z for a chance to enjoy fresh fruit, and to sit by the fountain to let the cool breeze wash over you. Gold and teal accents provide a lovely contrast to the tan structure, and the walls are peppered with little irregularities caused by the cutting wind and sand.
This black castle by Aaron Newman which he calls Grimstone is a delightful blend of classic fantasy and a bit of industrial revolution, with smokestack-looking towers, and a hint of castle Greyskull, with those black claws flanking the main gate. The sloping bridge over flaming hot magma leads to a dilapidated town that is looking a bit worse for wear. I also love the many shades of orange plates used for the lava.
Builder Heikki M. brings us memories of childhood with this simple but perfect little LEGO bedroom vignette. Sometimes models don’t need to be over complicated to make an impression. The color work and studless modeling are just perfect and give an air of reality at first glance. I love the small pink play kitchen with its little details and the pop of green in the striped rug. The bunk bed looks like it just stepped out of IKEA catalog and probably took longer to build than it seems, just like real thing. The pillowcases and the rumpled sheet are not LEGO but are made from a real life pillow case. Non-LEGO additions can sometimes look disjointed, but here, it blends right in and adds to the realism of the model as a whole. The toys scattered around the room are a terrific final detail, but my favorite is the pink bird, seemingly tossed casually under the bed, just waiting to be picked up and played with.
Some movies really tug on your heartstrings, getting you deep in the feels. For nerds out there like me, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom might tug on some heartstrings, too–or at least Mola Ram does. Ha. When I look at this LEGO model built by Henry Tilney, I certainly get the feels. What’s not to like? There is a great representation of some mining carts going down a roller coaster (clearly placed in the film for that amusement park tie-in), and there is Indiana himself, the eminent archaeologist/grave robber Henry Jones, Jr., perched beside a pit of lava. Hopefully he doesn’t end up burning up! Topping it all off is a camel, which doesn’t feature in The Temple of Doom that I recall, but certainly can be found in the final installment of the Indiana Jones trilogy, The Last Crusade.
These days any distraction is a good distraction, and Cecilie Fritzvold brings us a very good distraction, indeed. This awesome LEGO arcade features games that incorporate the dynamite bundle element. There are three of them in the video game, and several in the claw machine–most notably as part of the claw assembly itself. I also want to call out the quality setting for these arcade classics: the flooring has just the right “cheap linoleum” look, and the printed 2×2 tiles on the wall make for excellent posters. And that strawberry malt is just too cute. Man, I really want to try to win something out of that claw machine. It’s probably rigged, though.
If you love claw machines as much as I do, you’ll also want to check out this fully functional human-scale LEGO claw machine.
If you are traveling across the land in winter, a place to shelter for the night and get out of the cold can be a true treasure. In this scene by Andreas Lenander, a humble stone tower provides a place for weary travelers to escape the harsh temper of winter. The use of stacked mason bricks at the corners provides subtle texture, along with the simple choice of a few green plates. I also love the river breaking out of the base, with some transparent plates to give the brook a babbling appearance.
If you are planning to explore distant planets in search of scientific discoveries, You could find no more stylish way to do it than aboard this little rover by Mountain Hobbit. Not only does it have the latest in long-range communication tech, but you can even grow all your own food in the hydroponics bay, and scan the horizon with a state of the art sensor package. One of my favorite details is the wheels, which show the side usually faced toward the vehicle, with dark green tiles shoved into the spaces in the rubber.
Either the hunter in this LEGO creation by Tino Poutiainen is secretly a pacifist, or he’s just clueless, as he strolls along between the giant legs of the elusive Birchwood Elk. A creature who might have been entirely inspired by those black parts used for the hooves, which are truly the perfect part. The foliage sprinkled throughout the legs and antlers, along with the blend of black parts mixed in with the white simulate the distinct look of a Birch tree.
In my opinion, one of the most terrifyingly fantastic beasts in the Harry Potter series was found in Aragog. Although he was friendly to Harry and his friends, he was still a giant spider and that’s just all sorts of freaky. LEGO builder CheeseyStudios brings us a small vignette of the entrance to Aragog’s lair, making me wish any of the several official LEGO sets had looked half this good. The massive toppled tree has the heft it should, with lighter color wood exposed where it cracked. And Aragog himself feels more spindly and spider-like than his official counterparts, But the best detail, in my opinion, is the little mushrooms sprouted from the log. They’re a simple design combining a radar dish and a beveled gear, but together they make the smooth top and fluted undersides perfectly. Combined with a black sausage for a curving stem, and you couldn’t ask for a better LEGO fungus.
Indoor plumbing is the best invention since…well, indoor plumbing. You can flush away all your troubles and it all goes away-somewhere. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But sometimes your troubles come back to haunt you. That’s when you got to call in the professionals. They’ll charge you an arm and a leg but…whaddaya gonna do? Martin van Wezel has built a dynamic LEGO vignette of a scene we can only hope will never happen to us. The good news is if you were looking for a dramatic water fountain in your bathroom like rich people have in their gardens, then this scenario has you covered. It looks like Martin simulated the water gush using energy effects; parts currently only available in five sets in this color.
My favorite LEGO builds are always ones that contain story, humor and lots of color. Builder Victor hits all three of these points perfectly and throws in a little absurdity for good measure. As the story goes, Diogenes Trexler ordered a pizza on his home planet that smelled so delicious it attracted the attention of a giant worm. Plotting his escape, our pizza-loving hero created an ill-advised portal that opened on to the bathroom of one very surprised bather.
The landscaping and colorwork in this piece are gorgeous and there is a minimum of visible studs, giving it a very slick look. The worm really pops with its blue colors and excellent shape. The alien fauna is colorful and appropriately weird and creepy. The portal is nicely rendered with transparent pieces and the change between the two universes is wonderful, going from organic shapes to the clean tiles of a modern bathroom. The surprised bather, caught in mid blow-dry is the perfect punch line with his terrified face and hair blowing toward the ceiling. In my opinion, it’s little touches like these that make the difference between a good model and a great one.