If you grew up in the 90s watching European television, there’s a good chance you love Pingu. The stop-motion animated adventures of the adorable little penguin ran for over 15 years starting in 1990. Builder Johan Alexanderson has made four tiny LEGO scenes of an ordinary day in the life of Pingu as he putters about his nicely furnished Antarctic igloo. The penguins are an adorable mix of minifigure elements and bricks with a little customization for the eyes. Noot noot!
Over the last year Roanoke Handybuck has built something of a reputation for his wonky building style. Celebrating the shapes and forms of the medieval period he focuses on capturing the way wooden beams bend and walls subside. In this latest model, titled Eldford Market, he demonstrates in a tiny 16 x 16 baseplate all the LEGO techniques synonymous with his work. Everywhere you look, bricks are matched irregularly or held at off-centre angles, whether it’s in the cobbled street or as part of the weathered tower. The icing on the cake, though, has to be the way the upper floor of the main building tilts elegantly into its neighbouring sloped roof – brilliant!
I love a bit of creepy LEGO, and this scene by Leonid An is probably as unsettling as they come. The Scala baby figure is a perfect foil for this grim tale of genetic experimentation. Lit from below in its artificial birthing pod, the infant’s eyes are covered, as it is slowly infused with whatever vile substance lingers in the second dome. The control panel has a retro-futuristic feel, with its rainbow displays and offset cartridges; an ominous bin of discarded limbs at its side. It’s just another example of the LEGO brick’s untapped uncanny potential.
Building with LEGO is very much like performing a magic show; each time you need a particular slope or a suitable minifigure torso, they just disappear! Although, this beautiful vignette by captainsmog doesn’t include more sophisticated or rare LEGO pieces, it remains very eye-catching and funny. Thanks to captainsmog’s smart use of space, tall curtains help to significantly extend the scene’s vertical field of view. This in turn places the action in the center. We don’t know if the trick went well, but let’s hope there’s a spare pair of legs in the builder’s collection…
Sometimes, the leviathan is small. In this magnificent tiny vignette by Grantmasters, a lone ship rides a ferocious ocean. It’s a safe bet that it’s the Pequod, since it’s hunting a white whale. As usual, Grant’s build is rife with excellent parts usages, from the little known Belville figure feet making most of the whale’s body, to the beard for a tail, or the axe blades for water.
There is something about the jungle that just fills me with all sorts of unexplainable pleasant feelings. While I understand that the humid hell filled with insects that is a real-life jungle would evoke a different kind of emotion, that does not mean we can’t enjoy an insect-free jungle shrine from our armchairs, like this one built in LEGO by Jonas Kramm. This is more than just a pretty build though, Jonas has created this “Shrine of Nature” to explore the unusual use for minecraft animal head pieces as described in his article on the New Elementary blog.
The focus of the build is the central pattern built out of multiple Minecraft wolf heads in two staggered rows, with a lit up translucent green background, giving a mysterious tone to the creation. The exotic and unique plant and animal life in the scene are great too, using all sorts of exotic pieces in unique ways.
Advice suggests avoiding eating heavy meals before bed. Nick Sweetman, the builder of this crazy rainbow nightmare, appears to have thrown caution to the wind. His bedroom scene is littered with treats and snacks galore. That Wonka bar hinting at the seriously psychedelic side effects of consuming too much sugar before sleep. It’s a premise that has allowed Nick to unleash every colour in the LEGO palette – in fact there is an artist’s brush and palette suggestively tucked away on one of the shelves – in aide of creating the most marvellous, hallucinatory, maelstrom. It’s a vibrant, queasy, spectacle of a build that celebrates colour and chaos with little regard for sensible modelling conventions… and I love it!
In the year 2018, Aquasharks is not a word that would turn many heads apart from the occasional hardcore adult LEGO fan. For the younger crowd, Aquasharks is an underwater LEGO theme from the 90’s that had some imaginative set designs and play features like magnets (which, admittedly, were everywhere back then). As opposed to some other themes from the same years, this particular one doesn’t seem to get much love from the online LEGO community, but luckily Jonas Obermaier is here to give it five minutes of glory… perhaps this time we won’t forget about it again?
The build is technically a hardsuit, but the heavy use of minifig parts (the core of the top half is based on the Aquasharks SCUBA gear) blurs the line between a heavily modified minifig and a compact mecha. With the builder’s skills in minifig design, this is hardly surprising. All sorts of small colourful parts capture the motif of the Aquasharks prints, and with enough imagination, the dark blue minifig hand in the center of the torso could look like a shark symbol!
Framed in just the right way, any life can seem interesting on social media, as shown in a LEGO scene by Arnaud B. The build and shot are quite clever in this artistic social commentary, with the phone frame hiding the seams between grayscale “real life” and full color “Instagram-filtered life” perfectly.
It’s time to turn back the clocks, then turn them forward again, as we travel to a retro view of the future where flying cars totally exist and all mass transit is in stylish monorails like this sweet LEGO version by Tammo S. With nifty brick-built lettering adorning the sides and a crazy bit of fantastic retro aesthetic with a prop and fins on top, this monorail is ready to guide us to the future. While my favorite design element is the rounded corners of the passenger windows, don’t overlook the fact that the cockpit is built at a crazy angle, which is no mean feat.
We see many grand castles and medieval scenes built out of LEGO all over the internet, but sometimes it is the little gems that make you go “wow!” Today’s “wow” is alego alego‘s microscale castle series, which focus on interesting parts usages.
We’ll start with the sea castle, as well as some of his other microscale castle creations The latest build is particularly neat, using stud shooters as towers connected by tiny staircases. My favourite part is that the shooters have the triggers inserted, so technically, one could shoot the tops off the towers!
This wild west scene by captainsmog shows the transfer of a notorious prisoner to federal custody under the watchful eye of the local Sheriff. This is one bandit who won’t be rescued by his posse, hooking up a rope or chain to the side window and yanking the wall right off the jail. His only hope will be an ambush in Rattlesnake Gorge… if his henchmen can rustle up some dynamite, that is. The prison coach, while simple in construction, clearly looks sturdy enough to hold any bandit, and the use of log bricks is the perfect choice for the front office of this classic building.
It’s always nice to see a clever use of those parts that are somewhat specialized, and that many builders have in large supply. If you have ever purchased a collectible mini-figure, or 2, then you probably have a some of those 3×4 plates with studs down the middle. Used here to build a simple slat roof. The builder also created an undertaker’s office which features siding made from angled tiles. By far my favorite detail is the marvelous vultures fashioned from a minifig hairpiece and a hand for the head. There is something strangely spooky about carrion birds made from body parts…