If you ever watched Avatar: The Last Airbender, you probably thought that things like flying bison sounded cool. Because bison are cool, and things that fly are even cooler, right? Or perhaps you loved Fantasia 2000, with the flying humpback whales. Whales don’t fly, but wouldn’t it be neat if they did? Perhaps that was the inspiration Tim Schwalfenberg had, as he created this delightful build of one of the great flying whales of the Eastern Cloud Sea, carrying a passenger who could well be from The Last Airbender based on his looks. Rolled up cloth and vinyl elements make for a nice detail on the back, and I always love seeing barrels made from two half-barrels joined together. Add in a spectacular harness, and you have a creation ready to soar above some lands, gallivanting through some airwaves.
Many LEGO fans talk about hunting for their white whale – that one set they’ve been searching for all their lives. This is, of course, an allusion to Captain Ahab’s ultimately fatal obsession with finding an actual white whale in Moby Dick (do 168 year old books need spoiler warnings?). It would seem that that fairy tale whale is still out there hunting ships, as Oliver Becker demonstrates.
Has the white whale grown to such an immense size to dwarf the ship? Or is she a regular-sized whale and it’s the ship that’s actually tiny? We’ll never know for sure, but we do know that there’s some excellent parts usage at play here. Dead center in the frame of the shot is a white lever base, expertly used as the whale’s eye. I really love the swords with jagged edges used to create a splash – those few parts convey the creature’s movement. And it’s a big splash, so maybe it really is a larger-than-life whale.
If you have ever visited a LEGO store you probably would have noticed the formidable floor-to-ceiling Pick-a-Brick wall. One bin may contain thousands of flower stems and another may have a crap-ton of these pointy bits (metric crap-ton if you’re Canadian). There’s no telling what you’ll find there and you can take this stuff home by the cup loads. For me, I’m like a kid in…some kind of store. While loading cups full of LEGO bricks can be exciting, building something cohesive exclusively with what you found at the Pick-a-Brick wall can be a tricky endeavor, but Mansur Soeleman clearly saw…a whale of an opportunity.
I see plenty of white 2×2 corner plates, lots of 2×2 plates in light bluish gray and plenty of clips make up the baleen. The end result is a pretty good facsimile of a blue whale. You can say Mansur had…a whale of a good time with this. You see, brilliant puns like that is why I am the highest paid Brothers Brick contributor ever. At least that’s what they told me…or at least that’s what I understood when they said “voluntary”. Wait, what does “conditional trial period” mean?
And if you liked this cetacean built from a limited palette of bricks as much as you enjoyed my puns, we’re sure you’ll also enjoy André Pinto’s bonsai tree, also built from nothing but Pick-a-Brick parts.
Creating organic natural shapes using plastic bricks is not a simple thing, and making those shapes fit together into something simple and beautiful is truly an art form. Despite being monochromatic, this sculpture of a Humpback whale by Anthony Séjourné does an amazing job of capturing the majestic grace of one of the world’s largest marine mammals. I especially liked the use of so many hollow studs to represent barnacles. And the fluke is quite nice as well (that’s the whale’s tail, for those less well versed in whale biology).
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.
When it comes to ocean-dwelling mammals, the majestic black and white killer whale (also known as an orca) is a fan favorite. The killer whale’s beauty is matched by its power, which can be seen when they breach the surface. Both of these characteristics are expertly captured by timofey_tkachev in his model of an orca leaping out of the waves. I am especially impressed by the builder’s ability to use a variety of curved and angular slope elements to capture both skin color patterns and the sleek shape of the whale’s body. The brick-built base with with waves following the whale’s trajectory is also a wonderfully believable touch, plus the builder included instructions for an added bonus.