No bones about it, builder ZiO Chao knows their LEGO anatomy! Their impressive hybrid of System and Technic parts gives us a peek into our innermost core while still providing quite the possible finished model. The cranial crafting here is spot on, with an excellent pair of eye sockets and two dazzling rows of 1×1 plate teeth. And at the opposite end of the model, Mr. Skeleton’s feet are well-crafted. I particularly like the detail of a distinctly larger hallux, or “big toe,” compared to the rest of the foot. And the use of the robot arms for the metatarsals gives each pedal construction the perfect arch on their underside.
There were few LEGO sets as a child that were precious to me, but one that was just perfect was the Black Falcon Fortress, and in this miniaturised digital form, ZiO Chao has realised a favourite set of mine that I needed to share! In building this in a miniature scale, ZiO hasn’t compromised on detail at all. Everything that made Black Falcon’s Fortress a great build can be found here too.
Lights, bricks, action! This month’s social media cover photo is Zio Chao‘s massive and detailed build of an ornate mansion. The Residence for the Governor-General of Taiwan is a central government building in Zio’s hometown of Taipei, Taiwan, built in a European architecture style at the start of the 20th century.
The brilliant (in my opinion) 2021 adaptation of Dune is finally out in theaters, and one of the most distinctive vehicles introduced in the Sci-fi epic is the flying ship known as the Ornithopter. ZiO Chao captures the details of this small craft perfectly. The book describes an insect-like multi-winged vessel that flies using a mechanical flapping motion but is also capable of jet-powered flight. Director Denis Villeneuve combined this inspiration with an Apache helicopter, so it is only fitting that ZiO used helicopter rotors for the wings.
Other details like the retractable ramp for boarding, and the landing gear that continue the insect vibe as they extend downward for landings. With photographic effects to add motion blur, you can almost hear the low whining thrum of the wing beats.
It is a dark and stormy night as you walk up the path to an old rickety house. The windows are boarded up; moss caresses the structure’s brickwork, and tiles are missing from the roof. Apprehensively, you approach the decrepit front door and knock. Silence. Suddenly, there is a noise of scampering feet from the other side of the door. You back away quickly. What could it be? Some deranged beast? A terrifying monster? The door is flung open and instead you are greeted by the ever so friendly Mr Skeleton, created by Zio Chao!
This is a wonderful build of a skeleton with adorable proportions. The large eye holes provide the model with a charming sense of character. The nose, or where a nose should be, is created by an arched window and a plate with a bar piece. The teeth appear to be made of 1×1 hollow studs placed over a flexible bar piece that portrays the skeleton’s cheerful grin.
From all of us at The Brothers Brick, we hope you have a safe and fun Halloween! Also, why not check out some of our other articles, relating to Halloween, to get you in the mood for this spooky day.
LEGO builder Zio Chao has built this wonderfully detailed mech from the Halo Wars 2 game. The machine is covered in armaments, although its primary weapon appears to be the huge railgun at its shoulder. This Lego version is fully articulated; with a swiveling waist, movable arms, and an interesting gear system at the hips that allows the mech to pose its legs. With some great shaping across the build, Zio Chao has portrayed an excellent rendition of the original design.
The long prominent legs are used to stomp and stun enemies in the game so it seems fitting that they are exquisitely detailed in this model. A gear track piece runs through the middle of each leg adding an extra level of depth to the robotic aesthetic. The feet, although thin and sharp in design, provide enough surface area for the build to maintain its balance. Continue reading
Here’s a supercute version of animation’s First Couple, put together in LEGO bricks by Zio Chao. They’re a little smaller than the official LEGO set versions of Mickey and Minnie, but Minnie’s dress makes good use of the printed wedges from that set. The rest of Minnie’s outfit is a masterclass in shaping — don’t miss those puffball shoulders! The faces are just as well built, expressive and immediately recognisable, despite being packed into a tight design. There’s also a clever use of the relatively new Ninjago dice spinner as the wrapper for the bouquet. (Although if Minnie takes a closer look I’m not sure she’ll be impressed with Mickey’s choice of wrapping paper — that spinner design is bedecked with skulls!)
You’ll need perfect timing to get past the snapping jaws of the lovely and deadly piranha plant unless you’ve got a power-up or an extra life up your sleeves. This pixel-perfect model of the most deadly of deciduous plants from the world of Mario, by ZiO Chao is packed with great details. From the gently curving leaves to the rounded Mario-munching mouth to that shiny pink tongue.
If you are a UNSC soldier in need of close air support, the Falcon will fly to your aid! Created by LEGO builder ZiO Chao, this low-altitude combat aircraft from the Halo video games has been recreated in brick form.
The legendary Falcon aircraft were first seen in the game Halo Reach. ZiO’s model comes with the autocannon mounted under the cockpit, as well as the troop bay in the middle that can ferry soldiers and Spartans to the battlefield. The smooth design of the propeller engines and main aircraft body is a testament to ZiO’s skill with LEGO bricks. I really like the yellow lights on either side of the central intakes as well.
What I appreciate most, however, are the details in this build that ZiO didn’t have to do but included anyway. For example, I think the white stripes on the prop tips matching the stripes on the cockpit canopy was a deliberate choice. The angled wings on the tail are also a nice touch. It’s the little things like these that make this an incredible LEGO creation.
It’s not usually our thing to feature LEGO works in progress. But when ZiO Chao posted a sprig of plum blossom, we featured it. Who could blame us, really? The subject was expertly crafted and photographed with utmost care. The sprig alone was rather breathtaking, actually. So you can imagine our thrill to learn the sprig was a mere teaser for this entire Bonsai plum tree. The builder tells us that the plum blossom is one of the most beloved flowers in China and has been frequently depicted in Chinese art and poetry for centuries. They can bloom in the winter and have therefore come to symbolize perseverance and hope, as well as beauty and purity. In my opinion, the official Botanical Collection has been the best new idea LEGO has come up with in a while. They have been the inspiration for so many beautiful creations such as this.
Builder ZiO Chao has given a us a beautiful rendition of a somewhat obscure character from the Mario Universe, Peachette. She made her first appearance in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and is a unique form of another character but looks like Princess Peach. It’s all a bit confusing, but I digress.
This figure contains a lot of nice parts use and clever build techniques. The petals on her dress make use of the 4X4 with Bow brick combined with a few other types of curved bricks and plates to create a pleasing shape. The arms and puffy sleeves are nicely constructed and the modeling of the face and hair is detailed and full of character. The attention to detail includes perfect recreations of her unusual crown and trademark bow using the 1×1 heart tile. The pose is wonderful and really captures Peachette’s essence, bringing the whole character to life.
Even before LEGO’s recent release of 75936 Jurassic Park T-Rex Rampage, dinosaurs have been a popular subject for builders. ZiO Chao has apparently found the historically-based thunder lizards a bit too tame, though. Why just recreate a single species when you can add in a bit of mad science to remix the most fearsome aspects of three of them? ZiO has combined the raptor, T-Rex, and spinosaurus into a reptilian death machine named Spino-Tyraptor. This model is highly poseable, including some creative arm joints using pneumatic T-pieces. The head is expertly shaped, and the use of a spoiler for the tongue really works well.
Just as nature intended, the most eye-catching part of the creature is the fin. Carrying the dark red of the head along the spine, it reaches up with brighter reds highlighted with grey and orange 1×1 round plate and capped with quarter-round coral tile. We may not know what the true function of spinosaurus’ fin was, but I’m guessing here it’s a combination of threat display, heat regulation, and wi-fi antenna. Hey, if you’re going to genetically mix something like this, why stop at what nature thought of?