Back in the early days of motor transportation, the internal combustion engine was far from the only option. For one, electric cars were roaming city streets a century before Tesla made it “cool.” There were also plenty of steam-powered options from the likes of Stanley, White, and the aptly named Locomobile. Inspired by this era, Krzysztof Pusz built a pair of princely-looking LEGO steam cars. My personal favorite is this dark green coal-hauling machine. Clear 1×2 plates look surprisingly nice as smoke, and the wood-grain tiles are used to great effect in forming the truck’s tilted bed. Another nice touch is the absence of a steering wheel in favor of a tiller mechanism. A lot of early cars featured tillers, which were levers used for steering.
A second variation on the steam theme is Krzysztof’s appropriately named U.BER. If you were having an Edwardian night on the town and had a bit too much to drink, you’d better call an U.BER! The use of a bladed claw minifigure element for hood louvers is particularly noteworthy and makes for a “steamtastic” job well done.
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Erstwhile LEGO gearhead guru Lino Martins is mixing it up, bringing us a big vignette of a haunting brackish backwater with a dark secret. This collection of treehouses forms a small bayou village, whose residents are sworn to placate a fearsome beast with blood sacrifices, often in the form of giant alligators lowered into the creature’s tentacled arms by means of a rickety contraption. The smooth dark green bricks make excellent ponds of stale water, with a smooth finish of algae broken only by a few small ripples as the monster’s arms raise.
What with the swamp being infested by an otherworldly horror, it’s best not to disturb that calm water, or indeed get anywhere near more than is absolutely necessary. That, plus the lack of land in the middle of swamp, means the townsfolk of Mangrove Swamp have all the necessities built on raised platforms, from farming to swine raising.
Lino isn’t just a builder, however. He’s also an artist in a more traditional medium, and he’s whipped up a fantastic cover to the fictional book set in Mangrove Swamp, depicting the story as a mid-century thriller.
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Bilbo and Frodo Baggins were born 78 years apart, but with exactly the same birthday, on the 22nd of September. It is their birthday today and thus they make a mark on our Gregorian calendar – declared as Hobbit Day! And to commemorate the festivities, builder Thorsten Bonsch gifts us with a vignette that’s worthy of a weary hobbit to rest and unwind with a warm and cozy corner of home tucked in a corner of the Shire. Thorston’s clever techniques with 1×1 plates for the arc of the fireplace and a tessellated centrepiece for the floor using an assortment of cheese slopes in a variety of colors, all lit with perfect lighting, makes this a breathtaking and picturesque scene.
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In the past we’ve covered 1:1 scale reproductions of boardgame boxes, computer monitors, even LEGO’s earliest wooden toys. Some builders have even set up display cases to show off original sets with some basic background mockups. What you’ve probably never seen is a lovingly recreated diorama of original box art made out of LEGO. Builder Renaud Petit has transported us back to 1989 when this Space Police set was originally produced.
Check out the original box art on Brickset:
Although this particular set was outside my age range, I still have nostalgic feelings for the dated old themes’ box art that featured landscaping, sunsets, and laser fields. We’d love to see this as a series: I have some recommendations. Shoot, even the recent 71043 Hogwarts Castle would look fetching with a detailed LEGO backdrop of that beautiful box!
If you have an appetite for more 1:1 scale LEGO models take a look through our tagged archives!
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