We are embarking on a new small series called City Minis! Essentially the goal is to create short instructional videos for the lego builder to populate his or her city with. Between the houses and towers, and around the streets and walkways are a multitude of mini build options to personalize your cityscape with. It’s like the mortar between the bricks, or the small details where it often counts the most. So we’ll be building a wide range of things from park benches and parking meters, to bus stops and construction barricades.
So today we are starting our series off with Parking Meters! Check out the video on how to make your very own. Build lots of little meters to place streetside, and even the enforcing Metermaid Mobile!
Before anything else, I would like to clarify that what I’m about to say has nothing to do whatsoever with the availability of the still sold out, and frustratingly elusive, LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon (75192). However, I’ve been hearing news recently that certain LEGO certified stores outside of the US, particularly in Australia and Singapore, where AFOLs were fortunate enough to pre-order and purchase 50 sets of these brick-built Corellian freighters. The way it seems, it was kind enough of LEGO to set aside at least a few sets for its business partners (certified stores) in various regions where the LEGO VIP program is unavailable.
For those who are still patiently hitting the F5 buttons on their keyboards, and constantly refreshing shop.LEGO.com’s UCS Millennium Falcon product page for the hope of seeing that Add to Bag button, then you may want to check this out first. LEGO has recently uploaded into their servers the massive, 468-page building instructions for the UCS Millennium Falcon (75192). Since I haven’t seen nor held the set myself, I am naturally curious on what the building instructions may contain. If you want to download the full instructions in pdf format – a total of 83MB in file size – just head over to this link. I’ve posted the first introductory pages of the building instructions which you can find below. It provides a background on the history of the Millennium Falcon itself, and the design process involved in creating the largest LEGO set ever, with interviews from the members of the design team.
If there is one particular scene in the Lord of the Rings trilogy that really send shivers down my spine is that scene in The Return of the King where the noble Army of Rohan was overwhelmed at the sight of several gigantic beasts looming on the horizon (similar to how the Resistance may have probably felt when faced with a line of formidable First Order Heavy Assault Walkers as we saw from The Last Jedi trailer). Perhaps other than the TLOR classic fight scene between the hellish Balrog and Gandalf (which Tyler impressively re-enacted in brick form with his LEGO LOTR Custom Balrog Battle set), the war elephants used in the Battle of Pelennor Fields is one LOTR scene that I really wish LEGO has included in this theme.
Thankfully, Brickshow’s master builder Tyler knows how much we love Lord of the Rings, and has a good grasp of LOTR lore as well. For his third LOTR-themed MOC, we now present to you, the mighty and proud Oliphant!
Fighting the Oliphant in battle as seen in The Return of the King, proved to be quite a Herculian task for our heroes. The mere sight of the massive war animal is enough to make even the bravest warrior cast doubt if such a creature can be taken down. This overwhelming feeling of sheer size and raw strength was perfectly captured by Tyler in this custom built LEGO Oliphant. Now honestly, we wished LEGO could have made one, but it was a bummer that LEGO didn’t make that call in adding the Oliphant in the TLOR line-up. So for now, let’s see all the nice features that Tyler included in his latest LEGO TLOR wishlist. Check this out.
First off, the LEGO LOTR Oliphant MOC has excellent articulation in all of its four massive legs starting with its knees using Technic joint pieces. Tyler also used sturdy ball joints for the ankles which can flex and be posed in various directions. The hips of the Oliphant are also articulated which allows the legs to be rotated at various angles, allowing the behemoth to be posed in different positions.
The Oliphant’s head is attached to its body using a strong ball joint that also acts as a support to counter the weight of the head. It also allows the head to be moved from left to right, creating a swaying motion as seen in the film. This swaying motion of the Oliphant’s head, coupled with its menacing 2 pairs of tusks, is perhaps the most devastating feature of the Oliphant in the battle field. The trunk and primary tusks are also articulated using a variety of Mixel joints, allowing it a more flexible and fluid motion, while the jaw can also be opened and closed using a hinge.
This LEGO Oliphant also comes with a variety of battle accessories as we see in the film, including a chain connected to its tusks to use in sweeping the battlefield, and the menacing, three-tiered Haradrim tower mounted on its back. The tower also comes equipped with several spear launchers to add an extra punch to the Oliphant’s lethal capabilities.
One of the best parts in this scene is when Legolas single-handedly defeated an Oliphant using a combination of acrobatic moves and top-notch archery skills. This particular scene has been nicely re-enacted by Tyler by adding a simple carrottop piece on the sides of the Oliphant’s legs, allowing Legolas’ minifig counterpart to grab hold of it and maneuver his way up to the tower. As seen from the film, these are actually arrows that got stuck to the beast’s extraordinarily thick skin. It is so embedded in the Oliphant’s skin that the arrow itself can support the weight of Legolas.
Overall, this is such an excellent MOC that LEGO designers may find worth considering. Both AFOLs and KFOLs will certainly appreciate its play features and aesthetic value. Frankly, there is still a lot of potential in the LEGO Lord of the Rings theme that I sincerely wish LEGO will give it a second look and perhaps create more sets than just the 16 builds that they previously came up with. However, if you are impressed as much as I am with this latest LOTR MOC wish set from Tyler (you may also want to check out his LEGO LOTR Custom Balrog and Prancing Pony sets), then you have the option of building one of your own by simply heading over to BuildBetterBricks.com and download this MOC’s building instructions. For a minimal fee, you can have the building instructions in PDF format plus a parts list to see if you have any of the pieces needed to create the Oliphant, and a Stud.io file to export the parts list via Bricklink.
Be sure to follow us on Twitterand Facebook for more awesome LEGO MOCs, news, reviews and pretty cool, brick-built stuff. Happy building!
Talk about Nintendo and dinosaurs and there is only one thing that will immediately pop in every one’s mind – Yoshi! I have to admit, this may be a long overdue project but thankfully, Tyler also shares our same love with the most faved Nintendo dinosaur of all time. Coming in at 247 pieces, Tyler’s next wish set MOC features a fun version of Yoshi complete with an extendable tongue and the iconic green spotted egg. Watch this.
Tyler’s version of Yoshi is really spot-on. Though Tyler would personally prefer a somewhat brighter green color scheme for Yoshi, his use of nice, lime green pieces certainly makes up for that. These lime green pieces are also readily available which means we have a better chance of building one of our own LEGO Yoshi without searching for the necessary pieces far and wide.
As you can see from the video, there is a lot of articulation that goes on with our LEGO Yoshi MOC. His arms have a certain degree of mobility, while his legs, which are mounted on ball joints, are very much posable as well. It’s kind of fun to have Yoshi posed on different angles, whether standing up or sitting down.
LEGO Yoshi’s head is also movable thanks to Tyler’s use of a sturdy Technic ball joint. The mouth may also be opened or closed which, together with Yoshi’s articulated head (or neck, depending on how you look at it) allows a wide range of poses and a certain natural look typical of Yoshi’s character.
Tyler also managed to cleverly recreate Yoshi’s trademark turtle shell at the back of this build by using SNOT (Studs Not On Top) techniques. This is one of the reasons we are so impressed with Tyler’s brick-building skills considering how he comes up with solutions or alternatives for relatively hard-to-find LEGO pieces. He originally thought of using a red-colored, half-dome piece which is quite difficult to find since they only come in certain Atlantis sets. So to make up for this rare piece, Tyler managed to recreate Yoshi’s red turtle shell by substituting certain red colored cheese slopes.
Of course, one of the other things that goes well with Tyler’s Yoshi MOC is the iconic green-spotted egg and his extendable, chameleon like tongue. The egg itself is brick-built, with the same green accents that we see from the video games. An extendable tongue piece may be mounted inside Yoshi’s mouth by removing the red, circular plate which was originally placed inside. The tongue itself may also be moved up and down, striking fear into the heart of any Goomba.
This is one build that will definitely be added to our LEGO Nintendo wish list. Thankfully, for all Nintendo and LEGO fans out there, you may be pleased to know that Tyler has a lot of Nintendo themed builds on the works so be sure to stay tuned in our YouTube channel and here in our blogsite. In the meantime, if you wish to build your very own LEGO Yoshi, just head over to BuildBetterBricks.com and download the instructions. For a small fee (which covers not just the site’s maintenance, but also Tyler’s seemingly endless supply of LEGO bricks), what you’ll receive is a digital pdf copy of how to build Yoshi, a parts list, and a Stud.io file that lets you seamlessly export its parts list to Bricklink. As a final note, if you’re like us who would like to see a possible mash-up between Nintendo and LEGO, then you may want to head over to LEGO Ideas and check out our proposed Ideas set – the LEGO Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Guardian with Link minifigure, courtesy of Tyler of course. I’ll talk more about this outstanding Zelda MOC later on so just stay tuned.
Since Tyler launched his very first LEGO LOTR Prancing Pony custom set, LEGO Lord of the Ring fans have been clamoring for more similar custom LEGO LOTR wishlist sets from our master builder. This time, another iconic scene from The Fellowship of the Ring is now captured in LEGO bricks – the cliffhanging, edge-of-your-seat, tear-jerking Bridge of Khazad Dum scene, complete, with a brick-built version of the monstrous Balrog, as well as minifigures of Gandalf and Frodo Baggins, and of course the Bridge of Khazad Dum itself.
First off (and quite obviously, the one that we want to dive in first since this is our favorite part) we have the brick-built model of the Balrog. Among the 12 sets that LEGO officially made under the Lord of the Rings theme, I certainly hope that this is the 13th one. As of to date, we only have Balrog in his digital form in LEGO Lord of the Rings video gamewhich was released in back 2012, so it’s kind of sad that we never got to see him as an official LEGO set. But thanks to Tyler, we can have this legendary monster built, and hopefully (fingers crossed), LEGO will take notice.
Tyler’s custom LEGO LOTR Balrog may not be at minifigure scale as seen in the video game, but given that it comes as a part of the overall Bridge of Khazad Dum custom set, it is scaled in such a way similar to how LEGO may actually design it. It is also neatly articulated using a lot of ball joints for the legs and arms. The Balrog’s wings are even mounted on ball joints as well, so it can be posed upward or downward including the skeletal parts of its wings for a more accurate and menacing look.
The head piece of Tyler’s Balrog MOC is also an impressive build on its own. From its mean-looking horns to Tyler’s use of trans-orange pieces for the rest of its head and torso, this build captures the hellish character of this unholy beast from Moria.
But perhaps the best reason that Tyler has for this choice of pieces, which also happens to be one of the set’s best play feature in my opinion, is his inclusion of a light brick inside the Balrog. The light brick is activated with a touch of a button that Tyler cleverly added at the back of the Balrog’s head. I can’t just put into words how nice this play feature is, especially when you turn off the light brick inside a room – the Balrog’s fiery demeanor simply stands out.
Of course last but not the least, we have the actual Bridge of Khazad Dum from the LOTR – The Fellowship of the Ring, which is also scaled down so as to look like an actual LEGO set. If you remember this scene in the film, the bridge begins with a relatively small entrance (as far as the size of the Balrog is concerned), that narrows down to a very slim and restricted pathway. On the bridge you have Gandalf in his classic ‘you shall not pass!’ pose, while at the other end of the bridge is Frodo holding the One Ring in his minifig hand.
The bridge also comes with neat play features and movable parts, one of which being is the ‘collapsible’ archway which the Balrog knocks down as charges his way towards Gandalf, while the latter shouts his ever famous battle cry.
Now if you still remember this part of the film, the sort of highlight of this scene is when the Balrog advances to attack and Gandalf causes the middle portion of the bridge to collapse taking the Balrog with it. Tyler once again impressively added a play feature where this middle portion of the bridge collapses by a push of a button at the other end, sending the Balrog hurling downwards the abyss. Then we have Gandalf (when things seem to be a walk in the park) falling and barely catching on at the edge of the bridge where he hangs on and eventually falls into the chasm together with the Balrog.
This is one custom LEGO LOTR set that is simply packed with coo, and accurate play features as closely as you can see in the film. Here’s Tyler with his own thoughts on this latest addition to our LEGO LOTR wishlist.
The good thing is we can have our try on this custom set and build our own using Tyler’s building instruction which you can find over at BuildBetterBricks.com. For a minimal fee, you can simply download a digital copy of its building instructions in pdf format (a total of 87 pages) plus a Stud.io file so you can easily import the files over at Bricklink. If you want more LEGO LOTR custom sets to be added to your wishlist, simply share to us (either via the comments section below, or thru our Facebook page) your most favorite Lord of the Rings scene and will see what brick-building wizardry our master builder Tyler can come up with it.