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A Catablog of Tools, Tips, and Techniques for building with LEGO®

SlyOwl demonstrates several creative uses of LEGO pieces in this lively vignette.

The first thing I noticed was the clever use of minifig arms for the legs to depict running. Another thing is the use of diver fins for the roof.

An easy one to overlook might have been the microscale boat in the background, since it fits in so nicely. SlyOwl is making use of a forced perspective — a technique that’s started showing up here and there.

The Barrel used as a dress is unusual, but I believe he was looking for an unusual use for a barrel for the seed piece contest.


Jojo put this vignette together in his folder of work on Classic Space; it has been shown on a few blogs, but I wanted to highlight the “minifig MOC” technique here.

The humor is great, but the thing that really stood out to me is his use of a “minifig MOC”, that is, a creation that is presented as if built by the minifig. The castle and space MOCs are clearly recognizable for what they are in miniscale, and would have worked well as standalone models, but put the minifigs around them and you’ve created a LEGO fan convention or perhaps a LUG. This is a beautiful technique, and I hope to see more of this sort of thing here and there.

Hell’s Kitchen, originally uploaded by Fanboy30.

One thing I’ve found extremely helpful for building inspiration is to type some keywords into Flickr and see if there is an existing group for what I’m wanting to build.

In my Lego-built web comic, The Brick Side, I have an upcoming series that will start out in a medieval kitchen. I haven’t done a lot of building interiors, and never a kitchen, so I went in search for Lego kitchen stuff. I found lots of entries, but no groups, so I went ahead and started one and then invited a lot of the photos I’d found helpful. Check out my kitchen group, and add something if you’ve got it.

On the other side of this, don’t be quick to start a group. I put in the search term “lego minifig scale furniture” and didn’t find a group, so I started one, invited a bunch of images, and then found out there were some other groups called “lego furniture” and such that I might have been satisfied with.

I’m not completely dissatisfied, though, because the group I started was particularly for minifig scale, whereas the other groups weren’t quite that niched.

Hardsuit, originally uploaded by Lord Dane.

I’m a sucker for a good mech, and this one by Lord Dane is awesome. The toes and fingers are hilarious, and the whole idea of a storm trooper dropping right into the armor is great. Adds potential for a whole new Star Wars flick. Or maybe some concepts that George Lucas can retro back into his next major revision of the original trilogy. Did I actually just say that out loud? My apologies to all you SW purists out there…

KLR-20 Luxury combat vehicle, originally uploaded by Legohaulic.

Technique: This creation is absolutely beautiful! I love how Legohaulic has built the smooth, sloping surface of the vehicle, how it feels bulky, yet comfy. He’s made a great use of the various slope pieces (yeah cheese!) to get there.


One thing that is a key element here that separates the “boys” from the “men,” as it were, is Tyler’s use of a unified color scheme. Note that he doesn’t have a smattering of color (i.e. a little blue, a little red, some yellow, some green) — he’s using light bley metallic silver as the prominent color, black as his secondary color, and the lights fit in as nice tertiary colors for balance. (I’d count the translucent black in there as a nice mix between the primary and secondary colors).

Oh, and be sure to check out the commercial.