About Benjamin Stenlund

浙江快乐12走势图Benjamin started building he was three, when his father gave him a small Futuron set (6810), and has not stopped since then. Castle and space are nearest and dearest to his heart, but other themes occasionally get built, too; there are quite a few super heroes and Star Wars sets in his collection, at least. He builds as Henjin_Quilones on Flickr, and under the same name is the leader of one of the guilds on Eurobrick's Guilds of Historica role building game. When he is not building, he is busy being a stay-at-home dad to three kids and trophy househusband to one wife.

Posts by Benjamin Stenlund

Moves like Jaeger

One thing that always bothers me about movies about giant metal things, be they spaceships in Star Wars or Jaegers in Pacific Rim, is how they get all that material in one place and assembled. I mean, where did Palpatine get the materials to build that giant fleet? That’s some serious mining operations! Jaegers aren’t as large as Star Destroyers, but the question remains; what factories are churning out those parts? Are they all built in one place, or are different components assembled in different factories and then shipped across the country for full assembly? To answer the question, I built a LEGO scene depicting a giant arm on a giant trailer, ready to be shipped to a shatterdome to be joined with the rest of the Jaeger body.

It was my first foray into building this sort of thing, as I typically consider myself more of a castle builder, but I was reasonably pleased with the arm itself (other builders are designing the rest of the mech, and we’ll assemble the whole thing digitally once it’s finished). It looks the part of a large robot arm, at very least. Harder was making a scene to give it scale, especially since I wanted to include a flying helicopter (and my bricks don’t fly on their own, sadly). I added an arch from a previous build, made up the truck and trailer, and included a previously built helicopter, after making some modifications to it to improve the proportions. But how to get it all in one shot? Maybe other builders are better at photo editing than I am, but it takes a long time for me to splice different photographs into one coherent picture. Four different camera shots went into the final image, in fact, making it kind of like the Jaeger, comprised of many different parts assembled at the end.

浙江快乐12走势图Microscale mission of mercy

A friend in need is a friend indeed, they say. Who is they? Probably , for one, since he built this microscale LEGO scene of a relief ship unloading its supplies to help save a city near destruction. The ship itself is small and sleek, elegantly color blocked, and the harbor is great, too, with its large cranes to unload the supplies. The water deserves some extra attention, with the subtle variation in colors and the studs being used for waves near the shore. But more than that, the whole piece has an elegant composition, with the rocks, uneven edge of the water, and the clear central focus on the ship. What kind of ship? Friendship.

Do go chasing waterfalls

Ah, nature. It feels great to get out of the house and stretch the legs, hiking strenuously over hill and dale to find the perfect vista by a babbling brook to soothe the troubled soul. Or, you could save yourself the strenuous part and just look at this beautiful waterfall built by , like me. From the smooth rock, comprised of larger elements not often seen in LEGO cliffs, and the hint of greenery at the top, all the way down to the sparkling blue pool and perfectly captured foam, it is a satisfying blend of the complexity of technique and simplification of texture and hue. While I do not envy the folks in that unfortunate boat at the top of the falls, I can at least reassure them that they are just falling into a pile of .

If you love builds of waterfalls, check out the TBB archives of waterfall builds. Or if you just can’t get enough of Grant (and who can?), here are some more of his builds.

Wait a minute, Mr. Postman

What do you get when four of the most talented castle builders out there collaborate on a series of LEGO builds? It’s a bit like alchemy, because the result is solid gold. Well, , , , and teamed up to show the life of a postman, carrying the mail across every bridge in the realm to make sure each and every citizen receives their letters on time. Each build is different in every detail, except the postman himself, but they are all scaled and shot to mimic the others, with the result that the builds complement each other perfectly. I’d love to have these framed on my wall, side by side, because these are not just LEGO builds, but art.

Click to see each of the builds up close

On the back of a dewy mountain

I love single-use LEGO elements, those pieces that are so specialized that they can only be used to make the one thing they were designed to build. Take, for example the head of a from Star Wars. It’s very useful for building, well, a dewback, but not much else in the hands of an average builder. But in the hands of a master, like , that same piece becomes a mossy hill in a microscale creation. Add in one of the from the same creature, a as a tower, a as a coniferous tree, a as a cliff, and about thirty other pieces, and you have a miniature masterpiece.

Just try not to sneeze on the pixie dust

I simply adore microscale castles, and microscale LEGO creations in general, too. There’s something about it, where even the slightest wrong choice in elements can ruin the whole composition, but the perfect usage of that one clever piece can make a masterpiece. Enter , one of the world’s best LEGO master builders (seriously, check out his TBB rap sheet). His microscale fairytale castle and village are chock full of amazing and clever parts usages (and color, too; do I spy some in there?).

While he’s used the party hats for tower roofs before, pairing them with is new. And there’s a in the tallest tower, for the keep, wand sprues supporting book covers for the village houses, a katana holder for windmill blades, a as a cart being pulled by what looks like a non-production , a as a haystack, and the list goes on. And don’t forget the unicorn horns balancing as trees. Even blinking near this thing must have the tiny denizens crying “Timber!”

At least it wasn’t just whitewashed

A limited color palette can be tricky to work with in a creation. I’ve done LEGO builds where I only used one color, and it was challenging. here has limited the palette in this cathedral to just three: light bluish grey, transparent red, and transparent yellow. The back-lit stained glass is beautiful, each window unique and telling part of the Easter story, according to the builder, if in an abstracted way. The vaulted ceiling, held together by interior flex tube, looks great, too. It does look a little bland with only grey, however, or maybe just incomplete; so perhaps now that the masons have finished their part, the rest of the artisans can get to work adding paintings, gilded ornaments, and tapestries to outfit the cathedral for its intended purpose, glorifying God.

Like church architecture? Check out some more churches and cathedrals浙江快乐12走势图 in the TBB archives.

It’s a me, Mario! And all my friends, too!

Now that LEGO has released a line of Super Mario sets, I’m sure we’re not far from a massive uptick in the number of Mario-related custom builds. Anticipating them is , who has designed a series of cuddly characters from the games. I’m a bad child of the ’80s and don’t know all of them, but I can recognize Mario and Luigi, as well as Peach, Bowser, and Yoshi. Aficionados can no doubt name them all at just a glance since Koen has done an excellent job of capturing the essence of each with just a few parts. I love the jumper plates for mustaches on the brothers, but my favorite detail is the as Bowser’s toes. But they’re all great. Or should I say super?

This is not the first set of cute and cuddly creations by Koen; check out some adorable animals and delightful Christmas characters!

Frolic in the fields, dance among the dandelions

There is perhaps no builder more skilled at crafting interesting and unique figures out of LEGO than . One glance at the TBB archives will demonstrate that. But the most recent creation to grace our screens is my favorite of the lot, due to her graceful pose, captured mid-frolic, and elegant shaping. The use of the from a Hobbit set with some makes a perfect top, with the soft edges of the fabric causing the Magadril of Dandelions to look more alive and less LEGO-ish than most of Eero’s builds. And since her eyes are up there, it’s worth highlighting how perfect minifigure hands are for eyes. If I were single and a brick-built LEGO creation myself, I’d gladly tiptoe through some tulips, or dandelions, with her. If only she didn’t have that midriff tattoo since my mother would never approve of her…

Epic LEGO Forbidden City uses over 80,000 bricks and took over 700 hours to design & build!

Yes, you read the title correctly. has used around 84,000 LEGO bricks, to be more precise. In addition to 300+ hours of building to recreate the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, Rocco also spent 400+ hours designing it first. If that doesn’t blow your mind, it should. That is one giant build of one of the world’s most spectacular architectural sites. Like his earlier LEGO diorama of Ancient Rome, Rocco built this one for a commission for a museum, and boy, does it belong there. The overview picture hardly does it justice, as it all blends together into a blur of flame orange, dark red, and grey, but zoom in and there are as many marvels as in the real deal. Fancy a tour? It’s not forbidden to look at this one, even for a commoner like me.

Check out the details of this incredible build

He’s definitely compensating for something

What’s the point of a limousine? It has none, except to make the person riding in it seem important, whether that be a bride and groom on the way to the reception or a diplomat going to a complex negotiation. It’s the same with motorcades and bodyguards; their real purpose is to lend clout to the image of the one with them. So, what if the limo has armor and hidden weapons? It’s the same, just with more bang. And if a Humvee can become a luxury vehicle, why not a HEMTT? That was my () thought, at least, for my latest LEGO creation. Add in a sporty car and a motorcycle, as well as a triumphal arch and statue, and you have the scene set for inflating someone’s ego.

Tasked with building an armored limo, I was inspired by the heavy military truck with 8 wheels. I added some gull-wing doors, because nothing says luxury like gull wing doors. And some retractable steps to descend from the passenger compartment, too, ready to step right onto the red carpet. The angles at the front of the cab were the hardest part of the build to get right, and honestly, that’s why I went with gull wings, since it did not require hinges on the front and the doors had to open. There are lots of complicated angles on the sides, too, but they weren’t as difficult to figure out as the front. The only problem is that despite it being armored, it is too fragile for my kids to play with.

One meme to rule them all

It’s got to be one of the most popular memes on the internet. There’s Eddard Stark at the Council of Agent Smith in Rivendell, uttering the unforgettable “One does not simply MOC into Mordor.” Or at least that’s what a LEGO version of double-oh-six would say, right? (A MOC is, of course, an original LEGO build, “My Own Creation”; and wonderfully, it rhymes with walk.) Swap out the Mordor bit and you have a universally applicable meme for difficult things. Fancy your hand at meme-ing this build by ? The builder has captured the exact moment of the utterance, so perhaps we need to make this version go viral in the LEGO world. All the little details are there, from the cuffs to collar, and don’t miss that hair with ears poking out. Rounded ears, of course, since he’s not blond Will Turner. And right after you finish publishing your meme, Rudy will run out of wherever he’s hiding, eager to be included on the team for at least one game of ring toss.