Mastery of the Brick

The most wonderful thing about Lego as a construction medium is the incredible flexibility and adaptability. Nowhere are these two attributes better showcased than in the work of some truly talented builders. Since re-aquainting myself with Lego after a period of many years, I have been marveling at the ability of some people to create amazing, sometimes complex, sometimes simple things out of a pile of bricks.

Because of the small scale of models used in Mechaton, simplicity if often better than complexity. Certainly, there is a contrast between the mechs that Simon and I create. Where Simon uses a few simple pieces to create attractive and effective units, mine have been tending more towards the complex. This isn’t always a good thing.

It’s only when you look at some truly great pieces of construction that you realise that the ideas behind what you thought was insanely complex can actually be very simple. It’s the visualisation process, taking an idea in the head and putting the bricks together in the right way, that makes all the difference. Indeed, this is something I struggle with, hence taking inspiration from those with far greater talents than I.

Squieu is an obvious contender in this regard. He has a dense style, using many small bricks to create an image of mechanical complexity. yet much of this appearance of complexity is achieved through artful use of pieces layered on to a relatively simple frame. The conception of the frame is key, as is the ability to create those layers. Squieu is undoubtedly a master of this, one of many Japanese Lego builders of design and put together remarkable mecha on very small scales. Perhaps most useful for Mechaton are his Takafashii and Nantoka designs.

Soren Roberts creates some stunning pieces, spacecraft, vignettes and mecha. Of particular note for Mechaton inspiration are his three ‘mecha teams’ (Team 1, Team 2 and Team 3). While less ‘dense’ than the Squieu mecha, they are nonetheless wonderful designs, especially in terms of colour and theme.

One thing that I am certainly concentrating on at the moment is seeing how individuals like Squieu and Soren create their designs in order to better understand how to come up with my own. My latest effort is to try and build a Takafashii-framed mecha. More to come on that once it’s been photographed.

Cheers

Malcolm

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One thought on “Mastery of the Brick

  1. Soren

    [A] Build a lot (like, every time you feel like switching on the TV). You don’t have to spend a lot of time on it. But make stuff.
    [B] Rip off other people as much as you can. You’ll end up making it your own anyway, and you’ll learn more.
    [C] Treat parts as shapes instead of defined objects. Once I started thinking like this, I could do shit like stick a frying pan and a saucepan into a camera (to make a gun with a drum magazine) without really thinking about it.
    [D] Buy some little plastic tackle boxes or desk organizers or whatever the fuck, and sort some parts into them so you can find things quickly. This is super boring, but you can do it while you watch a movie.

    Reply

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