Brickjest
Brickjest

12 Works of Literature Recreated in LEGO

Brickjest
Brickjest

Give a bibliophile a set of LEGO, and she'll think outside the box. These creations, inspired by library mainstays, prove that LEGO bricks are more than just child's play.

1. Harry Potter

LEGO builder extraordinaire Alice Finch constructed a scale representation of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for BrickCon 2012 (BrickCon is an annual event for LEGO enthusiasts held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall). Finch spent 12 months over an 18-month time span (she took a six-month break to work on “other projects”) and an estimated 400,000 tiny plastic bricks to build her massive model. The end result is not only gigantic—each side of the L-shaped replica is about 13 feet long—but incredibly detailed. Finch’s Hogwarts includes a Great Hall filed with students and faculty, Professor Lupin’s Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Quidditch pitch, Gryffindor common room, and more—so much more.

Finch’s Hogwarts took home both the People’s Choice and Best in Show at BrickCon 2012. And what has become of her magical structure? “I don’t plan on taking it apart anytime soon,” Finch told LEGO blog The Brother Brick in February of 2013.

Finch and her completed castle:

Alice Finch/flickr

As the first room Finch completed, the Great Hall set the scale for the entire creation. Here’s a detailed view:

Alice Finch/flickr

Dozens more photos of Finch’s Hogwarts can be found on her flickr account.

2. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

A year after completing the world’s largest LEGO Hogwarts, Alice Finch teamed up with fellow LEGO mastermind David Frank to create a replica of Rivendell, Middle-earth’s elven paradise. The finished model, revealed on The Brothers Brick in December 2013, measures 10 feet by 5 feet and was constructed using approximately 200,000 bricks.

Finch and Frank had a little help finishing their masterpiece—their children. Frank’s two sons and Finch’s two sons joined their respective parents to add some elbow grease to the build. Frank tells The Brothers Brick that his kids are responsible for 90 percent of the model’s water, and Finch credits her 5-year-old with coming up with a unique design for the trees.

Alice Finch/flickr

A detailed view of Elrond’s library:

Alice Finch/flickr

More photos here.

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

OneLug, a fellowship of builders including Brandon Griffith, Alyse and Remi Gagne, and Bruce Lowell, created a Tolkien tribute of their own in the form of a 7-foot-tall Tower of Orthanc. The group unveiled their epic depiction of the Last March of the Ents, during which the living trees battle Saruman and his legions of orcs, at Seattle’s BrickCon in 2011. The completed structure is 8 feet in diameter and weighs over 145 pounds.

Detailed view:

the OneLug/flickr

More photos here.

4. Infinite Jest

Kevin Griffith, Professor of English at Capital University in Ohio, enlisted his 11-year-old son Sebastian to recreate scenes from David Foster Wallace’s opus Infinite Jest out of LEGO. Griffith would describe scenes from the novel to Sebastian, who would then build them from LEGO. To be clear here, Sebastian has not actually read Wallace’s novel, which is not only 1104 pages, but also filled with adult themes (sex, drug addiction, graphic violence, etc.).

The below scene is captioned: "P. 12 ’I am not just a creatus, manufactured, conditioned, bred for a function.' 'Sweet mother of Christ,' the Director says.”

Brickjest

Likewise: "P. 88. The operative sat at Marathe's feet…"

Brickjest

Griffith & Son’s genius blog, Brickjest, is here.

5. A Storm of Swords

To celebrate the release of The LEGO Movie in February 2014, British bookstore Waterstones created a number of LEGO literary representations. Below is the infamous Red Wedding from George R.R. Martin’s fantasy bestseller.

Waterstones

6. Romeo and Juliet

"Thus with a kiss I die…"

Waterstones

7. Dracula

Note the inspired use of Batman in lieu of a LEGO bat.

Waterstones

8. The Hound of the Baskervilles

In addition to creating their own scenes, Waterstones hosted a #LEGOLit competition for their customers. Readers created their own literary LEGO scenes and tweeted their photos with the aforementioned hashtag.

The worthy winner was Rob Browne, who composed a moody representation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Waterstones

9. Moby Dick

In 2010, the Sydney Wildlife World and Sydney Aquarium launched their LEGO on the Loose exhibition. The exhibit, which ran for one year, included 25 giant LEGO models made from over 1.5 million bricks.

Among the sharks, sailors, and mermaids was the White Whale himself. Designer Stephen Gerling made the sculpture from 365,420 Duplo bricks. The mural of Captain Ahab in the background is also made completely out of LEGO.

10. The Aeneid

LEGO enthusiast Jared Chan built his representation of the sack of Troy for the ACGHK (Animation-Comic-Game Hong Kong) LEGO architecture competition in 2011.

Jared Chan/flickr

11. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Alex Jones of Orion Pax Designs spent four weeks creating his scale model of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, which measures just over four feet long. Jones based his recreation on the 1954 Disney adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel, which features a submarine designed by Harper Goff.

A detailed view of the bridge:

More photos here.

12. Ender’s Game

MOCpages user Mason Lindblad writes that he was inspired to create the Ender’s Game Battle Room after reading the Orson Scott Card novel at school. Lindblad’s tableau includes two teams of four players each and the corridor and doorway leading to the zero-gravity room. He even included one of the floating stars.

More photos here.

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Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin
This LEGO Box Could Be Key to Detecting Deadly Nerve Gas
Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin
Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a new way to detect deadly nerve gases, and it involves LEGO.

The new detection device, described in a study published in the journal ACS Central Science, uses chemical sensors, a box made out of LEGO bricks, and a cell phone to identify the presence of odorless, tasteless nerve agents like VX and sarin.

Chemical weapons like sarin are extremely dangerous—even at low concentrations, a direct whiff of sarin can kill you in just minutes. So being able to identify them in the field is vital, and it has to be done fast.

The chemical-identifying sensors, developed by UT Austin chemist Xiaolong Sun and his colleagues, fluoresce in different colors and brightnesses to indicate which nerve agents are present in the air, and in what concentrations. Unfortunately, depending on where these tests are taking place, it’s not always easy to see how bright the fluorescent glow is. Expensive equipment designed to detect these changes in the lab just isn’t feasible on the battlefield or in a war-torn region.

An open black LEGO box sits in the lab in front of a chemical test plate.
Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin

The 320-brick LEGO structure, meanwhile, is portable and quick to assemble. It acts as a black box that blocks out light around the sensors. The top of the box has a hole in it, over which the user places a smartphone’s camera lens. Using a standard lab test plate and a UV light inside the box, the fluorescent changes can be photographed with the phone and analyzed with UT Austin's free software to determine what type and concentration of nerve agents are present in the sample.

While 3D printing could produce a cheap equivalent of the LEGO box, the toy bricks may be more accessible. Not everyone has access to a 3D printer or the same printing materials as researchers might use in the lab—but LEGOs are available across the world for a relatively low price. The software necessary to analyze the samples is available for free on GitHub, and the researchers include the LEGO assembly directions within their study.

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Build Your Own Harry Potter Characters With LEGO's New BrickHeadz Set

Harry Potter is looking pretty square these days. In a testament to the enduring appeal of the boy—and the franchise—who lived, LEGO has launched a line of Harry Potter BrickHeadz.

The gang’s all here in this latest collection, which was recently revealed during the toymaker’s Fall 2018 preview in New York City. Other highlights of that show included LEGO renderings of characters from Star Wars, Incredibles 2, and several Disney films, according to Inside The Magic.

The Harry Potter BrickHeadz collection will be released in July and includes figurines of Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, and even Hedwig. Some will be sold individually, while others come as a set.

A Ron Weasley figurine
LEGO

A Hermione figurine
LEGO

A Dumbledore figurine
LEGO

Harry Potter fans can also look forward to a four-story, 878-piece LEGO model of the Hogwarts Great Hall, which will be available for purchase August 1. Sets depicting the Whomping Willow, Hogwarts Express, and a quidditch match will hit shelves that same day.

[h/t Inside The Magic]

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