19 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival: Day Three

Here are the results from the final day of our first ever live parts festival, where AFOLs from all over the world who were attending the Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend last June were given just over an hour to come up with ideas of what might be possible using a range of new LEGO® parts. See the parts selection here.

Bill Ward



At the rear of his spaceship, Bill created rather neat vector thrust capability by creating oval shapes from pairs of Mudguard 3X4, W/ Plate, No. 1 (6178912 | 28326). I will show you a breakdown of this technique in my next post, when I explore the geometry of this part a little more deeply. 

14 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival: "Oops, Wrong Portal"

At the Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend in Portugal we ran a live 'parts festival' workshop and afterwards, some participants took the new LEGO® parts home to continue experimenting. Alexandre Campos (the Ambassador for PLUG, the Portuguese LEGO User Group) is usually a LEGO Technic builder, so it's a good thing that our parts festivals are all about challenging people! Alexandre sent us this build using the parts and explains how the parts inspired him.

"Guys, I think we got the wrong address. Could you open the portal back home? Uh, guys? Guys?..."



11 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival: Day Two

AFOLs from all over the world took part in our first ever live parts festival in June in Portugal at the Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend. Each day, 15 builders had just over an hour to explore what might be done with a range of new LEGO® parts. See the parts selection here, but today let's look at what the second round of LEGO fans came up with.

Amy Fennell

9 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival: Blade Runner Steampunk Police Spinner

For the Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend in Portugal, Jonas Kramm had the idea of running a live New Elementary parts festival (see the parts selection here) and we are now in the process of showing you the results. Afterwards, some participants took the new LEGO® parts home to continue experimenting and today we show you the first result; created by Jonas himself.


Inspired by Blade Runner 2049, I wanted to build something related to the movie franchise. The iconic police spinner vehicle has already been made by several builders in flawless ways, so I came up with the idea to give my model a more creative twist and mixed Blade Runner with the Steampunk art genre.

7 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival: Day One

Our first ever live parts festival (or "parts party" as regular reader Håkan put it!) took place in June in Portugal at the Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend. Each day, 15 builders had just over an hour to explore what might be done with a range of new LEGO® parts. See the parts selection here, but today let's look at what the first round of LEGO fans came up with.

Michael Studman 

Yes, that's his real name. Jeal much?

Most of the seed parts are present in this characterful chihuahua! Funny, I never thought to use Boomerang (6153574 | 25892) as the structure of a dog's body...

4 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival

Back in June, we had a first for New Elementary; our first ever live parts festival! We've run several online parts festivals in the past, where we take some of the newest elements released by the LEGO® Group and challenge builders to explore what they might be used for. This time around, regular contributor Jonas Kramm proposed that we run a workshop at the Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend in Portugal to see what builders could come up with - in the space of an hour!



30 September 2017

LEGO® House pre-opening event

The new experience centre/museum in Billund, LEGO® House, has now opened to the public but on Friday 22 September 2017 there was a special pre-opening event for hundreds of LEGO fans from around the world. I was lucky enough to be one of them, so here are some photos from the day. If you are planning to go yourself, you might consider any photos to be 'spoilers' but I am glad to report that there is just so much to do and enjoy inside LEGO House, the photos I'd seen beforehand really didn't spoil much for me and I trust this post won't either.

General manager of LEGO House Jesper Vilstrup welcomes us along with third-generation owner, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen. Behind them is a lenticular made of cheese slopes (Design ID 54200) that shows either the company motto or portraits of the four generations of family owners, depending where you stand.

20 September 2017

70620 NINJAGO City

Today, Chris McVeigh (powerpig) reviews the fantastic new range of LEGO® parts found in 70620 NINJAGO City, the largest of the sets from The LEGO NINJAGO Movie range, which went on sale this month priced at £259.99 / US$299.99 / 299.99€.


At 4867 parts, NINJAGO City is one of the biggest LEGO® sets ever. It's visually rich, incredibly detailed, and great fun to build.

The city itself is divided into three sections, coinciding with three hefty building guides. Level 1: The Old World is built atop a murky waterway. On that level you’ll find a fish market, robot maintenance room, and the base of the elevator. Level 2: The Street is a busy pedestrian area that is home to shops and services, including a comic book store, clothing store, and crab kitchen. Up on Level 3: The High Rise, you’ll find Lloyd’s and Misako’s shared apartment, a rooftop sushi restaurant, and a luxury bathroom.




In this article I’ll discuss new parts and how they’re used, highlight some of the more interesting recolours, and then look at the set’s clever roofing techniques.

12 September 2017

A Family Affair

When an additional copy of the new LEGO® Ideas set, 21310 Old Fishing Store, accidentally arrived at New Elementary Towers from Billund, I figured it was a serendipitous opportunity to do something a bit different. So I entrusted it to a new contributor, Jay Phoenix, with the open-ended and therefore challenging brief of "do something different with it". He did, and his mother Jea did too; she made the second model in this post!

Jay runs the tongue-in-cheek blog Worst of LEGO Ideas, and can be found on Flickr and Twitter


The modern world can be an overwhelming experience for some people – with such technical advancements as social media, smartphones and anti-spill bottles, some people just wanna retreat back to the good ol’ days where the best way to meet strangers was visiting the pub, phones were only used for phoning people and if you knocked over your cup of coffee the carpet below would have to live with the consequences. The Anton family largely fell into this group, and after their fishing store went bankrupt from investing in several dud products, they decided to do the most logical thing a family would do in this situation and completely rebuild their store into a small fishing boat so they could traverse the waves, away from the many trappings of today’s world.


28 August 2017

Bricktastic: Alex Jones (Orion Pax)

One of the many who regularly display at Bricktastic, the LEGO® show in Manchester in aid of Fairy Bricks, is Alexander Jones works as a LEGO Model Designer for TT Games, so if you're into LEGO video games you've surely played with his models before. But Bricktastic provided the opportunity to see Alex play with his own models! Including Arcee, one of the Autobots from the Transformers franchise which is a favoured subject of his.


22 August 2017

Skærbæk Parts Festival: registration

Sorry, this event is now fully booked.

Are you already registered to come to Skærbæk Fan Weekend in Denmark in late September? If not, I am afraid you are too late for this year, folks... but if you are registered: New Elementary will be running a one-off special building workshop and we'd love you to come and build with some new elements!

17 August 2017

Gone fishin'

Respect to Sven Franic. He received New Elementary's review copy of the LEGO® Ideas set, 21310 Old Fishing Store, on Friday and by Monday he had delivered me a spectacular and thorough review of the parts, minifigures and colours in this huge and gorgeous new set. As if that wasn't enough, he had to leave for Slovenia that day... so, just in case the review needed more work, he took the set with him! Well, no more work was required but Sven has nevertheless sent us some "fishing holiday" pics.


14 August 2017

The early bird catches the fish

Coming 1st September 2017, LEGO® Ideas 21310 Old Fishing Store has 2,049 pieces - the highest number ever for a LEGO Ideas set - and will retail for £139.99 / US$149.99 / 149.99€. Sven Franic is here to tell you all about the colours, parts and minifigures you will find in this stunning fan-designed set.

I remember the day the LEGO® Ideas review results arrived with the news that the Old Fishing Store by fan builder Robert Bontenbal (RobenAnne) would be made into a set. A lot of us hoped for it, but never thought such a large project would be deemed feasible by the LEGO Ideas team. A particularly attractive feature was the colour scheme in Sand Green and the inclusion of so many accessories and animals, most notably the seagull which was only briefly featured with one of the characters in the 2013 collectible minifigures series 10.

7 August 2017

A stud walks into a bar…

This week, over 300 new, recoloured or printed parts were revealed on Brickset, but there was one in particular that hasn't been listed yet. We will have one from the LEGO® Group soon - but Elspeth De Montes already has her paws on it, and it just might be the most useful new LEGO piece of 2017... 

When the first images of a new set are made public, some fans like to admire the minifigures, other start comparing the accuracy of the set or its relevance within a theme or perhaps even imagine how it would look on their shelf. Others, like my fellow New Elementary contributor Chris McVeigh, prefer to scan for new parts, or parts in new colours.

3 August 2017

Rambling Brick: Underneath the Arches

We love a good arch brick here at New Elementary, so when our good friend Richard Jones posted this article on his excellent blog The Rambling Brick recently, we just had to share. He's kindly allowed us to re-post it here as a guest post.

One of the great things about LEGO® bricks is the system: the way elements fit together and interact with each other, sometimes in unexpected ways.  Studs and tubes are easy to understand. As are minifigure hands and the way they plug into the end of a tube or anti stud, or clip over a 3.18mm bar. Every so often you come across a new set of interactions, and wonder just how far these relationships between elements extend.

IMG_6901

25 July 2017

Bricktastic: Colourtastic (Part 4)

Elspeth has a final two creations for you today where she has used a single LEGO® piece in multiple colours as inspiration for a build. Click/tap any image to view larger. 

Colour Recycling Facility


The Colour Recycling Facility is on point with TLG’s current policy of using 100% renewable energy and the ongoing research into alternative, more environmentally friendly options for ABS plastic.

24 July 2017

Bricktastic: Colourtastic (Part 3)

It seems everyone has been enjoying the LEGO® colour collections that Elspeth De Montes displayed at Bricktastic, the show in aid of Fairy Bricks in Manchester, UK. Today she takes things up a notch; here are the MOCs she displayed whose sole purpose was to incorporate some colour collections within the build.

Elsie’s Garden



18 July 2017

Bricktastic: Colourtastic (Part 2)

Today, Elspeth De Montes continues her parade of LEGO® pieces in different colours! Why? Because LEGO. 


The hugely oversized Spider (Part 30238) is a force to be reckoned with, appearing in over 110 sets in 10 different colours. My own personal favourite is the Glow In Dark White [BL]/White Glow [TLG] breed which you see on the left (glowing thanks to the magic of Photoshop). It crawled into one LEGO Lord of the Rings set and four Monster Fighters sets, all released in 2012. Flat Silver [BL]/ Silver Metallic [TLG] only appeared in 30238 Spyclops Infiltration as part of the Ultra Agents theme, while Black is by far the commonest colour to be used in sets. See the full range of available colours and their current prices on BrickLink.

17 July 2017

Bricktastic: Colourtastic (Part 1)

At Bricktastic, the LEGO® show in Manchester in aid of Fairy Bricks, New Elementary had a table featuring Nexogon models by Luc Byard, Tim Goddard and Gary Davis as well as models by Jason Briscoe and Rod Gillies. And then there were the delightful, random Colourtastic creations by Elspeth De Montes! 

It’s no secret that I love LEGO® colours. I have been seen immersed in Dark Azure here in the past, but recently I joined New Elementary for some colourtastic fun at Bricktastic, which is a great show because there are lots of young, excited LEGO fans, no barriers around the models and plenty of time and space to interact.

15 July 2017

New 2018 LEGO® part spotted

Eagle-eyed reader CM4Sci spotted something exciting in the images that have just been officially released by Forbes of new LEGO® DC Super Heroes sets that will be released in January 2018.


5 July 2017

Bricktastic 2017: Event videos

I shot a couple of quick videos on my phone at Bricktastic, the LEGO® show in aid of Fairy Bricks.

It was an awesome event! As you can see, plenty of people, but also plenty of space to move around. This was a deliberate move by the organisers to ensure people didn't get stressed by the crowds or feel they couldn't stop and stare at something for ages... like these amazing models....

2 July 2017

Bricktastic 2017: event pictures

We're live from Manchester! Bricktastic, the event run by the wonderful charity Fairy Bricks, is underway and the quality of models is outstanding. It's a really relaxed event thanks to the generous space, carefully managed crowd numbers and the lack of doof-doof music!

Here's a very random look at some of the AFOL creations on display - sorry not to be more polished with this post, it's been hard to find the time. Enjoy!

Steve Deaville and Steph Cotter - The Odyssey (1980s animated series)


28 June 2017

LEGO® Gothic script alphabet

A quick note to mention that Li Li, a winner in our recent contest, expanded his efforts and created a full set of capital letters in Gothic script (also known as Blackletter) using LEGO® pieces!


This image is just a taster - visit Li's blog, MOC Recipes, to see the full alphabet with a couple of building tips.

It's worth scrolling back in time to look at some of his earlier posts too; MOC Recipes is a great resource for techniques.

20 June 2017

Lettering contest: The results

In four years we have only ever run two competitions on New Elementary, primarily because I hate saying one awesome thing is better than another awesome thing! For any of you following our LEGO® lettering contest, it is needless to say that we've had a really tough time judging this one. We know you guys are super-creative, but the quantity AND quality of entries nevertheless blew us away!

Didn't see them? Here are a few to give you a taste, but it's really worth seeing the lot!




16 June 2017

Lettering contest: Entries (Vol.7)

Here are the final entries received for our LEGO® lettering contest. Looks like you guys have been enjoying them as much as I have! Click any image to view larger.

For all images, please be aware that COPYRIGHT IS OWNED BY THE ENTRANT. So, for example, using their design or posting these images elsewhere without their consent might not be cool with them. If you want to get in touch with someone, you can use the contact form (on desktop version of the site in the righthand column) to ask me, and I will let them know.



Okay Yaramanoglu

14 June 2017

Lettering contest: Entries (Vol.6)

We are down to the penultimate bunch of entries into our LEGO® lettering contest. Yes, nearly there! Click any image to view larger.

For all images, please be aware that COPYRIGHT IS OWNED BY THE ENTRANT. So, for example, using their design or posting these images elsewhere without their consent might not be cool with them. If you want to get in touch with someone, you can use the contact form (on desktop version of the site in the righthand column) to ask me, and I will let them know.



Li Li

13 June 2017

Lettering contest: Entries (Vol.5)

Some more great entries to our LEGO® lettering contest are ready for you to enjoy! Click any image to view larger.

For all images, please be aware that COPYRIGHT IS OWNED BY THE ENTRANT. So, for example, using their design or posting these images elsewhere without their consent might not be cool with them. If you want to get in touch with someone, you can use the contact form (on desktop version of the site in the righthand column) to ask me, and I will let them know.



Eduardo Moreira


11 June 2017

Lettering contest: Entries (Vol. 4)

Here are fifteen more entries submitted to our LEGO® lettering contest. Some 'out of the box' ideas today! Click any image to view larger.

For all images, please be aware that COPYRIGHT IS OWNED BY THE ENTRANT. So, for example, using their design or posting these images elsewhere without their consent might not be cool with them. If you want to get in touch with someone, you can use the contact form (on desktop version of the site in the righthand column) to ask me, and I will let them know.



Didier Dambrin


10 June 2017

Lettering contest: Entries (Vol. 3)

Hey - it's our birthday! New Elementary began four years ago today, and what better way to celebrate than with more wonderful ideas submitted to our LEGO® lettering contest! Click any image to view larger.

For all images, please be aware that COPYRIGHT IS OWNED BY THE ENTRANT. So, for example, using their design or posting these images elsewhere without their consent might not be cool with them. If you want to get in touch with someone, you can use the contact form (on desktop version of the site in the righthand column) to ask me, and I will let them know.


Eduardo Moreira


9 June 2017

Lettering contest: Entries (Vol.2)

It seems the range of imaginative ideas in our LEGO® lettering contest is blowing you guys away too - and here is the second bunch of entries for your delectation! Click any image to view larger.

For all images, please be aware that COPYRIGHT IS OWNED BY THE ENTRANT. So, for example, using their design or posting these images elsewhere without their consent might not be cool with them. If you want to get in touch with someone, you can use the contact form (on desktop version of the site in the righthand column) to ask me, and I will let them know.


Steven Throm


"I designed the letters to have a keystone that is located as far to the upper left as possible. It is with a 45 degree angle or a quarter round. Each letter fits into a 4 stub by 5 stud rectangle."

8 June 2017

Lettering contest: Entries (Vol. 1)

Well I did promise to message our competition winners yesterday but life has a habit of getting in the way! However us judges are indeed working to whittle down all the entries we received (more than 100!) to a mere three - it's not easy I can tell you. You guys are awesome! I'm absolutely blown away with the variety and ingenuity of the entries.

In the meantime, we can now share all these great entries with you. With so many, they will be split over several posts. Click any image to view larger.

For all images, please be aware that COPYRIGHT IS OWNED BY THE ENTRANT. So, for example, using their design or posting these images elsewhere without their consent might not be cool with them. If you want to get in touch with someone, you can use the contact form (on desktop version of the site in the righthand column) to ask me, and I will let them know.


William Ramsey

5 June 2017

3 June 2017

32952, the new LEGO® SNOT piece

I've been discussing this on Twitter, but figured it was worth sharing with everyone. Many new set inventories for Summer 2017 have been uploaded onto the LEGO® Group's online parts database this week, so we get our first glimpse of new parts that we will soon be able to buy. A couple of people including occasional New E contributor Chris McVeigh pointed out one in particular.


2 June 2017

NEXOGON: The Nexacore Building

Luc Byard surprised me with another creation for our parts festival today! LEGO® part 27255 is critical but nearly invisible in his bold piece of architecture.

One of the first things I thought about doing with Nexogons was using them for the core of some kind of structure, and here's where that led me.

To do so, I knew I would first need a better solution than I used in the Starglider to give the Nexogon a truly six-sided application.

27 May 2017

LEGO® Creator 10257 Carousel

The LEGO® Creator line has been releasing an amusement park ride once a year for three years now, and this year's is released on June 1st (already available for VIPs) priced £159.99 / US$199.99 / 179.99€. With 2670 pieces, it's massive - measuring 38cm x 35cm (14” x 13”) and 32cm (12”) tall! Today, Sven Franic takes a detailed look at the new elements in the set. 


What makes this brightly coloured amusement park ride really shine is a clever symbiosis of circles. Round shapes have become increasingly less difficult to pull off in LEGO form with the introduction of many super-versatile parts which use a “hybrid” of systems. They combine both stud and anti-stud connections, as well as clip and bar or ball joint and socket connections, or delve into the world of Technic, sometimes incorporating three types of possible connection sub-systems in one brick.

23 May 2017

NEXOGON: The Nexo-mixer

Take a ride with Gary Davis (Bricks for Brains) as he presents another creation for our parts festival using the LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™ Combo Power shield (Design ID 27255). 

This simple mixer ride came to mind when I was thinking about using the Nexogons to create fractal patterns. Fractal patterns occur throughout the natural world whereby one simple shape is repeated multiple times to create complicated patterns.





I needed a base for the mixer and it suddenly came to me that a giant Nexogon would be a neat solution.

20 May 2017

NEXOGON: Wearable LEGO® creation

When selecting builders for our parts festival, one thing I was looking for was the unusual. So I couldn't pass up on Blair Archer's wild idea to add Nexogons to the outfit he was developing for his local LEGO® convention in Portland, Oregon! He shares the ups and downs of this inspiring project with us today. (Oh - and if you haven't yet seen Blair's 1979 ALIEN Xenomorph on his Flickr page, you totally need to check that out too.)


For some time now, I had a ‘wearable LEGO creation’ concept rolling around in my mind and various sketches in my notebooks. I'd been wanting to build a cyberpunk-style Samurai suit of armor/battledress, but was struggling with the fashion design element since LEGO connections don't lend themselves to creating curves or complex polygons very easily (at least not ones that can withstand motion, without being overly rigid/heavy/uncomfortable to wear). I jumped at the chance last year to load up on Mixels joints in bulk, thinking these would be ideal for creating a LEGO wearable piece that could conform to the shape of a human body, and withstand some bending and movement.

17 May 2017

21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V

Blast off with Elspeth De Montes as she reviews the latest LEGO® Ideas set. Elspeth examines all the new interesting and printed pieces that come in this enormous set, and then describes cool techniques used in the build process.

LEGO Ideas set No.17, 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V has finally landed after a fairly lengthy wait in production orbit. The original fan designers Felix Stiessen (saabfan) and Valérie Roche (whatsuptoday) submitted their version of the Apollo 11 Mission Model to the LEGO Ideas platform back in August 2014 and achieved the required 10,000 supporters by November 2015. After passing review in June 2016, the final set is due in stores on 1 June 2017, with 1969 parts (a perfectly calculated number to reflect the year of man’s first steps on the moon) and a price tag of US$119.99/£109.99/119.99€. This is the largest set to be released within the Ideas theme to date, both in terms of part count and the model’s impressive 100cm final height... or length.

15 May 2017

NEXOGON: Dragon’s head and scaling technique

Our next post from Gabriel Thomson (qi_tah on Flickr) for our parts festival describes the results when he tried using LEGO® Rotor, W/ 4.85 Hole (Design ID 27255) to create the effect of scales.


One of the first things I thought of when I received the Nexogon parts in bulk was the potential to arrange them in a scale-like pattern. I started off with a ‘spine’ of a single column of parts, and used them to create a dragon-like creature.

11 May 2017

NEXOGON: Sanctum of the Clockwork King

Duncan Lindbo (donutsftw) is back again today with his Nexogons (the new hexagonal LEGO® piece 27255), taking things a step up...

Phew! This build used up all the Nexogons Tim sent me, and then some!


9 May 2017

NEXOGON: Shanghai Tower

Following our run of spaceships utilising the new hexagonal LEGO® part 27255, today Li Li from MOC Recipes returns with a towering example of modern architecture! 

One of the buildings that I’ve always wanted to build is the Shanghai Tower, the world’s second-tallest building after Burj Khalifa. It has a very intriguing twisted shape. I didn’t have a good solution for it — until I saw the Nexogon. It’s perfect for building triangles with concentric centers.


8 May 2017

That money thing

I'm taking a moment today to mention a couple of new ways you can help support New Elementary if you have the inclination and ability to do so, or even just by spending money that you already do.

I hope you enjoy the site as a lot of hours go into making it informative and fun, in fact I can't begin to imagine how long I've spent on it these last four years! I do it because I love doing it, but it's work too. Despite a wonderful increase in readership of late (so far this year we've had more than double the visitors as for the same period last year), not much advertising revenue comes through.

So what is new?

4 May 2017

NEXOGON: The Millennium Falcogon

May the Fourth be with you... and for once, we actually have something Star Wars-related to share with you, courtesy of Kevin Levell and his penchant for nexogonal LEGO® spacecraft.

Whilst building the flying saucergon I noticed some familiar shapes, at least to my eyes: there was a passing resemblance to the “circular” main body of the Millennium Falcon...

Millennium Falcon LEGO model by Kevin Levell

1 May 2017

Competition: make a LEGO font


It's high time we ran a competition. In the last year or so the LEGO® Group have released several new tiles, and they are very cool pieces. I want you to use them to create lettering, such as this example I designed digitally. You could win 250 new LEGO tiles!


30 April 2017

NEXOGON: Starglider

We welcome Luc Byard back today with another exciting creation using LEGO® part 27255, giving us insight into how he came up with this sleek starglider.


It began with a Nexogon on its edge. The idea was to use it as the central piece and build a cockpit forwards from it and a tri-cluster of engines and wings back from it using the Nexogon to influence the overall shape.