23 May 2020

Iron Builder: Bryce Dempsey's stud shooter techniques

The Iron Forge contestant from the Iron Builder challenge revealing their LEGO® techniques for you today is Bryce Dempsey (on Flickr, YouTube and Instagram), from California. Appropriately enough for a builder who creates replica guns from LEGO pieces, last week in Round 3 the seed part was part 15391, the Minifigure, Weapon Gun, Mini Blaster / Shooter. 

My favorite of my own builds for Round 3 using stud shooters as the seed part was the soda machine. The build featured 11 stud shooters in total, with many unique uses.


22 May 2020

LEGO® interview: PPE safety masks

It was recently revealed that The LEGO Group (TLG) urgently altered their production to dedicate six moulding machines to create safety masks for Danish medical staff. Some fan media were invited to pose questions by email to LEGO® employees about this project, who kindly took the time to provide more detail about this unusual turn of events. The questions published here are the combined questions from the Rambling Brick, Brickset, BrickFinder, HispaBrick Magazine and of course New Elementary, including some from our kind patrons.

A LEGO employee tries on a completed mask.

Where did the idea for this come from, an employee or senior management… or perhaps a government request?

TLG: In March, one of our colleagues in the Engineering department heard that there was a desperate need for safety equipment for COVID-19 in Denmark. He approached the rest of his team with his idea for a visor and they started to trial production ideas. Approximately 100 LEGO employees have been involved in this project in Denmark and Hungary, from developing the design and new moulds, to working with our supplies to make the visors a reality in just a couple of weeks. 

LEGO® Hidden Side 70436 Phantom Fire Truck 3000: Design Process with Niek van Slagmaat

One of the LEGO® Hidden Side designers, Niek van Slagmaat, recently shared some of his design process for upcoming set 70436 Phantom Fire Truck 3000 in a series of fascinating tweets. Rather than scroll through the twittersphere trying to take in all the details, we have unrolled (and lightly edited) the threads here for you, with permission from Niek.



Niek: The new Hidden Side fire truck was my favorite Hidden Side set to design so far! With it releasing soon, I thought it would be cool to share some of my process on this set. It's important to make it VERY clear that this, as with all LEGO sets, was a team effort. I worked closely with a variety of people to make this vision work, from digital development teams to sparring partners, to quality and building instructions developers.

21 May 2020

Iron Builder: Stud Shooter LEGO® building techniques

We've been asking the Forge competitors from Iron Builder to highlight the techniques they've used each week with the seed parts. In Round 3 last week the element they all had to use was Design ID 15391, known as the "Minifigure, Weapon Gun, Mini Blaster / Shooter" on BrickLink, "Mini Shooter With Ø3.2 Shaft" on Brickset and "Weapon Gun / Blaster / Shooter Mini" on Rebrickable. Since being introduced in 2014 it has appeared in six colours. Given many would consider this a "specialised element that can only be used for one thing", it was a great choice of seed part by the Iron Builder admin!



Miro78: I found an interesting 'non-connection' with the stud shooters during my Round 3 builds, in the build Zorro where I included some furniture. 


20 May 2020

Iron Builder: Thomas Jenkins' stud shooter techniques

We have another Iron Forge contestant from the Iron Builder challenge revealing their LEGO® techniques for you today: Thomas Jenkins (on Flickr and Instagram), a Welshman living in Japan who has been building with LEGO for over 20 years. Last week in Round 3 the seed part was part 15391, the Minifigure, Weapon Gun, Mini Blaster / Shooter. 

On my first assessment of the Stud Shooter piece, there were two ways to use it in a model: take advantage of the bar that sticks out at an angle from the barrel of the shooter, or utilize the gaps and recesses that are usually used to house the accompanying trigger element.

Techniques using the angled bar of LEGO Mini Shooter With Ø3.2 Shaft, Design ID 15391

The angle of the bar meant that when used in conjunction with more shooters, it was quite easy to reproduce something akin to a spider’s leg. 


The shooters are connected quite simply with a 1x1 round plate with hole. The spanner seed part from the previous round also found its way into this model!

19 May 2020

LEGO® Accessories review: 40419 Harry Potter Hogwarts students

Our second and final review of the new LEGO® accessory packs of minifigures features characters from the Harry Potter universe, as Erik H. from HokayBricks explains. These sets are released 1 June 2020 and Brickset estimates they will cost US$12.99/£11.99 but this is unconfirmed.


This accessory pack includes four minifigures and the pieces and instructions needed to build a small bookcase. The bookcase build is simple but effective. It does not include any new or exclusive parts, but considering that this set is likely to be purchased several times over by some customers I'm sure any number of MOCs could benefit from the parts included here. The interest here, however, is all about the minifigures.

18 May 2020

LEGO® Accessories review: 40418 Marvel Super Heroes Falcon & Black Widow

There are new LEGO® accessory packs featuring minifigures being revealed today and Erik H.  from HokayBricks is here to talk you through them, starting with set 40418 featuring characters from the Marvel Super Heroes universe. (Tomorrow: Harry Potter!) These sets are released 1 June 2020 and Brickset estimates they will cost US$12.99/£11.99 but this is unconfirmed.


This accessory pack includes four minifigures and the pieces and instructions needed to build an energy turret stud-shooter - or in this case, a cylinder-shooter. The build is simple but effective. It includes two full sets of six Transparent Fluorescent Green/ Trans-Neon Green 1x1 round bricks. The build does not include any new or exclusive parts, but the minifigures do!

17 May 2020

Iron Builder: Cab's White Diamond techniques

We have another Iron Forge contestant from the Iron Builder challenge revealing LEGO® techniques for you today. Cab (on Flickr) hails from Germany but lives in California, and turned eighteen recently... "so I don't even know whether to call myself a TFOL or an AFOL". We don't think it matters really, so long as your techniques are awesome!

Hello everyone, Cab here! I was lucky enough to be among the final 20 contestants in this year’s instalment of The Forge. Now, while the final four compete for the prized Iron Builder slot, I thought I would share some techniques and tricks from my main entry in Round 2, a bust of the character White Diamond from the show Steven Universe. 


Adept builders will probably be familiar with many or all of these techniques, but I hope I can contribute to a few builders’ technical arsenals. 

15 May 2020

LEGO® Monkie Kid: new theme revealed

It's official: LEGO® Monkie Kid is here! The latest theme from The LEGO Group has just been announced and eight sets are immediately on sale in China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong – and worldwide sales commence tomorrow, 16 May 2020. An animated mini-movie and TV series has also been created.


The story is based on the 500-year old Chinese fable Journey to the West but with a modern twist, "authentic to local culture". The press release is not shy about making clear that this is TLG's first big foray into the Chinese market: "Never before has the LEGO Group launched a theme inspired by one culture and with so much attention to local details, values and traits."

13 May 2020

Iron Builder: Jaap Bijl's hummingbird techniques

One of the contestants in Iron Builders preliminary rounds, The Iron Forge, is Jaap Bijl (jaapxaap, found on Flickr and Instagram) from the Netherlands and he is a member of Lowlug and Innovalug. He took part in our 2019 Parts Festival and has now progressed from the Top 20 to the Top 8 in the Forge. We asked him to explain a couple of the techniques involved in one of his Forge builds from last week.

Hey everyone, it’s Jaap here! I’ve been participating into the Iron Forge contest, and made it to the final 20. In that round we had to build using the hammer and/or the wrench minifig accessory pieces. At some point when I was playing around with the wrench piece I found a wrench combination that looked a lot like a bird’s beak to me. So there I started building this hummingbird.


(Yes, for those New Elementary readers who remember it, I also used those big yellow stars from the 2019 parts festival in the flowers!)