20 November 2016

The New Black - Chris McVeigh

Posted by Admin
After all that London-based excitement, let's get back to our global parts festival, The New Black, with a trip to Canada. Today it is the turn of the multitalented Chris McVeigh (powerpig) to get inspired by some of the new parts and recolours that the LEGO® Group have released in 2016.

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in The New Black parts festival, but due to work demands, I wasn’t able to take on that challenge until this past week. I really wish I’d gotten to it sooner – I had an absolute blast! I love part challenges because they encourage me to build things I just wouldn’t attempt otherwise; figuratively and literally, The New Black gave me a chance to spread my wings.

Swing Set

To start, I put together a very simple swing set using the shaft with bar (Element ID 6143318 | Design ID 23443). I’ve wanted a part like this for a long time; in fact, what crystallized my need for it was the convoluted subassembly I had to design to mount the antenna on my retro radio build (My First Radio: '70s Edition). In the swing set, I paired it with Plate 1X2 W. 1 Horizontal Snap (Element ID 6132731 | Design ID 11476).


Many of the parts in The New Black are perfect for creatures and other organic constructions, already well showcased in the brilliant insects built by Huw. I chose to build a Chinese-style dragon with a long snake-like body and ornate features. 

The back is lined with scales made with the shield tile (Element ID 6128992 | Design ID 22385), one of my very favourite new parts. The undercarriage is constructed with new 1x2 Inverted Bow (Element ID 6147050 | Design ID 24021), on top of which sits two 1x1 Round Plates with Shaft (Element ID 6157554 | Design ID 26047), another new and amazingly versatile part. Carefully angled, these parts support the frill along the edge of the dragon which employs the new Mini Pony Tail (Element ID 6129476 | Design ID 22411). I had briefly considered using the Blade No. 9 (Element ID 6135009 | Design ID 24482) for the frill, but it made the construction decidedly more insect-like.

Other parts featured include the left/right angle plates which give shape to the head (Element ID 6141554 | Design ID 24299 / Element ID 6141556 | Design ID 24307), and the aforementioned shaft with bar (Element ID 6143318 | Design ID 23443), which supports his arms.


I started to see the full potential of the 1x1 Round Plate W/3.2 Shaft (Element ID 6157554 | Design ID 26047) after experimenting with it in the dragon. As Tim mentioned in his original overview of the parts, builders have long wanted a 1x1 plate with a shaft/bar, and most of us envisioned that any such part would have a square footprint. But by making half the plate round, LEGO has given us unexpected versatility! It’s now possible to position connections on an angle, and I think one of the best examples of this is the butterfly I built.

At its base there are four 1x1 Round Plate W/3.2 Shaft sat on top of a 2x2 Round Plate. These support the attachment of the wings, which are mounted on Plate 1X2 W. 1 Horizontal Snap (Element ID 6132731 | Design ID 11476), secured on the underside with 1x2 Inverted Bows (Element ID 6147050 | Design ID 24021). The ability to rotate the small plate let me position the wings at a natural angle and close the gap between the upper and lower wing segments. This simply would not have been possible at this scale without it.

Also, look closely and you’ll also see one of those parts in the main body of the butterfly, supporting the tail that features Blade No. 9 (Element ID 6135009 | Design ID 24482).

Medieval Market Stall

People know me primarily for Brick Sketches, Christmas ornaments and retro-tech builds, but at heart, buildings are still my favourite thing to design. So I had great fun putting together this Medieval Market Stall!

The roof is adorned with the amazing new shield tile (Element ID 6128992 | Design ID 22385). The left and right supports feature the new 1X3X2 inverted arch/bow (Element ID 6154860 | Design ID 18653), which are peaked by Blade No. 9 (Element ID 6135009 | Design ID 24482). The shield tile also adds ornamentation under the counter, and on the countertop you’ll see wares that feature a 1x1 round tile (Element ID 6139403 | Design ID 98138) and the globe with stick (Element ID 6070376 | Design ID 58176). Hidden under the counter are Brick 1X2 W. 2 Knobs (Element ID 6138173 | Design ID 1121) which support the front-facing tiles.

Of the parts chosen for The New Black, it’s hard to pick a favourite amongst so many brilliant additions, but my short list includes the shield tile (Design ID 22385), the shaft with bar (Design ID 23443), and the amazing round plate with bar (Design ID 26047). All of these will definitely find their way into my builds – and I can’t wait for them to arrive in more colours!

See more creations and parts analysis in our other posts in The New Black parts festival. Products mentioned in this post were kindly supplied by the LEGO Group. All content represents the opinions of New Elementary authors and not the LEGO Group.

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  1. Really enjoying the black baloon parts, too. But boy oh boy do I wish I had a bunch of those black shields, they make a killer roof!!! Nice work!

  2. Amazing work. I love Chris McVeigh's creations