04 April 2020

LEGO® Reverse-Engineering Challenge: Day 1

Posted by Admin
If you’re looking for some fun and good LEGO® building challenges and ideas, we can help! Today there’s a piece of great news for advanced LEGO builders: our friend and contributor Ryan Howerter is launching a daily building challenge on their Instagram. It will give your LEGO brain a good workout and definitely teach you new techniques.

It’s called the Reverse-Engineering Challenge, or REC for short, and you may be familiar with the concept already as four of these have been run on Flickr in the past. Here’s how it works.

Ryan posts a small LEGO build, and you try to figure out how it is built.

That’s it! Sound easy? It might not be! The little models, created by Ryan and a host of other talented builders, can be more devilish than they first appear. Some challenges are from previous years' RECs, some have been reworked to be more difficult or incorporate new parts, and most are brand-new puzzles!

It's not a contest, there are no prizes – think of it more like a daily crossword puzzle. Solve as many as you like, at your own pace. Ryan will publish a new model every day (at 11am Mountain Time) and post the solutions each Sunday.

Here is the first model, designed by occasional New Elementary contributor Oscar Cederwall (o0ger).

Want more? Here are the models for Days 2 to 5. Want even more? Be sure to check out Ryan Howerter’s Instagram (you don’t have to join Instagram to see the page) for daily challenges and weekly solutions!

Help New Elementary keep publishing articles like this. Become a Patron!

Big up to our 'Vibrant Coral' patrons: Iain Adams, Geppy, Chris Cook, London AFOLs, Gerald Lasser, Big B Bricks, Dave Schefcik, David and Breda Fennell, Huw Millington, Neil Crosby, Antonio Serra, Beyond the Brick, Sue Ann Barber & Trevor Clark, and Kevin Gascoigne. You're all awesome!

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Amazon USA: Canada: UK: Deutschland:

Search New Elementary

All text © New Elementary. All images © Ryan Howerter.


  1. Dear Ryan in case you are reading: thank you so much for doing this again! I know it is a ton of work. I have recently been learning tons of techniques by browsing through competitors' posted solutions to the most recent competition several years ago (here in case anyone else wants to see: ). I wanted to ask: any chance you would also consider posting solutions on Flickr? Non-members of Instagram are limited in how many pictures they can browse on that platform, and can't access larger versions of the pictures.

    1. Thank you! It's been too long :)

      I can't post them to flickr because of the upload cap :( BUT I believe New Elementary is going to post some or all of them here too!

    2. Oh crap, I just read about the 1,000-photo limit on free accounts, I had no idea. Thanks a lot, Verizon. Did they nuke any photos from the REC4 pool I linked in my other comment? (Are those pool photos actually hosted in the group pool account, or in the accounts of people who posted them, and merely linked to in the pool, and therefore subject to disappearing at competitors' individual and unpredictable whims?) I still have to work through a bunch of them!

  2. I had a solution to this figured out...when I wasn't looking at the picture and misremembered it as being four studs wide. I think I've figured out a legitimate solution, but not if the two halves are limited to the colors shown.

  3. Question: Do the colors matter to the challenge?

    1. No they don't, if you find a solution that requires a part that doesn't come in these colours, that's fine!

  4. @Ryan:
    Did you purposefully make this out of dark-purple and teal parts? Are you trying to cause a fight or something?