©2005-2014 Situs Julius, Baron von Brunk.
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This is my collection of the best LEGO works I've created in the past few years, dating back as far as 2011 and continuing to today. What you see here are my most-polished and most popular stuff -- a lot of which you've probably seen throughout the web! All photos are taken by me, unless specified in the description. To view high-res images and unabridged photo sets, check out my Flickr page. Certain projects on here feature direct links to the full photo sets in addition to the sample images, as well as occasionally little stories behind the creation -- or even tutorials!
Follow me on Instagram to see work-in-progress photos of some of these!
Simply click on the thumbnails to enlarge:
Using the same exact technology and design principles of my Electronic Super Mario Starmen, I've built a new set of mosaic noisemakers, based on the iconic Super Mario mushrooms. The three green models play the 1-up sound effect, two of the red models play a segment of the Overworld theme from Super Mario World, and the third red model plays the airship victory song from Super Mario Bros. 3.
Four miniature replicas of the iconic invincibility stars from the Super Mario Bros. franchise, wired with a custom microcontroller circuit to make the eyes blink and to play audio clips. I've programmed the chips with an Arduino Uno; the microcontroller is an ATtiny85, whichs music generated by the Arduino melody library. Three of the four stars play the invincibility theme for a few seconds, whilst the fourth model (Rainbow) plays the "Coin Heaven" music from Super Mario Bros. 3, and has blinking color-changing eyes. Each unit is powered by two 3V CR2032 coin cells.
So THIS is where clowns come from. . .
"Hokey revisions and altered weapons are no match for a giant blaster at your side, kid."
On Thursday October 9th as an early birthday gift, I went to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to see the Metal Gods themselves. . . JUDAS PRIEST!! Here’s a diorama I recently built and photographed: I made a few prints of these on photo paper with the intention of getting them signed by the band, but alas, I of course never ran into them. I did, however get a corporate luxury box rather than the general seating area. Two things turn 30 this year: “Defenders of the Faith” by Priest, and Baron von Brunk.
"Bud Light Beer to Bar Command, come in Bar Command."
I don't doubt the musical abilities of Luigi, Jake, and Elwood, but I don't exactly think Mario would be the best singer.
You'll go ape over this vignette!
Just confirmed from Chicago Comic Con 2014: in the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII film, the new Sith Lord shall be revealed to be secretly Han Solo's father -- and as a nod to the Indiana Jones franchise, Darth Haggis is going to be played by none other than Sean Connery. Probably. Maybe. Who knows.
"I'm looking for a one-knight stand -- but don't worry, I'll wear protection."
Based on my previous version of the electronic DL-44 blaster, this revised model uses its own custom circuit board with a microcontroller that I programmed with Arduino. Like its predecessor, this project was tempered with its fair share of difficulties and stressful troubleshooting during its construction -- especially since I had to teach myself how to write code with Arduino. The frame is the same as the previous Mk.1 design, only slightly adjusted, such as some changes in the gun's handle and magazine to house the sound box and batteries.
Fun fact: there are only two kinds of countries in the world -- ones that use the Metric System, and ones that actually put men on the moon.
Happy birthday, America. Never forget.
Based on my popular mosaic Super Mario Bros. lamp from winter 2013, I made a slightly modified version of my own design — using an intricate new triangular fashion that employs LEGO hinge bricks, as well as a SNOT (studs not on top) pattern for the roof. The sprite patterns were designed by me, using images of the 3D game items as references. Output power: 13 Watt, 880 Lumen 5,500K CFL bulb, candelabra base. Check out the cool feature about this on Nerdist.
I was lucky enough to find both Itchy and Scratchy in one try, hence I couldn't resist making this diorama. The image was slightly adjusted in photoshop, notably the obvious lightsaber effect.
The Mk.1 prototype of my full-size replica DL-44 Blaster from Star Wars. This was painstakingly built just in time for Star Wars Day 2014, and was difficult to engineer to say the least. The gun functions via pulling the trigger which is rigged up to Technic pulleys and rubber bands, which strikes a Radio Shack momentary pushbutton, which is wired to a microchip stored in the gun's magazine. The microchip for the light module was made by me using components and a 555 IC timer to make the LED in the gun's barrel pulse on for one second when hit. The light module is connected in parallel with a hacked Radio Shack sound recorder module, which is ultimately connected to a 9 Volt battery stored in the gun's handle. At the time of this entry, I'm currently developing a custom microchip with the lights and sound into one solid unit with different battery power, so that I can make a tutorial with a more streamlined building process.
Happy ANZAC Day to all of my mates in Australia and New Zealand!
Using the essential look of my Game Boy Transformer "Domaster" along with the transformation cycle of my Game Gear "Gearhead", I've made a new LEGOformer named Vantage, who turns into a replica Game Boy Advance -- and comes equipped with battery blasters and an automatic shotgun which doubles as a parody Doom game cartridge! This was my first LEGOformer to be designed digitally prior to being built and improved in a physical form. Previous models in this series were made "organically", as in I'd compile a bunch of similar bricks of specific colors and make a ton of mockups via trial and error before making a final product. Vantage was designed with LEGO Digital Designer first, thus its 3D instructional guide had been released simulaneously. Check out the cool article about this on Kotaku.
This project was difficult and frustrating to say the least, and I even burnt my fingers in the process. Using the same design principles of my Nintendo World Mosaic from fall 2013, in conjunction with my mosaic “Lite Brite” mood lamps from December, I’ve combined both ideas and created a flat mosaic sprite portrait with hollow innards lined with 16 feet (~5 meters) of bright LED strips! The light from the LEDs illuminate the colored LEGO dots plugged into a mosaic grid of Technic bricks, thus mimicking a “Lite Brite” effect. Each LED strip is soldered into a series circuit with 24 gauge wires, then connected to a switch and a female DC adapter plug. The grid of LED strips is attached to a rear door which opens/closes via LEGO hinge bricks. The LEGO portion was rather easy and streamlined, but the electrical work spanned over a few weeks and had multiple failures in the circuitry before finally functioning.
I built some sprite background objects and experimented with photographing a vignette with my recently-purchased 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. The two Super Marip 3 mini ships are of course from the Fireflower Airship. This was also a test with multi-colored backdrops, as in the past with my old digital camera I was limited to stark white backgrounds for optimal lighting.
Next with my DSLR experiments, I threw together a quick little scene using some minifig-scale Koopa Troopas I built and originally intended to use in my massive model the Fireflower Super Mario 3 Airship. Back when the ship was first conceived in late 2011, I built a whole army of Koopas to use as the ship's crew, but opted to remove them to make the photo shoot cleaner and less cluttered. The platform is my Nintendo World Mosaic (a.k.a. the background photo for this site).
This is my first creation to be photographed with my Nikon D5200 DSLR, using an experimental lighting setup of blue lights and a default zoom lens. This of course is a reference to the Frank Zappa hit! "Watch out where the huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow!"
Built simultaneously with the Mosaic Super Mario Bros. Lamp, this project was a real challenge to say the least. Inside this hollow yellow structure is a "brain" -- a microchip from a model railroad set, which controls three LED spotlight bulbs rigged up in a series and powered with an AC adapter. The bulbs then shine behind a grid of Technic bricks with transparent colored plates in the holes -- in the same "Lite Brite" fashion as the Mario Lamps. I spent about a month experimenting with the bulbs and electronics, to get failed results, when I eventually learned that I needed to remove some of the resistors from the circuit board.
Built like my previous mosaic Super Mario Bros. mood lamp, this updated model uses a new "Lite Brite" system I've designed for better color output, and a powerful Candelabra-base CFL for the best lumen flow! This little block was a runner-up winner in the Instructables "Make it Glow" contest of early 2014, which was judged by Radio Shack; I won an Arduino Uno and an 18'' blacklight!
A large mosaic portrait of my deceased Maine Coon Tiggs (1995? - 2010), and with the usage of wires, light sockets, and LED bulbs, I made the cat's eyes glow (albeit demonically)!
Using two of the Mecha Link 1.0 clones, I've built a little diorama from a certain mini boss stage from everyone's favorite temple in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Everyone likes the Water Temple, right?
A large minigun and ammo belt in the fashion of the best first-person shooter ever. . . Wolfenstein 3D from id Software! This was my first creation to be photographed in my makeshift photo light tent that was constructed from white linen and PVC pipes. Sieg heil? Ha! More like, "sieg HELL you kraut bastards!"
Send in the clones! Now you too can make your own articulated Mecha Link figure; this is the 1.0 base model, in which I'm encouraging you to alter and make any adjustments where applicable. With the LEGO Digital Designer file in the Tumblr link, you're able to see a virtual model with any changes in color and parts as you desire.
I built this huge mosaic wall from the remnants of my particular Wii The People mosaic walls for Nintendo World's LEGO City: Undercover release party. I used a wide variety of colors and special techniques to make the artwork rather vivid; the entire image is a composite of various sprites and characters to celebrate the NES, SNES, and Game Boy eras! A particular fan noticed that several of the sprites -- namely Mega Man and Simon Belmont were from third-party companies that featured those characters on other systems. My response? The sprites contained in this mural aren't exactly representative of Nintendo as a whole, rather each character/item is representative of its respective game on an individual basis. For instance, Simon Belmont's sprite isn't necessarily intended to pay tribute to Konami's Castlevania franchise as a whole, instead, it's a tribute to the specific NES title where he appears! The same can be said about Bomberman and the Tetris sprite; the latter is deliberately colored in pale green, to represent the Game Boy version of the game.
My articulated figurine of Link, the hero of time from everyone's favorite game franchise! I built this bad boy gradually alongside with my mosaic sprite wall; what was the hard part? The shield -- that damn shield.
These bad boys were created for an Instructables summer 2013 LEGO contest, and naturally I won First Prize! Using the same technology as my other popular LEGO/video game/Transformers mashups, I built a project that really pushed myself to the limits. Ultra Hexacon (the console) transforms smoothly with strong joints and articulation. His two minions (Mecha Kong the ape and Hot-Shot the gun) transform into respective N64 cartridges that fit into his chest slot. Tetragon, the scorpion then acts as his loyal battle arachnid and game controller! Unfortunately, like my other LEGOformers, this does not play games — although it is built within near perfect size to a real Nintendo 64 and accessories. This creation was eventually published in a Portuguese art/design magazine in the fall of 2013; I'm world famous! What's in a name? "Hexacontatetragon" is the proper nomenclature for a 64-sided polygon, and with N64 being the first 3D polygon-based Nintendo system with 64-bit graphics, the names "Hexacon" and "Tetragon" (the robot and the scorpion) merge as a gestalt when transformed — both physically and in name! The word "Ultra" in the title is an homage to the Nintendo 64's original name of "Ultra 64" before its North American release.
This was a custom raffle prize for Cyn Factory's Firefly burlesque show in August 2013. I'm personally not a huge Firefly fan, but I couldn't resist lending my talents to help out some eager & sexy nerd girls.
This was actually a major flop. My original idea was to make a large, articulated LEGO figurine of Capcom's Mega Man, but I deviated too much and made it rather wonky, rickety, and out of proportion. I mean, the head and the Mega Buster turned out pretty cool, though.
I built this jolly good creation as a raffle prize for an Epic Win Burlesque Ghostbusters burlesque show -- and I made this thing in just a few hours!
This tiled platform was part of my display for the LEGO City: Undercover release party. The original concept was to build a LEGO replica of a Wii U on top of this platform, and then have a few mosaic walls around it. Due to space limitations, the walls were placed elsewhere, and I decided to remove the Wii U from this platform so that I could better show off the pretty sprite design. Hence, the entire "Wii The People" project remained in separate areas. If you haven't quite noticed already, this is the exact LEGO creation used in the background of my website, you big dummy.
Amongst the publicity of my Giant NES Controller, Nintendo of America personally contacted me and commissioned me to create an array of projects for their flagship store in New York City to promote the release of LEGO City: Undercover in spring 2013. In addition to having several exclusive projects in the glass cases, I was also allowed to show off my best (and still-standing) Nintendo-related models!
This project was actually built over the course of one night, and made as a last-minute addition to my array of creations to go on display at Nintendo World Store. The event was supposed to happen in late March, but was pushed back to early April -- thus giving me the chance to build one last Nintendo-related model for the release party. In my original idea, I was conceptualizing a spring-loaded mechanism to allow Deku Link to shoot nuts from his mouth!
Using a wind-up motor from a vintage LEGO model, I've made this little bugger fully motorized! It's actually not as fast as the video; it's a bit slower, so I sped up the footage for timing and comedic effect. Otherwise, the Bombchu crawls at a relatively steady pace. To answer your questions, no, it does not explode nor leave a glowing red streak behind it. I think I might build a few more of these and take 'em down to that bowling alley with the cute purple-haired chick.
This gigantic work of art is actually the byproduct of an aborted project: in the summer of 2012, Ripley's "Believe it Or Not!" in New York contacted me to do a sort of publicity stunt to promote the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20th. After we made the final decision to have me build a giant LEGO Batmobile from thousands of black and grey pieces, the idea was scrapped upon the tragic shooting rampage in Aurora, CO. Left with these excess bricks, I decided to construct a giant Nintendo controller -- and with some tinkering with Technic pieces and Radio Shack parts, I was able to successfully have the controller function. The large buttons use Technic shock absorbers to make them reciprocate and make contact with pushbuttons soldered to the circuits of an original NES controller. I spent the next few months gradually working on it, but had to stop around early October due to financial reasons -- and wasn't able to pick it back up and finalize the project until November 2012. My ultimate goal (once I repair this) is to have this put on permanent display at a large store like FAO Schwarz -- you know, to become this generation's answer to the giant piano from "Big"! Photos by Gene Kennish Photography.
I wanted to build a really obscure Zelda franchise character instead of a typical hero or enemy, so I made the random little old creepy marine scientist from Lake Hylia's Lakeside Laboratory! I sculpted the face first, then constructed the body over the course of one night were I stayed up until 4 AM watching reruns of "To Catch a Predator". The most difficult part of this creation? Getting the head to stay on the body -- in fact, I spent a great deal of time unsuccessfully trying to make it tilted like the scientist in the game, as he's a hunchback; but eventually I opted to have it level.
Using some of the pieces from my then work in progress Great Deku Tree, I made this little vignette of a familiar foe from the Legend of Zelda series. Dig those scared little Kokiri kids.
This is the first model in my ongoing "LEGO of Zelda" series. The series began with my idea to start building a large interactive Great Deku Tree model in the fall of 2012, and this gruesome spider was intended to be one of the enemies located within. The spider turned out to be much larger than anticipated, however.
Fun fact: I saw "They Live" at the IFC Theater in NoHo in 2012. The movie kicked ass and simultaneously chewed bubblegum (yet was unfortunately all out of gum).
A custom commission for Nelson Lugo of Epic Win Burlesque, this project was built in August/September 2012. This was both my first ever custom commission, as well as my first and only project to be completely glued together. Inside the LEGO structure lies a wooden box and mirrors for a special magic trick. Also, the beacon at the top lights up using the same 9V battery rig as my Fireflower Airship.
You have the right to remain. . . Fabulous!
Domaster wouldn't be much of a warrior without a rival - from SEGA! Henceforth, this project came naturally, and used a similar engineering structure, albeit much more elaborate and sophisticated than the Game Boy. This was my first sleeper hit: most of my popular projects go viral and achieve fame shortly after being published, but this particular creation received little or no publicity nor feedback when first launched. It wasn't until the summer of 2013 (one year after its creation) that it became somewhat famous after being posted on Buzzfeed. The hard part? Those damn decals; they're actually custom stickers printed on glossy paper, unlike Domaster's waterslide decals.
This little bird was supposed to be in a series of transforming Pokémon cartridges based on Blue, Yellow, and Red and to each transform into a robot version of one of the legendary birds, respectively. I sort of got impatient and went ahead and built Moltron - the Moltres robot bird - first, and as of now, alone. He also fits in the cartridge slot of Domaster, as he uses the same exact transformation cycle as Tetrawing.
After completing my Fireflower Airship, I employed the same creative technology of illuminated stained-glass LEGO projects to create this lamp. I eventually sold this particular model to a coworker, and built a second one for my release party for LEGO City: Undercover at Nintendo World Store in April 2013. My current mosaic LEGO lamps use a similar technique to that of Lite Brite.
My ever-so-popular LEGO Game Boy Transformer: built simultaneously with Plasmashock (the Zapper) and the Fireflower Airship, this was intended to be part of a huge collection of retro Nintendo-themed LEGO creations for a winter/spring 2012 launch. This project went through several revisions and had multiple engineering obstacles; the difficult part was making a transforming game cartridge that can fit in the Game Boy's slot whilst having enough room for the head of the robot to be concealed. After this project was launched, it soon went viral and ultimately caught the eye of Nintendo Power, to whom eventually published this in their May 2012 issue along with Plasmashock and The Fireflower.
My largest and most-ambitious project created to date, this gargantuan ship spanned across a 6-foot table and required over 8,000 pieces to build. I began breaking ground for this in the fall of 2011, and completed it by February 2012 after spending every weekend working on it as much as possible. The ship uses "SNOT" (studs not on top) for the bulk of its outer structure; the side panels are riveted on to an internal skeleton via Technic pieces. The stern of the ship contains mosaic tiled sprites, with a stained-glass window of a fire flower that lights up using a 9V battery and a small bulb. This was one of the projects that first caught the eye of Nintendo Power, and was prominently featured in the May 2012 issue. Full Photo Shoot on Flickr. Photos by Roz Smith.
The very first model in my popular LEGOformers series, this is Plasmashock, the NES Zapper robot! Working on this project gave me the knowledge of making transforming LEGO robots, thus paving the way for my most popular creations. This was my first LEGO creation to be featured "viral" on the internet, and with its positive feedback, I had the confidence to keep on creating more and more elaborate models.
All I have to say is, our partner is going to SHOCK the world, because he is none other than. . . THE SHOCKMASTER!
Hulkamania is running wild, brother.
Statue of Ludwig von Koopa from Super Mario Bros. 3. Ludwig was always my favorite Koopa kid, in both the TV show and the game. His particular airship level was harder than Chinese algebra.
All in all, it's just a LEGO brick in the wall.
Ian Anderson, the flautist and vocalist of Jethro Tull. Technically, the flute is a very metal instrument.
Look, they've even got the letter B on their uniforms! (my group of Blacktron II astronaut soldiers under a blacklight)
The likewise Blacktron II version of this planned series for throwback mecha designs. This fella was rather rickety.
My custom mecha for the awesome early '90s Space theme M-Tron. I even made the fake packaging art to go with it!
A little project I slapped together one night in the summer of 2009, then ran through Photoshop to add the cheesy proton pack effects. I like that little glowing ghost.
Baron von Brunk specializes with making original LEGO models as a hobby, and creates graphics as a chosen profession. His most popular LEGO creations are often retro video game themed, such as the Super Mario Bros. 3 "Fireflower" airship model and the Game Boy Transformer, both published in Nintendo Power's May 2012 issue.