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Building realistic vegetation with LEGO is one of the hardest skills to master, as square plastic bricks and organic shapes found in nature are as far from each other as they can be. There are some ready-made LEGO flowers, leaves, and vines that can help decorate a landscape, but to realistically represent the beauty and variety found in the real word, LEGO fans continue to stretch their building skills to come up with innovative new techniques. We have featured a number of ways natural settings can be recreated with LEGO (see links at the end of this post), and today we will talk about two newly invented ways to build trees. 🙂

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The beautiful landscape in the picture above was built by LEGO fan Full Plate, and is titled the “Avalonian Countryside”. There are a number of very interesting micro-building techniques that you can see here. Notice the tan LEGO Technic pins used as wheat, stacked flower stalks turned upside down to make a pine forest, and green minifigure heads to represent small bushes. What is most interesting however are the round brick-built trees that are featuring a brand new technique.

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As so many people liked the trees and wanted to learn how to build them, Full Plate provided a tutorial. The trees are actually quite simple and only require common LEGO pieces. What is innovative is how those pieces fit together. As you can see on the pictures below, the tree trunks can be built in different ways, as long as the piece on the top has a hole. The core of the tree canopy is the new type of flower-stem with six spikes (you will attach this flower-stem to the hole on top of the tree-trunk). This flower-stem is what you will hang on the leaf-assemblies made of plates. The core of this technique is that the spikes of the flower-stem can fit inside the center hole at the bottom of the 1×2 plates – which is a brilliant discovery in itself (please note that not all 1×2 plates have this hole at the bottom, as some come with a solid peg instead). So you simply slide a 2×2 round plate with an axle-hole over the stem, then lock it in with a 1×2 plate that is attached to the tip of the stem via the bottom hole. All other plates are just attached randomly to shape the tree canopy. Give it a try!

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The tree you see above is also by LEGO fan Full Plate. The canopy uses standard LEGO leaf elements, but what is really interesting is the tree-trunk made of axes and droid arms (thus the name “Axe Tree”). This technique is very complex and requires a lot of parts (the tree above uses 500 brown droid arms and 200 black axes!), but it gives you full flexibility for building beautiful and elaborate trees. If the tree you are building is going to be a focal point (like a LEGO bonsai), this technique can give you the most options. As the technique is quite involved I’m not going to try to explain it here, but direct you to Full Plate’s flickr album where he describes the whole process. You can also find the same tutorial at this link at Eurobricks.

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Whether you want to build simple landscaping with just a few flowers and simple trees, or very complex designs for the most realistic and dramatic effect, there are plenty of LEGO building techniques to choose from. The two above are just some of the latest innovations, and of course you can also experiment with your own. And if you are short on pieces to build landscaping, you can always get them from BrickLink, or the Pick-A-Brick section of the Online LEGO Shop. (Please note that the Online LEGO Shop was recently updated, and the previously used Plants category was renamed Botanic category at the Pick-A-Brick section.)

LEGO Trees & Leaves at Pick-A-Brick

So what do you think? How do you like these LEGO tree building techniques? Are you planning to try them? And are there any other techniques that you really like? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below. 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

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LEGO Friends Amusement Park sets review

by admin on September 24, 2016

in LEGO Friends

The recently released LEGO Friends Amusement Park collection includes some of the most interesting and dynamic sets within the LEGO Friends line. There are five sets in the series, and today we will look at each of them in detail. Enjoy the ride! 🙂

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#41127 LEGO FRIENDS AMUSEMENT PARK ARCADE: This fun little set features three classic style arcade games, including a basketball hoop with level launch, three targets that can be knocked over using a water gun, and a frog that pops down and back up when you hit it with a mallet. This set is fun by itself, it is a good inspiration for expansion, and it can also be added to the other LEGO Friends Amusement Park sets. Here is the official description: Hand in your ticket, take your aim and play all day at the LEGO Friends Amusement Park Arcade. First push the lever to shoot the basketball into the hoop. Push the trigger on the water gun to shoot the projectile and knock down the 3 targets. Then take the mallet and try to whack the frog right down. Includes a Mia mini-doll figure in a summer outfit. 174 pieces. Price: $14.99 – BUY HERE

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#41128 LEGO FRIENDS AMUSEMENT PARK SPACE RIDE: This set is an interesting mash-up of LEGO Friends and LEGO Classic Space. Take a look at all those gloriously glittery LEGO Classic Space stickers! I think Benny from The LEGO Movie would approve! Here is the official description: The LEGO Friends Amusement Park Space Ride comes with articulated arms and hologram stickers to create great speed effects. As you spin the ride faster, the arms lift the rockets higher into the air. There’s also a photo booth with movable camera to catch the action, and an ice cream stand to cool down after the ride. Includes an Olivia mini-doll figure. 195 pieces. Price: $19.99 – BUY HERE

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#41129 LEGO FRIENDS AMUSEMENT PARK HOT DOG VAN: This set is exciting not just for fans of LEGO Friends, but also for anyone who would like to add a really sweet looking hot dog van to their LEGO city. It also includes some rare and hard-to-find elements like the hot dog suit, and the hot dog buns, plus a bunch of other fun accessories. Here is the official description: Run the LEGO Friends Amusement Park Hot Dog Van with grill, cash register, accessory elements for making hot dogs, ladder to the upstairs seating area and removable roof for easy play. There’s also a hot dog costume to fit a mini-doll, and nearby is the carnival cut-out board and a camera for a fun photo opportunity, as well as a funny distorted mirror. Includes Stephanie and Nate mini-dolls. 243 pieces. Price: $29.99 – BUY HERE

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#41130 LEGO FRIENDS AMUSEMENT PARK ROLLER COASTER: This is the ultimate LEGO Friends Amusement Park set, with not just a roller coaster, but also a Ferris wheel and a drop tower. There is also an entrance booth and a little dining area with a very cute popcorn cart and some other accessories. What is the highlight of this set though is those beautiful medium-azure tracks! Please note that these are not the regular train-tracks, but a narrower version that so far only appeared in less than a handful of sets. The curved narrow train track has been available in dark-bluish-gray and black, and now medium-azure (eight is included in this set). The elevated train-track (four included in this set) is similar to the dark-bluish-gray and black version that came in two previous sets, but those had a larger elevation (five bricks tall instead of three). This seems to indicate that LEGO has plans to include this shallower elevated track in some future sets. I hope that’s true, as the narrower tracks are excellent for roller-coasters, coal-mine cars, smaller trains, and more. Here is the official description: Push the LEGO Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster around the track, sit a mini-doll in the front carriage to activate the light brick, and activate the cool functions as you go! Turn the Ferris wheel with its swinging gondolas, then push the car to the top of the drop tower and release to watch it go spinning round. This set is full of detailed functions and accessories for a day at the iconic Amusement Park. Includes 4 mini-dolls: Emma, Andrea, Matthew and Naya in summer outfits. 1124 pieces. Price: $99 – BUY HERE

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#41133 LEGO FRIENDS AMUSEMENT PARK BUMPER CARS: This is another set that can be used independently or added to a larger LEGO Friends Amusement Park layout. I like the little cotton candy cart. Those large gears on the swing look ominous however, and would probably look more friendly in another color. Too bad there are only two bumper cars included, but you can always make more. Here is the official description: Go wild in the LEGO Friends Amusement Park Bumper Cars and push them around the arena. Ride in the shaker with drop-down safety bar and rotate the toggle to activate the swing function until it turns upside down. Then stop to buy some cotton candy from the push-along cart. Includes Olivia and Ben mini-doll figures in summer outfits. 424 pieces. Price: $39.99 – BUY HERE

As you can see, the LEGO Friends Amusement Park is an excellent collection. And even if you are not into LEGO Friends, there are some interesting sets that you can incorporate into other settings, like the hot dog van, the arcade games, and the space ride. Also, LEGO Friends sets are excellent for learning how to build cute little accessories, like the popcorn cart, cotton candy cart, and ice cream cart, so even if you are not planning to get any of the sets, it is worth studying the pictures and the video-reviews above to catch all those small details. You can find them all under the LEGO Friends section of the Online LEGO Shop.

Shop LEGO Friends September Sets

So what do you think? How do you like these LEGO Friends Amusement Park sets? Did you get any of them already? Or are you planning to? What do you think are the most interesting designs and details? Feel free to share your thoughts and own review in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the LEGO Friends section for more news, reviews, and discussions, or select from the following related posts:

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LEGO Volkswagen Beetle custom trailers

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A couple of years ago I discovered the website of the German LEGO fan who goes by the name CustomBricks. What initially caught my attention was their various trailer-attachments for the #10220 LEGO Creator Volkswagen T1 Camper Van, and the LEGO #10242 LEGO Creator MINI Cooper. See original article here: LEGO MINI Cooper Caravan & […]

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LEGO Dimensions fun new teaser-trailers!

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LEGO is gearing up for the release of second phase of LEGO Dimensions sets with a bunch of teaser-trailers highlighting the new franchises that will be added to the line. As we have discussed previously (see links at the end of this post), LEGO already revealed several of the upcoming packs, including: the LEGO Ghostbusters […]

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LEGO What Am I? guessing game review

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While the LEGO Games series has been discontinued, LEGO still occasionally produces various LEGO sets that are based on traditional games. The LEGO chess sets are a good example, and right now the #40158 LEGO Pirates Chess Set is still available, and is on sale. Another, more curious LEGO game that recently became available is […]

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How do you use LEGO.com? – survey & more!

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LEGO is looking for your input and feedback again. It was recently announced on the LEGO Ambassador Forum that the LEGO.com team would like to get a better understanding of how teen and adult LEGO fans use the LEGO website. LEGO Ambassadors were asked to discuss the topic within their communities, and report back with their findings. […]

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The largest LEGO sets of all time…

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(Written by BLProductions) Over the last ten years or so, LEGO has been producing sets that contain hundreds or even thousands of pieces more – and cost a lot more – than what we can find in their normal product ranges. The company refers to these sets as LEGO Exclusives. This year LEGO released an […]

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LEGO Disney Castle rotating display options

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The recently released #71040 LEGO Disney Castle is big, very big. According to the official description, it is 29” (74cm) high, 17” (44cm) wide, and 12” (31cm) deep, so we are talking about a foot-and-a-half wide, and almost three feet tall display model. That’s huge! And while it is fairly easy to find some space […]

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