Although these days there are many hundreds of specialized LEGO parts, the heart-and-soul of LEGO is still the regular LEGO brick. If you ever get overwhelmed by all the choices, or feel like you are not up-to-date with all the possibilities, I encourage you to go back to the basics and see what you can do with the most basic elements.
One of these basic parts is the 1×2 bricks. I’m sure you know how to stack them, but did you know there is a slight gap between the bricks as you line them up on studs? If you use enough bricks, this almost invisible gap allows you to bend the structure in various shapes.
The basic LEGO shape you might want to try out first to see how this works is a circle. If you build up at least two or three layers of 1×2 LEGO bricks, the gap between the bricks will allow you to bend them all the way around into a full circle!
You would want to use at least 72 bricks to make one layer of the circle (so for 3 layers you would use 216). Why 72? Because if you use less there is too much tension between the LEGO bricks as you try to bend them, and the circle won’t stay together!
Minimum 72 bricks in a row give you a perfect circle without damaging your LEGO bricks or the circle blowing apart. This is the key to this technique; using enough bricks so they easily bend into the shape you want to achieve.
All of the LEGO shapes shown here are from Todd Wilder. Aren’t they amazing? You can check out Todd’s other creations here: Todd Wilder’s LEGO Gallery. Look at all the possibilities with nothing more than basic 1×2 LEGO bricks! (Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.)
Now you know how those rounded LEGO skyscrapers and castle-towers are being built! What would you do with this cool technique? What kind of LEGO shapes would you build?