Finding interesting and unusual ways to use LEGO pieces is one of the joys of the LEGO hobby. Sometimes these discoveries are made after lots of trials and errors, and other times they happen by complete accident. One LEGO fan who has been consistently coming up with surprising uses for LEGO elements is Josephine Monterosso. Josephine’s specialty is recreating the shape and movement of the human body with LEGO pieces, using unexpected techniques and unconventional combinations. 🙂
I first became aware of Josephine’s work when I stumbled upon her fully articulated and elegant looking LEGO robots, pictured above. As you can see, the entire body, and especially the joints, take advantage of the shapes and connection-points of mostly small LEGO pieces. It’s worth studying these pictures to see how all the attachments are made. Josephine also shares separate pictures of some of the trickiest connections, in case you want to try them out. See her flickr gallery here.
Josephine made a number of other fully poseable robots, each of them incorporating different techniques for joint articulation. The picture below, shows some of the ways the shoulder-connection has been achieved for the robots above, using everything from lightsaber hilts to egg beaters.
And of course, these combinations can also be used on a larger scale, as demonstrated below, where a larger robot’s arm holds one of the smaller bots. Josephine says she is still working on the larger robot, but progress is slow, as she is trying to work out different combinations for the rest of the body that looks good and also stable.
If you would like to experiment with building humanoid robots, the best place to start is to begin gathering the smallest and most interesting looking LEGO pieces you have. Minifigure accessories, weapons, ball-joints, clips, hinges, pins, bars, small gears, wheels, and Technic pieces are some of the most useful. For larger panelings (like the chest piece of the robot on the first picture) look for parts with unusual moulding. Sometimes all you need to do is turn a part upside down or backwards to reveal some interesting details. I keep interesting parts like these separate, in a special “greebling box”. I’m using one of the LEGO Juniors boxes made by Room Copenhagen.
LEGO themselves made some sets that are perfect for filling your greebling box with unusual elements. The #21109 LEGO Ideas Exo Suit released in 2014 is one of the best examples. The LEGO Mixels series is also a great source of interesting little parts and joints. Next time you build a set, take a bit of time to really explore the shape and functionality of the parts, how LEGO designers used them, and what else you could think of using them for. Sometimes all it takes is to realize; hey, this part looks like a face when I turn it upside down! See some great examples below, also by Josephine.
What do you think? How do you like Josephine’s ideas? Do you have your own LEGO greeble box? What’s your most interesting discovery so far? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below! 😉
And you might also like to check out the following related posts: