Sketching with LEGO (Review)

A lot can be done with LEGO. There’s the obvious building, play, fun, and all that, but there’s also art, prosthetics, transport, living spaces and there’s sketching. LEGO were kind enough to send me a couple of the new Brick Sketches – 40456 Mickey Mouse and 40457 Minnie Mouse.

Both of these sets will set you back AU $24.99. Mickey has 118 parts, and Minnie has 140.

Designed by Chris McVeigh, this is pretty unique. It’s the first theme that was born from a fan’s creation, who was subsequently hired by LEGO. They must have loved them, because it’s now an official theme that’s almost entirely unchanged from the original design. The sets themselves are rather simple, built primarily of plates and tiles in both regular, round and wedge variants. These are layered to create texture and depth.

The plates are all built on a brick and large plate frame. This allows the build to be supported by the kickstand neatly hidden behind, or by being mounted on a wall thanks to the 2×2 modified plate with pin hole.

The backgrounds of both sketches compromise of tiles – red or yellow, with neat little corners “cut” into the top corners using wedge plates. It’s almost like the signature move of Chris McVeigh. The layering technique is very clever, with upper layers blocking off the lower layers to create the perfect level of detail.

It also allows for some 3D shaping with the portraits. The noses of the mice in particular look great. The round domed 2×2 bricks are on rocker plates that allow for them to be tilted up slightly.

There’s not really a whole lot to talk about with these sets, but the way different plates have been used for detailing are inspired. Heart plates as a bow for Minnie, and wedge plates as a bowtie for Mickey, plus the use of grills for Minnie’s eyelashes and those 3×3 round tiles – wow.

These are a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to the next lot!

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