Stage design of the Foolish Bricks Comic, chapter 2 - Dwaas' house

I decided to redesign the interior of Dwaas’ house as a Lego MOC (my own creation) in chapter 3 of the Foolish Bricks Comic. In this post I will show you the build of Dwaas’ living room in chapter two.

The Lego MOCs for chapter 2 were pretty elaborate. I decided that most of the scenery would be revisited multiple times during the comic, so i build the sets in such a way that they could be shot from all angles. That is why they were complete rooms and all walls could be removed so essentially I had complete freedom of movement (see Figure 8 below).

A nasty side-effect of this was that building the sets was very time-consuming. I had trouble finding the time sometimes I think scenes dragged a bit too long to buy me some time.

This season I decided to go for smaller MOCs again, with added details opposed to the tiny MOCs of the first season. I also hope to speed up my builds whilst improving my building techniques. The details included combined with improved lighting and understanding of storytelling principles can provide interesting panels without drastically having to change the angles each time. I already ordered a lot of sand green bricks fro the rest of the necessary MOCs. 🙂

Below the second season set in all it’s details;

Figure 1: Dwaas’ house; living room – overview


Figure 2: Dwaas’ house; living room – overview


Figure 3: Dwaas’ house; living room – overview


Figure 4: Dwaas’ house; living room – close-up


Figure 5: Dwaas’ house; living room – close-up


Figure 6: Dwaas’ house; living room – close-up


Figure 7: Dwaas’ house; living room – close-up


Figure 8: Dwaas’ house; living room – walls separated

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brick comic - continuity

A continuity error

Continuity in (Lego) comics

In comics, movies, or any story to be frank, continuity is an important element. And unless you’re breaking continuity on purpose for whatever artistic or storywise reason, you’d better take care to keep continuity intact. Just so you know, there are four main types of continuity being: Content, Movement, Position and Time, I will write a bit more on those in a future blogpost. Of these, I play the most with movement and position (hopefully without you noticing) and the one I sometimes struggle with is continuity of time. However, this time I made a mistake in the first one; content.


As some of you have noticed episode 18 (chapter 3) was a few days late because I made a giant mistake related to continuity of content. I made this mistake before in one panel and I quickly reshot the one panel… but this time I had to redo the whole episode… pfff. The image below shows exactly what I am talking about. And, I took the opportunity to tweak the episode a bit since I needed to redo it anyway. 🙂

Brick comic - continuity error Brick comic - normal monster

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Rain in Toy photography tutorial

Behind the scenes; "A rainy forest walk".

Up until now I just could not figure out how to get rain in my images. I simply shopped it in…. it’s ok, but I always wanted the real thing! Then I read a comment written bij Anna (Fourbrickstall)- also remember to visit her VERY informative Youtube-channel if you want to know about Lighting and Lego-photography!) wherein she wrote something like that you simply need to keep your eyes open. When do you see rain on a wet evening; You see it in front of a lamppost! When there is no light… you can’t see light. So there you go; step one to get rain into your Lego-photo, you need to backlight the waterdrops!

Make it rain in a Lego photo

And that is what I did. I created a scene with the two monsters, backlit the scene (light B in figure 1), grabbed my water spray bottle and started spraying.

Light setup toy photography rain tips tricks

Nice! I saw some rain and light in the B-area of the photo…. but the rest was dark, I barely saw the monster in the back. To light the front of the scene I added the C and D lights at the sides. That lit the C, D-areas and the monsters sufficiently. However, now it irritated me that I only saw rain in the B-area. I also wanted rain in the A-area. That area was well lit by C, but from the side and not from the back. And backlight B was blocked by some trees. That ‘s why I finally added backlight A and voila…. rain in area A! Yay 😀

Light and camera settings

Another thing I completely ignored before where specific camera-settings. I have to admit, I feel a little stupid now because of this part. Usually I don’t care about shutter speed in my Lego photography because my scenes mostly don’t have moving parts. However… rain is a moving element in these photos (DUH!). So shutter speed IS important and the shutter speed determines if you’ll see drops, strips or just a mist. At the long shutter speeds I normally use I only saw a grey mist and that was it. I needed to increase the shutter speed! That also meant I needed to have more light than usual to prevent the image from becoming way too dark. In the end my camera-settings were: 50mm macro lens, ISO400 f1/7,1 1/40s.


I always used continuous light, so I can’t say too much about flash lights. However, I will be experimenting with flash shortly. Remember that flashlight is usually more bright that continuous light AND it has the ability to freeze motion/ rain. Both these qualities influence the shutter speed and thus the exposure-triangle. Anyway, I’ll get back to you once I know a bit more!

The result

The resulting image “a rainy forest walk” is shown below. Thanks for reading and until next time!

brick photography - Monsters in the forest on a rainy night

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storytelling photography tips tricks

Storytelling in Lego photography

First version: Feb 5th 2019
Updated: August 13th 2020

Storytelling is one of the most important aspects of Lego-photography. Photos that are nothing more than beautiful will certainly attract your attention and you may be momentarily awed by them, yet, you probably won’t remember them very long. It’s the images that tell you a story, the ones that speak to you, that will linger in your mind for a much longer time.

How does a single image tell stories?

A (Lego-)photo is an image frozen in time. As such, it does not tell the viewer what happened before or what lies ahead. The art of storytelling with a single image involves persuading the viewers to create their own version of a past or future, based on the image you presented them with. In short; a (Lego-)photo doesn’t tell the story, the photo motivates the viewers to create their own personal, emotional stories! And since all people are different, these stories will differ, amongst other things depending on memories, personality and experience.

This also explains why some pictures will tell an elaborate story to one person and are quiet to another. I cannot give you a straightforward recipe. I mean, storytelling through Lego-photograpy can be really hard. However, I can give you a few basic tips to increase the chances of your Lego-photo telling a story.

I need a hero

First off, who or what is the hero in your image? Is it a person, animal or maybe even an inanimate object (for example an old abandoned car, or a lonely house on the hill)? Then ask yourself if your protagonist is interesting enough to make people wonder.  Simply taking a picture of a tree or Lego-minifigure just won’t do it. You’ll have to provide the viewers with some context concerning your hero and ultimately take control of the entire frame. Thus, inviting viewers to (unconsciously) start thinking.

lego photography - lego wizard home potion
Figure 1; Willy, the one-eyed wizard

For example, Figure 1 shows Willy the One-Eyed wizard. As you might know there is an elaborate backstory on him in the first Foolish Lego Comic, and an even more elaborate backstory in my mind. Yet, I wonder, what is your story for him when you see this image? And maybe this Lego-photo fails to tell you a story at all, but, even that is interesting to think about! Why doesn’t it speak to you, what would you have done differently?

 The story is in the details

Second, it may be a good idea to include details! These may be larger or smaller details. And sometimes even the smallest of details may just be enough to get the train of thoughts of the viewer rolling. And a story is born.

Lego photography - Lonely elderly rain
Figure 2; lonely

Figure 2 shows the photo “Lonely”. There are quite a few details in there. For example, the ring and the closed umbrella even though he’s standing in the pouring rain. That alone could trigger a few (love?) stories. Another detail is that the protagonist is an elderly, so maybe he just became a widow? Besides, what is he doing street side, dressed up with a bow tie, but not caring about the rain? Enough to think about.  There are quite a few stories in there as long as the Lego-photo is inviting enough to make people care to look at the image long enough to find the one stories that appeals to them.

Plastic emotions

Third, storytelling through (Lego-)photography is all about emotions! And conveying emotion can be difficult with our little plastic friends, especially because not every facial expression is present in the Lego line-up. Also, body language can be a challenge.

Lego photography - elderly couple happy sunset
Figure 3; good old times

The first thing you need to do is to find a facial expression that fits your image or find a way to work around the facial expression. Take a look at figure 3; I wanted a loving face for the elderly lady, buy could not find one. Yet, by hiding the lady’s face, I myself create the loving face I wanted. On the other hand, other viewers might feel this guy has to make up for something while she is looking quite angry. Again, there are many stories in this one image.

Also, you need to pay attention to the stance of the Lego-minifigures. That is the closest thing to body language they have. And if there is a stance that seems impossible; sticky tack could be the solution to many problems. Also remember to pay attention to the hands of Lego minifigures; you wouldn’t believe what a difference the rotation of the hands can make for conveying emotions.

Lastly, do not forget the surroundings, lighting and especially color. These three elements can drastically change (or destroy!) the emotion and thus the potential for storytelling by your (Lego-)photo.

Go right… AND left

Fourth, if you’d like, you can add ambiguous or contrasting elements in your images.

In general, there are three types of stories that can be told through (Lego-)photography; personal stories, documentaries and lastly ambiguous stories. Documentaries generally don’t benefit from ambiguous elements. Also, don’t use this tip if you are looking to tell a singular story.

That being said; adding ambiguous elements in your Lego-images could increase the potential of your photo for telling more than one story, potentially reaching a wider variety of viewers.  However, don’t overdo it! You don’t want to completely confuse the viewers… unless you do 😉

Lego photography - Lousy hitchhiker with an axe
Figure 4; Lousy hitchhiker

Figure 4 shows “lousy hitchhiker”.  What happened here? And why is this person (M/ F?) carrying an axe in what looks to be a desert? Besides, why is (s)he still holding on to that axe, etc. Questions bring theories, theories bring stories, stories make a Lego-photo memorable.

Remember the effect of color(-temperature)

Fifth, colors convey emotion and have the ability to convey all kinds of information. So, using the appropriate colors and temperature is important for creating your story.
Warm colors (like red, orange and yellow) are exciting and can convey danger, passion, happiness and adventure, whilst cold colors mostly convey quiet, rest, contemplation, and sadness. All colors in between have their own characteristics and possible meanings.

Furthermore, it doesn’t always have to be about light-color. Giving a certain object a specific color can also be meaningful. For example (spoilers in examples); each time something red was shown in the movie: ‘the sixth sense’, a spirit/ ghost was near. And anytime an orange was shown in ‘the Godfather’-trilogy, someone was about to die.

Lastly, combining colors and lighting setup can be even more powerful; imagine a person sitting in a dark cold interior, with warm light coming in through the boarded-up windows; this image talks about someone battling their own dark thoughts whilst happiness tries to reach this person… and fails.

Lego photography - midnight snack dark house
Figure 5; midnight snack

Look at the photo in figure 5. The dark cold outside versus the warm and welcome interior, this person is feeling good! It’s not the build that’s speaking; it’s the color of the light. If the scene was identical and the inside and outside lighting was swapped so the outside light would’ve been warm and the interior blueish and dark, the story would be different.

Framing is key

Filling the frame only following compositional rules is not enough if you want your photo to tell a story. It is really important to focus. As I wrote before details can be important and contrasting elements increase the potential for storytelling. Yet, if you choose to add elements it must be possible for them to come together in the minds of the viewers. If the viewers can’t figure it out, they get confused and a story gets lost. That’s when you know you overdid it with adding details.
Remember that what you leave out from your picture is as important as what you include! Completely unrelated information in your photos will only disrupt the stories in the image. Always ask yourself if each element in the photo helps tell the story.

toy photography - peekaboo
Figure 6; Peekaboo

The photo in figure 6 shows that sometimes you don’t even need any elements at all. I used framing, lighting, focus, depth of field and a close-up and to try and tell a story. Adding any other element to this photo would’ve diluted the meaning of the image as a whole.

Get to know your subject

Sometimes a photo is created featuring a subject that needs more than one image to tell a story OR a subject that has a lot more than one story to tell (and again; the subject can be anything, not only a minifigure). If this is the case, you might consider creating a series of photos avoiding trying to put too much in a single image.
By creating a series of photos; a whole new world might open up. This time I don’t mean comics. I’m talking about showing different perspectives on a single subject, thus creating a whole new, deeper level of storytelling.

lego photography - frankenstein winter coffee
Figure 7; Dwaas enjoys a winter evening

I believe the image in figure 7 is a nice image in itself, showing Frankensteins’ monster enjoying some quiet time with his dog in the garden of his cozy home. However, the story it tells differs and might get to another level if you know who this monster actually is in the world I created for myself. The people that read the comic, also know this is Dwaas a lonely monster living with his ghostly friend Kemi. They also know he loves molded croissants and brings up the mystery of who this dog might be.

Be original

Nothing kills a story more than seeing an image that essentially has been created a thousand times before. Viewers are exposed to many photographic stories each and every day, and the photos that stick are the ones that do NOT follow the obvious path, just take a look at figure 8 (source: insta_repeat). Might be a great photo in itself… but when people have seen it a thousand times before; not so much.

same old, same old
Figure 8; Deja vu

You might have heard about the Pixar rules on storytelling. One of these rules is especially appropriate in this context: “Discount the first thing that comes to mind… and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, surprise yourself!”
This tip might seem very obvious, but you might be surprised by the amount of relatively similar (Lego)photos out there. These more-of-the-same-images generally fail to surprise and engage the audience. Their story has been told too many times before and no one will remember another photo that looks like the one before.

In conclusion

Storytelling through Lego-photography is hard, especially because our little plastic friends generally make it more difficult to convey emotions. I hope to have provided you with a few tips and tricks to get the viewers thinking about your image, thus, creating a memorable image. For now, my last two tips on this subject are; be careful naming you image, because a name could guide away the viewer from a story if you’re not careful. And lastly, create technically good photos! People tend to get distracted if there are obvious – non-intentional – technical difficulties with a (Lego-)photo.

Now go and practice, because as you know; practice makes better. I look forward to seeing your creations and if you have any more tips and tricks, let me know in the comments.

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Sabbatical 2019 - 2020

I spent the past week in Greece on a welcome vacation. Overlooking the Mediterranean sea i’ve been contemplating what to do about my Lego photography, especially in the light of the shortage of time, i’ve been complaining about abundantly here, and inspiration i’ve been experiencing the past few years.

The problem

Currently, my perceived shortage of time results in a badly maintenanced site. No new blog posts, no newsletters, very sporadic new Lego photography and i just can’t figure out how to keep up the schedule of the Foolish Lego Comic. Besides all that, i always have plans and ideas for the site, but i never get around to implementing them.

Not surprisingly, this is not how i would like things to be. Sadly, there are a few things in my life that need quite a bit of extra time. Before, i tried to combine everything but between a very busy job and an equally busy private live it proved impossible. My hobby became a stress-factor and stress turned out to be detrimental for my artistic inspiration.

So, how do i proceed?

Two weeks ago i was reading the walking dead comic, issue 193. Trying to avoid spoilers, i can safely say Kirkman inspired me somewhat. Suddenly, i realised what i had to do! The idea took some time to settle, and now i am convinced there is only one way to keep Foolish bricks going at the high standard i want it to keep going on; i need to take a break.

So, that is what i am going to do, after i finish the current Foolish Lego chapter within a couple of weeks. Foolish Bricks will go on a hiatus until August 13th 2020.

Of course, i won’t sit completely still during this period. My primary concern will be the creation of the third chapter of the Foolish Brick Comic. I will be working on the script, building stages, photography, post-production, behind the scenes blogs, tutorials and hopefully improve a few aspects of the site, like the newsletter some more. Furthermore, sporadically i might post a few Lego photo’s.

I will be checking the site frequently, so if you have questions or comments, you can still find me here. Also, i will remain active as Brickcentral-mod so i can be contacted there too.

Thank you all for your continued support and after the second Foolish Lego Comic chapter ends, i hope to see you back August 13th 2020!




Lego comic panel recreation - My world

This behind the scenes post is on the recreation of ‘my world’. Strabo brings Barry to the entrance of Eno, located in the secret basement of the antique-store.

My world – the original panel

Figure 1 below shows the original panel from episode fourteen of the first Foolish Lego Comic.

lego photography my-world- behind-the-scenes
Figure 1; the original “My World”

The original image – positives

The focus is on the globe… the new world, everything else is out of focus and so secondary. With that in mind this image does what it had to do; introduce another world!

The original image – Room for improvement

Of course, again the photo suffers from the lack of proper lighting, it really falls flat in that department. There are also a few elements, like the dragon and owl in the image. The dragon is ok, but did not really work in the rest of the panels. The owl however, was a bit strange. An owl has nothing to do with Eno, the whole story is about the Godlike dragon. To my defence, I did not know that yet at that time ;).
Furthermore, this was the first of the larger stages; in this image it doesn’t show and that should not be a problem, there were other panels following. What is a problem though, is the fact that I wanted to convey the feeling this was a secret cave with the portal embedded in it. This stage looked more like a basement, with a cave-ish wall.

My world – the recreation

Figure 2 below shows the remake of this panel.

lego photo- alternative world recreation
Figure 2; The recreation of “My World”

The stage

I rebuild the stage with the idea this originally was a cave. The size of the set is even a little larger than the original now. I tried to make the MOC a little more interesting and less square. Look for example at the completely self-build door. Figure 3 shows a behind the scenes build with another globe (at that point I could not find the actual globe 😛 ). Also, there is still an owl, later replaced with a Dragon-statue because that fits the story much better.

Figure 3; Behind the scenes of the recreated my world stage.

You can compare the new stage to the old one as seen in figure 4.

Lego comic stage
Figure 4; the original “my world” stage


I went for a long shot, showing the cave-like room. I wanted this image to be a bit more impressive, more in line with the impact of finding a “new world” on Barry. The globe is less present, but still in there.

Color and mood

Bright lights on the second floor, and the closer you get to the portal, the more red and dark the scene becomes, signifying the growing uncertainty of the situation for Barry getting closer and closer to a new world.

Before and after

Below are the before and after images joined in one image. You can use the slider to show the one or the other.

lego photography my-world- behind-the-scenes lego photo- alternative world recreation

Happy creating!

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cover recreation lego comic panel

Lego comic panel recreation - Heavenly forest

This behind the scenes post is on the recreation of the heavenly forest. Actually, this forest is not as heavenly as Darryl hoped for. At this point in the comic, Amida is not in for a friendly talk with our friend.

Heavenly forest – the original panel

Figure 1 below shows the original panel from episode eleven of the first Foolish Lego Comic.

lego-original before recreation
Figure 1; the original heavenly forest.

The original image – positives

There isn’t too much going on in the image. However, the one thing that is going on, i always liked. I felt the posing of Amida as well as Darryl’s face was spot-on.

The original image – Room for improvement

Again the photo suffers from the lack of proper lighting, i remember shooting this image on a table in front of glass garden doors. I also remember this set was really small, just one green plate large. When I didn’t have much to work with, i used a close-up so I didn’t have to worry about the background. Yet, it did not work, if you look very closely, you can even see the corner of he table in left upper edge of the image.

The set in itself is pretty disappointing too… a baseplate and three trees. Pretty remakable the panel worked in the comic, now that I think of it.

In the next panel, Amida hits Darryl over the head with a stick, however, there is no stick in sight in this panel. Also, there is dust all over.

For the recreation I decided to keep what I liked, the posing of the characters (with a small adjustment), and Darryl’s expression.

Heavenly forest – the recreation

Figure 2 below shows the remake of this panel.

Lego photography forest
Figure 2; the recreation of the heavenly forest

The stage

I still used a small set. But filled it with all kinds of different plants and trees. I wanted the feel of a large, dark forest and the original image was far from that. By by changing the angle and using a printed background I feel I was able to create the illusion of a large forest even with using a relatively small stage. Figure 3 shows the behind the scenes.

Figure 3; behind the scenes

I also gave Amida a stick (behind her back)… this time she is ready to hit darryl over the head ;).


In stead of a close-up, I went for a Full-shot, showing a little more of the surroundings. This way, Darryl and Amida go up in their surroundings. I used a lower angle and focused on Darryl’s bedazzled face. As compositional help, I used the Fibonacci spiral, making sure there is also enough negative space in the image.

Figure 4; compositional help by the Fibonacci spiral

Color and mood

Dark, gloomy and green are the main colors. I also added a red glow on the back of Amida and the stick, conveying the danger Darryl’s in.

Before and after

Below are the before and after images joined in one image. You can use the slider to show the one or the other.

lego-original before recreation Lego photography forest

In conclusion

You don’t need a gigantic set, to create the illusion of grand surroundings like a forest. Play with the angles, background and lighting and I’m sure it’ll work out.

Happy creating!

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Lego comic panel recreation - Darryl's disappearance

This behind the scenes post is on the recreation of Darryl’s disappearance in the first Foolish Lego comic. In a sense this was the point of no return for Barry. When Darryl disappeared, he could not back out of the adventure anymore.

Darryl disappearance – the original panel

Figure 1 below shows the original panel from episode eight of the first Foolish Lego Comic.

Figure 1; The original panel

The original image – positives

This stage was one of the first ones that was a bit larger than the others. I remember putting a more time into building it, yet, I still missed a lot of the building skills that I have today. What I like is that it does look like a library somewhat, and also a library that has been messed up by Amida in search of some kind of letter. Also there are some antique’s in the back, connecting the library to the Antique store. I also love the choice of face for Darryl. Because it’s almost the only thin we can still see of him, it really conveys his fear.

The original image – Room for improvement

As with almost all panels from the beginning the atmosphere in this photo suffers from the lack of proper lighting, I simply wanted to have everything illuminated and that was it.

A thing that also annoyed me, is that the style of this stage was completely different from the style of the shop itself. There was no indication of a connection beyond the few antiques in the back of this stage.

Concerning the perspective, the high point of view is not too bad, however, the use of depth-of-field is (again) confusing. The one thing that is in focus are the books, and they are not that important. I’m guessing the attention of the reader will eventually reach Darryll, but it’s almost as if it is not THAT important. The lack of importance is also somewhat stated by the stance of Barry. He looks like he’s casually walking towards Darryl, not trying to reach him or anything. You might think he is in shock, but then I would’ve expected him to stand in place.

You might also think the right lower corner is wrong; you can see the end of te floor there. However, this did not actually matter. The first comic had a different aspect ratio than the current comic. This meant that I needed to crop all photos in height, and thus, this mistake did not show up in the comic.

Darryl’s disappearance – the recreation

Figure 2 below shows the remake of this panel.

Figure 2; The recreation

The stage

I use the same style elements in this build, I used for the inside of the store, and even for the storefront; they are all combinations of wood and stone, creating the feeling of looking at on building. I still wanted to have some books, but also displayed a few other elements. The most striking difference in this panel is the addition of the statue. Eventually, this statue will be the entrance to the basement. A small visual hint to this is the key she’s holding. When Strabo speaks his ‘magical’ words, her candle wil light up, and the passageway will open.


The one and only focus in this panel is the interaction between Barry and disappearing Darryl. Barry’s running towards Darryl, almost able to grab his hand, however in the next panel, he would’ve fallen to floor and Darryl would be gone. I also changed the perspective in such a way that both the faces of Darryl (the same expression as the original panel) AND Barry can be seen. NOW the fear/ fright of Barry shows, while Strabo looks more detached.

Color and mood

Again, the color and mood are brought more in line with the inside of the store. With the addition of the blue color emitted by the (upgraded) effect of darryl disappearing. The effect of course is the same one used for the teleportation of Amida.

Before and after

Below are the before and after images joined in one image. You can use the slider to show the one or the other.


In conclusion

Continuity is important in comics, not only story-wise, or concerning the location of characters and objects, but also concerning styles used. So, always try to build related stages to actually SHOW that  they are related.

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recreating the inside of a lego store

Lego comic panel remake - Strabo's store

This behind the scenes post is on the recreation of the inside of Strabo’s store. This one was more difficult than the first two recreations, because I feel the original Lego stage I build was not that bad.

Strabo’s Store – the original panel

Figure 1 below shows the original panel from episode five of the first Foolish Lego Comic. However, strickly speaking, the panel I created, is not in the original comic. It shows Darryl peeking into the store whilst Strabo is busy. This would’ve been a panel I would have added before the whole episode – “panel zero” – to give a feeling of the store atmosphere, before Barry and Darryl went in. It probably would’ve been a separate episode. Funny to realise how different everything would’ve been if I rebooted the story… or if I’d given the comic a bit more thought back then 🙂

Lego inside the old store
Figure 1; the original

The original image – positives

There are many old objects lying around. I still remember stuffing the scene with all kinds of old-looking Lego items. To me it does feel like a store in antiquities. I also like the perspective of this shot. It’s kind of an over the shoulder shot, the store seen from the viewpoint of Barry. Lastly, I really like the way Strabo is positioned. Casually looking at/ cleaning, straightening the image on the wall. All in all, I’d say, not too bad for the purpose of the comic.

The original image – Room for improvement

This build also suffers from the one thing each and everyone back then suffered from; lack of invested time and building skills. This is really obvious by the look of the wall and the floor. The wall lacks any contrast and some kind of variety in it’s look. It’s also kind of empty (that’s probably the reason for that chain hanging there).

Moving on to the perspective, as I said, I like the viewpoint of Barry in this shot, yet, the use of depth-of-field is confusing. It’s unclear what is important in this panel. Is it Barry or Strabo? The way it is now, only part of the store is in focus; hardly the part the readers should be focusing on. The focus should’ve been on Strabo, especially since the shot has been set up as an over-the-shoulder shot. Furthermore, the atmosphere suffers from the lack of proper lighting, I just did not pay ANY attention to the way the scene was illuminated.

Lastly a nitpick, the location of that gladiator helmet should probably have been more to the front of panel since Darryl will be picking it up when both Barry and Strabo weren’t paying attention.

Strabo’s shop – the recreation

Figure 2 below shows the remake of this panel.

Lego old shop inside store
Figure 2; The recreation of the comic-panel.

The stage

I still wanted the look of a small, crowded and messy store, where all kinds of objects are lying around. And even if there are less objects within the frame, i believe I pulled off the look. Also, to create some depth, I placed several objects, out of focus, near the lens. Lastly, I thought it would be nice to have the door and some windows in the shot so I could play with light-fall.


There are a two foci in this image, first Strabo in his little shop (this is the main focus), second Darryl peaking through the window of the door. Using the golden ratio, Strabo is positioned quite right. However, if I use the Fibonacci-spiral, this photo should’ve been cropped at the top and right side. I decided against this; the stage is already more extensive than is shown in the image and I didn’t want to loose more surroundings.

Toy photography composition fibonacci golden ratio
Figure 3; Golden ratio (on the original size) and Fibonacci spiral within proposed crop.

Still, playing around with the Fibonacci spiral shows there is a pretty decent flow in the image going from Darryl, via the mouse to Strabo himself (Figure 3).

Color and mood

Even though the outside of the shop, and also the interior, is a bit darker than it was I felt the lighting should convey a warm feeling. So, there are a lot of yellow-ish colors in the scene. The lights through the window should create a bit of a mysterious atmosphere, but I am not convinced that actually worked.

The little things

I changed Strabo’s green sweater to this one, I simply didn’t like the first one. When I first use Strabo I did not know he would play such a large role in the comic, otherwise I would probably have gone for another print. For this reason, I had to change his position, the back of this torso does not have a print on it.

Furthermore, it’s nice to have all kinds of little easter eggs in an image. For example the light grey sword is a genuine antique sword. This one is from one of the sets I got as a kid; the illustrious “Yellow Castle (375 – 1978)“. Also the helmet has a more notable postion, light and highlight. And it looks as if it already caught Darryl’s attention. Lastly, there is one more giant easter egg concerning the (temporary) faith of Barry and Darryl in the first Foolish Lego Comic. Do you know what I am talking about?

Before and after

Below are the before and after images joined in one image. You can use the slider to show the one or the other.

Lego inside the old store Lego old shop inside store

In conclusion

This time I realised rules aren’t rules, at least not when it comes to photography. Looking at the composition of the final image, I’d much rather use the compositional rules and consciously break them too. As long as the final shot feels good to you and you thought about what you wanted to achieve by breaking conventions.

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Creating a lego antique shop

Lego comic panel remake - The old antique shop

For the second recreation I decided to recreate Strabo’s antique shop. Those who already read the comic, know it’s an important location and I never felt the storefront I created back then, did it’s importance any justice. In the old days I build most locations within half an hour. If I remember correctly, this one even took below ten minutes. And it shows.

The old antiqueshop – The original image

Below is the third panel from the second episode of the first chapter of the Foolish Lego comic: “Could be an adventure” (Figure 1). It was published August 24th 2013.

lego old store build
Figure 1; The original panel

The original image – positives

Darryl – hoping for some kind of an adventure – convinced Barry to go to the antique shop to ask about the stolen dragon document. At the very least, this panel establishes the fact that the reached the store and are going in. Also, Darryl looks somewhat more enthusiastic compared to Barry. I personally liked the sign too though it is not very accurate since there is only one shopkeeper.

The original image – room for improvement

Again, I’ll start with the little things. The image is somewhat crooked; it looks as if I wanted a symmetrical image (with the exception of the sign), but it isn’t, besides that the lower part of the image is rotated somewhat compared to the upper part.

Furthermore, because I created a very small Lego MOC as a stage, I zoomed in way to much. Usually a zoomed in panel means something important or intense is going on… but there isn’t. Also, Barry has a very strange stance. It’s like he has a problem with his extrapyramidal tracts; both arms besides his body, almost falling backwards. Lastly, even though some stuff can be seen trough the shop windows, it is kinda dark and there is obviously a plate behind the door.

The old antique shop – the recreation

Below in figure 2 you can see the recreation of this panel.

Lego old antique store storefront
Figure 2; the recreation

The stage

This time, I build a modular-size MOC of the antique store as a stage. I always like to add a few details these days even if they don’t show in the final panel. An example of this is the doorknob; it’s the print of an old fossil, als there is slightly more in the shop windows than can be seen.


Because of the larger build I could zoom out a bit more and in stead of using a medium-shot, like in the original panel; I could use a long shot (wide shot), establishing the location and immediate surroundings. The camera angle is slightly from above, giving a better view of the situation.

Color and mood

The recreation is more dark than the original panel. Shooting the original image I didn’t have any lighting setup so I shot the image outside in the sun. For the recreation I still didn’t want a dark image, bit also not as bright and sunny as the first panels in the comic. Darryl and Barry are slowly moving towards unknown territory besides I feel the store is a quasi back-alley where less sunlight comes in compared to the main street where the comic started. Color-wise; Barry and Darryl are still bathing in golden sunlight, while the right side of the image is darker, and more blue. Lastly, the small amount of vignetting I did to show a new scene has started (Like in a few old films where a scene ended and started with a circle closing and opening).

The little things

I added a few easter eggs related to dragons. And those who read the whole comic, might recognise the knights’ armor in the window. You can also see the creature (Noldor) peeking around the corner more clearly (Did you know that he is actually present in episode 1 and 2?), raising questions about what is going on.

Before and after

Below are the before and after images joined in one image. You can use the slider to show the one or the other.

lego old store build Lego old antique store storefront

In conclusion

That’s it. I hope you enjoyed the post and that it might inspire you to look at past work you did (it could be anything), and see if you can remake and improve that work. Lastly, if you have any feedback on these recreations, please let me know in the comments; live and learn.


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