We can’t live without water… and most LEGO builders would find it difficult to build without LEGO water, at least once in a while! I don’t think I could even count the times I’ve used bricks to build water. From peaceful oceans to foamy beaches to swimming pools, water seeps into my creations all the time. So check out some of the many techniques I’ve used, and get inspired to build a bit of ocean yourself!
(To see more views of the following creations, just click on the pictures and scroll through my photostream!)
One of the easiest and at the same time most awesome ways to include water in your LEGO creations is using a few handfuls of 1×1 round pieces in transparent blue and clear. A judicious mixture of colors can create a neat wave effect too! (Of course, then comes the tricky part: separating the colors afterwards…)
This is a technique that I’ve used many times, particularly when I didn’t want to have to think very hard about my water. 😉
It’s a good idea to use blue plates underneath the round pieces. Or, you can just spread the parts on a blue sheet of paper. As a bonus, that will do duty for the sky!
Another simple, but effective way to create water is by using blue bricks sideways. While LEGO tiles leave a visible line between each other which is very unsightly when it comes to water, bricks turned sideways give a nice, smooth surface. In fact, they even have slightly reflective qualities – just like real water!
This technique admits lots of variety. A few round bits can add a bit of movement and texture.
Lined up, they can present a wavy illusion!
And of course, there’s no need to restrict one’s self to blue. Dark green is excellent for swampy water!
And black works great for a night scene.
Another type of piece that works splendidly for water is the 2×1 trans-light-blue tile. These are particularly useful sideways, as in the micro build below.
With a few more of them, it’s not hard to create a good sized bit of ocean!
They work well right side up too, of course. In the build below, I layered the trans-light-blue with some white pieces to give the water a foamy, moving effect.
In this next example, the tiles are actually not attached to anything. Since this is a man-made pool, the regular lines actually add to the effect. If you were depicting a natural body of water, you’d want to be sure to randomize or stagger the placement of tiles.
And of course, it’s not necessary to stick with trans-light-blue. Normal trans-blue works just about as well!
This next example is a technique which, to the best of my knowledge, I haven’t seen anywhere else. It uses the round blue parts on top of a double layer of trans-clear plates. This allows the light to shine through for the underwater effect!
Here’s another partly underwater build which again uses trans-clear, though this time without any blue involved.
In fact, trans-clear plates, tiles, and cheese slopes are great for water. By carefully choosing the color(s) of your underlying base, you can give the water the perfect tinge!
The trans-clear really makes the water look all foamy!
Once in a while, however, you want water doing something a little crazier than just coming in waves against the beach. Here we’re again using round pieces, but this time stacked and then carefully loosened to give a subtle curve as the water shoots out of the geyser.
There are also a couple of tricky ways to simulate water in your LEGO builds, without using bricks. For a super clear, reflective stream, mirrors work wonders!
Mirrors can also add a lot of depth to a build and allow you to capture much more of your creation than you otherwise would have been able to get in one picture.
And another way to include water in your LEGO builds without using bricks to represent it is to use – surprise – real water! This is tricky of course, since most builds don’t float, but it’s fun to play around with, as I did in the shipwreck below!
These are only a smattering of the many LEGO water techniques out there (we haven’t even touched waterfalls!), but hopefully they’re enough to whet your appetite (pun totally intended…)! 😉 Have fun building!
So what about you? Are these techniques you’ve seen before – maybe even used frequently? Do you have tips of your own to share? Or any further questions for me? Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below!
You might also appreciate these other building guides:
- Floors Galore for Your LEGO Home
- Tree Trials: Majoring in Micro
- Tree Trials: 7 Secrets for Deciduous Trees
- Tree Trials: 8 Unique Ways to Build a LEGO Palm Tree