Boxing with Kangaroos

As part of our Great Brick Safari show, our builders have taken on the challenge of bringing these famous outback boxers to life in LEGO.

They’re as recognisable here as they are in the Australian outback: the distinct, long snout; oddly rabbit-like ears; powerful back legs, ending in feet like the shoes of a cartoon clown. Our Great Brick Safari wouldn’t have been complete without these unique marsupials, and our builders have taken the challenge of recreating nature’s boxing champions snout-on.

Adult and adolescent kangaroos, respectively.

Choosing the right colours is essential to any of the models in our safari, but the kangaroos it was even more key; their thin fur is a dusty, brownish-orange, like the iron-rich soil of the Australian outback, a range of colours that – until fairly recently – was uncommon for LEGO parts. Luckily, a recent explosion in the amount of dark orange (the larger kangaroo’s predominant colour) and medium nougat (primarily for the smaller kangaroo) parts available meant that not only could we colour the kangaroos’ fur more accurately, but we had a better range of pieces to build the more detailed sections of the models.

If you look closely at the face of the younger kangaroo, laying on its side, you will notice a 1x6x2 arch in nougat forming the upper curve of the eye, with the bottom of the eyehole seamlessly merging into the base of the kangaroo’s snout. On the next layer in, the single dish making the centre of the eye is widened and given a degree of shading by two dark grey mudguards, one of which is fitted upside down. This extra level of detail has a transformative effect, bringing a little bit of energy to the kangaroo’s features.

The facial features of the bigger kangaroo were in turn too large to use the same technique again, but this and other variations give the kangaroos their own distinct characters. The wider circumference of the adult kangaroo’s eye meant one arch couldn’t cover most of the curve, so two 1x6x1 arches were used to cover both the top and the bottom, allowing the builder to fit a brown 4×4 radar dish inside for the larger eye.

The adult kangaroo has another, instantly recognisable feature. Tucked safely in her tummy pouch is a little joey! It’s well-known that baby kangaroos – joeys – are kept in a natural pouch until they are old enough to bound around the outback for themselves, and here we can see one periscoping bolt upright from inside. Its fur is built in dark tan, as joeys fur is darker than a mature kangaroo’s, and its eyes are so small they are each only a single black 2×2 boat stud The mother is even shielding the joey with one paw – clearly, he isn’t ready to leap away on his own yet!

The joey sitting snug and warm in his mother’s pouch.

From the friendly little joey, to their thick, muscular legs, these lovable model marsupials are infused with so much detail and energy that they are ready to bounce right out at you from their enclosure.

Words and photos by Bright Bricks.