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How to build a LEGO Merlion? | LEGO Building Ideas

Singaporean fans of LEGO made last month's National Day special by sharing their LEGO Merlion builds. They shared their resourcefulness in using their existing LEGO bricks or taking inspiration from LEGO sets, teamwork by making the challenge a special bonding activity with their children, and endless creativity. 

Their LEGO Merlion Builds are also on display at our Resorts World Sentosa store until 12th September 2021!

Check out their different styles in building Singapore's iconic landmark. Be inspired to create your very own!




@ahyo1981 was inspired by the old Sentosa Merlion which has since been demolished and initially planned to build a tan-coloured Merlion but the LEGO bricks were unavailable.

@ahyo1981 wanted to build a nice fish scale but the stud size is limited due to the small size of the build. Thus an inverted technique was used which almost covered all studs but purposely left some to remind people that the structure is made out of LEGO bricks.

Initially, there was no plan for a water spout, but found a part that suited it from the LEGO 76190 Iron Monger.

@ahyo1981 thinks every LEGO lover is a potential LEGO designer, because the more you build, the more you learn to apply the techniques to your MOC.

"I looked at pictures of the Merlion for reference, in particular the one at Marina Bay, to get the shape right. I found some pictures of a colorful Merlion lit up at night, that gave me the inspiration to make it more colorful, less traditional. So, I used the tan color for the body, to remind of the big one in Sentosa, and multiple colors for the mane."

"The base is pretty simple; the Merlion is built mainly with SNOT techniques (studs not on top). The body is made by plates connected to modified bricks inside, same goes for the head, where plates are mostly replaced by slopes and tiles, while the head is a bit more complex, with a combination of different kinds of parts in different directions.

My tip is to look at the parts available in your collection and start from there. I don't have a huge inventory yet, so sometimes I found myself stuck in the middle of a build, because I don't find what I need. Looking at my parts first, pushes me to be build more cleverly and to be more creative in the use of the LEGO bricks. For example, before building the Merlion, I realized that I was short of white parts, so I took a different approach right away."
"To celebrate the opening of the Resorts World Sentosa LEGO store I really wanted my Merlion build to try and capture as many elements of the island as possible. Sentosa is synonymous with joy and entertainment, and I wanted to give the impression of that and bring a smile to people’s faces."

"In addition to the Merlion, the build includes the Royal Albatross cruise ship, the globe and castle from Universal Studios, the cable cars as well as the luscious vegetation and wildlife of the island itself."

"Building the rest of the Merlion was extremely challenging and there were two main things I had to achieve. The first was to build a curved head using LEGO bricks. I failed more times than I succeeded but each little reworking led me closer to the final result, one which I’m pleased with.

The second challenge was the Merlion’s face. I wanted it to be recognizable as a lion but not scary as my main aim was to create a model which was joyful. The new DOTS pieces came in really handy for adding details to the facial features."

"Singapore has many wonderful LEGO builders and a supportive online community. I’m constantly inspired by the work of our other builders here and the biggest tip I would give is to draw inspiration from them and to also share some of your builds. The possibilities are endless with LEGO, and we can always learn something new and find new creations to build."




"The adult brick Merlion is a redesign of a masked version that I did last year, and now sports a smoother mane and happier smile, while the baby Merlion is inspired by Merlion, the cute mascot created by the Singapore Tourism Board."

"Both Merlions sit on a base slightly smaller than 16 by 16 studs and use plenty of sideways building, with a few brick arches used upside down. Here I've chosen to have a big and a small Merlion, because building with bricks is for both the young and the young at heart. The two spouts and water puddle also signify the inflow and accumulation of wealth and fortune - for all of us here in Singapore."

@yayaseng Googled for different LEGO builds of lions and cats in general for different ideas/designs and what can be done with the LEGO elements from LEGO Olaf and combining with the white slope curved pieces from LEGO Saturn V for the Merlion’s mane.

"I visualized the build in my mind before getting 2 additional sets (LEGO Classic Transparent and LEGO DOTS Designer) for the parts I think I need."

"Using the techniques found on LEGO Saturn V, I used the hinge element to angle the 2 pieces at the side rear of the Merlion head so as to give it a more 'rounded' look. Main supporting column was made using 2x4 bricks hidden in the centre of Merlion."

"Used the curved elements to achieve a oval body shape (top down view) similar technique on LEGO Saturn V and LEGO DOTS to represent the design of the scales before using brackets to fix the side panels to the head."

"Only have enough slope pieces for the side of the tail thus used the heart shape element (angled using a hinge element) to form the main tail and decided to add a Singapore flag on it, with a transparent piece to better position the bottom 2 'stars' with the top 3 stars; and separate elements to represent the crescent moon.

Final touches are to add the number '56' at the back of the mane in celebration of Singapore's 56th birthday and more dots (white and light blue) and flat tiles to show the curvature of the tail."

"This is my first build. The tip is to have fun building, dismantling, re-building, improving the LEGO build!"

"What inspired us is the old Merlion tower at Sentosa where visitors are able to have a nice view of Sentosa and Resorts World from the mouth of the Merlion. Hence, we attempted to build the big Merlion. Then it seems too lonely for the Merlion to stand there alone, and we remembered the old Merlion park, so the small Merlion was created."

"The more difficult part is to build the tail, as we needed to create a wave feel. It is also quite challenging to build the small Merlion, as we needed to keep the same look and feel as the big one and at the same time juggle with limited option and parts."




@ilonasmolka's Son

@lohwaichoong was inspired by the LEGO BrickHeadz Statue of Liberty build. After the Merlion was built, the base was inspired by his wife who told him he could work on the Singapore Map. The challenge was fitting everything in a 16-stud baseplate.

Most of the build was using the SNOT technique and he looked at a lot of LEGO BrickHeadz build.

He thinks that having the support from his family helped a lot!

"The Merlion at Singapore River had inspired me to build this."

"I have used semi oval plates to build the mane, 2x2 tiles as the body and slope bricks for the tail. Slope bricks and cheese wedges to create the water and waves respectively. Using studs and 1x1 bricks to build human miniatures, this gives a sense of the size of the Merlion."

"I got inspired by how colorful the LEGO Sentosa is at the LEGO store, so I thought about making my Merlion very colorful."

"A tip to make a good structure of something is to use the building bricks instead of using the flat brick and then putting a connecting piece at the bottom. The flat pieces make the structure wobbly and easy to break."

"A technique I would recommend is to use some parts of structures you already built. I used that technique for the head of the Merlion except I added some more colorful and white pieces because before it was all gray."




"This build is inspired by the Merlion, and the "cub" located at the Merlion Park. The "Merlion Cub" is also included"

"I used connector ball joints and parts of LEGO Mars Research Shuttle set to make the tail and the sides.

The head uses parts of LEGO Mighty Dinosaurs set.

The body and the blue base are from my box of mixed-up LEGO pieces."

"My tip is to just build whatever is in your mind. If it does not work the first time or it does not look nice, you can always build another one until you are happy with it. Mix and match pieces if you do not have enough of the same brick, just like what I did. Most of all, have fun building. Your imagination will take you to your next LEGO creation."

@jae.explorer was inspired by the old Sentosa Merlion with cable cars in the background. The palm tree can be found on the beach.

"To make the cable car taut, keep it straight so that it looks better!"

"Inspiration was from pictures of the Merlion at the Merlion park.

Definitely must include the water spouting out of the Merlion’s mouth."

"As I built this with my 7-year-old daughter, the build style is straight forward and uncomplicated. Using LEGO pieces from our limited collection, finding the suitable pieces to use was challenging. But that’s the fun part about LEGO building. We used the LEGO DOTS pieces for the word “Merlion”. We chose the cable cars as the background for the Sentosa essence."


"*Why not a colourful Merlion?* Owing to the fact that I didn't have enough white-coloured parts (especially for the mane), out came other colours!"

"*Make the scene lively.*
Initially started with just a Merlion on its own, which was too plain. Eventually made it spout water and propped it up on an elevated patch. Also added minifigures, a bench and flower beds."

"Tried to capture the profile and texture of a Merlion by using many small parts. The Merlion was also deliberately placed in the center of the set to make it a focal point. Instead of opaque parts, transparent pieces were used to show water gushing from the Merlion's mouth."


LEGO DOTS has been the most popular theme used by these brilliant LEGO builders. Try it yourself!