One of the basic tenets – if you will – of LEGO building is “studs on top”. You build upwards from the bottom by placing bricks on top of each other, locking the bottom of each brick to the round studs that cover the brick underneath. Thinking back to my father’s old LEGO, this is how most of those vintage sets were built.

Above: SNOT windshield, headlights and grille.

Nowadays LEGO is (and indeed has been for a long time) quite a bit more complex than that, of course. LEGO Technic is a story of its own, having completely dismissed the studs for a while, but even regular LEGO strays from the basic formula all the time these days. It is so common and useful, that AFOLs call it SNOT – “studs not on top”. Basically SNOT refers to all the different techniques where LEGO bricks are connected sideways (or, I assume, upside down), when the studs are pointing away from the traditional top.

I showed one example of SNOT when discussing the new castle walls. There was also some SNOT on the sides of the CUUSOO Hayabusa, which allowed greater vertical detail. Obviously even basic headlights in LEGO cars are usually SNOT, which is apparently one of the earliest applications of this technique. But I had never seen a SNOT windshield until last night, when my son brought me the third official variant he had build from his 6913 Blue Roadster LEGO Creator set – a jeep.

The set includes only one low, sleek windshield piece, normally more suitable for the title design roadster, than an off-road vehicle. But here the TLG designers had a stroke of genius: In the jeep variant, the same windshield is propped sideways with the creative use of some 1×1 clip plates. Now the low profile transforms into an almost straight windshield, suddenly perfect for this type of car. Here’s how it’s done:

Impressive! But then I’m still a novice-AFOL, so I’m easily impressed. (Note: You can click the images for larger versions.)