It’s obvious that jaapxaap likes to incorporate unusual colors into his LEGO castles. Based on his previous creations (remember his walking cottage and witchy fortress?), it seems like purple is jaapxaap’s go-to color. And in spite of the fact that this temple has a staggering amount of texture, curves, and details, it still has an overall clean design that’s very pleasing. There are also tons of great details. My favorite is the swirling rock legs which jaapxaap incorporated into the columns!
BobDeQuatre says he doesn’t have the skills for castle building, but his recent entry in the Summer Joust 2017 build challenge’s 8×8 vignette category is one of the best entries I’ve seen yet. The story behind the build is that the castle was built by northern men, enslaved by the black queen. After the castle was completed she summoned a magical storm which lifted the castle up to make it impenetrable to her enemies. The builder has represented the storm perfectly by using a NEXO Knights whirlwind part, along with other dark purple bricks that bleed into the base of the castle.
However, the lighting is what really sets this vignette apart from the crowd — it adds an epic effect to the storm by shining through the transparent portion of the NEXO Knights piece, adding a sinister red glow fitting of the castles backstory.
Despite its harsh nature, I would love visiting the Orange Fern Gorge, as built by W. Navarre. The jewel merchant minifigs in the scene probably do not share my sentiment, however, as their intrepid expedition might be born more of necessity than love for the scenery. And what a gorgeous scenery it is! The layers of rock are a beautiful balance of rough but clean, while the ground’s texture compliments the rocks well. A careful combination of olive and sand green accented by a few pink flowers adds just enough life to the scene to still look barren and dead, but not boring.
The bridge is quite interesting on its own – while it’s possible the model builder may have run out of string while making the bridge and added a short chain as the support on one posts, it’s also probably what the bridge’s makers would do if they had run out of rope. Finally, having the two rocky pillars presented on separate base plates adds a lot to the composition as well.
Of all the fantasy movie scenes out there, the Amon Hen conflict from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring may be among the most commonly recreated in LEGO. This version by John Snyder has some of the best landscaping I have seen in a while, with subtle slopes and realistic trees, but most importantly a beautiful gravel riverbank. The landscape is so effective because of how simple and relatable it is—there are no grand rock formations or majestic trees, just a normal forest, but built perfectly.
The Second Annual Summer Joust castle competition is well underway, and with just over two weeks left to enter, the contest has prompted some amazing entries. ReeseEH built a small diorama featuring a beautiful gatehouse and castle gate built into tree. The build is full of wonderful details like the textured castle wall, the string vines hanging from the tree, and the gatehouse roof made from various bars and droid arms, giving it a rough thatched look. Although, I do spy a strange-looking character on the banks of the pond—is that Bossk doing some fishing?
If your desk needs a bit of life, a tiny fantasy castle might help. Peter Ilmrud was faced with a similar dilema recently and came to the obvious solution. Inspired by the work of Yang Wang and armed with an IKEA HÄRLIGA glass case and a handful of bricks, Peter has created a cute little fairy tale castle.
The build has lots of brilliant details like the round tower’s windows and the tree growing on the side of the rocks, but most importantly, the composition of the castle is what connects it all into a very coherent creation. I sincerely hope more builders pick up the concept, as there is lots of potential in glass-encased LEGO creations.
In the depths of the Medina, behind the bazaar, the Sultan sneaks incognito through the arcade. Andrew JN evokes the architecture of the Middle East, and creates a nice sense of mystery and intrigue, in a LEGO diorama with a tiny 8×8 footprint. I love the restrained use of colour and the clean building style on display here. The use of turntable bases around the bottom is particularly effective, the layered archways are excellent, and the mosaic floor inside the arcade is nice touch.
It’s a long-standing policy that LEGO will not develop any models containing religious elements. I’ve always thought that’s a shame for the Castle theme in particular, where churches and cathedrals would have been some of the most important buildings. Thankfully LEGO fans have stepped in to fill the void, and this hilltop church by Simon NH is a great example.
The landscaping is done well, with a nice mix of earthy colours, a few trees, and a couple of gravestones to break things up. But the main attraction is clearly the church itself. It’s well-shaped, with diverse colours that still hang together as a cohesive whole, and the roof and steeple are excellent. The steeple also has some nice parts usage going on — don’t miss the boat hulls creating arched windows, and the lovely little cross on top.
British builder Spencer Stone has cunningly repurposed the portal beast from 76060 Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum (which we reviewed here last year) as the focus of this neat little dungeon scene. By placing the beast in a corner and shooting the build up close from the warrior’s level, Spencer creates an almost expressionist image that puts the viewer right inside the action. A few carefully placed dungeon accoutrements and wall features beautfully round out the scene.
All that remains now is for the Dungeon Master to figure out whether our cowardly protagonist earned any experience points from this encounter. But suffice to say that he’s probably in the market for a new +1 battle axe.
Did you ever design your own “dream room” when your were a child? I did, and it looked something like this boy’s room by John Snyder. Built for the final round of the ABS builder challenge and largely inspired by César Soares‘ amazing kid’s room, John says of his latest creation “it was really enjoyable to build a modern interior for a change, something outside of minifigure scale”. The scene is stocked to the gills with toys including (but not limited to) LEGO, action figures, costumes, planes, trains and even a castle! The stand out features for me are the working bi-fold door, fish tank, and brilliant red telescope.
The world of everyone’s favorite thief is expertly brought to life in this breathtaking and expansive LEGO creation by Ben Pitchford. Robin Hood would be proud to call this land home, with its depiction of Nottingham Castle, Sherwood Forest, and everything in between.
Built over the course of nine months and using more than 100,000 parts, this magnificent creation spares no details from the classic tales of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. You could easily get lost exploring Sherwood Forest with its towering trees and treetop hideouts…
Adding to his streak of amazing creations, Grant Davis creates this whimsical interpretation of the classic fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk. The focus of the build is the cloud tops, made mostly out of the curved panels that are the focus of the current round of the Iron Builder contest. The field of white clouds is complemented by Jack’s beanstalk, built using some interesting green pieces. But the real icing on the cake? The elegant curved path leading up to a microscale castle, in forced perspective. Grant manages to fill the image with just enough detail to be interesting, while keeping it simple and straightforward — a hard balance to achieve.