Tag Archives: Castle

Dragons! Knights in shining armor! Trebuchets & ballistas! From enormous LEGO castles buttoned up for battle to peaceful village market scenes, we’ve got your LEGO Castle needs covered right here.

Room with a View, Baby Doll and Building in Bed: a conversation with Romanian super-builder Vitreolum [Interview]

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Pacurar Andrei, also known as Vitreolum (Letranger Absurde). Pacurar lives in Romania and builds in a wide range of styles and genres. His work is highly regarded and his build, Room with a View, made our short-list of the year’s best creations. Please walk with us as we explore the mind of a builder!

Jay and Silent Bob

TBB: How did you get into the LEGO hobby and what inspires you to build?

Pacurar Andrei: I got into the hobby when I decided to sell my childhood collection. They were all mixed together in two large bags, so I had to sort and build everything… by the time I was done with this I ended up buying sets instead of selling. Everything inspires me, from someone else’s build to things that surround me. Sometimes just looking at a certain part will be enough. Or just an idea that suddenly pops in my head. Although my biggest source of inspiration has always been movies, games and literature. The challenge is whether I can translate it into bricks.

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When a castle is not just a castle: a modular system for creating LEGO castles

This little castle might look a bit run-of-the-mill at first glance, but don’t be hasty to judge a book (or castle) by its cover. Michael Kalkwarf has created a modular castle creation system allowing this castle to be reconfigured to create endlessly different types of castles for hours of fun.

Modular Castle_0713

Michael’s design is based on series of modules that can be arranged and re-arranged very simply to create a wide variety of castles.

Diamond outpost

By simply expanding the number of modules you can make one of many different castles or even this enormous super castle. Continue reading

Take your rest at this small, stone Gothic chapel

This lovely little chapel comes to us from Lego_fan. Don’t let the small size fool you; there is a lot to love about the build. Many chapels we feature tend to skew more toward the cathedral end of things, so it’s refreshing to see a smaller build that’s so effective.

The main stained glass window stands out for me, with the great texture and use of the Technic pulley piece. The building’s sides avoid the “big grey wall” syndrome easily with tiles, profile bricks, and nice shaping.

Gothic chapel

The back is equally pretty, continuing the patterns that make this a striking little building. I like the way the lines draw the eye up and really make this little chapel look bigger than it really is.

Gothic chapel

LEGO Primitive Technology tiled roof hut

To an untrained eye, this mud hut by Magma Guy might seem like just another medieval farmer’s house, but I assure you, this is placed in current time, in our world. Inspired by the Youtube phenomenon Primitive Technology, Magma has recreated the focal point of the Youtube channel’s most popular video, Primitive Technology: Tiled Roof Hut, which has over 21 million views and shows the process of building a simple structure completely from scratch. The model has all the details captured exceptionally well, from the ceramic roof tiles, to the rock and mud walls, as well as the stone foundation and a picture-perfect recreation of the stick door. The scenery is also complete with some ceramic pots and the “Primitive Technology” guy with a resin torch.

Primitive technology - tiled roof hut

As a great fan of the videos myself, this creation means even more to me personally, especially the extra photo showcasing some of the creations from Primitive Technology’s other videos.

Primitive technology - other videos

Explore the dark alleys of this Medieval city

Castle builders often depict Medieval living as a quaint and pleasant affair – lovely little farms situated upon rolling hills, castles tucked into deep forests, villagers frolicking about unencumbered by the socioeconomic factors of the 21st Century… Who wouldn’t want to live there? Perhaps this was the case for those living in the countryside, but for the residents of large Medieval cities life was decidedly darker and cruel. Jacob Nion does a fine job recreating the dreariness of Medieval urban life with his newest creation, The Black Knight’s Inn.

The Black Knight's Inn

One has to appreciate the atmosphere in this scene. The crumbling stonework, leaning buildings and restrained color palette combine into a rather austere beauty. By building the foreground higher than everything else, the builder creates a unique sense of dimension and depth to his work. This design choice makes the scene look larger than it actually is; the angle of the buildings creates a sense that this street continues on forever.

The Purple Wizard

Before you get the wrong idea, it should be noted the red snake is in fact a tail belonging to one of the rodent-faced residents who live here. There are plenty of dangers lurking in the darkest alleys of a Medieval city, but fortunately butt-biting snakes are not one of them!

Whimsical watery warship

If a picture paints a thousand words, then this picture paints a boatload. This wonderful creation by aardwolf_83 shows that many shapes are possible with our beloved plastic brick. The smoothly curving lines of the rounded hull give this ship a buxom appearance as it sits heavily on the water, displacing a painstakingly sculpted bow-wave. The subtle hints of dark green and yellow along the line of this curvaceous craft, the shield crests, and the custom paper sail all add to the character.

CCCXIV - The Lord of the Isles

The vessel comes complete with a ballista, brick built anchor, spear-holding golden figurehead, and a working tiller and rudder system! The real treat is inside however, where it has a full interior and (as an added bonus) you can see the clips the builder has used to attach the exterior hull pieces to the frame.

CCCXIV - The Lord of the Isles

Working LEGO trebuchet lays siege to your cities

The trebuchet is a towering medieval siege machine, used to wear away at castle walls with greater power than ancient catapults. The army of Dalos has Andrew JN to thank for their latest weapon of war, and what a weapon it is! The model itself is a good clean build against the trend of making medieval buildings look more and more ramshackle, but the real magic touch is the functioning sling and winding mechanism. LEGO castles beware!

Trebuchet of Delos

Andrew was kind enough to post a video of the trebuchet in action, in which no castles were harmed.

Clarendon Castle

Marvel at the might and majesty of Mark of Falworth‘s magnificent Clarendon Castle – one of the last entries in the Classic Castle Competition, and in this fan’s opinion one of the best. The model is 4ft x 5ft (1.2m x 1.5m) and weighs in at a hefty 110lbs (50kg). It took over four months to build, the last half being completed in just two weeks with the help of the builders’ brother.

(CCC14) Clarendon Castle
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Dark Tower from the Stephen King novels in LEGO

The Dark Tower series of books by Stephen King is quickly entering the public eye as the upcoming movie draws closer to release. While it’s on everyone’s minds, David Collins has created his own version of the mystical structure in LEGO. Designed for a “books to life” exhibit of LEGO creations, this Tower stands two feet (~61 centimetres) tall. Collins had intended to make the tower taller, but was restricted to this height by the rules of the exhibit. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s worth questing for regardless.

The Dark Tower

And what is a Dark Tower without a gunslinger to find it? Collins has also created a minifigure of protagonist Roland Deschain to go with it.

Roland Deschain

On a personal note, I can’t wait to see this movie. I love the books and, by a strange coincidence, they began filming the movie right here in my home country of South Africa.

Guarded Inn reimagined

This rustic fortified tavern by Guilherme Santos is a little delight: the chimney with smoke from the warm hearth, the barmaid offering weary travelers a place to rest and recharge, the knight and his traveling companion walking through the archway of intricate stonework under the tower, with lovely details like the wooden supports sticking out of the stone.

Guarded Inn

The flags flying over the crossbowman on the parapet, the unusual shape of the base, the subtle use of foliage and the small touches of wear and tear, the ramshackle look of the roof of the Inn, the cobbled stone work of the tower and characters chosen to tell the story of this Guarded Inn all add a sense of authenticity and realism.

Guarded Inn

But the coolest thing about this creation is that its based on the classic LEGO castle set 6067 Guarded Inn. The builder has honored the essence of the original while up-scaling and brought their own unique style to it.

Not all pyramids are built in Egypt

Naturally, most people look to the Old World when reflecting upon history’s greatest architectural achievements. The Pyramids of Giza, the Colosseum, the Forbidden City, Angkor Wat – these structures are forever etched into our understanding of human culture and history. Perhaps not as well known are the ancient and impressive sites in Central and South America. I built this Mesoamerican pyramid as a tribute to this wonderful architectural legacy, some of which I have been fortunate enough to see in person. This temple is based loosely on “El Castillo” in Chichen Itza, Mexico, whose construction began in the eighth century.

Jungle Temple

I think this creation highlights what proper photography and the right composition can do to maximize aesthetic appeal. This is certainly a simple build – no advanced techniques to write home about, and you’re going to find pretty much every stud is pointed up – but the overall look negates an otherwise banal design. Using background features (in this case, the trees) helps add depth and dimension, making a creation look bigger than it really is. Color and knowing how much to use is crucial too. Here the sand blue water and green palm trees contrasts nicely with the darker tones of the temple and trees – again, adding more depth to the scene.

temple2

I received an email from someone asking if this creation was in fact a render. It isn’t, but that is the quality I aim for when photographing my creations. I shot this outside on a cloudy day (perhaps surprisingly, that’s mostly what we get here in southwestern Arkansas). Nothing brings out a build’s colors better and provides more even lighting than natural light on a cloudy day. That may not always be an option, but if you’re struggling to photograph your build with artificial lights, it might be worth waiting a few days for a weather front to come through and let nature do the work for you.

Some winters never melt – in the cold, one castle stands the test

You would be forgiven for turning up the thermostat a few degrees after viewing this delightfully chilling ice castle by builder Kai NRG. One can almost feel the cold and biting wind as it blows across this fortress of ice, and sense the loneliness of the soldiers who garrison it.

Ice Castle

The stronghold looks to be made of an impenetrable and unwavering ice, both magical and ancient, as if its occupants were only the latest of many who once called this place home. While the castle certainly steals the show, the surrounding wasteland is no less impressive. The attention to detail is obvious in the uneven snow layers and frozen rocks which form the base. The lack of even the slightest vegetation adds to the sense of abandonment and despair in this harsh land. In such desolation there is no hope beyond the warmth of the hearth and the brotherhood of those who fight to protect this realm.