Our cover photo for the month of June is this scene by Ben Tritschler depicting a medieval version of a counting coup challenge. Eye catching textures abound in this nicely staged build which is just a little reminiscent of that memorable moment from Mission Impossible. Now all our brave thief has to do is decide which of those shiny objects to take!
A wide mouthful of sharp dragon teeth is probably the last thing any LEGO knight wants to see. But this dragon bust by Aaron Newman looks pretty cool all the same. Personally I love a good LEGO dragon, and this one delivers on all fronts. The “generic” dragon head shape is hard to achieve in bricks, but is created perfectly here. I’d normally advise builders to avoid giving their dragons teeth — it’s tough to get them looking good. But Aaron has pulled it off nicely. In addition, the colour scheme works well, with pastel shades complementing the main white, giving a “realistic” Frost Drake look.
The bust is a scaled-up version of Aaron’s older minifig scale dragon, Fyaska the Unladylike. Here’s a comparison between the minifig and large versions…
It never ceases to amaze me how builders like Simon NH invent ingenious uses for unique LEGO elements. Spy the new pyramid piece cresting a pair of Thor’s Hammers as the half-toothed Technic bush crowns the crenels of the tallest towers. Did you notice the minifig arms as the rocky foundation or how Simon has used a broom as the little wooden bridge? The two swords as the path and the rippling surface of the water both also look brilliant. My favorite part usage has to be the new ‘tooth’ piece as the stone entranceway to this inspired little build.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the swamps and bayous of the southern United States fishing, hunting, photographing wildlife and generally avoiding venomous snakes and hungry alligators. The bottoms – as we affectionally call them down here – are also one of my favorite sources of inspiration for LEGO building. I recently completed this bayou-related build, my dream house set in the swamps:
Perhaps the scene feels a little lifeless but I purposefully chose not to include minifigs in this creation as I thought they would detract from the overall aesthetics. Using a fog machine and some LED lights I was able to create a creepy though strangely alluring atmosphere in this shot:
A fog machine can be a lot of fun to create mood in a LEGO scene, as can well-placed lighting. For outdoor scenes like this, I find it helpful to shoot outside at dusk with a single artificial light angled above the build to mimic moonlight. A tripod, fresh memory card and a lot of patience are also musts!
The Roman war machine was an impressive force in its time and to this day inspires many people, for better or for worse. This time it is for the better, as the Russian LEGO building duo Dmitriy and Anna have created an extremely expressive legionnaire using a relatively limited selection of bricks. There are many simple solutions for complex shapes, like exposed studs as the kneecaps and chin, as well as curved slopes that capture the shape of lorica segmentata perfectly.
The warrior’s weapons should not go unnoticed either: while the gladius in its scabbard is not quite perfect, I do not see how it could be done much better, but the pilum and scutum are basically flawless.
The world created by Bethesda for their Elder Scrolls games continues to provide inspiration for LEGO builders. This fabulous Nord Wayshrine by Thorsten Bonsch is just the latest in his series of lovely models inspired by the game. Don’t miss his Tava’s Beak and Orsinium scenes that we featured previously.
The fantastic roof tiling on this fine structure might grab the eye first, but don’t miss the intricate woodwork and the smart use of fence pieces in the walls. I’m also impressed with the surrounding steps and the stonework of the floor — well worth a zoom in for a closer look. The surrounding landscaping is nicely done too; natural looking, but restrained enough to leave the epic architecture as the image’s centerpiece.
Inside the jungle, where few venture, are secrets so hidden they remain forgotten to all but time. Occasionally, through a mix of determination and plain luck, those secrets will reveal themselves. That moment of discovery is caputured brilliantly in this jungle temple scene by master castle builder Jonas Wide.
Built for the Brethern of the Brick Seas collaborative role-playing project on Eurobricks, this scene is reminiscent of the discoveries made by conquistadores such as Pedro de Alvarado or Diego Velazquez de Cuellar during those early days of exploration in the New World. One can feel the mix of excitement and trepidation as Jonas’ explorers make their way up the stairs of this forgotten temple. The cautious stance of the lead explorer, musket at the ready, hints that discovery always includes an element of danger. Although the temple’s abandonment is evidenced by its crumbling stonework and jungle overgrowth, there is a sense that these explorers are not alone. Maybe this temple was abandoned on purpose, its secrets never meant to be found. In the blank spaces on earth, perhaps some things are better left undiscovered.
Built for the 2017 Middle Earth LEGO Olympics, Farewell We Call to Hearth and Hall! is a beautiful little vignette based on J.R.R Tolkien’s song of the same name that Merry and Pippin sing on the night before they leave the Shire. John Snyder has portrayed the three main themes of the song: hearth and home, travel through the wild, and Rivendell.
The hobbit hole looks great. I also love the tree leaves on grass stalks and intricate domed building on levers! But most impressive is how John has stitched the three scenes together with the irregular rock shapes in the forest.
She has been setting alight to our beacon, which, I just remembered, is grail-shaped. The beacon appears to have drawn in Letranger Absurde, who has commemorated the occasion with this fantastic rendition of the Wicked Zoot Abbey from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The scale is deceptive here; I daresay it’s microscale of a very large abbey. He’s made excellent use of SNOT techniques, using new corner tiles to give texture to the walls of the building. Take a peak at the spire in the back – it’s not often you see a string reel drum used without string, or the complete assembly!
If you haven’t already done so, check out our interview we did with him earlier this year to gain excellent insight into his creative process.
I can only assume the druid who lives here has both excellent balance and doesn’t tend to stomp around. The Maestro gives us this updated version of an older creation, showing significant growth in their building style. This version features excellent rock-work and a very precariously perched cottage. I’m frankly impressed this stayed upright long enough to photograph it. The wall texture is particularly lovely, using a combination of hinged plates and 1×1 round plates creating a pock-marked, uneven surface giving this little cottage plenty of character.
Building micro-scale brings a unique set of challenges, and finding the right piece to represent a particular feature can often be a particularly tricky task. Builder yang wang seems to have a knack for it though, as demonstrated by these two delightful domed dioramas. The first is a wonderful Romanesque revival style castle poised on a rock over the sea. The highlights for me are the tiny ship with smokestacks, the small tree made from a brown droid arm, and the spindly towers with golden ski pole spires.
Continuing the colorful creation on a rock under a dome theme, the second build is a vertical wooden town atop a rocky outcrop, complete with bell tower and windmill. I love how the builder has used the grill plates to give the small buildings windows — plus there’s that cute little car made from a rollerskate. And not only does the dome make the building inside look wonderful, it also keeps the dust off!
If you’re in the market for a small LEGO set with fun colors and minifigures that look as equally at home in space as they do in a medieval castle, look no further than Ruina’s Lock & Roller . This set retails for $19.99 USD, but is currently on sale on Amazon for $15.99. It has 208 pieces, with the primary feature being a substantially sized vehicle called Ruina’s Lock & Roller (hence, the name of the set). The roller is essentially castle dungeon on wheels drawn by a GargoBike rather than a team of horses. Along with the gargoyle-inspired carriage, this set also includes three minifigures and two NEXO Power Shields (Gorilla Roar and Forbidden Power Wrecking Wrath) which are scannable and provide power-ups in the LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS game.