Innovative is not a word I often attribute to builds of the ever popular Castle theme. With decades under its belt and endless great builders at its beck and call, one can often feel a sense of déjà vu towards even the most stunning of towers. But this latest piece by ‘Sergeant Chipmunk’ gives the Castle theme something truly innovative and awe-inspiring:
Focused on the peaceful side of medieval life, ‘Sergeant Chipmunk’ depicts in one scene the complete construction of Hailstone Point, a unique tower sculpted entirely from frozen blocks. Surveying the land, extracting the ice, transporting the bricks, and carving the castle–all eloquently done in one beautiful motion. Truly, Castle has never seen this before.
Only a fool builds his house upon sand. Well, fools and very powerful wizards. This Guildhall sits atop a mountain of sand where the desert meets the ocean. For hundreds of years, the giant sand dune that serves as the foundation to the hall has been buffeted by violent waves. Though erosion would have toppled a non-magical structure long ago, the Guildhall still stands firm. So long as there is a wizard standing guard in one of the tower rooms and warding the hall from nature, the Wizards’ Guildhall shall never crumble into the water.
This is my humble attempt to squeeze in a last-minute entry to the Colossal Castle Contest. The competition is fierce this year with tons of outstanding entries and more than one builder gunning for the coveted Master Builder title. Shake a leg if you’re still scrambling to finish those masterpieces in time for the deadline because it’s tomorrow (December 31st) at 11:59 pm U.S. Eastern Time!
As the year winds down to a close, so does the long running Colossal Castle Contest. There have been a pile of amazing entries this year, and it seemed to me that the “Medieval Manor” category in particular had some serious build potential.
First, we have TBB favorite Isaac Snyder and his “Mitgardian Manor.”
The outside is impressive enough, but the builder has included a fully furnished interior as well, which is mind-blowing considering the plethora of facades these days.
Isaac has constructed this massive wintery edifice with his own distinct flair as well. I think it’s fascinating when talented builders develop their own LEGO building style. Both of these guys have made a bunch of creations recently so be sure to check them out!
Next, Henry F took to the contest’s challenge in his usual classic castle style with his Chevalier’s Manor.
If I wasn’t looking at it right now, I would not believe how good a bright yellow building with a bold red roof looks. This is like a perfect blend of the 80’s castle lines with a modern twist.
This downhill creation from Graham Gidman is one of his entries to this year’s medieval-themed contest Colossal Castle Contest XIII.
The builder describes the scene as ‘Graham leading his men down the mountainside start the fight‘ (I am paraphrasing somewhat). The unusual proportions caught my eye initially as the build is high but of narrow depth and depicts a sloped mountain descent that would be perfect for a spot of single-track mountain biking.
I have favourite and not-so favourite parts in this creation. I will start with my no-so favourite as I don’t want to sound overly negative about this great build. While I like the technique of light/dark blueish-grey slopes and tiles ‘jumbled’ to create the mountainside, it suffers slightly from being very flat and smooth on the facing side. Maybe a little more ‘cragginess‘ next time…
Moving swiftly on to my favourites, the red feathered bird in the nest is great; I think the nest may be Bilbo Baggins hair. I also like the skilfully created sloped tracks — a lot has been achieved without making the terrain look too contrived. Finally, the little collection of overgrown greenery in the middle left area is a nice touch.
This year’s Colossal Castle Contest has been brimming with great entries, you can see others blogged by TBB.
It’s nice to see a middle eastern creation pop up in the Flickr feed now and then. Like many other genres, I think this theme in general has a lot of creative potential yet to be explored. So when an up-and-coming castle enthusiast like Joseph Z gives eastern-style architecture a go, it’s rather exciting to see!
The studs-outs wall texture and the nifty palm trees are certainly worth noting. But I think the unique use of minifigs make this stand-out most to me. I see what looks like a victorian lady carrying her longsword across town, and even those alien musicians from Star Wars. The builder gives us a brief description about the locale but I want to know more about this cool and wacky place!
I’m not one hundred percent sure what is going in Simon Schweyer‘s most recent build. Heck, I’m not even twenty percent sure. But I do know, without question, that this scene is superb! The gradation of color on the frozen pond, the irregular SNOT (Studs Not on Top) base, the way the snow hangs on the rocks and tree, and whatever strange feats these minifigs may be attempting — all of it feels right.
One interesting thing about the LEGO castle theme is that the characters and factions always seem to be at odds with one another; fortifications and weapons come as second nature to the minifigs of the darker ages. So it quite refreshing to see this diorama from durazno_33, which features a whole bunch of castle minifigs from different factions getting together and celebrating without their swords drawn!
Clearly, this is no ordinary stuffy political treaty signing. It seems like an entire festival has sprung from this single event.
I really like how there are minifigs from almost every year and theme LEGO has created for their long-running castle set lines. Plus, those altBricks leaves give the scene a lively look that would certainly be lacking otherwise. Be sure to check out all the pictures in the builder’s Flickr album.
Well, burn them if you have an army of undead skeletons at your disposal. If so, you can always rebuild those bridges later if it turns out you need them after all. Dubbadgrim has created a terrifyingly “humerus” siege scene for the Colossal Castle Contest complete with a swampy, stagnant moat, fire ballista, and of course, a whimsical skeleton bridge. Those defenders don’t stand a chance!
The Colossal Castle Contest continues and Polish builder crises_crs brings us this perfectly balanced creation entitled Needle Town.
Needle Town is an entry to the Microscale Medieval Life Microscale Castle MOC category, in which entries must be built on a 16×16-stud or smaller plate.
Crises_crs has balanced this entire castle town on a tower of 1×1 light blue grey plates that rise up from an island. I love this unique take on building within a 16×16 plate, certainly an eye-catching entry. In addition, the angled wall that encircles the town has a fantastical feel, like one of Saturn’s rings around the ‘planet’ where Needle Town rests. The coloured houses and touch of greenery gives plenty of detail although my eye is constantly drawn back to that foundation tower of 1×1 bricks!
Following on from Jennifer’s recent post on waterfalls, here are some more creations with brick-built “special effects”. This ramshackle Laketown house by David Hensel features a convincing fireball rolling up from the roof…
It’s difficult to depict fire with bricks without it looking like a pixellated explosion from the 8-bit era of gaming. I think David has pulled it off here, with the outer layer of transparent bricks and the darker colors at the edges simulating an expanding ball of flame.
I recently spotted another brick-built explosion which used very different techniques but created a similar sense of energy and motion. This fantastic tower explosion was part of Marc Gelaberto‘s pirate display at a show in Barcelona…
It’s like a still from an action movie – the fireball blossoming, shattering the tower’s masonry as soldiers are flung into the air. Check out the priceless expression on this unfortunate soldier’s face!
I’ve always shied away from building scenes like these, worried they wouldn’t live up to the image in my head. Seeing these great examples of fiery disaster, I feel some explosive action coming on in my building!
I’ve always found water to be particularly difficult to portray with LEGO. And waterfalls? Forget about it! But three builders over at Lands of Roawia have recently created stunning LEGO waterfalls. Each one has a sense of serenity and of course, falling, frothing water.
First up, aardwolf_83 created a lush waterfall using translucent pieces. The “wet” rock under the falls are an excellent touch that adds to the overall realism of this build. And the bridge has a fantastic amount of detail. Be sure to zoom in and check out those columns.
Next up on our waterfall tour is Joshua‘s heavenly lagoon. The falls are constructed with your standard translucent pieces, but look close at that lagoon and you’ll see that Joshua utilized the jewel piece to create a sparkling body of water. And, if you view this build from the back, you can see that his cave contains stalagmites and sleeping bats.
Last, but not least, Xymion created his waterfall with the “SNOT” (“studs not on top”) technique. Even with a completely smooth surface on the water, Xymion captured movement in his build by cleverly utilizing color gradation and strategically placing a few cheese slopes at the crest of the falls and on the shore lines. My favorite non-waterfall detail is (sorry fishies) that yellow daffodil plant.
Seems like dark blue color is in command on The Brothers Brick this week: not only is it the tinge of time-travelers, but also stands for sapphire. Jaapxaap made a great decision by choosing it as the prime color for his latest Haunted Inn, which was created for this year’s Colossal Castle Contest. I must admit these flat tiles with eye pattern make me feel as disturbed as I do from that “friendly” ghost in the doorway.