Built in transparent blue over white and grey, the sparkling azure water in this scene by Sergeant Chipmunk looks incredibly inviting. The three watchtowers use fantastic color schemes and a not quite “legal” technique to create wonderful shapes, standing on rocks with nary a stud to be seen and dabs of color that bring life to the vibrant scene. But the stand-out feature for me is the organically curved sail made out of leaves.
If the builder of these ancient ruins seems similar, you would be right, because Mark Erickson is one of the best castle builders out there, and very active to boot. There are a bunch of details to see in this with architectural texture being the most important one. I am fascinated how well the builder managed to make all the buildings look similar, even with different techniques used throughout. The palm trees also deserve a closer look, as they get thinner towards the top, an effect achieved by transitioning from palm trunk pieces through brown fez pieces to 1×1 cones.
One of the coolest scenes from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was the memorable battle of Helm’s Deep. German builder KevFett2011 has created a beautiful rendition of this in micro-scale, using only a monochromatic palette. Kevin captures the essence of the fortress of Aglarond nestled into brick-built mountains perfectly, and I love how he has used levers to represent the attacking Uruk-hai pikemen. If you squint a little and look really close you can almost see Gimli and Legolas arguing over who has the highest body count.
It has been a while since the last part of the Hobbit film trilogy hit the cinemas, so the trend of LEGO Hobbit and Lord of the Rings creations is slowly declining. But that does not mean we do not get amazing builds like this one every now and again. This diorama of Halls of Thranduil by German builder Jonas Kramm was made for the 2016 Comic Con in Stuttgart in June. and I really envy everyone who had the privilege to see it in person. On the pictures, it seems like a digital render at first, and even a close look at the main picture did not really convince me. I had to look at some detail shots to be sure this was real.
The details are superb and Jonas has really captured the balance and combination of natural landscaping and Elven architecture perfectly. A carefully set amount of clean surfaces contrasting rough terrain makes for a very interesting build to explore. The use of bars and tubing for architectural detail is inspiring. And while the foresty exterior with simple yet effective large trees is a stand-out build in its own right, it pales in comparison with the complex architecture of the cavern and the giant root path and throne. The cave floor is also nice to look at with the clear streams, nice subtle colours and a natural subtle slope.
Even though this medieval store by Isaac Snyder uses textures and techniques we see very often in medieval builds lately, it still manages to look unique; first by its complex layout and secondly by its use of dark gray as the stone bricks, which is for some reason rather uncommon. While the model is called Sigurd’s General Goods and is not a direct recreation, it is obviously inspired by the Bits and Pieces general store in Solitude, from Skyrim.
Isaac’s shop even has a full interior.
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!
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.
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.
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.
By simply expanding the number of modules you can make one of many different castles or even this enormous super castle. Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Andrew was kind enough to post a video of the trebuchet in action, in which no castles were harmed.