It’s Christmas time and preparations are well under way in the LEGO building world. Markus Rollbühler‘s collection of Christmas ornaments for his family’s Christmas tree are complete and this year’s theme is Harry Potter. Thankfully Markus has stuck with some of the lighter moments from each of the seven Harry Potter boks, a challenge especially given darker nature of the later books. Microbuilds are often a real building test requiring ingenuity and a real knowledge of all the LEGO parts – Markus has both. Blades from minifigure weapons become wings, minifigure hands become quidditch players in flight and the trigger for a stud shooter becomes Buckbeak’s head!
Can you work out the scene depicted in each ornament?
Classic Castle’s 14th Colossal Castle Contest comes to an end December 31st, and we’re seeing a ton of great builds as the competition winds down. Builders are vying for prizes and titles in a number of castle-related categories. Some of the best entries I’ve seen are in the Medieval Warship category. When I was a kid I dreamed of being a Viking, so longships are a particular favorite of mine. Mark of Falworth brings us a great ship with his Moravian Warknar:
Paul Trach built another good looking longship, complete with an icy base:
I’ve also entered my own, though my Viking sailors didn’t make it on board for photographs before a mishap resulted in the ship’s destruction.
What stands out about all three ships is the lack of the prefabricated hull pieces common in many designs. Brick-built hulls are time-consuming and can be challenging, but the flexibility in hull shape and design really pays off. If you haven’t seen the rest of the entries, make sure to take a look over on Classic Castle!
No, you won’t hear the sound of sneakers squeaking on a gymnasium floor or the satisfying bounce sound of one of those heavy rubber balls slamming into your opponent’s face. In Mark Erickson‘s version of the game, all you’ll hear is the plunk of bowstrings, arrows whizzing past your head, and cheers from the blood-thirsty cheers. Sounds like fun… I guess.
I love that Mark included loose “arrows” scattered across the ground and stuck in the walls of his LEGO scene. They give this simple little scene a sense of mayhem and chaos.
“Dwarven Trade in Dale” by soccorsnyderi is a brilliant little snapshot of life from J.R.R. Tolkein’s fictional city. It was inspired by the architecture of Dale from The Hobbit, as well as a rendition of Venice by fellow builders Jonas Kramm and The Brick Vader. Everything about this entry for the Traveling Salesman category of the Colossal Castle Contest is captivating. A Lord surveys the goings on from the guarded manor house while a parrot rests on a finely detailed roof, and dwarven weapon-smiths hawk their goods to eager customers in this busy little corner of Middle Earth. There is so much going for it, I can’t decide what I like the most, the angled building, the beautifully textured walls, the sloping street or the upside down roof.
The building techniques used demonstrate not only the versatility of LEGO bricks, but the builder’s clever creative techniques and attention to detail. The three buildings each have completely different designs, but clearly still belong on the same street. Did I mention they all have full interiors too?
To quote the creator himself: “The dwarves of Erebor sell many of their fine wares in Dale before continuing on their sales circuit to Mirkwood. Their skill in smithing and quarrying fine gems is well known.”
A pair of LEGO birds, built from tiny feather elements, have found a home above a cozy hideaway in the woods. The contrast between the autumn leaves and bold blue roof are what immediately caught my attention, but jsnyder002 has packed this fantasy hermitage with little details and clever building solutions that I just keep finding more of every time I come back for another look.
Paul Trach takes inspiration from the World Of Warcraft movie for his latest LEGO creation — a scene depicting The Guardian Font. Here, Medivh, the titular Guardian, takes a break from creating a stone golem for a refreshing dip in the rejuvenating Mana Pool. Or at least that’s the story I’ve made up in my head around this fabulous model.
The tan and sand green colors work beautifully — a pleasant change from the traditional gray and brown of much Castle and Fantasy LEGO building. And the curved wall and double staircase are obvious highlights. But that backlit pool and the floor command all the attention. Normally I’m not a fan of the loose-brick “crazy paving” flooring style, but when it’s used like this, allowing the creation of an epic circle of runes, then I’m all in favour of it.
The other side to this year’s MOC Olympics finale madness was built by none other than Slovenian builder Deus Otiosus. Check out this amazingly detailed and rather mossy arena. The crumbling brickwork and throne are quite impressive, but my favorite details are the wonderfully expressive brick-built characters and the and fire-breathing dragon. Just look at that cone of flame erupting from the lizard beast’s mouth!
I think that the character sitting on the throne looks more jester than king, but that only adds to the madness of this LEGO creation. Deus Otiosus’s opponent in this LEGO duel to the death is W. Navarre, with his stupendous arena battle between a gladiator and a tiger. I certainly don’t envy the judges this year. To find out who was victorious, head over to MOCpages.
The final round of battle of the 2016 MOC Olympics is here and the top two contestants have been thrown to the lions and forced to build spectacular scenes of gladiatorial combat. For his final entry, W. Navarre built a gladiator facing off against a fearsome man-eating tiger.
The most impressive thing about this build is not the beautifully sculpted figures (though those are amazing!), but the fact that the entire scene is completely filled with LEGO. There’s so much texture and even a bit of gore, it feels like I’m sitting in the front row of the great Colosseum. Mr Navarre’s opponent in this LEGO duel to the death is Deus Otiosus with his fantastical arena battle between a knight and a dragon.
Although there is no snow in this little ravine scene by Lukasz Wiktorowicz, it certainly looks like a chilly day to be on that Asian-inspired covered bridge. The composition and muted color palette of this build are both remarkable. I love that Lukasz ingeniously used the old LEGO rope bridge piece upside down to add a beautiful curve to the bottom of his wooden bridge. But my favorite details are the roots and autumnal leaves on those stunning gray trees.
Marcel V. has built a wonderful microscale LEGO castle in a box. The fortress itself has hints of Disney in its soaring spires and color scheme, but for me it’s the classy brown and gold of the casket which elevate this model into something special. The silky lining within the box lid — achieved with a nice pattern of curved slopes — is excellent. It’s so good when a microscale creation is more than “just” a tiny version of something else. Here, the micro-ness fits with the setting to conjure up something altogether more magical.
I had a go at building a LEGO kingdom in a box myself a couple of years back. However, Marcel’s brick-built box is much cooler than the slightly scabby wooden chest I used for mine!
Ben Andrews describes this large LEGO diorama as a labor of love, and it certainly is lovely. An enormous tree stands atop a hill, full of treehouses, its trunk surrounded by winding staircases. Across a pool into which drains a broad waterfall sits a beautiful red-roofed watermill.
Full of stunning details and interesting little scenes, you don’t want to miss a single picture of Ben’s Observer Tree. At the top of the tree, there’s a small structure with a telescope, which is presumably where the tree gets its name.
See more of this excellent LEGO creation
jsnyder002 takes a trip East for his latest LEGO creation — a series of minarets and domed towers strewn across a rocky island chain. The architecture has a wonderful Middle-Eastern flavor, without being the stereotypical desert scene these kind of “Oriental fantasy” settings often take. I really like the two-tone rocks of the islands — it gives the impression the ocean around these outcrops might sometimes get quite rough.
There’s a nice sense of activity and bustle with the minifigs moving around the towers and docks. And don’t miss the intricate brickwork used to lend texture to the town’s walls, bridges and steps…