The epic poetry of Homer’s Iliad seems ripe for LEGO inspiration, but we don’t see a lot of Homeric LEGO. Simon Schweyer corrects this with a triptych of scenes from this great work of Classical literature.
First, Paris seduces and abducts Helen of Troy, setting in motion the vengeful war led by Helen’s husband Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon. A beautiful Spartan temple dominates the scene, complete with gilded statuary in the pediment.
Next, Simon depicts the 10-year siege of Troy itself, with a disconcerted Helen atop a surprisingly detailed white wall. My favorite detail is the rubble-filled interior section of the wall.
Finally, the Greeks send the Trojans a gift horse, into whose mouth they really should have looked. Again, my eye was drawn past the wooden horse in the foreground to the temple’s pediment, with some excellent red, gold, and white mosaic work.
All the range in LEGO castles these days is the worn, weathered, somewhat ruinous look that should be familiar by now to readers of this blog. W. Navarre himself has built in that style, but the large keep he recently built looks somewhat more defensible than those ramshackle hovels. One notable decision was to build the central tower studs out, then tile the whole thing from top to bottom. W. Navarre does manage to work in substantial detail to avoid the loathed “Big Gray Wall” syndrome.
While my esteemed colleague may have been impressed by Letranger Absurde‘s hourglass, I feel no guilt in posting another one of Letranger’s remarkable LEGO creations just a day later. This amazing undead dragon incorporates numerous LEGO bone and horn pieces, proving that in some cases LEGO pieces are indeed best used as originally intended. The graveyard backdrop with a gloomy tree is also wonderful, once you can peel your eyes away from the dracolich.
A while ago we blogged Michał Kaźmierczak‘s gates of Erebor from The Hobbit, and now he has added an interior that is just as grand. Check out this photo with the builder to appreciate the scale of the creation. More photos of Erebor’s exterior and interior are on Flickr.
Builder Deus Otiosus describes this nifty dungeon diorama as “greatly inspired by Adventure Time, partially by World of Warcraft and another large portion by urban exploration”. So while you won’t find stats for his treasure-spewing Chest Dweller in your 5th edition Monster Manual, I still think this would make for one hilarious D&D encounter!
Joseph Zawada built this jaw-dropping rendition of Hyrule Castle from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Joseph displayed it at Brickfair Virginia earlier this month, where it was a huge hit. After spending 2.5 years piecing it together, Joseph is rightly very proud of his masterpiece, which features great details such as the gradated water and nifty roof techniques.
Our friends at Beyond the Brick have a great on-location interview with Joseph at Brickfair:
Tim Schwalfenberg has just come back from the subjugated provinces and hung up his Roman Legionnaire’s battle gear, which looks stunning displayed in all its glory.
Tim’s been busy in his Iron Builder competition against Matt De Lanoy, and has been rolling out top-notch models left and right. Here are a few of my favorites, but be sure to check his flickr stream for the rest.
Japanese builder Takeshi Itou has been one of the most influential castle builders in the LEGO community, raising the bar worldwide, beginning when fans were first discovering each other online. His gorgeous castles rely largely upon older pieces and clean lines, clearly inspired by the golden age of LEGO castle lines in the 1980s. Takeshi’s latest piece is this gorgeous elven safehold.
When Takeshi began posting his castles in the early 2000s, he took the fan community by storm, and his influence still ripples down through many well-known builders today. While current trends in castle building emphasize a ramshackle aesthetic, with rough edges and extreme amounts of detail, Takeshi’s work remains in the style of the classic official sets, pushing that aesthetic to new heights. Brothers-Brick has been covering his work since the blog began 10 years ago, and one of my favorite pieces is this replica of Hikone Castle in Japan. 8 years after its creation it is still well worth checking out. Takeshi’s Volcano Tower also was enormously influential on my own building style in the early 2000s, showing me that dioramas with landscaping were possible at a time when the majority of builders still placed their structures on naked baseplates.
I think it’s high time for some castle-type-builds on here. What do you think? I present The Hunter’s Lair, built by W. Navarre. The build has a lot of features common-place for current castle builds, including a non-traditional base (tan! nice touch), detailed stonework, and a nice curved-looking roof. I like the mossy, dilapidated look this build has, and I’m going to suggest NOT standing near the chimney.
On the last rock in the south, there lies a great fortress. Bustling with Imperial Guards and fortified against bloodthirsty pirates, this fortress by Greg Dix stands a monument to the Imperial might flexing its power across the globe.
Actually, I don’t know what empire LEGO’s Imperial Guards are meant to represent. I’ve always thought of them as the plastic manifestation of Britain’s colonial-era power, but I’ve seen some evidence that the line grew out of LEGO’s attempt to create a Napoleonic theme, so they may be French. Greg’s title implies the setting for this bastion is Portugal, so perhaps they are Portuguese here. Provenance aside, the fort has working winches and is rigged to light up. Greg built this in March, and I’m not sure how we missed it before, but I’m happy I stumbled upon it today, because it’s lovely.