As someone who likes to build castles out of LEGO, I know how tricky it can be to effectively construct round towers. It’s also a daunting challenge to find the perfect balance between too much detail in the build and not enough. Isaac Snyder posted this great example of how to achieve both of these delicate techniques earlier this week for the 13th Colossal Castle Contest.
I’m not familiar with all the castles they have over in Europe, but I’ve seen Bodiam Castle in Britain, in picture books and websites many times. I think it’s especially neat when someone goes the extra mile and builds a close-to-scale model of a real piece of architecture.
I also liked this shot of the very detailed back with the towers and doors going every which way.
Tested made a visit to BrickCon this year and interviewed David Frank about his award-winning Manor House, which we featured here a couple of weeks ago. Check it out for some great background on a wonderful build!
Most builders will admit that it’s much more difficult to build a small scene than a large one. But soccersnyderi makes it look quite easy with his 12 x 16 stud microscale castle. With an eye for detail, soccersnyderi has eliminated repetition in the building styles of his castle walls, houses, and foliage. The tiny waterfall even flows into a pool that gradates from choppy white waters to calm blue ones with the help of the always handy cheese slope.
And if you like this build, then you’re in luck! It’s up for grabs as one of the many prizes of this year’s Colossal Castle Contest.
Two things that I really like are history and LEGO. The combination of the two makes it all the better! James Pegrum, creator of the long running LEGO series History of Britain shows us his latest awesome historical LEGO build portraying King Rædwald returning home after a battle.
Apparently the battle didn’t go too well. His dead son is on the same boat heading to the burial mounds. Better luck next time, Rædwald! The builder says his longboat was inspired by the 4th-century Nydam Boat excavated in Denmark and the 7th-century ship-burial at Sutton Hoo in England.
When Luke Hutchinson burst on the scene, he seemed to single-handedly reinvent how LEGO Castle should look. His creations introduced a level of detail, weathering effects, and off-the-grid angling unlike anyone else’s builds. I was lucky enough to see some of Luke’s stuff “in the brick” at the Great Western Brick Show in the UK a couple of years ago — it’s even better in real life than in pictures.
The style has rapidly become something of a standard for Castle, and for me, it now takes something special to catch my eye. This lovely build by Jacob Nion did exactly that. Jacob brings us a furrier’s yard – the latest in a great model series of Skaventown, a fantasy town with a mixed population of humans and the Skaven, Warhammer gaming’s rat people.
Aside from the obvious fun usage of hair, hats and capes as furs, what I like here is the feel of actual work being underway. All too often Castle scenes look over-posed and artificial, the figures little more than dressing for the buildings. As for Jacob’s buildings, the roofing and woodwork are excellent, and are set atop walls which actually look like weathered stone, rather than an emptying out of the builder’s brick bins.
Too often a desire for texture and detail can end in a messy creation, the eye pulled this way and that by unnecessary clutter. It’s a tricky balance, but I reckon Jacob has nailed it. What do you think?
Here’s a cheery little scene from Brother Steven, full of vivid colors and and delightfully simple skyboat. I love the fascinating mix of characters interacting here; they’re far more diverse than scenes like this usually dare portray, and the build is better for it, lending it credence as a festive autumnal market.
David Frank and his wife, Claire, have a great collaboration going on. She writes the novels and he builds the scenes. David’s most recent build features a manor house, battle scene and giant river boat from Claire’s newest book, An Altered Fate.
David is famous for his massive builds, crowded with incredible detail, and this one is no different. The architectural detail on the manor itself is awesome and really catches the eye. However, unlike many gorgeous buildings that I’ve seen done in LEGO, David has continued on and given life to his mammoth manor. The battle scene, many small details, a blown out wall, the cliffs and the landscaping all combine to give this huge creation a real sense of “life”. Not to mention the beautiful river boat, which is in a class all of its own. I had the pleasure of inspecting this build up close and personal at BrickCon and there is a really a plethora of detail packed into this thing. Definitely check out the other pictures for more details of this wonderful build!
David Hensel is turning towers blue with this beautiful azure magician’s tower. David based the model on an enchanting painting by artist Péah. While the entire model is filled with the sorts of complicated techniques and detailing David is accustomed to using, I particularly like the brick-built blue embellishments over the smaller building’s window. That’s a great detail many builders would have left out.
Brick to the Past is a British collective (and veritable Who’s Who of top-notch castle builders) that focuses on large historical LEGO displays. The team finally unveiled its 2015 opus at the STEAM expo this month, and it’s a real humdinger! Entitled The Wall, it’s an expansive and gorgeously detailed slice of Romano-Celtic life along both sides of Hadrian’s wall.
The Roman side features a full minifig scale fort, villa, temple, bath house, milecastle and town. Whilst the Celtic side features an Iron Age village, farmhouse and standing stones. All laid out amidst some great contoured landscaping and a long snaking section of the famous wall.
If I recall correctly, we reported on a community poll that LEGO conducted a few years ago, to gather suggestions for possible future LEGO themes. And if also I recall correctly, a large number of you cried out for a Roman theme. So while we wait and hope for LEGO to finally see the light, I thoroughly recommend you get your fix by checking out all the detailed photos of this awesome display.
Castor Troy spent the past year working on this massive 6 feet tall creation depicting a fantasy guild of vampire hunters. The elaborate pillar consists of varying techniques of rock work as well as embedded structures, and on top are buildings depicting different ethnicities uniting to fight the vampires. Check out more details of this colossal creation on Flickr.
Today at the New York Comic Con, LEGO officially pulled the curtain from their newest line, Nexo Knights. A cross between Space and Castle, Nexo Knights features knights in robotic power armor riding mechanical hovering horses and driving giant vehicles. The Nexo Knights theme will be accompanied by a companion app titled Merlok 2.0, as well as a 20-episode television series chronicling the adventures of the knights. It airs in December.
While many of our viewers will no doubt be having flashbacks to Knights Kingdom II right about now, it looks like these sets will at the least feature a lot of new parts great for Space and Mecha builders. We also still haven’t seen the full set lineup, so keep your eyes out for the rest of the sets.