Tag Archives: History

Rowing home aboard the Anglo-Saxon ship of Sutton Hoo

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.

The Journey Home

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.

On a side note, this is an entry to the Medieval Ships category of this year’s Colossal Castle Contest.

The Wall – Rome’s Northern Frontier

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.

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The town of Pompeii in LEGO

If you find yourself in Sydney (Australia) at all during 2015, then head over to the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney and check out this amazing recreation of the Roman town of Pompeii, created by Lego Certified Professional Ryan McNaught.

The diorama represents Pompeii as it was at the time of its destruction in 79 AD, and even contains a little foreshadowing of the volcanic eruption that buried it.

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Life’s a beach

When a certain young naturalist by the name of Charles Darwin joined the HMS Beagle on it’s historic 2nd voyage in 1831, camera photography was still something of an experimental science. So capturing a visual record of the trip was the responsibility of a ship’s artist, like Conrad Martens.

Historical LEGO scene builder James Pegrum has recreated one of Martens’ more unusual sketches from the trip, showing the Beagle beached for repairs at a spot near the mouth of the Rio Santa Cruz (Argentina).

Yes, everything in the picture – including the distant cliffs – is LEGO. James manages to combine his particular building and photographic skills to create a very life-like scene. If the trip had taken place 175 or so years later, I’m sure Martens would have tweeted an image just like this!

Making a mountain out of a mole hill

Not content with just one study in triangular architecture, TBB regular Ian Spacek (who I secretly hope pronounces his surname “space-kay”) created this ingenious LEGO explanation for the creation of the pyramids, as his latest entry in the 2014 MOCOlympics. Spoiler alert: They were naturally occurring, but covered in sand!

Happy Exploding Christmas! (...aka the Fourth of July)

My fellow ‘Murrricans! We at The Brothers Brick hope you have all been enjoying a relaxing and safe Independence Day. As you digest your fine barbequed meats and drink some approximation to beer in preparation for the Final Detonation, let’s take look at some of the better holiday-themed LEGO creations that appeared today. America is known for its rich cultural diversity and freedom of speech, and today’s builds certainly reflect that…

On this day, some like to take a more serious stance, and look back at our nation’s founding:

Tyler Clites (legohaulic)

While some prefer to look a little less far back, and go the more popular route:

Chris McVeigh (powerpig)

While others decide to just be brutally honest:

Brailey (That WWII Guy)

And as an immigrant to this fine nation of ours, let me just close by saying: “God bless America, and oh crap I can’t understand your language and everything here scares me!”

Bootlegging bricks

It’s a little known fact that the LEGO company once explored the idea of a 20’s gangster theme. Sadly it was not meant to be (too soon?). Anyway, that hasn’t stopped many builders exploring the idea themselves. And since I’m heading off to Brickworld Chicago today, it seems fitting to present a couple of recent examples.

First up Brian Lyles (BrickCityDepot) applies his formidable skills as a Café Corner style builder to bring us the Club 23 Speakeasy.

It comes equipped with every convenience and every character you’d expect to find in such an establishment – including some unwelcome guests in the form of a police raid! Check out the full album to see the action unfold.

I imagine the Godfather slipping out the back and making his getaway in this snappy Model-A Ford:

Meanwhile, down by the river, a gang of enterprising bootleggers take advantange of all the ruckus up at Club 23 to smuggle away their wares in this rum-runner built by Joshua Brooks.

Looking forward to meeting some of you at Brickworld! I’ll be live tweeting from the event. And keep an eye out for me, Chris, Simon and Carter in our fancy new Brothers Brick shirts. And deliver the secret passphrase to claim some swag. You’ll be making us an offer we cannot refuse.

When the map is unrolled, the dagger is revealed (圖窮匕現)

The above expression may not be familiar to English speakers, but you might think of it as the Chinese equivalent to “letting the cat out of the bag”. And like many common sayings, this one has a historical origin: In 228 BC, as a last ditch attempt to avoid invasion by its enemies, the nation of Yan sent a man named Jing Ke to assassinate the King of Qin. Using a map of Yan’s most fertile areas as bait, Jing Ke was able to get close to the King, and as he unfurled it, he pulled out a dagger that had been hidden inside.

Hong Kong builder Vincent Cheung (fvin&yan) has created this fabulous portrayal of the attempted assassination, in a style very similar to his Beauty and the Beast sculpture. I love the freeze-frame action of the characters, and of course the three-dimensional detailing on the map! Vincent was clearly influenced by folk art depicting the event, as you can see from this example: