Tim Schwalf has run out a rather unusual rendition of one of the relatively unknown blue wizards from Lord of the Rings. The entire build seems to be controlled chaos, made of random bits, colors and juxtapositions that I would never have imagined would work together. However, when you stand back and look, it really flows into one cohesive whole. I’m rather impressed that this is Tim’s first brick-built figure and look forward to more! By the way, I love that beard.
This little build by Disco86 is a wonderful example of an expert use of space! Even though it has a very small footprint, the builder was able to really give a sense of the size and creepiness of Mirkwood Forest. Also, even though I personally am getting tired of every fantasy and medieval creation having a border, it really does work on this one. The border is simple, frames the scene nicely and gives you the feel that this is a section of a much larger whole. Beautifully played!
It’s not the first time Sauron’s mighty tower has been blogged here, and it probably won’t be our last. But this latest version is bite sized and amazing:
Built for MocOlympics on MOCpages by Space Cadet Ian Spacek. Ian has integrated lighting to make the eye and lava flow have an eerie malevolent glow adding real atmosphere to the build. I just love how all the orange glows reflect off the bottom of the tower, and of course the eye!
There’s been an argument circulating recently on the web that Gandalf’s original plan to get the One Ring into Mordor was via Air Eagle. It’s an interesting textual analysis, though unsupported by Tolkien’s copious notes and background information. The latest hilarious video by Brotherhood Workshop illustrates the counter-argument.
Sometimes, the most efficient way of getting someone’s attention is to light a really big fire. Sergeant Chipmunk brings us an excellent rendition of the Beacons from Lord of the Rings, which you may remember as being a relatively important plot point in Return of the King.
I particularly like the rockwork in this one. And let’s face it: nothing says party like a massive bonfire.
The Lord of the Rings Pirate Ship Ambush set came out last August. It retails for $99.99 and is available on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
- A good lineup of minifigs including 4 that are exclusive to the set
- Include unique elements such as the cloth sails, dark bley wings, and 14 printed shields
- High price-per-piece ratio
- A pretty straightforward model, no real surprises in buildings techniques or play features
This set has a decent balance of minifigures, parts, play and display value that will suit fans with different plans for what to do with it. Surprisingly there are no spring-loaded cannons in this set, and the flick-fire missiles are not a good substitute. The major drawback is the heavy price tag. Around the holidays last year many people were able to buy this set for 40-50% off from retailers like Amazon and Target. If you don’t have this set and want it, it’s probably better to wait for a while for another round of discounts.
We’ve featured a few oliphaunts from The Lord of the Rings over the years, but I think this one by Elliot Feldman (Simply Complex Simplicity) just might be the biggest. But Elliot’s oliphaunt isn’t just big and static — he’s placed it into an action-packed scene during the battle between Faramir’s men and the Haradrim when Sam and Frodo are trying to reach Mordor.
Looking more like a movie still than a traditional brick sculpture, I had to look twice at this beautiful image by David Hensel (Legonardo Davidy) to be sure that it was, in fact, completely LEGO. Making wonderful use of his fantastic building skills and some great forced perspective techniques, this is one of David’s best models so far.
A few week ago we reviewed two of the four new sets for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. With the movie opening this evening and all of the sets now available in stores and on LEGO.com, we’ll dive into the third set, 79011 Dol Guldur Ambush, which is the smallest of the lot.
79011 Dol Guldur Ambush comes with a $19.99 USD price tag, but has an admirable 217 pieces and three minifigs packed in. Taking place in the second film, the set portrays a scene not pictured in the book, in which Beorn ventures to Dol Guldur, the stronghold of the rising dark force we will later know as Sauron. Inside the box are two unnumbered bags and a very crumpled instruction manual. This is a terrific set for parts, particularly for castle builders, as nearly the entire set consists of black, greys, and browns. The instructions first call for the construction of a small double-catapult, which is really a plate with two wheels and two of the mini-catapults. It’s effective, but hardly inspired. The main portion of the set consists of the ruins of Dol Guldur, an ancient fortress. Here we get a bit of broken rocky wall surrounding a large entryway. Of course, as the set name implies, there’s an ambush. On each side of the door there are lever-controlled booby-traps: on the left are two axes, and on the right a giant hammer contraption. Neither are actually triggered by a pressure plate or anything — you simply swing them into place independently with your fingers via a knob on top. To the right of the main doorway is a segment of rock connected by a hinge brick. This swings aside to reveal — you guessed it: a flick-fire missile. A spare missile is included if you really want to go nuts. That’s about it as far as play-features in this set are concerned. The real noteworthy part here, though, is the wall itself. Much like the Mirkwood Elf Army wall, it is constructed almost completely from very small pieces. The designer went a little crazy with the Brick, Modified 1 x 1 with Stud on 1 Side, using 20, when fewer than half that number actually utilize the extra side stud. However, I see this as a bonus rather than otherwise, since the modified brick tends to be more useful. There are also two of the “dougnut tiles,” or Tile, Round 2 x 2 with Hole in dark grey. This is the only set that is actually released yet which contains this highly useful piece, though other sets with it are in the lineup for the new year.
There are three minifigs in the playset: two Gundabad orcs and Beorn. The two orcs are the twins of the two included in the Mirkwood Elf Army, except that the two here haven’t gone prematurely bald. Mighty woodsman Beorn is the unique figure to this set, and he is a profound disappointment. The great furry mane is not a new hairpiece, but is actually part of the head. There is no excuse for LEGO to have taken this route, since the part of the head that is visible is clearly shaped like a normal LEGO head. Nevertheless, the hair and head is all molded as one, reducing the usefulness of it considerably. I won’t bother to enumerate here all the times LEGO has managed to produce similar head/hair combinations without resorting to this sort of shoddy work.
Ultimately, however, this is a really excellent set. The minifigs are not worth bothering with, but the bricks make the set more than worth-while. The wall, while not particularly exciting, is very nicely done, and it even connects up to the bigger 79014 Dol Guldur Battle set to make a bigger playset.