LEGO began releasing official Lord of the Rings sets in 2012, followed quickly by LEGO Hobbit sets, but LEGO builders have been recreating the people and places of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth for just as long as there have been books and bricks. Relax in the Shire or battle Saruman and his Uruk-hai army at Helm’s Deep and the Tower of Orthanc, but wherever your LEGO journey takes you, beware the watchful eye of Sauron!
Although LEGO has been making officially licenced Lord of the Rings sets for some years now, there’s been a noticeable gap in the product line: Durin’s Bane, the infamous terror of Moria and slayer of Gandalf, the Balrog. While we did get a digital version in the LEGO Lord of the Rings videogame, it’s been up to fans to create it in the brick. Chak hei Mok is happy to oblige with this rendition which is decidedly menacing.
At the (literal) center of the build is the printed chest piece which completed the monster from the set 70316 Jestro’s Evil Mobile. While everyone seems to be buying Nexo Knights sets for the new pieces accompanying the knights, it’s great to see the parts from team bad guy getting some love too.
I vividly remember sitting in the theater watching the second part of The Hobbit and seeing Peter Jackson’s cinematic version of the hidden stairs to Erebor for the first time. His stairs were so much cooler than what I had imagined reading the book and I instantly knew I wanted to build them out of LEGO. It took a couple of years, but I finally got around to it.
What finally motivated me you? The Middle Earth LEGO Olympics on MOCpages! For those of you who haven’t heard of this contest, it’s an annual challenge that puts builders in head-to-head, single-elimination rounds to find an ultimate champion. The first round (the qualifier) runs through April 3rd, so there’s still plenty of time for you to build a Hobbit-themed entry of your own!
Hot on the heels of Jonas’s pinball machine comes another amazing Lord of the Rings themed game. But this time it’s tabletop football! (Or as we call it in my house, foosball). Balbo, a long-time builder of Lord of the Rings themed LEGO creations, says that he was inspired by the Iron Builder to make a tabletop game of his own. If you look closely, you’ll see that each player is a different character from the film and that the “turf” has mosaics of Bag End, the Black Gate, and the Eye of Sauron.
My only concerns with this awesome build would be its durability (foosball games can get pretty heated and I’d hate to see LEGO pieces flying across the room) and the amount of space between characters (especially over the Eye) which could lead to frequent dead balls. But still, I’d love nothing more than seeing Lord Elrond slip a soccer ball past Saruman to end the War of the Ring.
You can check out the rest of Balbo’s awesome LEGO creations on Flickr.
We’ve posted several impressive LEGO-built games over the years (including LEGO versions of Settlers of Catan, Trench, Go, and even a LEGO Star Wars pinball machine), but Jonas‘s Lord of the Rings-themed game is truly jaw-dropping. This one hundred percent LEGO, fully functioning pinball machine includes microscale scenes from all your favorite Middle Earth locations, including Hobbiton (the ball shooter lane), Helms Deep, Ortanc, Weathertop (a bumper), Fangorn, Minas Tirith, and even the Black Gates of Mordor (each gate is a flipper!)
The machine is over two feet long and a foot wide and tall (or 62cm x 32cm x 36cm to be precise) and Jonas says it took him twelve straight hours of work and more than 2000 pieces to create this arcade masterpiece.
Watch the video below to check out the game in action and remember, no shaking or nudging allowed!
It’s ironic that Mar Vei built Rivendell as an entry into the Colossal Castle Contest as the whole of his creation fits into a 16×16 stud footprint. It’s an entry for the “micro castle” category and, as many of you will know, building in microscale is often more tricky than having a full range of parts and building techniques at your disposal.
Rivendell is an Elven retreat within a hidden valley in Middle-earth, a fictional world created by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was seen as a place of beauty, tranquillity and a place of refuge for the weary. Mar Vei captures so much, despite the limits of microscale, with inspired use of parts.
The Elven architecture is represented by minifigure legs, headgear and hands to give detail and structure. My favourite part usage is a minifigure hard hat, normally worn by a construction worker, that forms the White Council Chambers’ domed roof. Cheese slope and 1×1 plate trees grow on the sloped rocky wall of the gorge with trans-clear waterfalls cascading into a river. This creation is instantly recognisable as Rivendell.
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a MEGA Tower of Orthanc. The last one, by OneLUG, stood at a staggering seven feet tall. But records are made to be broken, and in this case in style.
Brendan M (LegoRyu42) has done the unbelievable making his 1/65th scale version almost two feet taller:
But what’s impressive isn’t simply the wonderful details and immense height, it’s that it has AN INSIDE (and here’s another picture for scale):
The tower is made from 9 individual stack-able section, plus towery penthouse. All of which are wired for lighting. This tower was on display at Brickworld and of course took home the best Mega Creation award.
Check out the amazing gallery of all the little details in this MEGA creation.
This collaborative display of Mordor by Chris Perron and Scott Semple incorporates lights to make the lava look unbelievably realistic. Check out the details shots on Flickr, and don’t miss seeing the microscale Minas Morgul dwarfed by the rest of the build.
This depiction of Beorn, the shape-shifting man from Tolkien’s The Hobbit, is quite striking. Adam Dodge has made something pretty unique here. I really love the symbolic look and feel of this piece. The beard is awesome and the bear is beautifully made. The pose of the bear as it reaches towards Beorn’s treasured horses is a great touch too.
Grant Davis captures the exact moment of an explosion in his latest castle creation based on the siege of Helms Deep from Lord of the Rings. If you’re curious to see how the creation is built, visit MOCpages to for more.
Barton Thinks is recreating iconic Middle Earth locations in micro-scale. I really like the use of black level handles to detail the sides of Orthanc. The little bits of landscaping really bring it to life as well. Luckily this is before the Orcs cut down all the trees!