The LEGO Balrogs we’ve featured here on The Brothers Brick over the years have been large and monstrous, with flames flying and wings flying everywhere. Jonas Kramm takes a subtler approach with a considerably smaller Balrog built almost entirely from black. The black only serves to make the creature more sinister, making the contrasting orange flames on the Balrog’s back and his flame-whip even more striking. The Balrog is an ephemeral creature wrapped in darkness and fire, and the absence of explicit wings also adds to the evil look of this creature from the depths of Middle Earth.
Despite mixed reviews of what happened to Tolkien’s beloved stories, the trilogy of Hobbit movies still served up some eye-popping visions of Middle Earth. One of the best, to my mind, was of Laketown — the city of wooden huts built over the Long Lake in a doomed attempt at protection from dragonfire. Marcel V. must have liked the movie version too, as he’s built a wonderful slice of it in LEGO bricks. Trans-clear tiles as icy water creates an appropriately chilly atmosphere, and the house on stilts is good enough to make me wish Marcel had built more of the town. And don’t miss the imaginative parts usage — minifigure ice skates as ladder rungs, and skeleton and minifigure limbs to create the twist of smoke rising into the frigid air.
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.
Regular readers will know that we’ve featured many LEGO dragons over the years, but I think on this occasion YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID now that heavy-duty character builder Shawn Snyder has decided to get in on the game with this recreation of Tolkien’s Smaug. From head to tail it’s 28 inches and the wingspan is a whopping 35 inches!
We used Sauron’s seeing-stone to track down the damp cave that Shawn hides in, and dispatched our goblin hoard to interrogate him about his latest bunker-busting creation…
TBB: You’re best known for creating large figures and busts of humanoid characters from videogames such as Halo and Assassins Creed, or movies like Iron Man and Predator. What inspired you to attempt a monster this time?
SS: I’ve actually wanted to make a dragon for quite some time. It wasn’t until ArchLUG did a collaborative build of Laketown that made me commit to finally attempt it. After all, Laketown needs a Smaug!
TBB: Tell us about the build. How did you get such a large yet detailed model to stay in one piece? Did it present any new building challenges for you?