14 of the best post-apocalyptic LEGO models of all time

It’s December 21 now in the Mayan heartland, and the apocalypse seems to have passed us by. (For the record, historians and archaeologists agree that the Maya never actually predicted the end of the world today.) What better way to celebrate than with a roundup of the best post-apocalyptic LEGO creations we’ve featured here over the years!

To give you a sense of how the genre has evolved over the years, I’m listing them in chronological order.

First up, Adrian Drake‘s “Forest Sentinel” was debuted at BrickFest in 2006 and remains one of my favorites to this day.

LEGO Forest Sentinel mecha diorama by Adrian Drake

Tyler Clites spent the better part of 2007 building post-apocalyptic LEGO models, popularizing the brown-and-gray aesthetic that remained in effect for the next several years.

LEGO post-apoc diorama by Tyler Clites

Brian Kescenovitz combined Nannan’s Black Fantasy theme with a post-apocalyptic diorama in “Ephram’s Garden” back in 2008.

LEGO Black Fantasy Ephram's Garden diorama by Brian Kescenovitz

Contests often spur a series of related LEGO creations, and there have been many post-apoc LEGO contests over the years. The same contest that inspired Brian’s Black Fantasy diorama inspired “Howl of Lamentations Unending” by Justin Vaughn.

LEGO Black Fantasy Howl of Lamentations Unending post-apoc diorama by Justin Vaughn

A second contest later in 2008 spurred tiberium_blue to build this stunning “Lionsgate Bridge.”

LEGO Lionsgate Bridge post-apoc diorama by tiberium_blue

For the same contest, Tyler Clites returned to ApocaLEGO with a lot more color in “Decontamination Site Delta 22.”

LEGO Decontamination Site Delta 22 post-apoc diorama by Tyler Clites

Proving that 2008 was indeed the year of post-apoc, we organized Zombie Apocafest 2008 at BrickCon in Seattle — with over thirty contributors, the first major post-apoc collaborative display at a LEGO convention (the first of an unending stream since then). We followed up in 2009 with Zombie Apocafest 2009, and then put a bullet in its infected brain.

LEGO Zombie Apocafest 2008 at BrickCon by The Brothers Brick

Justin Vaughn closed out 2008 with his innovative “Bunker 282.”

LEGO Bunker 282 post-apoc diorama by Justin Vaughn

I’m not sure how the VW van and Cessna ended up embedded in the hill in Kevin Fedde‘s “Desert Haven,” but they both lend some wonderful visual interest to a complex diorama in a field full of, well, mostly flat ApocaLEGO.

LEGO Desert Haven post-apoc diorama by Kevin Fedde

Real-world snowstorms dubbed “Snowmageddon” and “Snowpocalypse” inspired another ApocaLEGO contest in February 2010, and Catsy rose to the challenge with his bird’s-eye-view, forced-perspective diorama.

LEGO Snowmageddon post-apoc diorama by Catsy

Brian / ├étin also uses forced perspective to illustrate both distance and a much larger scene than in the average post-apocalyptic diorama, with “Alas, Los Angeles.”

LEGO forced-perspective Alas Los Angeles post-apoc diorama

By 2011, we’d all gotten a little sick of the stereotypical ApocaLEGO memes (as demonstrated by how rarely we blogged them anymore), so Dillon‘s swamp-based structure, with its lack of overt action and vague sense of imminent doom came as a refreshing surprise. He followed up this past summer with a large-scale underground scene (part of another post-apoc collaborative display at a LEGO con).

Viktor's Office Life Below

Finally, Julien Andries and Eturior recently collaborated on “Floodtown.” Like Dillon’s building in the swamp, the angled buildings and green water, as well as the ships and boats, are a welcome difference from the traditional post-apoc diorama.

Project Floodtown [8]

It’ll be interesting to see what other new innovations LEGO builders bring to what I’m confident is a theme that will only end with the actual end of the world.

3 comments on “14 of the best post-apocalyptic LEGO models of all time

  1. Andrew Post author

    ^ Definitely. And also nice to see more color from time to time than most of the stuff I slogged through in 2007 and 2008… The brown-and-gray aesthetic was certainly innovative at the time (and justly included here), but LEGO builders seemed locked into that for far too long.

  2. Steve Jackson

    I’m sorry not to recall the name of the exhibit or the builders, but the post-apoc Friends diorama at Brickworld 2012, with its sucked-dry Heart Lake, pink battle tank, and heavily-armed girl defenders, was both skillfully done and wickedly funny. Who did that? Take a bow. Link to pix, please!

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