The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is to Chinese literature what the works of William Shakespeare are to English literature. A semi-historical story set in the time period of the Three Kingdoms (A.D. 169-280), the novel was perhaps written in the 14th century, though specific dates are hard to come by. It tells the story of how the Han dynasty gradually fell apart and became three independent kingdoms and all of the bitter rivalries and infighting that led to that point. Among all of the hundreds of characters in the novel, LEGO builder Jae Won Lee has chosen the main protagonist, Liu Bei, his chief strategist, Zhuge Lian, and the Five Tiger Generals who fought for them. The five generals are depicted in stunning fashion astride charging stallions, manes and tails flowing with the speed of their charge, and the other two men are nobly standing.
The appearances of the generals are inspired by Chinese artwork, complete with the unique coloration of each. The dynamic posing of many of the models puts this a step above most similar builds. There might be more studs showing than some builders would prefer, but it works well with this style. They deserve a closer look!
Guan Yu features some great parts usage for the mane of the horse; the flame piece looks amazing. The larger scale of the figure allows the builder to use parts like a dragon snout for shoulder pauldrons.
Zhang Fei’s horse uses the same flame piece as Guan Yu’s, except in black, and looks even better for it. Among the notable pieces are a minifigure mohawks used for facial hair.
The next figure, Huang Zhong, uses minifigure ponytails as eyebrows, and is posed dynamically on his horse as he aims an arrow at his foe. The Technic connectors are used to good effect as a braided mane, too.
And finally, Ma Chao gallops into action, his horse straining to full speed and supported, as all of them are, by a technic support structure. This final Tiger General gets life preservers and hoop blades as part of his armor, giving it a decorative look.
Finally, the two unmounted figures. Liu Bei looks imposing with his dark red robes.
The strategist Zhuge Liang has an incredible fan built from pegasus wings.