Imagine a world in which the trees keep their vibrant autumn colors all year round. Vermont and New Hampshire aren’t even that charming, and they make a mint in tourism on account of their autumn leaves! Ayrlego has built such a world in LEGO and it’s called Otoño (The Autumn Isle). Here we see that a post office has recently opened in the sleepy settlement of Hojaroja on the Eslandolan Island of Otoño. When not delivering the mail, the Post Master lives upstairs in his quaint Tudor style home. I can get lost in all these details, particularly the lantern and the rustic chimney. I can imagine standing on that porch and soaking in the autumn splendor. We quite often get lost in Ayrlego’s worlds. Settle in for a while because you can too.
We are mid-way through October, and autumn, as well as spooky season, is in full effect, Andrea Lattanzio’s cozy LEGO A-Frame home located amongst some beautiful fall-colored conifers is the perfect build to capture the moment we are in.
The key to the main architectural build here is definitely in the tiling – we’ve got plenty of tiling on the roof, tiling for the deck, and more tiling to cover the house’s base structure. Printed tiles also help render the lumber packed away in the left, maybe for firewood. I love Lattanzio’s use of tree limb elements arranged in such a way to create pointed evergreen trees – different colors are also utilized for that autumn color-changing aesthetic. Perhaps the most interesting example of parts used in this work would be the hammer minifigure utensil which is applied in multiples to compose the foundation of the home. Many small details in this build are eye-catching, including the broken stairs leading up to this shack-like a-frame dwelling. Even if some home-improvement is needed on this little getaway house, it still looks like a great place to escape to on an autumn weekend.
You’ve probably never seen the Golden Gate like this before – so minimal and so orange. Simon Liu really gives us the essence of the iconic bridge down at micro-scale with this LEGO model.
Liu renders San Francisco and Marin County using a variety of light brown slopes and tiles. The star of the build – the bridge itself is comprised of 1×4 tiles, minifigure hands, and binoculars all in a lovely orange color; the use of these parts is clever indeed. The micro-build as a whole sits on some trans-clear blue tiles, which serve as the strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Although it is a minimal micro-scale build, this model certainly conveys the idea of the revered structure very well.
Warm, white, and rectilinear – this can describe a couple things; BYGGLEK boxes produced from the new LEGO-IKEA collab or a Greek Villa on a sunny day in Greece. Jannis Mavrostomos combines both notions into one and creates an epic LEGO house for all to enjoy while yearning for Mediterranean weather.
The backbone of Mavrostomos’s structure consists of two BYGGLEK boxes – what seems to be the small and large boxes combined. The second floor porch is nicely tiled with sand and dark tan colored tile elements of various sizes. There is a lot of great parts usage in this work, one of my favorites being the blue hinged sliding doors on the elevated porch being used as a small shade. The notches of the boxes are utilized heavily with intricate windows being built into them as well as a whole staircase. No house is complete without some plant-life, and Mavrostomos has that area covered – literally by using green tree-limb elements decorated with flowers to serve as candid vines climbing along the corner of the villa. Mavrostomos also adds potted plants to liven up the place. Overall this build is unique because it showcases cultural architecture which is subject matter not often explored in LEGO, it is quite refreshing to see something like this pop into my Instagram feed.
Take a drive through any East Coast city in America, small or large, and you’ll find brownstone townhouses, their facades almost like familiar faces. Eli Willsea incorporates this sense of familiarity into his intricate brick-built brownstone doorway.
The building façade’s construction is cleverly composed of grey 1×1 jumpers with dark orange 1×1 and 1×2 tiles – this construction approach achieves a brick and mortar aesthetic. The door itself is comprised of mostly yellow tiling with some silver matte pieces to render the doorknob, mail slot, and door knocker. Willsea uses various white elements, including hinge pieces, 1×1 scroll bricks, cylinders, 1×2 slopes, and claw pieces to render a moderately decorated trim. Perhaps the most ornate part of this build is the lunette – the half-moon shaped window above the door, which is mostly composed of yellow 9V track switches – a pretty unusual element, along with some yellow tiles of various shapes and a minifigure head. I appreciate Willsea throwing in some urban foliage, including some vines climbing up the façade along with a few other LEGO plant elements sparsely populating the ground. This build, although simple in the subject, certainly gets my mind out of the suburbs and back into the city.
Most Star Wars sets and fan creations tend to take the form of ships or other types of vehicles, of course LEGO has welcomed more buildings recently but such builds are still a minority in the theme. Eloi Parizeau takes us to Naboo not in a starship but with his LEGO micro-build of the Theed Royal Palace.
The nicest thing about working in micro-scale is that a builder is able to use small parts that are actually pretty common or easy to obtain, Parizeau’s structural build of the palace consists of some pretty standard parts in varying shapes and sizes such as dishes, cones, tiles, and slopes. The colors he utilizes for this creation as a whole are a little uncommon including pieces in forest green, tan, and sand green. The one part that seems rather unique to me is the rock panel in dark grey.
Using these small pieces Parizeau not only recreates the structure of the Theed Palace, but also the beautiful and lush environment of Naboo, his use of the forest green slopes and bricks along with the trans-clear blue elements brings back scenes from the Star Wars prequel films which portrayed Naboo as a blue planet filled with green vegetation. All things considered, Parizeau’s LEGO rendition of this Star Wars universe building is quite unique. It will definitely be great to see more fictional architecture brought to us by the brick in the future.
LEGO raised baseplates–some builders love them and some hate them. Personally I love seeing builders innovatively integrate raised baseplates into their creations and Sebastian Arts does just that with his build of an East Asian-styled temple sitting upon the raised baseplate from the LEGO Knights Kingdom theme dating back to the 2000s.
Most builders love a good challenge, but everyone loves free LEGO. Such was my reaction when my LEGO user group, Brickish, selected me to represent them in a build challenge. In this friendly competition amongst UK and Ireland-based LUGs, the task was to build anything using the parts provided in 100 LEGO Star Wars magazine foil packs. These were provided by Fairy Bricks charity, and contained 10 each of 10 small sets. I (Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman) challenged myself to take these small Star Wars models and… not build anything Star Wars related. There weren’t much of the usual grey bits anyway. So I had my next favourite thing in mind: microscale architecture.
I had no plan going into this build challenge. But the parts provided were surprisingly good – lots of small bits that I use in my building style. I knew I was going to surprised myself with the finished results, and I did, for such is the nature of any challenge. It definitely produced a beautiful build I am most proud of: The Voyage to Cirrus Palace.
As any builder knows, the release of an existing LEGO piece in a new colour provides lots of opportunities for building. Such was Andreas Lenander‘s thinking when getting hold of the gold ingot in tan, a new colour for the piece. His build of the aptly named Kumi’dia residence utilises this part all over the middle-eastern style dwelling. The ground is packed with these ingots to represent cobblestone brickwork as well as the textured base of the build. But my favourite is their combination with masonry bricks and 1×2 rounded plates for the textured wall. With a sprinkle of dark tan here and there, it perfectly conveys the weathered wall of the desert retreat.
Some gold and transparent light blue parts adorn the top of the building, conveying the resident’s wealth. In addition, Andreas uses a Bespin hemisphere part (from the Star Wars: Planet series) for the dome. Aside from the building itself I really like the small tree in the courtyard. It uses lasso and whip parts connect the leaves, which is a unique building technique and difficult to get right.
Builder Nikita Sukhodolov refers to this great monolithic LEGO masterpiece as “The Decaying Hive.” Personally, I don’t see a sense of decay here, probably because I cannot look past its brutalist brilliance. In this build Nikita demonstrates how LEGO and boxy modern architecture are the perfect pairing.
The two main towers of this building feature some great tiling as well as excellent use of 1×1 slope pieces (AKA cheese slopes) in grey and translucent black to create an intricate window design. While the housing units with their carved out of concrete appearance are uniform in their shape; Nikita utilizes translucent clear bricks, 1×2 palisade bricks, as well as 1×2 profile bricks to give each unit a slight variation. The palisade bricks appear as blinds, while some minifigure inhabitants prefer shutters which are created by the profile bricks. There are some splashes of color to liven up the structure such as the pink potted plant and green umbrella on the top of the building as well as the landscape scene which the main build sits upon. Overall I think it’s safe to say that the rigid geometric look of brutalist architecture is clearly well translated into LEGO and Nikita makes this translation look easy with his expert use of some pretty common elements.
White LEGO bricks turning yellow, it’s a builders’ worst nightmare. Some builders would discard the yellowed bricks but not Ayrlego. The yellowed white bricks were used in combination with white, light grey, and tan masonry bricks to create a weathered look for the Port Woodhouse Cavalry Stables. Mixing 1×1 round bricks in different colours for the roof further adds to the weathered look of the building.
This build features a lot of classic LEGO elements and their newer/replacement counterparts. The window pane lattice diamond and the window shutter, the new pane lattice with the old window and the old shutters, the old horses in the stable next to the newer more articulated ones and even the use of old and new redcoat torso’s for the minifigures.
There are castles that are blocky grey fortresses, and there are castles that look like fairytales come to life. One such castle is the ornate Schloss Drachenburg, which bears resemblance to the more famous Neuschwastein. Just a few miles south of the German city of Bonn, this 19th century villa was the passion project of builder Caleb Schilling who replicated this building with an attention to accuracy. A range of earthen tones dominate most of the exterior, while the dark grey adorns the top sections. The overall appearance of this build already satisfies my hunger for beautifully built architecture, but there are plenty of details yet to savour.