This little Chinese LEGO village by Toltomeja is adorable. I love the irregular base and the squat buildings. There are some great details like the wavy patterns in the water and flippers-as-tiles roof design. But the real star of Toltomeja’s scene is that beautiful Chinese bridge and winding path.
The main photo doesn’t do nearly enough to show off the sweet curves of the sidewalk, so be sure to check the alternate angles.
Machiya are traditional wooden townhouses found throughout Japan and typified in the historical capital of Kyoto. This LEGO version of a machiya by Dan Blom is a great example of a seemingly simple build that really looks the part. The key architectural details like the barred window, known as mushiko mado [literal translation is ‘insect cage window’] and the wooden lattice façade are accurately represented. These days most roofs are covered with clay tiles called kawara, and Dan has left the LEGO studs exposed to give the impression of neatly arranged, rough tiles.
The addition of some extra little details such as the cart, the various items outside the front of the house and the ancient-looking tree complete the scene perfectly.
Love it or hate it, you can not deny that the second Indiana Jones film, The Temple of Doom, is memorable. I immediately recognized this scene by W. Navarre and I’m sure most of you did too.
The gruesome scene of a human sacrifice’s heart being ripped out is recreated nearly to perfection with cultists, statues, and rocky walls, but most importantly a fiery pit that appears seething hot – an effect achieved not by clever lighting tricks, but by building the “light” onto the lit-up wall itself. As expected of this builder, the diorama is packed full of experimental building techniques, and there is a lot to learn by inspecting Navarre’s work closely.
There is something about this mountaintop temple by David Zambito that just makes me want to be there. Climbing the mountain for days to reach it, and then meditating for just as long. The serene environment is achieved by soft, earth-tone colours and a warm background. There are many great techniques used throughout, like jet engines as bells, and hair pieces and convex tiles as cobblestone walls. I am not sure whether I am supposed to imagine a larger temple behind the scene or not, but it works either way.
The latest Chinese architectural wonder by qian yj depicts an old residential building in the city of Huizhou. The tall white walls enclose an intimate courtyard surrounded by ornate two-storey wooden houses. The scene is set amidst narrow canals interlaced with quaint sidewalks. Who wouldn’t want to take a vacation in such a poetic destination?
Considering how successful LEGO’s Ninjago line is – with sets, cartoons and soon even a feature film – there is a surprising lack of fan creations under this theme. James Zhan defies this stereotype with his latest build of a roadside battle. The temple walker is a very interesting build, with great technical, robotic details at the bottom, and just as carefully chosen pieces for the temple’s architectural decoration. But this is so much more than just a walker on a road, the excellent minifig action makes the scene look alive.
Despite spending the first fifteen years of my life in Japan and living in the same city as one of the largest Go clubs in North America, I’ve really only admired the ancient game of Go from afar. I’ll need to correct that someday, perhaps by building one of my own Go boards from LEGO, as Kadigan did. The 17×17 board takes advantage of the tiny gaps between LEGO tiles, with 1×1 round tiles as the black and white playing pieces. He’s even created realistic wooden bowls from ball turret bases.
If you liked this, you might also appreciate the 9×9 LEGO Go board built by Joe Miller a couple years ago.
Some creations, even if simple, just look perfect. As is the case with this table tennis build by David FNJ (Fire-Ninja Jedi). There is nothing I could think of to make this scene any better. The table with the characteristic gap, the net – everything is just as you would expect it, and I mean that in the best way. But atop of that, David presents his creation with a beautiful photo, where even the reflections look good.
If you want pictures of the full table though, you might be disappointed. The builder informs us that what you see is literally all of his dark green pieces! But I would take that as a good thing; this is a creation that pushes his collection to the limit, which is the best way for a builder to grow.
India’s most famous piece of architecture is also the world’s most famous mausoleum and the final resting place of Mumtaz Mahal, a 17th-century empress consort. Builder Brick Point brings us a lovely microscale LEGO rendition complete with the tomb and its surrounding grounds, including the long reflecting pool in front.
And if you want to see how the builder created this, they’ve made an excellent 55-second time-lapse video of the construction showing the process layer by layer.
Sometimes all you need to relax is to contemplate a beautifully-built LEGO model. This wonderful bonsai by ZiO Chao deserves your attention — chill out and soak up the serenity. The gnarled and twisted tree itself is nicely-done — with an interesting technique of inserting flower stalks into larger leaf pieces — but it’s the little rock and the display stands which elevate this into brick-built art. I want one of these for my house.
This lovely modular bar, created by Chinese builder Tony Toy, has a great deal of colour and style. Tony manages to pull the dark blue, red, green and gold together into an attractive modular-style building with some lovely architectural details. I especially like the red and orange lanterns hanging on the post outside the front of the building. The little white bridge over a pond is a nice touch and love the effect created by using transparent plates overlying green plates for the water.
Interestingly, it seems that Tony designed his creation digitally first using the free Lego Digital Designer application and then built it in ‘the brick’.
2017 is the year of the Rooster in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The Rooster is one of 12 animals represented in the Chinese Zodiac calendar, but what is less known is that besides the Zodiac’s 12 rotation cycle, there is also an elemental cycle of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood — and this year is Fire.
Creator ZiO Chao brings us an exquisite LEGO version of the Fire Rooster. What’s unique about this brick-built rooster is the terrific shaping that gives volume to the bird, not only in its breast and wings, but also its feathered tail.
The last cycle of the Fire Rooster was 1957 and the next won’t be until 2077. The five elements, also known as Wu Xing, are used in many other practices such as geomancy (Feng Shui), astrology, and even traditional medicinal practices to describe synergy and affinity between the other phenomena.