The Black Falcons have proven to be the most popular of the 80s LEGO castle factions, but despite having a few small castles, one thing they never got was a proper large castle of their own. Enter Steven Erickson with a redux of the iconic 6074 Black Falcon’s Fortress from 1986, a set so beloved that LEGO re-released it in 2001. Steven’s version is a significant upgrade from the original 404-piece set, bringing the tiny fortress up to a respectable size and adorning it with modern techniques while still retaining the old-school feel.
A lot has changed since the Black Falcons first appeared in LEGO canon. There have been a lot of new parts introduced, and minifigures have become a lot more expressive. Both are ably demonstrated by Ids de Jong here. The terrified faces combined with those helmets give a definite Monty Python “run away! run away!” vibe. And they’re right to be bricking it: Ids has created something rather unsettling called a Hirska. No big deal, just an all-seeing, oversized deer that apparently doesn’t take kindly to being looked at the wrong way. Or being looked at at all, for that matter. You know what, why don’t we all admire the quaint tree and rockwork instead? I don’t fancy adding ‘running scared from a deer demi-God’ to my personal repertoire of facial expressions any time soon…
I cannot get enough of the beautiful LEGO stonework on this Black Falcon castle by Michał Kozłowski. The long, slender slopes reaching up from its walls and forming the battlements atop them add such height to this construction. Those expertly textured and colored walls reach up to two dark, sleek roofs capping a duo of spires. It almost completely distracts from the enemy horde trudging through the vegetation on the ground below. Festooned with birch trees, this plot is where our invaders have set up a ladder to breach the walls.
Thankfully, this fortress is armed with a heavy duty ballista to take out any enemies that make it over the bulwark. I think this design is top notch, and definitely my favorite part of the build.
While knights in armour might often be associated with big grey castles, they did venture much further east in the (often ill-fated) crusades. Andreas Lenander has applied this scenario to LEGO’s own Black Falcon knights. Despite the sun and those hot-looking outfits, they look quite content to be living here! To be fair, it’s much more colourful than their typical monochrome abodes. This style of architecture does require some different techniques than you might expect in typical castles. I’m drawn to the domed roofs on the two larger buildings, each made using half a planet — specifically, I believe it’s Endor and Bespin. Talk about an out-of-this-world idea!
The Black Falcon faction has their hands full trying to combat Yzur, the Fireheart in this scene by seb71. The color scheme on this mythical beastie is en fuego! The blocking of red, dark red, black, yellow, and gold feels organic without being monotonous. And the sculpting on the limbs and tail is downright perfect, making the build feel complete. Even the dragon’s fire breath is a wonderful blocky construction, much to the chagrin of our mounted knight. I particularly like the sculpting of Yzur’s face, with excellent use of the Brickheadz eye piece. Even without the cryptozoological wonder, the background stands up on its own. Check out that delicate wispy pine behind our crimson menace!
Debuting at Brickworld Chicago back in June, builder Casey McCoy represents LEGO’s Black Falcons well with this epic monastery. And this creation is jam-packed with awesome details! Let’s start with the exterior walls, which alternate between gentle curves and harsher slopes. All of this on top of a beautiful smattering of textured brick that draws the eye to key points: the ornate stonework around the entrance, the elegantly simple bell tower, or those stunning stained glass windows. I appreciate the common architectural themes between the upper and lower structures. However, with the addition of beveled corners and more intricate stone work on level #2, the build tells a story of the later addition of the upper section, perhaps after the monastery was established.
LEGO nostalgia is a big thing these days — and I’m not just talking about the footprint of the colossal 10305 Lion Knight’s Castle. Sigmund Haugland has big-ified the legendary yesteryear factions of the Black Falcon knights and the Forest Guardians in this amusing scene. Our brave Falcon knight must be suffering from a bout of arachnophobia, given the way he’s pointing his spear at the poor spider. The Forest Guardian is taking advantage of the situation to lob a net over the unsuspecting soldier. Perhaps he’s in league with the spider? I’m never sure whose side they’re on. These forest dwellers sure give off some chaotic-good vibes. Either way, both protagonists in this picture are full of character. I like the use of the closed eye for the mouth on both characters – despite using the same piece, they both have very different expressions. The door handle is nicely done as well using a pair of antlers.
There were few LEGO sets as a child that were precious to me, but one that was just perfect was the Black Falcon Fortress, and in this miniaturised digital form, ZiO Chao has realised a favourite set of mine that I needed to share! In building this in a miniature scale, ZiO hasn’t compromised on detail at all. Everything that made Black Falcon’s Fortress a great build can be found here too.
There’s a lot to love about this medieval build from Lego Fjotten. Purely speaking in LEGO terms, the two trees are wonderfully shaped, while the real eye-catcher must be the road and bridge. It uses the ‘Mjolnir’ sledgehammer piece, painstakingly lined up for a brick road look. It might have been a slightly tedious process, but the effect is well worth it! What really elevates this build, however, is the story it tells. A trio of Black Falcon knights have stopped to enjoy a sing-along with some buskers, and it looks like they’re having a whale of a time! But these buskers may well be in league with the two ruffians on the other bank – who are using this distraction to pilfer the Falcons’ gold and stash it under the bridge. I love how the story develops as you move left to right through the build!
The kingdoms and castles built by fans have provided its many factions a stable home since the last Castle-themed sets were retired. Builder Dale Harris provides two such fortresses in this massive build, complete with lush scenery. Inspired by the original sets including the Forestmen and the Black Falcons, this model is a blend of childhood nostalgia and adult builder expertise. Named for the two factions that call the area home, this had to take a massive amount of planning.
Jan, the Creator is proving once again that LEGO sheep are the new goats. Jan is also proving that they are an absolute pro when it comes to building weathered stone walls, decaying wooden pillars and shingled rooftops that look like pine cone layers. The use of ingots for brickwork and wood carving is a really nice touch. Using different tiles with wood grain makes the stairs and the wood work of the tower look interesting. The wall bethind the foliage deserves some zoomwork so you can fully appreciate the builders work!
Every LEGO theme has a specific goal. Ninjago and Star Wars promise action and cool vehicles and characters. Creator Expert brings complex builds and classy display models. Technic offers working functions and interesting machinery. The Creator line’s niche is in providing an old-school build experience, for people who want sets with a load of potential but not a lot of exclusive or specialized elements. And in that vein, 31120 Medieval Castle is a rousing success. Sitting at the top of the new lineup of Creator sets available June 1, this 3-in-1 set comes with instructions and parts for three unique medieval-themed models (one at a time), including a large castle, and yes, a trebuchet. The set has 1,500 pieces, making it the largest Creator set to date, not counting bulk brick buckets that don’t include instructions. It will retail for US $99.99 | CAN $TBD | UK £TBD. It will be available June 1 in Europe and elsewhere, while North America will have to wait until August 1.
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.