Growing up in the 1990s, one of the things that made LEGO castle sets so appealing was the way in which they were advertised; catalog images were perfect at world-building, with sets placed within carefully crafted, colorful environments. Robbadopdop‘s blacksmith shop evokes those fond memories, and his attention to detail would have impressed my 8-year-old self ten times over. There’s plenty of clever parts usage to appreciate here, including a minifigure ruff for flower petals, hair representing the end of a mop, and disposable sprues from plants with 3 large leaves for green vines winding up the side of the building. The building itself employs an excellent use of color and utilizes a diverse range of parts, which helps it feel both gritty and fun to look at.
One of the coolest details is the way the roof flexes, complete with staggered shingles. If you’re wondering how this detail was achieved, Robbadopdop has shared pictures of the internal structure. He used rigid tubing, which can be easily cut to size and is flexible enough to shape, and the roofing was then draped into place. The end result is fantastic.
The blacksmith shop is a staple of custom LEGO creators, and while we typically see blacksmiths from medieval time periods or fantasy worlds, the art of metal crafting spans many time periods. This is evident in Ayrlego‘s model showing a swordsmith honing the blade of a soldier in the British military with a spinning stone in a charming colonial outpost.
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with your faded bricks, check out the collection of faded white elements throughout the model. Along with some tan and dark tan parts, they give the building a nicely weathered look. Combined with the tile roof, it fits right in with the colonial architecture.
We’re seeing a lot of planetary themed builds lately and I couldn’t be more pleased. This time builder Jayfa takes on Pluto, deemed a planet in 1930, then shunned into the cold abyss of non-planetary status in the early aughts and then (depending on which publications you read) has been recategorized as a planet. Maybe. Wait, is Pluto a planet again this week? No matter what its official status, you can’t help but give some love to the distant little dwarf. Here Pluto has been embodied as a hammer-wielding dwarven cyclopian blacksmith with icy claw bits for a mustache and even his fists are an icy blue. Massive Viking wheels and trans-light blue webbed radar dishes make up the hammer. The photography, with its light and dark elements, is nothing short of magic. The end result is a blacksmith who makes weapons and armor fitting of the gods.
If you enjoyed this tribute to distant Pluto, be sure to check out Jayfa’s haunting huntsman mech and ferocious flower.
If the Middle Ages taught us one thing, it’s that heavy metal is nothing new. Ben Tritschler’s lively-looking medieval forge has the makings of a metal legend. Blacksmiths hammer away, piecing together suits of armor and shaping cannonballs. Ornate-looking armor is achieved, in part, with sculpted minifig appendages like silver prosthetic legs and mechanical arms. Everything is framed within a structure that is both beautiful and rundown, and the sideways-mounted tiles for the brick floor look brilliant. You can even almost smell the smoke and hear the din of the tiny hammer.
Fantasy-styled castle creations are a popular subject for LEGO builders, and we love when someone offers a twist in a building genre often dominated for long periods by a particular style. This village apothecary by Mr_Hobbit_Foot has elements of the established “fantasy ramshackle” style (pioneered by Luke Hutchinson amongst others) but adds a cartoony edge. We have the expected rough-and-tumbled brickwork to create detailed walls, and the mixture of tiles and plates for a textured roof, however the shaping of the central building evokes Asterix illustrations or a Celtic feel as much as your regular fantasy setting, and the irregular bases make the whole model pop off the page.
The builder appears to be slowly putting together a full fantasy village in this style. I particularly like the blacksmith’s shop, which comes complete with a pumpkin-headed scarecrow out front…
It doesn’t take a big creation to pack in a lot of detail, and this build by Ah Ki is a great example of that! His LEGO “Medieval Weapons House” sits on a small base but has big character. It demonstrates the use of a cool patch-working technique to give it that rustic feel. There are a few neat uses of parts, like the 1x4x1 fence in the windows and wheel covers (hubcaps) for accents. It also has a fun color scheme.
My favorite part is the forge with its little awning and blacksmith at his anvil. The whole structure has a pretty nice shape to it, especially the roof, which makes a perfect little swoop. I just wish that we could get a tour inside!