Nowadays, custom chess sets built from LEGO are not at all unusual. It is after all the most popular board game and can be played over and over again without getting boring. It has also recently experienced a surge in popularity following the Netflix series Queen’s Gambit. Being easy to build from LEGO, it is something many builders do at least once in their life. Here, Daniel Barwegen adds his own flair to the arsenal of stylised LEGO chess sets.
I was immediately drawn to the uniquely spindly pieces with the wide bases. Some pieces like the king and queen continue the design to their crowns, which are sharp and angular, and even the horse-heads of the knights include teeth and gears. I love that the pieces appear easy to grip, like straws and pencils, rather than not having enough space between neighbouring pieces. The textures on the rooks are also well done without being overbearing.
And yes, we’ve noticed that some pieces are not in their correct squares. And so has the builder. That’s the beauty of LEGO and chess – you can easily move the pieces back to their correct place without ruining the game.
Check out more life-sized builds of things other than chess sets!
Toltomeja and I share not one, but two hobbies. We both love playing board games. Toltomeja’s favorite game is Azul, a game which I play quite often myself. Their rendition of the game in LEGO bricks is instantly recognizable. Even if you are not familiar with the game you can still appreciate this creation for what it is, an amazing build with lots of interesting building techniques and a very pleasing aesthetic. They even managed to improve the game board by adding insert slots for the little game cubes. To top it all off they even built the table on which the game board is resting, complete with wood grain and everything.
The game Bloodborne holds a very special place in the heart of Nathan Hake. It inspired him to make this LEGO Bloodborne Hunters Dream creation. The build took about a year to make and I can understand why. Hunters Dream is a location in Bloodborne. Also known as Dream Refuge, it is the place where the player goes after their first death and operates as a central hub, providing trade and upgrade services. The player can port from this location to any of the Lamps that they have activated.
More than a year later Nathan decides to remember his epic creation by making a micro-scale hunters dream and it is absolutely stunning. Not only is the building very recognizable. The whole ambiance of the big creation is well translated to the micro-scale build.
I’m trying to build the longest road here, folks. I need those bricks. Anyone who has ever played the board game The Settlers of Catan will instantly relate to this build by Cab ~, with the hexagonal board tiles and the wooden game pieces. This one is built in three dimensions, however, and with LEGO bricks. Impressively, the whole scene is LEGO, including the cards in the background, the table, and the dice. I happen to love mosaics, and the work that went into those cards is well worth it. I also love Catan, so this build has me wanting to have a game night. The only problem is the social distancing. Maybe if we all sit six feet apart it will work…
It’s also an entry to the Iron Forge, the open-to-all-comers entry competition to the famous Iron Builder, so you can see lots of minifigure legs in the build. They give the hexagons their distinctive shape. I also love the clips for the sheep’s grass and the grille tiles for wheat. Now if only I had built my settlement on the bricks.
If you love strategy games, it is likely that you enjoy chess, one of the oldest strategy games out there. When I was in high school, a group of friends and I got together to play chess every Friday, but I must admit that I showed up mostly for the Twizzlers and chips and salsa. Judging by his excellent LEGO rendition of a chessboard, Chris Maddison seems like the kind of guy who would have shown up to show people up with skillful moves and clever endgame strategies.
This is a very handsome and elegant board and set of pieces, with virtually no studs showing except for the eyes and throats of the knights. The anti-studs at the top of the rooks look great, but my favorite piece is the king, with a simple yet effective cross atop his crown. The SNOT (studs not on top) board looks perfect for playing; I could easily see myself being checkmated in three moves on it. Perhaps it is time for me to dust off my old chess set and start playing again; or better yet, I could build myself one like Chris.
Unlike building with LEGO, playing board games implies very specific elements of luck, strategy, and competition. It’s very hard to draw parallels between building with plastic pieces and spending hours over a board moving tokens back and forth. So when the two universes meet each other, the result can be absolutely unpredictable — just like 40198 LEGO Ludo Game, the new LEGO version of the famous Ludo board game. The set consists of 389 pieces, includes a small army of 16 minifigures and retails at $39.99/€39.99. And could I have imagined how much fun was hidden inside the box..?
Click to read the full review
There are dozens of ways one can decorate their home with LEGO, either mounting Star Wars battleships on the walls, placing LEGO sculptures all over the place or even hanging huge LEGO mosaics in a guest room. Still, there is nothing quite like a brilliant grandmaster chess set built completely with LEGO pieces to be exhibited in your home library. Bonus points are for a themed chess set – just like this 6,500-piece-large masterpiece by Aniomylone.
Click here to take a closer look at the pieces!
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.
Bust out your detective notebooks because it’s time to find out who killed Mr. Boddy! The list of suspects is long and the combination of rooms and murder weapons seemingly endless. Leah G built seven fantastic little LEGO vignettes based on the classic board game of who done it known as Clue. Each vignette depicts a possible murder scenario and tons of great details.
Who do you think could be responsible for such a heinous crime? Could Tim Curry be invovled somehow? I need to snoop around a bit more for clues before I’ll feel confident opening that secret envelope. Leah has narrowed the list of possibilities down to a few of the usual suspects.
See all the possible villains after the jump
I’ve never heard of the ancient board game Ard Ri (more commonly known as Tafl or Hnefatafl), but this beautiful LEGO version built by Dan Harris and his girlfriend Dot makes me want to learn how to play. One of the oldest games in the world, Ard Ri (which means “High King” in Gaelic) was a Scottish variant of tafl played on a 9×9 board. Dan built the board structure and the stunning figurines that look like they were hand carved from ivory and wood. Dot built the incredible cheese slope mosaic which serves as the game’s board. I love the ship silhouettes and the intricate scrollwork and dragon head surrounding the king’s seat.
The rules of the game are pretty straightforward. Using 8 soldiers to protect his king, the defending player must move the King from its starting place at the center of the board to one of the four corners. If the King reaches a corner, he escapes and wins the game. The opposing player, of course, must use his 16 soldiers to stop the King from escaping. All game pieces move horizontally or vertically through any number of unoccupied squares (like a Rook piece in chess) and pieces are captured by “sandwiching” an opposing player’s piece between two of your own. (I like to imagine that each of the victorious soldiers on either side of a captured piece grabs one of the captured soldier’s elbows and politely, but firmly, escorts him off of the board in the fashion of two mall security guards escorting an obnoxious teenager out of a store.) To capture the king, you must surround him on all four sides (two security guards per elbow). The game ends when the King either escapes or his captured.
As a small child back in Japan, I used Go pieces to create serpentine roads across tatami floors for my little Tomica cars, but my family left Japan before I ever played a proper game. I still get nostalgic whenever I see Go games. Joe Miller built this fully functional 9×9 Go set completely from LEGO, using some rather complicated techniques to place the black lines on the board.
The lines themselves are the tops of 1×2 half-panels wedged into full (3-brick high) panels, combined with some serious sideways and upside-down (SNOT) construction.
Ian Spacek seems to be on a roll in the ongoing 2014 MOCOlympics contest. In a round focused on board games, he chose to recreate Clue, a classic family game that has been around since the 40’s.
I love the way Ian has captured all the woody tones of the original board, as well as packing the build with many beautiful details such as the floor patterns, furniture and props. Check out MOCPages for loads of close-up photos and a chance to compare Ian’s interpretation with the original.