One of the magical aspects of Harry Potter and especially Hogwarts Castle is that ordinarily static things move. Pictures that in my house just hang there, with the people and things in them remaining frozen in time, always the same, in a wizarding house would be full of moving and talking, and even sentient, figures. And while we do have moving staircases in the Muggle world (we call them escalators), they don’t typically abruptly change their destinations; not so in Hogwarts, not so. The trouble is, we have not seen a single good moving staircase or moving picture in any official Harry Potter set. Fortunately for us, Jonas Kramm has filled the void with a brilliant build depicting both. There are innumerable gilt frames filled with magical chaps and dames, plus one of those moving staircases that so befuddled a young Potter and his pals in their early days of school. The moving functions are elegantly integrated and perfectly executed.
Our more sensitive readers who suffer from Coulrophobia may want to look away from bbchai‘s latest killer clown creation. Pennywise is here to lure you down to the sewers where you will get cotton candy, and rides, and all sorts of surprises! And balloons too… all colors. I suggest picking the red one.
While my black heart will always belong to Tim Curry as Pennywise, there is no doubt that the current incarnation is terrifying in ITs own way. This LEGO version is just as frightening and implements some wonderful parts use to create the famous clown’s costume and face. I really like the teeth used to make the frilly collar and the use of the actual minifigure frilly collar as cuffs is smart and clever. I’m also quite fond of the white lipstick pieces as fingers and the interpretation of his oversized forehead utilizing the curved wedge piece. Not to mention those eyes! Jeepers creepers, what scary peepers!
Of course, no IT collection is complete without Georgie. The hapless victim is wonderfully rendered here in his iconic yellow rain slicker. The builder has even included the toy that started the whole mess, the humble paper boat. But does it float? Oh, yes, gentle reader, it floats. And when you’re down there with Pennywise… YOU’LL FLOAT TOO!
The city of Minas Tirith in the realm of Gondor is one of the most iconic locations from Tolkien’s beloved The Lord of the Rings books, and was brought to life perfectly in the film adaptations. Builder Nicola Bozzolan has crafted the capital stronghold in LEGO, and it looks amazing. Using over 7,000 pieces, Nicola spent more than 60 hours making the White Tower nestle just perfectly among the mountains, with its seven-tiered system of defensive walls.
Spreading out on the Pelennor Fields, the curved city is rendered excellently in microscale. High at the top of the central spire of rock is the palace of the kings of Gondor. The emblematic white tree of Gondor is in the central courtyard, with its ancient sweeping branches represented by a LEGO feather.
This amazing LEGO family home for the Weasleys has been beautifully constructed out of approximately 5000 bricks by the talented team of Martin Latta and Camille Jongy. The Burrow, as its fondly called, is a magical masterpiece of constructed quandaries. This rendition pays excellent homage to the fictional homestead found on the outskirts of Ottery St. Catchpole in Devon, England. It’s the texture work here that really does it for me. The meshing of vertical and horizontal sections throughout gives an unmistakable feeling of the hodge-podge expansion of their family home. Presumably held together by assorted masonry, magic and carpentry, the colour palette used over this impressive build is marvelously apt. The earthy tones and techniques involved in texturing the Burrow are only one side to a plethora of perspectives through you could look at it.
Realism in LEGO sculpture is a difficult thing to achieve, and when it’s done right it can be amazing. Barbara Hoel has created a tiny slice of (plant) life that feels very real indeed with Small Planter on Books. The human-scaled books each have their own unique style and size. The variations in the spines make this feel like a real pile of tomes, and not just a repeated build in different colors.
The planter and greenery really are what really caught my eye, though. Seeing a plant that is, perhaps, not the perfect specimen of health is pretty unusual. One side of the plant looks like it’s been kept out of the sun a little too long, while other parts are thriving. Unicorn horns and transparent green ball joints represent new growth. Rare blue capes and technic gears make for some vibrant flowering bodies and buds.
Out beyond the stars there’s a world of terror, and sometimes it comes closer than you might wish, especially if you live in a Lovecraftian tale. Among the worst terrors of that place is the legendary Cthulhu, imagined in LEGO form by Hongjun Youn. A multitude of Bionicle Kalmah masks gives the perfect tentacled element for otherworldly shaping for the head and torso, while Dino tails fill in for the larger tentacles.
With its uncannily flowing shape, it’s no small wonder losing one’s sanity was the most common reaction to the dread horror.
The iconic landscape of Hobbiton is a stark contrast to the majority of other locations presented in the stories of J. R. R. Tolkien, and its unique style is quite the popular theme for LEGO builders to tackle. Coming off the tail of a large Middle Earth-themed collaboration, Jake Hansen has joined forces with Cole Blood in what I hope is not the “Last Alliance”.
The large scale of the diorama–16 32×32 baseplates, or about 11 square feet–really brings the best out of the rolling hills made of stacked plates. Continue reading
“It was a large and beautiful circular room, full of funny little noises. A number of curious silver instruments stood on spindle-legged tables, whirring and emitting little puffs of smoke.” That’s how J. K. Rowling’s described Dumbledore’s cluttered office, and it’s the sort of evocative prose that gets the LEGO builder’s creative juices flowing. Jonas Kramm certainly seems inspired, creating this amazing model for TBB’s Microscale Magic contest. It’s a detail-perfect build: there’s the sorting hat on its shelf, and there’s a tellurium that cleverly utilises a microphone element, and over here a magnificent orb represented by a Bionicle Zamor. The crowning accomplishment has to be Fawkes the Phoenix, whose feathers are inspirationally shaped from plume and mechanical claw pieces to great effect.
This LEGO model was built as an entry for TBB’s Microscale Magic contest. Coverage on TBB of an entry will not be taken into consideration during judging, and will have no effect on its ability to win, either positively or negatively.
Staves may be little more than glorified sticks, but they have managed to work their way into the very heart of fantasy symbols. Some of the most famous examples are found in The Lord of the Rings, wielded by some of literature’s most famous wizards. Jon & Catherine Stead have recreated in 1:1 scale a pair of the wizard staves seen in The Lord of the Rings films.
The staff of Saruman the White is a remarkably clean model built around the Star Wars planet elements for the orb. Unless you zoom in, it might be hard to recognize the staff is actually LEGO. This is even more impressive if its mere five hours of build time are taken into account. The builders also share the exact piece count, which is 831 for this particular model, and it measures 91 inches in length.
The staff of Gandalf the Grey is an impressive creation in a completely different way. It is not quite as accurate to its movie representation as Saruman’s staff, but the complexity of the source material makes its recreation a much more impressive achievement. The spiraled headpiece is created using multiple arch elements wrapping around the shaft. The build was completed in an impressive four hours using 938 bricks. It measures 61 inches in length.
J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy world of Middle-earth, best known from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books and films, has shaped much of modern fantasy. Indeed, LEGO builders have been finding inspiration there for a very long time, in the recent years even more so with the support of the official LEGO themes based on the movies. Over the years, we’ve seen multiple collaborative projects appear both as online galleries and convention displays; however, we think this latest initiative is among the most impressive. The massive collaborative project includes 10 builders and 13 creations depicting different locations and events of the Third Age of the Sun.
The project consists of dioramas of varying sizes and styles, although modern castle-themed builds tend to have moderately standardized techniques and styles in the fan community. This makes for a very consistent group project, while still letting each builder’s individual style shine through, and making each creation a great stand-alone build. Continue reading
A contrarian caterpillar makes for a fine bit of building, as seen in this lovely setting by Markus Rollbühler. Alice in Wonderland is a common subject for LEGO creations, no doubt because its whimsical caricatures allow builders to flex their muscles a bit and try out lots of fascinating new techniques. The two techniques I’m most drawn to in Markus’ version are in the flowering plant at the center, with yawning leaves made of upturned dragon heads, and a bright light orange flower made of hand mixers and shoulders.
The Sirius is a fictional vessel first appearing in the Tintin graphic novel The Shooting Star, and later in The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure. It was named after the SS Sirius, the first steam-powered ship to cross the Atlantic under its own power. This wonderfully detailed boat by Stefan Johansson is so accurate compared to images of the vessel John-O.88, a trawler that inspired the author, that it is easy to mistake it for a wooden model.
The curved hull is particularly impressive, along with the riggings, made up of various lengths of LEGO string elements. On deck, Tintin is ready to plunge into the depths in his diving suit, while Snowy, Thomson (or Thompson?) and Captain Haddock look on.