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.
There is a detail view of an alternate build of the planter in Barbara’s photostream. I recommend checking it out for even more great botanical creations.
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.
Builder Patrick B. is taking us back to a fond childhood memory in the Hundred Acre Wood with this quintet of beloved characters from A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh series, consisting of Eeyore, Tigger, Pooh, Rabbit, and Kanga and Roo. Oh joy! The ears are the standout technique on each of the characters, made of various tiles and slopes, but my favorite detail is Rabbit’s whiskers, made with lever handles.
Bonus fact: Winnie the Pooh was translated into Latin in the 1950s, and Winnie illie Pu proceeded to become the only Latin-language book ever to make it to the New York Times Best Seller list.
This microscale scene by Nicolas Kolbeck is instantly recognizable to any Harry Potter fan as the eclectic wizard village found on the other side of a brick wall behind the Leaky Cauldron in London. Even more impressive than the many details that stand out, like the angled windows of Olivander’s shop and the leaning pillars of Gringot’s Bank, is how recognizable the various miniature characters are. Notice the fez part used as a skirt for Hermione, and see if you can name the rest.
Last month we featured Patrick B.‘s lovely version of Bag End, Bilbo’s house in the Hobbit and later Frodo’s in The Lord of the Rings. It turns out Patrick wasn’t done making cheery hobbit holes, though, as now he’s followed up with Samwise Gamgee’s home on Bagshot End, which is just as welcoming and snug.
It’s loaded with details, including lots of clever uses for unusual elements, such as the unusual Scala flower pot and vase paired together along with mini-doll Belle’s light yellow dress as large garden jars. Each section of this homely dwelling bears close scrutiny to tease out all the shrewd techniques. Continue reading
Holidays continue to creep into each other’s seasons if retail stores are any indication, but it is never too early for Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, brought to us by Eero Okkonen. These two witchy looking characters are straight out of Terry Pratchett’s brilliant mind and are part of a large cast of characters that bring Discworld to life, which Eero has been working through. We’ve already featured a number of them, such as the denizens of the Unseen University, or Lu-Tze. I absolutely love the detail that goes into the witches’ faces; you can clearly see two distinct characters despite using a small selection of parts. The black dresses are both unique to each character and have plenty of detail.