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.
This microscale scene is instantly recognizable: the Great Sept of Baelor in Kings Landing from HBO’s Game of Thrones, built by Antonio Cerretti. It’s so lovely to have a reminder of the Sept’s beauty and splendor. It’s a shame it’s no longer a location seen anymore – at least, not in the way pictured here. The other homes and buildings are simple and easily identifiable. The fountain and statue using the white horn stands out, and the textured brick for the steps makes it clear just how much of a hill the building sat on.
I’m sure it was quite the sight to see Paul Bunyan and his companion, Babe the Blue Ox. Pete Strege has captured these two larger-than-life folk heroes on a pedestal. Like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Paul Bunyan was made famous when he was used in a marketing campaign (for the Red River Lumber Company, in case you’re curious).
Check out the details here: the serrated edge of the saw blade, and Babe’s fantastic sculpting. Paul’s beard definitely caught my eye, and just check out the muscles he’s got going on!
Today LEGO has revealed the latest entry to the Build Your Own Adventure book series by publisher DK, featuring Green Lantern and his fellow DC Superheroes. The 80-page hardcover volume includes a Green Lantern minifigure and a small selection of bricks, and is filled with building tips and more than 50 small models for inspiration designed by TBB’s own, editor Rod Gilles. The book is due out in August, and is currently available for preorder from Amazon for $16.50 USD or £17.99 in the UK. Rod is a veteran of the Build Your Own Adventure Series, having previously built models for the Star Wars Build Your Own Adventure book and the LEGO City Build Your Own Adventure Book.
If you read our site often, you’ve probably noticed that a group of builders have been collaborating on an ongoing Harry Potter LEGO series. Each builder has tackled a different book in the series, producing a small vignette scene for each chapter. Mel F. recently finished the sixth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, with 30 vignettes for the book’s 30 chapters, and the tiny scenes just keep getting better and better.
Mel’s take on the Harry Potter vignette series is quite spectacular and a little different than those who have come before her. Most noticeably, Mel incorporated several intricate building techniques and even some microscale buildings (the Burrow) into her series. Of course, she also included a plethora of Unikitty tails (Mel’s signature LEGO piece) into her builds.
If you missed any of the previous Harry Potter vignette series, be sure to check them out here:
See each of the fantastic Half-Blood Prince vignettes below.
Now through Friday, Nov. 18, No Starch Press is having a massive sale on LEGO books, offering them at 50% off. No Starch Press is the publisher of many great fan-authored books, including ones we’ve reviewed such as The LEGO Neighborhood Book, Beautiful LEGO, The LEGO Build-It Book: Amazing Vehicles, and The Cult of LEGO. Use the code BRICKSGALORE at checkout to get the sale price. Each physical book comes with a digitally downloadable version as well. And if you’d prefer to have just the digital version, the current pay-what-you-want Humble Book Bundle features 16 No Starch Press LEGO books.
Full disclosure: The Brothers Brick staff are featured in a number of No Starch Press books, including Beautiful LEGO, The Cult of LEGO, and Steampunk LEGO.