Brothers and LEGO Masters contestants Mark and Steven Erickson are continuing their big building skills with this beautiful leviathan. The scale here is deceptive, as the stand spans several feet, made of transparent bricks with lights embedded. Look closely right in the middle and you’ll spot a tiny Thor battling the mighty Jörmungandr. The sea serpent also has lights in its eyes, as well as a fog machine for real smoke, and the result is astounding.
The best architecture, oftentimes, like the best LEGO builds, is not terribly original; instead, it repeats the same forms over and over again, but in arrangements that show precision and careful thought. Within that repetition, there is room for extreme creativity (which is how we get such diverse LEGO builds, despite everyone using the same basic parts). In fact, Gothic architecture includes subtle differences even in areas that are “matching,” like the columns going down a medieval church; look carefully and you’ll see that not one of them is exactly like the others. And yet they are still matching and repetitive. This library entrance by Brother Steven illustrates this nicely. Similar to the Cathedral of Notre Dame, one of the crown jewels of Gothic architecture, the towers are of different heights.
Looking at the towers and the walls, there is something beautiful in the repetition of the shapes, something that ties it all together into a cohesive whole far better than anything novel could have. The 1×1 round bricks is the most obvious example, but the use of a studs-out strip beneath them heightens the repetition. The arches in the walls also match, with some having the Nexo shields and others having small statues. From there, subtle variations (like modified plates on one tower, and a small gap between the 1×1 round bricks and the studs-out strip on the other) add visual interest in a Gothic way. Gold accents, like the floral hinges on the doors and the unicorn horns on the battlements, set things off, and the white tree and verdant vegetation give the primarily-tan build the color it needs to pop. And pop it does!
I’m a sucker for the stories behind builds. I’m also one for nicely cut lines and color choice in architecture. This build by Brother Steven displays all of those traits. Although we’ve seen it done before, the journal of an adventurer chronicled in LEGO is a fascinating concept, and done well by Steven. This particular creation is part of a series of builds, all following “Zenas Abbington” as the hero. There are so many lovely aspects to the castle: the round base, the shape of the towers, the pearl gold carriage wheel in the windows, and the accents on the front door. Let’s not forget how adorable those sheep are too!
And the flip-side is just as pretty! That tree is magnificent, with its color and angled branches. I’m also a big fan of the underside of those mushrooms! It’s no wonder that this, coupled with a few other creations, won a “Brickee” at BrickFair Alabama 2019!
Some of the details of this build are reminiscent of other creations from Steven’s magical world, such as this floating castle we featured last year.