I’m sure by now, Caleb Schilling is sick and tired of the azure saddle LEGO part he’s been working with throughout this round of Iron Builder. But, build by build, the LEGO Master continues to find new uses for the clunky piece. This adorable locomotive is no exception, utilizing 31 of the saddles. While they’re primarily used to make up the sides of the engine and attached cars, each one features a new configuration, showcasing each of the part’s sides. The pairing of the dark azure saddles with dark blue and black makes for an excellent color combo, and contrasts the blurry green background of the countryside whizzing by.
As much as I love the LEGO Harry Potter sets I have to admit one thing. The scale they are built in does not lend itself to adding the amount of details I’d love to see. LEGO fan creations however never stop to amaze me. One of these creations is Moaning Myrtle by Caleb Schilling. Caleb built the prefects’ bathroom from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The use of the white half round tiles to add marble details to the bathtub wall looks splendid. It is also nice to see the Fabuland flask being used in a modern day creation. It is a bit bigger than minifigure scale but it works perfectly in this setting. Using old school lace fences to create the stained glass windows is a really nice touch. I love how the light appears to be peeking through all the trans clear plates.
Not to be outdone by his friend and competitor, Caleb Shilling has a few tricks up own sleeve and has used the dark azure LEGO saddle piece eighteen times in this captivating little scenario. The reason? Well, Iron Builder is currently heating up like a used Toyota on a cross-country trip. If you’re observant you’d note that was an entirely different metaphor from the one I used earlier today so clearly, I’m a literary genius. While I await a lucrative book deal from Simon and Schuster, check out the predicament these intrepid divers are in. This was also entered in Vignweek 2022 where they are mashing up styles. In this case, we have Aquanauts divers of yore executing the Chewbacca maneuver from Star Wars in which they brace the trash compactor, call for help, and escape from peril, then it’s Miller Time. So is that pulling triple duty then?
This exquisite LEGO storefront by Caleb Schilling is all about new beginnings. It could be the opening of a new store, the blooming of a flower after a long winter, or the next season of Iron Builder. Utilizing 15 of this horse saddle seed part, the build puts them to use in the awning, a flower pot, and as the clerk’s apron. Beyond the seed part, I’m also partial to the excellent front door design in dark green and the intricate white molding on the second-story windows. Overall, there’s a depth to this build that goes beyond a stud count. All the open windows and patterned variations in texture make the creation stretch back away from the screen, inviting passers-by inside to see what’s on the shop’s shelves.
When you put a title like Castle Bros on the line, you better be ready to back it up eventually with some epic, medieval models. After he and his brother succeeded in securing the victory, LEGO Masters contestant Caleb Schilling was well aware of this obligation. Compelled to revive the build that won the bet, Caleb did so with style. The Joust of Sir Bob and Sir Leon takes place high on the bridge above the castle gates, surrounded by colorful citizens celebrating the competition. Red and blue banners wave above their heads for their favorite knights as they look on from various levels of this towering castle. The molding of the bridge is brilliantly detailed, emulating carved stone with gold inlets. Honestly, the parapets of each tower and turret are beautifully designed with wonderfully textured walls and arrowslits dotting them. My absolute favorite portion is the entryway. This design is honestly gorgeous. The use of sand green and dark orange contrasts nicely with the highlight of white and peek of yellow from above. The plants adorning the windowsills, the ivy climbing the left turret, and the bright tree atop the entryway add an organic element to the stone and mortar.
Caleb Schilling, and Jacob for that matter, have impressed me so far in their tenure as the Castle Bros. Their use of bright colors to contrast the greys and browns common in castle designs breathes life into the concept. This model and that from the show seem almost animated with how the characters and buildings complement each other. I can’t wait to see Caleb’s next castle.
One of the things in the Harry Potter universe that always caught my attention was the charmed tents. Nothing as magical as 3 people entering a really small tent to discover that it is very spacious on the inside. Caleb Schilling takes this setting and gives us the Quidditch World Cup scene where the Weasley family camps in a borrowed charmed tent during the sport event. The tent is made of fabric, which is really hard to create with a hard plastic construction toy. However, Caleb managed to make the flowing fabric feel come across quite beautifully thanks to the round wall, patterns on all the walls, and the curtains hanging from the ceiling. The tent has everything a family needs to camp in comfort: beds, couches, chairs, tables, a heating stove, and even a rug with fringe!
Rescue from the Merpeople was released in 2005, that’s right, 15 years ago! It was a small build but it contained 5 unique figures. It was the first set, and still one of the only sets, containing sleepy faced minifigurs. On top of that LEGO gave us their first mermaid minifigure. Whether or not you think the mermaid is pretty is a matter of taste. In 15 years a lot has changed in the world of LEGO and Caleb Schilling shows us a peek of what the set might look like if LEGO would ever decide to redesign it. I am really fond of the demure use of colour in this creation. The only vibrant colour comes from the vegetation and some of the characters’ outfits. The base is especially well made, showing little to no studs. The skirts on Hermoine and Cho further add to the flowing underwater feel of this creation.
There are castles that are blocky grey fortresses, and there are castles that look like fairytales come to life. One such castle is the ornate Schloss Drachenburg, which bears resemblance to the more famous Neuschwastein. Just a few miles south of the German city of Bonn, this 19th century villa was the passion project of builder Caleb Schilling who replicated this building with an attention to accuracy. A range of earthen tones dominate most of the exterior, while the dark grey adorns the top sections. The overall appearance of this build already satisfies my hunger for beautifully built architecture, but there are plenty of details yet to savour.