There’s the age-old question of why the chicken crossed the road, but it appears it doesn’t apply at this tidy chicken farm by LEGO builder Carter Witz because there are no roads here. Instead, these birds are stuck at home with their tiny wings, because this chicken farm is on a floating island. With lovely autumnal colors and a rustic vibe, this build has everything we’d want from a floating island habitat. The stone doorframe on the house is a great detail that makes the structure feel sturdy despite its precarious location, and there are lots of other great details like the shingled roof and the adorable chicken coop.
It’s been a while since we covered the fourth of 8 builds from the second round of the Starfighter Telephone Game, or STG, so lets do a recap as we highlight the final build in the series. The STG-2 Beyonder, built by Simon Liu, the spaceship legend himself, made for a super strong finish for the whole game. For those not in the know, the game includes eight builders, passing along a spaceship design that they reimagine and redesign with each subsequent build. As such, the form and function can shift and change in dramatic ways from the first ship to the last. The bright green canopy surrounded by white angular canopy pieces smooth out the cockpit and compliment the triangular shaping achieved with the left and right roof tiles that Simon pulled from the Bone Demon set. Dark grey mock-wings stretch out from the green, white, and blue fuselage while gold tiling on the engines can be seen peeking out from behind the craft. Unfortunately Simon hasn’t provided much of a look at the back. Thankfully, the front is so beautifully built it’s worth appreciating on its own. The greebly, detailed interior of the cockpit feature’s many LEGO fans’ favorite frog piece as this sleek ship’s pilot.
While LEGO builder Carter Witz tells us he has kept this design pretty simple I’m still smitten with it anyway. Granted it doesn’t have mind-blowing techniques and complex gear trains but you can go a long way with a well-appointed layout. I love the trees, the smiling minifigures and the rock patterns. That waterfall though really makes the piece special. The look and feel takes us back to a specific time in LEGO history right in the sweet spot of childhood memories. You know, before all the backaches and sore knees. This builder frequently takes us to special places. Check out the Carter Witz archives to see what I mean.
The baby Yoda figure has been on my wish list since the first time I saw it. Carter Witz used it in their latest creation. It is either meant to represent Grogu and his little play hut, or it is meant to represent Yoda on a micro-scale. The creation is called (baby) Yoda’s hut, so my guess is it is up to you to decide.
The tree looks nice and lusciously green and the roots covering the little hut are a very nice touch. Carter used a mix of elephant trunks, spider legs and dinosaur necks to create the roots and the trunk of the tree. Indy had to hand in his whip to create vines and roots. I am not sure what the brown flower stem is meant to represent, but I am digging how it looks!
After another year of waging war, both sides of the conflict put down their blasters and held a holiday celebration. Builder Carter Witz displayed the historical setting that took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Let’s look at this on a deeper level. I’ve never seen that model of AT-AT before. It’s very detailed and fits perfectly into the scene, lifting Vader to the top of the tree to place the star. The large columns are both beautiful and straight-up Empire, with Imperial lighting helping light the room. And what’s in the kegs by the window? Cider? Cocoa? Coaxium?
This build goes to show that not everything has to be about fighting and blowing stuff up. You can use good and evil forces from the darkest of moments to create holiday cheer and warm feelings towards everyone. Isn’t that right, Mr. Wampa?
Most artists I know are usually intimidated by a blank canvas. That doesn’t seem to bother this painter adding color to an otherwise monochrome landscape, by Carter Witz. By choosing to make most of the landscape unpainted, Carter is able to use some great LEGO parts that come in limited colors, like teeth, claws, and horns, and even a few skeleton arms. Plus, as a bonus, the green frog serves as a large paint blob spilling out of the bucket. It’s a happy accident that Bob Ross would be proud of.
I told myself today was going to be the day I get stuff done. This was going to be the day I didn’t procrastinate with silliness online. But then I took one of those “what kind of dog are you?” quizzes and they cited me as a basset hound when I fancy myself as more of a golden retriever and now I have that to deal with. Among all this important online research, I stumbled upon this serene LEGO scene by Carter Witz. I like the golden leaves, the haphazard texture of the roof, and the fact that the trail and river interrupt the base structure. Now I pretty much don’t want to get any work done anymore. I just want to relax in Carter’s world for a while. You can also go down the rabbit hole of unproductivity and check out Carter’s other fantastic layouts. Basset hounds enjoy rabbit holes, don’t they?
There’s a lot to like in Carter Witz‘s atmospheric LEGO model of a sunken ruin. Above the waters, we’ve got twisting vines and an excellent selection of parts to create the impression of aged, decaying stonework. And then plunging below the surface, we have a clever change in tone from light grey to dark, with fish flitting between the columns, and weeds choking the lake bottom. This is a well-put-together model, but as with many of the best LEGO creations, it’s the sense of story, the questions it prompts in the mind of the beholder which elevate it into something special. What was this ruined structure? Which ancient civilization built these broken arches? And what terrible cataclysm saw it flooded? Who is the man in the canoe? Where is he going? And what sauce will he cook that chicken in?
LEGO creations often make me want to experience what’s built but in the real world. Carter Witz’s Mountain Cabin really makes me want to get out into the wilderness and go hiking. Sure, you can’t really feel the temperature of what’s depicted in a photo, but the hue of the green grass and the orange leaves on the trees peg this as an autumn scene. The trees tell me there’s a slight breeze too. And for some reason, I think it’s an overcast day. If I slip and fall into the cold mountain runoff in that stream, I’ll have no problem warming up in the snug little cabin. Aside from all the wilderness feels I’m getting, I need to also take a moment to appreciate the quality of these birch trees. The technic pins take them to a whole new level, making it look like the bark is falling off along with the leaves.
Big isn’t always better, as this small LEGO castle by Carter Witz proves. An outpost for a troop of wolf-riding soldiers, the fortification sits on a ridge of rock, accessed by stairway. The texturing on both castle and stairway is excellent, with a wide variety of bricks creating the feel of weathered stonework. I like the little details like the arch above the door and the fence around what I’m going to call “the wolf enclosure”. I think the rockwork might have benefited from a scattering of a contrasting colour, but other than that the forest scenery is well done. I am, however, concerned for the comfort of the soldiers stationed at this outpost. With five troopers already in residence in the tiny castle, I really hope the two new arrivals are not intending to stay for long.
Builder Carter Witz has a strong back catalog of interesting LEGO dioramas that we’ve always found notable for their natural elements competing with the man-made creations for the eye’s attention. Whether it’s the gates of Menegroth or a steam-powered mechanical walker prowling the landscape there’s always a pleasing contrast throughline that continues with his newest creation, the Forgotten Door.
This creation also shows Carter’s growth as a LEGO builder with rock formations significantly more complex than his prior work. This time-consuming texturing perfectly complements the finely-chiseled stone doorway, and the entire diorama is framed with lush vegetation.
Steam-driven military walkers are a staple of the LEGO Steampunk building genre, and this one, by Carter Witz, is a great addition to the corps — a spindly tripod affair with touches of dark red in amongst the grey greebles. The functional-looking joints on the legs support a nicely detailed body packed with texture (and armaments).
I particularly liked the evocation of a classic Prussian-esque “pickelhaube” spiked helmet. This is one of those LEGO creations where the presentation adds immensely to the overall effect. The base is simple but well done, and the addition of the figures advancing beneath their mechanical companion gives an impression of scale the central model alone might lack. And dropping in that wolf is a masterstroke — immediately creating a sense of mystery, danger, and otherworldliness. Steampunk needs more wolves.