Sea stacks are amazing vertical rock formations that stand in the sea, formed entirely by wind and water as the forces of nature break up part of the headland over time. There are some famous stacks around the world, for example, the Twelve Apostles in Australia or the Old Man of Hoy off the coast of Orkney in Scotland. Tirrell Brown has created a beautiful scene with sea stacks, just off the coast of the imaginary land of Mitgardia. The castle is centrally located upon one of the larger stacks, jutting out the sea with it’s small wooden pier. Tirrell’s sea is very striking, with the combination of dark blue and medium blue depths and transparent waves crashing against the craggy rock faces of the sea stacks.
We do not often see battle scenes built out of LEGO, for multiple reasons. First of all, amassing a vast number of identical minifigures for an army is not in every builder’s budget, but also arranging them into a convincing action scene is more difficult than it appears. ~The Maestro and his brother in arms Joshua Wilson were as brave as the little plastic warriors of the diorama for taking up this challenge, and they emerged victorious. The battle looks very believable, but more than that – the setting does not lag behind whatsoever.
This diorama of a raiding party attacking a defensive settlement has everything you could wish for; a burning village, tactical fortification, and a realistic landscape, where a battle like this would really happen. I should point out that there are many very well-built parts of the diorama that may go unnoticed with the battle as the focal point – especially the houses of the village and the old windmill.
Legend says a gorgeous temple is hidden somewhere in these mountains. To find it, you’ll have to cross the treacherous lava and fight giant scorpions. Or so they say. What’s inside? Only builder David Leest knows. But you can bet your bottom copper that any heroes that find the temple and live to tell the story will be richly rewarded.
David’s stunning scene depicts an adventuring group comprised of a blue mage, a red mage, a dwarf, and a thief who have finally reached the temple’s doorstep. The temple itself is quite detailed, including studded textures, bas-relief sculptures, and a pleasing mixture of “new” gray and old gray that makes this building look ancient.
Sometimes, history is quite literally the foundation of the present. This creation is one such example, but with an interesting duality: not only does it represent medieval structures built upon ancient ruins, but it is also literally a rebuild of Antonio Carretti‘s earlier LEGO Forum of Nerva, which we also featured here on The Brothers Brick. The creations very obviously represant the same structure, despite the contrast between a shiny new temple and fortified ruins.
The dark red and orange tower blends with the remains of the temple beautifully, and the white details in the house on the left really show how the stairs of the temple were used to build it. My favourite part is definetely the overgrown and decrepit temple itself, with its former glory hardly recognizable anymore, replaced with an impression of great age and a long and tragic history.
The classic LEGO Castle themes, like Forestman or Wolfpack, charmed fans with their simple and straightforward designs — faction colors and plain symbols providing the only distinctive elements for each clan. IamKritch makes the most of the styling, reviving two heroes of the past — a couple of fancy Brickheadz warriors. These guys look adorable with their small bow and sword!
The Nine Kingdoms is a German forum-based LEGO roleplaying game. It often produces impressive Castle-themed MOCs, such as this peaceful windmill scene by Markus Rollbühler. The model is full of details which come together as a realistic slice of Medieval life — the texture of the roof and upper walls, the unique brick-built windmill design, and the stone arches holding up the whole building. But what makes this creation really one-of-a-kind is the action outside — a family enjoying a peaceful summer day together. With so many Castle-themed creations focused on conflict and chaos, you’d imagine more Medieval minifigs wished they had this luxury…
Once upon a time, the dark fortress of Minas Morgul belonged to the to the world of men. Back then, the city was called Minas Ithil and it protected Gondor from the evil forces of Mordor. John Snyder has built a gorgeous rendition of the city as it was before the Witch-king of Angmar took over.
At first glance, I mistook John’s castle as something out of Disney rather than the Lord of the Rings. Regardless of the source material, from the top of the tower all the way down to the bedrock, this fortress is one of the loveliest LEGO castles I’ve ever seen. According to John, his Minas Morgul weighs 31.2 pounds and is his heaviest build to date. He also says he tried to maintain the architecture (and pointy crenellations) from the original design. The bridge, in particular, reminds me of the scene in the film where the Nazgul ride out in a frenzy to find Frodo.
For more photos, including alternate angles and even an “I Spy” style scavenger hunt, check out John’s flickr.
The inn — an essential location in any half-decent fantasy tale. Where would your adventurers be if they didn’t have a good tavern to bed down in, get drunk in, hear gossip in, and get into fights in? titus.verelst‘s Grand Griffon is an impressive creation, with nicely-built Tudor-style panelling, and landscaping which adds detail and a sense of place without distracting from the central building.
This builder is on something of a roll with the fantasy creations at the moment. I really liked this detail shot from another model, showing an armourer at work in a side-street of a bustling town. It’s great when LEGO builders get their cameras down and close, creating minifigure eye-level scenes like this…
It is understandable that the Lord of the Rings trilogy inspires more LEGO creations than its expanded lore collected in the Silmarillion, since the latter reads more like a textbook than a series of stories. But it is refreshing to see creations inspired by it nevertheless, even if the hand of builders has to be forced by contests such as the Middle Earth LEGO Olympics on MOCpages. This scene of the kinslaying at Alqualondë by John Snyder is one such refreshment, and it was indeed built for the aforementioned contest.
The builder has accompanied the build with a very informative description of the event, which I encourage more curious readers to explore.
The diorama features many interesting techniques and ideas, with high quality rocks and unique overgrowth. Coupling that with elegant architecture and a gorgeous Elven ship, John has brought a slice of elven history to life.
“You can search far and wide, you can drink the whole town dry, but you’ll never find a beer so brown as that found in the Green Dragon.” So goes the tribute as sung by Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took in Lord of the Rings about the Green Dragon Inn in the Shire, adoringly built here in LEGO by Patrick Balbo.
Based on the inn seen in Peter Jackson’s movies, the Green Dragon is a perfect example of Hobbit architecture with its rounded doors and long, low-slung design. The builder has incorporated all sorts of nice details, from the curved layout of the building to the tree made from stud shooters. The scene is lively and quite welcoming with all sorts of Shire folk mulling about outside. No doubt I would like to stop here and try this brown beer for myself!
There was a (perhaps deservedly?) forgotten LEGO Castle theme from the early 2000s called Knight’s Kingdom with large figures, which introduced many specialized parts that appear to be hard to use other than for their apparently intended purpouse. You would expect me to reveal a surprisingly innovative use of such elements in the newest creation by Russian LEGO builder Red, but the real surprise is how elegantly the builder used the said pieces simply for their intended purpose, which is often a risky move among highly critical LEGO builders. On the other hand, there are many imaginative techniques throughout the build, which reward a viewer inspecting it closely. The best part, however, must be the figure’s menacing general shape, which gives a strong impression of a very muscular man in impenetrable armor, and yet keeping a strange sense of elegance – a perfect combination for a knight.
Castle is an evergreen theme: always there, always lovely, always relevant. This beautiful castle gate caught my eye with its bright colors and clean build. The highlight of this build from Milan Skeiz are the minifigures (including the archers), which have custom crocheted coats! He’s made quite an elegant attempt at a boat build; I would have never guessed he’d never built a LEGO boat before. His take on the sail and mast is unique; I’d love to see one in real life like that!