Making LEGO brick built animals is something I always struggle with. Especially when they have to be minifig scale. Louis of Nutwood has no problem with brick built animals. His creation features an amazing brick built dragon. Which has been done before quite a couple of times before. Louis used bricks to build the wings, which I’ve never seen before. Builders quite often make the skin between the fingers of the wings out of a different parts. Fabric, cloth, or plastic with a pattern. The wings look great and are quite poseable. The face looks absolutely divine and the action posing was done exceptionally well. The fire effect looks better than most tv-show CGI fire bursts which makes the water near the dragon ripple.
Elias tore apart quite a few figures to build this creation and his the use of torso’s in this creation is amazing. They are everywhere! From the columns to the altar, from the platform to the staff. Thirty torsos have been used in this LEGO creation. The thing I love the most is the way the printing on the torsos was incorporated in the build. There are a lot of city hoodies and licenses fantasy torsos used to represent cracks and crumbling down of this ruined temple. What torsos do you recognize? Also a special mention goes out to Elias for using the sprue from the flower stem with 3 large leaves for foliage.
I loved chivalrous romances and fairy tales as a kid, and as a teen, I delved deep into epic fantasy novels, so it should be no surprise that as an adult, my primary building interest in LEGO has been the castle theme. It seems that Aaron Newman‘s primary interest has also been castle, as his earliest builds are castle builds (and he designed his own unofficial castle theme). Now, he’s a top-notch builder, and he’s branched out into every other theme over the years, but it’s always nice to see someone returning to their roots in an impressive way. These miniature castle scenes are just that. I can’t decide if I like the floating village with a windmill or the picturesque watermill the best, but they’re all stunning.
Don’t miss more of Aaron Newman’s LEGO builds, and be sure to browse the LEGO castle builds archives while you’re here. You are sure to be inspired. And if you just absolutely love these tiny scenes, Aaron has provided free building instructions for them so you can put them on your desk at work or home.
I always wonder what it takes to build a beautiful, weathered LEGO building like the builds of Ralf Langer. His creations always leave me with the same questions. How are all these parts connected? How sturdy is it? Can you pick it up and move it around without it falling apart? What does the inside look like? How does he manage to create such amazing builds? Well, the answer is simple: All it takes is some blood, sweat and tears (and a couple of beers). Ralf’s latest build shows us a little behind the scenes. We can see a castle style building with the scaffolding still next to it. The scaffolding itself is quite cleverly made using lightsaber handles, plates, and a lot of tools.
The building itself is pretty as usual. Ralf uses a lot of different types of bricks to give his builds a weathered look. This also helps to avoid the “big grey wall” effect. The stained glass window is quite cleverly made by attaching transparent round tiles to transparent plates with a string net between them. Unfortunately for me, this behind-the-scenes creations answers none of my questions.
With his latest creation Chris Perron proves a castle build doesn’t have to consist of mainly grey bricks. It can be vibrantly colored and still look stunning. Chris’s build is sand blue and dark blue with elements of gold. My guess is this windscreen with bubble cutout was the main inspiration for this LEGO creation. Such a smart way to use this part which was designed to be used as a cockpit for a vehicle. The single hinge finger has been cleverly hidden in the base of the model. The model is finished with some lovely trees in funky colors and a diagonal roof pattern I’ve so far only seen used as flooring in other creations. So that’s a nice little bonus right there.
You don’t have to be hip on the Final Fantasy games and/or Irish mythology to appreciate this new LEGO render by Daniel Vermeir called Mag Mell’s Gatehouse. A moment ago, I was hip to neither, but you’d be surprised how a little Googling can save and/or destroy your journalistic integrity. In the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series Mag Mell is home to carbuncles, creatures that live for thousands of years and have extensive knowledge of the world around them. But according to Irish mythology, Mag Mell was a pleasurable heathen’s paradise that can be reached only through death and glory. It’s sort of like Plato’s Retreat except with fewer stains on the shag carpeting. Regardless of where this creation takes inspiration from, I really love its eerie, dilapidated watery goodness.
I love a good old classic set, the 1986 Guarded Inn is no exception to this. Sets like these remind us of simpler times where LEGO only had 9 colors, and everyone supported the same smile. I love it when creators use a set like this as inspiration and manage to bring it to 2020 by using newer parts and techniques. Stuifzand didn’t use any of the tudor wall panel. And this set came with a lot of panels, 8 to be exact. The door was replaced by a brick-build but door but in the same style as the original set. The yellow shutters add a nice pop of colour as do the dark green half-round windows.
Sometimes a simple two-toned LEGO castle can go a long way. In this diorama, Mark of Siloam brings us Huntington Castle, his largest build to date measuring at 20″ by 45″. I’m not sure how much that is converted into studs, but it sure looks grand within this lively diorama. With its solid sand green and gray brickwork, the Huntington Castle is well-fortified with guards peering out into the land. When the castle’s functioning portcullis is lifted, the drawbridge can be lowered to access the main dirt path. A neat windmill sits just across the river, next to an open field for cattle to graze. The overall composition is rich in detail, and I’m still picking out the subtle changes in landscaping throughout the build and spotting new animals in every corner.
Here’s to more castle dioramas, Mark! And as we’re heading forward, why not drop in our archives for a look at one of Mark’s past builds from 2016.
With the dawn of the day, Crow Knights once again begin their dutiful watch over the land. Builder markus19840420 gives us a beautiful glimpse of the Crow Knights as they keep the kingdom safe.
An incredible LEGO build resulted from hard work and tedious craftmanship. The way the water flows across the area’s base is stunning, especially how it flows off the edge like a waterfall. The plant life is perfectly placed. I admire the use of white in the tower walls. It’s not usually a color used unless the castle is nearly completely white, but here it works, contrasting enough with the grey to make the yellow and black of the Crow Knights’ uniforms pop.
One of the best things about the LEGO fandom is how we can all build off of each other. (Inadvertent LEGO pun is inadvertent, but worth keeping.) This mighty tower by SweStar, for example, was inspired by the techniques developed by Luke Watkins Hutchinson. But there’s more to this build than just the underlying structure. Check out those great vines and those equally impressive spindly trees. Although there are minimal other landscape details, you can’t help but be pulled into the scene. What’s up with the approaching skeletal rider? Friend? Foe? Part-time USPS worker? It’s up to the viewer to decide.
If you’re looking for more cool towers, I suggest a quick stroll through our archives!
Former Swedish LEGO Master Peter Ilmrud is known for detailed, colorful, and occasionally intricate works of art. Often times his builds feature subject matter of fantasy and bygone days. It’s hard to choose, but I think I enjoy his microscale castles best. This will be featured in a LEGO brand retail shop in Sweden, and it’s easy to see why.
The build catches the eye and takes you on an adventure from sea to castle spires. The real triumph is the parts usage in the castle itself. For the most part, the techniques aren’t new, but when they all come together the result is beautiful. I particularly like the techniques used on all the towers, especially stacking modified round plates and tiles back to back to achieve windows and the “stone” look. I also admire how the central helmet piece connected to the lantern element creates a particularly striking feature.
Tragically underused in LEGO builds is the immersive, cinematic shot. Sure, it’s vastly easier and faster to build a vignette, or a stand-alone building, but I deeply admire builders who can move their creation beyond plastic bricks and into an entire world filling the frame. Nathan Smith is one of those builders, playing with light and camera angles to put the viewer in the scene in a believable way. Are there many mind-blowing building techniques on display here? No, not really, though that door does look quite nice. But nothing is out of place, with meticulously arranged leaves and crates, and the smooth walls of the citadel allow the lighting effects to shine. And shine they do, illuminating a ruminating Gandalf perfectly.
Love LEGO builds inspired by The Lord of the Rings? Then check out the TBB LEGO Lord of the Rings archives. They’re epic!