The two things that stood out first in this build by XBrickmonster were the imperfect walls and the intricate windows made of LEGO elements ranging from claws and minfigure hands to tails and even Technic pins. That aside, the scene itself is a grand mystery waiting to be solved by our two detectives. While I leave the hard part to the experienced folks, I’m still trying to solve how that yellow frog got up there on the beams of the roof.
Seeing one of your national icons made in LEGO always gives a wholesome sense of civic pride, like the Mount Rushmore build we shared recently surely did for our American readers. However, living in a small country like Slovenia as I do can make such events scarce at best. Luckily for me, Isaac Snyder has given me this satisfaction and luckily for you, he has informed you about the largest cave castle in the world. Predjama Castle was first mentioned in 1274 as a small defensive fortress built inside a cavern with 6,5 kilometres of cave systems and a vertical 130-meter high cliff behind it. In 1570 it was expanded in the Renaissance style and remains this way to the present day.
The microscale build captures the real castle perfectly, as you can see from the reference used by Isaac. The build looks simple at first glance, until you start looking at the seams between bricks and notice how many difficult half-plate offsets and angles are scattered throughout the build. The landscaping is spot-on too, from the slanted cliff extending over the castle to the grass-covered hillside below. My favourite part is the staggered bricks on the side of the rightmost tower
The smells of a medieval city must have made it a nightmare to live in one. On the other hand, if you lived in a house built on the wall, you could enjoy the fresh countryside air as well as the city’s protection. This handy situation is captured in this creation by Mountain Hobbit.
All the various heights of the roofs and the complicated angles really give an impression of homes built on the wall and then new houses built on top of the old. The mixing of colours is done carefully to create a weathered impression that is not overwhelming. For a diorama with only a handful of minifigs, almost all grouped at the gate in the center, it seems to be teeming with life.
It can be surprising how far a little camera angle and a good idea can go. Sometimes creations that are amazing from a technical standpoint can turn out overwhelming or chaotic, when simplicity is all you need. This creation by Martin Harris is one of the examples where less is more.
The build is indeed simple, but it has everything it needs. The water is essentially just thoughtfully placed curved slopes, and the ship looks like a ship with a nicely sculpted dragonhead and a viking-style sail. All this is photographed cleanly and at an immersive angle. The selling point is the ridiculous idea though. The fierce warriors on the ship are different LEGO baby minifigs, including sewer babies from the LEGO Movie 2, all wearing LEGO Heroica helmets.
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.
There’s nothing like coming home to your family after a long journey. Perhaps in this case, a long quest or crusade. You know that feeling you have when you see your house after having been gone a while? This scene of a warrior being welcomed by his family, built by Tom Breugelman, is reminiscent of that feeling.
Of course, the real hero of this build is that cottage. The angles and rockwork are superbly done. The architecture immediately catches the eye. And all of the colors throughout the scene come together perfectly, but especially in the cottage. Now, if you’re looking for something similar, how about a house with many faces?
Fantasy castle building often leans towards the creation of dark, gloomy and foreboding places in which one would not lightly tread. Master castle builder Jonas Wide usually takes a different route, however, using cheerful splashes of color to create incredibly warm and welcoming scenes. This style is definitely evident in his latest creation, the Houses of Barqa:
The buildings are elegantly designed and laid out, but the real star of this show is the use of color. If there’s been a better use of sand red, I haven’t seen it. The pastel palette blends so well with the more subtle tan/dark tan foundations and street. Taken together, it’s a gorgeous and eye-catching scene. Clever use of lighting also makes for some atmospheric and quite realistic looking images.
Those of us in the northwestern hemisphere have had a tough time lately, what with the polar vortex, record-shattering temperatures (as low as -63 degrees Celsius at my mom’s house in Winnipeg, Canada) and unrelenting snow and ice. Even here in southwestern Arkansas, where winter generally just means anything below 10 degrees Celsius, we were racing to buy wintry garments normally only seen in movies about Alaska. On the flip side, the nasty weather meant more time shamelessly spent in the LEGO room. I built this tropical scene while daydreaming about places where I don’t have to leave faucets running for fear of water pipes bursting inside my home.
This was a simple but fun build to throw together. There are no crazy techniques or excessively nice parts usages (NPU) to highlight here. But a dash of color, proper composition and a bit of photography know-how can just about always turn a bland build into something that really catches the eye. If you like the trees, they are easily recreated using the 4mm pneumatic hose and cylinder bricks. They can be twisted around each other and held in that position with the leaf elements. Simple and easy jungle tree!
Despite the inclusion of Classical or Greco-Roman characters in several waves of Collectible Minifigures, the ancient world just isn’t as popular with LEGO Castle builders as the big gray castles of the medieval era. As a result, it’s always refreshing to see great LEGO models from that earlier era. Talented TBB alum Mark Erickson has created a fictional battle between rivals the Pierian Empire and the great city of Tylis. Mark’s diorama is full of fantastic architectural detail — I particularly love the contrast between the tan city walls and the shining white temple with its gold details and green roof.
The story of the Trojan horse is one of the most well known in ancient Hellenic lore. In the classical version, following a fruitless and decade-long siege of the city of Troy, the Greeks constructed a gigantic wooden horse in which they had hidden their finest warriors. The Greeks feigned defeat, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night, the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, ending the war. It was a brilliant coup, though historians have argued its veracity ever since. Regardless of whether or not the Trojan horse actually existed, Martin Harris wonderfully brings the story to life in LEGO form with his depiction of that fateful gift-giving moment.
One has to admire the simple but imposing Trojan walls and gate, which stood up to 10 years of determined Greek attacks (the angled walls are a great touch, though a bit more landscaping around the bottom edge would help break up the abrupt edges). The Trojans lined up along the battlements and the Greeks laboriously pushing the horse depict the sheer scale of this creation. Continue reading
An ominous black dragon hovers low over Kale Frost’s stunning microscale castle. Although small, this model is filled with movement and atmosphere. The perfectly placed transparent slopes convincingly replicate waves crashing against its rugged coastline, and it’s matched by cleverly selected tile and foliage bricks, which complete the landscaping. The castle itself is a cunning amalgamation of unexpected pieces. It even manages to use what may potentially be the least useful LEGO elements ever, the trigger from a stud gun, which is doing duty as a detail in one of the towers – bravo!
Skyrim players the world over know the joy of a well-timed FUS RO DAH! The iconic shouted spell will blast your enemies, and if you time it just right, as in this scene by Victor, the results can be spectacular. This also happens to be the perfect use for LEGO’s new power burst elements from various Superhero sets, showing the blastwave emanating from the Dragonborn. Also not to be missed is the use of the tree-costume element as the tree’s trunk. Despite the obvious application, this is actually the first time I’ve seen a good tree made with that element.