Tag Archives: Castle

Dragons! Knights in shining armor! Trebuchets & ballistas! From enormous LEGO castles buttoned up for battle to peaceful village market scenes, we’ve got your LEGO Castle needs covered right here.

A fortress to keep your harvest safe

How’s your harvest season going? And by “harvest season” I mean your ability to procure pumpkin spice lattes at your local cafe; assuming not many of us know how to harvest pumpkin spice lattes from the Earth anymore. However, if you are among the rototiller and combine harvester set, then you may take interest in this Fortress of the Harvest in order to keep that pumpkin spice goodness protected. In just six hours, Jaap Bijl completed this neat little vignette with more finesse than some of us are capable of all week.

Fortress of the Harvest

The rough textures, rustic windows and gold elements along the roof and spire are all particularly inspired. The butterscotch colored masonry bricks and the parts comprising the ground add warm autumn hues to this piece, but the purple elements, in this case 1×2 tiles and leaves, are seemingly becoming Jaap’s signature color choice. (You might remember his purple mushroom house we featured back in September.)

The Gates Await

If you’re going to build a castle, you’re going to have some guarded gates to go with it. That’s exactly what builder JS_Ninjnerd did with this fantastic medieval creation. First off, we need a round of applause for the incredible amount of landscaping this build has. Look at the tiny details in the rocks and grass! The variety of sloping bricks used to achieve such level of attention reflects JS_Ninjnerd’s LEGO building skills. Certainly, no stone was left unturned.

The castle itself is a marvel of plastic engineering. Personally, I can’t stand having gaps in between my walled bricks, but here they’re pulled off perfectly. The distressing on the castle is equally expert. The sand-green bricks add age to the towers, helping establish the narrative that they’ve been guarding the entrance to the kingdom for centuries.

The Gates of Corvale

Also age-impressive is the tree on the far left of the display. This tree is shedding its leaves as it enters into the Fall season. I love the colors and how they reflect actual color changes in real trees. The leaves on the ground are a nice touch as well, continuing to bring as much realism as possible into this creation.

Marching to war in the latest war machine fashion

Let’s face it, war is hell, especially on your feet. All that marching across rugged terrain can wreak havoc on even the most leathery of soles. Well, everyone who is anyone will be lining up to get their hands on the latest model in castle-busting siege engines by Tino Poutiainen, the Siege Giant (patent pending). Sporting the newest military miracle, the Trebuchoulder pads, this walking wall-wrecker will be no match for your enemies. Tino has put together a very expressive creation, from slumping shoulders to a tired and resigned expression on the giant’s face, made with only a few simple parts. I think my favorite part, besides that face, is the ram-headed club made from Tauntaun tusks.

Siege Giant

And if you need more proof that the Siege Giant is the pinnacle of mobile combat, look no further than the smile on this soldier’s face. No blisters on these feet.

Siege Giant

Defend the walls of this enormous snow-bound castle

The only thing worse than your castle being attacked is surely your castle being attacked during the winter. I’m pretty sure Orcs siege engines toss more than snowballs. This enormous LEGO castle layout by Larsvader is a beauty, depicting an island fortress under attack by a terrifying army of Orcs. We’ve seen large castles before, but what elevates this model is the striking atmosphere created by depicting the castle in winter, with patches of snow blanketing the landscape, turrets, and rooftops. Just looking at this thing makes me feel chilly. Larsvader says this scene took 20 months to put together, but the effort involved more than paid off. The castle itself is excellent, with off-grid building creating interesting angles for the walls, and good use of texture and colours to break up what might otherwise be a large grey expanse. And the surrounding landscape is nicely-done, careful thought given to the layout, making the island feel like a natural strategic chokepoint — the obvious position for a stronghold.

LEGO Fantasy Castle Siege

The buildings and streets inside the castle are just as detailed as the surrounding walls. Take a look at this close-up image of what the town looks from minifigure eye-level. I love the stonework and wooden structural elements, but it’s the inclusion of mundane background details like the bakery which create the impression of a realistic castle during an extraordinary moment…

LEGO Fantasy Castle Streets

A brand new take on a true classic castle

Growing up, I was lucky to have one of LEGO’s early sets in the castle theme, 375 Castle, which, along with several classic space sets catapulted my LEGO building creativity to a whole new level. And it seems I am not alone in my nostalgic feelings for this set. Galaktek has built a LEGO model inspired by this set, featuring a central section, with four hinged wings that open up for further play and display options. This one perfectly represents feudal Japan with an arched front gate, very detailed stone foundations and vegetation, and a lovely pagoda with ornate gold details.

Ninjago Castle - Front

And if this castle mash-up feels familiar, it’s for a good reason. You may have seen this model in person if you were in Seattle for Brickcon 2019 in early October, where the builder had several castles all built as an homage to the original castle LEGO set. We also covered another of these castle mash-ups recently here on TBB.

A castle is a wish your heart makes

The subject of an impressive official LEGO set, Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle has also proved itself a popular building with LEGO microscale modellers. However, few of the versions we’ve seen previously have captured the detail of the original as effectively as this beautiful creation by Koen Zwanenburg. The high walls rising out of the water are nicely shaped, with some ingenious parts use (check out the hammers as supporting buttresses beneath the crenellations). The soaring towers are lovingly depicted, with a level of texture and detail which makes the model seem much bigger than it really is. And who would have thought the underside of plates would so perfectly depict the tall windows built into the Mansard roof?

LEGO Disney Castle

This is an extensive redesign of a model Koen built a couple of years ago. It’s a great example of a builder revisiting their work and improving on it in almost every aspect. This is excellent microscale LEGO building.

All that is gold does not glitter, but don’t tell this dragon that

I love dragons. One glance through my own Flickr stream would show you that. I grew up reading books about dragons, watching movies about dragons, collecting pictures and sculptures of dragons, playing with dragon toys, and even writing stories about dragons. Some dragons are evil, others are good. This dragon by Jessica Farrell looks more like the evil variety, e.g. Smaug from The Hobbit, Fafnir from the legends of Sigurd, or the wyrm from Beowulf. Why do I think so? Well, judging from the picture, it is the type that gathers gold, guards it jealously, and gets attacked by resplendent knights. Plus, it is spiky and red and black, and everyone knows that spiky red and black characters are evil (hello, Darth Maul).

The Dragon's Hoard

What I love about Jessica’s dragon is the size and setting. This is a large beast, probably fat from eating all those brave knights and the kings who once possessed that gold. The articulation in the tail and neck makes for a very natural pose, despite the hard and mostly rectangular nature of LEGO. The giant columns are also lovely, with the curved slopes making for good round shapes. That glittering golden bed, though, draws the eye like nothing else can. It looks like just about every gold piece, whether that is pearl gold, flat dark gold, metallic gold, or chrome gold, went into this dragon’s hoard (I’m not seeing any pearl light gold or speckle black-gold, but maybe I just missed them). This dragon has stolen crowns, as one might expect, but also satellite parts, the One Ring, and even Aquaman’s buckle! Plus everything else that’s gold. Jessica says that the model consists of precisely 7,416 LEGO elements, and it seems like half of them are gold. The dragon would know for sure how many, since they know down to the smallest coin what their hoard contains.

When desert warriors take over your classic castle

Here’s a fabulous tribute to a classic LEGO set — the iconic Yellow Castle 375, reimagined as a desert fortress. Galaktek has done a cracking job with this Arabian take on the 1978 original. Whilst the shape is immediately recognisable, a modern parts selection allows for the injection of more detail, with printed tiles and patterned fencing helping create the impression of elaborate tiling, and an appropriate choice of minifigures adding to the exotic Arabian atmosphere.

LEGO Arabian Nights

Best of all, the model features one of the most fondly-remembered elements of the original — it opens up. This was a much-loved play feature “back in the day” and, in this creation, allows us a better look at the fine interior work…

LEGO Arabian Nights

Knight’s Kingdom II is kickin’ it new school

Forgotten somewhere in the recesses of LEGO castle history is Knights’ Kingdom II. It lacks the deep nostalgia of the castle themes from the 1980s and early 90s and the surprising novelty of the Fantasy Era sets. For some people, it might rank above Nexo Knights while still remaining near the bottom of their list of favorite castle themes. What it did do well, though, was to introduce Bionicle-like buildable figures to castle, allowing builders to fight each other with action-figure sized LEGO creations. Have you ever tried to engage someone else in a duel with a minifigure holding a sword? I have. It is not easy, and it looks strange to boot. Constraction figures solved that problem, and LEGO 7 has solved the problem of clunky old constraction figures for the theme, giving Sir Adric a brilliant updating.

SIR ADRIC 2.0

Many of the pieces of Sir Adric have been retained, like the shield, ax head, helm, greaves, and pauldrons. But the similarity ends there, as the builder has introduced heaps of constraction parts from Bionicle and other themes, with Darth Vader’s chest armor being among the most notable. While the original Adric was small and static, this one is the complete opposite, large and dynamic. Look at that action pose! Sir Adric could totally chop Vladek to bits with this upgrade. I love LEGO 7’s model, and I’m not even a fan of constraction!

Small gatehouse is big display of medieval architecture

LEGO castles offer builders countless opportunities to use pieces in innovative ways, but executing that variety effectively often requires quite a large castle. Atahlus’ latest creation demonstrates how you can include a variety of different techniques in a relatively small model, while still giving off the air of a large and imposing castle.

While a singular building, this gatehouse demonstrates three separate types of structures. On the right you have the red, half-timber style structure that would be just as much at home in a medieval village as it would be built onto the side of a castle. Opposite it on the left is a round tower with its tall, buttressed walls, implying a stronger, more fortified look. Contrast both sides to the delicate look of the center section, reminiscent of a gothic cathedral. Here in the center, the parts usage is particularly intriguing, with seamless integration of modified bricks, bars, and robot claws to achieve a fragile character. Grey microfigures are also used effectively here as sculpted window frames, as well as on the crenellations on the left section.

What’s got two legs and goes woof?

Wildfire — Game Of Thrones‘ very own version of napalm. In this neat LEGO vignette by ekjohnson1 we get to see the everyday reality of Wildfire production and storage down in the depths of the Kings Landing branch of the Alchemists’ Guild. Sure, the gloopy green stuff is worth a fortune, and makes short work of any invader vessels coming up the Blackwater. But drop a candle in it? Things get hot and messy real quick. The green liquid is nicely done in this model, with transparent pieces capturing its unearthly glow, but the highlight for me is the subtle angle on the brick walls between the timber supports — a nice touch which perfectly evokes the idea of the arched tunnels beneath Westeros’ capital.

LEGO GoT Kings Landings Wildfire

Enormous medieval town offers a gateway to the desert

LEGO Castle displays tend to focus on the Western European medieval era, with great grey fortifications set amid green forests, featuring knights engaged in combat, with perhaps the odd siege engine chucking rocks. How refreshing to see this huge collaborative display by thirteen members of SwissLug which breaks with tradition on two fronts: first, by depicting a city in the Levant (the lands of the Eastern Mediterranean), and second, by showing off the peaceful, multicultural side of life (probably right before the Crusaders show up and make a nuisance of themselves!)

LEGO Medieval Levant Holy Land Eastern Mediterranean

Click here to enjoy the pictures of the diorama…