Modeling characters with realistic textures and movements was a difficult task for the animators at Pixar back in the nineties. While making their first short film in 8 years, Geri’s Game, the company utilized a method to make more lifelike skin and even developed a dynamic cloth simulator to emulate clothing better. Not only did it push Pixar technologically, but it also started a tradition of shorts before feature films that continues today. Builder Deo embraced a more blocky form and used their LEGO to create his own Geri, a version with a life all its own. This wonderful idea includes the chairs, table, chess set, and (not pictured) the prized dentures.
Nowadays, custom chess sets built from LEGO are not at all unusual. It is after all the most popular board game and can be played over and over again without getting boring. It has also recently experienced a surge in popularity following the Netflix series Queen’s Gambit. Being easy to build from LEGO, it is something many builders do at least once in their life. Here, Daniel Barwegen adds his own flair to the arsenal of stylised LEGO chess sets.
I was immediately drawn to the uniquely spindly pieces with the wide bases. Some pieces like the king and queen continue the design to their crowns, which are sharp and angular, and even the horse-heads of the knights include teeth and gears. I love that the pieces appear easy to grip, like straws and pencils, rather than not having enough space between neighbouring pieces. The textures on the rooks are also well done without being overbearing.
And yes, we’ve noticed that some pieces are not in their correct squares. And so has the builder. That’s the beauty of LEGO and chess – you can easily move the pieces back to their correct place without ruining the game.
Check out more life-sized builds of things other than chess sets!
If you love strategy games, it is likely that you enjoy chess, one of the oldest strategy games out there. When I was in high school, a group of friends and I got together to play chess every Friday, but I must admit that I showed up mostly for the Twizzlers and chips and salsa. Judging by his excellent LEGO rendition of a chessboard, Chris Maddison seems like the kind of guy who would have shown up to show people up with skillful moves and clever endgame strategies.
This is a very handsome and elegant board and set of pieces, with virtually no studs showing except for the eyes and throats of the knights. The anti-studs at the top of the rooks look great, but my favorite piece is the king, with a simple yet effective cross atop his crown. The SNOT (studs not on top) board looks perfect for playing; I could easily see myself being checkmated in three moves on it. Perhaps it is time for me to dust off my old chess set and start playing again; or better yet, I could build myself one like Chris.
Board games have provided inspiration for a few creations, notably this impressive LEGO Settlers of Catan model from last year, but it’s always great when a builder takes on the challenge of putting together an entire chess set. Mishima has had a crack at a steampunk-themed set, and the whole thing has worked out brilliantly. The board is smoothly tiled with some nice clanky touches, but it’s the playing pieces which steal the show.
There are dozens of ways one can decorate their home with LEGO, either mounting Star Wars battleships on the walls, placing LEGO sculptures all over the place or even hanging huge LEGO mosaics in a guest room. Still, there is nothing quite like a brilliant grandmaster chess set built completely with LEGO pieces to be exhibited in your home library. Bonus points are for a themed chess set – just like this 6,500-piece-large masterpiece by Aniomylone.
Who will win is anyone’s guess as these delightful poseable figures go brick head to brick head. Featuring fantastic custom LEGO minifig capes, these custom BrickHeadz designed by Kale Frost are simply brilliant! The scene pits two of DC’s most popular superheroes against each other in a friendly game, as these characters battle it out across the table. Judging by the pieces left on the Chess board, it looks like Superman is losing pieces faster than a speeding bullet.
At this point, chess sets made of LEGO are old hat. Heck, there’s many official sets too, so it’s not limited to custom models. But there’s something elegant in this version by Bartosz Sasiński. Not only are the designs of each piece worth taking a look at, but the white faction pulls off a faux wood effects by incorporating brown into the white and tan.
Magma Guy has posted a really lovely chess set in honor of our 9th birthday! Built in Brothers Brick colors, the set really pops. I am a big fan of brick-built chess sets and the quality of this one is top-shelf. I especially like how the designs of the two sides are quite different but maintain a similar style. The board itself is simple yet elegant. The use of brown as a highlight really ties the green and white together as well. I would love to play a game or two, Magma Guy!
This is the STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI Chess set. It is the 3rd and final installment in a series of three LEGO Star Wars chess sets that Brandon Griffith built in celebration of the Original Star Wars Trilogy. Check out the other two sets; A NEW HOPE and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Will you play the Light Side?
or the Dark Side?
The third-quarter LEGO sets are now officially out, led by both the new LEGO Lord of the Rings and Marvel Super Heroes sets. If you buy $50 from the LEGO Shop between now and the end of the month, you’ll get an exclusive Hulk minifig that’s not available in any set, for free. And you’ll get the original Frodo minifig movie poster with any LEGO LOTR order.
Having *ahem* cheated and picked up some of these sets at a local brick-and-mortar store on Sunday, I can attest to the awesomeness of a tiny Gandalf and even tinier Frodo — with suspenders! — in 9469 Gandalf Arrives.
Here’s the list of all LEGO LOTR sets that are out now:
- 9469 Gandalf Arrives: Comes with Gandalf, Frodo Baggins, and one of the new horses Chris covered in his review of 9471 Uruk-hai Army.
- 9470 Shelob Attacks: Includes Frodo, Samwise Gamgee, the One Ring, and Gollum.
- 9471 Uruk-hai Army: With Eomer, Rohirrim archer, four Uruk-hai, and a new horse.
- 9472 Attack on Weathertop: Has Aragorn, Frodo, Meriadoc Brandybuck, two Ringwraiths, and two of the new horses in black.
- 9473 The Mines of Moria: I picked this one up locally too, and it’s a pretty fun build that has lots of play features and cool minifigs — Legolas (resulting in the inevitable puns while I built the set, followed by swooning from my wife), Gimli, Boromir, Peregrin Took, two orcs/goblins, and a very large cave troll.
- 9474 The Battle of Helm’s Deep: The largest set in the theme at $130 and over 1,300 parts, this set comes with Aragorn, Gimli, Haldir, King Théoden, and four Uruk-hai (including the torch-wielding berserker).
- 9476 The Orc Forge: This set is exclusive to one of the big-box retailers if you don’t get it directly from LEGO, and has Lurtz, two orcs/goblins, and another Uruk-hai.
Here’s a closer look at Helm’s Deep:
Finally, just when you thought the current LEGO Castle theme was (mostly) dead, LEGO has just released a new 853373 LEGO Kingdoms Chess Set.
Main Hulk minifig offer link for US readers:
For our Canadian readers:
And for our UK readers:
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I’m a sucker for LEGO chess sets. I’ve built several myself and once you get going, it is hard to stop. This miniature set, by Matt Armstrong has a deceptively simple quality to it. The pieces are all made from the micro trophy figure, from the Collectible Minifigure series, and at first glace are nearly indistinguishable from one another. However, the bases of the chess pieces are just different enough that one can tell the various pieces apart at a glance. Now I want to go make some more chess sets…
There are so many things I want to say about this, but mostly, I’m just in awe. This four-section creation by Rook just has so much gorgeous detail.
I’ll start with the obvious: the four parts interlock to create either a tower or fortress, and changes the dynamics for each mode. Then there’s the bone-tree, the “giant” chess set, and the detailing on the towers.
I can’t pick a favorite detail on this. Just take a look and see for yourself!
Thanks for the heads up, Bley Junkie!