It’s been 50 years since this LEGO chess battle began. And now, with the board overgrown and partially flooded, builder Rilbist shows us the resulting armistice in the great battle between the two sides of the checker-print board. I think this is a wonderful concept, especially given the limitation of only using part colors that were available half a century ago. Each of the pieces is instantly recognizable, and ornate without being distracting from the real star of the show: the state of the playing field. The weathering is divine, and I particularly like the pool of water in the center that flows out of the board, connecting this deadlocked game with the outer world.
Did you know that, despite their visual effects fame, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) only elected to use stop-motion animation once in the original Star Wars? The scene in question is the Dejarik board on the Millennium Falcon, depicted on Instagram by Shaun Sheepa (brick.sheepa). Shaun is a dab hand when it comes to Star Wars creatures, so the holochess board is a veritable feast. You’ve got, um, the big grey one, and, er, the dude with the hammer, and the red… Caterpillar… Thing? I won’t pretend to know their names. I bet Shaun could tell you – after all, he’s done a phenomenal job of building them!
In the Dark Days when LEGO was struggling to stay profitable, they tried a new strategy and created a TV Show and its subsequent LEGO tie in series which…well, it came and went. This theme was Galidor, and Matt Rowntree has taken elements from the theme and repurposed in an inspired way in this Chess set build!
Whilst one player takes the blue side, made from parts from Nepol, the other takes the red, utilising parts from Ooni!
I love how the parts have been utilised to create Chess Pieces that we all recognise, whilst Matt manages to add uniformity to the bases of all the playing pieces whilst blending traditional LEGO pieces with the Galidor pieces that have limited connections points!
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.
Click through to see more of this excellent steampunk creation
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.
Click here to take a closer look at the pieces!
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.
See more of these superheroes
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?