“If you must know more, his name is Beorn. He is very strong, and he is a skin-changer.” So Gandalf the Grey describes their host to Bilbo and the band of Dwarves, when Beorn takes them in and offers them shelter. Mountain Hobbit and Cole Blood collaborated on this LEGO version of Beorn’s house — a wonderfully rough stone cottage topped with an impressive thatched roof. The surrounding landscaping is nicely done, with a collection of livestock which reflects the descriptions of Beorn’s home in The Hobbit. But it’s the building which dominates the scene, pulling the eye in to feast on the details — the stonework, the triangular windows, and that roof. It’s good to see a scene featuring Beorn which concentrates on his domestic arrangements and the gentler side of his nature, rather than focusing on him in rampant bear form.
I’ve recently started being interested in the idea of collaborative LEGO builds. Everyone does their part and they all come together to create an amazing piece of art. Such is the case with The Village of Thornefeld a terrific medieval village collaboration from Cole Blood, Timothy Shortell, Grant Davis, Eli Willsea, James Libby and Jake Hansen.
I had the pleasure of seeing this model in person at Bricks Cascade. Photographs can never quite capture the grandness of these large creations, but it was joy to see up close. What’s incredible about this build, besides it’s huge size and masterful execution, is the cohesiveness of the whole thing. Each builder worked within a tight color scheme and used matching rock styles to make all the sections mesh seamlessly. I love the way the ground slopes slowly upward, creating a wonderful rolling landscape and various levels. This is great territory for storytelling which each builder does nicely, creating a bustling village that’s full of life.
If you are like me, you’re probably thinking the world could use more LEGO creations inspired by The Lord of the Rings. Am I right? Who is with me on this? As it turns out, Cole Blood (who, in my opinion, has the coolest name in the history of the world) has answered all our prayers with this stunning piece he calls “First Appearance of the Ringwraiths”. Having no physical form, the wraiths are cleverly depicted as hellish black apparitions that seem to seep into the landscape. The orc heads on pikes, the toadstools, and the small flowing stream create excellent visual cues throughout. Stay tuned, because this is merely one piece of a larger Second Age collaborative series we’ve been covering that Cole is participating in with his equally talented friends. I will eagerly wait, right after heading over to the registry to change my name to Rex Awesome or something.