LEGO fansite Classic Castle’s annual Colossal Castle Contest is upon us yet again. Now in its 16th year, this long-running contest draws out scores of world-class builders. We’ve got our eyes on all the contenders, but the one that caught my eye today is Isaac Snyder with a pair of simple yet elegant medieval builds. While modest in both scale and intent, Isaac has crafted a wonderful slice of middle-age urbanism, with neatly designed houses crowding over a packed street. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Isaac has opted for a refreshingly clean aesthetic, eschewing the now-common jumbled style of bricks at crazy angles and roofs mere moments from collapse.
Next, Isaac moves to the countryside while retaining the same tidy style, bringing us a happy cottage on a streambank. The wattle and daub architecture is expertly accomplished, and the little touches like the chicken coop give life to the scene.
The phrase chocolate box cottage is a peculiar British saying that dates back to a time when biscuits, toffees and other treats were sold in packaging depicting country idylls. Builder Emil Lidé has run with the idea, creating an archetypical black and white timber-framed cottage. From the bowed roof that meets at a pleasingly crooked LEGO chimney, to the authentic thatch made from an array of tan bars and clips, he’s captured the essence of the English countryside. I can just imagine taking tea in the garden with a slice of Victoria sponge cake, and in spirit, I’m in England.
A cottage in the woods is a very pastoral setting, but this cottage by Pavel Angelov Marinov looks a bit sad and neglected. Could be the perfect hiding spot for an evil sorcerer, or a fugitive framed for the murder of his wife by a mysterious one-armed man, or even a beautiful princess troubled by a curse. Between the overgrown landscape, the dilapidated stone walls, and the roof with a tree growing out of it, this cottage could use some love. Maybe some industrious little dwarves with funny names would be up to the task.
One of my favorite features of this model is the roof. Using ball joints first introduce by LEGO in 2014 in the Mixels theme provides the perfect organic curve to build the crooked thatched look. Also, Pavel’s choice of olive green stems mixed in with the traditional green ones provides a nice contrast with the green flowers.
Fall is changing to winter, at least in North America, and it always seems to inspire LEGO builders to depict these changing seasons in bricks. emillide has put together a lovely set of tiny cottages, experimenting with many interesting roof and tree techniques, some of which are truly baffling.
Take this summer scene, for example. I am at a total loss trying to figure out how that tree on the left is holding together, but I love it. Also, each cottage has a different base construction, making a nice finished model.
See more delightful cottages
Most of us grew up watching old Disney films. César Soares says he wanted to live in the cottage in the woods when he watched Snow White as a kid. This fabulous LEGO representation of the Seven Dwarves’ cosy abode is based on a Thomas Kinkade depiction of the famous film.
Cesar claims to have “rushed the build a bit” to make room for other projects, although I see no evidence the final result suffered for it. There is so much to love about this model — the cute little bridge, the shapely trees, and the lived-in feel of the cottage with its gently smoking chimney. Superb landscaping technique and a beautiful array of colourful flowers round this creation off perfectly.