When it comes to medieval buildings, builders sometimes go all out on texture. Pieces end up being used every which way, with studs facing all directions, and random parts thrown in there just to show how clever the builder is. It doesn’t always look good, though, since it can appear too busy. That’s not to say that I think every surface needs to be smooth and flat and all lines need to be clean and straight. Quite the contrary. Ralf Langer is one of the builders out there who manage to balance irregular surfaces, crooked lines, and clever parts usages with cohesive structures and a strong visual presence. The ground in his latest creation is a perfect microcosm of what I mean: he blends smooth bits, heavily studded bits, and interesting parts to create something appealing and delightful, and I haven’t even looked at the buildings yet!
If you are wondering what the part in the ground is that gives it the baked-clay or tiny cobblestone look, it is a Technic drive chain. And by a Technic drive chain, I mean about ten billion And they’re not just in the ground, but also in the walls of the buildings, forming some of the wattle in the classic wattle-and-daub medieval look. Minifig legs create some fun decaying shapes in one of the buildings, and flex tube ends make for some clever windows. But best of all is Ralf’s use of stud shooter triggers. I see at least four different uses for those in this build, showing once again that all pieces have uses in custom-built LEGO models. I’m always a sucker for immersive builds, and Ralf is one of the best at them. Look through the arches and you can see more town beyond, promising a bigger world out there. Just not for the figure on the ground, since the standing one is Death.
May the 4th can be an exciting time for Star Wars fans, thanks in part to sales and promotions going on. Unfortunately, this year’s festivities have taken on a somber note because, on April 30th, the 7’3″ (2.21m) Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew died at age 74. With only barks, grunts and growls, the occasionally belligerent but always lovable Chewbacca became a pop culture icon. Kale Frost built this heartfelt tribute to Chewbacca and the towering British-born actor who donned the iconic fur costume to play him. With tools in hand, his back to the viewer and facing a bright light, this composition conveys the message nicely.
Peter Mayhew had a form of gigantism that can cause crippling joint pain and poor blood circulation. In 2011 he and his wife Angie started the Peter Mayhew Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to the alleviation of disease, pain, suffering, and the financial toll brought on by life’s traumatic events. Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo, said that Mr. Mayhew was “a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character.” In a statement, George Lucas said of him, “He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature.”
Grant Davis is rapidly becoming one of the premiere Castle builders out there. His latest build shows why. He has done more than master techniques. Grant has learned how to tell a story without words. The single picture speaks volumes and leaves the viewer wanting more. This particular build has a sense of the macabre that makes you step back and a sense of mystery that pulls you back in. It’s very well executed.
This scene of oceanic doom, built by Hen Peril, has a great sense of action going on. I love the chaotic feel and the convincing poses of the figures. Unfortunately, I don’t think they stand a chance!