Tag Archives: Diorama

There’s nothing like a massive LEGO diorama to prove that you’ve arrived as a LEGO builder. The LEGO dioramas we feature here span everything from realistic medieval castles to scenes from World War II, and more than a few post-apocalyptic wastelands.

Don’t shatter the peace of this pool

Inspired by some of the submerged ruins found in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Joseph Z. has made imaginative use of a pane of glass to create an excellent LEGO scene — a wandering traveller taking a moment’s rest by a tranquil pool. The ruined stonework is nicely put-together, with a depth of texture suggesting both weathering and antiquity, but it’s the use of dark grey below the waterline vs the lighter grey above which caught my eye. I also like the way the grass stalks placed under the water-lilies suggest the plants’ continuation beneath the surface — it ties the above and below-water elements together, making this more than simply two different models separated by the glass. Perhaps a fish or two wouldn’t have gone amiss, but that’s nitpicking at an otherwise lovely piece of work.

Submerged Ruins

Bleak but beautiful

If I had to pick one element of the LEGO world where building styles and expectations have changed the most in the last few years, I’d suggest landscaping has seen the biggest transformation in techniques and general quality. The level of detail, clever brickwork, and creativity on display in a good piece of landscaping now is amazing. EdgelessAbyss provides a great example — a scene where the rockwork is the absolute star of the show. The restrained use of colour, the way the tumbledown ruins blend into the surrounding earth, the solitary figure — the elements all comes together to make a bleak and beautiful fantasy scene.

Flameless Shrine

The builder says this was based on the style of the Dark Souls III and Berserk videogames. However, I’d love to see them use these techniques and styling on a version of Ahch-To, the Star Wars planet whose distinctive rocks and twisting stairs were filmed on the Irish island of Skellig Michael.

The sound of a thunderous charge in the dark forest

The prolific teenaged builder William Navarre is no stranger to realistic historical Japanese themes, but this latest creation of a company of samurai ambushing a camp of the emperor’s ashigaru is one of his best addditions to the series.

From the Depths of the Forest

There is much to see in this full LEGO scene, from the minifig action that seems to express motion much better than one would expect of the somewhat motorically limited minifig, to the flags and the realistic ground texture. The background deserves discussion too; while the opinions on the trees’ textures may be variable, the textures do work for what they are supposed to. More importantly, you should not miss the most subtle, but also the most ingeniously simple part of the build: the angled black background with dark blue rays of light penetrating the treetops.

Preparing for an early departure

A LEGO scene or model doesn’t have to be massive or packed with unusual building techniques to be impressive. Sometimes all you need is a nice set-up and great photography. That’s certainly the case here, as Marco Zanconi brings us a beautifully composed image with lovely lighting. The old sea captain’s bedroom is a relatively-simple build, but the play of light through the window, and the focus employed, turn the image into something worthy of a Hollywood cinematographer.

Preparations

When the Spartans surrendered in bricks

Between 431 and 404 BC, Sparta was the principal enemy of Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Mpyromaxos has created a particular battle from this war, the Battle of Sphacteria, when a  small force from the Spartan army was isolated on the island of Sphacteria by the Athenians. The scene depicts the Athenian forces landing on the island after a surprise attack which included a risky move to attack the Spartans from the rear, thus forcing their surrender. The main focus of this build is on the land-based action so I rather like the way that only the front portion of the Athenian’s ship is included with some  sea spilling over the edge of the build.

Battle of Sphacteria 425 BC

On the left of the diorama, Mpyromaxos has included the Temple of Athena and statues of gods Dioscures, Kastor, and Polydeuces, who were all worshipped by the Spartans. The close-up view below shows some of the battle enfolding.  I love the little arrow stuck in the wall of the Spartan fortifications.

Battle of Sphacteria 425 BC

If you want to see more close-up views of the action, the builder has an album on Flickr, entitled Battle of Sphacteria.

And she’s building a stairway to heaven

Where’s she running off to? Be careful on those stairs! This 3D “picture” in LEGO bricks by Cab~ is a treat — a nice idea, executed well. The elephant trunk pieces make for a great stair carpet, and the striped wallpaper is excellent, offering a smart visual contrast to the plainer wall above. That wall could have been done with being built level — I think the angled bricks distract from the rest of the scene. However that’s nitpicking at an otherwise lovely piece of work. Well played.

Lady Carenina

Find your fame and fortune deep in the dungeons

Dungeons & Dragons is one of the cornerstones of geek culture, but it seems to be somewhat underrepresented in LEGO, possibly because having two time-consuming hobbies like these is not possible for everyone. Galaktek was not discouraged by this, thus he was able to bring this expansive diorama to life for all of the classic RPG lovers out there.

Old Skool D&D: Mystery of Mariner's Manor

There are many levels, from cellar to temple, each of them filled with monsters, traps and other kinds of detail. The changing colours add to the atmosphere of the scenes they encircle, as they get more and more intense moving down. Every single room has something to see and I advise looking through the Flickr album to inspect them all up close, including some humorous “behind the scenes” vignettes.

Good food for thought in Malaysia

In conjunction with the 60th anniversary of Malaysia’s independence, Malaysian builder Brandon Wyc has created a LEGO build based on the multi-racial, colourful and unique culture of Malaysia. Brandon describes the concept of his build as “Jalan-jalan Cari Makan / Walk Around To Find Good Food“. At the centre there is a colourful, imaginative three storey building with local food stalls, and four scenes along the edges;  two are small roadside towns, one is a small riverside village, and the final one is a seaside village. The first view shows the roadside and seaside scenes with lots of activity going on and busy food stalls.

Jalan-jalan Cari Makan / Walk Around To Find Good Food

Take a closer look at this beautiful LEGO creation inspired by the diverse culture of Malaysia

A slice of Medieval coastal life

We go back in time to experience Medieval life in this diorama of a coastal village by goilive. To describe this as a village seems an understatement to me as there are a lot of buildings and infrastructure, even a port with a ship moored up. I love the changing colour gradient of the sea as it reaches the sand and the host of details little wooden jetty located centrally or the market stalls in front of the large castle.

Medieval Village

From a slightly different angle, it is easier to see some of the activities going on in this busy scene.  There’s a fisherman trying to catch lunch down on the beach, a cargo load being transferred onto the ship, while a jester and unicorn entertain some onlookers in the central park. This diorama is going on display at a couple of locations in France later this month and the next; it’s definitely well worth a close-up look in person to enjoy the full scene.

DSC_6506

Post-apocalyptic friendships are the best

It’s not often we re-visit a LEGO model, especially after only a few days. But when we shared an atmospheric post-apocalyptic scene from Adam Sochorec earlier this week we didn’t realise there was more to come. It turns out Adam’s build was only part of a larger collaborative build with Jan T I love the way the rough terrain has crept over to cover the road, and how the two builds have been united with lovely rock work and landscaping. Jan’s harbour with its little fish market and decrepit building really adds to the whole scene. Clearly, even after the apocalypse, life goes on despite the struggles.

Apoc Outpost Collab (main)

Collaborative builds are not unusual but what makes this one special is the story behind it. As Jan puts it…

“We started planning it about two months ago. Adam is from Czech Republic, so he had to convince his parents to let him go to Poland. Luckily, he made it and his 5.5 hours of travel were worth it. He stayed in my house for 4 days. We traded some parts and minifigs and spent two days and one night building the collab. We shared the bricks, Polish food, and a bottle of Becherovka with each other.”

Authors (and Becherovka).

Two builders are clearly better than one and the resulting collaborative build is a great scene. What a perfect reminder of how LEGO can be a source of fun,  learning, community and life-long friendship.

A picturesque house with a noble goal

This looks like a very pretty house in a warm climate, but as builder Ayrlego explains, there is more to it than quaint architecture. Built for the Brethren of the Brick Seas role-playing game on Eurobricks, this house is a medical research centre where the doctor is trying his best to defeat one of the Imperial soldiers’ greatest enemies: scurvy.

Naval Medicine Research Centre, Port Woodhouse

There is a lot to love in the research centre, from the texture of the walls and quite realistic tile roof design (based on round 1×1 bricks) to the more subtle details like slightly tilted tiles above the windows. The terrace, vines and two minifigs taking a walk give the creation a great sense of atmosphere.

Huge LEGO version of the siege of Bastogne

With so many LEGO D-Day dioramas out there, it is easy to forget other important battles of the time. The siege of Bastogne was the last major German offensive on the Western Front during WW2 and an important turning point. Lasting from 21-26 december 1944, the battle took many lives, as did the frigid cold. This collaborative display depicting the battle, directed by Ekjohnson1, won multiple awards at Brickfair Virginia.

Siege of Bastogne 1944

There is so much to see in the diorama, but some of the highlights include the excellent battle damage on the houses, the church, and the forested area just outside the town. Collaborations can be very hard to do with builders of different styles and skills, but the team managed to create a seamlessly flowing whole, a respectable feat indeed.

Bastogne

The attention to detail on some of the buildings is impressive. Check out the frontage on this townhouse…

Bastogne