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.

The Mandalorian can bring you in hot or bring you in cold

Even months after its release on Disney+, The Mandalorian continues to be an inspiration for amazing LEGO creations. My new favourite is this diorama by CTR Bartosz. This scene from Chapter 1 of the series is packed with details that help tell the story. First, there are the characters: the Mandalorian and his bounty, the Kubaz waiting to call them a speeder, and the remains of a Quarren, cut in half by the door. Then there are the little things, like the tracker, the Quarren, or the dark red pieces representing his guts.

Chapter 1: The Mandalorian

Take a closer look at this LEGO scene inspired by the Mandalorian

Forever chasing windmills

This next LEGO render is brought to you by a builder who goes by the controversial name of Hanwasyellowfirst. I know what you’re thinking; thems fightin’ words! But before you go on a righteous rampage it is important to know that there are very fine people on both sides. Now that I’ve squelched that potential disaster let’s take a look at this awesome creation. Based solely on this image, I can imagine this structure atop a craggy mountain in an exotic bygone world. I’m loving the rustic wood finishes and the ramshackle roofs. Brown owls used as gargoyles here are an inspired touch and increased availability of these elements make for some excellent uses. This is a brilliant piece but alas does not come in green yet. (Ahem…LEGO, are you reading this?) In my opinion, the most exciting aspect of this creation is it rests atop a rather small footprint.

Mountain Windmill

A rearview reveals that the rooms within this mountain windmill are just as fun and just as haphazard as I had imagined. I can get lost for hours marveling at all the interesting and fanciful details this creation beholds. How about you?

Mountain Windmill

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes comes Olivia’s Getaway 2.0

Sometimes good things or even better things can come from tragedy. Kevin Peeters tells us about a LEGO project that took three months to complete. Immediately after photographing it, the creation was dropped onto the floor and shattered completely. This unfortunate story resonates with a lot of us as dropping an intricate creation occasionally is as inevitable as the tides. But Kevin didn’t give up and rebuilt the idea to be even better than the first. The end result is this stunning Olivia’s Getaway 2.0. I don’t know who Olivia is or what she’s getting away from but I admire the intricate work put into this rustic cabin. I can get lost in the details along the roof and landscaping and the pumpkins and daffodils are a nice touch. If you wanted masonry bricks in olive green, they only come in two sets. While I wouldn’t wish accidentally destroying a creation on any LEGO builder, I’d say we’re all fortunate that the accident occurred.

Olivia’s Get-Away 2.0 | Instructions available!

Go into the wild on the magic bus

In honour of Chris McCandless’ 52nd birthday earlier this week, 2019 TBB LEGO Builder of the Year Andrea Lattanzio build a stunning recreation of the “Magic Bus” from the end of McCandless’ life, as documented in the book and film Into the Wild. This creation is a fitting tribute. The landscape looks like the clearing on the rugged Stampede Trail, featuring various elements representing rocks, plants, and mushrooms. My favourites are the tree built out of brown stud shooters and the grey homemaker hairpiece as a large rock. Framed inside its wild Alaskan surroundings, is the bus itself. The design is spot on and includes clever use of a dish with a spider web pattern as old and aged headlights and a stack of 3×3 dishes as the bus’s grill.

Into the Wild and the Magic Bus

The contrast of water and sandstone

I love it when builders follow a story through their LEGO creations over the course of years. One such story is the adventure of Jimmy and Bill, by Eli Willsea. Each build has a similar style and atmosphere, but works perfectly well as a standalone scene. The most recent one was featured here in 2017, but the first scene was built way back in 2015! Now that is dedication!

Deeper

The builder has titled this scene “Deeper” and his description only states; “further than ever before”. Indeed, Eli has gone further with his textures, details, composition and lighting. Notice the dark tan Bucket handles stuck into the bottoms of 1×2 bricks and the bars slotted in between two 1×2 bricks with center grooves, in particular. The composition really pops with the circular hole and with the waterfall flowing cleanly into it. This water was a topic of discussion between friends and me; they said it was much simpler than the surrounding textures, while I thought the smooth surface makes a nice contrast, complimenting the drab colours already present. To end the debate, I decided to ask the builder personally. Eli stated; “The water is also one of the main elements that is progressing the story of this series, that is why it stands out so much. The explorers are following the water, but the reason is so far a mystery. So yes it was a conscious decision.”

The migration that gave the Romans migraines

If you like history and LEGO, Hunter Erickson is a builder you need to check out. His most recent build represents a violent slice of the late years of the ancient Roman empire. The builder gives a very detailed description on Flickr, so make sure you check it out.

Völkerwanderung 375-476 A.D.

Besides being very well posed in an immersive battle scene, the minifigs are quite realistic in their design. The little autumn forest on the other side of the diorama is more than just a background though — if you look closely, you can see it serves as cover for a handful of Germanic archers. And the trees are quite well built as well!

You can’t take kids anywhere these days

Ruins are hard to do convincingly in LEGO form. I think this is partly to do with the rigid grid of the brick, which does not lend itself to organic shapes of decay, and partly to do with the visual incoherence that often results from too many shapes and colors in the same visual field. Even though we are a far cry from the primary/white/black color days at the dawn of the LEGO brick, there is still a limit to the shades and hues that can be used to differentiate areas of a build and maintain something that still makes sense to the brain. That being said, this post-apocalyptic build by Peter Ilmrud does a good job of showing buildings that look both coherent and ruined, covered with verdant vegetation, while a menacing black ship prowls air above the streets.

Teddy is Lost - Front

I’m fairly certain that nearly every botanical element produced by LEGO appears in the build somewhere, from vines to leaves to leafy vines to seaweed and more. Even the sprues from the three-leaved plants appear as vines. It is a lush city. The bad guys (you can tell they’re bad because they wear black) are aliens trying to kill the humans to harvest natural resources (like Avatar in reverse), and their ships are filled with greebles, especially ones from the Batman pack. Of course, with evil aliens on the prowl, one of the poor kids has lost his teddy bear crossing a street. Kids, I tell you what. Good thing they’re cute.

Teddy is Lost - Back

I’d like to be under the sea

If you feel a longing for vibrant colors, piece, and quite, try spending a day at Anthony Wilson‘s underwater lab. Built for fundamental marine research, this facility looks like a proper resort: huge windows, glass tunnels, and out-of-this-world species diversity right in front of you. I bet this place was engineered by those escaping anything happening above the water. It took me at least a couple of minutes to spot all the different fish captured in this build. I must admit, now I feel a lot calmer and happier.

The Octopus's Garden

TBB cover photo for February 2020: Taking in the sights

From the incredible detail to the creative forced perspective execution, this build from collaborative team Grant DavisEli Willsea, and Micah Beideman, does not disappoint. With every glance, you’ll notice something new (oooh, look at that AC unit and that awning made of 1×1 cones), which is one of the many reasons we chose it for our February cover photo. Read our original article to see how this trio used LEGO to bring a painting to life.

The Painted City

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Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun and games

Welcome to the jungle, it gets worser every day. You can thank Axl Rose for that grammatical abomination that is now stuck in your heads. Wait…what? He doesn’t say “worser”? “Worse here”? You mean I’m the one that has been singing it wrong all this time? Man, that is a bummer! It totally ruins my intro premise. Anyway, sukhodolov_nikita built a LEGO creation aptly called “Welcome to the jungle” and it seems almost as inhospitable as Axl’s version. First of all, that broken suspension bridge is going to be a sticky-pickle to navigate and that bright yellow frog just might present some adverse effects, especially if you lick it. While the presentation and build techniques are quite good, (the idol is especially nice) this jungle doesn’t seem particularly welcoming at all. It might be safer to just stay home and listen to me sing my favorite Elton John song. Here goes…Hold me closer, Tony Danza

Welcome to the jungle

Head back to Skyrim where adventure awaits

Skyrim is the northernmost province of Tamriel, the world of the Elder Scrolls videogames. When Bethesda Game Studios launched the fifth installment of the series in 2011, Skyrim received as much praise for its Norse-themed design elements as for the immersive gameplay. Marcin Otreba clearly enjoyed the game’s styling as he’s recreated a typical Skyrim town scene in LEGO. The hut is excellent, with an appropriate blend of wooden tones, and a spot-on tiled roof constructed with triangular parts. I love the wooden palisade of spiked logs, and the forge and grinding stone are almost perfect recreations of these key elements in the game. But best of all? That fire — genius use of an inverted pearl-grey basketball net! This neat little scene makes me want to grab a sword and shield and head for Skyrim myself once more. It’s fun to wander the cold, hard streets of Whiterun. Well, at least until you take an arrow to the knee.

Skyrim - part I

Needz moar boompowderz

For such a small model, there’s lots to love in Ayrlego‘s diorama of an Imperial Armoury receiving a gunpowder delivery. The colour scheme is excellent, with the building’s walls offering a smart contrast to both foliage and water. But a closer look is also rewarded, with lots of nice building techniques on display. Don’t miss the weathering in the walls, the subtle change in colour where the water laps against the quay, and the construction of the small cannon on the roof. I particularly like the hanging lantern, with lever parts providing thin bars around the light — a technique I’ll be stealing with pride in any future Pirate-themed creations of my own!

Armoury, Spudkirk