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.

Beauty and craftsmanship under one roof

Have you ever watched someone blow glass? It takes patience, persistence, and a good helping of being able to move on when your gorgeous work of art crashes at the last moment. It happens a lot, by my understanding. Builder mike m. has presented us a brick-built workshop, in a scale we don’t often see: Technic figures! The use of Hagrid’s hair works really well, and allows for such detail with the tools and glass.

" The Glassblower " close up

At the end of the iron road

Some classic LEGO themes are wildly popular, but somehow feel underrepresented by custom LEGO models, such as LEGO Pirates and Wild West. At least for the latter we have a new build to enjoy in this frontier train station by Marcel V. With its unique roof and prominent clock, the build looks almost steampunk, but there are no fictional elements to be found.

1872 - Train Station

There are a lot of interesting bits to see here. The semi-circular section’s construction is quite impressive, as is the roof itself. The railroad tracks look very good, done with a technique I am seeing more and more in fan creations. And as a cherry on top, Marcel has sprinkled the creation with all sorts of clutter, from sacks and guns to the local wildlife — all of which breathes life into the scene.

Hail to Mother Kali who burns the world another time

Love it or hate it, you can not deny that the second Indiana Jones film, The Temple of Doom, is memorable. I immediately recognized this scene by W. Navarre and I’m sure most of you did too.

Kali Ma! (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom)

The gruesome scene of a human sacrifice’s heart being ripped out is recreated nearly to perfection with cultists, statues, and rocky walls, but most importantly a fiery pit that appears seething hot – an effect achieved not by clever lighting tricks, but by building the “light” onto the lit-up wall itself. As expected of this builder, the diorama is packed full of experimental building techniques, and there is a lot to learn by inspecting Navarre’s work closely.

We built a wall, we built the pyramids!

LEGO’s 2015 line of Architecture sets introduced a skyline format which has become quite popular amoung fan builders from Paris to Tokyo. Simon NH takes a brand new approach to creating skylines, building a one-of-a-kind evolution of construction. No matter how much building experience you have, each of these tiny structures features some crazy solutions, like the Colosseum’s walls built from light bluish gray 1×1 tiles with 1/2 circle (aka Stadium tiles).

History of Architecture

The day elves drew elven blood

It is understandable that the Lord of the Rings trilogy inspires more LEGO creations than its expanded lore collected in the Silmarillion, since the latter reads more like a textbook than a series of stories. But it is refreshing to see creations inspired by it nevertheless, even if the hand of builders has to be forced by contests such as the Middle Earth LEGO Olympics on MOCpages. This scene of the kinslaying at Alqualondë by John Snyder is one such refreshment, and it was indeed built for the aforementioned contest.

The Kinslaying at Alqualondë

The builder has accompanied the build with a very informative description of the event, which I encourage more curious readers to explore.
The diorama features many interesting techniques and ideas, with high quality rocks and unique overgrowth. Coupling that with elegant architecture and a gorgeous Elven ship, John has brought a slice of elven history to life.

Saw Gerrera’s guerrillas snatch some kyber crystals

The Jedha ambush scene in Rogue One has proven to be a popular subject for LEGO Star Wars builders, with some excellent scenes by builders such as Dunedain98 and Graham Gidman. Now, German builder Boba-1980 has built a rather substantial version of this pivotal scene, with uniquely “Star Wars-y” buildings surrounding the action in the square itself.

Jedha - Ambush On Tythoni Square

My favorite building is the one left of the arch with the balcony, populated by some ill-fated partisans. The builder has achieved the curve of the balconies by combining 1×1 round bricks with regular bricks.

Jedha - Ambush On Tythoni Square-5

There are realistic details throughout the diorama, including inset sections of walls that look like sections of plaster have flaked off in the ancient city.

Jedha - Ambush On Tythoni Square-4

To the edge of the universe and back. Endure and survive.

While it’s always going to be hard to top the massive 20,000-brick diorama of The Last of Us by Tim Schwalfenberg that we featured earlier this year, the post-apocalyptic video game is so full of atmosphere that I’m glad to see other LEGO builders tackle the haunting game. Christophe captures the protagonists as they approach a dilapidated building. Foliage cascades from an upper floor, with broken glass hanging from windows. My favorite detail is the air conditioning unit on the second floor.

The Last of Us

I do wonder what kind of interior Christophe has included in his build, because one of the only shots other than the one above is of Ellie’s guitar sitting silent in an empty room.

The Last of Us

Rural beauty in the shape of a lumber mill

Following up his creation of a decaying wall, Jonathan Svenning brings us a medieval sawmill in a beautiful natural setting. The style is quite different from the previous build, with the fewer textures and a larger piece of scenery, and there is a lot to look at throughout the build. The main building utilizes many colours to mix into a realistic weathered texture.

Medieval Sawmill

What sells it for me though, is the landscaping. Jonathan has used a unique technique of angled plates for meandering water, as well as some interesting solutions for trees, particularly the sand green ones in front of the buildings.

Ancient abbey rests atop a mountain of support

Usually when writing about my own creation, I would take the opportunity to share some insights into my building process and what it takes to build something as large as this mountaintop abbey. Instead, I feel this creation is an example of how color, texture and composition can be combined to maximize the aesthetics of a build, especially one of this size. Like almost all of my builds, there are no crazy new techniques, and no unusually nice parts usages (NPU) to highlight. Besides building the interior supports and the two round roofs, there was nothing exceptionally challenging about the construction of this creation. However, I think its straightforwardness enhances rather than detracts from its beauty. My inspiration came mostly from ancient Eastern European churches I visited while briefly living in Budapest.

Abbey of St. Delyn

But that’s not the main point I want to talk about here. Instead, I wish to dedicate this creation to all the non-AFOL significant others out there who support us in enjoying this crazy hobby. After what I’ve put my wife through the last month, it’s the least I can do. Continue reading

Beauty of decay in the shape of a castle wall

Modern LEGO castle building trends call for intensely textured walls, with the texture achieved with use of many small tiles and plates. While it is quite impressive, it makes me wonder why all LEGO castles look like nobody is caring for them. This wall segment by Jonatan Svenning does not have this awkward situation, as it is meant to look decreipt and abandoned. It does the job incredibly well, with wall segments tilting and breaking apart.

Lleidr's western wall

While I wonder if a chain could hold a cobblestone tower, it certainly looks nice. But what sets this old wall from the rest is the overgrowth on and around the wall – from moss growing everywhere to the flowers and trees (including one utilizing large figure armor parts as a tree trunk) around the wall. The best plantal element however, has to be the tree growing straight out of the wall, crumbling it in the process.

Quiet on the set

It’s unclear what movie is being filmed on Aaron Newman‘s LEGO soundstage (though my money’s on Forest Gump). What is clear, however, is that Aaron has created a still life that perfectly captures a slice of “behind the scenes” movie magic. The small details like the clapboard and messy tangle of wires make this scene look like the real thing. And the camera dolly on the rails, the director’s chair, and the heavy duty lighting are masterfully built.

Where the Magic Happens

The village and its gatehouse

Gatehouses are quite a popular theme in LEGO castle builds, but this port village gatehouse by Titus Verelst still manages to bring something new to the table, surrounding the gatehouse with a village suspended on logs. It makes a nice composition with the rooftops and curved path, adding just enough minifig action to bring the scene to life, despite the bleak colour scheme. I do wish the builder had added water around the village, or at least used some clever digital tricks or blue paper as a stand in.

Tíre Village