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 legacy of Ninjago’s Dragon’s Forge

Everything old is new again and Robert4168 takes us on a nostalgic trip back to 2017 with this colorful and detailed homage to set 70627 Dragon’s Forge. Recently, LEGO has started giving some of their classic Ninjago sets a makeover and re-issuing them under the Legacy moniker. For fans, it’s a great opportunity to get your hands on some updated versions of older locations that you may have missed the first time around. Taking a cue from LEGO, Eurobricks launched a contest asking their members to create their own Legacy scenes based on any past Ninjago set. Clearly, Robert4168 was up to the challenge!

Dragon's Forge

The color palette of the landscaping is a beautiful combination of lime green and dark green accented with translucent blue tiles and bricks for a pleasing water effect. I like the use of angled plates and some sideways building to create its organic shapes. The rickety brown wooden bridge is not only nicely constructed, but provides good color contrast.

The detailed revamping of the forge’s interior is a marked improvement on the original set with its tan and dark tan color scheme, brown window frames and tiled floor. The addition of warm lights inside the forge is a perfect finishing touch that really puts this model over the top.

Massive monastery in the mountains meets the ‘mancers

Necromancers, that is. The story is that druids once lived here in Ard-darragh with their magical tree, but when they left, eventually Christian monks settled the cliffs and build a monastery; but they too left, and necromancers took over the site. At least, that is how builder Michal Herbolt describes the evolution of the place. And what a place it is, too! Large castle dioramas are always impressive, if for no other reason than the sheer volume of parts needed to bring them to life. But this one is exceptionally well done, with the brilliant textures on the walls, the large cliffs, the glittering water, and the nicely contrasting roofs.

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While there might not be many particular elements here to make you say, “Ooh, I never thought of using that piece for that purpose,” it is nonetheless a masterwork of architectural design and landscape integration. No part of the structure is aligned to the stud-grid of the base, and most of the towers join with the adjacent buildings at non-right angles, too. The way the buildings fade into the rear cliff is perfect, too. My absolute favorite detail, though, is the way the smooth white and rough light bluish grey parts of the walls blend organically together, creating a level of texture that is just right without being either too little or too much. This is a build that is definitely worth a closer look, so check out Michal’s full album on Flickr for all of the detail shots.

All the world’s a stage, and all the minifigures merely players

Many of the best LEGO creations are carefully composed scenes which tell a story. MorlornEmpire takes this thought one step further — building a delightful LEGO Castle scene which depicts a medieval theatre with a play in progress. The theatre walls are nicely chunky and use the classic technique of scattered dark grey tiles to simulate stonework, with an added splash of colour from the well-positioned climbing foliage.

LEGO Classic Castle Theatre Stage Play

However, appropriately enough, it’s the on-stage action which commands the attention — don’t miss the scenery flats of rolling countryside and hilltop castle, and the smart use of curved tiles to create an impression of a curtain backdrop for the sky. All this creation is missing is a rowdy audience of peasants chucking vegetables at the actors during boring sections of the play–a regular feature of theatrical performance until relatively recent times!

A modern twist on the classic castle

One of the most popular LEGO themes of all time is Castle, a staple of any LEGO fan from the late 1970s to the present. Builder Ciamosław Ciamek treats us to his own version of the Black Falcon Stronghold, showcasing modern building methods and a level of detail not seen on these sets back in the day. In particular, the smokestacks add an even deeper sense of realism (gotta stay warm in the winter, right?) to the castle. I really like the tried-and-true use of ice cream scoops as the smoke coming out of the chimneys.

03 Black Falcon's Stronghold

Even the interior is incredibly detailed. And as you can see, these guards need a little more target practice.

27 Black Falcon's Stronghold

A downtown tour of the seedier side of Coruscant

The Phantom Menace, released 20 years ago this month, is a polarising movie. Many Star Wars fans (particularly older fans raised on the Original Trilogy) would say it’s their least favourite in the series of films. However, despite its flaws, Episode 1 brought some amazing new things to the Star Wars universe — kick-ass lightsaber battles, Pod Racing, and the planet of Coruscant amongst them. The capital world of both Galactic Republic then Empire is another classic “single environment planet” in the grand Star Wars tradition, but rather than a desert, forest, or ice world, Coruscant is home to a massive planet-spanning city. The movie gave us plenty of the city’s towering buildings and penthouse suites, but here we get a closer look at the seedier underbelly of the metropolis in Dayton‘s impressive LEGO diorama.

Imperial Patrol: Coruscant Underworld

This trip into the lower levels of Coruscant is impressively detailed, and carries a Blade Runner-esque cyberpunk vibe along with its Star Wars inspiration. The Imperial Patrol works its way through the alleys, through crowds of shady-looking characters enjoying street food and drinks. The presentation is excellent, nicely-lit, with the custom advertising billboards and smatterings of Aurebesh text a smart touch. And don’t miss the use of laser shooter pieces to provide the pattern on the circular sliding door — it’s a little detail, but it’s this sort of thing that helps create layers of texture to pull the viewer’s eye into the image.

Open the gates!

Builder Louis of Nutwood packs a lot of story in a small space in this snow-covered castle scene. This is part 8 of a wonderful ongoing series by Louis, and not only is it visually interesting, but there’s a written component that accompanies each part of the heroes’ journey.

Svalg Keep

In this chapter, a pair of weary travelers, one in dire circumstances, arrive at Svalg Keep to seek help from its residents. The castle is nicely sculpted and I really like the way it seems to spill off of the confines of the base. The small wooden structures are a fitting addition and do a great job of breaking up the mostly gray and white color palette of the castle. Adding more color to the proceedings are the snow-laden trees utilizing fall colors on their branches. It can be hard to work in a limited number of colors, but Louis excels at it here.
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From the dark Matrix

I’m always fascinated by how skilled LEGO builders can create interesting backgrounds for their models using simple pieces. Builder why.not? has made this awesome cyberpunk scene of a figure staring down a robotic eye, but then filled out the background to truly make the scene immersive. One wall cleverly uses the holes in Technic plates to make a Matrix-like cascade of lights, while the other uses minifigure stands and turntable bases to create an interesting texture. And finally, the presentation with careful lighting is as important to this creation as the build itself, and it all comes together marvelously.

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A serene forest scene and a mighty steam engine

This scene of a steam train traveling through a forest by Allan Corbeil does so many things skillfully. Everything is executed wonderfully, but the centerpiece of the little diorama is clearly the steam engine in the middle. The train is perfect. My favourite aspects are the cloud of steam spewing forth from its chimney and the ingenious use of a Clikits ring on the front. While I love the train, it’s dwarfed by the magnificent beauty of nature that’s been recreated here.

Going West

The variety of vegetation–from tall coniferous and deciduous trees to the dense and varied underbrush–coupled with the pond make the whole scene seem real. The forest is so well done that I can almost smell the trees and hear water trickling. Maybe I might hear that train roaring down the tracks too. Be sure to check out Allan’s other pictures to get the same feeling I have, as well as spot a couple Easter eggs he included as surprises.

The Encroaching Empire

Order 66 has been executed. The Clone Wars have ended. Sith Lord Darth Vader has become Emperor Sheev Palpatine’s trusted enforcer, bringing Imperial order to an unruly galaxy. Tim Lydy has put his stamp on this era of turmoil with his first-ever Star Wars creation, and it is most excellent.

For the Empire!

I really love how cramped and chaotic the trench feels. However the highlight for me is the giant statue of Palpatine constructed out of Light Aqua which doesn’t really have a very extensive parts selection yet.

I also appreciate the effort Tim went to incorporating the writing on the side of the scene in Aurabesh, the Star Wars universe’s standard alphabet.

TBB alumnus Tim has been featured in the past for his work with superherothemed models. I certainly wouldn’t mind if he dabbled in the Star Wars sandbox some more!

Harry and Draco duel it out as stars of the show

When it comes to creations shared on The Brothers Brick, it may seem like the brick-built models are the stars of the show while minifigures stand in as accessories. This is not always the case, though. For example, in Hugo’s model of Draco Malfoy casting Serpensortia, the architecture acts as a frame or backdrop while the minifigures take center stage.

Serpensortia-1

Don’t get me wrong, this backdrop is built amazingly well – from the stained glass window, to the arch over the window, and the mixed brickwork – but I’m a sucker for well-integrated minifigures. While there are some stock characters mixed in, such as Filch, Snape, Draco and Harry, my favourites are the other characters that fill out the scene. There’s a subtle art to choosing the right facial expressions and hair pieces to bring a character to life, and then you need to position them in a dynamic way to ensure they’re reacting appropriately and not all standing parallel or perpendicular to each other. Hugo has nailed all of that in this scene. The full range of expected emotions is visible, with characters upset, scared, or angry depending on their house. Yet this ignores the most cleverly placed minifigure of them all…the one that’s included in the building itself as a moving painting.

Any day is a good day in Paris

Here’s a building challenge for you: Build an image of Paris with LEGO bricks. What would you include in your version? The Eiffel tower? Or maybe the famous Louvre? And how about a small french bakery? There are so many icons of the capital of France to choose from, but Markus Rollbühler nail this challenge in the most elegant way. His Parisian corner has nothing to do with sightseeing or monuments, but its every little detail says Bonjour! It takes some time to spy all the awesome elements of the diorama, but my number one pick is Citroën 2CV, ça c’est magnifique!

Tour de Paris

Tell Obi-Wan we found a more wretched hive of scum and villainy

Obi-Wan Kenobi once mused that you would “never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy” than Mos Eisley Spaceport, but Ben Cossy’s Nar Shaddaa Cantina might give Mos Eisley a run for its money. A moon in the Hutt system, Nar Shaddaa is known for its underworld, bounty hunters, and Hutt cartels.

Nar Shaddaa Cantina

The structure itself is the perfect backdrop of a suspect cantina: the mixed texture of the floors make it look rough and the windows are reminiscent of concept art for Jabba the Hutt’s palace. The cargo piled up across from the bar is an ideal spot for illicit deals, and the expression on the Cerean bartenders face implies that he could handle his own with the most dangerous of the patrons. The characters are where this creation shines. While often minifigures are a nice highlight for a model, here they are the main focus and are almost form a landscape themselves. There are recognizable characters like Aurra Sing, Dengar, Bossk, IG-88 and Embo mixed in with unidentified Humans, Mandalorians, Rodians, Twi’leks, and a whole host of other species from a galaxy far, far away. Finally, I do love that Galidor is coming to the Star Wars universe – at least according to the poster on the wall.