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.

A castle diorama with all the essentials

Sometimes a simple two-toned LEGO castle can go a long way. In this diorama, Mark of Siloam brings us Huntington Castle, his largest build to date measuring at 20″ by 45″. I’m not sure how much that is converted into studs, but it sure looks grand within this lively diorama. With its solid sand green and gray brickwork, the Huntington Castle is well-fortified with guards peering out into the land. When the castle’s functioning portcullis is lifted, the drawbridge can be lowered to access the main dirt path. A neat windmill sits just across the river, next to an open field for cattle to graze. The overall composition is rich in detail, and I’m still picking out the subtle changes in landscaping throughout the build and spotting new animals in every corner.

Huntington Castle

Here’s to more castle dioramas, Mark! And as we’re heading forward, why not drop in our archives for a look at one of Mark’s past builds from 2016.

Take a visit to Elvendale in this huge, incredibly detailed LEGO model!

Despite the presence of minidolls, I think that LEGO’s Elves theme was almost universally beloved by adult fans of LEGO (and undoubtedly, many loved the dolls, too). What was there not to like? There were great re-colors of common pieces into bright pinks, blues, and purples, perfect for everything from spaceships to fantasy forest dwellings, there were new hairpieces for more elves, there were dragons, not to mention the great accessories, and perhaps most of all sets that by themselves were great, with nice value for the money, good play features, and cohesive structure. I was a fan. It seems likely that I was never as much of a fan as Ben Arkley, however, if this enormous Elvendale creation is any guide.

Click to see details of this awesome build

A little cottage in the forest

One of the best things about LEGO is the online community, which appears to be ever-growing. I really like discovering new online accounts of fans of LEGO. Yesterday I discovered a new (to me) creator and I would like to share their latest creation with you. Titled “Little cottage in the forest,” it was made by Alex Bromfield, and I have so many nice things to say about it. I like the irregularly shaped base and the use of all the headgear for the cobblestone path. And the cobblestone path isn’t even the only way Alex incorporates headgear. He also uses it to create a bird’s nest and a small bush. On the walls of the Tudor-style house, he used a mix of white, tan, and dark tan bricks to give it a more weathered look, which is further continued by adding tiles, slopes and cheese slopes to the roof. Can you believe that this creator is only 13 years old? I am telling you, this is one to keep an eye on!

A LEGO Master’s medieval masterpiece

Former Swedish LEGO Master Peter Ilmrud is known for detailed, colorful, and occasionally intricate works of art. Often times his builds feature subject matter of fantasy and bygone days. It’s hard to choose, but I think I enjoy his microscale castles best. This will be featured in a LEGO brand retail shop in Sweden, and it’s easy to see why.

Lego Store Micro Fantasy Landscape

The build catches the eye and takes you on an adventure from sea to castle spires. The real triumph is the parts usage in the castle itself. For the most part, the techniques aren’t new, but when they all come together the result is beautiful. I particularly like the techniques used on all the towers, especially stacking modified round plates and tiles back to back to achieve windows and the “stone” look. I also admire how the central helmet piece connected to the lantern element creates a particularly striking feature.

Lego Store Micro Fantasy Landscape

You can see more builds by Peter in our archives. While you’re at it, check out all the incredible previously featured builds in both the microscale and medieval categories.

Wonder what the tide will wash up today

One benefit of setting up your post-apocalyptic outpost on the beach, aside from the abundant food source of the ocean’s bounty, is the wondrous things that wash up in the surf. In this scene by Tom Loftus a lone soldier stands watch as the low tide washes in. The outpost is built from shipping containers, which are plentiful if you live near a major shipping hub. The model is part of an iron builder challenge using a dark red Minifig shield part, which you can see in the timbers of the bunker half-buried in the sand.

04 - Low Tide

Dystopian novels are so 1984.

Can you judge a book by its cover? Conventional wisdom says “no,” but John Snyder may have a different opinion. The elegant book binding here is complemented by some slice-of-life details that are every bit as charming. This creation is part of the Iron Builder contest, and this round focused on the challenge of incorporating modified 2×3 plates into the build. We can see them in action in the book bindings on the cover, and in the dark red flowers. The golden carriage wheel on the cover matches the yellow centers to the flowers as well as the gold coins, but did you know that the black cloth bag there is (probably) also a LEGO element? It looks to me to be a Wolfpack Pouch. Now there’s a part you don’t see every day.

Treasured Tome

If you’re in a literary mood, why not check out our book archives? You just might learn something new!

Home, home on the range

Ah, farms. One hundred percent of us humans eat, but in the United States, less than six percent of the population is involved in growing it. Now, I’m not a farmer, but I did enjoy some tomatoes and peppers from my backyard garden this year, so I feel downright rustic as I type this article on a state-of-the-art laptop with high-speed wifi. But having grown up in the upper Midwest, part of America’s Breadbasket, I feel kinship with this rural LEGO scene by John Snyder. Do I own a tractor? No, but I kind of wish I did. Do I keep chickens? No, but my wife has been insisting that we should. Goats, too, though I don’t think city ordinances would allow them. Maybe someday I’ll have a barn and an awesome windmill to draw up water from the well. Mine probably won’t be made of LEGO shields, though.

Western Homestead

Do you like farms and barns and livestock, too? Then check out our TBB farm archives! And don’t forget to look up John Snyder, too, and you’ll see why he’s competing for the title of Iron Builder.

TBB Cover Photo for November 2020: A Cozy Cabin Awaits

One of my favorite annual activities is heading to the mountain where my fam stays at an A-Frame in the snow, so this A-Frame build from, Norton74, immediately brings thoughts of winter and fun.

A-Frame Cabin

Where it gets good, and one of my favorite things about Norton74’s builds, is looking at all the details scattered throughout. These details tell the story of this cabin and really bring the build to life, further reminding me of our A-Frame vacay. Take a look at that log pile and saw, cookie rounds for log ends is a smooth move. Seriously, look at those logs. Other notable features that bring me to the mountain include the jagged roof, the abundance of wildlife, and the little doodads scattered here and there.

Now I need to see the inside of this cabin….is it February yet?

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This is no mine, it is a tomb

I’ve always loved this scene from The Fellowship of the Ring when the band makes their way into the Mines of Moria only to discover Balin and his dwarves have been wiped out. To me, it’s when the story first really turns an unexpected direction. Nathan Smith has beautifully recreated it in a LEGO diorama that perfectly imitates the scene’s camera angle and even lighting. From the scattered remnants of the dwarven miners, to the light on Gandalf’s magical staff, to the hobbits just barely visible in the doorway, this scene is just what I needed to take me back almost 20 years when I first saw the film.

"This is no mine, it is a tomb"

Home is where the portions are

While certainly not the most comfortable place to rest your head at night, A hollowed-out AT-AT did provide Rey with shelter and plenty of metal to scratch out the days, she spent on Jakku waiting for her family to return. In this LEGO diorama by _derjoe, the fallen Imperial walker half-buried in the sand is captured in great detail for such a small scene. And if you look closely, you might spot a tiny Rey next to her iconic red speeder.

This junkyard’s a fest

Gather round the old battered ship for a bit of haggling and jawing! The dilapidated hulk of a downed spaceship sets the scene for a colorful marketplace in this diorama by Australian LEGO builder Rod Iseppi. Displayed as part of his club’s Bricktober virtual event, the old junkyard is teeming with banners and streamers that remind me more than a bit of some scenes from the new Star Wars trilogy, except for the presence of a few creatures like an eagle and an ankylosaurus pack animal. With the piles of scattered debris you can tell this place has a fascinating history and you’re sure to find some treasures. The garage doors elements in particular make a perfect drooping awning.

It’s a whole new world out there

When humanity finally makes it out into the farthest reaches of space and potentially finds extraterrestrial life, it’s doubtful it would look much like the lifeforms we know. And this alien world scene by LEGO builder Bart De Dobbelaer looks the part perfectly with a thick growth of…something. Plus, with its moody lighting, striking colors, and ominous planetary body in the background, the scene is highly atmospheric (so much so that the explorers don’t have their helmets on!). The large, scattered dark blue slopes make an interesting texture that’s reminiscent of broken shale. Look closely and you’ll spot lots of cool parts being used, but my favorites are the clear rings from Clickits on the alien growth.

Exploration