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.

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

Find your inner LEGO peace on the mountain summit

There is something about this mountaintop temple by David Zambito that just makes me want to be there. Climbing the mountain for days to reach it, and then meditating for just as long. The serene environment is achieved by soft, earth-tone colours and a warm background. There are many great techniques used throughout, like jet engines as bells, and hair pieces and convex tiles as cobblestone walls. I am not sure whether I am supposed to imagine a larger temple behind the scene or not, but it works either way.

Mountain Top Shrine

The cyberpunk bar has everything for a thirsty sci-fi nerd

If you are looking for a drink or for futuristic company, the cyberpunk bar Fall by Revan New has you covered. There are many lovable details scattered all around, like hanging robot parts and technical detailing, but the cherry on the cake is the atmosphere. A few tweaks to the photo really makes you feel like part of the action. The minifig positioning helps too, bringing all of the shady characters to life.

Cyberpunk bar

Desert saps on poor man’s thirst

Despite its harsh nature, I would love visiting the Orange Fern Gorge, as built by W. Navarre. The jewel merchant minifigs in the scene probably do not share my sentiment, however, as their intrepid expedition might be born more of necessity than love for the scenery. And what a gorgeous scenery it is! The layers of rock are a beautiful balance of rough but clean, while the ground’s texture compliments the rocks well. A careful combination of olive and sand green accented by a few pink flowers adds just enough life to the scene to still look barren and dead, but not boring.

Orange Fern Gorge

The bridge is quite interesting on its own – while it’s possible the model builder may have run out of string while making the bridge and added a short chain as the support on one posts, it’s also probably what the bridge’s makers would do if they had run out of rope. Finally, having the two rocky pillars presented on separate base plates adds a lot to the composition as well.