For a Western audience, this collection of buildings by 磊 耿 is a striking break from the more familiar architecture usually seen in a LEGO street scene, with a wonderful variety of styles. But regardless of where you’re from, you’re bound to be impressed by the sheer quality of the building work on display. Pagoda roofs vie with castle spires for attention, and “big” certainly doesn’t mean bland, with an impressive depth of texture and interesting colour schemes across all the structures.
What is serenity? One definition — perfection of form, coupled with a strong and simple colour scheme. That’s exactly what we’ve got in this temple building by jaapxaap. The standout feature is the purple and gold roof, adorned with beautifully shaped corners and nicely offset tiling. Don’t miss how the shaping flows perfectly around the golden decorative elements, almost as if they were designed to fit the spaces, rather than the other way around. The stark grey structure is striking and forms a robust backdrop to the ornate roofing. There’s nice landscaping and foliage, along with some minifigures, placed around the model, but the colour choices are perfect — complementing, never distracting, from the model’s central subject.
Stumbling across a bandit hideout in the forest might normally cause some alarm. But this Oriental LEGO creation by -LittleJohn evokes nothing but admiration. It’s a lovely scene, with great landscaping, a nicely detailed building, and some fun minifigure action around the fringes. Normally I like when the central subject of a creation is built in a colour scheme that contrasts with the backdrop, but here the building’s muted tones blend in perfectly with the browns and reds of the autumnal forest. This means you have to look harder to spot the details, but that’s perfectly appropriate for something that’s supposed to be a hideout! Also, don’t miss the use of minifigure legs as curling waves at the edge of the stream — a clever way to avoid the harsh cut-off this kind of diorama base sometimes causes.
There are a wealth of details worth checking out in Andreas Lenander‘s latest LEGO creation — a busy marketplace in a Middle-East-inspired fantasy city — not least its unusual inhabitants. The city walls feature some nice little touches to break up the expanse of tan, and the detailing around the arch is spot-on. The towers provide a nice backdrop to the action, and the white one has some lovely texturing which delivers the impression of mosaics or elaborate carved screens. Below, the market itself is brimming with people and animals, creating a sense of activity and movement. You can’t look at this without finding yourself waiting on a big fight breaking out!
There are a huge variety of minifigures amidst the hustle and bustle of the marketplace. The mixing of figures from different LEGO themes can sometimes jar, but here it simply adds to the sense of a wider fantasy world and the bazaar as a melting pot of cultures and races…
Serenity. It’s what many of us experience as we build LEGO models — rummaging through the brick bins can be as meditative as raking the sands of the Zen Garden. Rollon Smith captures a little oasis of calm in this model — “a peaceful place for peaceful hobbies”, he calls it. It’s a nicely built scene, packed with detail. I really like the mix of “wood” along the shoreline, and all the little domestic touches visible on the open upper floor. That splash of pink from the tree adds an attractive colour contrast to the building’s black and red tones. Overall it makes a pleasant change to see all those new-ish Ninjago printed pieces making an appearance in a model which isn’t packed full of Ninjas disrupting the peace and quiet with all their martial arts nonsense.
And of course, this model would fit right into the huge Ninjago City collaborative layout that we’re organizing with our readers at the BrickCon LEGO convention in Seattle over the first weekend in October.
Take a deep breath and relax. Anthony Wilson shows us the best views are often found above the clouds. This creation depicts rock formations jutting from clouds built from a variety of sizes of white dish pieces. The composition’s soft pink background creates a very soothing aura, enhanced by the pretty cherry blossom tree. Sign me up for a trip to this spot to meditate and contemplate the meaning of life.
We’ve perhaps not seen as many Eastern-influenced LEGO creations as we might have expected following the LEGO Ninjago Movie and sets, but here’s an excellent medieval/Oriental ship creation from ElviN. The colour scheme is a little sombre, but that’s helping me imagine this her slipping her moorings before dawn and heading silently out of harbour, bound for faraway shores on nefarious Imperial business. The vessel’s dragon prow is nicely-done, and the circular entrances, lanterns, and roofing all contribute to an Eastern feel to the ship’s lines. But my favourite touch is the line of oars — protruding from smart oarholes, and well put-together from clips and tiles.
With the forthcoming LEGO Ninjago Movie and it’s accompanying sets, we’re fully expecting a wave of fabulous Eastern-themed creations. Ming Jin gets in on the action early with this lovely little fishing boat. The brick-built hull is well-shaped, and the black awning lends this an obvious Oriental flavour. But my favourite touches are hanging lantern and the trailing net — subtle additions which create a sense of a working boat.
This lovely little LEGO temple is exactly what you need at the end of a busy day — the perfect place to let your cares slip away with the passing clouds. John Cheng‘s landscaping is nicely-done — rugged and uneven enough to create a natural feel, with an obvious bamboo forest vibe. The temple itself is relatively simple, but neatly put together, with the black and gold providing a strong contrast to the surrounding greenery. The toro lantern is particularly good — whilst we’ve seen many of these before in LEGO creations, this might the first I’ve seen using the hollow-stud “Apollo” 1×1 round piece on the sides. It’s an effective texture which I’ll be stealing for my own Oriental scenes.
jsnyder002 takes a trip East for his latest LEGO creation — a series of minarets and domed towers strewn across a rocky island chain. The architecture has a wonderful Middle-Eastern flavor, without being the stereotypical desert scene these kind of “Oriental fantasy” settings often take. I really like the two-tone rocks of the islands — it gives the impression the ocean around these outcrops might sometimes get quite rough.
There’s a nice sense of activity and bustle with the minifigs moving around the towers and docks. And don’t miss the intricate brickwork used to lend texture to the town’s walls, bridges and steps…