In the realms of fantasy, it seems like there’s always a horde of orcs taking on a band of elves somewhere. And in this Tolkien-inspired LEGO scene by Graham Gidman, these two groups are at it once again. But this time the battle appears to be more fluid than normal, and I mean that literally! There’s a rush of trans-clear bricks about to knock those orcs right off the bridge. But the shaping of this “water” is only one part of Graham’s brick-built mastery on display in this scene. The smooth white curves of the Elvish architecture feel perfectly at home here, projecting a regal tone. And every bit of plant life dotting the rocky landscape is inspired. But my favorite detail in the whole scene has got to be the darker shade of tan used on the waterlogged portion of the bridge. It’s quite the excellent, and easy-to-miss, detail that sets this build apart!
Builder Josh Parkinson has become quite the LEGO master of juxtaposing the near and far. I was wowed by his technique in the Doctor Strange vignette he made last year. And his powers of forced perspective have only grown since then, as is evident in this beautiful North Pole scene. Josh continues to astound with his ability to make minifigure habitats, six of them in total making up the two interiors seen here. But I’m also quite impressed with his snow layering on the roofs, trees, and distant hills. When combined with the backlighting at the build’s horizon, the whole scene pops, giving “the luster of midday to objects below.”
When the Forest Elves need weapons and armor, they come to this forge crafted by gGh0st. With vertical and horizontal tooth plates galore, the building itself almost looks like it’s wearing scale armor. Not only is the result beautiful to look at, but I bet it makes any orc armies think twice about invading.
There are so many bright pops of pigment in this goblin outpost LEGO scene by Carter Witz. Terrain of lime and yellowish green is dotted with golden flowers and trees sporting pink leaves, standing in stark contrast to the brilliant blue of the cascading waterfall and rich brown of the gobbos’ watchtower. The palette is incredibly immersive, reminding me heavily of the Elves theme from years ago. And amid the colorful scene, Carter sneaks in some terrific designs with the round concrete foundations of the outpost, the cute cave entrance on the left, and the craggy textures of exposed rocks utilizing studs in all directions. The use of slopes and exposed studs in trans-clear throughout the waterfall is a real triumph, too. I can almost hear the rushing water as it cascades down the goblins’ hill!
This LEGO creation by Jonas Kramm really reminds me of the Smurf toys I used to have as a kid. It is simply amazing. Jonas was inspired by the Forest Elf minifigure and I can totally understand why. It is by far one of the cutest minifigures ever produced by LEGO and it goes along with this creation wonderfully. This model features a big mushroom which is used as the elf’s home. The vibrant blue color used for the door and the windows is a nice contrast to the red mushroom cap. It even comes with white scales.
Next to the mushroom home there is a smaller mushroom growing. (Maybe it’ll be someone’s home in the near future.) This little mushroom features the plate with crown leaf as the skirt of the mushroom. Jonas’ eye for detail is truly remarkable. I do have to admit that we featured the snail build before, but it goes along great with this creation and I understand why it was included as it is still a wonderful build. Using the foot plate in trans clear is a smart way to mimic snail slime. I want at least half a dozen of these, preferably with different hood colours and little blue minifigures.
Builder Lego_nuts has cobbled together yet another stunning LEGO model, this one direct from the pages of a Brothers Grimm classic: The Elves and the Shoemaker. It’s good to see their expressive figure design from this Van Gogh piece reused here for the shoemaker and his wife. Putting the humans in this scale both makes for some adorable minifigure-scale elves, but it also allows for such magnificent detail in the rest of the build. You can see the scraps of cloth strewn throughout the workshop, all of the official parts from a LEGO set. And there’s the intricate nature of the sewing machine and grandfather clock, excellent builds just on their own. But what really gets me most about this design are the 19 different shoe designs hiding throughout it!
And in case you’ve already started counting the shoes, there are technically 21 unique shoe styles, not 19. You can see the shoes worn by the shoemaker and his wife in this accompanying video, even though they’re not visible in the final photo. In the video, they walk through all the components of the build, from heel to toe.
That’s why I (Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman) along with my friend Tom Loftus decided to take a break from our usual spaceships and build something fantastical. Our usual greys became pinks and lavenders, our usual mechanical greebling became wild, organic foliage. Tom wanted to build a tree, I wanted to replicate some of Scotland’s coastal cliffs. Combined with recent plants in wild colours and the release of the Acorn Boy and Night Protector in the recent Collectable Minifigure Series, our collab build became an homage to LEGO Elves.
We are fans of the bygone LEGO Elves theme which ran from 2015 to 2018. Its signature look was bright colours, cute dragons, and wonderful characters with elemental powers and matching outfits, albeit they were the less favourable minidolls. In short, it was a Tolkien-esque fantasy version of LEGO Friends. Despite there being an established lore (which I admit I’m unfamiliar with), Tom and I decided to make something original, but with a similar aesthetic.
When I was a kid, LEGO’s raised baseplates were among the coolest parts in my budding collection. But as I grew as a builder, I found myself using them less and less. It’s quite difficult to incorporate a the simplistic features of a raised baseplate into great, detailed model, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at this fantasy tower by Eyrezer. Hiding at the core of this diorama is the massive light yellowish green baseplate from a mid-2000’s Belville set. Combined with whimsical architecture and that huge onion dome from the Raya sets, this elven manor is glorious. See if you can spot all the other innovative parts uses, like the umbrella top, numerous hairpieces, leaf sprues, and even Bionicle statue.
Check out a few other times skilled builders have incorporated raised baseplates.
LEGO has been into books as of lately. We got the LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book, the Hogwarts Moments books, the Disney Storybooks, the 40410 Charles Dickens Tribute, and more. So as a LEGO fan, why not hop on the trend? That is exactly what Ted Andes must have thought. They created a series of lovely hardcover books with Art Nouveau-inspired cover art to go along with the Wasp-wing Table Lamp we featured a while back.
The blue book looks quite elaborately embellished with golden details which make the satin white jewels pop. The green book uses Spider-Man’s web as a very artistic cloud and the minifigure butterfly wings are used to represent a magical transparent butterfly. Most of all this is a very ingenious way to display minifigures you like and it can be translated to any theme.
The Northern Lights (aurora borealis) are one of nature’s most beautiful miracles. Recreating it in LEGO is difficult, but I can’t think of a more marvelous idea than dragon wings. Yep, Malin Kylinger has used multiple sets of marbled dragon wings to recreate this lovely phenomena. The rest of her night sky is beautiful too, with raised diamond tiles used for stars. The scene is made complete with an adorable elf cottage, a fire, reindeer, and a decorated Christmas tree.
Elves seem to have a knack of building their dwellings harmonious with nature in most fantasy stories. Whether it is an ethereal treetop palace or a hidden valley lodging (very specific, I know), elven architecture is one with its surroundings. Books and films such as The Lord of the Rings made this trope popular – which isn’t a bad thing. However, builder Daniel Cloward shows us that sometimes this is not the case.
An elven city sits on coastal cliffs, built from the same stones, as shown by light grey LEGO elements. However, it is abandoned and has been overgrown with trees, shrubs, and other vegetation depicted by various green pieces. Only the white tree with lavender foliage remains of the original elf-nature harmony, as it seems to be part of the original city. The bright colours of that tree stand out from the grey and greens of the rest of the build. This small diorama really shows off the story of nature vs man-made (or elf-made) structures falling to ruin.
Interested in more elves and their architecture? We have some more elven creations for you.
Ever wanted to drift away into an enchanted world filled with mystery and wonder? There is no need to venture any further with Isaac Snyder microscale build dubbed “the Tyrandal Woodlands”. This is why we are proud to set this amazing build as our Cover Photo for June.