If you’re a blacksmith, odds are you have a supplier of ore and metals coming from a nearby mine. In this case, the mine is built by -LittleJohn. Clearly taking inspiration from the new LEGO Ideas Medieval Blacksmith set, builder -LittleJohn made this creation for the Colossal Castle Contest. The Allanar Mine is run by dwelves (dwarves + elves) who offer a warm meal and a soft bed to any travelers passing through.
The level of detail here is staggering. The landscaping, the mine building, and the inn are a work of art. I’d have to say my favorite part of this build is the windows. They’re beautiful! Both paned and double-paned are built so creatively. I’m going to have to see if I can replicate -LittleJohn’s techniques in my next medieval-themed creation.
The LEGO Elves theme was retired not long ago, and sadly it never quite gained the popularity among adult fans that I think it deserved. Thankfully, though, there are a handful of builders who’ve been designing beautiful creations in the brightly colored world of Elves, and this gorgeous diorama by Stilly Bricks shows how delightful Elvendale can be. They built it a few years ago, but only recently got around to photographing it, which is understandable given that the massive village is over 5 feet long from end to end, and more than 2 feet deep.
Click to check out more details of Elvendale
With his latest creation Chris Perron proves a castle build doesn’t have to consist of mainly grey bricks. It can be vibrantly colored and still look stunning. Chris’s build is sand blue and dark blue with elements of gold. My guess is this windscreen with bubble cutout was the main inspiration for this LEGO creation. Such a smart way to use this part which was designed to be used as a cockpit for a vehicle. The single hinge finger has been cleverly hidden in the base of the model. The model is finished with some lovely trees in funky colors and a diagonal roof pattern I’ve so far only seen used as flooring in other creations. So that’s a nice little bonus right there.
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
The holiday season is around the corner, which means it’s time for LEGO to reveal this year’s addition to the Winter Village line, 10275 Elf Club House. The perfect sequel to 2014’s Santa’s Workshop, the Elf Club House includes 1,197 pieces, four minifigures, a reindeer pulling a sleigh, toys, gifts, and a Christmas tree. Earlier today we brought you a full, hands-on review of this brand-new set, but here are the official images and press release, along with an interview with set designer Chris McVeigh.
The set will retail for US $99.99 | UK £84.99 | EU €94.99 starting on September 23rd. The eleventh in the series, 10275 Elf Club House is the third fantastical Winter Village set, joining last years’ 10267 Gingerbread House and 10245 Santa’s Workshop from 2014. Continue reading
I really like LEGO creations that tell a story, and Road to the Fruit Festival by Jonas Kramm has enough self-contained world-building to inspire the imagination. These tiny fruit merchants offer next day delivery, provided you live very, very close. Are these tiny people with human-sized mounts and wares? Or are we looking at some seriously up-scaled produce?
Each build has clever building techniques and part usage to discover. The road-marking statues have Rancor claws for legs. There are minifigure neck ruffles as parts of flowers, and large figure shoulder armor in the wheelbarrow.
But I’m also a sucker for well built LEGO snails, and this one is a beauty. It was the first build in this set, and was apparently so much fun to make that the rest of the scene came to life around it. Those minifigure hairpieces make for perfect berries, and the dark red dome brick make for a tempting pair of cherries. And that snail is darn spiffy, too. I like the cupcake eyes and muted color choices. The Clikitis leaf for the slime trail is a nice visual touch, too. And the Minifigure shark arms for petals in the flower…the closer you look, there more there is to enjoy here.
This isn’t the first amazing creation of Jonas’ we’ve featured, and it’s a good bet that it won’t be the last. I just hope the future includes even more snails.
I’ve personally been building a lot of landscape lately, so I love being inspired by the work of other builders. There’s a ton to be inspired by in this creation by John Snyder. The first thing that draws me in is the colour palette – olive green and dark tan work so well together to form a muted backdrop for the bright leaves on the trees, and even the brown and light grey of the building stand out.
Delve deeper into this detailed scene
LEGO Friends (and by extension, Elves) is a theme that had great success both with its target audience and beyond. Many builders love the themes for the exotic colours they brought to the palette, but some, like Isaac Snyder, take inspiration for builds from the Elves theme itself.
This little village has just enough buildings to look busy, and all of them have their own aesthetic while still looking very much like they belong together. My favourite techniques are the roofs, especially the purple windscreen used as an arch on the leftmost cottage. The clean lime grass broken up by printed tiles along with crystals and strange plants give the scene an otherworldly and profoundly magical feeling, just right for the Elves theme.
Now that we’re closing in on December, it’s time to release the Christmas builds! I’ve been anxiously anticipating another seasonal kinetic sculpture by Jason Allemann, and he hasn’t disappointed.
These elves at their workbench are cute enough alone, but of course, there’s more! Jason’s latest creation uses a nifty mechanism to give it an assembly line feel.
Watch a video of this kenetic sculpture in action
The LEGO Elves theme keeps surprising me personally with how popular it is amongst fans. While the related LEGO Friends remains successful, it is the Elves with their characteristic motives and colours that keeps inspiring builders to expand the story on their own. The rich world surpasses its target audience and as Martin Harris proves, there is something for everyone in it.
The Elvan sea port of Elvadion is an epic diorama showing us a less adventurous slice of life in Elvendale. There is everything one could expect of an Elves creation here, from bright colours and ornate architecture to cute animals, including dragons.
Click to explore the port town more closely!
Can you count all the different LEGO colors used in this psychedelic sea serpent by Simon NH? We counted at least 20, but we may have missed some. What’s incredible about this creation is that it uses so many different colors, but still manages to feel coherent and striking. That’s because sets of related colors are grouped strategically: greens are used for the underbelly; lavenders and purples are used for the sides; and reds and pinks are on the top.
There’s a lot to love in terms of parts usage too. The use of spring legs on the nose singlehandedly justifies the existence of the oft-maligned LEGO NBA sets for me. Using flags for the spines accentuates the sinuous nature of the whole build. I would love to see an Ultimate Collector’s Series-style set with this level of detail in the LEGO Elves theme.
Who said mechs can’t be elegant and graceful and killing at the same time? I bet this wonderfully looking build by Anthony Wilson can teach many other ugly gray machines a lesson of elegance and charm – while hitting its enemies as efficiently as a dozen of barrel guns can do. Make sure to take a closer look at the wings; they might look simple, but their design is a very smart combination of bars and cones in pearl gold. And have you noticed nearly 30 pink minifigure cups used for decorating of the wings?