LEGO builder Matt Goldberg is no stranger to creative part usage. Scalesquire B. A. Konstrictor, here, is a good example of that. A Legends of Chima flywheel fairing and CHI Cragger lower jaw are just two of the details that caught our eye. If you look closely you can spot minifigure-scale microphones and ice skate accessories incorporated into that stylish silver armor.
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.
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.
Tragically underused in LEGO builds is the immersive, cinematic shot. Sure, it’s vastly easier and faster to build a vignette, or a stand-alone building, but I deeply admire builders who can move their creation beyond plastic bricks and into an entire world filling the frame. Nathan Smith is one of those builders, playing with light and camera angles to put the viewer in the scene in a believable way. Are there many mind-blowing building techniques on display here? No, not really, though that door does look quite nice. But nothing is out of place, with meticulously arranged leaves and crates, and the smooth walls of the citadel allow the lighting effects to shine. And shine they do, illuminating a ruminating Gandalf perfectly.
Love LEGO builds inspired by The Lord of the Rings? Then check out the TBB LEGO Lord of the Rings archives. They’re epic!
I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll repeat it, but I love The Lord of the Rings. The books, that is. Simon Hundsbichler must love the books, too, since he has finally finished the third installment of his trilogy, commemorating the climactic The Return of the King. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while, and it does not disappoint! From an incredible microscale Minas Tirith to an imposing Barad-dûr, every bit of this build is packed with great details and clever parts usages. Ogle that oliphaunt from Harad for a while, and admire the lever-arm orcs. There’s even an eagle and fell Nazgûl beast in the air!
LEGO set designer and artist Wes Talbott saw the large macaroni pieces in the new 43179 Mickey and Minnie Buildable Characters set and knew immediately that he must build a beholder from Dungeons and Dragons instead. I approve of every last facet of that preceding sentence. It has an engaging start, takes us on a riotous journey through the middle, then concludes with a most satisfying end. Some best-selling novels don’t even go that well. What can I say? When it comes to geek memorabilia or the big corporate mouse, I will side with boardgame monsters every time. I think you’ll agree that this beholder is a sight to behold.
This elven archer by Dmitry would be at home on any Lord of the Rings fan’s mantelpiece. The clean and minimalist approach to the facial features makes the ornate armor all the more impressive. I particularly like the use of Ninjago Spinner blades as wrapped hair braids, and the grill tiles for a flattop makes me chuckle. (As did that golden banana as part of the tunic.) But I’m certainly not laughing at the great shaping in grey achieved by cheese slopes and curved brick, or at that elegant display stand.
This build has a different look from most LEGO figures we see at this scale, and that’s not a bad thing at all.
I simply adore microscale castles, and microscale LEGO creations in general, too. There’s something about it, where even the slightest wrong choice in elements can ruin the whole composition, but the perfect usage of that one clever piece can make a masterpiece. Enter Markus Rollbühler, one of the world’s best LEGO master builders (seriously, check out his TBB rap sheet). His microscale fairytale castle and village are chock full of amazing and clever parts usages (and color, too; do I spy some sand red in there?).
While he’s used the party hats for tower roofs before, pairing them with cupcake liners is new. And there’s a mug in the tallest tower, Elves keys for the keep, wand sprues supporting book covers for the village houses, a katana holder for windmill blades, a roller skate as a cart being pulled by what looks like a non-production brown lever arm, a cupcake top as a haystack, and the list goes on. And don’t forget the unicorn horns balancing as trees. Even blinking near this thing must have the tiny denizens crying “Timber!”
There is perhaps no builder more skilled at crafting interesting and unique figures out of LEGO than Eero Okkonen. One glance at the TBB archives will demonstrate that. But the most recent creation to grace our screens is my favorite of the lot, due to her graceful pose, captured mid-frolic, and elegant shaping. The use of the spider net from a Hobbit set with some boat sliders makes a perfect top, with the soft edges of the fabric causing the Magadril of Dandelions to look more alive and less LEGO-ish than most of Eero’s builds. And since her eyes are up there, it’s worth highlighting how perfect minifigure hands are for eyes. If I were single and a brick-built LEGO creation myself, I’d gladly tiptoe through some tulips, or dandelions, with her. If only she didn’t have that midriff tattoo since my mother would never approve of her…
No matter what kind of creature you are, if you live in a desert environment, chances are you would enjoy a visit to this fantasy oasis by Peter Z for a chance to enjoy fresh fruit, and to sit by the fountain to let the cool breeze wash over you. Gold and teal accents provide a lovely contrast to the tan structure, and the walls are peppered with little irregularities caused by the cutting wind and sand.
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.
This black castle by Aaron Newman which he calls Grimstone is a delightful blend of classic fantasy and a bit of industrial revolution, with smokestack-looking towers, and a hint of castle Greyskull, with those black claws flanking the main gate. The sloping bridge over flaming hot magma leads to a dilapidated town that is looking a bit worse for wear. I also love the many shades of orange plates used for the lava.
Just when I think Letranger Absurde can’t surprise me further, they do! This micro build of a Dwarven Mine is spectacular and just dripping with NPU (nice parts use). There’s so much to look at in this small build, but the two things that catch my eye the most are the graveyard up top and the absolutely genius use of minifigure purses as minecarts down below.
I love the combination of sideways and studs-up building and the limited color palette. The large amount of gray tones really makes the other elements stand out. The building detailing is beautiful and the dark tan ground level draws your attention to the middle of the photo, allowing the viewer to take in the upper and lower parts at the same time. The cluster of sand green trees is a nice addition that adds a little more color. The final touch is the wagon, perfectly realized in only three pieces and drawn by a brown frog posing as a dray horse.