Tag Archives: Fantasy

This micro LEGO Dwarven mine has upper, lower and middle earth

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.

Dwarven Mine

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.

There is a castle on a cloud

What is it about the persistent fantasy of castles among the clouds, whether it is on a floating rock or built on the cumulonimbus itself? It’s certainly pervasive, even being featured in everyone’s favorite space fantasy, ruled by Prince Calrissian. I’m not complaining, mind you; I have a deep love for the idea myself and have been tempted to build something along those lines one of these days. But LEGO builder Caleb Saw beat me to the punch, creating this stunning castle afloat on the aether.

Sky City

Now, I love domes, and this castle has excellent domes, including, quite fittingly, half of Bespin. There is wonderful variation among the buildings, and yet they look a cohesive whole, too. The tan and dark tan colors look great together here, and the foliage is top-notch; indeed, the vines and trees look incredibly organic. And then there are the clouds. So many round bits that work so well together to create something light and fluffy out of shiny ABS plastic!

Do you love floating islands and floating rocks, too? Then check them out in the TBB archives!

Wizards by the Coast

According to LEGO builder Josh, this diorama depicts the abode of the Wizards by the Coast, which has me wondering, perhaps the denizens of this quaint little seaside town are best known for their gaming masterpiece, Dumgeons & Dargons? At any rate, this little village is awash in a magical air, from the crazy twisted tower and giant butterfly to the precariously perched flowerbeds. The little scoops of ice cream, long used by LEGO builders as smoke, find a great use here as sea foam. Meanwhile, the wizards are cooking up a mean fish fry courtesy of a Fireball spell. Someone invite me!

Wizards by the Coast

An epic Battle of the Seasons

LEGO builder Malin Kylinger is at it again and this time she has built an epic fantasy scene she calls “Battle of the Seasons”. A scroll acts as a battlefield while four distinct factions battle it out in the center. Inspired by The Heroes of Might and Magic video games, this scene contains a whopping seventy-three minifigs. It’s difficult to understand the scope of this scene from afar, so let’s take a closer look, shall we?

The Battle of the Seasons

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Going, going, gondola!

I love immersive builds, where everywhere you look there is LEGO, except the sky (I don’t like brick-built skies, due to the brick pattern). It’s like I’m one of the minifigures, standing in the scene, seeing the sights. It is my preferred building style, at least when buildings and rooms are involved, and one that I (Benjamin Stenlund) used in my latest creation. Set in the Guilds of Historica’s fifth guild, Varlyrio, in the Venice-like capital of Illaryian, it depicts a slice of daily life, with gondoliers poling, shopkeepers selling, families visiting, soldiers guarding, sailors lounging, and rogues prowling.

A Varlyrian Vacation

I tried to vary up the action of the figs to make it lively without being cluttered, and to vary the patterns of the houses to make it homogeneous without being monotonous. All of the buildings have the same roof style, with tiles pressed down on just one end, but three colors are used (you can barely see the lone dark grey roof on the right) to mix it up. Varying the patterns and heights of the buildings helps to make it visually interesting, but basic patterns get repeated. It’s like a block of modular buildings, if LEGO made modular buildings that were just rickety facades with no interiors. I don’t build interiors, unless it’s going to be visible in the shot, since it won’t be seen. That’s just wasted effort for my purposes. Another secret is that the water ends just around the corner under the bridge, where it stops being visible. It’s all about the camera shot, for me. And yet, it looks so nice, I’d like to visit the place myself. If only I were about 1.5 inches tall…

TBB cover photo for May 2020: Seeing Double

This month’s community cover photo features a mind-bendingly detailed alchemist workshop by Markus Rollbühler. Look carefully, and you might think that he’s used Photoshop to mirror one side of the image. A cheeky way to save bricks! However, look even more carefully at the shadows and reflections and you’ll realize it’s not a digital trick, but a full LEGO creation with perfect symmetry.

The immaculate photography complements such an expertly crafted creation. I wonder if the alchemist who resides here is creating such a symmetrical scene through some kind of magic, or are they just OCD?

Symmetrio's Workshop

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In a house in a tree lived a hobbit

Not all hobbits lived in snug little tunnels under the rolling hills of the Shire. Some of them made their homes in the trees. These adventurous souls were probably Brandybucks or Tooks mind you, and the sensible folks around Hobbiton always suspected they were a little odd in the head. This fantastical LEGO treehouse home built by Mountain Hobbit is a cracker. The tree itself is wonderful, all gnarled and ancient with some serious root action going on, and the house set into the trunk is an interesting selection of angles. But it’s the little details which make this model pop — the vines wrapping around the tree’s branches, the window and the lantern, the hanging bunting, and the little basket of possessions. Lovely stuff.

LEGO Hobbit Treehouse

A whaley cool flying creature

If you ever watched Avatar: The Last Airbender, you probably thought that things like flying bison sounded cool. Because bison are cool, and things that fly are even cooler, right? Or perhaps you loved Fantasia 2000, with the flying humpback whales. Whales don’t fly, but wouldn’t it be neat if they did? Perhaps that was the inspiration Tim Schwalfenberg had, as he created this delightful build of one of the great flying whales of the Eastern Cloud Sea, carrying a passenger who could well be from The Last Airbender based on his looks. Rolled up cloth and vinyl elements make for a nice detail on the back, and I always love seeing barrels made from two half-barrels joined together. Add in a spectacular harness, and you have a creation ready to soar above some lands, gallivanting through some airwaves.

Balaenoptera Levosia

The sad tale of Sir Warick the Overconfident

Ahead of Brickvention this year, LEGO Certified Professional Ryan “The Brickman” McNaught, challenged his team of builders to build whatever they wanted. Team member Mark jumped at the opportunity and built this magnificent scene dominated by a giant dragon. And while the dragon is the first thing you’ll notice, this creation really presents the story of a knight, Sir Warick. Or at least the final chapter in his story. I promise you he’s there, just look at the end of the beautiful spout of fiery dragon breath.

Huge LEGO® brick Dragon

Click to feel the burn!

Forever chasing windmills

This next LEGO render is brought to you by a builder who goes by the controversial name of Hanwasyellowfirst. I know what you’re thinking; thems fightin’ words! But before you go on a righteous rampage it is important to know that there are very fine people on both sides. Now that I’ve squelched that potential disaster let’s take a look at this awesome creation. Based solely on this image, I can imagine this structure atop a craggy mountain in an exotic bygone world. I’m loving the rustic wood finishes and the ramshackle roofs. Brown owls used as gargoyles here are an inspired touch and increased availability of these elements make for some excellent uses. This is a brilliant piece but alas does not come in green yet. (Ahem…LEGO, are you reading this?) In my opinion, the most exciting aspect of this creation is it rests atop a rather small footprint.

Mountain Windmill

A rearview reveals that the rooms within this mountain windmill are just as fun and just as haphazard as I had imagined. I can get lost for hours marveling at all the interesting and fanciful details this creation beholds. How about you?

Mountain Windmill

A cottage among the leaves

LEGO is an art form. It requires precision placement of elements, meticulous thought, endless creativity, and a bold sense of the possibilities. Sure, you can build like a four-year-old, placing stuff willy-nilly and using any old color you please. You can also color on walls like a four-year-old, but that doesn’t take away from the frescoes of Raphael or Michelangelo. A build like this one by Marcel V. illustrates my point. There is a balance of composition, the cohesion of form, careful use of colors, and especially crisp photography. This is no child’s toy anymore.

Sofia's Journey - Lady Ophelia's Treehouse

This is not the first time I have written about a treehouse by Marcel, but this one has glorious limbs and even more glorious little rooms. The cheese slope roof looks great, and if you look close, every potted plant is constructed and attached differently. Don’t miss the book as a little roof over the door, too. My favorite detail might be the small table at the base of the tree, built of a combination of sorcery and twigs. The little pebbles arranged so carefully, stalks of grass, and even the soldiers posed loose give the build a much larger feel while still exhibiting a mastery of brick composition. After all, LEGO is an art form.

Goblins and dwelfs, oh my!

Most adult builders looked at the little goblin figures from LEGO’s Elves theme with some distaste. I suspect this was due to the bright colors and limited elements that make them up. I know I felt that way. They are difficult to fit into a build, even a fantasy one, because they are too cartoonish to be taken seriously. Given the right setting, though, perhaps they could be useful. Take, for instance, this build by John Snyder. Bright colors, like lime green grass and a purple wagon roof, tie the goblins and their garish hues into the overall build. The layout itself is unique, with large brick-built tomes bookending the multi-level scene. Plus, as always with a Snyder build, there are play functions. The small dwarf-elf (or dwelf, as the cover implies) is in trouble, about to fall through a trapdoor into the subterranean lair of the goblins. Could anything be worse than being captured by those almost-useless rainbow-colored creatures?

Dwelf Tales: Treasure Heist