Tag Archives: Fantasy

Greenskin gang is ready to rock in this LEGO tribute to Warhammer

While unlikely as an official license, the cartoonishly bellicose world of Warhammer is a perfect fit for  LEGO creations. Both feature bright colors, over-the-top characters, a devoted fanbase, and hand-crafted universes in miniature. Our favorite Warhammer Fantasy builder Dwalin Forkbeard usually stans for Team Dwarf, but for his latest diorama Dwalin moves to Greenskin pastures with a Night Goblin outpost he calls Hooda-Rock.

Hooda-Rock

Dwalin grounds the base in a lovely bit of rockwork sculpted in the shape of a goblin’s pointy hood, with an orange path to provide visual interest. A peppering of mushrooms and details like the hanging bones and tasty rats make up for the lack of greenery. Both setting and minifig accessorizing perfectly capture the brutish and nasty charm of the Greenskins.

Gryb

In addition to Night Goblins, the rock is home to Squigs, the surly cave-dwelling beasts raised as war mounts. Both the full-grown Squig’s red dome head and balls used for the baby Squigs are sourced from the Beast Master’s Chaos Chariot set. In fact, it was those parts that inspired Dwalin to make this build. The results are a delight, whether or not you’re a fan of the source material, and hopefully the start of more Greenskin builds in the LEGO x Warhammer world of miniatures.

A post-human paradise in LEGO

Engaging with LEGO bricks can be an act of play, a hobby, fandom, even an investment, but for some builders, LEGO bricks are an artistic medium just like clay or oil paints. Mihai Marius Mihu is one of those creators who uses the brick to explore big ideas, with motifs that carry over across works and even transcend mediums. After a long building hiatus, Mihai is back to LEGO with “The Garden of the Goddess,” a diorama in silhouette that serves as a culmination of  years of exploring this post-human future.  The Garden of the Goddess

The “ash giant” humanoid figure climbing the hill first appeared in Mihai’s underworld-inspired LEGO vignettes a decade ago, seemingly representing a husk of humanity. The goddess on the left, with her three black orbs, is featured in numerous drawings over recent years.  The statue of a face on the right is my favorite element, both for the startlingly lifelike human profile, and the effective use of Technic bricks to convey the geological timescales at play. It’s fascinating to see how Mihai’s ideas translated from sketch into LEGO model.

Gardens of the Goddess (Rough Concept)

Mihai’s work often touches on the mythological afterlife, encounters with the unknowable, and human transmutation. It feels in conversation with fiction from Dan Simmons, Jeff Vandermeer, Octavia Butler and Ridley Scott. Work like Mihai’s doesn’t need to be explained. I’m just grateful that the artist allows us to follow his journey over the years, whether in pencil, music, or in brick.

Dueling wizard builds give us something to crow about

Sometimes great minds really do think alike, as evidenced by two rhyming vignettes created for the Summer Joust “Beast Masters” category. Each creation features a brick-built blue spellcaster and their over-sized corvid companion, but despite similar theming, the two models demonstrate very distinct approaches to setting a LEGO scene. First up we have “The Wizard and the Raven” by Ids de Jong. Another admirer described the build as having an “I Spy appeal,” which is a great way to put it, with so many fun elements from throughout the years decorating the scene. The human figure, for which Ids credits the style to Markus Rollbühler, is definitely bringing strong wizard energy with the clever beard technique utilizing Gandalf’s hair piece. I love the personality of of the crow with the nightmare eyes from LEGO Dreamzzz, a good friend who seems eager to deliver scrolls to distant lands.

The Wizard and the Raven

Next is “Rook and Ruin” from builder Maxx Davidson (who’s been on a roll on the site lately with his whimsical creations!). Maxx’s vignette focuses a bit more on story as it captures the warlock mid-casting as his spell rips the ground asunder. I love the inspired use of a minifig arm for the warlock’s nose, the hand gripping a pair or roots to make the mustache. Nya’s Rising Dragon head makes for a wicked torso. The rook mixes smooth and spiky elements with a touch of pearlescent tiles to create some truly lovely plumage. Two mages, two crows, two magical builds!

Rook and Ruin

Steer clear of these surly Sea Raiders

The right minifigs can elevate a build by making a scene come alive, suggesting a story much bigger than the LEGO model on display. The motley crew of pirates assembled by Bryckland have clearly seen their fair share of action, gaining infamy for their raids, but no shortage of glory too with close-calls and daring adventure too, I’d wager. Bryckland’s longship is a wonderful design, with a hull made of horns and rounded Technic elements, invoking ancient reed boats. Considering the sails are made from Hungarian Horntail wings, perhaps the hull is made of dragonbone or some other fantastical substance. The diorama is elevated by the patch of roiling blue sea.  Where will this voyage end? Perhaps with a little pillaging at one of Bryckland’s past ports of call.

Sea Raiders

Look and see her, how she sparkles, it’s the Brick Unicorn

’80s animated film The Last Unicorn is a true gem. Like the best fantasy films of that era, it can be scary, sad, romantic, and haunting in a way that kid flicks since rarely aspire to. Also, the theme song slaps. One fan caught under the film’s spell is LEGO builder Gino Lohse who pays tribute with a mesmerizing triptych poster. The central panel mirrors the original movie poster with the terrifying red bull menacing the eponymous unicorn. I’m impressed by Gino’s use of bold colors, layered plates, and flame shafts to create the burning intensity of the bull. And the typography of the title perfectly matches the iconic font.

The Last Unicorn Movie Poster

The ensemble of characters on the left is equally accomplished, especially King Haggard with those piercing blue eyes and wispy hair made from feathers. The castle on the right looks simpler at first glance, but features some very clever use of negative space to create the winding road. With its sophisticated layering, creative mix of elements, and artful framing, Gino’s model continues the trend of LEGO art pieces like the Gotham City Skyline of blending 2D and 3D to stunning effect.

Dragonfly in the sky, I can go twice as high

Let me guess: you watched the recent Dune movies and thought, “Man, those ornithopters were cool-looking and all, but what if they were a little more steampunk? And flown by elves?” Don’t worry, LEGO builder Ted Andes has your back. For Brickworld Chicago 2024, he imagined that elves would build a ‘thopter inspired by their natural surroundings, giving the craft its smooth, organic lines. And where the Dune version definitely had a little dragonfly in it, this little marvel seems to take its cues from the wider insect world: Aside from the dragonfly wings, there’s a bit of grasshopper leg in the fuselage and something a little more wicked in that stinger at the back.

Dragonfly Ornithopter

A new Red Baron

This red baroness may not prowl the skies, but with that rapier, I know that this LEGO model by Eero Okkonen means business! Eero is an accomplished builder of figures and other structures, and you can check out our past articles on his work here. This baroness duels in style in her cape borrowed from the Chirrut Îmwe constraction figure, while her trans-red skirts were only available in the 2022 set 80035 Monkie Kid’s Galactic Explorer. The Baroness shows off her station with a wealth of golden trinkets on her outfit, but I’d like to draw special attention to the buckles on her cape which – using only two parts – clamp onto the fabric. Would you dare challenge her?

Sculpting Legends: Inside the Fantasy World of ‘Guilds of Historica’

Builder Mathijs Dubbeldam gives us a glimpse into the LEGO medieval fantasy world created by Eurobricks, known as ‘Guilds of Historica’. The build, titled ‘Sculptor’, is presented with a prompt, “. . . a large order from the King. His majesty wants an enormous statue . . .” inviting us to delve deeper into the layout and characters within the scene. Despite the prompt, the concept of a sculptor diligently working to unveil a statue of significance is readily apparent. Additionally, the presence of a green-skinned character immediately indicates that this is no ordinary medieval scene, but likely one from a fantastical world.

[Rockwail] Sculptor

In the second image, a close-up reveals how the rockwork, or brickwork, as it were, has been carefully designed and thought out, offering us a glimpse into the ongoing formation of a legendary dwarf warrior. The ‘messy’ hair on the sculptor gives the impression this artist has been hard at work with no rest. I imagine his hands – do we call them hands for LEGO minifigures? – are calloused from his past and current sculpting endeavors.

[Rockwail] Sculptor

Amazing LEGO fairy castle stands over 4 feet tall!

When LEGO builders work together, great things happen! Kat (@k._harmon) and Samuel (@darksamishgray) have collaborated to create a stunningly beautiful fairy castle that built out of an old tree stump. Through the crack in the trunk you can see the cozy architecture of the fairy folk. There’s so much detail and great building on display for an observer to dig into. The bluebells (blue flowers) are fastened to their stems by a pair of grass pieces attached through the loop by a twig. The ferns are made from crocodile tails, and I love the little glider made from a variety of LEGO leaves.

Continue reading

This Warhammer-inspired LEGO diorama is fast in friendship and in enmity

What do LEGO dwarves have to be resentful of? Well, elves got their own fondly remembered line, orcs featured prominently as Castle foes for a spell, and dragons appear in multiple themes and get their own zodiac calendar year. Oh, the indignity! We can’t know what animus brings motivates the dwarven king in Illia Zubashev‘s grand diorama, but chance are it involves gold, elves, or grudges. Probably all three.  Illia calls this creation The Hall of Grudges of Karak Izûm, a sacred site for dwarves of the Warhammer ilk. It’s a truly grand scene where a lone minifig king and the holy Book of Grudges are dwarfed by a hulking statue and a towering wall of brick and stone, showing the immense scale of the underground dwarven empire. Illia employs a solid mix of profile bricks, offset tiles, and SNOT work (studs not on top) in the impressive wall and floor. The chonky statue of dark grey and gold makes impressive use of 2×3 rock tiles for a chiseled beard. But perhaps the most striking element of the  scene is the diamond window of jutting trans light blue crystals.

The Hall of Grudges of Karak Izûm. Night

The evenly lit scene represents the hall at night. Even more striking is the daylight version, where light shining through the crystal window transforms the underground scene.

The Hall of Grudges of Karak Izûm. Day

Dance to your Death with Sekiro’s Corrupted Monk

LEGO and video games have proven to be a powerhouse of family-friendly fun, but combat in LEGO games is a pretty basic affair. If punishing action is more your speed, perhaps you’ve wondered what a LEGO Souls-like game would look like? If it’s anything like Marius Herrmann‘s Corrupted Monk from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, it would be a beautiful game indeed!

The Corrupted Monk from "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice"

FromSoftware, makers of Elden Ring and Dark Souls, are known for their amazing enemy bosses that combine punishing difficulty with breathtaking dark fantasy character design. For many, the Corrupted Monk is the pinnacle of boss encounters, as dueling this demoness requires total mastery of the game’s robust combat system (unless you cheese the boss — no shame in that!). Marius’ model employs some incredible parts usage to capture the Monk’s haunting appearance, like the use of an inverted Ninjago Anacondrai helmet for a mouth and a frog for a nose. There are hand-strung beads made of eggs and flowers, as well as a vintage LEGO Scala pearl necklace for this classy lady of darkness. The color is striking, especially the draping tiled fabric in gold, yellow, and black. Given the vibrant colors, this is clearly the “True” version of the Corrupted Monk. Sekiro also features a spectral version of the boss, but I suspect creating a model this incredible using only translucent parts would be too punishing a challenge for even the most hardcore LEGO builder.

A fantastic build in more ways than one

My favorite LEGO set of last year (and possibly of all time) is the LEGO Lord of the Rings 10316 Rivendell set. I could wax verbose about that set, but I don’t have to — because everything I loved about Rivendell is back here in this piece, which builder Martin Gebert calls “Rivendell-inspired.” You can certainly see the official set’s influence — the organic blending of nature and masonry, the pastel greens and whites, the otherworldly architecture. And yet this build manages to take the fantasy even further — look at that lovely hanging fountain and the perfectly irregular smoothness of that outcropping. Best of all, this model (entitled “The Arrival of an Old Friend”) is just chapter 1 in a series, so be sure to follow Martin and keep exploring this incredible slice of a fantasy world.

Chapter I - The Arrival of an Old Friend