This past weekend, LEGO fans from all over the world converged on Skaerbaek, Denmark for the ultimate builder gathering (that also happens to be in LEGO HQ’s metaphorical backyard). Builder and LEGO designer Wes Talbott featured this fantastic horde of baddies at the Fan Weekend, about to pass through their nerco-powered portal to attack their sworn foe, the Moon Elves. The intricacies of the portal are spectacular, from the organics growing out of its side to the stone dragon heads sitting atop it. But my favorite part has got to be Wes’s integration of bones and skulls into the structure, using the 1×1 round plate with bar. The part really gives those skeletal minifig heads a jaunty slant, evoking the makeshift/natural/ritualistic nature of goblin magic. But don’t let the glowing green gateway distract you from the brilliantly-crafted army surrounding it. Specifically, that big, boney behemoth in the background is a masterclass in character creation and choice part usage.
LEGO builder extraordinaire Anu Pehrson joins us to give an inside perspective on how she built this enormous 200,000-piece minifigure-scale diorama of the Wall from Game of Thrones. If you’re not familiar with Anu, she likes to build big. If you happen to be in Denmark soon, check out her huge model of the Greyjoy Stronghold, which has been showcased in the LEGO House for the past year. She previously gave us a behind-the-scenes look at her 20,000-piece rice plantation diorama from The LEGO Ninjago Movie, but now she’s gone ten times bigger. So read on as Anu walks us through the entire process of building the Wall from early concepts to finished model.
Building the Wall
As builders, most of us are inspired by things we encounter in our everyday lives, travels, and other interests such as books, music, etc. I immensely enjoyed reading Game of Thrones and was inspired with several ideas for building. The Wall was an obvious choice but a very daunting task and would require me to get several tens of thousands of white parts. I started the process of collecting parts specifically for this project in 2012. Nine years later, I finally started building in 2021, and it has taken me over two years to finish it. The model is 5 x 5 feet and approximately 4.5 feet tall, and in the end, I used close to 200,000 pieces.
My thought process here was that the Wall would be the central grounding factor, with several structures added to both the south side of the Wall and the area beyond the wall to the north as described in the books/show.
Click to read the full article
One of the things I enjoy most about this wonderful LEGO hobby is the people I get to collaborate with on projects. And this year at BrickCon, I have the good fortune to participate in a massive Dungeons & Dragons project with so many talented builders. For the last 5 months, all 24 of us have been working independently on our own rooms for a mega-dungeon, both large and small ones. And I guess builder Doug Hughes stopped reading after “large.” In his intricately-designed room, he’s housed a fearsome lava centipede being controlled by a group of dark elves. The lighting is splendid, the design appropriately ornate, and the technique on the monster gets Volothamp’s seal of approval for sure! Let’s hope our band of adventurers can get past before it escapes its bonds.
And in case you’re wondering what I contributed, I guess I can give you a peek at that below. I wanted to go for something that felt a bit more like a “finale.” Anyone care to roll for initiative? And as for the rest of the dungeon, you’ll have to head to BrickCon or look out for pics from the convention after next weekend of the whole thing assembled and on display.
Just look at this lovely new LEGO creation by Thomas van Urk. The shapes and textures here; I’m almost lost for words. The slopes and tiles along that very interesting red roof are masterfully sculpted. A lesser builder would have just spired the roof and called it good but Thomas taunts us with first a spire, then an onion dome, and back into a spire. I frankly can’t even fathom how he did that! The Tudor-style detailing is not entirely uncommon in LEGO. The medium most certainly works well in that style but there are parts of the Tudor detailing that, like the red spire I can’t fathom. Thomas calls this The Princess Tower and I’d happily be a princess for a day if it means hanging out in this fantastic world for a while.
Even the gray stone part of the tower utilizes both new gray and some sun-faded old gray. I recall in 2004 when LEGO changed their gray bricks there were starchy, rigid LEGO fans who vowed to leave the hobby forever. I imagine either they eventually warmed up to the new color shades or indeed remained in 2004 with their flip-phones and AOL email addresses.
Can you tell which of these LEGO buildings belongs to the now-retired Captain Redbeard? Naturally, it’s the tallest one in the this colorful scene from builder Sleepless Night. The build is full of so many incredible textures and colors, allowing each building to stand out on its own. They each have their own design too! Shapes, in general, are obviously reused (like archways), but they’re each done with different elements across the whole. Take a close look at everything present and you’ll see so many cool things. For me, the best parts usage is definitely the croissants making up the billowing sails on the ship at the top of Redbeard’s house. It’s unexpected, but the food elements translate wonderfully for the purpose.
Our favorite annual LEGO castle contest, Summer Joust, is in full swing for 2023. And builder T-86(swe) has made a glorious submission to the silhouette category: the Dandelumian Crest. In an age when LEGO sets are also starting to stretch the 2-D boundaries of the standard mosaic, T-86 provides depth to their creation with a lattice of dark gray plates and tiles fit in-between the background studs. While it may not be a “legal” connection in all cases (legal with a tile and not with a plate, but that’s a discussion for another post), the maze-like grid provides an outstanding backdrop for the sword and twisting plant laid over top. The whole thing definitely gives off some heavy “Gordian Knot” vibes, and I love it!
We started our look at the new LEGO Dreamzzz theme on the dark side with 71469 Nightmare Shark Ship. Today let’s skip nightmares entirely and explore a relaxing place of peace, beauty, and wonder: 71459 Stable of Dream Creatures. There are no Grimspawn, Night Terrors, or other bad dreams here – just giant flowered dream deer, a windmill, and a… a cat cactus? Yeah, a cat cactus. If you’ve watched the first 10 episodes of the TV show… either you spotted something we didn’t, or you’ll recognize the deer, and that’s it. In any case, here’s our review of the set, which contains 681 pieces, 4 minifigures + 2 dreamlings + cat cactus + z-blob, and can be pre-ordered now and will ship August 1st for US $79.99 | CAN $99.99 | UK £74.99.
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Read the full review
Take a trip with us down into the sea where we find a noble seahorse on a knightly quest in this wonderful LEGO scene by Mohamed Marei. Built for the Bio-Cup saltwater biome theme, the scene shows off the creativity of a great builder. The bright colors contrast nicely against the bronze look of the seahorse knight, bringing our attention to the central figure. Floating above the knight is an exquisite jellyfish, using an array of transparent pieces well. The framing of the scene is fluid and I can’t stop looking at it! As is intended in the Bio-Cup, this is one of those builds that pushes the use of LEGO as a medium to new levels. Also, can we acknowledge how nice the use of the stud shooter is for the mouth of the seahorse? It’s like it was meant for such a use all along.
Built for a local LUG (LEGO Users Group) challenge in the theme of postcards, this miniature scene by Dale Harris looks like a tribute to all things fantasy, from the castle by the water to the swooping dragon… I guess we can see where the town gets its name. The dragon is nicely detailed for such a small build, and that uncommon red binoculars make an interesting snout. Let’s hope the dragon is friendly, or that castle will melt faster than Harranhall from Game of Thrones.
After over 30 years of building with LEGO, I can’t tell you how many rubber tires I’ve amassed in my collection. And as someone who never designs anything automotive (primarily due to lack of skill), they have sat collecting dust for far too long. But Tom Studs gives me hope for their eventual use with this brilliantly floored scene. Utilizing forced perspective, Tom gives us a view out the building’s main portal into a green wilderness, complete with a perfectly positioned minifig to convey all those feelings of wanderlust. The interior of the door is beautifully designed, with plenty of intricate brown designs that stand in stark contrast to the verdant outdoors and its winding stone path. But, again, the real star of the show is the cobbled black floor, comprised of a multitude of brick “nuggets” each wrapped in an appropriately-sized tire.
In this imaginative LEGO scene by Malin Kylinger, a group of mages have summoned a portal to the winter realm. The whole diorama is loaded with great builds, from the trees with their densely packed foliage, to the picnic of magical equipment beside the house. The whole build rewards closer scrutiny with lots of great details lurking.
But the real standout is the magic circle at the center, a fantastic use of cheese-slope mosaic-making to craft a pattern that’s almost quilt-like, and at the center is a perfect use for the rare Belville crown element.
I’m not familiar with the Deepgate Codex fantasy series, but after seeing this captivating floating castle built of LEGO by Gino Lohse I think I might have to check it out, because this microscale structure has my imagination running. It’s a simple build but no less effective at evoking the feeling of precarious city perched atop a magic rock and chained in place. A few carefully placed studs make for great windows on the buildings, while the rock-texture slope gets put to good use giving added dimension to the chunk of earth without looking forced.