Tag Archives: Fantasy

Defend the walls of this enormous snow-bound castle

The only thing worse than your castle being attacked is surely your castle being attacked during the winter. I’m pretty sure Orcs siege engines toss more than snowballs. This enormous LEGO castle layout by Larsvader is a beauty, depicting an island fortress under attack by a terrifying army of Orcs. We’ve seen large castles before, but what elevates this model is the striking atmosphere created by depicting the castle in winter, with patches of snow blanketing the landscape, turrets, and rooftops. Just looking at this thing makes me feel chilly. Larsvader says this scene took 20 months to put together, but the effort involved more than paid off. The castle itself is excellent, with off-grid building creating interesting angles for the walls, and good use of texture and colours to break up what might otherwise be a large grey expanse. And the surrounding landscape is nicely-done, careful thought given to the layout, making the island feel like a natural strategic chokepoint — the obvious position for a stronghold.

LEGO Fantasy Castle Siege

The buildings and streets inside the castle are just as detailed as the surrounding walls. Take a look at this close-up image of what the town looks from minifigure eye-level. I love the stonework and wooden structural elements, but it’s the inclusion of mundane background details like the bakery which create the impression of a realistic castle during an extraordinary moment…

LEGO Fantasy Castle Streets

A glowing write-up of a glowing build

When it comes to making superb creatures out of buildable figure parts, no builder is better than Jayfa. From dragons to dinosaurs, monsters to men, Jayfa can build them all and make them look amazing. This latest creation is no exception. Called the Oracle Dragon, it has glow-in-the-dark antlers, spines, and eyes, along with the coolest mustache since Lando Calrissian. It was inspired by a stop-motion puppet, and does a great job of capturing the look. With the posability of the joints, one could feasibly use the LEGO model for stop-motion movies, as well. That’d be cool.

Oracle Dragon

The wing elements from Legends of Chima look great as the tufts on the tail, and I love the translucent pieces on the underbelly of the beast. In fact, the whole color scheme is fantastic, including the splash of red on the back of the head. The antlers make interesting use of minifigure hands and flex tube for their unique shape (but don’t tell the purists, because I think the flex tube has been cut!). The best part of it all, though, is that face. I’m going to have to study the face to copy it for a dragon of my own down the line, because it is incredible, so simple yet so expressive. Curious what the eyes and antlers look like glowing? Here it is:

Oracle Dragon

All that is gold does not glitter, but don’t tell this dragon that

I love dragons. One glance through my own Flickr stream would show you that. I grew up reading books about dragons, watching movies about dragons, collecting pictures and sculptures of dragons, playing with dragon toys, and even writing stories about dragons. Some dragons are evil, others are good. This dragon by Jessica Farrell looks more like the evil variety, e.g. Smaug from The Hobbit, Fafnir from the legends of Sigurd, or the wyrm from Beowulf. Why do I think so? Well, judging from the picture, it is the type that gathers gold, guards it jealously, and gets attacked by resplendent knights. Plus, it is spiky and red and black, and everyone knows that spiky red and black characters are evil (hello, Darth Maul).

The Dragon's Hoard

What I love about Jessica’s dragon is the size and setting. This is a large beast, probably fat from eating all those brave knights and the kings who once possessed that gold. The articulation in the tail and neck makes for a very natural pose, despite the hard and mostly rectangular nature of LEGO. The giant columns are also lovely, with the curved slopes making for good round shapes. That glittering golden bed, though, draws the eye like nothing else can. It looks like just about every gold piece, whether that is pearl gold, flat dark gold, metallic gold, or chrome gold, went into this dragon’s hoard (I’m not seeing any pearl light gold or speckle black-gold, but maybe I just missed them). This dragon has stolen crowns, as one might expect, but also satellite parts, the One Ring, and even Aquaman’s buckle! Plus everything else that’s gold. Jessica says that the model consists of precisely 7,416 LEGO elements, and it seems like half of them are gold. The dragon would know for sure how many, since they know down to the smallest coin what their hoard contains.

A Toa rises again, only to crush you beneath her heavy boots

I’m afraid I missed out on Bionicle almost entirely, as it started getting big right as I faded into my dark ages, and was mostly gone when I came back out of them. It’s a shame, really, since they had some incredible parts and a wide range of colors for those parts. That being said, I have always been a classic LEGO System guy, largely eschewing Technic and the ball-joint-based Constraction style for the old-fashioned stud connections. I usually scroll through photos of LEGO creations and skip past anything Bionicle-related, in fact. But sometimes a creation of that sort is so good, so perfectly balanced and detailed, that I cannot help but admire it. Such is this Toa by Anthony Wilson. The colors pop with the trans-pink in both the crystalline base and the accents of the figure, and the pose as she strides across the base exudes confidence and swagger.

Tuyet - The Tyrant

Sweet Mayhem’s starship’s windscreen makes for an excellent shield, ready to deflect any attacks from an enemy. The glinting pink eyes shine out from behind the Matatu mask in a menacing manner that befits her name, Tuyet the Tyrant. The textures of the base, with the spaced-out 2×2 tiles and the greebles beneath, complements the presentation perfectly, but the highlight of the whole build for me is the midriff, so sleekly captured with the shoulder armor piece. It evokes the exposed stomach of so many heroines of nerdy fantasy games and comic books, yet in a way that still says that she’d kill you without a second thought, and easily, too.

Treasure of the Snake Queen

Not to make this all about me, but I’m an artist who enjoys illustrating book covers. My work is heavily influenced by old pulps, spy novels, game manuals, serial horrors, children’s mysteries such as Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, and anything involving elements of danger, intrigue, lush colors, and provocative titles. The point to telling you this is with a spooky castle, and a dense forest, this LEGO creation immediately resonated with me. The title, “Treasure of the Snake Queen” evoked a sense of danger and exotic adventure. Already this was something I was excited to write about. You can imagine my delight when I then learned that this piece was built by our own Brothers Brick contributor Flynn DeMarco and his partner Richard Board. Together they comprise a cohesive building team who goes by the name of Tricky Bricks.

See more of this massive model, including a video of it in action!

Don’t eat purple mushrooms unless you are a certified mycologist

I suspect that any self-respecting mycologist would eschew chewing on any purple mushrooms; a bright color like that probably screams “I’m poisonous!” That’s not to say a purple mushroom is not edible. All mushrooms are edible, after all; it’s just that some can be eaten only once. This purple mushroom mansion built by Jaap Bijl can be viewed as many times as you like but, like a real purple mushroom, I would not recommend eating it – ABS plastic doesn’t go down easy. Built for the Parts Festival hosted by our friends at New Elementary, there is an abundance of lovely parts usage, as well as plenty of Jaap’s favorite color, purple.

Mushroom Mansion (New Elementary's Partsfest)

In particular, the new projectile launchers make for nice columns to flank the stairs. You’ll also find some stars, hearts, and splats for flowers and archways, and who doesn’t like some clever carrots in builds? The large flowers to either side give the scene some scale; either the house is small, or the flowers are huge! I like to imagine that there are little imps or faeries about. There seems to be a budding theme of tiny fantastic creatures growing, with some recent examples here and here, and I am a big fan.

The devil’s in the details. No, wait. That’s just a chicken.

In many fantasy tropes there’s that moment where the heroes gather to set off on their grand adventure. Maybe it’s in a tavern, maybe it’s the king’s audience chamber. Sometimes it’s in a mystic glade or just a chance encounter. If you’ve seen this scene once, you’ve seen them all. However, what you might not have noticed was the world happening around the heroes. There are common folk who exist outside of the main narrative, living their fantasy lives as best they can. ‘Sergeant Chipmunk’ brings us a LEGO moment in time that captures the momentous as well as the mundane.

Unlikely Companions

Read more about this medieval model.

Stately castle lodgings for a weary traveler

I’m a sucker for the stories behind builds. I’m also one for nicely cut lines and color choice in architecture. This build by Brother Steven displays all of those traits. Although we’ve seen it done before, the journal of an adventurer chronicled in LEGO is a fascinating concept, and done well by Steven. This particular creation is part of a series of builds, all following “Zenas Abbington” as the hero. There are so many lovely aspects to the castle: the round base, the shape of the towers, the pearl gold carriage wheel in the windows, and the accents on the front door. Let’s not forget how adorable those sheep are too!

Rosewood Hall

And the flip-side is just as pretty! That tree is magnificent, with its color and angled branches. I’m also a big fan of the underside of those mushrooms! It’s no wonder that this, coupled with a few other creations, won a “Brickee” at BrickFair Alabama 2019!

Rosewood Hall

Some of the details of this build are reminiscent of other creations from Steven’s magical world, such as this floating castle we featured last year.

The Dragonborn speaks

Skyrim players the world over know the joy of a well-timed FUS RO DAH! The iconic shouted spell will blast your enemies, and if you time it just right, as in this scene by Victor, the results can be spectacular. This also happens to be the perfect use for LEGO’s new power burst elements from various Superhero sets, showing the blastwave emanating from the Dragonborn. Also not to be missed is the use of the tree-costume element as the tree’s trunk. Despite the obvious application, this is actually the first time I’ve seen a good tree made with that element.

Fus Ro Dah !

Worn with the sands of time

Builder W. Navarre takes us to a Middle Eastern-inspired fantasy world with this lovely vignette of a royal apartment. What’s striking as much as the excellent agglomeration of official LEGO stickers is the use of worn, dirty bricks to lend an ancient, chiseled look to the walls. Most builders eschew such bricks except as hidden filler, but scenes like this remind us that there’s a use for nearly anything if you’re clever enough.

The Queen's Room

It’s not wings that make the dragon, but the ferocity of his character

I used to think that a dragon without wings was simply a lizard, but I wouldn’t dare say that to the face of this wingless dragon built by Leonid An. His name is Glaurung the Fierce, and with his athletic, lean build and large claws, this dragon looks like it could easily rip any opponent to shreds, especially a heckling human who dares mock his lack of wings.

Glaurung the Fierce

What I love about this dragon in particular is the way the builder has used repetition throughout the body, neck, and tail to achieve a very clean organic figure. For example, the robot arm piece is used at least twenty times, laced through flex tube to give both the subtle and more drastic curves the body of the dragon required. The 2×2 round tan boat studs are used as armor plating from the top of the neck of the dragon, all the way down underneath the belly to the tail, making for a wonderfully consistent aesthetic.

Sail away in this Seanchan Greatship

The Wheel of Time is a classic series of Fantasy novels by Robert Jordan, first published in 1990. One of the empires in the Wheel of Time universe is known as Seanchan, and it inspired Douglas Hughes to build a LEGO version of a Seanchan Greatship. According to the builder, the Seanchan style is a fusion of medieval European and Asian influences. For example, the figurehead is European while the trio of ribbed sails are reminiscent of Chinese junks. I love the sculpting of the bow and the ornate detailing running the entire length of the ship. The golden hawk figurehead looks stunning and doubles as a reference to Artur Hawkwing, one of the Seanchan empire’s earlier leaders.

Seanchan Greatship