LEGO builder Jesse van den Oetelaar must have his head in the clouds as evidenced by this stunning new creation. Fall colors, hot-air ship, floating islands, great build techniques; what’s not to love, really? There’s been a good deal of floating island-themed builds gracing the pages of The Brothers Brick lately. Not that we’re complaining! Sometimes the best place to be is a fantasy world high among the clouds. Take a lofty trip into our archives to see more floating island creations by talented builders all over (or way above) the world.
In the steampunk-esque LEGO world of Wandering Skies, floating rocks make up the land… sorry, sky-scape. And Okay Yaramanoglu shows us how one inventor makes a home amid the levitating boulders. I adore the cartoon quality of Okay’s creation here. The tudor-inspired walls of the inventor’s abode contrast well with the golden shades of its roof. And the green highlights from the surrounding vegetation and window shutters add brilliant pops of color against the blue background of the sky. There is some fantastic parts usage throughout, including the cloud sculpting using 1×1 curved slopes and all the mechanical contraptions coming out of the building’s roof. But the best by far is the rock on which this “church” is built. The large rocky baseplate and craggy wheel from Nexo Knights for the two islands fit perfectly into this scene.
I’ve seen a lot of unusual fantasy floating islands, but this has to be the one I’d like to vacation at most. This lush LEGO Steampunk hotel and spa by Kai/Geneva looks perfectly tempting to spend a few hours soaking in the infinity pool—provided you’re not scared of heights, anyway. And just like the floating island concept itself, I’ve seen a lot of techniques for water, but the addition of some subtle lights built into this pool makes it look absolutely stunning.
There’s the age-old question of why the chicken crossed the road, but it appears it doesn’t apply at this tidy chicken farm by LEGO builder Carter Witz because there are no roads here. Instead, these birds are stuck at home with their tiny wings, because this chicken farm is on a floating island. With lovely autumnal colors and a rustic vibe, this build has everything we’d want from a floating island habitat. The stone doorframe on the house is a great detail that makes the structure feel sturdy despite its precarious location, and there are lots of other great details like the shingled roof and the adorable chicken coop.
Floating islands have even more need of a strong beacon to warn airships away from dangerous rocks. This tall beacon by Ids de Jong is more than just another lighthouse, with an industrial revolution aesthetic and a factory in the far distance giving the scene a clever bit of forced perspective. One thing this beacon keeper doesn’t have to worry about is groundskeeping, aside from a few herbs and flowers, there’s not much room for gardening
In this mystical scene by Alex_mocs, a tree wraps around an elevated structure. The shadowy figure of a deer stands next to a wide chalice with a wing piece sprouting from the bowl. The smooth shape of the deer’s body is formed of rubber bands, closely slotted together. A stud shooter represents the creature’s neck and the head is actually a droid torso piece. The stairs also have an interesting build with a staggered construction created by placing plates sideways.
When this image of a forgotten temple came to my attention, I knew I wanted to feature it here. Nathan Hake has created an immersive scene that ticks a lot of my favorite boxes. There’s lovely organic building in the trees and vines. There’s interesting part usage in the idol made primarily of golden weapons. And I’ve just got a thing for ruined architecture. Add a dollop of the depth of field from the minifigure in the foreground, and you have something pretty special. But when I visited Nathan’s photostream to learn more, I found that this is only a detail shot of a much larger build. Keep reading to find out just how much bigger!
Usually, floating islands include, well, an island. Something in the way of solid ground, albeit ground that floats mysteriously above the clouds. Not so with this stone tower topped with a timber-framed structure by Ralf Langer, who took a minimalist approach to the base of the model. There’s nothing minimal about the rest of the building, from the cracked and weathered stone base featuring unconventionally colored doors, all the way up to the black roof with a scattering of quarter tiles which provide a great texture.
Most builders love a good challenge, but everyone loves free LEGO. Such was my reaction when my LEGO user group, Brickish, selected me to represent them in a build challenge. In this friendly competition amongst UK and Ireland-based LUGs, the task was to build anything using the parts provided in 100 LEGO Star Wars magazine foil packs. These were provided by Fairy Bricks charity, and contained 10 each of 10 small sets. I (Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman) challenged myself to take these small Star Wars models and… not build anything Star Wars related. There weren’t much of the usual grey bits anyway. So I had my next favourite thing in mind: microscale architecture.
I had no plan going into this build challenge. But the parts provided were surprisingly good – lots of small bits that I use in my building style. I knew I was going to surprised myself with the finished results, and I did, for such is the nature of any challenge. It definitely produced a beautiful build I am most proud of: The Voyage to Cirrus Palace.
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.
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!
There is something magical about a floating castle. Not just the unanswered question of how and why it drifts among the clouds, but also the exotic promise of breathtaking views from pretty much any vantage point. In this microscale castle by Dr. Zarkow, I am left wondering where all that water is coming from. One of my favorite details has to be the small green gears used for leafy trees. The new wand from the Wizarding World makes the perfect prow for the floating ship, and don’t miss the use of a white car tire beneath the dome.
When you’re building a floating castle, space is limited. The City of Alaylon designed by the legendary architect Sir Alberto Mauriccio (according to the LEGO builder, Brother Steven) is a wonderful example of making the most of limited land. The island in the sky that this fortification and village are perched on is actually made up of two pieces of land connected by a sky bridge.
There is nothing boring or plain about this castle in the sky. The many wall and tower fortification are built using some common elements of various sizes, like radar dishes and 1×1 round plates, and the inclusion of sloped elements at regular intervals along the walls ties the different structures together. The outer walls are gently curved to reinforce the crescent shape of the landscape.
The many upper towers, all in white, are also built to different dimensions using a wide variety of arches and other architectural elements that compliment each other quite nicely.
The smaller shops and building inside the castle walls are the perfect addition to the scene, providing a glimpse into the day to day life of its residents and visitors. I really love the mason perched on a small platform to do some delicate repair work.