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.
Read more about my build process
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!
Do you love floating islands and floating rocks, too? Then check them out in the TBB archives!
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.
There have been many entries in the continuing Isles of Aura saga, a series of floating islands creations, but I wanted to spend some time touring Isaac and John Snyder’s latest effort: the Town of Khevroa.
We’ve previously featured models from the Isles after the concept’s genesis as Models Inspired by Music and later with Brother Stevens’ Sunset Slumber among others. However, this latest scene has some great examples of packing a lot of detail and building variety into one small town.
Continue deeper into the town