Tag Archives: ForlornEmpire

Gringotts just got hit by a reducio spell

Building in microscale requires a special skill set. One must have an eye for simplification of textures along with a firm grasp of the essentials of whatever it is. Eli Willsea has that skill, as this tiny (yet still large) rendition of Gringotts bank from Harry Potter demonstrates. I am guessing it comes from the first film, as there is a recognizable Hagrid down in the vaults, alongside what I suppose to be Harry and a goblin. Everything one would need for Gringotts is there, from the columns to the large dome, along with the crazy tracks for the carts in the depths beneath. My one complaint is that the columns on the front-corner facade are too straight, lacking the signature tilts seen in the films.

Gringotts Vaults

The rock pillars beneath the street are impressive, built in sideways rings and then threaded onto Technic axles, allowing them to spin around into different configurations. This is great, because it means that you can build the same shape a bunch of times and have it look different depending on how it is angled. The cars down on the tracks are delightfully simple, consisting of droid arms and round 1×1 tiles with bar and pin holders. The cart up on the street above-ground is also inspired, making brilliant use of wands on sprue to give delicate texture to the rails. It’s also being pulled by something skeletal (a thestral, perhaps?). This was originally built for our own Harry Potter Microscale Magic competition, but Eli failed to complete the photography in time. While that is too bad, it is certainly better late than never!

Porches aren’t complete without swings

Well, maybe that’s not quite true. But they sure are a nice addition to any country-style home. In my mind, front porch swings mean good times on a warm summer afternoon. It appears that Eli Willsea (Forlorn Empire) feels the same way. His excellent use of garage door elements hanging on chains gives it the perfect look. The support beams on their sides for the porch railings look great too, and the flowers/flowerpot couldn’t be at a more perfect scale.

Porch Swing

If you’d like to see more of Eli’s work, take a look at our 2018 Creation of the Year. Or maybe watch a video about the making of his build, “Advanced Simulation”.

How to build a construction toy with a construction toy

For well over a century, BRIO of Sweden has been manufacturing high-quality wooden toys. Builder ForlornEmpire was inspired to replicate BRIO’s MEC construction toy in LEGO-form. BRIO Mec sets typically consist of wooden beams, plastic pegs, tools and more. ForlornEmpire’s concept is whimsical looking in terms of form and presentation, complete with the characteristic tan representing wood and bright colors for the plastic mallet and pins. Speaking of the pins, they make clever use of the construction helmet and 2×2 disc weapon. Modifying the BRIO logo to read BRIC is a nice touch.

Bric Construction Toys

When LEGO was making toys from the 1930s through 1950s, they were contemporaries of BRIO. In fact, it’s worth noting how the BRIO Mec construction system is reminiscent of LEGO’s BILOfix wooden construction toys introduced in 1959. Both Scandinavian toy makers were likely inspired by metal beam construction toys like Meccano and Erector.

Can you stomach this?

Of all the things we’ve seen built from LEGO over the years, individual organs have to come near the end of the list. Proving that they are, in fact, on the list though, is this cheery two-dimensional stomach by ForlornEmpire. There’s actually a lot of complex building involved in creating this digestive system, with skillful SNOT-work required to position the various curved slopes making the wavy edges.

I am your Stomach!