I’ve said it before, but I love being able to travel vicariously through LEGO models. The Architecture series has a lot of the famous landmarks covered, but for the more day-to-day infrastructure, we need to turn to people like Justus M. Having visited the town of Bordeaux in south-western France, he took it upon himself to recreate some of the old architecture. Having been to France (albeit not to Bordeaux itself) quite a lot as a kid, I think I can say he’s nailed it! You can quite easily picture someone sitting outside with a coffee and a croissant. It’s enough to make me want to go back there. Magnifique, Justus!
Travel back in time with this LEGO battle scene from the Hundred Years’ War by builder Hunter Erickson. This build depicts the Battle of Poitiers, fought between the French and the English in the year 1356. This was but one of many clashes in this series of armed conflicts fought over the French throne. Edward, the Black Prince, led the English forces in this battle, while King Jean II led the French forces. This LEGO scene depicts the battle much the same an artist would have painted the event at the time of the conflict. Layering the background, the sky behind some brick-built hills achieves a great forced perspective. I just love the colors of the plates and bricks making up the rising dawn! The scene is densely packed with minifigures engaged in deadly combat. In blue are the French, fighting to push back the ever-advancing troops of the English. And waving across the battle from the mounted soldier is St. George’s flag, wonderfully rendered with round plates, studs, and clips to capture cloth in motion.
The outcome of this battle will side with the English, despite the two-to-one odds against them. King Jean II was captured, along with one of his sons. Their ransom and the peace talks would take another four years to complete, but eventually, hostilities ceased in 1360 with the Treaty of Bretigny. England regained Aquitaine, was paid the ransom for Jean II and his son, and renounced the claim on the French throne. However, this peace was fleeting–hostilities resumed ten years later, continuing the Hundred Years’ War.
If you have ever visited the charming seaside village of Saint-Tropez on the southern coast of France, then this model by Thilo Schoen will be instantly recognizable. There are so many details that make this LEGO scene by the sea come alive, including colorful shops along the marina, terracotta roof tiles, and the yellow-topped bell tower of the church (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunció). Topping everything off is the citadel, which towers majestically above the town. Another enjoyable detail includes boats filling the marina, built studs-down using the new modified 1×2 rounded plate in white.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “a walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.” For those unable to stroll through the famous French city, LEGO set 21044 Paris allows you to bring a piece of the Parisian skyline home. It consists of six famous landmarks, three of which have previously received their own Architecture series sets (Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre). They are now joined by the Champs-Elysées, Tour Montparnasse, and Grand Palais. Set 21044 consists of 694 pieces and is slated for release on January 1, 2019. It is priced at €49.99 in the EU, but LEGO has declined our inquiry to confirm its US price.
Back in 1947, French automaker Citroën debuted its H panel van. At the time, it was one of the wildest looking commercial vehicles on the market thanks to its sharp angle-laden front end. Rendering this detail in LEGO bricks would seem quite daunting, but OutBricks has managed to pulled it off (and in minifigure scale, no less). His version features the iconic corrugated body, and the front end has been cleverly emulated through the use of 4×2 wedge plates positioned in unusual angles. Meanwhile, minifigure ice skates are tilted to form the Citroën emblem.
What makes OutBricks’ build all the more impressive is that he has included working doors. There’s a side-mounted sliding door and tri-folding doors at the rear. Believe it or not, that’s how they open on the real vehicle.
His H1 even sports working suicide doors, a term used for doors hinged at the rear. Opening it reveals an upholstered interior. No expense has been spared!
We’ve seen plenty of LEGO Ecto-1’s from Ghostbusters over the years, including not one but two official LEGO sets. Answering the question, “What if the Ghostbusters had franchised their organization on a global scale?”, OutBricks carries the iconic vehicle across the Atlantic with a customized version of his own LEGO Citroën DS design. The builder says “Dr. Romain Sétant gives Monsieur Marchemelleaux the final shot…” leaving to the viewer’s imagination what a Gallic incarnation of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man would look like.
Damien Labrousse (AKA Legodrome just posted pictures of a piece he built for CNES, the French Space Agency. Two control rooms were built for display and include a working screen and sound system. I just love the clean lines of this build but my favorite detail has to be those adorable little rocket models next to the speaker. Awesome!