No stranger to excellent LEGO bricksmanship, Andreas Lenander travels back to southern Mexico in the 1500s for his latest build. For the Aztecs of that time, feathers were of great importance and were frequently used to make intricate headwear such as this. Birds were seen as beasts of great power, were central in the story of the founding of Tenochtitlan, and were a part of their belief in rebirth after death. It’s no wonder that Lenander goes to great lengths to use a variety of feather parts in this headdress. The shaping is astounding, and pairs perfectly with the golden filigree and tri-leaf pieces used throughout.
The famous Aztec ruler Montezuma was fierce and massively successful at expanding his empire by conquering opponents – until he wasn’t. After reigning for over 17 years, he was killed during the Spanish conquest. His purported headdress (likely not actually his) was stolen by Hernán Cortés and currently sits in an Austrian museum. It and the slightly less flamboyant headdresses of Maya and Aztec warriors are now a big part of popular culture. They’ve even been regularly depicted in LEGO, both officially (recent and old), and through custom models like this one, by John Snyder.
Of course, what makes this build so cool is not necessarily the history of the subject matter. What makes it awesome is the excellent use of parts. The green feather elements are naturally perfect, but can you see how they’re attached? The use of green cable clips is genius! Other things to look for are the alternating modified plates for the feathers in the back, hands for accents, and the interesting use of a Technic differential gear for the pedestal.
As you likely know, John is a prolific builder, and we’ve featured his work many times. I’m sure we can expect more great things very soon. And while you wait, check out some other Aztec-Inspired builds.