Tag Archives: Historical

Jaw-dropping model of Rome took 107,000 LEGO bricks to build!

Rocco Buttliere has been astounding us for years with his massive microscale LEGO creations. Being no stranger to rendering massive landmarks and vast ancient cities in brick form, he has just released a new expansion to his fantastic SPQR diorama of the ancient Roman capital (the right half of the build in the photo below). This new section of the Eternal City – built at 1:650 scale – took over 107,000 bricks and several thousand hours spread over two and a half years to build, but it was well worth the wait! Lets take a tour of some of the ancient landmarks, shall we?

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History is made in the abstract

At LEGO street level, a tense scene plays out. Orders from the General. It’s time for Major Brickleton to finish up his puddings and bid adieu to the modernist comforts of Seawatch’s beloved Mondrie Inn. The colonel raises his gaze to look upon the half-timbered rooms, blocked in primary colors in the Dutch style. “War is all well and good in the abstract,” he thought, “but I’d rather stick to my puddings.” Evan Crouch is no stranger at progressive builds that fuse history and whimsy, but his latest scene might be his most modern(ist) creation yet from (neo)plastic bricks. I wonder what came first, the delightful play on the name of artist Piet Mondrian for the Mondrie Inn, or the visual pun of fusing half-timbered architecture with Mondrian’s trademark blocks of primary colors? Evan backs the whimsical concept with exceptional technique.

Orders Arrive at the Mondrie Inn

The inn’s ground floor uses a mix of masonry bricks, round plates and SNOT bricks for a nice weathered effect, while dark grey ingots make for effective cobblestones. The color blocking for the upper stories is minimialist in approach, appropriate for the inspiration, with no windows and just a few round tiles to show wear. Evan rounds out the build with a custom sticker for the inn’s signboard and historical characters.

A bewitching build of spooky Salem

Jeff Chapman has been sharing his bewitching LEGO creations for less than a year, but we’ve already fallen under his spell. His latest build, a 17th-century Salem farmhouse, is uncannily accurate to the historical reference, and utterly haunting. Jeff uses an impressive assortment of printed planks for a slick finish that photographs incredibly well – especially under spooky lighting with the back-lit stained glass windows. The house’s simple shape hides some clever building techniques to pull off those lovely flush corners. It’s such an elegant build that transports you back to the time of the witch trials. (This build’s real-life inspiration is briefly seen in the film Hocus Pocus!)

More than a marvelous builder, Jeff brings his creations to life on his Spooky Brixx YouTube channel. Each short video offers a detailed build overview, photo references, and a dash of animated story and effects that bring the history and haunts to life. If you enjoyed visiting the Salem Pioneer house as much as we did, be sure to check out Jeff’s other haunting creations.

Just when you thought it was safe to walk past LEGO barns...

Even if your aim’s so terrible that you can’t hit the broadside of a barn, you can certainly use one to hide, as we see in this LEGO vignette by Mihał Ch (BardJaskier). With an army dressed similarly to the 10297 Boutique Hotel staff hiding in the foreground, my attention is drawn to the expect expert techniques used in the granary. Brown brick-built doors look sturdy as can be and the foundation is appropriately cobbled. But it’s those thick black lines framing the structure that really make the building pop. Make sure to zoom in and check out the cheese slope technique used to get those smooth diagonal lines.

Ambush at the Granary

Restocking Fort Stockton

Part of a larger LEGO concept by the builder, this model of the docks at Fort Stockton, Wullham features some lovely architecture, delightful parts usage, and realistic rock formations. Flickr Builder Evancelt enjoys historical era models full of red jackets and muskets set against natural scenery with old buildings. Here they used some simplistic parts as crenellations and molding along the top of the fort, while cleverly employing letters with a red seal as diamond-leaded windows. Well-molded sea grasses and foliage compliment the sharp change to rock as we move down to the dock. Basalt formations are a delightful bit of geology that we don’t see enough of in LEGO builds or real life. Using dark grey at the base to illustrate the spray and waves of the sea on the rocks is a great decision that adds to the realism of the build.

Supply Dock at Fort Stockton, Wullham

Of course, the multilayered dock is also wonderfully detailed. Multiple shades of brown make up the boards, while reddish brown and dark brown in the supports mirror the water effect used on the rocks. The lamp piece is a good period setting element that matches well with the flat-topped chest. I love seeing historical models that aren’t focused on war. Sure, these are soldiers at a Fort but still, this is more about daily life than about a battle and I’m all about that. Not to mention how soothingly executed that blue sea is on the eyes. Well done, Evancelt, well done.

TBB Cover Photo for February 2022: Architecture legacy of Taiwan

Lights, bricks, action! This month’s social media cover photo is Zio Chao‘s massive and detailed build of an ornate mansion. The Residence for the Governor-General of Taiwan is a central government building in Zio’s hometown of Taipei, Taiwan, built in a European architecture style at the start of the 20th century.

The Residence for the Governor-General of Taiwan

read on to see this magnificent building all lit up

Next stop, Plymouth Rock

A moment of American history is frozen in time in James Pegrum‘s LEGO recreation of the Mayflower, the English ship that transported the first Pilgrims to New England. The story goes that indentured servant John Howland was swept overboard during a storm and held on until the crew hauled him back to safety. That splash is represented at the center of the build, carefully crafted out of rows of dark blue bricks and white curved slopes among the turbulent waves. The Mayflower flaunts some brick-built masts and beautiful blue accents on her sides. Plus, the rigging is all string and no prefabs — a solid choice for this level of realism.

Man Over Board

Building bricks from bricks makes for picture-perfect architecture

The Aarhus Royal Custom House in Denmark is said to be architect Hack Kampmann’s finest work. Now, this massive minifigure-scale tribute may be the finest work of LEGO builder Poul-Erik Borre. The design is exceptionally like the actual building, but it’s even more than that. The color and texture work is impressive. Additionally, there is some awesome parts usage going on to create the angles. As someone who has tried to build complicated roofs before, I know this is no easy feat. The use of the modified 1×2’s with flexible tips to get the right shape for the rounded peaks is my favorite aspect.

Royal Customs House (Toldboden), Aarhus

There is a Youtube tour of the model promised for the future. In the meantime, take a look at Boore’s medieval village, which is featured in the LEGO House.

This sailboat goes with the motion of the ocean

Barthezz Bricks has a repertoire of highly detailed LEGO dioramas combining land and sea. His latest build is no different, focusing on the historical accuracy of the 15th century Mediterranean tartan ship as a part of a larger ongoing project on 1486 Venice. Let’s dive into some of the techniques used in this build.

Venice 1486 - Fishing Sailship (main)

The composition captures the rhythmic movement of ocean waves with varying shades of blue underneath translucent cheese slopes and 1×1 tiles. A net technique is used to render the waves, a subtle addition that goes a long way. The hull of the ship features a clever use of two-stud 1×4 plates for just the right amount of texture. Other details include a ragged flag made of 1×1 clips, debris caught in the currents and above all, the magnificent sail of the fishing boat. I don’t know what kind of bar-clip magic is happening behind that sail, but it’s certainly holding together for this photo! Using triangle road signs, Barthezz Bricks has pieced together a wonderful tessellated surface for the sail. Overall, there’s splendid dynamism in this diorama– the movement of the ocean, the flag, the fishermen pulling up their crab traps. Now I can’t help but think that some movement in the sail would have been nice to see, but that might be a greater challenge for another day…

Building “Brick” Obama

Former U.S. President Barack Obama has become a BrickHeadz character, complete with a stately looking LEGO rendition of the Oval Office. Irish builder jarekwally built this display for a local LEGO event called Brick Obama, named after the Barack Obama Plaza shopping center where the event was held. Why is there a shopping center in Ireland named after Obama? As it turns out, the former president’s great-great-grandfather once lived in the Irish village of Moneygall. I learned something new!

Brick Obama

Have a closer look at this brick-built Oval Office.

The Jacobite Risings took 5 builders 10 months to build using 1 million LEGO bricks

This year’s big build by Brick to the Past is called ‘The Jacobite Risings: The Fight for Britain’s Throne’. The risings took place between 1689 and 1746, mostly in Scotland as supporters of the Stuart dynasty attempted to restore them to the throne. They were effectively Britain’s last civil wars.
The model is around 16 square metres in size, sitting on the equivalent of 105 48 stud baseplates. It has a mountain in its centre that reaches about 1m high. It was built by the Brick to the Past (BTTP) team,  Dan Harris, James Pegrum, Simon Pickard, Tim Goddard and Steve Snasdell, and took around 10 months to complete.

See more detailed photos of this massive build and read our interview with Brick to the Past

A rare sighting is the big cat’s pyjamas for this colonel

The Colonel has found a real vantage point within this overgrown Meso-American watchtower as he manages to catch sight of the elusive jaguar. This build by Ayrlego uses a nice mix of LEGO flora to create a little jungle  scene — even the sprue from the three-leaf plant is utilised and becomes a vine winding its way through the watchtower’s window. The textures and colours used for the overgrown watchtower are perfect allowing the scene to be both aesthetically pleasing and true to nature.

Jaguar Tower

The jaguar is a rare animal but thanks to the new City Jungle theme,  the population of jaguars has increased. You can read more about this new animal in our review of 6061 City Jungle Exploration Site.