The jade seals used throughout China’s history have demanded various levels of respect and contention. This model replica by Builder Joe of Dad’s Bricks pays tribute to such cultural regalia, complete with a stand and ornate case. An exquisite lion carving is built with white bricks atop the plain block that makes up the traditionally square seal. Though Joe doesn’t show us the base, which would hold the impression of the seal, we can still appreciate the black fence pieces used in its stand. More impressive is the wooden case with golden filigree which holds the precious heirloom. Clever studs not on top building techniques allowed Joe to add an almost hidden hinge into the sides of the box, along with all of the decorative elements.
This is a kingly artifact, most commonly denoting the word of the Emperor in the dynasty’s past. Though many have been lost to the ages, possession of such items in the past could tear down an Empire or impress power upon entire regions. This Hong Kong-based builder does well to pay homage to such treasures, adding yet another lovely model to his collection.
The fictional town of Spudkirk is home to this LEGO scene by builder Evancelt Lego, featuring a row of tiny townhouses and itsy-bitsy infantrymen. And the details here, even at this scale, are larger than life. The cobbling on the wall is excellent, demonstrating how war-weary the town must be. The use of color in the road, specifically the blotches of lime green and burnt orange, further the worn look of the town. And it does this without drawing too much attention away from the rest of the model. This allows other, more nuanced details to shine through, like that teensy tree on the left. The yellow-orange flowers as foliage on top of a trunk mostly composed of a brown stud shooter fits perfectly at this scale.
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.
Straight from the Circus Maximus, let me present this exquisite LEGO chariot built by Dicken Liu. And, given the subject matter, I think this is a good time to learn some Latin. Our first vocab word is volare: to fly or move quickly. And, by golly, those horses are doing exactly that! This build evokes such motion with its flying manes and tails, I can almost hear their galloping hooves when I look at it! It’s truly a brilliant use of curved slopes and arches.
Learn some more Latin below
Behold, the sacred fire of Vesta! So long as it burns, Rome’s safety and prosperity is assured. Builder Antonio Cerretti uses LEGO to show us how this temple may have looked in its prime. The Temple of Vesta once stood in the Roman Forum at the heart of the ancient city. Dedicated to Vesta — the Roman goddess of hearth, home, and family — it stood for many centuries until it was permanently dismantled in the mid-16th century. We know what it may have looked like from coins and artwork, and here Antonio gives us a marvelous recreation built from LEGO! The temple’s adornments strike with their vibrancy, reminding us that the ancient world was filled with color. Clipped together, barbs and cow horns make up the details on the capitals of the Corinthian columns. Further up, light grey minifigure handcuffs give definition to the blue frieze between the columns and roof. Peer through the open entrance to see the sacred fire, burning brightly to keep the darkness at bay.
The temple’s interior showcases the sacred fire and more wonderful columns. Clever usage of croissants make up the capitals of what appear to be ionic columns set into the curved wall. Then, we have the eternal fire in the center of the enclosure! A light brick is cleverly buried beneath loose translucent LEGO studs, giving the fire its warm glow. Simple flame pieces stick out from the embers like the reaching arms of a healthy fire. Undoubtedly, this build gives us a splendid glimpse into an aspect of ancient Rome, grounding the past in the present.
In this time of strife pressing on the chest of the world, making it hard for all of us to breathe, there are people fighting for their lives and their land. Digital LEGO builder Chris Yu has joined countless others in showing support for the people of Ukraine as they fight off Putin’s mindless assault. The Brothers Brick staff stand with Chris in this testament of support. Simple color-blocking within the parts building this blue and yellow fist of power illustrates the strength of the Ukrainian people.
Major events like this make waves, and those waves wend their way through creative communities where expression of opinion and emotion reign. People inspired by the events of the world, like Chris Yu and others, make wonderful art worth sharing, not only for its message but also for the artistry in its execution. Our hearts go out to the Ukrainian and Russian families affected by this unfolding tragedy. We see your strength. May peace come swiftly to the hearts and minds of you all so that you may begin to move on with your lives as you wish.
This new LEGO creation by a historian who goes by the name of Benjamin acts as a stark reminder that there are currently real-world actions with real-world consequences. Here we see a Ukrainian civilian discovering possibly a loved one among a heap of rubble. Benjamin provides a passage in German that, while you are free to translate it yourself, the gist is that this is not a war of tanks and soldiers but rather of mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters, as well as kindergartens, schools, town halls, shopping malls, universities, factories, and homes. When we feature things like this we predictably get a slew of comments on social media that state something to the effect of; keep your world view out of LEGO. Or I come to this site to not see this kind of thing so stop doing it. The truth is that something as big and consequential as one country invading another cannot go unnoticed and cannot go unheard, even among us adults who enjoy building with LEGO. At the very least it has us worrying about our Ukrainian and Russian friends, family, and colleagues, but the impact of these actions span far wider than that.
Keeping silent or purposefully misinformed about such things is how wars like this get started in the first place. It’s how they can go on indefinitely. This is why we at The Brothers Brick will stand with our brethren of builders and feature articles such as this one. While we haven’t shied away from real-world problems before, this is the first you’ve seen depicting the conflict in Ukraine. I can assure you that this will likely be the first of many because alas real-world actions like this are too important to go unheard.
Whether it be the great natural color scheme, fantastic textures or intricate shapes, there’s a lot to love about this Roman border tower built by Ben Tritschler. But the star of the show, to me anyway, has to be those goats. Clearly I’m not the only TBB contributor thrilled by goats. However, I do seem to be the most vocal about it. What can I say? Goats are pretty much the formula for success around here. Even when they’re scary as hell. I may consider also going gaga for those sheep. They are not without their charm. As a LEGO builder, Ben is also not without his charm. Check out our archives to see what I mean.
Yes, the building is a work of art but have you seen this incredible tree? LEGO builder Ayrlego shared a recent creation with us, the Villa. Plant life, thy name is beauty. Just look at that tree! It might take the cake as the most realistic LEGO deciduous tree I’ve ever seen. The vine work is also fantastic with the way it crawls across the roof. I also admire the small potted plants and the garden shrubbery. It’s all a testament to Ayrlego’s skill with bricks.
Of course, where would this creation be without the villa itself? I mentioned that it’s a work of art because it truly is, incorporating styles from American Colonial to Spanish Mission. Though the lore behind Ayrlego’s creation is fantasy, one could easily see such a villa existing somewhere in the early days of North American settlement.
When I first saw this magnificent LEGO sculpture by Ekow Nimako, I knew it had to be his. The elegant, all-black theme is his trademark. But what I didn’t realize is that this is much more than a beautiful fictitious character. This is Anansi, an important deity in West African mythos. Ekow has a wonderful talent for pulling you in and inspiring you to look further, both literally and figuratively. So I’m here to share the gift of what I learned… and you might want to zoom in.
Click to see more pictures and learn about Anansi
I’m a big fan of seeing historical events recreated in LEGO form. Today’s moment from history is the Siege of Jerusalem, shown here by builder Marco den Besten.
In the year 1187, the armies of Saladin laid siege to the Crusader stronghold of Jerusalem. At the point of the attack depicted above, the walls of the city have been breached. Marco’s use of dark and sand-colored bricks helps establish the Middle Eastern look of the setting. I also admire his woodwork on the siege towers and battering ram tunnel.
The walls are equally impressive, with various bricks serving as weathered stone that has stood through the ages. The arrowslits are well-designed. I like how there are two different versions of them.
As brave as these Crusaders might be, I don’t think they stand a chance against Saladin’s forces.
The most infamous battleship of all time is the German warship Bismarck, as seen here in a masterfully-built drydock. Builder Admiral_Plackbar held nothing back when constructing this floating colossus.
Named after the former German chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, this warship put terror into the hearts of Allied sailors on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean during the Second World War. First, put to sea by Germany in 1939, the Bismarck was one the largest battleships in the world and the largest fielded in the Atlantic. However, the Bismarck only lasted for two years. The ship was lost during a battle against Britain’s Royal Navy in 1941.
Crafted in LEGO by Admiral_Plackbar at 1:155 scale, the brick Bismarck can take on any LEGO pirate ship on the high seas. The detail seen here is incredibly accurate to the real warship, from the gun emplacements to the cranes ready to launch the lifeboats. You can tell that a lot of research went into making this.
And let’s not forget about the drydock! This too is very accurate for the 1930s-40s time era. I especially like the train cars, using a vintage European design of passenger coaches and steam engines. The drydock cranes are also to scale, enabling swift delivery of munitions from the railway to the warship. Everything has a functional purpose.
Admiral_Plackbar stated on Flickr that he is open using the drydock and Bismarck model as part of a larger modular display. I can’t wait to see if that happens!