I can’t help but wonder if in the olden days, tales of wonder and awe that spread through the tongues of villagers would somehow be dubbed as fake news today. I’m so glad that the fake news of the past centuries (AKA folk tales) still stands today though, simply because it’s harmless while capturing the imagination and awe of magical creatures like this Scottish Kelpie by JakTheMad. The shoulders and thighs and tail structure are accentuated by parts from buildable figures quite appropriately. And of course, you can’t go wrong with a horse rearing pose, although it requires some mad skills for balancing the centre of gravity with such a build.
What’s even more difficult than creating just the perfect LEGO minifigure for your creation? Crafting the perfect character in a small scale without using minifigures. Well, ok, this build by Marion Weintraut actually uses a lot of minifigure pieces, just not how you’re “supposed” to. The long-running comic strip hero Lucky Luke and his horse Jolly Jumper are wonderfully gangly and full of cartoon whimsy. From the perfectly placed hollow studs for Jolly’s nostrils, to the small slope for Luke’s bandana and the minifigure pirate hook for his cigarette, there are so many techniques to love here.
Although, while I’m always a fan of unorthodox techniques, I do detect a slight twitch in my eye at the way the minifigure arms are connected for Jolly’s tail. Let’s both pretend we didn’t see that, and enjoy the rest of this splendid creation.
Using LEGO bricks to capture the organic curves of a well-known animal is no mean feat. It’s all too easy for observers to spot when the proportions of a limb or torso are incorrect. They might not be able to articulate exactly what’s wrong, but they’ll know something is just a little “off” about the whole thing. Vincent Kiew‘s showjumping horse, however, is spot-on — a triumph of poseability and shaping. The mane and tail, the ears, the curves outlining the horse’s musculature, are all excellent. But to deliver this in a model which looks good in so many different poses is testament to the builder’s skill. The jockey is as well put together as her mount, and looks comfortable in the saddle whether trotting, galloping, or jumping — the pair are putting on quite a show, as is Vincent.
Contests bring out a different side in builders. I cut my teeth in the LEGO world making fantasy-based castles and the like over in the Guilds of Historica on Eurobricks, but for contests I have been building out of my comfort zone. First there was some Star Wars builds last May, then more recently a Neo-Classic spaceship, a pirate ship, a butterfly, and a bird. They’re quite different from what I got used to building, and they required different approaches. Most recently, I (Benjamin Stenlund) built an American Mustang, and no, I’m not talking about the muscle car, but about the horse that roams some parts of the Western USA. Though maybe I’ll build some cars soon, too, just for kicks.
Building him (and he is a male, if you look closely, a stud stallion) required patience in shaping like grey castle walls don’t. A plate or two of difference in the legs, the angle of the head, the girth of the chest, all these things required fine tuning and frequent adjustments. I built the head first, because if you start with the body, scaling the head to it becomes a nightmare (or is it a night stallion?), but even so I had to redesign the body multiple times. And pulling apart reddish brown pieces is a harrowing experience, never knowing when one could snap. And then supporting the weight of the whole horse with the tail required some Technic structure; I admit I fudged it a bit, and things did not quite line up, but it’s a custom creation and not an official set, so who cares? It was built for the studless category of the Style it Up contest (hence I made a stud) but I threw in some gratuitous minifigure-leg cacti to enter it into the Iron Forge, too. Now hopefully I can go back to building castles for a while…
Up next from TBB Auctionhouse, we have this magnificent piece, “Canvas Warrior”, ABS on canvas, by the brilliant artist Markus Rollbühler, circa 2020. Bidding will start at $1M. Do I hear one? You, with the itchy nose. Please note the American Western style, with the Native American astride a horse, riding out of the picturesque Rocky Mountains. Do I hear two? Ah, you, scratching your eyebrow. Note the rippling pectorals, made from a LEGO minifigure torso. This could be the cover of the latest Nora Roberts novel. Do I see a hand for three? You there, lady with the cough, yes. Three million. This is a fine example of stereotypical Wild West art, folks. There’s buckskin fringe, a rifle, even some scrub bushes. Four million, from you, Mr. Itchy Nose. Wonderful. Five? Do I hear five? The impressionistic landscape even includes some plesiosaur flippers. And that horse! It will leap out and impress all your guests? Five! Yes, you on your smartphone. Five million! Going once, going twice, sold!
Today we get to see one of our favorite LEGO artists might have fared as a more traditional user of ink and paper. We’re quite familiar with the work of 2016 TBB Builder of the Year Grant Masters as a LEGO artist: sometimes it’s an adorable kung fu panda, other times it’s a lifesize steampunk pistol, or even primeval anatomy. Grant is a master of scale and always brings excellent, inventive parts usage to the table.
As related by the builder, this “drawing” is meant to represent the start of the drawing process, the rough shapes and lines only just starting to come together as opposed to a completed, clean rendering. Swooping curves are achieved with whips, katanas, and even a high-pressure sprayer.
Many older fans of LEGO might long for the days of yore, before we had fancy things like minifigures and molded animals. Grant Masters liked those good old days when we had to build our own horses. After all, the first LEGO horse wasn’t introduced until 1984, years after the first castle sets with brick-built horses. With his latest creation, Grant took it a step further and built his own people too!
The use of some pretty basic elements give his Crusaders a sturdily armoured look. And though he’s rejected newfangled molds for people and animals, he’s adeptly sculpted a horse with the use of new elements, such as the curved slopes, quarter round tiles, and my current favouite use of the power blast piece, giving the horse’s head just the right shape.
When a statue is erected of someone riding a horse, they usually follow certain rules. If the rider died in battle the horse would be rearing on two legs. If the horse has one leg up, the rider died of an injury and if the horse is standing on all four legs, then the rider died of natural causes. With this in mind Filbrick has built a statue of Napoleon Bonaparte on a horse standing on all fours. I particularly like the textured “greebling” effect on the horse using wheels, gears, Bionicle parts, radar dishes and other bits usually employed in building spaceships.
Some statues of Napoleon on horseback have been erected in all three leg configurations, because the cause of his death can be a topic of hot debate. Did he die bravely in battle defending the French army? Was he poisoned by enemies while in exile on St. Helena as so many history books suggest or was it just the unkind fate of the winds? Autopsies reveal that the cause of death was stomach cancer which may have been brought on by excessive levels of arsenic. (A-ha!) However, later studies, not available during his time, stated that Napoleon (and so many others of his day) were being exposed to arsenic throughout his entire lifetime from glues and dyes and not by purposeful murderous intent. It would seem that Filbrick’s depiction of a serene horse on all four legs may be the correct configuration all along.
Hey! Listen! Builder Vincent Kiew has built a terrific homage to one of the best RPG video games ever made, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Series hero Link (please don’t call him Zelda) has been lovingly recreated here astride his trusty steed (also not named Zelda), ready for an epic adventure in the kingdom of Hyrule.
This is a delightful model that brought a smile to my face as soon as I saw it. Upon closer inspection, I was immediately impressed by the iconic Zelda touches and the creative use of parts. The horse is chock full of building techniques that combine together to create the complicated musculature. The modified 1 x 2 plates with 3 claws make a beautiful mane and the I really like the minifigure crutch as stirrups. The award for best part use, however, must go to the implementation of Samurai helmets as hooves. If it looks like it’s defying gravity, that’s because it is! The horse was originally held up with transparent bricks which were then quickly removed for the photograph, and luckily it all remained intact.
The Link figure captures the character perfectly and his clothes are nicely rendered, with special modifications for riding versus standing. The use of car hoods for the hips of his tunic while riding and unicorn horns for his hair wisps are both great touches. As a Legend of Zelda fan, I really appreciate all the attention to Link’s equipment. The details on The Master Sword and in particular, The Hylian Shield, are beautiful. The builder even goes so far as giving him a tiny Shiekah Slate hooked to his belt with an Elves goblin eye tile to finish it all off. Now you may ask, “But, where is this Zelda we keep hearing about?” to which I shall answer “It’s a secret to everybody.”
A Dalacarlian horse, also known as a Dala horse, is a common trinket in Sweden that’s almost become a national symbol. The history of these tiny carved wood sculptures dates back to the 1600s, and they’re often decorated with a wide variety of colors and patterns. Builder Mark Anderson built a cute little version out of LEGO, with a body only six studs long.
The original horse features traditional decorations with a bold main color and careful ornamentation.
However, after building a few Dala horses featuring the traditional markings, Mark decided to mix things up and expand the decorations to more contemporary themes, which is where they get really fun. Here’s Mark’s Batman Dala horse.
As we all know, building with LEGO isn’t just about creating cool things, it’s also a fantastic art medium. Not only that, it’s a wonderful outlet for self-expression. One builder and incredible artist, Ekow Nimako, is a master of gorgeous monochrome sculptures. This white unicorn is just one of his many creations.
It turns out that he has built a similar piece in almost all black. Also, it sounds like he is considering building a large-scale version of this creation, with a child on its back. If he does, I’m sure it will be incredible! Ekow has many amazing builds, so keep an eye out for future coverage!
It’s easy to glance at this statuesque horse and mistake it for something sculpted in clay, stone or metal, but Grantmasters has created this wonderfully modeled LEGO warhorse using a surprising collection of straight, angled and curved elements more commonly found in the hands of soldiers.