When it comes to medieval buildings, builders sometimes go all out on texture. Pieces end up being used every which way, with studs facing all directions, and random parts thrown in there just to show how clever the builder is. It doesn’t always look good, though, since it can appear too busy. That’s not to say that I think every surface needs to be smooth and flat and all lines need to be clean and straight. Quite the contrary. Ralf Langer is one of the builders out there who manage to balance irregular surfaces, crooked lines, and clever parts usages with cohesive structures and a strong visual presence. The ground in his latest creation is a perfect microcosm of what I mean: he blends smooth bits, heavily studded bits, and interesting parts to create something appealing and delightful, and I haven’t even looked at the buildings yet!
If you are wondering what the part in the ground is that gives it the baked-clay or tiny cobblestone look, it is a Technic drive chain. And by a Technic drive chain, I mean about ten billion And they’re not just in the ground, but also in the walls of the buildings, forming some of the wattle in the classic wattle-and-daub medieval look. Minifig legs create some fun decaying shapes in one of the buildings, and flex tube ends make for some clever windows. But best of all is Ralf’s use of stud shooter triggers. I see at least four different uses for those in this build, showing once again that all pieces have uses in custom-built LEGO models. I’m always a sucker for immersive builds, and Ralf is one of the best at them. Look through the arches and you can see more town beyond, promising a bigger world out there. Just not for the figure on the ground, since the standing one is Death.
LEGO builder Deborah Higdon brings us this cheery home vignette to wish us a merry Christmas. Like all the best things about the holidays, it’s simple yet crafted with great thoughtfulness and care. From the shingled tile roof to the clean siding, working porch lights, and the delicate railings wrapped in garland, each aspect of this house is a masterwork of details working together to create a realistic house.
But Deborah didn’t just stop at the outside; after all, what’s Christmas without a comfy interior? The tree has been removed in this photo so that we can see extra interior details, but don’t worry, it’s definitely there. Check out Deborah’s album for more details.
Time and again, Markus Rollbühler continues to amaze me with his attention to detail, and the “oohs” and “aahs” continue with his latest build — a charming farmhouse. In addition to having excellent composition, the scene also features some excellent use of parts. The thatched roof effect is achieved with dozens of claws, the smoke billowing out the chimney is actually a rat flipped upside-down, and the cork in the wine pitcher is represented by a microphone. The greenery is also enjoyable, especially the effect produced by placing 3-leafed plant elements atop the stems of bushes.
Be sure to also browse our archives to discover more of Markus Rollbühler’s LEGO models featured on the Brothers Brick.
It is safe to say that most builds featured here on The Brothers Brick are large. Not all of them are massive dioramas that take up a kitchen table, but they usually require at least hundreds, if not many thousands, of pieces. This build by alego alego is an exception. I count no more than 15 or 16 elements used in the whole build! However, it perfectly captures the essence of a small hut surrounded by stony paths and grass, a water feature, bridge, and blossoming cherry tree. Nothing is out of place, nothing is extraneous. Each element is chosen for its job with precision.
The base is a shield from the Knights Kingdom II Sir Rascus constraction figure, which most builders have probably set aside in a box as unusable for any future build due to its awkward size and shape (I know I have a few of the KKII shields gathering dust somewhere, never used — picked up on a whim from BrickLink). The printing on the hut looks even better than it did as part of an ice cream cone, and the conical hat is the perfect roof; a sausage makes a lovely curved bridge, too. Leaving the flowers still on the sprue was a nice touch to give the tree a more spreading foliage. I’d love to sit by the water for a while, eyes closed, sleep–, er, “meditating”.
Author Frank Herbert was first inspired to write the epic Dune novels by the sandy dunes on the Oregon coast in the United States. As a struggling sci-fi writer early in his career, it seems doubtful that Herbert would have had the means to live in such a wonderfully architected home as this exquisite LEGO house among the dunes by Sarah Beyer. Sarah’s house features stone walls built from plates, plus geometric white sections and a garage door built on its side. The square stone arch at the roofline is particularly striking.
The landscaping around the home is no less noteworthy, with an irregular base that looks exactly like sand spilling all around the base of the structure and scrubby plants rooted in the loose soil.
And be sure to check out all the other LEGO Architecture by Sarah that we’ve featured previously.
“Sveitserhus” is the Norwegian name for the Swiss Chalet style of architecture popular across Northern Europe during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Nowadays in Norway, surviving houses of this style are usually painted in white, and that’s the colour scheme Birgitt Jonsgard has chosen for her beautiful LEGO version. This stark all-white model might initially look simple, but the level of texture in the house’s “woodwork” is particularly impressive — with the style’s signature detailing and fretwork given due attention.
Birgitte has lavished as much care on the little details as on the house’s structure itself. Don’t miss the flowers in the garden, and the interior curtains and blinds, and the various furnishings visible through the windows…
By far one of my favorite LEGO builders that I have discovered since becoming a contributor to TBB is Sarah Beyer, who consistently builds well-designed dwellings inside and out, no matter what the size or scale. Even when going in a more whimsical direction, like in her latest creation which she calls a loner’s paradise.
The level of detail deserves a much closer look, starting with the base. Multiple shades of plates below transparent blue tiles give the sense of hidden depths among the soft sandy shore. I also love how she used an upside-down dry vegetation part below the palm leaves. The different shades of brown used to build the house’s stilts gives it the perfect weathered look.
The verdant vegetation continues up the backside of the house and the top-most of many porches and balconies includes a winch for reeling in the catch of the day.
And if you want to see more beautiful houses by Sarah Beyer, be sure to check out some of her many models we have featured on TBB over the years.
Do you remember that guy from your Math textbook who happened to own a dozen pineapples or 30 bananas? Well, Peter Ilmrud seems to be that guy. Keeping several hundred carrots in your house might not be a good idea unless they’re LEGO carrot pieces. It’s been 20 years since the piece first appeared in LEGO sets, but it looks like Peter is one of the first to use it as roof tiling. The result looks fantastic, and bright orange carrots go nicely with white and brown walls of the house. A simple garden fence made of sticks is another nice touch in the diorama, which I would love to try to recreate in my next medieval creation.
Steampunk is always a favorite subject for many LEGO fan creators, allowing builders to combine Victorian-era architecture with science fiction to build fantastical worlds with their own rules. This residential workshop for a family of watchmakers by Andreas Lenander features some nice architectural details, like the windows, which make use of white flower elements between round bricks. The white tooth part is great both as part of the window and as an accent in the divider between floors, which was common in Victorian residential buildings. And don’t miss the unicorn horn used as a door handle. Also, bonus points for using Dumbledore’s beard and hair for the whimsical proprietor on the roof.
Sometimes when a builder makes a LEGO model from one of the many computer programs out there, the use of parts in colors that don’t exist in actual bricks will give it away. Not so with this wonderfully detailed stone house by aukbricks which, according to the builder, uses only parts available in the real world. The texture of the stone wall is amazing, and I can’t decide whether the digital model would take more time to build than actual bricks.
I also love the use of grilled bricks for the shutters, and don’t miss the curtains, visible behind all of the windows. If you like the look of the wall technique, be sure to check out the builder’s Flickr feed, where you can find a simple tutorial. While the architectural details are quite nice, the trees also deserve a shout-out.
TBB alumn Nannan Zhang wanted to do something different from not only his usual fantasy stylings, but also unique from most LEGO architectural models. That led him to try his hand at this modern adobe home, inspired by a mix of streamline art deco and the southwestern United States. The home’s smoothly plastered walls and curved lines may look simple, but don’t be fooled because this takes some real skill.
The back looks just as good as Nannan utilizes a wide variety of curved elements to mold the tan trim lines around the windows and make the iconic rounded wall corners. There’s plenty of great details to take in, too. My personal favorite is the chile ristras which hang next to the doors. They’re instantly recognizable, and something I’ve never seen done with LEGO before. The potted cacti made with green gears are just perfect, too.
When you’ve designed something as beautiful as Ayrlego‘s Wainwright house, it seems a shame not to experiment with its presentation. It looks right at home in its medieval situ, with its muddy path, city guards, and period timber frame construction.
However, why stop here? Relocate the build half way around the globe to Jamestown in Virginia and you have a completely different enviroment to explore. LEGO palm trees and red coat soldiers have surrounded the timber frame residence, giving the model a fresh colonial feel.