The LEGO castle building contest, Summer Joust, got underway recently. And one of my favourite categories this year is that of Silhouettes. The brief is simple: make whatever you want, but at no more than 6 studs depth. Considering LEGO’s inherently three-dimensional nature, it’s quite the challenge – but one that’s no match for Ids de Jong. He’s built this atmospheric castle scene that really leans into the theme of the contest. The mostly monochrome scenery is offset by the sunset in the distance, which emphasises the forced perspective at work. You could also see a deeper meaning here. The dark colours and creepy-crawlies in the foreground, coupled with the knight walking away from them towards the sunset and brighter pastures, indicate to me this soldier has overcome a great challenge. Perhaps that’s how Ids feels about this build!
Every style of LEGO building has its challenges, but I think microscale stands out as one of the most difficult things to build, yet epic when done well. This piece, built by Ids de Jong, uses a pop of orange to pull you in, and some clever parts usage to keep you looking. There are things to admire such as the minifigure epaulet element for the ship, half a rock piece for an island, decorative swirls for water, and even a dome made from a pumpkin and topped with a trophy figure. But what really drew me to this build were the Scala perfume bottles. (Actually found in orange in the LEGO Orient Bazaar game.) They make excellent building toppers!
While you’re here, check out some of our other featured LEGO microscale model.
Clad in the octagonal LEGO bricks from the Aquazone theme, the Nakano Camera Corner by Ids de Jong is a beautiful bit of cyberpunk cityscape. The seamless integration of such an awkward part is very well done here, as are all the little details accompanying the famous “NCC.” All the essential pieces of cyberpunk are present. Stripes of tiled kanji adorn the agglomeration of shops, each one created in its own style. Technological tubing and futuristic adverts are peppered throughout. Even the minifigs are tricked out for the depicted dystopic future!
While the view from the corner is quite impressive in all its yellow glory, I appreciate this alternate angle of the model even more. It really showcases all the fine details Ids crammed into this urban chunk-ola. The gutter pipe that snakes down this side of the structure is absolute genius! Color changes showcase the haphazard wear on the conduit, and the elbow that’s now supporting some plant life feels so natural amid the jumble of this decaying metropolis.
If you’ve been eyeballing the new 4,000-piece LEGO Batcave but don’t have a spare $400 to drop on a superhero shadowbox, you could take a cue from Ids de Jong and go small. This awesome microscale recreation riffs on one of LEGO’s official lifestyle images of the Batcave displayed on a mantle, but this tiny version is 100% brick-built, including the background. The whole Batcave is only a handful of pieces but still has an instantly recognizable bat emblem.
On the heels of some sweet Indiana Jones news earlier this week, it’s a good time to pop in on the ongoing escapades of LEGO’s other, less cross-promotional adventurer: Mr. Johnny Thunder. And no one captures that better than builder Ids de Jong! Here he and his team explore a beautiful jungle pagoda while braving the hazards of a rickety rope bridge. The minifig posing here is spectacular, with one teammate about to take the plunge thanks to a snapped plank. The temple stands in brilliant contrast to the surrounding vegetation, a white monolith among so many earth tones. But the flora itself is the true standout here, utilizing parts both new and old to create a lush landscape atop these cliffs.
I love this fun scene from Ids de Jong. It depicts the beloved classic space minifigures enjoying a game of curling. While the curling stones are cleverly made using a Dots decorative piece, Benny has taken to launching himself down the… Whatever a curling playing field is called. A rink, I guess? Anyway, it’s much to the amusement of the onlookers, with the exception of the brown spaceman. He’s the only one who seems to have noticed the baby on the rink. What drama! For a relatively simple build, the careful posing of the figures and choice of facial expressions really breathe life into this scene.
The month of February is almost over, and that means an explosion in rovers thanks to the annual FebRovery challenge. We’ve seen scores of rovers in various classic colors like trans-yellow and blue, but this one by Ids de Jong stood out to me precisely because of its unorthodox and eye-catching colors. The trans-neon-orange windscreen reminds me a wee bit of LEGO’s Aquasharks theme but the teal and old dark grey gives it a vintage vibe that’s hard so hard to accomplish, and I’m here for it.
When you want to hide out from the law, a mindless horde of the undead, or your distant relations ready to help empty out your larder uninvited, I can think of no more pleasant location than the woods beside a gentle stream. This scene by Ids de Jong of a wonderfully detailed forest hideout among the fall-colored trees is a perfect example. While the building may have seen better days, the weathered walls, with tree branches intertwined, keeps you well hidden from passing eyes. And a stream for fishing and deep woods for hunting game make it a perfect place to lay low.
A lot has changed since the Black Falcons first appeared in LEGO canon. There have been a lot of new parts introduced, and minifigures have become a lot more expressive. Both are ably demonstrated by Ids de Jong here. The terrified faces combined with those helmets give a definite Monty Python “run away! run away!” vibe. And they’re right to be bricking it: Ids has created something rather unsettling called a Hirska. No big deal, just an all-seeing, oversized deer that apparently doesn’t take kindly to being looked at the wrong way. Or being looked at at all, for that matter. You know what, why don’t we all admire the quaint tree and rockwork instead? I don’t fancy adding ‘running scared from a deer demi-God’ to my personal repertoire of facial expressions any time soon…
I love a good LEGO diorama every once and a while. The grand market square of Rindael by Ids de Jong features all the things we fancy when it comes to a medieval LEGO creation. We get beautiful Tudor-style buildings, which are exceptionally well done. There are hardly any gaps in the walls and those that happen to be there are intentional. We also get multiple castle factions: Black Falcons, Elves, Cyclopes, Snake folk, and Centaurs. There also happens to be a Faun herding a small flock of goats. Which happens to be another thing that we like to see spruce up a medieval creation. One thing I also always like is well-designed figures and there are a whole lot of those visiting this lovely market. I love seeing how some city, collectible, and licensed-themed parts lend themselves wonderfully to the castle theme as if they were designed to go there. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to look for the stall that sells roasted chestnuts.
This creation by Ids de Jong exudes a sense of calm and quiet even though the creation represents a bunch of Japanese farmers that are about to put in a good day’s work. Ids used the candle piece in dark tan and green to represent bamboo. The parts haven’t been fully pushed together to mimic the structure of bamboo better. It is nice to see the Raya hat alongside the two types of conical hats that already were in production.
I am a huge fan of putting together custom LEGO minifigure. Mixing and matching minifigures can be a true art form, which some builders have taken to a next level. Well-thought-out minifigures can really highlight your creation. Whereas sloppy put-together minifigures can draw away the attention of an otherwise stellar build. In this creation by Ids de Jong we can spot some great minifigure combinations.
Combining new parts with old classics can really make the old parts look current again. For instance, the man in the middle features a really old torso combined with dual moulded and printed legs, top that off with a more modern hairpiece and you would hardly notice that the torso is a classic. The build itself is quite stellar too. There are stairs used for the roofing of the Golden Crown Inn. The backside of masonry bricks are used to represent wooden doors and the floor in this creation, which you would look past quite easily, is a true work of art.