Tag Archives: Islands

The Brothers Brick LEGO Creation of the Year 2023 [News]

As a whole, the LEGO community’s original works of 2023 were absolutely astounding! Over those 52 weeks, we covered so many beautiful works of art, trying to highlight the very best created by builders all over the world. And with our shortlist in hand, we’re ready to identify our favorite of the bunch. The days of 2023 were marked with massive collaborative work, giant themes and creations that brought us together after pandemic isolation over the prior two years. And in that vein, we selected the excellent collaboration between Joshua Morris, Rod Fiford, Gavin Rich, and Handoko Setyawan. The Brothers Brick LEGO Creation of the Year 2023 is Cerulean Straits.

More coverage of our newly-crowned winners below!

Harness the magic in this witch’s tower made of LEGO

Fresh from its appearance at the Christchurch Brick Show in New Zealand earlier this month, this LEGO-made island-bound tower by Nathan Hake is simply astounding! Created over the better part of seven months, this mammoth medieval masterpiece sprawls out over a pair of islands and includes several noteworthy features like a shipwreck, black dragon, stone bridge, abandoned docks, magical portal, and a detailed tower interior. Details like the underside of its overhang and the tendrils of smoke rising out of its chimney stand out brilliantly on the tower. While more experienced builders will marvel at Nathan’s stud reversal on the rocks of the big island halfway up the side. Building at this scale, such techniques can become unwieldy, but it’s handled here quite adeptly.

The Witches Tower

Check out more of the tower’s magic below!

A castle creation that’s great from all angles

If you couldn’t tell from the title, this LEGO castle masterpiece by Ben Hauger has got angles going every which way! The rockwork is terrific – a base of dark gray slopes conveying all kinds of craggy goodness. Yet the twisty vines laid out atop all those slopes are the real treat. Using chains of dark brown droid arms and assorted verdant bits in olive green, Ben laces his build’s foundation with a glorious bit of greenery. But for a more man-made angle, check out the beams supporting the right jetty. Those thick logs of LEGO lumber add a level of architectural realism to the creation, while showcasing a brilliant technique that I’m going to have to try myself.


Finally, taking a look at the build from a different angle, the full design of the main tower comes into view. Instead of relying on the simple, 45° look common to brick built turrets, Ben has bent his walls in a more custom fashion, relying on the rounded 1×2 plate and cheese slopes to marry the pieces together. Continuing the walls’ cobbling over those corners obscures the seam, but also creates a wonderful texture on the façade.


Time to take a tour of Tortuga

LEGO construction styles collide in the pirate town of Tortuga by builder Faëbricks. First, there’s the excellent rock work creating the cliffs of this craggy isle at sea. So many large slopes in shades of gray positioned at just the right angle such that they blend perfectly into an organic wall. Second, we have the ramshackle houses built into these cliffs. Set at odd angles and built with uneven or off-colored shingles, this is clearly a town that sprung up from whatever was available, not the finest building supplies. Then finally we have the expert use of minifigures. This tiny town is full of stories, told by figures in action poses. One posse is on lookout and manning the cannon, another works to raise a chest with a crane. My favorite is the man aboard the beautiful sailboat coming around the island. The whole scene is given agency by their individual stories, and Tortuga’s buildings and crags come alive as a result.


This microscale island looks like the perfect tropical hideaway

Although the main island build looks peaceful enough, there may be many perils along the way to reach it! Koala Yummies has created this wonderful display, featuring a hut on a sandy beach with a ship on one side and a colourful sea monster on the other. There are several noteworthy techniques here, such as the use of bar holder pieces as cannons on the island and the placement of a wide blade on the ship, representing a forward sail. The sea monster has a webbed collar which was featured on one of the Shark Army Generals from The LEGO Ninjago Movie. The azure colour of the ocean creates a pleasing contrast against the darker shades of the models, providing the builds with an eye-catching style.


Microscale Waterfall Temple

Microscale LEGO builds can either be the most beautiful or the wonkiest creations out there. Builder Gilles de Crombrugghe pulled all the stops when it came to creating this gorgeous jungle temple scene, from nice piece usage to clever techniques. The choices he made helped create an engrossing, detailed, and realistic scene that feels like an Indiana Jones version of Polly Pocket. Opposing orientations for bricks help create the smooth blue outline of the pool of water. Headlight bricks in the base help attach the waterfalls which cascade serenely to clouds of mist made of ice cream and popcorn pieces. Brown Technic chainlinks make for a wonderful rope bridge with plenty of rickety slack. Steep, stony islands of meticulously sculpted slopes and modified tiles rise from the water, isolating the long-forgotten sacred grounds. At least, until the research team found their way there.

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Peace and tranquility in the Ninjago City Temple

I’ll be honest with you, Ninjago was never really my cup of tea until LEGO produced the Ninjago City line. The best thing about these sets is builders like Wochenender using their imaginations and expanding their Ninjago Cities. This Ninjago City Temple is exactly what every Ninjago City inhabitant needs to get away from the busy city life. I love the use of different shades of plates underneath the trans light blue tiles to represent the depth of the water varying at places. A special mention needs to go out for the use of the candle to represent cattails. These water grass plants get the LEGO treatment quite often. Most of the time, a 1×1 round or a 1×1 cone part are used to represent the ‘corn dog’ looking flower. Seeing a different part fulfill this purpose is quite nice.

Ninjago City Temple