My wife and I are re-reading The Lord of the Rings together after having done so 22 years ago before the first Peter Jackson movie was released. By sheer coincidence, on the same day we read the chapter about the Battle of Pelennor Fields in The Return of the King, Kiwi builder Pieter Dennison shared the conclusion of a months-long project to recreate a Mûmak or Oliphaunt of the Haradrim in LEGO, based on how they appear in the movies.
Pieter’s build features all the iconic details of the enormous beast, from its four tusks (built from a series of 2×2 round bricks presumably strung on something like flex-tube), each with spikes on the end, to the war tower on the monstrous beast’s back. A closer look at the war tower shows just how huge this LEGO build really is, with about a score of minifigs riding into battle against the Rohirrim and men of Gondor.
If you want to see this in person, you can see it at the Christchurch Brick Show this July. And don’t miss all the other LEGO Oliphaunts we’ve featured over the years (also proving that this quote is the only one I ever use to write about this creature).
The Lord of the Rings is full of scenes perfect for adapting into LEGO for the LEGO Ideas challenge “Explore the Middle-earth”. Builder BardJaskier chose one of the most iconic scenes to adapt — the Bridge of Kazad-Dûm. This scene features Gandalf the Grey standing in the way of a mighty Balrog to buy the Fellowship time to escape from the Mines of Moria. To say the Balrog towers over Gandalf is to do a disservice to the presence of the foul being. BardJaskier does a great job of capturing the dreadful power of the Balrog as it wields its fiery sword and whip. And those wings! They’re majestic and terrifying at the same time. They feature fantastic parts reuse from the Ninjago set 71753 Fire Dragon Attack. And let’s not forget the rest of the scene! I do love the techniques and design of the bridge and the surrounding mines. They do a good job of conveying the wear of time.
The city of Minas Tirith in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (especially as depicted in Peter Jackson’s movie adaptations) is a fairly popular subject for LEGO microscale builders. But Joe (jnj_bricks) takes his LEGO build to the next level — or seven levels, if you count all the rings in the city — by creating a multilayered scene that places Gandalf astride Shadowfax in the foreground, the Tower of Guard in the middle distance, and the White Mountains against grim clouds in the distance. It’s often tempting to photograph your LEGO models from a high three-quarters view to show off all its details. While Joe has certainly built plenty of detail into his White City, he avoids that temptation by placing the viewer at Gandalf’s level in the foreground, looking up toward the city, with the Citadel of Gondor and Tower of Ecthelion reaching toward the lowering sky. The overall effect is magical.
If you’ve enjoyed Joe’s forced perspective LEGO version of Minas Tirith, be sure to check out an even more detailed microscale LEGO Minas Tirith by Koen that we featured nearly 5 years ago.
This LEGO version of Gimli’s helmet by Marcin Otreba from The Lord of the Rings gave us no real choice — it was too awesome for us to pass up! Pearl-gold lattice pieces decorate the brow and chin guards, evoking the dwarvish designs on the helmet as seen in the Peter Jackson movie series. Sitting on a display stand, Marcin’s fan design would fit right in with the official LEGO Star Wars helmets collection.
Marcin follows up his fantastic Mouth of Sauron, and we’re hoping that this latest LEGO helmet is just the next in a larger series of helmets and busts from the world of J.R.R. Tolkien.
For their latest LEGO creation Josiah Durand drew inspiration from ‘The Fall of Gondolin’ by J.R.R.Tolkien. Since I am not familiar with the source material, there is little I can say about this creation being true to the story. I can, however, say that it definitely deserves a mention on TBB. The castle is white with some tan details, but the dark grey rock formation it’s build on gives a great contrast in colour. The top of the castle is light grey and it ends with a flat rooftop – a detail we hardly ever see when it comes to LEGO castles. This flat roof is adorned with a diving board like balcony. Which to me always predicts a stand off between two nemeses that ends in one of the two falling off the balcony towards certain death. As we see in Josiah’s creation, that might just happen.
Long before Sauron plagued Middle Earth, there was the evil Morgoth. W. Navarre presents us with the Dark Lord’s duel with the shining Elven king Fingolfin in a lovely LEGO scene. Fingolfin stands before Morgoth, his blade gleaming in the darkness surrounding them in Angband, the Dark Lord’s stronghold. Morgoth prepares the first strike, commencing the legendary duel that will ultimately claim the Elven king. The figures possess a beautiful craft speaking of a great love for J.R.R Tolkien’s legendarium. Fingolfin’s figure is splendid indeed, but Morgoth’s is where my eye is drawn. There’s an amazing amount of greebles adorning the Dark Lord, and some amazing parts making up his armor. One such piece is the drill bit in the center of his face, a piece that’s more versatile than I expected at my first encounter with it.
So admittedly, I’ve got a bit of a thing for LEGO trophies — those small builds organizers hand out when you win a category in events like online contests and LEGO conventions. I love the design decisions that have to be made when you’ve only got a tiny patch of real estate to work with. So I’m absolutely gaga for this tiny Bag End trophy by builder Caleb Huet! His use of the smallest green curves to shape the hill is excellent. The details on the front, including the use of snowflake tiles for windows and brown horns for the trim, are such an accomplishment with so few pieces. And the iconic round green door makes this microscale marvel instantly recognizable without any minifigs or title cards. And that’s not even mentioning all the organic shaping that went into the tiniest topiary atop the hut. Whoever wins this model in the Middle Earth LEGO Olympics is a lucky LEGO builder!
We’ve seen LEGO Tudor-style buildings before, and quite often the building is the main focus of the creation. We’ve also seen LEGO brick-built dragons before, and just like the Tudor-style buildings, they too tend to be the main focus of the creation. Not so for KitKat1414, however. They built an amazing Tudor-style house to represent one of the houses of Lake Town and it is lit! No literally, it is on fire!
For the woodwork on the house, Kitkat1414 used window frames and filled those in with bars to represent the wooden beams. In other places, the window frames were filled in with cheese slopes representing stained glass windows. Often these types of buildings can be very earth-toned, and while that’s mostly the case for this one, if you look closely you can spot quite a few colours being used. There is a lot of sand blue and even some lavender hidden in the roof, and the house gets a dark green door which complements the dark red Smaug in a lovely way. The dragon itself is a true work of art and there are multiple parts used in very clever ways. One that really deserves a quick mention is the use of the Bionicle minifigure legs for the dragon’s nose bridge and eye sockets. The last part that deserves a little highlight is the angled bar with stud used to represent icicles. And naturally, there are quite a few Tolkien references hidden in this wonderful build. Can you spot them all?
I love the Lord of the Rings films, but that’s about as far into the Tolkien waters as I’ve ever dipped my toe. But builder Josh is giving folks like me a taste of the deeper lore with this model inspired by the tale of Túrin from The Silmarillion. Here, Morwen bids farewell to Túrin as he ventures off towards the kingdom of Doriath. Josh’s use of round tiles and studs not on top techniques give a realistic rustic texture to the walls of this homestead. And the brilliant use of color for the foliage in the background reminds me of fall in Vermont. Good luck on your travels, Túrin. I hope Josh will update us on your progress. (I know I should just read the book, but it’s more fun this way.)
Rivendell – the mention of the name already evokes a feeling of home. A location in J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it appears as a sanctuary, a last respite to characters who are on a journey into “the wilderness.” Builder Elias (Brickleas) built the Last Homely House in all its peaceful glory in microscale in just 100 LEGO parts. While the elven buildings are tiny among the large cliffs, they are instantly recognisable thanks to clever parts usage.
I love the way Elias uses books as the angled roofs, and one stickered book is actually very fitting here. It is the Red Book of Westmarch, the book that Bilbo Baggins wrote during his retirement in Rivendell. The battle droid torso also works very well, since its skeletal nature represents the open-air feel of those buildings. I found the small waterfalls very impressive, using Hero Factory claw pieces which perfectly hug the large wedge used as a cliff. Elias perfectly demonstrates that when building something with a small number of parts, use the best parts.
It’s nice to take break from huge builds and enjoy a LEGO creation that’s zoomed in a bit more. Hubba Blöoba invites to visit Middle Earth in this nifty little vignette. The Iron Forge 2021 seed part of the minifigure torso inspired this build, appearing as windows and…clouds? Sure, why not? The rolling green hills are also well executed, as is the forced perspective from the gate in the foreground leading to the seemingly distant burrow. Other cool details are the ox horns framing the front door, and the grill tile forming the slats in the fencing. Careful, though. This sort of creative part usage can be hobbit forming.
Jonesin’ for more Tolkien-esque goodness? Check out some other featured builds!
Orcs are probably one of the ugliest creature in all of fantasy fiction. But this little guy created by Jme Wheeler is stinkin’ adorable as all heck. How can you not smile when you look at that face? I’d like to think of him as an innocent baby, who does not yet know evil. But I guess there is just something about the Brickheadz style that lends to the “cute” factor. Whatever the case, my favorite part of this particular build is definitely the loincloth.
Have an afinity for BrickHeadz? We’ve got lots of them in our archives!