It seems our contestants over at Iron Builder are wrapping up their competition and LEGO phenom Joe (jnj_bricks) is going out with a bang. They needed to use the golden handcuffs as their seed part and Joe makes great use of them a whopping 73 times!
I’m not sure if my favorite carriage is the frog or the boat. Check out the video to see this magnificent carousel in action and let us know in the comments what your favorite detail is and also let us know how you think this round of Iron Builder will pan out.
Sometimes it’s nice to dine in an exquisite setting decked out in a shirt, tie, jacket, nice shoes, and handcuffs. Wait, what? Let me explain. This opulent LEGO dining room was built by Joe (jnj_bricks) for the Iron Builder competition. The seed part this time is golden handcuffs, and Joe used twenty-eight of them here. So it’s not so much a Fifty Shades of Gray thing but more of a Fifty Shades of gold thing. Look at all that gold! I’ve spotted several pairs of handcuffs in the chandelier, the backs of the chairs, and even comprised of the curtain ties. Have I missed any? I particularly enjoy the very three-dimensional portraits along the walls. The older gent I presume is the patriarch of the household and a bit of a grouch who uses the word “indubitably” on occasion. Perhaps that’s a word I should try out at my next formal gathering. More butter, Lino? Indubitably!
I wouldn’t have said that you could fit all the fixings LEGO Castle onto a single floating rock, but here Joe (jnj_bricks) has done just that! Clad in dark bluish gray brick, the multi-layer marvel begins at the bottom with a darling windmill. The use of balloon flaps as sails on the mill is a great touch, with its scooped form catching the wind from more complex angles than your standard land-based model. The fortification at the apex of the rocky mass is beautiful, utilizing some great techniques to form the walls of its towers. While impressive, the castle fits in well with the rest of the build, and doesn’t take attention away from the rest of the structure. This allows us to enjoy all the great minifigure scenes hidden throughout. Just check out the fella free soloing up the rock above the mill!
Is it just me or is there something kinda thrilling about staying indoors? This LEGO creation by Joe (jnj_bricks) has me wanting to pack a good book, some hot chocolate, and maybe a few board games to spend the night in this cozy cabin. Sure it’s a breathtaking winter wonderland outside but there’s blankets and a fireplace on the inside. Plus you really can’t dig into six hours of playing Eldritch Horror if you’re outside building a snowman now, can you? I mean, sure, you should probably admire the amazing build techniques and snowy textures on the outside but the inside of this stunning little cabin; that’s where the whiskey is at. Am I right or am I right?
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.
I hate to interrupt a person in mourning, but I have to geek out over this absolutely gorgeous resting place. Joe (jnj_bricks) collaborated with W. Navarre to pay homage to the game Plague Tale: Requiem. And, I have to say, rarely has nature rendered in LEGO looked so, well…natural. The various rock faces come together at dazzling angles. Grass and weeds are perfectly suggested with minifigure claws and chopsticks. And that out-of-focus, forced perspective background gives an epic scope to the whole thing. What I wouldn’t give to visit this place…I mean, other than burying my brother here. Sorry, Amica, I’ll let you get back to that…
It’s always fun to see LEGO builds explore art history, such as this medieval scene from Joe (jnj_bricks). This build explores those fun and strange perspectives found in Europe’s medieval artwork. If you look up some of the art, you’ll find paintings and drawings where the foreground and background scenes are sort of pushed together with perspectives not achievable in reality.
This build of a monk busy with penning a manuscript shows off such angles between the front and back scenes. This allows for great detailing in both the foreground and background. The monk and his surroundings are chock full of incredible details, like the billowy robes and the tapestry behind the scribe. The castle through the door stands out with the texturing of its walls. This is an incredible idea, and a further example of LEGO as an artful medium.
What I love about LEGO microscale builds is how it can shift how we see the smallest of LEGO parts. Joe (jnj_bricks) brings this build to life for this year’s Brickscalibur contest in the Medieval Micro category. The city does feel alive with movement from the waterfalls and the vibrant greenery throughout the cityscape. Taking a look at the staircases, they have nice usage of the grooved brick piece at an angle for the stairs. There’s also some nice usage of the 1×1 horizontal clip piece in the buildings and their details. Stacked, the part offers some cool textures to the walls of the leftmost building. My favorite parts usage, though, comes from the battle droid legs for some fine arcing details. You can spot them on the highest spire and the causeway behind the winged minifig statue. There are many more details, so take your time exploring the build. Can you spot the Woody hat?
We love a good LEGO creation that uses about double the amount of LEGO pieces to be built as you’d expect. This creation by Joe is composed of a lot of small little pieces to create patterns and structures. The scene depicts an abandoned village with one sole visitor. The visitor is apparently the only living soul in the town, just as the blue door is the only thing with colour in the town. Your eye gets drawn to the door due to the vibrant colour, and the door itself is exceptionally well built. But if you look past it, you’ll notice that the rest of the creation is as well. All the walls are made by slopes, tiles and plates to resemble woodwork. The use of the paled fence for windows is quite clever. Throughout the entire creation there are a lot of fangs, horns, angled bars, plates with a handles, and small windows used to represent snow and ice. Of those four, the last two are most resourceful.
For a giant, bottom-feeding sea bug, these bright red crustaceans sure make for a tasty meal. Then again, a lot of things taste delicious covered in melted butter. Builder Joe of jnj_bricks takes us out for a nice lobster dinner but he’ll probably never call us again. Dated as an Anchorman reference may be, it seems apt given the shirtless Woody getting cozy in the bed of parsley. That’s some definite Ron Burgundy energy. Joe found quite a few uses for the red hexagonal plates with hinges that make up most of the crimson carapace. Beyond the boiled ocean insect, Joe built some delicious lemons for garnish as well as a nice slate serving plate, clever clamps, and a checkered napkin to clean up with during dinner. You might miss it if you don’t look carefully but there are couple actual Lobster pieces used near its mouth for a clever bit of added realism.
I can’t help but wonder if Joe wasn’t trying to make a surf and turf joke with this build. The lobster is on point but Woody is a bit of a stretch. I’ll give it to him since this was clearly a feat of clever organic building.
It’s always such a joy following the Iron Builder‘s duels as each entry deserves careful attention. One of Joe‘s first builds was this lovely modern living room. His use of the red windscreen seed part is superb! It’s used to create a variety of objects including couch pillows, drapes, a hot air balloon, and a dress. The rest of the build proves why he is competing at this level. I especially like the glass coffee table in the center of the room! And don’t look too closely or you might just discover an odd portrait of Woody on that wall. Wish Joe well in his fight for the Iron Builder crown!
I love Iron Builder! It usually means job security for us here at TBB, loads of awesome LEGO entertainment for you, and stress, horror, and depravity for the poor sods who have to build for it. Take this pointy starship built by Joe (jnj_bricks) for example. It’s pretty neat in its own right, but knowing full well you gotta crank out a bunch of quality builds in short order while your competitor does the same gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it. As per the rules of Iron Builder, you gotta cleverly use a seed part or another. We’re supposed to be impressed by Joe’s use of the required hexagonal blabitty-blah but I’m more smitten with the hidden Woody figure from Toy Story. Can you spot it?