It seems like only yesterday we featured Sanel Lukovic‘s post-apocalyptic ruins, but sometimes a builder keeps knocking it out of the park. He has done it again with the hill of Weathertop from The Lord of the Rings. If you aren’t familiar with your Middle Earth geography, Weathertop overlooks the Great East Road east of Bree, about midway between the Shire and Rivendell. (Although really it is on a large farm near Port Waikato, in the Waikato Region of New Zealand.) It was the location where Frodo gets stabbed in the shoulder by a Ringwraith in the first book. It took Sanellu about 4 months and around 30,000 LEGO elements to build this beautiful scene from The Fellowship of the Ring. Have a look and let your eyes feast on this sumptuous banquet of bricks.
Roanoke Handybuck has built Sandyman’s Old Mill from The Lord of the Rings, which you may briefly recall from The Fellowship of the Ring when Gandalf arrives in Hobbiton by crossing the bridge. The sculpted look of the bridge and landscape adds an organic, rustic feel to the scene.
You can see some work in progress shots on MOCPages.
Barad-dûr — or as most people will know it, that tall black scary thing that can see very far — has magical properties and scares hobbits. Created by Koen, this intricate reconstruction of the Dark Tower is about as tall as the LEGO Saturn V. The bright Eye of Sauron and glowing lava stand out instantly, but it’s not until you look close that you notice the amazingly fine details. I love how the builder has integrated the blacks and greys around the base of the tower and the hundreds of spires, ramparts and turrets adorning Lord Sauron’s base of operations.
“Then at last his gaze was held: wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black tower of adamant, he saw it: Barad-dûr, Fortress of Sauron. All hope left him.“
Orthanc, home of the corrupted white wizard Saruman, is an important part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and is even referenced in the title of the second book, The Two Towers. The film version of the tower may not be quite as iconic as Sauron’s Barad’dur, but it’s still managed to burn itself into the memories of fantasy lovers all over the world. This microscale LEGO recreation by Maelven isn’t the first LEGO Orthanc model we’ve featured, but the builder has added a lot of great style to it.
Although quite a departure from this builder’s comfort zone of highly accurate Star Wars vehicles, Maelven did not disappoint in this turn to fantasy. The intense details on the tower will keep your attention for more time than you would expect, but what I really like is the gradual but very fluent tapering of the tower’s shape towards the top — an effect achieved by slightly tilting many bars and plates on the surface of the creation.
Like this tiny Orthanc? Check out this diorama of the breaking of Isengard featuring a 7 ft tall Orthanc, or a detailed 8 ft tall Orthanc with a full interior.
Serbian builder Milan Sekiz‘s miniature Mordor is the perfect finish to the (accidental?) collaborative Lord of the Rings microscale triptych (see also microscale Hobbiton and a microscale Rivendell). Sekiz’s adorable LEGO creation features a tiny Mount Doom, a teeny tower of Barad-dur (where men fear to tread), and a wee Black Gate. Not to mention, the ashy base and background results in a general feeling of gloom that is wonderful.
Following quickly on the tiny heels of the excellent microscale Rivendell, Austrian LEGO builder Patrick B. has crafted the Hill from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, also in microscale. Patrick’s tiny scene is complete with Bag End under a large tree and Bagshot Row beneath. Each of the round doors has a unique color, and the path leads across a bridge to the Green Dragon Inn, which Patrick also built in minifig-scale recently. I particularly love the fences, but don’t miss the tiny boat built from a paper minifig hat.
Isaac Snyder, the author of an excellent microscale Edoras build, returns to Middle-earth with his latest build, a miniature depiction of the Elven realm, Rivendell. Microscale creations usually bring out the most creative and innovative part usages, and this build is no exception as Isaac uses earth orange pikes as autumn colored fir trees and minifigure hair parts as deciduous trees. However, my favorite usage is the ribbed 1×2 light gray bricks as tiny stairs.
Parts aside, it’s quite the beautiful build all around with intricate column work on the buildings and excellent usage of some less common colors to give the build a very natural aesthetic.
Once upon a time, the dark fortress of Minas Morgul belonged to the to the world of men. Back then, the city was called Minas Ithil and it protected Gondor from the evil forces of Mordor. John Snyder has built a gorgeous rendition of the city as it was before the Witch-king of Angmar took over.
At first glance, I mistook John’s castle as something out of Disney rather than the Lord of the Rings. Regardless of the source material, from the top of the tower all the way down to the bedrock, this fortress is one of the loveliest LEGO castles I’ve ever seen. According to John, his Minas Morgul weighs 31.2 pounds and is his heaviest build to date. He also says he tried to maintain the architecture (and pointy crenellations) from the original design. The bridge, in particular, reminds me of the scene in the film where the Nazgul ride out in a frenzy to find Frodo.
For more photos, including alternate angles and even an “I Spy” style scavenger hunt, check out John’s flickr.
“You can search far and wide, you can drink the whole town dry, but you’ll never find a beer so brown as that found in the Green Dragon.” So goes the tribute as sung by Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took in Lord of the Rings about the Green Dragon Inn in the Shire, adoringly built here in LEGO by Patrick Balbo.
Based on the inn seen in Peter Jackson’s movies, the Green Dragon is a perfect example of Hobbit architecture with its rounded doors and long, low-slung design. The builder has incorporated all sorts of nice details, from the curved layout of the building to the tree made from stud shooters. The scene is lively and quite welcoming with all sorts of Shire folk mulling about outside. No doubt I would like to stop here and try this brown beer for myself!
Of all the fantasy movie scenes out there, the Amon Hen conflict from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring may be among the most commonly recreated in LEGO. This version by John Snyder has some of the best landscaping I have seen in a while, with subtle slopes and realistic trees, but most importantly a beautiful gravel riverbank. The landscape is so effective because of how simple and relatable it is—there are no grand rock formations or majestic trees, just a normal forest, but built perfectly.
Built for the 2017 Middle Earth LEGO Olympics, Farewell We Call to Hearth and Hall! is a beautiful little vignette based on J.R.R Tolkien’s song of the same name that Merry and Pippin sing on the night before they leave the Shire. John Snyder has portrayed the three main themes of the song: hearth and home, travel through the wild, and Rivendell.
The hobbit hole looks great. I also love the tree leaves on grass stalks and intricate domed building on levers! But most impressive is how John has stitched the three scenes together with the irregular rock shapes in the forest.
The LEGO Balrogs we’ve featured here on The Brothers Brick over the years have been large and monstrous, with flames flying and wings flying everywhere. Jonas Kramm takes a subtler approach with a considerably smaller Balrog built almost entirely from black. The black only serves to make the creature more sinister, making the contrasting orange flames on the Balrog’s back and his flame-whip even more striking. The Balrog is an ephemeral creature wrapped in darkness and fire, and the absence of explicit wings also adds to the evil look of this creature from the depths of Middle Earth.