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.
While rather more gaudy, you might also enjoy the massive LEGO Balrog by Chak hei Mok and a looming Balrog by Aaron Newman.
LEGO microscale is typically reserved for contemporary buildings like skyscrapers and pizza delivery shops, but recently Issac Snyder has been building one amazing tiny medieval model after another. Check out his microscale Dwarven workshop and his tiny walled port town. However the micro-masterpiece is surely this gorgeous Edoras from the second installment of The Lord of the Rings films.
If this MOC would look nice sitting on your desk or shelf, then you’re in luck! Isaac donated his lovely creation as a prize in the 2017 Middle Earth LEGO Olympics (MELO 2017) contest over on MOCpages. The first round of the contest runs through May 21, 2017, so you’ve got nearly a month to enter the fray.
When Saruman sends his orc army to knock on your front door, you have to be prepared. Lucky for LEGO King Théoden and the rest of the Rohirrim, Classical Bricks has constructed an impressively massive and rather sound-looking fortress. This walled stronghold is built right into the mountainside (using some interesting rockwork techniques) and it looks like it came straight out of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel.
The diorama is 6.3 feet long (nearly 2 meters), and includes about 200 minifigures. Despite its size, the scene certainly doesn’t lack detail, with the fortress integrated with rockwork built from angled plates.
This dark creation explores a fourth instalment of LOTR that we will never see on the big screen. The question posed by Jaden Ho‘s creation is… what if the evil Nazgûl tried to go back for the One Ring? He also playfully adds Frodo’s greed to retrieve the One Ring in his attempt to fish it from the pits of Mount Doom while the Eye of Sauron watches in distress over yonder.
In collaboration with photographer Daniel Yang, Jaden gives the scene atmospheric feeling that puts some sense of gloom into the cleverly constructed boiling lava. We all take comfort in knowing that the One Ring has been destroyed forever …or has it?