Without a doubt, the Two Towers is definitely my favorite Lord of the Rings movie. I have fond memories of going to a small town theater with my friend to watch it soon after it had come out. The contrasting story arcs kept my attention in a state of absorbant wonder though I honestly remember the scenes with Treebeard the most. There were plenty of accompanying Lego sets for the movies but in their wake, fans have created intense models of their own to celebrate their favorite scenes. Craig Jansen was clearly inspired by the Last March of the Ents while building this massive model of Treebeard, Merry, and Pippin heading to Isengard.
Just check out the parts Craig used in this model! The first thing I noticed were the eyes. Treebeard’s eyes, almost glowing in the dark of Fangorn forest, have a distinct presence in the film. Craig did really well with them here. I thought those are printed eye studs but upon closer examination, I realized they were black technic bushings with yellow flextubes cut to fit inside. Simple but brilliant, I must say. They give the model Treebeard’s striking glare.
Longtime TBB readers might know that we are quite partial to a good LEGO Hobbiton creation. This one by Patrick Bohn deserves to join the line-up. Let’s zoom in on some of the details which make this creation so lovely. The picket fence made of bars and minifigure hands looks lovely. The inclusion of hockey sticks as a fence gate. The window frame and the round doorway look stunning thanks to the use of the macaroni tile. The use of the microscale Hogwarts arched windows looks especially fitting for this setting. The bucket handle makes a perfect door knocker. Using flex tubing to frame the roof of the building is really smart as it makes the building look more organic verses composed out of angular bricks.
Marcin Otreba’s latest LEGO creation doesn’t appear to have anything inscribed on it, but I’m sure if you held it up to the flame, you’d find an inscription that loosely translates to:
Three batarangs on his chest up high,
Seven on his face mask, pearl dark grey blades shone
Fine the bricks he did apply
One model Dark Lord we’d like to own.
On the internet, where LEGO builders vie
One brick to rule them all, one sorter to find them,
One builder to bring them all, and with clutch power bind them,
In the land of LEGO where bricks mystify
Embedded into the base of a mountain, Helm’s Deep was the castle retreat of last resort for the people of Rohan as told in The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. Builder Patrick B. shares his micro rendition of the fabled fortress.
Known as the Hornburg for its sounding horn at the top of the castle’s spire, Helm’s Deep is every castle junkie’s favorite location. Patrick spares no expense in detailing the tiniest features in his tiny version of the castle. From the wooden palisades over the main gate to the curved ramp leading up to it. The small culvert is there, as are the windows of the main keep. Building everything within a black frame is a nice display touch as well. Helm Hammerhand himself would be proud of this magnificent tribute to the Rohirrim fortress that bears his name.
How small can the dark lord get? This teeny, tiny tower of Barad-dûr from The Lord of the Rings was constructed by LEGO builder Hubba Blöoba, and it’s got all the right notes despite its diminutive size. A pair of grey bananas make the two spikes that ring the all-seeing eye, while clips and slopes make up the jagged tower itself. The atmospheric clouds elevate this little vignette further and give it an appropriate sense of foreboding.
LEGO builder Thorsten Bonsch‘s latest creation is amazing. It features a lovely brick-built bridge, and the arch at the base of the bridge uses the same technique as the first vignette in this series. The rest of the bridge looks like it is being held together by gravity, and there must be some brilliant building techniques in this model to hold it together. I find it great that the base of the first and the last vignette is a ring, which also ties into the story of The Hobbit. The tree in this model also deserves some love, as creating a big, natural-looking tree out of square plastic bricks is one of the hardest things to do.
Let’s also take our time to look back at a few of the 43 creations Thorsten made during this series. Thorsten treated us to some lovely interior decor with chairs made of wands on a sprue and whips, tables with cattle horn legs, and chandeliers made out of paint roller brush handles
He also surprised us with lovely brick-built heads, beasts, and animals. The troll was featured in not one, not two, but three creations, but each of them was different. And Thorsten didn’t stop after creating the troll. He also made an eagle, a spider, a statue head, and to top it off a dragon head.
Last but not least, lets give this social distancing elf some love.
I love it when LEGO fans fill in the gaps in an existing or discontinued licensed theme. Marcin Otreba decided to create a Fellbeast themselves. Fellbeast are the flying creatures that the Nazgûl rode after being unhorsed at the Ford of Bruinen. The fellbeasts were described as large, winged creatures without feathers, that had pinions in between their horned fingers, and whose bodies gave off a stench. I don’t know if Marcin’s creation smells, but I do know it matches the description perfectly and it even moves!
Tragically underused in LEGO builds is the immersive, cinematic shot. Sure, it’s vastly easier and faster to build a vignette, or a stand-alone building, but I deeply admire builders who can move their creation beyond plastic bricks and into an entire world filling the frame. Nathan Smith is one of those builders, playing with light and camera angles to put the viewer in the scene in a believable way. Are there many mind-blowing building techniques on display here? No, not really, though that door does look quite nice. But nothing is out of place, with meticulously arranged leaves and crates, and the smooth walls of the citadel allow the lighting effects to shine. And shine they do, illuminating a ruminating Gandalf perfectly.
Love LEGO builds inspired by The Lord of the Rings? Then check out the TBB LEGO Lord of the Rings archives. They’re epic!
I’ve always loved this scene from The Fellowship of the Ring when the band makes their way into the Mines of Moria only to discover Balin and his dwarves have been wiped out. To me, it’s when the story first really turns an unexpected direction. Nathan Smith has beautifully recreated it in a LEGO diorama that perfectly imitates the scene’s camera angle and even lighting. From the scattered remnants of the dwarven miners, to the light on Gandalf’s magical staff, to the hobbits just barely visible in the doorway, this scene is just what I needed to take me back almost 20 years when I first saw the film.
I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll repeat it, but I love The Lord of the Rings. The books, that is. Simon Hundsbichler must love the books, too, since he has finally finished the third installment of his trilogy, commemorating the climactic The Return of the King. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while, and it does not disappoint! From an incredible microscale Minas Tirith to an imposing Barad-dûr, every bit of this build is packed with great details and clever parts usages. Ogle that oliphaunt from Harad for a while, and admire the lever-arm orcs. There’s even an eagle and fell Nazgûl beast in the air!
Did you miss the first two volumes? Check out Simon’s The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers builds here. And don’t miss the other great Lord of the Rings builds in our archives, too!
Radagast the Brown has to be one of my favorite characters from the Hobbit trilogy. He is a bit not all there, loves nature and animals. Most of all, he has his heart above his head. Radagast also is the main subject in ekjohnsons latest creation. Although he can’t take credit for the figure itself, LEGO did a splendid job on this one; the lovely little cottage he lives in is entirely ekjohnsons’ own creation. The cottage was once just a little house in the woods, but then Radagast dropped a little acorn right in the middle of some dirt on his home floor. A small tree sprouted. Radagast, not having the heart to tear it up, just let it grow because he doesn’t destroy things. Eventually, the little sprout turned into a big tree, splitting the house apart. The lighting is just spot on. But what really sets the scene is the brilliant part usage. The thatched roof is made out of quite a lot of bladed claws. And there are trunk tails used as tree roots and branches everywhere.
The bittersweet ending of The Lord of the Rings is a scene that impacted many readers and viewers such as myself. It is the last we see of our beloved heroes after so many trials and tribulations in their story. In this scene, our heroes join the elves on a boat departing Middle-Earth to “a far green country under a swift sunrise.” Many see this as an allegory for death and the journey beyond, whether it be heaven or something else. Like Bilbo, I like to think of this in a more optimistic way: a new adventure in an unfamiliar land. JNJ Bricks captured the moment in the Grey Havens right before their departure in a striking, immersive LEGO scene.
The minifigures of Frodo, Gandalf, and the hobbits stand in the foreground, out of focus and facing away. The elves wait by the boat, ready to take them on their journey out of the completely brick-built harbour. LEGO parts make up everything in this scene, from the water to the sunset sky between the cliffs. My favourite detail, the arches, and towers across the water look just like the movie, despite being so small. The boat, being grey, is distinct enough to not blend into the background. The accuracy of this scene invokes the same emotion in me as I experience while reading the book or watching the movie. Now I am in the mood for some of Tolkien’s poetry…