Tag Archives: Marco den Besten

Battle of the Crusaders

I’m a big fan of seeing historical events recreated in LEGO form. Today’s moment from history is the Siege of Jerusalem, shown here by builder Marco den Besten.

1187, The siege of Jerusalem

In the year 1187, the armies of Saladin laid siege to the Crusader stronghold of Jerusalem. At the point of the attack depicted above, the walls of the city have been breached. Marco’s use of dark and sand-colored bricks helps establish the Middle Eastern look of the setting. I also admire his woodwork on the siege towers and battering ram tunnel.

1187, The siege of Jerusalem

The walls are equally impressive, with various bricks serving as weathered stone that has stood through the ages. The arrowslits are well-designed. I like how there are two different versions of them.

1187, The siege of Jerusalem

As brave as these Crusaders might be, I don’t think they stand a chance against Saladin’s forces.

A border keep to keep the border well-kept

A castle built in the north must be strong enough to survive the icy winters and keep the enemy hordes at bay. Looking at this one by Marco den Besten,¬†we can safely say that the inhabitants will be well-protected from both. Built near the southern border of the icy guild of Mitgardia, where it borders the rival guild of Avalonia, the fortifications are thick and the walls high. Ample crenelations protect those on the walls from any enemies who might aspire to shoot arrows at them from below. Plenty of action fills the scene, with troops marching over a bridge, a farmer bringing produce to market, folks fishing, and even a ship approaching the dock. Are the intentions of the sailors friendly? I don’t know, but axes are drawn.

Aithaz Hold

Marco is famous among LEGO castle builders for his large displays, and perhaps even more famous for his large evergreens made of uncountable spines/vines. The way the towers are set at angles to the walls makes for a visually striking shape, a far cry from the square castles I used to make as a kid. Like this creation? Check out more huge castle dioramas built by Marco den Besten such as a fortified city and a city in the snow.

A snail’s Creed

If you went to BrickWorld Chicago in 2016, you might remember seeing the amazing Eurobricks collaborative display called “Ready, set, escargot!” The display consisted of giant medieval-themed snails racing around a track. The template for these mammoth mollusks was designed by Mark Larson, while the structure on this snail’s back came from the mind of Marco den Besten. Marco drew inspiration from the Assassin’s Creed video game franchise, and I think his take on the idea would make for an interesting game. The rustic-looking towers complement the dark tan structure of the snail’s shell. Speaking of the shell, Marco has attached wooden posts to the sides for some classic platform gaming fun.

A snail's Creed

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