The famous Aztec ruler Montezuma was fierce and massively successful at expanding his empire by conquering opponents – until he wasn’t. After reigning for over 17 years, he was killed during the Spanish conquest. His purported headdress (likely not actually his) was stolen by Hernán Cortés and currently sits in an Austrian museum. It and the slightly less flamboyant headdresses of Maya and Aztec warriors are now a big part of popular culture. They’ve even been regularly depicted in LEGO, both officially (recent and old), and through custom models like this one, by John Snyder.
Of course, what makes this build so cool is not necessarily the history of the subject matter. What makes it awesome is the excellent use of parts. The green feather elements are naturally perfect, but can you see how they’re attached? The use of green cable clips is genius! Other things to look for are the alternating modified plates for the feathers in the back, hands for accents, and the interesting use of a Technic differential gear for the pedestal.
As you likely know, John is a prolific builder, and we’ve featured his work many times. I’m sure we can expect more great things very soon. And while you wait, check out some other Aztec-Inspired builds.
There has been a large influx of Mesoamerican architecture LEGO creations recently, including temples, sports and even the Aztec Feathered Serpent god. Simon NH adds to this collection with this microscale Maya city. Seeing Mesoamerican architecture in its golden age is quite refreshing, as all the overgrown decrepit temples can slowly start looking similar…
Simon has used many different techniques to build quite a variety of different kinds of steps – from functional to ornamental. The little town has a very organic layout built into rolling hills, with houses, temples and platforms scattered around in a very believable way. It is amazing how much detail the builder managed to get onto such a small footprint, most notably the leg used as a waterfall, the circular pattern in the center of the city and the buildings on the gray platform. The landscape is great too, using all sorts of curved tiles and quite exotic colours for the river’s water.
In the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, there’s one temple that rises above the rest as a focal point. The temple is called El Castillo, which means “The Castle,” and it was built to honor a Mayan diety called Kukulkan, or “Feathered Serpent.” Today it’s a major tourist attraction in Mexico and the subject of many pieces of art. This build by 1soko can be placed next to the others as a beautiful rendition of the temple.
The lines on the creation are incredibly impressive. If you’ve ever built something with slopes, you know just how hard it can be to get them right. (And this has slopes on slopes!) It almost looks like it could be superimposed on a picture of the real temple! The only thing that could be more detailed would be the serpent heads at the base of the stairs, but it’s understandable at this scale. Actually, it would need to be many times larger to be the scale of the minifigure standing next to it. Of course, the builder was probably using the character as a size comparison. In any case, this creation is simply outstanding!