I’m a sucker for the stories behind builds. I’m also one for nicely cut lines and color choice in architecture. This build by Brother Steven displays all of those traits. Although we’ve seen it done before, the journal of an adventurer chronicled in LEGO is a fascinating concept, and done well by Steven. This particular creation is part of a series of builds, all following “Zenas Abbington” as the hero. There are so many lovely aspects to the castle: the round base, the shape of the towers, the pearl gold carriage wheel in the windows, and the accents on the front door. Let’s not forget how adorable those sheep are too!
And the flip-side is just as pretty! That tree is magnificent, with its color and angled branches. I’m also a big fan of the underside of those mushrooms! It’s no wonder that this, coupled with a few other creations, won a “Brickee” at BrickFair Alabama 2019!
Some of the details of this build are reminiscent of other creations from Steven’s magical world, such as this floating castle we featured last year.
Over the last year Roanoke Handybuck has built something of a reputation for his wonky building style. Celebrating the shapes and forms of the medieval period he focuses on capturing the way wooden beams bend and walls subside. In this latest model, titled Eldford Market, he demonstrates in a tiny 16 x 16 baseplate all the LEGO techniques synonymous with his work. Everywhere you look, bricks are matched irregularly or held at off-centre angles, whether it’s in the cobbled street or as part of the weathered tower. The icing on the cake, though, has to be the way the upper floor of the main building tilts elegantly into its neighbouring sloped roof – brilliant!
There’s nothing like coming home to your family after a long journey. Perhaps in this case, a long quest or crusade. You know that feeling you have when you see your house after having been gone a while? This scene of a warrior being welcomed by his family, built by Tom Breugelman, is reminiscent of that feeling.
Of course, the real hero of this build is that cottage. The angles and rockwork are superbly done. The architecture immediately catches the eye. And all of the colors throughout the scene come together perfectly, but especially in the cottage. Now, if you’re looking for something similar, how about a house with many faces?
Hong Kong builder, mamax711 brings us his rendition of Robin Hood’s home. It’s an excellent fit for the medieval rogue, right down to the organic-looking shape of the building, the patchwork, and plant growth. Robin’s home would be well-hidden in a dark forest. I love the non-traditional angles of the walls and roof-lines and would love to see the interior framework holding everything together. Since this is Robin Hood’s house, I am guessing it will have to remain a secret.
Light is everything in this atmospheric creation by Henjin Quilones. Young Queen Ylspeth has gathered her council to her palace to seek advice. The photograph centres in on the young monarch’s concentrated face, leaving her advisors suggestively out of focus.
Using a glowing orange laptop screen to create a sense of torchlight emanating from the left of the room, and a desk lamp to imitate glaring sunlight to the right, gives the model a genuine sense of place. It also metaphorically frames the difficult choices the Queen must make: the two statues behind her, one holding a sword the other a key, reinforcing the motif.
Building challenges come in all shapes and sizes, but constructing a wall from LEGO bricks that resists the system’s innate interlocking functionality is something new. Ralf Langer‘s build, entitled “Tear down the wall,” grasps the nettle and gives us something special. Using balanced combinations of plates, Technic elements and masonry bricks, he’s concocted a Jenga-like tumbledown edifice. Compositionally, it’s cleverly used to frame the model’s second feature, a beautiful medieval house that pokes through the collapsing façade.
When you’ve designed something as beautiful as Ayrlego‘s Wainwright house, it seems a shame not to experiment with its presentation. It looks right at home in its medieval situ, with its muddy path, city guards, and period timber frame construction.
However, why stop here? Relocate the build half way around the globe to Jamestown in Virginia and you have a completely different enviroment to explore. LEGO palm trees and red coat soldiers have surrounded the timber frame residence, giving the model a fresh colonial feel.
What makes a LEGO model special often comes down to an inspired design choice. In the case of En Zoo’s Laelariel Hall it’s all about the use of colour. The build is a solid medieval construction utilising many tried and tested stone wall and roof techniques. What lifts it above the average are the exquisite splashes of blue bricks throughout. The main walls are veined with light blue and 1×1 round tiled studs. Layered in sequence, they imbue the building with a sense of magic. Accents of dark blue in the roof echo the marbling elsewhere. It’s a clever choice that transports the scene into its own fantastical realm.
LEGO fansite Classic Castle’s annual Colossal Castle Contest is upon us yet again. Now in its 16th year, this long-running contest draws out scores of world-class builders. We’ve got our eyes on all the contenders, but the one that caught my eye today is Isaac Snyder with a pair of simple yet elegant medieval builds. While modest in both scale and intent, Isaac has crafted a wonderful slice of middle-age urbanism, with neatly designed houses crowding over a packed street. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Isaac has opted for a refreshingly clean aesthetic, eschewing the now-common jumbled style of bricks at crazy angles and roofs mere moments from collapse.
Next, Isaac moves to the countryside while retaining the same tidy style, bringing us a happy cottage on a streambank. The wattle and daub architecture is expertly accomplished, and the little touches like the chicken coop give life to the scene.
If there was ever a “Master of Microscale” it would be Jeff Friesen. As the author of LEGO Micro Cities and builder of our 2017 Creation of the Year, he knows how to pack a big punch in a small space. It’s incredible how he is able to create a whole world on a 20 x 20 stud baseplate. I love this latest piece, a medieval village and castle, for its levels, layout, and lovely parts usage. This time around, Jeff used several flick missiles to help form the lower towers.
I’m also a big fan of Jeff’s consistently perfect color palette. While this one is more simple in terms of colors, it holds true to form in the fact that there is zero monotony. The two-tone base gives it dimension and a slight complexity. If you love this build as much as I do, stay tuned for our review of the book, LEGO Micro Cities. Also, check out our interview with Jeff Friesen about his “Cityscapes” series.
A chance encounter at a crossroad tavern often leads to adventure. This LEGO inn built by Sebastian Bachórzewski taps into this spirit, looking every bit as if it could have been drawn straight from the pages of a fantasy epic. Rough and ready in appearance, with great building techniques used to offset the stone structured base from its wattle and daub upper floors; it’s the sort of spot you’d expect to meet a shadowy stranger. Who are those drunken soldiers looking for? Who might be hidden under those inventively built technic pin wheat sheafs? It’s one of those great builds that segues seamlessly into the art of storytelling.
It’s one of the contradictions at the heart of LEGO building, that we love to see the rectilinear brick subverted. Bravo to jaapxaap, who has centred his latest model on some seriously wonky geometry. There’s no doubt that Falcon Castle is suffering from years of subsidence, its central tower quaintly leaning at the most acute of angles.
Of course it takes real talent to do this, which you pick up again in the embellishments that have been added: the ingot bricks used to simulate wear, or the golden tower painstakingly formed form telescope pieces. In the end though, you just have to marvel at the way the imperfections of the ramshackle fortress have been so perfectly built.