The latest trend for castle creations have focused on organic and colorful shapes, showcasing complex building techniques and intensive parts usage. A leading pioneer of this style is Derfel Cadarn, who created a guide in 2011 showcasing some detailed techniques that many builders have referenced. Before then castles used to be square, which you can see in examples from prolific builders from the previous decade such as Rocko, Darkspawn, and even hachi from the early 2000’s.
This brings me to the latest creation by Brother Steven, which purposely features simpler building techniques reminiscent of the old style of castles. The white walls and the staggered towers are strikingly solid features, an effect that is best achieved with the bread and butter technique of stacking one brick on top of another.
The Faraam character/armour set that was used extensively in the marketing of Dark Souls II has now found its way to LEGO thanks to this build by robbadopdop. It’s a very heavy, layered brick build that could easily pass as a stone monument piece if you switch out all the colours for grey. The fine detailing on the shield is particularly impressive, and the shaping of the cloth and fur elements should be commended too.
Another interesting point on this build is that the picture above isn’t a Photoshop of a single build. Instead, the builder made two (one as a commission and one to keep) so we get a rare double-sided view.
The blacksmith shop is surely one of the most frequently built medieval LEGO structures beside castles, of course. And this wonderfully detailed shop by Sebastian Bachórzewski looks so peaceful I like to believe this blacksmith is busily making swords into ploughshares. It’s hard to understand why he looks so grumpy… maybe he just hit his thumb with the hammer.
One of the things I enjoy most about this particular shop is the textured roof with those big beams. The wide variety of green parts, including a longhorn steer’s horn used to create the thick vegetation is also a nice touch.
Nothing says foreboding fortress like a castle’s huge main gate and portcullis. Construction of this particular LEGO castle by Benjamin Calvetti began in July 2016 and, after utilising around 10,000 bricks, it is finally completed. Benjamin’s castle is around 20” inches (50cm) wide and seems to be emerging straight from the rock. The best part of this castle is that despite being freshly built, it has all the hallmarks of an aging building — some moss is growing in places, damage to the stonework and the odd slightly alarming large crack.
Click to see close-up views of the castle
Castle was one of the earliest themes introduced by LEGO back in 1978. The theme no longer continues, but fan builders have maintained a strong alliance with this favourite topic to display their creative talents. Sunder59 has built a microscale castle complete with gatehouse and stone fortifications surrounding the town. This is a digital model and has the advantage of using parts that are not officially LEGO parts at present. Despite this, I really like this model and it could easily be built in real bricks with a few small changes.
A closer look at the castle reveals some of the parts that are not currently part of LEGO’s inventory. I spotted three parts in colours that don’t exist yet; dark blue lipstick on the top of one tower, the reddish brown 1 x 1 bricks with studs on 2 adjacent sides and the Technic sprocket on the main tower.
How do you feel about us highlighting digital builds and renders? In a digital age, more and more people share their work online and the renders are improving all the time – is it cheating to use parts that don’t exist yet in those colours, or just part of the advantages of building this way?
Surely there’s a strong positive correlation between the number of intricate and charming medieval LEGO creations one comes across and how many times one smiles in a given day. Or at least I think there’s something to that. This wonderful scene by “kofi” certainly brought a smile to my face.
This build is quite interesting as it doesn’t overly emphasize any one structure or area in an extreme fashion. While the lovely windmill (that moves by the way) and other small structure certainly draw the eye in, as a whole it’s a very balanced build with lots going on. The subtle gradient on the ground down to the right really draws the eye in too.
The more I look at this build, the more I can’t help but think that I wish photographing LEGO builds in 360 was more of a thing. Wouldn’t it be neat to get a look at this build from all sides? Maybe take a closer look from the top looking down? Ah what the future holds.
There’s a whole medieval world created by LEGO fan builders as part of a role-playing game called Nine Kingdoms hosted by German-language site RogueBricks. Even RPGs need educational institutions and Markus Rollbühler has built the Royal Academy, a place for students to come and learn from the masters. There are lots of interesting LEGO techniques that we can also study at the Royal Academy with some fine LEGO construction and parts use on show. My eye was immediately drawn to the tree, with its foliage uniquely constructed using plumes of green feathers. I also love the bird’s nest sitting on the roof of the Academy, my ornithological knowledge is rather limited but it looks like a stork has made a home up there.
There are almost too many gems to mention, as the Academy itself has some lovely architectural details such as the beautifully shaped dormer windows. Can you spot the brown minifigure hockey sticks in the scene? There’s a lot to love in this creation and if you like this build, you will certainly enjoy spending a quiet summer evening at Markus’ windmill.
This must be a good year for grapes as a fine crop of an unusual round, lime green variety are being harvested on Nadine Wölfle’s farm. The farm not only specialises in some fine wine production but also breeds goats to produce and sell goats milk. If you take a look inside the cart, a good stock of goats cheese is being taken to market today. This is a gentle scene that is both attractive and detailed, with the cute little home at the far end, and the vines being harvested at the other. I love the old fashioned method of stomping to crush the grapes before the juice is poured into barrels.
Some added views give us a chance to see those cheeses being transported and some of the details in the front court and house. There’s plenty to love about this quaint scene but my eyes keep returning to the method of crushing the grapes and getting the juice into the barrels. Much as I love it, I’m not entirely sure this would pass hygiene standards nowadays.
In the peaceful rural setting of Avalonia, there is a grand old house called Königsfeld Manor. Life in the village of Avalonia is normally peaceful, but this spring a visit from an old friend brings worrisome tidings. This diorama by Patrick Massey is the perfect antidote to the current wintry conditions in the Northern Hemisphere. There is a lot to admire in this scene with its engaging mix of landscaping and architecture. My favourite part is definitely the overspill of landscape beyond the black border, I think this may be the first time I have seen this technique used so effectively.
The main house has some lovely architectural details and surprisingly it appears to be built on stilts; perhaps the monsoon season brings flood water. The decorative roof ridges are not the usual village design so I wonder if there’s a more sinister character living here. There’s another small building under construction with just a wooden frame on show at the moment. Perhaps it’s a storage barn or a granny flat to stop granny hassling those who live in the main house… ‘Have you seen my glasses?’, ‘Can you pass me the scroll?’, ‘These carrots are undercooked!’…
Two things that I really like are history and LEGO. The combination of the two makes it all the better! James Pegrum, creator of the long running LEGO series History of Britain shows us his latest awesome historical LEGO build portraying King Rædwald returning home after a battle.
Apparently the battle didn’t go too well. His dead son is on the same boat heading to the burial mounds. Better luck next time, Rædwald! The builder says his longboat was inspired by the 4th-century Nydam Boat excavated in Denmark and the 7th-century ship-burial at Sutton Hoo in England.
On a side note, this is an entry to the Medieval Ships category of this year’s Colossal Castle Contest.
German builder Disco86 recently completed his triptych of builds focused on medieval Japan, for the 12th annual Colossal Castle Contest over at Classic-Castle.com. And I think it’s fair to say he saved the best for last, with this beautiful and colorful diorama. (Can you spot the lurking ninja?)