The way the sunlight streams through the wooden slats of Simon NH’s carpenter’s workshop shows not only exemplary building skill, but also quite the talent with the camera. This idyllic scene of a bygone age of craftsmanship matches nifty piece uses, such as the minifigure hair wasp’s nest in the rafters, and the subtly positioned gear rack saw blade, against an eye for pictorial representation. Using the lines of the beams and rafters to exaggerate the perspective in the photograph, Simon pulls the viewer’s eye into this little world, able to linger over every detail of the carpenter’s life; and be rest assured those minifigure hands on the floor are wood chips and not the result of a grisly accident.
August is an enchanting time of year — here in the Northern Hemisphere, people are taking summer vacations and looking forward to the heat waves ending as we head into autumn, while in the Southern Hemisphere winter begins drawing to a close. Far more enchanting than the mere changing of the seasons, this magical scene by César Soares is TBB’s cover photo for August 2018. The diorama depicts a wizard’s workshop, replete with potions, ingredients, and arcane equipment. Spend some time getting lost in the details, but make sure you get out before the wizard returns!
Want to see your own LEGO creation featured across TBB social media for a month? Then read the submission guidelines and send us your photo today. Photos that do not meet the submission guidelines will not be considered, and will be removed from the group.
With their towering stone walls, crenelated turrets, and ornate decoration, medieval churches could almost be seen as castles–an idea helped in no small part by the frequency of medieval clergy acting like their secular counterparts. So whether this structure by KevinyWu belongs to the church or the state, the Fortress of St. Jocosa certainly prepared for what the world may throw at it. The fortress’ foundations are a nice bit of rockwork, giving a great feeling of a tiny castle perched upon a lonely rock, and the winding path leading to it, while using simple techniques of stacked dark tan plates, cuts a striking line through the scenery.
Cut-away LEGO builds are sometimes difficult to do, and tough to make look right. Giving the illusion of a sneak peak into a building takes clever skill when also trying to maintain structural stability. But Carter Witz is one of those builders who has that talent. His Viking longhouse he built for the Summer Joust 2018 contest is sure to be a favorite!
Real-life Viking longhouses were made using some combination of timber, stone, or peat bricks, and had thatched or turf roofs. They were also lined with bench-like platforms for sitting and sleeping, and occupants did everything in these structures. Privacy sure must have been scarce! Carter’s LEGO version comes complete with the customary central hearth where the family both cooked and did iron-work. I love all the little details, but one of my favorite parts is the cloaks hanging on the “clothesline”.
Earlier this year we wrote an article about two builders from Australia who came together to create an epic mythical scene. Their inspiration came from a Nordic legend about a pair of warriors who slay a fiery dragon. One of the builders, Ben Cossy, continues the tale with the dragon he calls “Yddreig the Red”. Now we have a snapshot diorama of the confrontation about to take place. It must have taken countless hours to create the incredibly detailed landscape, which features amazing rock work. Everything is positioned in a way that really brings it to life and sucks us straight into this fantasy world.
One thing is for sure: our heroes look like they have quite the battle ahead of them to survive.
It doesn’t take a big creation to pack in a lot of detail, and this build by Ah Ki is a great example of that! His LEGO “Medieval Weapons House” sits on a small base but has big character. It demonstrates the use of a cool patch-working technique to give it that rustic feel. There are a few neat uses of parts, like the 1x4x1 fence in the windows and wheel covers (hubcaps) for accents. It also has a fun color scheme.
My favorite part is the forge with its little awning and blacksmith at his anvil. The whole structure has a pretty nice shape to it, especially the roof, which makes a perfect little swoop. I just wish that we could get a tour inside!
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.
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.