Tag Archives: Medieval

Bricks that don’t quite fit together

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.

Tear down the wall

Same house, different times

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.

Wainwright, Ambarvale

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.

Wainwright, Jameston

A castle shot through with a bolt of blue

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.

It’s time to get medieval

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.

CCC XVI: Fresh Baked Goods!

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.

CCC XVI: Mitgardian Farmhouse

Magnificence on a mini canvas

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.

Meeting at the crossroads

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.

Crossroads Inn

Creating a charmingly crooked castle

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.

Falcon Castle

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.

A charming LEGO dwelling fit for a dwarf

This humble Dwarven home by Isaac Snyder may look like a fairly simple construction, but if you take a closer look, there are quite a few techniques worth mentioning that bring this dwelling to life. The black roof uses small slopes in an asymmetrical pattern which is quite unexpected. Also, the corner pillars blend seamlessly with the walls. The inset alcoves for doors and windows have a very strong castle fortification vibe, and speaking of doors, this one is a gem, made from various brown plates stacked simply, and adorned with hinges made from one of my favorite “new” parts, the modified 1×1 round plate with handle.

Danyel's House

But there is one more thing… an interior.

Danyel's House

Captain, I think we’ve struck something!

When I first saw this build I did a double take. There are lots of pirate shipwrecks out there, and lots of medieval-looking structures. There are also plenty of creations featuring pirate ships attacking those structures. But there most definitely aren’t many shipwrecks running through the center of a village, sitting on a floating sky-rock, splitting it in two. The level of engineering involved in such a creation deserves major kudos, and those kudos belong to John Snyder.

Ship's Bane

We’ve featured other creations by John, but were particularly struck by the interesting setting for this one. Every angle shows masterful attention to detail.

Ship's Bane

Bricks for Glory I: so you want to build a hero

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Sierra was one of the biggest names in PC gaming, and high-quality adventure games were one of their specialties. One of their most beloved franchises was the Quest for Glory series, developed by Lori Ann and Corey Cole. Of the five games in the series, Letranger Absurde chose to recreate the opening scene of Quest for Glory I: So You Want to be a Hero. As the hero enters the picturesque town of Spielberg for the first time, he is greeted by Sheriff Schultz Meistersson and his massive right-hand-man, Otto Von Goon. Going by the colors used, Letranger appears to have based his representation on the VGA remake. He makes a great use of various angles to form the buildings in front of the town square, and forced perspective is cleverly used to suggest there is another area to explore. The characters are instantly recognizable, including a brick-built version of Otto pulling off a yo-yo trick like he often does in the game.

Quest for Glory

Just another day on the olive farm

This pastoral farm scene by Jonatan Svenning packs a lot of great details into a small space. One of my favorite features is the simple roof, which uses 2×4 tiles connected on the underside and resting on the sloped wall with no apparent stud connection.

Varlyrian Olive Farm

The narrow door and the textured walls provide a cozy vibe, while the low rock wall looks sturdy and weather-worn. I also love the multiple colors for both the landscaping and the path, that go so well together.

A breath of crisp mountain air

This enchanting mountain hut by Ayrlego proves that you don’t need to build big to build beautifully. Envisioned as an idyllic retreat where medieval townsfolk might bring their goats to graze, it uses a number of simple but effective techniques to capture a delightful homely quality. Revelling in the joy of studded textures, wonky plates adorn its façade bringing a rural feel to the building. This effect is cleverly accentuated where the studded elements meet occasional modified plates. Completing the look, the grass roof uses exposed studs, as well as plant and curved elements in a complimentary arrangement, to craft a charming mossy appearance.

Summer Mountain Hut