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.
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.
But there is one more thing… an interior.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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.