I love The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. Like, really, really love it. I have more than a whole shelf in my library (yes, I have a library, filled with many leather-bound books) devoted just to the book and its ancillary volumes (The Hobbit, Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, etc.). Tolkien is my favorite author, by far, and I’ve read his major work at least twelve times. So when I see really well done LEGO builds based on the stories, like this one by Simon Hundsbichler, it gets the warm fuzzies going inside. Even if it is based on the movies, I still love it; after all, for whatever butcheries they did to the characters (e.g. Faramir), Peter Jackson et al. did a phenomenal job of representing the material cultures of Middle Earth. This particular build is inspired by the second volume of the work, The Two Towers, and features many towers, from the horn tower of Helm’s Deep to Orthanc to Minas Morgul to Cirith Ungol.
Microscale is notoriously tricky to pull off, but Simon is a master among masters at it. Some features that need to be pointed out include using the tiny hole in the bar holder with clip as the window at the top of Cirith Ungol. Genius. But it is all amazing. Helm’s Deep bears repeated looks, with the absurd number of unconventional pieces in the rockwork, from grey hawks and frogs to saddles. But then there’s my favorite stair technique with a grille brick leading up to Meduseld. And a stud shooter in Cirith Ungol. And rockets in the towers of both Minas Morgul and Helm’s Deep. And a spider as Shelob, a giant spider. Brilliant. And there’s a Treebeard, too! Add in the book base, and the water flowing through it, and you have one of my favorite LEGO creations ever.
If you missed Simon’s masterful representation of the first volume of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, check it out here. I can’t wait to see the third installment!
From movies to TV shows to LEGO models, we all love a bit of Star Wars action. But one of the persistent criticisms of the franchise is the peculiar need it appears to have to return to similar planetary environments over and again. In an entire galaxy of apparently habitable planets, it seems weird we keep ending up on desert or frozen worlds. Here’s a LEGO creation that decides instead to revel in the possibilities of alien environments, setting a battle between the Republic and the Trade Federation on the colourful world of Tealos Prime. I love the bright foliage and unusual tones in the scenery here — a brilliant contrast with the typical grey vehicles of the Star Wars universe.
The scene, a collaborative effort from Tim Goddard, Mansur Soeleman, and inthert is an absolute cracker — massive in scope despite the micro scale employed on the individual models. Check out this wider top-down view which reveals the full size of the layout, with scenery ranging from forest to cliff-side landing pad, and the impressive array of vehicles from both factions…
Step aside Godzilla, there’s a new monster in town! And she brought offspring! This LEGO amphibian by alego alego is one the best I’ve seen. It has excellent shaping, and those helmets for eyelids are awesome! Green cherries were a great choice for toes, too. But the nifty parts usage doesn’t stop there! As your eyes wander around the scene, you can make out garage door elements and crates/containers giving texture to buildings, and 1×1 dark green round plates with holes attached to upright paintbrushes for tiny trees. Not to be forgotten, the 1×1 plate with a printed square is perfect for adding depth to the smaller buildings.
Check out more of this excellent builder’s work by visiting our archive.
Inspired by the work of Syd Mead, builder Jme Wheeler packs a lot of punch into a fairly small area, creating a sprawling, Futurist research facility in LEGO microscale form.
The builder makes great use of a limited black and blue color palette on the buildings and all light gray rocks. Restricting the colors of the structures gives the whole facility a cohesive look. It makes the green plant matter quite striking and yet doesn’t distract from the beautiful building designs. The tall, stacked building gives us some impossible architecture that somehow feels right at home in the scene and you can almost imagine workers bustling through the covered walkways between buildings. I love the use of the gray curved tiles to represent a raised road or perhaps a monorail track. The windmills are a clever addition and the tiny island with a single palm tree is a great little gem hiding in plain sight.
At first glance, this LEGO model of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai could be mistaken for the official set… wait, who am I kidding? there’s no possible way you could confuse this incredible model by Rocco Buttliere for the LEGO set made with only 333 pieces.
There are so many great details that I’m not sure where to start. How about with the inner ring at the base of the model, which uses circular roller-coaster tracks to create a faceted plaza between all three spurs of the building.
Rocco also creates large trees that match the look of the tiny trees made from green flower parts.
Along with the many stunning architectural details like the symmetrical recessed circular gardens, and the gently curving buildings along the edge of the model and the multiple sloped and terraced plazas, the three tapering spurs capture the look of this iconic landmark beautifully.
With the exciting news of the forthcoming LEGO and Nintendo Super Mario partnership, we should expect to see a bunch of LEGO creations imagining what some of the forthcoming sets might look like beyond those revealed in the press release. BenBuildsLego is off the starting grid early, with this wonderful idea — an Architecture-style line up of iconic tracks from the classic racing game Mario Kart 64. We’ve got six tracks, each immediately recognizable just from a tiny seven-brick-wide segment: Koopa Troopa Beach, Mario Raceway, Bowser’s Castle, Sherbet Land, Wario Stadium, and of course, Rainbow Road. If you didn’t start humming the tunes for each of those as you read through the list, are you even a real Mario fan?
LEGO has released a lot of great sets in their Architecture theme, but they all have one big drawback. They’re all based on buildings that exist. I mean…c’mon. This is LEGO we’re talking about. Can’t we be a bit less derivative and a bit more creative? Happily, F@bz didn’t limit themselves to recreating a landmark, they built something new for us to enjoy. In Architecture #1, we get a functional, realistic-looking building with some pretty unique shaping. Those big curves are made from a series of split-level plates sandwiched between 1×2 transparent plate, bent around a curved-slope base. Sweet.
As enviable as that curve is, though, don’t overlook some of the other great details. The roof-level mechanics include ingots and minfigure accessories. My favorite, though, is the stamped letter used as a tiny statue/sign in the courtyard.
This is F@bz’s first venture into microscale building, but hopefully not the last.
After writing about LEGO for nearly a decade, it’s rare that I see a mashup that’s new, let alone one that’s done excellently. But this build by Mansur Soeleman brought me that rare delight in the form of a Bionicle creation made of system pieces and done in microscale. The lush green island is Kini Nui, the temple at the heart of Mata Nui in the Bionicle universe, and it evokes the verdant foliage of the island’s jungle well. The build is loaded with brand new elements which I’m excited to see put to such great use, such as the white 1x8x3 slopes for the four pillars on the temple.
Side note: I’m feeling an urge to play Halo now, for some reason…
One of my absolute favorite cartoons growing up was Battle of the Planets – the Amercanized version of the Japanese anime classic Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. I loved the cool vehicles, the best of which was the Phoenix, the team’s giant carrier jet. Although it’s already been done, I’ve often dreamed of making a minifig scale version out of LEGO. In the meantime, though, I’m absolutely going to be building this microscale version created by len_d69. This 51 piece build just makes me stupidly happy.
The curved bow plates are the real star of the show, doing double duty as both the nose cone and wing details. The 1×1 tooth plate is also a perfect choice to match the vehicle’s shaping. So…what are you waiting for? Check out the full parts list and make your own!
While brainstorming ideas for my own entry to the Assemble the Fleet Contest, I went down a bit of an internet rabbit hole of ships and concept art from lesser-known Star Wars video games. Among them was the Assault Frigate Mark II, only seen in the Star Wars: Empire at War RTS games, which I took one look at and dismissed as impossible to recreate in LEGO due to it’s almost entirely rounded shape. A few weeks later, to my dismay and excitement, The Brickforce proved me very wrong with his beautiful microscale rendition of the ship.
Making good use of the multitude of new rounded, angled, and sloped pieces LEGO has released the past few years, the builder has managed to skillfully recreate the rounded form of the ship, with minimal gaps between the bricks for a smooth look. The splashes of color top complete the build, both incorporated into the complex shaping of the hull and in the Nebulon-B-esque pod array coming off the bottom of the vessel.
When the master builders of the Renaissance were building things from bricks, they were not using ABS plastic like LEGO master builders do today. They were building with marble, constructing some of the most beautiful buildings ever built. The proportions, the balance, the arrangement of the different elements were intended to raise the hearts and spirits of those visiting to an experience of the supernatural. Scaled down and converted from marble to ABS, those same buildings remain awe-inspiring. Take this model of Santa Maria del Fiore, the cathedral of Florence, Italy. Perhaps bricksandtiles is not Arnolfo di Cambio or Filippo Brunelleschi, some of the men who designed various parts of it (the cathedral was under construction from 1296 until 1436, when the dome was completed and the church was consecrated, so lots had their hand on it), but nonetheless this LEGO version is spectacular in its own right.
The famed octagonal dome is built from countless rounded 1×2 plates, mimicking the tiled roof splendidly. Sand green grille tiles serve as green marble borders to the intricate multicolored inlays on the real thing. But there is a lot more inlaying of sand green with the white, brick built all over the place. With the tower and the baptistry, the whole structure is a massive LEGO build, worthy of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Of course, this is not the first version of the cathedral featured on The Brothers Brick; check out another LEGO Florence cathedral we featured last year.
Recently the world lost Jens Nygaard, a key LEGO innovator. While most news outlets were focused on Jens’ work as the creator of the LEGO minfigure, he was responsible for so much more. For example, did you know he was the creator of the classic Space theme? Builder Chris Yu did, and the Nygaard memorial fleet is their tribute to Jens’ genius. It’s said that grief is just love with nowhere to go. But sometimes we can take that love, listen to the inspiration it brings, and create something new.
This microscale collection of ships are decked out in the theme’s traditional blue and yellow colors. There’s a variety of cruisers, a fun robot, suitably chunky rocket, and even a micro-tribute to the theme’s astronaut minifgures.
Chris won our 2019 LEGO Creation of the Year Award with another Classic Space masterpiece. It’s safe to say this is a tribute to a theme close to his heart.