Tag Archives: Middle-Eastern

Bottoms up with this tower!

This Middle Eastern-inspired tower caught my eye due to the lovely motif that builder Pan Noda sculpted on the walls using the undersides of 1×1 plates in white and a variety of various eathy tones. In fact, almost none of the tower is built with elements in the traditional studs-up orientation, allowing it to have a great deal more careful ornamentation for the size. The covered entrance is worth a closer inspection too, composed of quite an intricate lattice of elements to mimic wood framing.

king box

A crusade to distant worlds

While knights in armour might often be associated with big grey castles, they did venture much further east in the (often ill-fated) crusades. Andreas Lenander has applied this scenario to LEGO’s own Black Falcon knights. Despite the sun and those hot-looking outfits, they look quite content to be living here! To be fair, it’s much more colourful than their typical monochrome abodes. This style of architecture does require some different techniques than you might expect in typical castles. I’m drawn to the domed roofs on the two larger buildings, each made using half a planet — specifically, I believe it’s Endor and Bespin. Talk about an out-of-this-world idea!

Western gate of Mophet

A desert dwelling worth gold ingots

As any builder knows, the release of an existing LEGO piece in a new colour provides lots of opportunities for building. Such was Andreas Lenander‘s thinking when getting hold of the gold ingot in tan, a new colour for the piece. His build of the aptly named Kumi’dia residence utilises this part all over the middle-eastern style dwelling. The ground is packed with these ingots to represent cobblestone brickwork as well as the textured base of the build. But my favourite is their combination with masonry bricks and 1×2 rounded plates for the textured wall. With a sprinkle of dark tan here and there, it perfectly conveys the weathered wall of the desert retreat.

Kumi'dia residence

Some gold and transparent light blue parts adorn the top of the building, conveying the resident’s wealth. In addition, Andreas uses a Bespin hemisphere part (from the Star Wars: Planet series) for the dome. Aside from the building itself I really like the small tree in the courtyard. It uses lasso and whip parts connect the leaves, which is a unique building technique and difficult to get right.

See more of Andreas Lenander’s builds here on TBB, as well on his Flickr, where he has similar architectural builds.

When desert warriors take over your classic castle

Here’s a fabulous tribute to a classic LEGO set — the iconic Yellow Castle 375, reimagined as a desert fortress. Galaktek has done a cracking job with this Arabian take on the 1978 original. Whilst the shape is immediately recognisable, a modern parts selection allows for the injection of more detail, with printed tiles and patterned fencing helping create the impression of elaborate tiling, and an appropriate choice of minifigures adding to the exotic Arabian atmosphere.

LEGO Arabian Nights

Best of all, the model features one of the most fondly-remembered elements of the original — it opens up. This was a much-loved play feature “back in the day” and, in this creation, allows us a better look at the fine interior work…

LEGO Arabian Nights

Enormous medieval town offers a gateway to the desert

LEGO Castle displays tend to focus on the Western European medieval era, with great grey fortifications set amid green forests, featuring knights engaged in combat, with perhaps the odd siege engine chucking rocks. How refreshing to see this huge collaborative display by thirteen members of SwissLug which breaks with tradition on two fronts: first, by depicting a city in the Levant (the lands of the Eastern Mediterranean), and second, by showing off the peaceful, multicultural side of life (probably right before the Crusaders show up and make a nuisance of themselves!)

LEGO Medieval Levant Holy Land Eastern Mediterranean

Click here to enjoy the pictures of the diorama…

A very special homecoming

Every journey comes to an end sometime, and for this weary traveler, his journey ends with a warm welcome from a loving father in this lovely scene by Carter Witz. One of the first details that caught my eye was the gently angled wall along the riverside.

Arriving Home

The same style of stacked plates and tiles is carried through to the back yard, which also features simple but interesting trees and other vegetation.

Arriving Home

Carter has included a fully detailed interior, which suggests, along with the letter in the father’s hand, that this homecoming was expected, and a yet another treasure of home is waiting. A good meal.

Arriving Home

Bedlam in the sahn

Builder Ted Andes brings us this scene full of middle-eastern style architecture and serpentine intrigue. A group of warriors battles it out with the forces of evil in the form of a snake-bodied wizard that we only see from the back. I love the way it lets your imagination fill in what might be behind that hooded cloak.

Bedlam in the Sahn

The whole courtyard is full of touches that evoke a feeling of the Middle East. The sand green and white tiled floor is beautifully done and complimented nicely by the sand green tiles with blue and yellow flowers on the wall to represent the elaborate tile work. The impressively large door made from palisades bricks is quite a presence and the use of keys as handles is very clever. The column treatment is elegant with its combination of square, round and palisades bricks as well as an earthy color palette that brings a cohesiveness to the whole scene.

But, it’s the decorated central column that really steals the show. The octagonal fountain at the base is a pleasing shape that draws your attention and mimics the angles of the tiled floor. The use of upside-down gold lamps for faucets gives is a nice touch and the gold scarab finishes this portion off nicely. The central column leads to a cluster of shin guards at the top that blossom into balloon parts topped with a bush to create a beautiful architectural palm tree. The addition of Aladdin off to the side, mopping up with a wry smile, is terrific and leaves us wondering if perhaps he was in on this evil plan the entire time.

Worn with the sands of time

Builder W. Navarre takes us to a Middle Eastern-inspired fantasy world with this lovely vignette of a royal apartment. What’s striking as much as the excellent agglomeration of official LEGO stickers is the use of worn, dirty bricks to lend an ancient, chiseled look to the walls. Most builders eschew such bricks except as hidden filler, but scenes like this remind us that there’s a use for nearly anything if you’re clever enough.

The Queen's Room

Padishah’s plush palace

LEGO builder Greg Dlx continues to explore large-scale recreations of exotic architecture. Following from last year’s desert fortress, here’s a beautiful Persian Palace. The white and gold domes grab all the immediate attention, but it’s the arches with their fabulous purple touches and the surrounding greenery which draw you in further. The vines snaking across the elaborate facade are well done, and there’s lots of nice tilework on the floors. The surrounding gardens look beautiful and Greg has filled the grounds with a veritable menagerie of animal life. However, it’s perhaps a shame there aren’t some appropriate minifigures lending a little more action to the scene.

Persian Palace

My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk

Here is another beautiful build made for the Guilds of Historica by the always amazing John Snyder. His Katoren Monastery was built “just for fun to mess around with the dark blue / white color scheme”. The rock formation is very organic and the flora accents it beautifully. I love the angled cobbled path, patchwork rock walls, and the staging and design of the minifigs.

Katoren Monastery

As well as another angle of the build showcasing the wonderful interiors and cheese slope mosaic walls, John has also included a little back story: “Located on the Eastern outskirts of Katoren, this monastery survived the Kaliphlin civil war better than most. A natural spring was the reason for the monastery’s location, and the spring continues to provide fresh water for all the inhabitants, as well as make the surrounding area very lush compared to much of the Kaliphlin landscape.”

Katoren Monastery

Sultans of sneak

In the depths of the Medina, behind the bazaar, the Sultan sneaks incognito through the arcade. Andrew JN evokes the architecture of the Middle East, and creates a nice sense of mystery and intrigue, in a LEGO diorama with a tiny 8×8 footprint. I love the restrained use of colour and the clean building style on display here. The use of turntable bases around the bottom is particularly effective, the layered archways are excellent, and the mosaic floor inside the arcade is nice touch.

Arcade of the Sultan

An Ottoman dream in green and gold

The Brothers Brick’s own Patrick Massey has created this beautiful mosque after a short hiatus from LEGO master building. He shared some insider tricks he implemented to save time and bricks, and the most interesting is that he created the model purely for photographing. In other words, there is no back to this incredible build! Patrick has been reading a book about Ottoman history called Osman’s Dream, which contains a lot of descriptions of the various styles of Ottoman architecture. Petrea Central Mosque hasn’t been modeled on any particular mosque, but it is very reminiscent of the Imperial Ottoman style of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Petrea Central Mosque