This lighthouse on a tiny island by William Navarre is by far not the first time the concept is represented with LEGO bricks and I can guarantee it will not be the last — lonely lighthouses of all styles and sizes are an evergreen theme with a lot of expressive value, so it is no surprise one pops up every now and again. What distinguishes William’s build from others is a mix of simplicity and complexity.
His signature highly detailed style with intense textures is obviously apparent not only within the lighthouse’s walls and the rock below it, but also the sea and the small dock. Still, the overall design of the building remains simple, which diverts attention to more important segments. There seems to be just enough vegetation on the island so we can know it is indeed a natural island, but not too much to make it nicer than a pirate would deserve. Using natural sunlight for photography can be a risky move, but William has managed to pull it off well, additionally facilitated by the digitally added background.
There are dozens of ways one can decorate their home with LEGO, either mounting Star Wars battleships on the walls, placing LEGO sculptures all over the place or even hanging huge LEGO mosaics in a guest room. Still, there is nothing quite like a brilliant grandmaster chess set built completely with LEGO pieces to be exhibited in your home library. Bonus points are for a themed chess set – just like this 6,500-piece-large masterpiece by Aniomylone.
Click here to take a closer look at the pieces!
There’s nothing like a good pirate ship to shiver our timbers, and Nicola Poloniato has built a suitably intimidating ship, cloaked in black. The Black Star is approaching at speed with a full compliment of sails, not forgetting the Jolly Roger. I can’t say she looks friendly, just look at those cannon balls blasting from beneath the main deck.
It’s worth taking a closer look at those firing cannons; I love the smoke effect and their explosive movement cleverly built with a mix of transparent round 1×1 plates.
Life on the Caribbean island of San Escobar is anything but peaceful. The conquering Spaniards have a strategic fort while some English sailors have just arrived on HMS Falcon in time for afternoon tea. On the other side of the island, a pirate ship approaches looking for hidden treasure! This huge and impressive diorama by Ciamosław Ciamek has everything required to tell a great story; a pirate ship, English sailors, Spanish soldiers, hidden treasure and a monastery full of moonshine-brewing monks. What could possibly go wrong?
A closer look at the monastery shows off its nicely designed red sloping tiled roofs, an impressive dome and the main façade that was inspired by La Estancia Jesuítica Santa Catalina in Argentina.
There are lots more close-up views to enjoy in the builder’s San Escobar album of images.
If you sense a strange abundance of high quality Assassin’s Creed creations being blogged by us lately, it is not a coincidence. This tropical scene is Jonas Kramm‘s contribution to a larger Assassin’s Creed collaboration for German Comic Con. There is a lot going on in the scene, with pirates going about their business in between cute little raised huts, a shipwreck and, my personal favourite part, well constructed trees. The different colours of water make for a great effect too.
It looks like the kind of tropical beach where any pirate would love to rest at in between plundering adventures. We have already highlighted two other builders who took part in the collaboration, Max’s American civil war scene and Ben’s French revolution diorama.
Wooden leg, hook hand and an eyepatch – this pirate figure by LEGO 7 is exactly what one would think of when they hear the word “pirate”. The figure is more than just a perfect depiction of a stereotypical pirate captain, it is a great build combining complex angles in the torso, a simple yet effective face construction and beautifully detailed weapons. The captain’s remaining eye gives an impression of a charismatic character, additionally facilitated by the posture.
Floating islands are a popular motive in LEGO, most often coupled with steampunk or similar themes. Andrew JN goes just a little bit back in (alternate) time with this colonial themed floating rock. The scene represents a heavily guarded prison fort and a flying ship. While the ship does not look especially like a floating one, it is unique enough that it does not look out of place in the sky. The prison actually looks so nice, it makes me want to commit some heinous acts of piracy in the skies.
There’s no shortage of impressive LEGO pirate/sailing ships. This entry into the genre by albert might not have the impressive scale or detailing of some of the large pirate craft we’ve seen but it’s nicely put together all the same. I love the wake effect, built up from layers of different colours of transparent pieces, and the mixture of tiles and studded plates to create texture in the water.
Personally I don’t care for the tiled lettering. I feel it distracts attention from the rest of the model. However, the ship itself and the wake more than make up for that minor quibble.
When you think it can’t get any worse, sometimes life likes to surprise you. Such is the case with this band of pirates as Dwalin Forkbeard tells us: The pirates have survived an unfortunate battle with an Imperial ship, only to be attacked by an ancient sea monster. They are doing everything they can to escape, going as far as blowing into the sail, but will that be enough? Judging by the skeleton on the animal’s back, they do not even have to be eaten to meet a tragic end.
While the textures are somewhat simple, the inner construction of the creature has to be impressive to achieve the smooth, rounded shaping. The segment on the back resembling a small island is a common theme with sea monsters, but I have never seen it done in LEGO before, and a conservative amount of seashells and other sea animals spread across the monster really gives it a realistic impression. While the whale (or is it a fish? Is it any of that, even?) is obviously the focal point and the best part of the build, its surroundings help, too — the raft is positioned so that it gives a feeling of action and the water spilling off the diorama looks just so dynamic.
Take a medieval castle, mash it up with a pirate ship, and then give the whole thing impulse engines, the ability to fly, and advanced weaponry. That’s W.Navarre‘s recipe for a truly original LEGO creation. This could have turned out a hot mess of a build, but there’s enough colour and texture continuity across the model to pull off the ambitious intent. The test of an unusual creative idea is “Does it make sense without having to be explained?” This model accomplishes exactly that — it’s immediately apparent you’re looking at a flying pirate castle ship. What more explanation do you need?
The rear portion is excellent. I love the integration of the engines and missile bay beneath the hull…
Nothing valuable is safe from the hands of pirates in Mark van der Maarel’s harbor scene. The construction of each building, the movement of the water, and the scene populated with sketchy pirate operations are all well done without making the overall build appear busy.
The close-up of the alley showcases the subtle offsets to achieve the detailed features of the two buildings. The use of minifigure hands as clothespins, both in appearance and suspension of the tiles, is quite clever.
There is no doubt that William Navarre is one of the best and most active LEGO builders out there, churning out build after build of great quality almost every week. This one and his previous creation were built for the Colossal Battle Contest.
This naval battle has a lot going for it; the positioning of the ships is very expressive and dynamic, not to mention how well they are constructed. The scale is deceiving and the details are amazing — from the burning elements of the sinking ship to the rigging on the victorious side, each vessel is worth looking at individually. What I like best though, is the surrounding water, achieving a realistic look with two layers, a top textured one, and the bottom for colour (and a great look from the side!). William’s creations seem to have a theme of their simpler environment ending up capturing my attention even longer than the build’s focal point…