If you’ve been a LEGO fan throughout childhood, this situation might be familiar to you: spending hours staring at a set you’ve always wanted in the catalog, obsessing over it until you’d memorized every detail in that set, down to every last brick. For me, that set was the 10193 Medieval Market Village, with the hinge-open village houses and waterwheel powered blacksmith hammer. It was a beauty back then and it still does in this recent Medieval Market Village redux by Robert Maier, aka hellboy.bricks. Drawing inspiration from all the original set’s essential features, this revamp uses more complex techniques yet still holds all the character and charm of the original Medieval Market. The brick-built tree branches have been substituted with Technic connectors, a pumpkin patch has been added in the back, and macaroni tiles now adorn the blacksmith shop’s archways. The classic brick slope roofing on both buildings has also been swapped out with a cheese slope roof for the blacksmith shop and a curved tile roof for the medium blue house. Also, the olive green looks gorgeous on the newly paved cobblestone, a color that you wouldn’t have found in this 2009 set.
Missing the good ol’ days of the Castle theme? Robert has made another set redux (hint: there’s goats) that you can check out here.
Forgotten somewhere in the recesses of LEGO castle history is Knights’ Kingdom II. It lacks the deep nostalgia of the castle themes from the 1980s and early 90s and the surprising novelty of the Fantasy Era sets. For some people, it might rank above Nexo Knights while still remaining near the bottom of their list of favorite castle themes. What it did do well, though, was to introduce Bionicle-like buildable figures to castle, allowing builders to fight each other with action-figure sized LEGO creations. Have you ever tried to engage someone else in a duel with a minifigure holding a sword? I have. It is not easy, and it looks strange to boot. Constraction figures solved that problem, and LEGO 7 has solved the problem of clunky old constraction figures for the theme, giving Sir Adric a brilliant updating.
Many of the pieces of Sir Adric have been retained, like the shield, ax head, helm, greaves, and pauldrons. But the similarity ends there, as the builder has introduced heaps of constraction parts from Bionicle and other themes, with Darth Vader’s chest armor being among the most notable. While the original Adric was small and static, this one is the complete opposite, large and dynamic. Look at that action pose! Sir Adric could totally chop Vladek to bits with this upgrade. I love LEGO 7’s model, and I’m not even a fan of constraction!
With all the amazing official LEGO themes of today, it’s not surprising that LEGO builders are often inspired to create models that fit within these themes. Other fans enjoy exploring classic themes which have either been retired or only surface occasionally. You might be most familiar with the likes of Classic Space and Pirates, such as this Imperial Outpost built by Tammo S. Judging by the model’s name, it appears to have been inspired by LEGO set 6263 – Imperial Outpost It’s a lovely tribute to such a treasured theme. Nice touches include the simplicity of the low gray wall, along with the beach and water constructed from side-mounted bricks and plates. However, my favorite part is the brick-built flag, seemingly flapping in the wind.
The original wave of LEGO Pirates sets from 1989 have a special place in my heart. They are some of the earliest LEGO sets I remember, so this microscale scene by Corvus Auriac fills me with a warm glow. These miniature renditions of the classic sets Eldorado Fortress, Caribbean Clipper, and Black Seas Barracuda are notable not only for the way they evoke memories of my childhood, but also for some great building techniques.
My absolute favorite detail is the use of red flippers as the cannon bases. I learned of the existence of this modified 1×2 plate with three claws / rock fingers piece when inspecting the details of the miniature “ramp and pit” baseplate. The 1×2 curved wedge slopes also work great on the sails of the ships.
Want more retro goodness from Corvus Auriac? Don’t miss the re-imagined Guarded Inn we recently featured.
The original LEGO Guarded Inn was released back in 1986, gradually becoming one of the castle theme’s most cherished sets. It even received a 2001 re-release under the LEGO Legends moniker. Thanks to builder Corvus Auriac, the little inn has undergone major renovations. It’s a medieval masterpiece built to reflect current LEGO building techniques, the expanded range of parts, and diverse selection of colors.
Every angle of Auriac’s build is packed with jaw-dropping detail. While classic red bricks are great, the dark red used for the walls in this build feel more authentic to medieval source material. Whereas the original featured printed timber details, the timber gracing the walls of Auriac’s model is brick built. The placement of each piece has been carefully calculated. Meanwhile, green hues simulating moss growth on the roof add an extra dash of character.
As you can see in this image, each side of the building looks distinct from the next. A personal favorite is the first image, which showcases both the walkway and vines reaching toward the tower. I love how it shows off the aging of the architecture, a stark contrast to the clean look of the original.
A close-up shot of the yard shows off exciting little details you might miss without taking a second a look. There’s a brilliant-looking well, outdoor furniture, and a mix of greenery and weathered terrain. Even the door looks wonderful; the sai weapons make for convincing hinges.
Auriac’s re-imagined version of the Guarded Inn looks warm and welcoming enough to sleep in. There might be a few ghosts in the tower contend with, but that comes with the territory.
Ringing in the New Year is all about reflecting on the past and looking toward the future. John Tooker has accomplished both with his modern take on the classic LEGOLAND yellow castle (set 375), originally released in 1978. John’s model is not an exact replica, as it features some different windows and does not swing open like the original set. However, it possesses the basic form and enough key features to make it immediately recognizable. The castle looks wonderful in tan, which was not officially available back in 1978. However, it’s an appropriate choice, given that the LEGO Group’s official name for the color is “brick yellow.” John also makes good use of darker colors with landscaping, including olive green vines climbing the castle wall. The period-correct castle minifigures and brick-built horse look right at home in their new abode!
The newest Star Wars movie, Solo, actually showed that the origins of the Millennium Falcon had her covered in a sleek blue and white paint job. I’d like to think that if you go back a few more years, her factory finish looked a lot like this awesomely LEGO Classic Space redux from BeO Johansson. A classy makeover of the original Ultimate Collector’s Series Millennium Falcon (not the new version we reviewed), the blue and trans-yellow color scheme is packed full of nostalgia, helped with some fun nods to the old space sets from the 70s and 80s, such as the rear wing.
Although this version of the UCS Falcon doesn’t feature an interior (unlike the new version we reviewed), the cockpit, the builder has done some nifty upgrades to the cockpit, outfitting it with period-appropriate telemetry, AKA old-school computer elements. Continue reading
Long-time fans of Bionicle may remember the character of Brutaka, released as set 8734 in 2006. Masteryker has completely revamped and re-imagined the classic design into a beautiful but brutal-looking Brutaka. Brutaka has his signature mask and pearl gold colors but is constructed at a much more massive scale. The overall build feels wonderfully organic.
See the weapons wielded by this mighty Bionicle warrior
Alexis Dos Santos has been chugging along with some new train models, and this rustic scene consists of two separate structures. Alexis’ “Abandoned Hangar” on the left serves as a tribute to the history of trains, while the building on the right celebrates the history of LEGO trains. I really enjoy the way these two buildings play off of one another, with the darkness of the hangar giving way to the bright and colorful rail yard.
Continue reading about this model