Designing castles on a limited footprint is a fun challenge and this 12×12 castle by Roanoke Handybuck packs a lot of detail into a small space. From the rocky outcropping above a sheltered cove, three tall towers keep watch. Dark red rooftops are picked up in the small wooden buildings at the water’s edge. A tiny boat with a brave captain risks the rocky shore, and minifig hands for flags are a nice finishing touch.
The Harry Potter universe’s village of Hogsmeade continues to be a great source of inspiration for LEGO builders. I don’t know if it’s the lure of crafting medievalesque buildings in a non-castle creation or the fact that it’s a winter-themed town that isn’t decked out in red and green, but I know it works. The latest one to catch my eye is Roanoke Handybuck’s Hogsmeade Village. The two buildings pushed against each other, bookended by three happy little trees, and blanketed in snow, really captures the feeling of cozy wizarding town. Looking deeper into the scene, you’ll notice a few amazing parts usages that make these cottages look old and ramshackle. Maybe magic is the only thing keeping them standing. The first thing to notice is the lantern made from a pair of brown Witch-king crowns. Most interesting to me though, are the windows framed with neck brackets. Well a relatively stable connection of LEGO parts, it gives an especially rickety look for the windows’ muntins.
Over the last year Roanoke Handybuck has built something of a reputation for his wonky building style. Celebrating the shapes and forms of the medieval period he focuses on capturing the way wooden beams bend and walls subside. In this latest model, titled Eldford Market, he demonstrates in a tiny 16 x 16 baseplate all the LEGO techniques synonymous with his work. Everywhere you look, bricks are matched irregularly or held at off-centre angles, whether it’s in the cobbled street or as part of the weathered tower. The icing on the cake, though, has to be the way the upper floor of the main building tilts elegantly into its neighbouring sloped roof – brilliant!