Straight from the Circus Maximus, let me present this exquisite LEGO chariot built by Dicken Liu. And, given the subject matter, I think this is a good time to learn some Latin. Our first vocab word is volare: to fly or move quickly. And, by golly, those horses are doing exactly that! This build evokes such motion with its flying manes and tails, I can almost hear their galloping hooves when I look at it! It’s truly a brilliant use of curved slopes and arches.
You can hear them an hour before they arrive. Ten thousand footsteps all in perfect sync, marching to war, wielding spears and swords and covered in armor. That’s the image builder Big Stannis creates with his epic Roman legionnaires.
This build is nearly beyond description. You can’t help but stare at the shouting soldier above, hearing his voice command the 144 troops into battle. I’m super impressed by the use of little yellow hands to form Rome’s symbols on the shields. The pieces use in the armor and helmets is equally expert.
Oddly, my favorite part is the dirt. Yes, the brown and tan pieces. I’m a sucker for well-constructed LEGO dirt, and this is another masterpiece. Using the round flat bricks is a method I haven’t incorporated into my builds, but I will now!
Yes, over 800 hours! That’s a long time, for sure, but not as long as the Vatican has been around, and less time than Michelangelo spent painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, too; yet this is no less a piece of art. This huge and detailed build by Rocco Buttliere is the first to depict an entire country in a single LEGO build, which is quite the accomplishment. It helps that Vatican City is the world’s smallest country, but still, everything is here, from the enormous St. Peter’s to the Vatican Gardens, along with every other building inside Vatican City, like the local supermarket and post office.
Now, I’ve seen Rocco’s huge and detailed version of Ancient Rome (huge and detailed seems to be a running theme with Rocco, like his Forbidden City and even a shopping mall), but I’ve never been to Rome. However, I have seen many pictures of St. Peter’s Basilica and the famous square in front of it, and everyone has seen pictures of the Sistine Chapel’s interior. But this LEGO version includes so much detail, it’s like I’ve been there now. In his typical style, Rocco also gives copious information with each picture, evidence of the amount of time spent meticulously researching his subject matter.
Recently, LEGO has been licensing numerous franchises and brands, from auto manufacturers to movies and cartoons. However, none of those collaborations is strong enough to result in the biggest LEGO product ever released. The truth is, LEGO is at its best when “licensing” Italian history and culture. And it’s not surprising: there are so many perfect things created by Italians, and they look even better when rendered with danish bricks. After numerous Ferrari cars, the recent 10271 Fiat 500, and even 21026 Venice from Architecture theme, here comes the largest LEGO set released so far, 10276 Colosseum. Consisting of 9,036 pieces, it is almost 1,500 pieces bigger than the previous record-holder, Star Wars 75192 UCS Millennium Falcon. The new set is available starting today, for US $549.99 | CAN $649.99 | UK £449.99, which is, in the US, $250 less than the original 75192 Millennium Falcon price tag. Let’s build and take a closer look at one of the most famous Italian landmarks.
While Greek galleys have been an occasional subject for LEGO builders, it’s not often we feature the Roman navy, despite its historical importance in carrying the Roman army to victory across the Mediterranean in places like Carthage, as well as to Britain from Gaul. Iyan Ha has corrected this oversight with his wonderful little Roman warship, with full rigging and even pavilions on the deck for the elite passengers. As wonderful as the ship is, don’t miss the filigreed stand, complete with a custom plaque and a pair of tigers.