I really enjoy seeing examples of nature reclaiming abandoned spaces. Brick2 “Art”
has recreated this effortlessly in LEGO form with this scene of a tree taking root in an old castle.
There’s a lot of wonderful detail to be found in this build. The use of bars and whips in the construction of the tree adds a natural look to the trunk. Surrounding the tree, you’ll see other signs of nature looking to find purchase with some well placed mushrooms and tree roots.
Beyond this, we’re afforded suggestions of past castle life with a mix of scrolls, jars, and bottles discarded alongside weapons and the skeletons of the castle’s last inhabitants.
Let’s not forget the castle itself. Brick2 “Art” has composed this build with lots of subtle details suggesting the age of the citadel. And the arches along the sides offer the promise of more castle to explore. A final touch to this is how the light in this scene really adds to the composition, pooling the color centrally and making for quite the haunted scene!
I am quite confident when it comes to my LEGO part identifying. Quite confident until I stumble across another wonderful creation by Bart de Dobbelaer. Lego produced quite a few themes that are compatible with the system but are not minifigure scale or use standard bricks. No LEGO theme is off limit for Bart. We are looking at the ruins of a once magnificent civilization that is now reclaimed by nature.
The aerial roots of the trees look like they are gathering water and storing it in transparent sacks but that’s just my interpretation. These parts come from the LEGO clikits line.The boat in this creation uses a Ben 10 torso which works perfectly for a futuristic floating vessel. Or is it just a piece of floating scrap metal? Whatever it is, it works perfectly. I like how you can identify the piece because of its reflection. And reflection is what makes this creation go from big to massive. The use of dark orange bricks to represent rust and decay works perfectly as a complementary colour with the blue lighting. The cute blue critters with their yellow eyes also match the surroundings perfectly.
Elves seem to have a knack of building their dwellings harmonious with nature in most fantasy stories. Whether it is an ethereal treetop palace or a hidden valley lodging (very specific, I know), elven architecture is one with its surroundings. Books and films such as The Lord of the Rings made this trope popular – which isn’t a bad thing. However, builder Daniel Cloward shows us that sometimes this is not the case.
An elven city sits on coastal cliffs, built from the same stones, as shown by light grey LEGO elements. However, it is abandoned and has been overgrown with trees, shrubs, and other vegetation depicted by various green pieces. Only the white tree with lavender foliage remains of the original elf-nature harmony, as it seems to be part of the original city. The bright colours of that tree stand out from the grey and greens of the rest of the build. This small diorama really shows off the story of nature vs man-made (or elf-made) structures falling to ruin.
Interested in more elves and their architecture? We have some more elven creations for you.
In our current apocalyptical-like times, I’m sure most of us could use some feel-good imagery or stories in our lives. Here’s a sweet little LEGO vignette by Sebastian Arts, involving an amicable relationship between natural enemies – a cat and dog.
The main portion of the build is a fractured architectural setting with a post-apocalyptical feel to it. The drab grey color-scheme is made interesting by the sharp forms Sebastian shapes using mostly plates, slopes, tiles, and even blades. Some rounder elements are also incorporated, including 1×1 cylinders, 2×2 ridged cylinders, 1×1 cones, rounded sticks, and my favorite piece here – the technic bearing plate which is utilized in multiples to create a small roof. The focal point of the model is definitely the red 3×3 heart plate with a red 2×2 circular tile suspended over the orange striped cat and grey and white husky dog, all of which add a splash of color within the monochrome built environment. What can I say? This model just warms the heart but is also aesthetically quite pleasing.
Elias tore apart quite a few figures to build this creation and his the use of torso’s in this creation is amazing. They are everywhere! From the columns to the altar, from the platform to the staff. Thirty torsos have been used in this LEGO creation. The thing I love the most is the way the printing on the torsos was incorporated in the build. There are a lot of city hoodies and licenses fantasy torsos used to represent cracks and crumbling down of this ruined temple. What torsos do you recognize? Also a special mention goes out to Elias for using the sprue from the flower stem with 3 large leaves for foliage.
Kayaking, canoeing, and boating of other types are pretty popular where I live. While Jesse van den Oetelaar’s LEGO model seems to portray a more medieval type scene, this build reminds me of a real life historic park not too far from me, where you can kayak on a creek amidst the ruins of an aqueduct.
Jesse’s minifigure character William Renou paddles a brick-built sail boat which utilizes many small brown elements, notably many tiles of various sizes for the body of the boat while the sail mast utilizes multiple brown 1×1 round bricks. The water in this model is rendered with white trans-clear tiles, which is a bit different from most builds I have seen which tend to make use of trans-clear elements in various shades of blue. The white trans-clear elements are a good choice and they work well with the mostly grey color-scheme of the architecture.
The aqueduct ruins mostly make use of 1×2 brick elements, slopes, tiles, light green tree limb elements, and various other light grey pieces. I especially appreciate the cattails that are fashioned out of tan technic pins attached to brown sticks which were then stuck into the holes of tree limb elements. While the fantasy vibe is evident throughout this work, the vignette is still quite relatable in real and present moments as well.
The ruinous landscape – a popular pictorial theme is recreated in the LEGO medium here in this beautiful vignette by Jaap Bijl. Of course, LEGO is great for construction, but even more so LEGO can provide builders with an opportunity to be forces of deconstruction and deterioration – creators of ruin. This sublime energy is perfectly captured in Bijl’s build.
The main part of this built scene is arguably the decaying classical temple. The triangular roof at the top – the pediment is depicted as half existent and utilizes the 4×4 petaled flower piece and some white wing pieces as ornament. The broken columns are built using 2×2 round profile bricks. Perhaps my favorite mini-build here is the broken statue which is made out of a pair of white minifigure legs with some random elements piled on top. The statue on the left looks rather intact but creatively uses the 4×4 petaled flower once again, this time as a shield. Bijl generously applies a variety of LEGO plant elements to give viewers a sense of natural reclamation. I really appreciate how Bijl builds the ruins in such a way that they appear to be sinking into a swamp of green tiles. No ruinous destination is complete without some tourists taking in the sights, and we can see here some minifigures making their way across the swamp in a brick-built boat ready for adventure.
Some really great large Game of Thrones LEGO creations have been built in the last few years (if I don’t say so myself). Ekjohnson1 has built a number of amazing smaller Game of Thrones models, including this masterful vignette of Tyrion Lannister and Jorah Mormont sailing through Valyria. The amount of detail jam-packed into this small scene is amazing.
Right off the bat, I have to recognize the parts chosen for the custom minifigs. There is no question which characters are represented. Beyond that, there is so much to be in awe of here, such as the wands and claws as reeds. Two techniques stand out as most impressive to me both being held together by gravity and balance. First, the upside-down green hats being used as a plant – amazing. Second, and fittingly described at the bottom of the paragraph, is the use of 1×1 round tiles at the bottom of the model to represent the water simply but effectively.
Every year for the past few summers, right around now talented castle builders start coming out of the woodwork and displaying their creations for the Summer Joust. One such talented castle builder is Carter Witz, who has built the ruins of some ancient civilization on the edge of a tropical island. Unlike most such builds, however, Carter has set most of the building beneath the waves, implying either that the level of the sea has risen or that the level of the land has sunk. Or were the original inhabitants merfolk? Our only clue is that the builder has titled the work “Flooded…”. Whatever the events were that befell the now-ruined tower, it is an impressive build.
Large sections of rocks often get to be tedious, but Carter has kept the rocks looking interesting by varying the pieces and techniques on the way up. Minifigure arms on the submerged trees make for effective branches, and the tan gears look like nice corals. There are even ball joint pieces used as some sort of sponge, perhaps. The nicest detail, though, is the fish hiding in the hole in the tower. They don’t mind at all that the place is flooded.
Overflowing with architectural features, Noel Peterson’s El Templo de Uxmal revels in the crumbling splendour of the ancient Mayan civilisation. As you explore the ruins, you have to marvel at just how many different building techniques have been used: from the rings of brackets used to shape the distinctive holed blocks, to the row of modified bar elements inset to replicate relief carvings. The arrow head portal, made by off-setting cheese wedges, adds a spectacular focal point to the build that I particularly like. Noel’s attention to detail carries on throughout the model, creating weathering effects, age and a real sense of history everywhere you look.
The Summer Joust contest is generating some amazing LEGO builds in a variety of categories. Talented multi-theme builder David Zambito‘s entry in the “Mesoamerican Setting” category depicts an Aztec-style temple overgrown with foliage. While the well-built temple is the center of the scene, the landscaping also deserves your attention. The plants are built not just from actual LEGO foliage pieces like bushes, bamboo, and flowers, but also from the plastic sprues that three-leaf plants come in, as well as street sweeper brushes.
If you like this Aztec-style pyramid, you might also like the Maya-style LEGO pyramid we featured previously.
Even though this ruined Mesoamerican temple by Jonas Wilde doesn’t depict any particular site, it’s clear Jonas was inspired by the amazing Mayan structures of the Classic Maya era (250-900 AD). Jungle foliage drapes itself over the building, while palm trees sprout from the platform. The composition of this LEGO build is stunning, with the scene built on a platform that includes cutaway views of earth and stone, and a variety of heights that accentuate the detailed flora.
See more of this fantastic archaeological treasure