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
As you may or may not have realized, I have a serious soft-spot for decaying, dying things, especially if beautifully rendered in LEGO.
Zach Bean gives us this tiny, forgotten vehicle that will never drive again. Instead of passengers, only trees sit on what remains of seats. Eventually, the forest will swallow it entirely, as it will all of us.
Flickr user kumpel kante presents a gorgeous build featuring ruins (a personal favorite) of ancient civilizations, re-purposed for more nefarious uses.
There are tons of great details hidden amongst the ruins. I invite you to spend some time looking at the great architecture and sculpting he used to create this!
Oddly perhaps, one of the things I enjoyed most about the Maschinen Krieger models I built myself a couple years ago was not the hardsuits and vehicles themselves but the little bases I made to display them. Matthew Oh takes this to a whole new level with the highly detailed ruins with which he surrounds his SAFS “Wolverine” hardsuit.
Many LEGO builders take our inspiration for Ma.K models from the creations of plastic modelers both working with the original kits and scratch-building in the Ma.K universe inspired by nothing more than their imagination. The cross-section profile of Matthew’s LEGO diorama beautifully matches the aesthetic of what plastic modelers do, while retaining enough visible studs to ensure it’s abundantly evident that the model is built from LEGO. Oh, and that roof!
I particularly enjoy when a build just grows organically, after you sit down, and start putting things together. The idea just flows and in the end, you have something pretty amazing.
This particular idea started out just with the broken wall at the very back of this old, decayed manor. It grew from there, and eventually worked it’s way into what you see now.
This was a fun project for me to figure how to take something so fragile and get it safely from one corner of the country to another. So the base is entirely modular and comes apart, and the rockery can be moved around.
To see more of the decayed manor, see my flickr gallery!
This landscape diorama by Patrick Massey (MassEditor) conveys a foreboding sense of emptiness and silence. The integration of the rocks and the tiered rise of the landscape is very skillfully made.
If making a really nice modern architecture building wasn’t hard enough, Andreas has taken it one step further and decided to add unbelievably realistic damage.
The transition from clean lines to rubble is nothing short of amazing.
It is really hard to build good ruins and decent post-apoc is even harder to find these days. That is why I was happy to see this little MOC by TheCrΘw. What really jumped out at me was the detail in the walls and the broken, exposed interior structure. This is a really well-thought out little build.
Kyle Collard (Lazer Blade) displayed this beautifully crafted ruined castle at Brick Fiesta last weekend. This edited photo shows all the details of the decay and lends itself to insta-faves.