I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll repeat it, but I love The Lord of the Rings. The books, that is. Simon Hundsbichler must love the books, too, since he has finally finished the third installment of his trilogy, commemorating the climactic The Return of the King. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while, and it does not disappoint! From an incredible microscale Minas Tirith to an imposing Barad-dûr, every bit of this build is packed with great details and clever parts usages. Ogle that oliphaunt from Harad for a while, and admire the lever-arm orcs. There’s even an eagle and fell Nazgûl beast in the air!
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part was a fun and amusing romp that reunited us with our friends Emmet, Lucy, and LEGO Batman. More importantly, though it released a few sets that featured a new color; coral. It’s a pretty color but limited and potentially difficult in its use. But builders like Simon Hundsbichler step up to the challenge and do it with amazing results. There are only three colors in this creation: Dark Tan, Light Royal Blue, and the aforementioned Vibrant Coral. A mix of plates and tiles adds intricate texture to the ground while a variety of coral bricks makes for a vibrant splash of color. Simon has proven to be a master of the LEGO medium, even with a limited palette. We’ve been smitten with Simon’s build techniques and color choices before.
What do you get when four of the most talented castle builders out there collaborate on a series of LEGO builds? It’s a bit like alchemy, because the result is solid gold. Well, Grant Davis, Simon Hundsbichler, Marcel V., and Markus Rollbühler teamed up to show the life of a postman, carrying the mail across every bridge in the realm to make sure each and every citizen receives their letters on time. Each build is different in every detail, except the postman himself, but they are all scaled and shot to mimic the others, with the result that the builds complement each other perfectly. I’d love to have these framed on my wall, side by side, because these are not just LEGO builds, but art.
I love single-use LEGO elements, those pieces that are so specialized that they can only be used to make the one thing they were designed to build. Take, for example the head of a dewback from Star Wars. It’s very useful for building, well, a dewback, but not much else in the hands of an average builder. But in the hands of a master, like Simon Hundsbichler, that same piece becomes a mossy hill in a microscale creation. Add in one of the hip assemblies from the same creature, a video camera as a tower, a Bionicle leg as a coniferous tree, a werewolf head as a cliff, and about thirty other pieces, and you have a miniature masterpiece.
I love The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. Like, really, really love it. I have more than a whole shelf in my library (yes, I have a library, filled with many leather-bound books) devoted just to the book and its ancillary volumes (The Hobbit, Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, etc.). Tolkien is my favorite author, by far, and I’ve read his major work at least twelve times. So when I see really well done LEGO builds based on the stories, like this one by Simon Hundsbichler, it gets the warm fuzzies going inside. Even if it is based on the movies, I still love it; after all, for whatever butcheries they did to the characters (e.g. Faramir), Peter Jackson et al. did a phenomenal job of representing the material cultures of Middle Earth. This particular build is inspired by the second volume of the work, The Two Towers, and features many towers, from the horn tower of Helm’s Deep to Orthanc to Minas Morgul to Cirith Ungol.
Microscale is notoriously tricky to pull off, but Simon is a master among masters at it. Some features that need to be pointed out include using the tiny hole in the bar holder with clip as the window at the top of Cirith Ungol. Genius. But it is all amazing. Helm’s Deep bears repeated looks, with the absurd number of unconventional pieces in the rockwork, from grey hawks and frogs to saddles. But then there’s my favorite stair technique with a grille brick leading up to Meduseld. And a stud shooter in Cirith Ungol. And rockets in the towers of both Minas Morgul and Helm’s Deep. And a spider as Shelob, a giant spider. Brilliant. And there’s a Treebeard, too! Add in the book base, and the water flowing through it, and you have one of my favorite LEGO creations ever.
If you missed Simon’s masterful representation of the first volume of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, check it out here. I can’t wait to see the third installment!
Microscales are fun and always leave me in awe with great parts usage and clever techniques, but this masterpiece by Simon Hundsbichler is jaw-dropping in every way. His build consists of six locations from the Fellowship of the Ring, recreated in awe-inspiring microscale — You don’t have to build big to make a big impact. What makes this literally pop out is the open brick-built book acting as an elegant base, complete with subtle detailing to form the curvature of the spine. I could stare at this for hours and find new things to wonder about. I did manage to spot a hidden Easter egg, with the one ring built into the hobbit-hole. Can you spot Gandalf? (Yes, he’s there alright)
You may have seen our ongoing advent calendar features where we reveal the contents of official LEGO advent calendars day-by-day and chime in with our witty commentary. Traditionally with advent calendars, you can expect to reveal a small nominal gift in the twenty-four days before Christmas. However, Simon Hundsbichler had something different in mind. Every day in December, Simon is unveiling a new intricate Lord of the Rings diorama that takes inspiration from the books and not the movies. On December first, he showcased this stunning scene depicting Gandalf arriving in Hobbiton. The quality of the work doesn’t waver, in fact it gets better from here.