Known to many as a master of Star Wars LEGO creatures, Shaun “Brick” Sheepa has of late turned his attention to the Lord of the Rings. Having done horses, Ents, and everything in between, he has set the bar pretty high. You’ll be glad to hear that this latest beastie keeps that average sky-high! This is of course the kleptomaniac dragon that is Smaug. Is it pronounced Sma-oog, or Smorg? I never can remember. Anyway, as well as gathering gold and plastic bricks, he has clearly taken a shine to second-hand clothes. The wings are apparently made from a cut-up old t-shirt. Not one for the purists, perhaps, but there’s no denying it looks superb!
There are a lot of Lord of the Rings LEGO creations out there, but Geneva Durand brings something extra to this offering. The great dragon Smaug sits atop a golden horde – pretty standard there – but this horde is lit from below with a warm yellow glow. The dragon’s form is excellent, with a good mix of red colors and a solid wing design featuring curved tile to create texture. Triangle tiles are clipped and wedged upright to create the creature’s spine, and golden horns are used to give him a grumpy expression over the Mixel 1×1 round printed tile eyes. The mix of golden-toned elements, chromed gold coins, and under-lit transparent elements, though, is what made this build stand out to me. Mainly because I wonder if Smaug’s body heat is melting that pile of gold, or maybe he just farts fire. Well, whatever it smells like, this build looks great.
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We’ve seen LEGO Tudor-style buildings before, and quite often the building is the main focus of the creation. We’ve also seen LEGO brick-built dragons before, and just like the Tudor-style buildings, they too tend to be the main focus of the creation. Not so for KitKat1414, however. They built an amazing Tudor-style house to represent one of the houses of Lake Town and it is lit! No literally, it is on fire!
For the woodwork on the house, Kitkat1414 used window frames and filled those in with bars to represent the wooden beams. In other places, the window frames were filled in with cheese slopes representing stained glass windows. Often these types of buildings can be very earth-toned, and while that’s mostly the case for this one, if you look closely you can spot quite a few colours being used. There is a lot of sand blue and even some lavender hidden in the roof, and the house gets a dark green door which complements the dark red Smaug in a lovely way. The dragon itself is a true work of art and there are multiple parts used in very clever ways. One that really deserves a quick mention is the use of the Bionicle minifigure legs for the dragon’s nose bridge and eye sockets. The last part that deserves a little highlight is the angled bar with stud used to represent icicles. And naturally, there are quite a few Tolkien references hidden in this wonderful build. Can you spot them all?
To this day it still baffles me that they managed to make three movies out of the book The Hobbit. It’s not a complaint, I do love the movies, but it’s just strange to me. Especially since the book is about a third the length of The Lord of the Rings, which also is three movies long. But let’s not get into that for now. Jaap Bijl drew inspiration from the movie The Hobbit for their latest LEGO creation.
Here we see the dragon Smaug setting flame to Lake-town. The atmosphere Jaap managed to create is amazing. Smaug itself is a miniature and the fire he is breathing is done simple yet really effective with bricks, plates and tiles transitioning from yellow to red. Smaug being dark red makes him feel and look like he is part of the fire he is creating. But what’s interesting is that not a single fire piece was used in this creation, and yet it still looks and feels very much on fire. One thing that also contributes to this great model is the backdrop, which to me hardly even looks like it is edited in. Framing the main scene with a dark brick build archway is a really nice and effective way to set the mood and draw your attention to the center of the picture. However, if you zoom in on the arch you’ll find lots of hidden details in the darkness. Last but not least I would like to note the use of round quarter tile to create those great rooftop shingles.