The Black Falcons have proven to be the most popular of the 80s LEGO castle factions, but despite having a few small castles, one thing they never got was a proper large castle of their own. Enter Steven Erickson with a redux of the iconic 6074 Black Falcon’s Fortress from 1986, a set so beloved that LEGO re-released it in 2001. Steven’s version is a significant upgrade from the original 404-piece set, bringing the tiny fortress up to a respectable size and adorning it with modern techniques while still retaining the old-school feel.
We’ve featured The Birchwood Baron by Steven Erickson before on TBB. Not long after that Steven surprised us with The Red Oak Regent. Now we finally have a LEGO creation that features both these gentle forest giants. Steven’s creation is proof that minifigures do matter. With that I am not implying that a build without minifigures is not that interesting. I am implying that it pays off to carefully put your minifigures together. It is easily noticeable when the minifigures in a creation are just an afterthought. Steven mixes minifigure parts from a broad selection of themes and they are not just castle. We can spot some Disney parts, but also pirates, Lone Ranger BAM and CMF. Speaking of CMF, have you seen our elaborate LEGO CMF series 23 review?
LEGO Masters winners, Steven Erickson and Mark Erickson, have created this fascinating aquatic display. We have had a look at the golden speeders before, which fit in perfectly with this diorama. Bursting with colour, the build features a variety of characters and sea life, surrounding a grand-looking throne room. The use of flexible green tubes as seagrass is one clever technique and makes a great addition to the collection of sea vegetation. Minifigure legs represent the curl at the end of the seahorse’s tail and one of the jellyfish even uses hero blast pieces as its tentacles.
Whenever Steven Erickson and Mark Erickson get together you know it is going to be LEGO magic—underwater magic, in this case. But maybe that’s my undying urge to live my life as the mermaid I know that I am—or at least was in a past life. Or maybe it’s the amazing underwater creatures that these builders created.
Using the jellyfish mask for a jellyfish isn’t groundbreaking, but it is nice to see these odd parts pop up in creations. The true brilliance is the use of the trans pink umbrella to create an even bigger jellyfish. The leaf parts work great representing the tentacles. The Bionicle Olmak mask works great as an underwater vehicle. The only thing I am not sure about is the faucet used as a steering wheel.
We all know that Steven Erickson is capable of great things. I was very pleased to see his latest LEGO creation based on his and his brother’s winning model from the finale of LEGO Masters US S2. This revamp of Warden of the Woods is named the Birch Baron. It is about a quarter of the size of the Warden of the Woods, which makes it way more compatible with LEGO minifigures. I love how the wood pattern is integrated in this figure and there are just enough black lines to make it read birch wood. Too much would have made it look like a zebra. The bright yellow and light orange add a wonderful contrast to white central figure.
There is so much eye for detail in this build. If you were to zoom in on the staff, you’ll notice purple half circle tiles used to represent, what I think are, shelf fungus. In the Netherlands we call those elf benches, which sounds way more romantic and in the theme of this creation. Steven made several small bases to go along with the Birch Baron and each one depicts a different theme. I like the fallen leaves on the ground and the use of the old school flower to represent the mushroom stalk and gills of the mushrooms. If you’ll excuse me now, I feel like going on a walk in nature.
Of course, an enchanted forest is filled with strange mushrooms of varying sorts, maybe even some mushrooms that get up and take a hike. Steven Erickson builds up a magical little LEGO mushroom guy he lovingly named “Shroomkin,” and he is as he should be, hanging out in a mystical little forest that is partially brick-built.
Shroomkin’s brilliant blue cap is composed of many 1×1 blue plates with some white 1×1 round tiles rendering spots. This fun guy’s stalk is a whole-body sporting a neat red and yellow brick-built tunic made up of tiles, bricks, and cheese slopes. One arm with a 1×1 tile with clip piece can hold a staff, while the other arm sports a 1×1 round tile printed as a compass – useful for excursions in the woods. Shroomkin stands tall and looks out at his station – a brick-built patch of greenery comprised of many small green elements along with some different flower pieces in popping colors. What a wonderful build for the spring season.