A little more than 11 months ago, I wrote up a beautiful LEGO tea house by my very talented LUG-mate Kimberly Giffen. That build, The Giffen Gardens, won Best in Show at BrickCon 2022. And here I am, after another BrickCon, pleased to say that Kimberly was able to repeat her achievement and win the Best in Show once again with a recreation of the Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji) from Kyoto, Japan. I had a chance to talk with Kimberly after the convention about her work, and was able to learn a lot about the model and her process.
Read on about the Silver Pavilion below!
LEGO builder Pan Noda has a stellar record when it comes to color use. Not too long ago, I raved about this monotonal marvel that spilled forth from their mind. And while this creation goes a bit more subterranean than their previous work, it’s still a powerful bit of art composed of cobbled walls, hanging vines, and still water. Even though the palette here only uses four colors of brick (light gray, green, tan, and transparent light blue), their brilliant use of light transforms the scene into a symphony of shades. The uneven textures on the walls create pockets of shadow and reflective surfaces that bring the whole thing to life! Plus, it’s giving me the sudden urge to hunt for jungle temples in Minecraft….
Sporting some of the cleanest lines I’ve ever seen, this Roman temple by Lech Kulina is a brilliant bit of LEGO architecture. Widths of a half-plate or less permeate the construction, especially on all the plinths surrounding the temple. And all angles have been cleanly cut off thanks to the use of brackets. The build is so clean that those small bits of decay stick out like a sore thumb. Each notch in the tile, each blotch of tan discoloration, each profile brick is given greater meaning by the “purity” that surrounds it. It’s quite possibly the truest representation of Roman architecture I’ve seen recreated in plastic. Make sure to check out Lech’s Flickr album to see how he pulled off such a feat!
Every week readers of the The Brothers Brick Telegram channel choose the Creation of the Week: one project that impressed all of us the most. Neither a Pokemon, nor a fancy Fabuland starfither could crush a charming lost temple by Jake Hansen and Eli Willsea during our last week’s vote! Congratulations!
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The dynamic duo of Jake Hansen and Eli Willsea have combined their LEGO talents to construct a glorious jungle scene based around a very boxy temple. The contrasts here are brilliant! The natural chaos of the jungle, replete with bladed vegetation, juxtaposes the right angles and clean lines of the temple. I love the choice of non-transparent blue for the water, adding to the feel of consistent color patches throughout the scene. But the real star here is the consistent architectural style throughout the temple’s ruin. Re-use of common patterns makes the build feel whole, while subtle variations on those modules gives the viewer an idea of the site’s state of decay. The consistency is so impressive that I was shocked it was made by two builders.
Sometimes bigger is better and sometimes scale can look quite deceiving. This LEGO creation by Liu Di Kai looks quite big but my guess is that in person it is massive. Whenever a build gets really big, parts used to add details tend to be less noticeable. If you look closely you can actually spot the Baby Yoda head used on top of the lowest temple roof as an ornament. Sure, the part is quite tiny, but it is hardly noticeable due to the sheer size of this creation. The ninjago dragon amulet is quite a big part, but even that looks teeny tiny. This is one of those creations that definitely deserves a quick zoom-in so you can discover all the hidden details.
We all get sidetracked every once and a while. Eli Willsea however didn’t get sidetracked, they got sidequested in their latest LEGO creation. Sometimes the side quests in games are better than the quest itself. If this is the case, shouldn’t you just take your time and enjoy the side quest? I sure think so. I also think we should enjoy the use of the combination of the LEGO candle and the axle connector hub. Those parts look like they were meant for each other. Another thing to appreciate is the fact that everything in this shot is LEGO. Even the brightly coloured orange background is brick built.
While we wait for the first 2023 Ninjago sets to go on sale, let’s take pause and take a look at one of the larger sets from the Summer 2022 Crystalized wave. LEGO Ninjago 71771 The Crystal King Temple is available now from the LEGO Shop Online for US $79.99 | CAN $99.99 | UK £69.99. This 706 piece set includes the temple, a small dragon, six minifigures, and a ton of cool transparent dark pink accents. Is there enough here to keep you entertained until the new year? Read on and see!
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Some LEGO creations we feature are really big and elaborate. Others, like this one by Geneva Durand, are rather small. But that does not mean that they are less impressive. When you build on a smaller scale, everything is in focus. This means everything that you put into your creation has to be thought out thoroughly because everything will be much more noticeable. Idyll by Geneva is a very good example. As the name highlights the creation is meant to look idyllic and it does. It gives you a sense of calm which I love. The autumn leaves give this creation a big pop of colour and I love the addition of the coral pink. Using black or dark brown for the tree, the wooden frame of the house, the shrine, and the minifigure accessories balance out the vibrancy of the fallen leaves. If this doesn’t get you in the autumn mood, I don’t know what will.
Sometimes little details get lost on big LEGO models. This is not the case for Marius Herrmann’s latest LEGO creation. This one is big! At least 50 bricks high not counting the antenna. We are looking at a model loosely inspired by ‘The Legend of Anchin and Kiyohime’. I am not at all familiar with the story so I’ll just take Marius’ word that it is about unrequited love. After being rejected one of the characters transforms into a dragon to trap the other in a temple. This is beautifully translated to this build where we can see a tree with lavender foliage violently wrap itself around a Pagoda. I love how subtle yet evident the dragon shape is hidden in the tree. If you focus on the temple you’ll lose the dragon. But if you focus on the tree the dragon is most definitely there.
Ever since the pandemic I haven’t been on a holiday. So my expectations when it comes to holiday destinations have become very high. I almost expect them to look as magical as this LEGO subterranean Dragon pagoda in a cave by Jaap Bijl. I have to be honest, English being my second language, I had to look the word subterranean up. And it turns out to mean ‘done under the earth’s surface’ or ‘secret/concealed’. And now I am not a bit closer to understanding whether this Dragon pagoda is either under the earth’s surface or very well concealed. So I decided that this Dragon pagoda is secretly hidden underneath the earth’s surface.
What strikes me about this creation is the use of colour. The cave is dark grey, the base of the temple is grey, the water is sand green and the soil in the cave is sand blue. All muted colours go great with the lavender foliage and the details on the pagoda. They almost make the lavender look a bit greyish. And then bam in the centre of it all there is this light blue pagoda roof which really pops. The pillars supporting the bright blue roof are adorned at the top and the bottom with stone carved dragon heads. You really have to zoom in on the temple to spot them but they are done exceptionally well.
Idoneas of Hillcrest opens the description of this creation by stating it’s a “super quick build”. I think that’s an understatement – I count a grand total of seven pieces here, so surely it must have taken mere seconds to build! In truth, that is underselling it slightly. The build may have been quick, but such a careful choice of parts requires a lot of thought. A piece of Hero Factory armour makes up the rocky base, while treads make up the basic shape of the temple at the top. Interestingly it’s the second creation in a row where Idoneas uses tread pieces to great effect, albeit at different sizes. That’s the mark of a great builder – a master in all scales!