J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy world of Middle-earth, best known from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books and films, has shaped much of modern fantasy. Indeed, LEGO builders have been finding inspiration there for a very long time, in the recent years even more so with the support of the official LEGO themes based on the movies. Over the years, we’ve seen multiple collaborative projects appear both as online galleries and convention displays; however, we think this latest initiative is among the most impressive. The massive collaborative project includes 10 builders and 13 creations depicting different locations and events of the Third Age of the Sun.
The project consists of dioramas of varying sizes and styles, although modern castle-themed builds tend to have moderately standardized techniques and styles in the fan community. This makes for a very consistent group project, while still letting each builder’s individual style shine through, and making each creation a great stand-alone build. Continue reading
Bilbo and Frodo Baggins were born 78 years apart, but with exactly the same birthday, on the 22nd of September. It is their birthday today and thus they make a mark on our Gregorian calendar – declared as Hobbit Day! And to commemorate the festivities, builder Thorsten Bonsch gifts us with a vignette that’s worthy of a weary hobbit to rest and unwind with a warm and cozy corner of home tucked in a corner of the Shire. Thorston’s clever techniques with 1×1 plates for the arc of the fireplace and a tessellated centrepiece for the floor using an assortment of cheese slopes in a variety of colors, all lit with perfect lighting, makes this a breathtaking and picturesque scene.
Last summer, we featured a lovely microscale LEGO hobbit hole by Austrian builder Patrick B. Recently, he’s shared a full-size minifig-scale version of Bag End, full of verdant landscaping and lovely touches like a beehive and snail.
See more details and the interior of this LEGO Bag End
Saruman appears as Jacob Marley to warn Scrooge to change his miserly ways or face a dark future of unhappiness. I love the clock on the wall and the chair in the corner in the bedroom.
See the next four Tolkien’s A Christmas Carol scenes
Roanoke Handybuck has built Sandyman’s Old Mill from The Lord of the Rings, which you may briefly recall from The Fellowship of the Ring when Gandalf arrives in Hobbiton by crossing the bridge. The sculpted look of the bridge and landscape adds an organic, rustic feel to the scene.
You can see some work in progress shots on MOCPages.
Following quickly on the tiny heels of the excellent microscale Rivendell, Austrian LEGO builder Patrick B. has crafted the Hill from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, also in microscale. Patrick’s tiny scene is complete with Bag End under a large tree and Bagshot Row beneath. Each of the round doors has a unique color, and the path leads across a bridge to the Green Dragon Inn, which Patrick also built in minifig-scale recently. I particularly love the fences, but don’t miss the tiny boat built from a paper minifig hat.
A closer look shows some of the detail used to give a lot of character to the Hall. There are different textures represented with the wooden main structure, a stone opening, the green landscaping, and vegetation on the roof. It’s no surprise to learn Paul won a prize for this creation at Brickfair Virginia earlier this month.
Built by david zambito for the ABS Builder Challenge, this snapshot from The Hobbit is terrific. This great scene has great use of the seed piece for the lid of the treasure chest and for Smaug’s fingers reaching over piles of gold. The best part for me is the tantalizing tiled tessellations on the floor surrounded by the creatively cracked and broken floor.
One of my favorite minor characters in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings books is Radagast, a wizard like Gandalf and Saruman who cares for the plants and animals of Middle-earth. I really kind of hated how Peter Jackson blew up The Hobbit into a bloated monstrosity of a movie trilogy, but I did deeply enjoy the extended screen time that Radagast had. Who can fault a sled towed by a team of enormous rabbits, handled by a man with birds’ nests in his hair? Real-life Middle-earth resident David Hensel recently built this enormous version of Rhosgobel, the house in Mirkwood where Radagast lives, for the Christchurch Brick Show this weekend.
The largest LEGO creation he has ever built, David says that the build includes twenty to twenty-five thousand LEGO bricks, and measures 77 cm (30 inches) on each side.
Click through to see more of this amazing LEGO model!
Regardless of your opinion of the most recent movie adaptation, The Hobbit is a timeless adventure story that has stood the test of time. The idea of gaining the courage to leave home and embark on a grand adventure is the very idea that makes the world go round. It’s the idea that inspires adventure, inspires discovery, and creates stories for the next generation.
Noel Peterson has illustrated that moment of courage, of letting go, of leaving as Bilbo races across the bridge toward his destiny. The bridge has the perfect, aged, well-worn look, with life going on as two hobbits fish in the murky water. I like the story this build tells.
The Lonely Mountain is currently the largest set in the Lego Hobbit line. This set was released this fall and retails for $129.99 on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
- All 5 minifigs are unique to the set
- Smaug is a well-designed dragon with Lego’s first collapsible wings
- Good source of sand green bricks
Overall this is a great set for parts, minifigs, and Smaug is an attractive beast to most fans. A decent number of play features mark this as a good playset, and the sand green bricks make it stand out among other less brightly colored sets from the same line. My only complaint is the huge price tag, which is largely a result of including Smaug, whose new parts drive up the production cost. Ultimately I’d like to see this set discounted to $80-$100, which would be a reasonable purchase. I recommend holding off on buying the set unless you absolutely love the new Smaug.
San Diego Comic-Con is underway, and with it comes new set announcements. First up is for The Hobbit line, with The Lonely Mountain. Details are still forthcoming, but we do know that this 866-piece set will run $129.99, and is due this fall.
In addition to five minifigs, the throne, and the mine, this set also features Smaug.