From The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug comes a scene of fiery wrath by W. Navarre. This build exists for the Middle-earth LEGO Olympics, bringing an iconic scene from the movie to life. Bard the Bowman pauses a moment as his home is set ablaze by the vengeful dragon Smaug, his determination to save his family and fellow townsfolk set by the heat. The fire illuminates some wonderfully crafted LEGO building and buildings. The homes have great details and features, though those sconces are no longer necessary with Smaug’s flames lighting the place. Some of the roofs have printed tiles, but others have the textures of Technic tread pieces. Of course, the town isn’t the only cool thing in the scene–the ice floating in the water is pretty neat too. The ice is brick-built sideways with slopes and wedges to give it those angles and edges. Though, I think most of it will melt until Smaug stops throwing fire around everywhere.
So admittedly, I’ve got a bit of a thing for LEGO trophies — those small builds organizers hand out when you win a category in events like online contests and LEGO conventions. I love the design decisions that have to be made when you’ve only got a tiny patch of real estate to work with. So I’m absolutely gaga for this tiny Bag End trophy by builder Caleb Huet! His use of the smallest green curves to shape the hill is excellent. The details on the front, including the use of snowflake tiles for windows and brown horns for the trim, are such an accomplishment with so few pieces. And the iconic round green door makes this microscale marvel instantly recognizable without any minifigs or title cards. And that’s not even mentioning all the organic shaping that went into the tiniest topiary atop the hut. Whoever wins this model in the Middle Earth LEGO Olympics is a lucky LEGO builder!
I love it when the Iron Builder contest rolls into town – every year we see creations that push the creative boundaries of the LEGO brick. That said, I must confess that it creeps up on me every time, much like Gandalf rocking up to Hobbiton ahead of an unexpected journey. This very event is the subject of Dan Ko‘s latest entry into his Iron Builder round, using a green minifigure hand as the seed part. They are used here at a tiny scale to convey the rolling hills and bushes of the Shire from JRR Tolkien’s Hobbit books. This is a clever enough use, but an opposing pair is also used upturned for the Baggins’ hobbit-hole. The miniature Gandalf is the cherry on the cake – the Grey Wizard is made from just three pieces! Another six (including an ingenious use of a slingshot) make up his horse and cart. The whole scene is a masterclass in microscale building!
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?
Rivendell – the mention of the name already evokes a feeling of home. A location in J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it appears as a sanctuary, a last respite to characters who are on a journey into “the wilderness.” Builder Elias (Brickleas) built the Last Homely House in all its peaceful glory in microscale in just 100 LEGO parts. While the elven buildings are tiny among the large cliffs, they are instantly recognisable thanks to clever parts usage.
I love the way Elias uses books as the angled roofs, and one stickered book is actually very fitting here. It is the Red Book of Westmarch, the book that Bilbo Baggins wrote during his retirement in Rivendell. The battle droid torso also works very well, since its skeletal nature represents the open-air feel of those buildings. I found the small waterfalls very impressive, using Hero Factory claw pieces which perfectly hug the large wedge used as a cliff. Elias perfectly demonstrates that when building something with a small number of parts, use the best parts.
While we know Bilbo Baggins doesn’t get eaten by orcs, he came close to being devoured several times. This build by Nathan Smith shows one of those near misses. This image looks like a scene straight out of LEGO: The Hobbit video game. It goes to show that part of a great build is building it. The other part is how you capture the moment.
Everything looks fantastic here. The blue glow on Bilbo’s sword is a nice touch, clearly indicating that orcs are nearby. The wargs that the orcs are riding on the look as menacing as ever. And the fire crawling up the trees adds to the sense that, for Bilbo, time is running out.
Do you remember how this tale of terror ends? You’ll just have to pick up your copy of The Hobbit and find out.
Radagast the Brown has to be one of my favorite characters from the Hobbit trilogy. He is a bit not all there, loves nature and animals. Most of all, he has his heart above his head. Radagast also is the main subject in ekjohnsons latest creation. Although he can’t take credit for the figure itself, LEGO did a splendid job on this one; the lovely little cottage he lives in is entirely ekjohnsons’ own creation. The cottage was once just a little house in the woods, but then Radagast dropped a little acorn right in the middle of some dirt on his home floor. A small tree sprouted. Radagast, not having the heart to tear it up, just let it grow because he doesn’t destroy things. Eventually, the little sprout turned into a big tree, splitting the house apart. The lighting is just spot on. But what really sets the scene is the brilliant part usage. The thatched roof is made out of quite a lot of bladed claws. And there are trunk tails used as tree roots and branches everywhere.
“If you must know more, his name is Beorn. He is very strong, and he is a skin-changer.” So Gandalf the Grey describes their host to Bilbo and the band of Dwarves, when Beorn takes them in and offers them shelter. Mountain Hobbit and Cole Blood collaborated on this LEGO version of Beorn’s house — a wonderfully rough stone cottage topped with an impressive thatched roof. The surrounding landscaping is nicely done, with a collection of livestock which reflects the descriptions of Beorn’s home in The Hobbit. But it’s the building which dominates the scene, pulling the eye in to feast on the details — the stonework, the triangular windows, and that roof. It’s good to see a scene featuring Beorn which concentrates on his domestic arrangements and the gentler side of his nature, rather than focusing on him in rampant bear form.
“In a hole in the snow there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell… No, this hole was warm and snug, a cozy place in which Bilbo could thaw his toes after a wintery walk.” Patrick B. has created the perfect little winter scene from the Shire, with a hobbit hole covered in snow. The sledge is nice little creation, as is the snow-clad tree atop the mound, but be sure to zoom in on the hobbit dwelling’s frontage — the windows are lovely, and I particularly like the reversed plates used for the door, a surprising but effective choice.
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.