Just look at this lovely new LEGO creation by Thomas van Urk. The shapes and textures here; I’m almost lost for words. The slopes and tiles along that very interesting red roof are masterfully sculpted. A lesser builder would have just spired the roof and called it good but Thomas taunts us with first a spire, then an onion dome, and back into a spire. I frankly can’t even fathom how he did that! The Tudor-style detailing is not entirely uncommon in LEGO. The medium most certainly works well in that style but there are parts of the Tudor detailing that, like the red spire I can’t fathom. Thomas calls this The Princess Tower and I’d happily be a princess for a day if it means hanging out in this fantastic world for a while.
Even the gray stone part of the tower utilizes both new gray and some sun-faded old gray. I recall in 2004 when LEGO changed their gray bricks there were starchy, rigid LEGO fans who vowed to leave the hobby forever. I imagine either they eventually warmed up to the new color shades or indeed remained in 2004 with their flip-phones and AOL email addresses.
Some people can work magic under a tight deadline. Take this LEGO castle and bridge built by Thomas van Urk for example. He tells us it was an entry for the Summer Joust: Bridging the Gap category and was finished an hour before the deadline. In his own words; “Since there wasn’t really a category for a large castle I decided to include a bridge in front of the gatehouse. Originally I wanted to leave it at that, but because of the pressure from the arching bridge, it needed to stand on a baseplate. But then, of course, there needed to be water around the whole castle, and then of course there needed to be a landscape across the water. Maybe I went a bit overboard.” If working until the deadline and going a bit overboard yields results like this then we’re pleased as punch.
Thomas says he didn’t even have time to build his favorite part of the castle. I wonder what that could be. To see how the Summer Joust is heating up with all the other builders check out our Summer Joust category in our archives.
I am not a fan of big LEGO pieces. Not at all! But Thomas van Urk proves me wrong with this latest creation. Around the first story of this build are not one, not two, but three light grey 1x8x6 door frames with stone pattern and clips. I normally really dislike this piece because of the stone pattern, since LEGO never made ‘regular’ bricks to continue that particular pattern. The only part you can use to continue the stone pattern is this piece itself. So to me, they always stick out in a build. That is until now.
In this creation, the big doorframe works wonderfully, and to be honest it took me a while to notice they were even included. The big doorway is nearly the only part used to get the overall piece count of this build down, because otherwise it looks very part intensive. (The other one is the Brick 1 x 6 x 5 with Stone Wall Pattern which makes up the cobblestone walkway.) The roof of the building is stunning. I love all the bay windows sticking out, and the tower with the metal tip makes the roof look really intricate. And the tree next to the village house is a stunning beauty itself. At the base there are round axle connector blocks. After a while these transition into 2×2 round bricks and the occasional 2×2 round bricks with pin holes. Eventually those transition into round pin connectors. I am not sure how Thomas managed to connect the 2×2 round bricks to the pin connectors. Perhaps flower stems? What do you think?
With the closure of shops and buildings, it’s been difficult for some builders to find their architectural inspiration. However, some have found ways to avoid that awful builder’s block. Drawing from both imagination and inspiration from Google Maps’ street view of Amsterdam, Thomas van Urk (aka Utanapishtim, aka Thomassio) has created yet another marvelous city modular. As always, this corner building looks incredibly clean and packed with architectural detail. Its dark tan facade is textured with masonry bricks, with a good balance of light gray bullions in its trim. The symmetry in the building overall is also incredibly satisfying to look at, not to mention the beautiful accented dark red windows at the front.
Like this builder’s style? Take a look at Thomas van Urk’s Fright Knights tribute, which I assure, you will find frighteningly amazing.