Thorsten Bonsch, our favorite prolific German builder of Lord of the Rings LEGO scenes, concludes his 5-year epic journey there and back again with this thorough rendition of that famous Hobbit hole, Bag End.
It seems fitting that Thorsten saved his most accurate, winding creation for last as he packs every tiny detail into the cozy Bagginses residence of the Shire.
crack open the round green door below!
Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and the newly joined Merry travel by ferry in this LEGO vignette by Thorsten Bonsch. This series from Thorsten follows the first part of The Fellowship of the Ring. Here, we see the four primary hobbits traveling across the Brandywine River into Buckland. The color palette of this build is outstanding, allowing each detail to stand on its own among the others. When it comes to the building techniques, the roofing tiles on the structure draw my eye. It’s a simple technique, but quite effective. It’s just tiles on plates, but the tiles aren’t pressed down on the raised end. The rest of the structure is cool too, with the disheveled layers and angled brown supports. This is one of those locations in a LEGO build that I would love to visit if it were a real place. I would listen to the sounds of the lapping water on the riverbank and the nocturnal sounds of nature around the river.
This scene you may recognize from the movie as well, with a Ringwraith bearing down on the hobbits. In the book, upon which this vignette is based, this scene had less pressure on it. The book takes a lot longer to get Frodo and company out of the Shire, but there’s only so long they can take with a movie runtime to consider. Either version, the wraith takes the long way over Brandywine Bridge. Silly Ringwraith, shortcuts are for hobbits!
The next LEGO build from Thorsten Bonsch in this The Lord of the Rings vignette series is here! Hamfast Gamgee, the father of the hero Samwise Gamgee, receives a peculiar traveler. Frodo and Pippin learn of this event shortly after their own frightful encounter with a Ringwraith. Sam tells the tale of his gaffer’s visitor and the feeling of dread his father felt. Here, Thorsten paints the scene with greater detail than Sam in his own telling. Check out that thatch work on the roof of the hobbit home! The layering of grille tiles gives the roof a wonderful straw-like texture. Minifigure hands and droid arms stand in for disheveled bits of straw sticking out at the ends. This is a delight to see rendered in LEGO, as some thatch work can look too tidy without it. Another example of great texture layering is the plates and tiles making up the brickwork in the house’s structure. Also, be sure to check out that wheelbarrow!
Continuing in the tradition established in the previous builds in the series, this vignette depicts the moment from the The Fellowship of the Ring book. The movie version does this scene with Farmer Maggot. In fact, Hamfast is only in the extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring film. Here, Hamfast gets his due! Personally, I’m really enjoying this series, as the books often get overshadowed by the movies in artwork depictions. Can’t wait to see what’s next in this ongoing vignette series!
Three is company, but four with a Ringwraith is a crowd. Coming from builder Thorsten Bonsch, this LEGO scene is the fifth build in a series taking on the legendary world of The Lord of the Rings. Depicting moments iconic to both the films and the books, these builds favor the books in the details. That’s why we see three instead of four hobbits–Merry didn’t join the group until the next chapter! Thorsten returns to this story moment after ten years away, though this time at a much smaller scale. What makes or breaks a build at this scale are the details, and the details here are amazing! Take a look at those tree roots, how they frame the hiding hobbits and flow towards the leaning tree. The tree takes you to the Ringwraith sniffing out the Ring, but Sam stops Frodo from revealing their location. These aren’t the hobbits you’re looking for, Ringwraith!
Ten years ago, Thorsten realized too late that Merry wasn’t part of the group of hobbits hiding from the Ringwraith pursuing Frodo and the Ring. This time around, the mistake is corrected with Frodo, Sam, and Pippin in the hideaway. The ten year-old build is quite beautiful, and I recommend checking it out. It’s at a larger scale than this one, and on a steep slope rather than the hollow Tolkien described in the book. Also look forward to the next build in this Middle-earth vignette series! It will expand to other builders once Thorsten’s contributions are finished. I do enjoy a good adventure through Middle-earth!
Readers of the Lord of the Rings trilogy can usually point out the differences between the movies and books. Four builds into the first of six installments, builder Thorsten Bonsch represents the book over the movie for this set design. Most notably is the inclusion of the curtains that Gandalf draws before picking up the ring. Minifigure hook hands were used as curtain rings which took a little bit of care since those elements can’t be “clipped” on but have to be slid on from the side. There is a wealth of other techniques displayed from the bucket handles used as a fire-dog to the textured stone fireplace. Loose tiles in the angular wooden floor or lining the round window illustrate staple methods builders employ for added realism. The base frames the scene while also hiding the thickness of the angled tile technique Bonsch uses. The added framing behind the tan wall also provides space for Samwise’s floating head framed amongst the foliage with a furrowed brow.
After telling the story of The Hobbit through 43 different displays with tons of unique techniques and iconic scenes, Thorsten decided to take on the massive project of its sequel series with the help of some yet-to-be-announced builders. We’ll have to wait to see who all is involved since Bonsch won’t be announcing his successor in the series until the end of his contribution.
LEGO builder Thorsten Bonsch‘s latest creation is amazing. It features a lovely brick-built bridge, and the arch at the base of the bridge uses the same technique as the first vignette in this series. The rest of the bridge looks like it is being held together by gravity, and there must be some brilliant building techniques in this model to hold it together. I find it great that the base of the first and the last vignette is a ring, which also ties into the story of The Hobbit. The tree in this model also deserves some love, as creating a big, natural-looking tree out of square plastic bricks is one of the hardest things to do.
Let’s also take our time to look back at a few of the 43 creations Thorsten made during this series. Thorsten treated us to some lovely interior decor with chairs made of wands on a sprue and whips, tables with cattle horn legs, and chandeliers made out of paint roller brush handles
He also surprised us with lovely brick-built heads, beasts, and animals. The troll was featured in not one, not two, but three creations, but each of them was different. And Thorsten didn’t stop after creating the troll. He also made an eagle, a spider, a statue head, and to top it off a dragon head.
Last but not least, lets give this social distancing elf some love.
Some LEGO creations manage to turn up a soundtrack in your head. A new series of builds by Thorsten Bonsch is a perfect example. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies had numerous wonderful film locations, but the journey always starts by the Bilbo’s home Bag End in the town of Hobbiton located in the lush pastures of the Shire.
Click here to take a look at other creations in the series
Even though Halloween has ended, this Shrieking Shack will frighten any young witch or wizard no matter what day of the year it is. Created by builder Thorsten Bonsch, the Shrieking Shack was a notable location in the novel Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Thorsten is magnificent at capturing the demented style of the Shack as it was depicted in the movie version of the book, making the diamond-shaped framing the stuff of nightmares for any architect.
Looking past the building itself, you can view the equally impressive snowdrifts on the roofing, shingles and grounds surrounding the Shack. It’s clear that the setting of this build is in winter. However, you can bet that no one would want to get inside to stay warm. Perhaps freezing to death would be a less frightening alternative to the horrors that allegedly dwelt within.
We’ve covered several of Thorsten’s LEGO creations on our site before, so be sure to check them out too.
You should always dress like the job you want, not the job you have; which would explain why I spent the afternoon sequestered in the HR Office dressed as Batman. That wasn’t my original joke but still funny nonetheless. Speaking of Batman, after a long day of driving around in the Batmobile and throwing around Batarangs, even he needs some quality time to himself to pop a bat-squat. Otherwise he’d have guano all over the Batcave; on second thought, by definition, it probably is already brimming with it. Now that you have that idea stewing in your noggins, here’s a scene built by Thorsten Bonsch depicting Bruce Wayne having a moment. The toilet is a rather Gothic throne presumably atop a hollowed stalagmite. The vehicle door used as a toilet paper roll is inspired and the rubber band around his ankles acting as pants is some next level genius stuff.
Let’s just hope he’s always well stocked with toilet paper as that would seem to be a precarious predicament to be in should he suddenly realize he wasn’t.
At first glance of this strangely serene scene by Thorsten Bonsch, it seems this pair of poorly armed passersby facing off against an insectlike robot have bitten off more than they can chew. While it is not clear whether the robot wants to help them disarm peacefully, or separate them from their arms literally, one thing is clear… There is more to this model than meets the eye; It was inspired by Tales from the Loop, a series of illustrations and short stories by Swedish artist Simon Stalenhag.
Thorsten captures the delicate but strong appearance of the multi-segmented limbs, as well as the large industrial elements of the robot’s body depicted in the inspirational source material.
The prototypical LEGO piece is the 2×4 rectangular brick. It has ninety-degree angles on every side, and using it, together with most other LEGO bricks, one can build things with lots of right angles. Unless you are Thorsten Bonsch, that is, and you are building off the grid, setting your scene at a cool forty-five degree angle. The greebled elements that comprise the science fiction setting, all the pipes and valves and whatnot, are a lovely backdrop to an epic showdown between Tetsuo, a character from Akira, and one of the authorities trying to stop him. I hope Tetsuo can avoid those rockets firing at him!
There is nothing that fancy going on in the sloped section, though I do enjoy the ubiquitous fence piece making an appearance; it is just a masterfully arranged assortment of textured elements and repetitive piping. The cumulative effect of it, however, is brilliant. But the platform is what catches my eye. The yellow and black striping is excellent, and the various subtle offsets of the grey surface are gorgeous. Now, I don’t know much about Akira, but if this creation is anything to go by, it must be awesome!
You online gamers can set your squeal-holes to positively delighted. Not only will The Elder Scrolls Online soon come out with an Elsweyr expansion but Thorsten Bonsch built a little something to commemorate the event. More of a big something, the LEGO tower stands 27.5 inches (70cm) tall and the Silt-Strider looms nearly as high. The Elder Scrolls apparently begs the question: what if there were 20 meter tall flea thingies that could be ridden like an Uber service?
The need for insect-related transportation must be great in Vvardenfell because here is their sales promo: “The Red Mountain Company Express Silt-Strider Service, located at Caravaner Towers all across Vvardenfell, can get you where you need to go. Remember, when you climb aboard a silt-strider, your destination is just a hop, skip, and a jump away!”
Full disclosure; I have never played The Elder Scrolls online or otherwise, but I can appreciate a beautifully orchestrated creation when I see one. The flowing stream, the alien plant-life, the tower, and the Silt-Strider are all a breathtaking sight to behold. Who is the totally buff dude lounging in the grass in his underwear? No idea, but this is amazing nonetheless. But don’t just take it from me, stride on over to Thorsten’s flickr page and give him the Brothers Brick bump he rightfully deserves. “What say you, Thorsten?” “Um…what’s a squeal-hole?”