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.
At the far end of Bagshot Row at number 10 is the house of Fredregar “Fatty” Bolger, the son of Odovacar Bolger and Rosamunda Took. Patrick B. has captured Fatty with his wife and a furry friend outside his beautiful house at Bag End — another Shire creation for his “ExploringTheShire” project he started a year ago.
Like many a member of the online LEGO community, Patrick has credited fellow builders in the comments on Flickr to acknowledge where he has “borrowed” Jonas Kramm’s cobble design and appropriated the watering can design from Simon NH. I love how the online LEGO community reminds me very much of Hobbiton in more than a few regards.
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.
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.
The LEGO Balrogs we’ve featured here on The Brothers Brick over the years have been large and monstrous, with flames flying and wings flying everywhere. Jonas Kramm takes a subtler approach with a considerably smaller Balrog built almost entirely from black. The black only serves to make the creature more sinister, making the contrasting orange flames on the Balrog’s back and his flame-whip even more striking. The Balrog is an ephemeral creature wrapped in darkness and fire, and the absence of explicit wings also adds to the evil look of this creature from the depths of Middle Earth.
Despite mixed reviews of what happened to Tolkien’s beloved stories, the trilogy of Hobbit movies still served up some eye-popping visions of Middle Earth. One of the best, to my mind, was of Laketown — the city of wooden huts built over the Long Lake in a doomed attempt at protection from dragonfire. Marcel V. must have liked the movie version too, as he’s built a wonderful slice of it in LEGO bricks. Trans-clear tiles as icy water creates an appropriately chilly atmosphere, and the house on stilts is good enough to make me wish Marcel had built more of the town. And don’t miss the imaginative parts usage — minifigure ice skates as ladder rungs, and skeleton and minifigure limbs to create the twist of smoke rising into the frigid air.
There’s been an argument circulating recently on the web that Gandalf’s original plan to get the One Ring into Mordor was via Air Eagle. It’s an interesting textual analysis, though unsupported by Tolkien’s copious notes and background information. The latest hilarious video by Brotherhood Workshop illustrates the counter-argument.
Regular readers will know that we’ve featured many LEGO dragons over the years, but I think on this occasion YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID now that heavy-duty character builder Shawn Snyder has decided to get in on the game with this recreation of Tolkien’s Smaug. From head to tail it’s 28 inches and the wingspan is a whopping 35 inches!
We used Sauron’s seeing-stone to track down the damp cave that Shawn hides in, and dispatched our goblin hoard to interrogate him about his latest bunker-busting creation…
TBB: You’re best known for creating large figures and busts of humanoid characters from videogames such as Halo and Assassins Creed, or movies like Iron Man and Predator. What inspired you to attempt a monster this time?
SS: I’ve actually wanted to make a dragon for quite some time. It wasn’t until ArchLUG did a collaborative build of Laketown that made me commit to finally attempt it. After all, Laketown needs a Smaug!
TBB: Tell us about the build. How did you get such a large yet detailed model to stay in one piece? Did it present any new building challenges for you?