I really enjoy seeing examples of nature reclaiming abandoned spaces. Brick2 “Art”
has recreated this effortlessly in LEGO form with this scene of a tree taking root in an old castle.
There’s a lot of wonderful detail to be found in this build. The use of bars and whips in the construction of the tree adds a natural look to the trunk. Surrounding the tree, you’ll see other signs of nature looking to find purchase with some well placed mushrooms and tree roots.
Beyond this, we’re afforded suggestions of past castle life with a mix of scrolls, jars, and bottles discarded alongside weapons and the skeletons of the castle’s last inhabitants.
Let’s not forget the castle itself. Brick2 “Art” has composed this build with lots of subtle details suggesting the age of the citadel. And the arches along the sides offer the promise of more castle to explore. A final touch to this is how the light in this scene really adds to the composition, pooling the color centrally and making for quite the haunted scene!
Deep in the forest, far from the beaten tracks, a colony of fungi fruits from the remains of an old tree. Builder Paulo Loro brought new life to some old table scrap mushrooms by integrating them into this natural display. Fungi can be difficult to identify so its hard to say if these are based on enoki, shiitake, or something else—I’m no mycologist. All I can say is there’s a certain magic to the twists and turns the mushrooms make. Tail pieces are used to represent the stalks of the fruiting bodies while dish pieces represent the different stages of caps. The most mature of the species use the rock elements with eggshells underneath as gills.
Bonsais have been a hit this year thanks to the introduction of the Botanical Collection 10281 Bonsai Tree. Builder Ashton Douglas took some time to design his own version as a gift. Two bonsai sets and some extra elements came together to create a delightful custom model for Ashton’s friend to display. Though the base and pot are elements from the Bonsai set, rock work, trunk, and interesting foliage make this a beautifully unique build. There’s a wistfulness to the build with the way the pink frog seems to be staring at the lamp hanging from the branches.
In my experience, bonsai trees are kind of fragile. But this sturdy specimen from Louis of Nutwood isn’t phased by harsh weather. With a snowy covering on the autumn-hued leaves, this tiny tree is ready for a long winter’s nap. I really like the evocative colors, the twisting trunk, and the tiny lantern on the edge of the pot.
This bonsai started life as part of a larger build, Louis’ Toro Nagashi Temple. It’s a great example of how removing a section of a larger creation can completely transform how its seen; in the temple scene this is “just” a full-sized tree. But recontextualize it and suddenly you’ve got a desk-sized botanical that could go head-to-head with LEGO’s own 10281 Bonsai Tree. Check out our bonsai tag for even more pint-sized greatness!
Sometimes smaller is better, building with a limited selection of parts can lead to creative outcomes, like this simple but beautiful bonsai tree by Louis of Nutwood built around the curved animal part. The planter sits on a wooden tray just like the official LEGO Bonsai tree set, albeit using a mere fraction of the brown tiles.
Check out another tiny tree by the same builder
I’m a firm believer that the holiday season seems to creep into our lives sooner and sooner each year. Though many are delighted to lean into it, I reserve myself to celebrate Christmas only after Turkey day has passed. Now that it has, I think it’s fair to put up the tree. This year I might take after builder Peter Carmichael and go with a fancy, fake one. The secret to a good plastic tree is the texture of the bristly branches, which the builder has achieved with a ton of three-pronged stem pieces. Subtle but elegant decorations of gold keys and white garland with lights give character to the tree. Capping it off is a delightful, translucent blue snowflake.
LEGO builder Markus Ronge has quite the green thumb! Check out his incredible Jungle Explorer Tree creation. Most LEGO trees I’ve seen go straight up from the ground, but this one curves up convincingly from the rock face. The surrounding vegetation is highly varied and shows the skill Markus has in knowing exactly where each brick should go. Both I and the kayaking minifigure are very impressed.
Yes, the building is a work of art but have you seen this incredible tree? LEGO builder Ayrlego shared a recent creation with us, the Villa. Plant life, thy name is beauty. Just look at that tree! It might take the cake as the most realistic LEGO deciduous tree I’ve ever seen. The vine work is also fantastic with the way it crawls across the roof. I also admire the small potted plants and the garden shrubbery. It’s all a testament to Ayrlego’s skill with bricks.
Of course, where would this creation be without the villa itself? I mentioned that it’s a work of art because it truly is, incorporating styles from American Colonial to Spanish Mission. Though the lore behind Ayrlego’s creation is fantasy, one could easily see such a villa existing somewhere in the early days of North American settlement.
Grant Davis must know I am partial to a good brick-built insect. It is my dream to one day have framed Entomology display made entirely out of LEGO bricks. Now all I have to do is convince my partner that this is suitable decoration for a living room. These wonderful bugs by Grant might help me convince him. The body of the beetle is build using the vehicle spoiler for the antennas Grant used minifigure whips. There is an interesting mixture of brown parts used in the making of the branch. The flower on the branch must be some sort of parasitic plant species because it looks like it is not part of the branch itself. The eggs used for flowers petals is a very lovely touch and the presentation of this creation is simply sublime.
This LEGO castle tower creation by Roger Cageot is a fun exercise in creating round walls and combining muted and vibrant colors. I love the green color of the lake and the way the yellows are combined. The simple wooden drawbridge is a fun feature, and the morose tree adds a somber feeling to the creation. This could easily live in the world of the LEGO Ideas 21325 Medieval Blacksmith with its dilapidation, colors, and energy.
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?
Spring and fall. Life and death – and the cycle of rebirth. Always and forever Mother Nature will maintain a balance. This subtle yet beautiful LEGO tensegrity sculpture by TBB alum Nannan Zhang is a metaphor for that truth. Most of the sculptures we see have a single 2-chain/string feature. This one employs another chain to give it two distinct sides, like a scale. While it’s done very well here, you can also imagine a plethora of other possibilities for the technique. It’s probably unintentional, but knowing this accentuates the metaphor even more. Give that one a good think!
These builds were a huge hit this past year amongst builders. Take a moment to look back on all of the tensegrity creations we’ve featured, include one that is 3-tiered! Also, while you’re at it, you can check out Nannan’s other models.