Tag Archives: trees

A house with lines that trick the eyes

I may have gone cross-eyed trying to follow the lines on this house built by Pan Noda. With its atypical architecture, I’m picking up some serious Burrow vibes from the Harry Potter franchise. The color choices here are perfect, featuring white with brown trim. But it’s those subtle patches of tan, and the occasional chip or crack in the walls that give the structure a weathered look without taking anything away from its crisscrossing vectors. And I adore the unusual choice of pine tree design in the house’s front yard. The straight lines of needles on each bough take me deeper into the Google DeepDream that is this construction. And overall, it’s oddly satisfying!

House of Distortion

Big detail to be found in this Lilliputian village

Welcome to the microscale marvel that is the LEGO village of Valendiell, created by the brilliant Peter Ilmrud. First things first, we need to address the gigantic tree at the center of this build, which towers over the village, the lighthouse, and even the neighboring castle. I like the natural shape created by the foliage, setting it apart from the minute vegetation scattered around it. Under its massive boughs, we have a darling castle design, utilizing these technic pins as turrets. It’s an ingenious bit of parts usage, but nothing compared to the outstanding implementation of the brown minifig epaulettes on the airship and the small boat. And I’m only scratching the surface of all the great secrets hidden in Valendiell. See what else you can spot below.


Two friendly neighbourhood giants started a forest band

We’ve featured The Birchwood Baron by Steven Erickson before on TBB. Not long after that Steven surprised us with The Red Oak Regent. Now we finally have a LEGO creation that features both these gentle forest giants. Steven’s creation is proof that minifigures do matter. With that I am not implying that a build without minifigures is not that interesting. I am implying that it pays off to carefully put your minifigures together. It is easily noticeable when the minifigures in a creation are just an afterthought. Steven mixes minifigure parts from a broad selection of themes and they are not just castle. We can spot some Disney parts, but also pirates, Lone Ranger BAM and CMF. Speaking of CMF, have you seen our elaborate LEGO CMF series 23 review?

Festive Forest

Looking for a Princess Bride build? As you wish!

Watch your step in this LEGO Fire Swamp built by Christoph Foulger. The trees in this vignette are a beautiful cobbled mess of textures, emulating the gnarled flora of the Princess Bride locale. I especially like the canopy density, and the balance of color in the leaves. Down on the ground, the color change and slope work to convey sinking in quicksand is excellent, as is the twisted vine offering Buttercup and Wesley some hope amid their peril. But my favorite part of the creation has to be the R.O.U.S., set ablaze by an erupting sulfurous jet. Its waffle-print nose is a perfect touch!

Three Terrors of the Fire Swamp

The return of LEGO Elves?

I wish.
That’s why I (Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman) along with my friend Tom Loftus decided to take a break from our usual spaceships and build something fantastical. Our usual greys became pinks and lavenders, our usual mechanical greebling became wild, organic foliage. Tom wanted to build a tree, I wanted to replicate some of Scotland’s coastal cliffs. Combined with recent plants in wild colours and the release of the Acorn Boy and Night Protector in the recent Collectable Minifigure Series, our collab build became an homage to LEGO Elves.

The Edge of Elvendale

We are fans of the bygone LEGO Elves theme which ran from 2015 to 2018. Its signature look was bright colours, cute dragons, and wonderful characters with elemental powers and matching outfits, albeit they were the less favourable minidolls. In short, it was a Tolkien-esque fantasy version of LEGO Friends. Despite there being an established lore (which I admit I’m unfamiliar with), Tom and I decided to make something original, but with a similar aesthetic.

Read more about this LEGO Elves collab!

A tree whose bite is worse than its bark

Animals often evolve to look like plants in order to avoid predators, but have you ever seen a plant that looks like a predator? You have now, thanks to Jake Hansen and his tree built primarily from crocodile parts. The seed for this idea was planted when Jake and some friends were playing around with the pieces from set 70419 Hidden Side – Wrecked Shrimp Boat. The tan crocodile that debuted in that set makes for a perfect tree trunk base. With the help of a few droid arms and plenty of leaves and flower buds – not to mention extra tails and jaws – the final model works as an eerily beautiful centerpiece to this dark swamp scene.

Croc Tree

Manglegongsa Temple is a sight to see in this multi-layered and expansive LEGO build

Titled “Manglegongsa Temple”, this LEGO build from Jellyeater1 is multi-layered and expansive. Two buildings are perched on top of a mountain, surrounded by lush vegetation.

Manglegongsa Temple

Great care has been put into varying the roofs in this build, from the pockets of colors to the simple black and white design. The use of the gold on the second building is just enough to denote significance without taking away from the rest of the scene. The small courtyard with the tree is a nice, pleasant touch.

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Old gods and hidden dangers

The heart of the forest lay deep within the multitudes of birch protected by the Forestmen. The unaware would see a plain tree but within its ancient form lay the spirit of the forest, a god older than the dirt its roots now dig through. Those that hear whispers of its power seek to gain a piece of it to use for their means, good or evil. At least, that’s the story that comes to mind when I see this model. Here builder Eli Willsea shows us the Prince of Persia attempting to evade the Forestmen as he seeks the power granted by the ancient birch. Check out the parts Eli used, like the vehicle shovel in the background of the underground chamber or the horns and large claws as branches. Fantastic rock molding frames the sandy texturing of the bricks at the base of the chamber, detailed with minifigure legs and candles. While the smaller birch trees make use of the slits in the technic parts for their look, Eli used black lifesaver bouys to achieve the bigger birch’s characteristic stripes.

Threat to the Ancient Birch

You can find more of Eli Willsea’s designs in our archives.

A splash of colour to light up the dark ages

LEGO castle creations are often a brilliant display of how to build with gray bricks. And though I love big gray castles as much as the next LEGO fan (I’m even hoarding all kinds of gray bricks to build my own massive castle one day), I can also appreciate castle creations with a generous splash of colour, like Tobias Goldschalt has with his jester scene.

The trees are a brilliant adaptation of the one in front of the Bookshop modular building, and remind us in the real world that autumn I around the corner. If the bright colours aren’t enough, the jester is prancing along the road with his entourage in tow, bringing cheer to the local peasantry. Dancing to the sound of a drum and guitar, as he moves on to his next location along with his wagon full of props.

A serene journey over the falls

LEGO builder Paul Vermeesch comes out of a year-long hiatus to deliver a beautiful scene inspired by the works of Aaron Becker. Becker illustrated three books known collectively as The Journey trilogy, filled with beautiful images but no words. The protagonist travels about a fantasy world armed with a piece of red chalk. With it, she creates various modes of transportation colored red which stand in stark contrast to the dream-like colors of the rest of the illustrations. Paul has captured the feeling of the books beautifully in LEGO, using a limited, earthy color palette and a single red canoe.

Viaduct Falls

One of the things I love about this model is how open, airy and light the whole thing feels. Everything in the scene seems tall and spindly. The building is a fairly simple structure adorned with lovely architectural details including the green half dome at the top. The landscaping is a great combination of sideways building and interesting flora. The tall, thin mushrooms dot the landscape which features some really fantastic trees made from brown flex-tubes, 1×1 round bricks, and olive green leaves. I particularly like the detail of the flags strung up between them on the right.

I’ve seen a lot of treatments of waterfalls, but this one is a bit different. I love the choice to use smooth bricks for the water and the 1×2 clear plates as the foam. It’s a wonderful bit of contrast that adds to the illustrated quality of the piece. In keeping with Becker’s original style, the central focus is the red canoe. Aboard the boat, the sailor looks quite happy even as he’s reaching the edge of the falls. At least it’s not a long drop.

A holiday home under a dome

Builder Malin Kylinger creates a lovely little getaway ensconced in a glass dome that evokes thoughts of Victorian mantlepiece decor and vacation getaways. We’ve featured Malin’s incredible creations in the past and they never fail to wow us.

My sister's holiday home

I love a good microbuild and this one doesn’t need to be outrageous to capture our attention. Its simplicity makes me think fondly of being in the woods and the peacefulness that brings. A tiny cabin sits atop a nicely built mountain surrounded by some nice trees made from grass elements. The three-leaf element is used for the ground greenery and the pink flowers create a nice color contrast. I really like the small waterfall at the front of the house and the sand green and gold design that surrounds the bottom border. A lovely little getaway under a dome where the weather is always perfect.

Happy little trees

You know about Bob Ross, right? If not, the short version is that he was an amazing painter, best known for his peaceful and calm teaching method. Quite often, he would fill his canvasses with “happy little trees,” conjuring entire forests with just a few elegant brush-strokes. Builder Emil Lidé (Full Plate) has a similar talent, creating trees with a flair and minimalist style that evokes nature with just a tiny selection of LEGO elements.

Not satisfied with just one tree, Emil has created seven distinct varieties for us to enjoy.


All seven are great, but there are a couple of standouts that I wanted to take a closer look at. (All seven are detailed in the builder’s Tree Techniques album on Flickr.)

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