If there’s one word that encapsulates Jeff Friesen‘s LEGO models more than any other for me, it’s “clean.” His builds always seem to have every single piece precisely where it ought to be. And his latest one looks like it’s from a picture book of the ideal Viking winter world (unlike hellish purgatory of Valheim that’s all the rage right now). This microscale creation doesn’t have any obviously new or even unusually innovative techniques, and yet it’s absolutely splendid from the snowcapped peaks to the tiny longships. The village spreading across the slopes with their tiny mounds of snow on top, and the two giant waterwheels give this settlement a fairytale aspect that I can’t get enough of.
Making LEGO brick built animals is something I always struggle with. Especially when they have to be minifig scale. Louis of Nutwood has no problem with brick built animals. His creation features an amazing brick built dragon. Which has been done before quite a couple of times before. Louis used bricks to build the wings, which I’ve never seen before. Builders quite often make the skin between the fingers of the wings out of a different parts. Fabric, cloth, or plastic with a pattern. The wings look great and are quite poseable. The face looks absolutely divine and the action posing was done exceptionally well. The fire effect looks better than most tv-show CGI fire bursts which makes the water near the dragon ripple.
While I’m boringly American in culture, I do have a significant amount of Scandinavian ancestry, as attested by my Swedish surname. Though I’m sure my ancestors were the same lowly farmers in Sweden that they were when they arrived in the United States several generations back, I like to imagine that somewhere among my forebears were some axe-swinging Vikings pillaging Irish fields so green with Led Zeppelin playing in the background, rowing longships like this LEGO one designed by Jonas Kramm across the North Sea. On they sweep with the threshing oar, seeking that rich western shore, crewed by a small army of CMF Series 20 Viking warriors. The serpent prow of the ship is lovely, as is the simplicity of the whole construction. Valhalla, I am coming!
A recent excavation in Northern Scotland uncovered evidence of the fabled miniature Viking, remarkably preserved inside a clay gourd. Discovered by Nicolas Carlier, who has done a marvelous recreation of the tiny village, using a variety of curved bricks and slopes to recreate the terrain upon which they were commonly constructed. Trees created using inverted clip plates are a bold interpretation of these hardy conifers.
If you enjoyed this miniature model, be sure to stop by Nicolas Carlier‘s Flickr site for more examples of diminutive domeciles.
It can be surprising how far a little camera angle and a good idea can go. Sometimes creations that are amazing from a technical standpoint can turn out overwhelming or chaotic, when simplicity is all you need. This creation by Martin Harris is one of the examples where less is more.
The build is indeed simple, but it has everything it needs. The water is essentially just thoughtfully placed curved slopes, and the ship looks like a ship with a nicely sculpted dragonhead and a viking-style sail. All this is photographed cleanly and at an immersive angle. The selling point is the ridiculous idea though. The fierce warriors on the ship are different LEGO baby minifigs, including sewer babies from the LEGO Movie 2, all wearing LEGO Heroica helmets.
In Norse mythology, the god Oden is accompanied by two ravens; one named Hugin and the other named Munin. Respectively, their names mean “thought” and “memory,” and as legend goes, they fly the world by day and return to Oden at night to tell what they learn. This beautiful LEGO representation of Hugin is the work of builder Birgitte Jonsgard. It is one of the best brick-built birds I have ever seen. She did a truly lovely job on the body-shaping, and yes, his wings do unfold!
Also check out Birgitte’s still life art in LEGO form!
Cut-away LEGO builds are sometimes difficult to do, and tough to make look right. Giving the illusion of a sneak peak into a building takes clever skill when also trying to maintain structural stability. But Carter Witz is one of those builders who has that talent. His Viking longhouse he built for the Summer Joust 2018 contest is sure to be a favorite!
Real-life Viking longhouses were made using some combination of timber, stone, or peat bricks, and had thatched or turf roofs. They were also lined with bench-like platforms for sitting and sleeping, and occupants did everything in these structures. Privacy sure must have been scarce! Carter’s LEGO version comes complete with the customary central hearth where the family both cooked and did iron-work. I love all the little details, but one of my favorite parts is the cloaks hanging on the “clothesline”.
Group LEGO building projects are a great way to create something much more impressive than what an individual builder might accomplish, and this recent collaboration between a group of builders called The Brickstons and several friends from the LEGO club ALE is a great example. Considering that there were 14 builders involved, the scene is very well designed, with carefully laid out building standards and many unifying design elements helping everything fit together. This isn’t their first experience with large displays though, and we highlighted their 1930s Harlem display last month.
The diorama portrays a Viking raid on the coast of Spain in approximately the year 859, a real historic event. The villa shown here isn’t any specific port, but rather an amalgamation of what a typical village in the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba would have looked like at the time.
See all the amazing details in the images below.
In Norse mythology, Sigurd is a hero who slays the dragon Fáfnir (himself originally a dwarf affected by a curse). The legend was popularized in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and more recently by a posthumously published epic poem by J.R.R. Tolkien titled The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (published in 2009). Ben Cossy and Eli Brinsmead collaborated on an equally epic and legendary LEGO creation inspired by these myths, winning an award at the recent Brickvention 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.
The two builders live on opposite sides of Australia, and collaborated remotely over the course of more than three and a half months, with the two sections coming together for the first time at the event.
I’ll admit it: despite all the sci-fi that I build, my secret loves are castle and historical builds. Today Gabriel Thompson takes us out of medieval Europe, and heads north to Scandinavia and the land of the Vikings. The snow and ice in this scene are excellent, with undisturbed curves on the rocks, and studs in front of the hut to make it look a little more slushy after being stepped on. I’m also a fan of the marshy path left by the boat as it cuts through the thin ice. The only thing I don’t envy in this build are the minifigures’ short sleeves in such cold conditions.
Brick To The Past is a collective of British builders who specialize in large-scale historical dioramas in LEGO. We’ve covered some of their previous masterpieces, including a huge Roman camp and section of Hadrian’s Wall, and their recreation of the streets of Victorian London. We recently interviewed leading member James Pegrum about BttP’s impressive Battle of Hastings display. As if that wasn’t enough for 2016, the gang’s latest effort is this enormous diorama depicting a section of Anglo Saxon Britain in 793AD.
As you’d expect from such a large model, there are numerous areas worthy of your attention. An obvious highlight is the monastery under attack by Viking raiders…