Are we late for the Christmas party? I imagine building toys is an all-year job and while many of us have already packed away our Christmas lights and decorations, Jake Hansen graces us with a late Christmas hurrah. When the LEGO build techniques are this good, it doesn’t matter what the calendar says, really. I mean, just look at that crooked door and those slightly askew windows and chimney. That is no easy feat in LEGO! The colors and thick snow are all holiday perfection. Jake seems to make awesome build techniques his regular thing. This makes me want to get festive all over again and try that expired egg nog in the back of the fridge. What’s the worst that can happen?
Besides, we could all use some bonus Christmas cheer this week, right?
Sometimes a simple two-toned LEGO castle can go a long way. In this diorama, Mark of Siloam brings us Huntington Castle, his largest build to date measuring at 20″ by 45″. I’m not sure how much that is converted into studs, but it sure looks grand within this lively diorama. With its solid sand green and gray brickwork, the Huntington Castle is well-fortified with guards peering out into the land. When the castle’s functioning portcullis is lifted, the drawbridge can be lowered to access the main dirt path. A neat windmill sits just across the river, next to an open field for cattle to graze. The overall composition is rich in detail, and I’m still picking out the subtle changes in landscaping throughout the build and spotting new animals in every corner.
Here’s to more castle dioramas, Mark! And as we’re heading forward, why not drop in our archives for a look at one of Mark’s past builds from 2016.
Oftentimes castle builds focus on the impenetrable keep with its solid grey walls, or else they depict a single building, like an inn or a blacksmith shop. Then there are the occasional massive dioramas that have everything, but also require five tables to display and several vans to haul. In a comfortable middle place, Peter Ilmrud brings us a charming village with enough shops to be believable and a footprint that is reasonable. There is a blacksmith, an armorer, a baker, a cheesemaker, stables, a cooper, and even a mage-astronomer’s tower. Add in some nice trees and architectural details around Wyvernstone Village, and this makes for a fine build that does not even take up all of one table.
See more of Wyvernstone Village here
Do you remember that guy from your Math textbook who happened to own a dozen pineapples or 30 bananas? Well, Peter Ilmrud seems to be that guy. Keeping several hundred carrots in your house might not be a good idea unless they’re LEGO carrot pieces. It’s been 20 years since the piece first appeared in LEGO sets, but it looks like Peter is one of the first to use it as roof tiling. The result looks fantastic, and bright orange carrots go nicely with white and brown walls of the house. A simple garden fence made of sticks is another nice touch in the diorama, which I would love to try to recreate in my next medieval creation.
The smells of a medieval city must have made it a nightmare to live in one. On the other hand, if you lived in a house built on the wall, you could enjoy the fresh countryside air as well as the city’s protection. This handy situation is captured in this creation by Mountain Hobbit.
All the various heights of the roofs and the complicated angles really give an impression of homes built on the wall and then new houses built on top of the old. The mixing of colours is done carefully to create a weathered impression that is not overwhelming. For a diorama with only a handful of minifigs, almost all grouped at the gate in the center, it seems to be teeming with life.
We often build with LEGO bricks to imitate, in other words reflect, life. While Ralf Langer‘s latest creation is a completely realistic microscale depiction of medieval life, the word reflection has more meanings to it.
First we see a micro mountain village with some cool techniques like the church roof, printed tiles as windows and modified plates as pine trees, but then something interesting in the water catches the eye. Ralf states in the picture description on Flickr that this is an experiment in water reflections, and I can see where he is going with it. A little extra bit is exposed in the description; if you go to the beginning of Ralf’s Flickr photostream, you can see that the building being reflected in the water is a microscale version of his first custom LEGO creation, earlier this year.
This charming little village is the home of an exotic mineral. At first glance you wouldn’t notice that this is where pearling is done. But as you look closer, you begin to see the story told by builder Ayrlego. As villagers go about their day, two women sit in the top corner, opening the clamshells.
The rockwork and landscaping are nice, as well as the angles of the buildings, and the little scenes are simple but clever and cute. My favorite part is actually the fish racks at the bottom, using pirate hooks to hang them up for drying.
Like this build? Ayrlego is a great storyteller, and we’ve covered several other creations that are even better! You’ll find the beauty in the fine details of this jaguar sighting, these navy barracks, and this research center.
I imagine being a fisherman in the middle ages was a modest but good life–if you count out living out in the open, ready to be raided. Jako of Nerogue solves this problem for his fishermen with the fortifications around the village he built. This facilitates both a picturesque and also practical feeling about this whole diorama.
I love how the diorama really makes sense. The village is confined by the wooden walls, and nothing is left outside… Or maybe it was just all pillaged. Sadly there are not many pictures showing the fortification’s interior, but the outside is impressive enough on its own. The mixing of dark tan with exotic greens is very realistic and pleasant to look at, and the grass also hides some cleverly used clip pieces to simulate taller blades of grass. The whole diorama is brought together with a few splashes of brighter colours, like the regular green bushes and a bit of water in the back.