Great Odin’s raven! This LEGO Viking town by builder Simon Schweyer is an excellent return to form after six years away from the hobby. The lush green landscape atop those rocks is festooned with so many quaint buildings, all of them boasting some wonderful curves. The roof shaping, unique to each structure, is the first thing to catch my eye. Though all the buildings have their own character, the shared colors and building styles in each one makes them feel like a cohesive unit. And employing ship hulls in some of those lovely shapes is some great part usage. Lover of texture that I am, I find the haphazard makeup of the hut walls to be quite endearing. And the minifig placement gives the eye a reason to linger on certain parts of the build. As my eyes pass over it, each of the individual scenes stand out. Has the shepherd lost some of his flock? What song are the bards sharing with the town? And have the fish been biting today?
“Are we the prey? No, we are the hunters!” Attack on Titan, or its original title Shingeki no Kyojin, is a tragic tale which starts out as humanity’s struggle against monsters, but evolves into an exploration of the evils of human nature, war, politics, more. Originally a Manga series that has been adapted into a high quality anime show, it has reached mainstream popularity and will now air its final season. Builder Pieter Dennison commemorates the very first episode with the town of Shiganshina being attacked by Titans.
This scene is just draws you in with the detailed buildings and uneven streets, forcing you to take a closer look at the way Pieter manipulates LEGO pieces to give this build a rough, aged feel. There is plenty of subtle use of texture and discolouration that doesn’t distract from the action that takes place. Minifigs representing townspeople flee from the Titan, which devours an unlucky soul. The soldiers of the Survey Corps swoop in from above with Spider-Man-esque manoeuvring gear to take down the grotesque monster. But can they save humanity from this mysterious threat?
This action-packed scene already got one of the opening songs stuck in my head…
“Seid ihr das Essen?
Nein, wir sind die Jäger!”
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?
Sometimes a builder waits years for just the right LEGO pieces and colors to come out. That’s exactly what Vincent Kiew did in planning this lovely Kampung House. It took a while for LEGO to produce just the right pieces in dark brown and reddish-brown. The colors are alternated nicely here to replicate the indigenous craftsmanship used in these traditional dwellings. The stilts, shutters, even the intricate roof are all spot on. The chickens, the cat, the cow, even the cart full of vegetables help convey a feeling of relaxation and tranquility. I imagine the home would offer a cool reprise from the Malaysian heat. Vincent tells us this creation was based on a particular village house on Penang island. He also states that being a city-dweller growing up in Kuala Lumpur, he has not had the chance to stay in a Kampung House but his wife had when she was a child. She shared stories of her childhood with him as he worked on this project.
This photo gives us a better glimpse of Vincent’s attention to detail. I’m loving the shutters, woodpile, as well as chickens languishing in the shade.
Vincent closes out his write-up with a question; “does this creation remind you of your sweet childhood, too?” I imagine for our readers from the Malay Peninsula it might. As I was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, it doesn’t. In order to envision my childhood, you’d have to imagine cramped three-story walk-up apartments and simple Shaker-style New England homes. But still, we deeply appreciate you sharing your architectural sentiments from your part of the world.
No matter what day of the week it is, it’s always nice to go to the local farmer’s market. Not only are the food and goods top-notch, they also have a nice atmosphere. Not unlike Andrew Tate‘s village grocer, which has a charming house rather than tents and food stalls. No doubt the fruits and vegetables sold outside in crates are locally grown, given the small-town feel of the build. The ground floor has a small convenience shop, and the rest of the house must be where the owners live.
Andrew pays homage to a more famous LEGO grocer, a popular Modular Building set from 2008. The green and tan awning is similarly to the blue and white awning of the LEGO set, and both share the same white Fabuland lamp-posts. Andrew also references LEGO’s Winter Village series with this village grocer’s alpine architecture. It fits right in there, minus the cold and snow. Come to think of it, what’s Winter Village like when it’s not winter?
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.
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.