I love a bit of meta in a LEGO build. Eli Willsea is taking part in Iron Builder, where the challenge is to use the watering can piece in new and unusual ways. Now a watering can is a tool to help keep your plants alive. So Eli has used it to bring a plant to life in brick form! But why not go further? Why not choose a plant that is famous for not needing a lot of water, like a cactus? Now we’ve got a hint of irony involved too! Pretty much all that’s missing now is a good pun. What to do for that, I wonder…
It’s been 27 years since LEGO brought us the Western theme, but Marshal Banana wants to bring us back to that time with their beautiful riverside town, clad in a brilliant array of earth tones. I love the distinct construction styles used on each of the town’s buildings. The whole build is a clinic in old-timey build techniques: the angled boards jutting out from the sand green hotel; the larger sand blue panels on the dockside hut; the long, dark red slats making up the façade of the fur-trading store; and of course the timber poles of the log cabin.
This quartet of structures nestles neatly into the side of a beautifully-sculpted hill of plates, complete with a well-worn path down to the river’s edge. I love the bits of dark green and olive vegetation, with pockets of rime distributed throughout the build setting the calendar in the winter months. While Marshal isn’t specific as to the setting, the whole thing screams of the Pacific Northwest in the United States around the early 1800s.
Don’t get distracted by gGh0st‘s exquisite hat choices in this imminent LEGO duel. The real battle is one of technique between the two buildings in the background. Will the bank take the win, with its multitude of wooden slat techniques (stacked plates, stacked jumpers, and stacked candles)? It’s also got that darling lettering and an interesting black awning. But the brown building is no slouch, either. Smooth curves and sand green highlights at its crown lead down to more slats, this time with gray cheese slopes. The golden yellow curtains in the window are a great touch, as are the anti-studs (undersides) of a couple of 1×3 jumper plates at the base of the building. And each structure sports its own type of brick-built door. I can’t tell which one I like better!
LEGO’s Western theme may have only lasted a couple of years, but the sets available in that short span could build you a pretty comprehensive Wild West. In the spirit of that, Evan Crouch has collaborated with fellow builders Matt Hudson and Donnie Greenfield to bring us this huge diorama! It’s all there, laid out down one main street in typical spaghetti-western style (among some stunning landscape, I might add). There’s a bank, a sheriff’s office, a Native American camp, settlers, a train station – pretty much the only thing missing is Fort Legoredo itself!
Hardly any studded surfaces are visible in this eye-catching model created by Eli Willsea. Instead, a variety of slope and curved pieces are mainly used, forming a staggered appearance of rocks. There is also a wonderful colour gradient in the rocks, as the light sand tone develops into a warm orange. The slight angle given to the side supports of the mine entrances assists in making the scene look even more realistic. The main characters appear to be in quite the dilemma, as they attempt to swing to safety while being pursued by some fearsome bandits.
I’m going to be completely honest with you: the noises that came out of my mouth when I first saw Nannan Zhang‘s LEGO microscale Fort Legoredo were mostly unintelligible. I mean, it’s just so flippin’ CUTE! I love the horse designs in this scale, as well as the care put into the microfig design. Even with only a few bricks, it’s unreal how I can clearly identify each of the three bandits from this theme. The use of grill pieces to emulate the log profile bricks from the original is inspired, and Nannan has effectively recreated the big rock pieces using light-gray plates and tile embedded in the walls.
Here’s a peek at the interior of the fort’s back wall. The printed tiles chosen to replicate the original model’s shutters are spot-on, as is the teensy jail cell below. There’s even a pair of binoculars subbed in for the fort’s chimney from the original set. And don’t forget the fort’s iconic blue sign, held by a pair of clips to the red roof. The whole thing is a welcome bit of nostalgia for me!
Any Lucky Luck fans out there? Bas van Houwelingen is showing some serious fan cred by making this LEGO creation based on the comic series started by Belgian cartoonist Morris in 1946. Bas’s build (inspired by the designs of LEGO 7) is titled “‘I’m a poor lonesome cowboy…’”, and that somber note is reflected in the otherwise colorful and vibrant build, showing the titular Luke riding alone on his loyal steed Jolly Jumper.
Bas does a great job of contrasting both horses with similar elements showing emotions through how they’re placed; note the positioning of the manes and tails of each. The hair differences between the characters are very similar to this as well. I really like the smaller details, like the stirrups and the bandanas.
It wasn’t always dysentery that did you in on the Oregon trail. Dmitry has created a microscale wonder in “The Road To The West”, a build full of great details and part usage. A few that caught my eye right away were the use of hubcaps for the spoked wagon wheels and the really clever combination of small parts in the horses. I also adore the slight gaps between the sections of the coach’s cover. Those allow for a wind-swept look that enhances the scene’s already great sense of motion.
This scene feels like a small part of a larger story. What happens next? Maybe Dmitry will share another build in the future that fills us in. Otherwise we’ll just have to look at some other great Western-inspired creations and make up our own legends.
It’s been a fantasy of mine to walk into a saloon, and my very presence causes everything to halt to a silence. I’ve entered a few bars in my adult life, and apparently, despite all my squinting and scowling, I just don’t cut a badass imposing figure. This guy, on the other hand, looks like he means some serious business. KitKat1414 presents this scene in LEGO and you can just hear the gasps and the honky-tonk piano whimper off while mid-tune. I like the window, the crooked painting on the wall, and the overall lived-in feel of this saloon. If bars ever open up again, I’ll be sure to practice my best Clint Eastwood squint, and in a gruff, low grunt, I’ll announce to the barkeep that I’ll have “the hair of the dog that bit me.” Then I’ll just hope they don’t hand me a Zinfandel.
They say no one can survive in the Wild West without a gun and a fast horse. But what about sunscreen? I’m not sure whether the hero of this funny vignette by Megacolormix has enough sunscreen in his wagon, but the horse looks particularly excited for the journey. Actually, this is a perfect example of how emotions can be expressed through shape and posture. You don’t need that many different printed faces if you know how to place your characters in the shot. The scenery behind the wagon is a little piece of art; the forced perspective works perfectly here, creating a vast desert stretching to the horizon.
These days when we go to the store, we’re typically faced with thousands of products. But back in the pioneer days – in the “Wild West” – sometimes only bulk essentials sat on shelves. Typically grocers lived in the same building as their store, and people paid in trades more often than cash. This LEGO trading post by Thomas Gion pays homage to that history. I’m a particular fan of the well, which is executed with a really authentic look, and even “pumps” when you spin the windmill.
The little building is fully furnished on the inside with period furniture and wares from that time.
This trading post is part of a series of western-style buildings, one of which we recently featured.
There’s a new build in town and it’s got it all! This LEGO saloon and hotel by Thomas Gion features plenty of interior details, cool techniques, and some sweet brick-built signage. We have “SALOON” in the classic Modular theme font and “HOTEL” in a distinctively Western-style serif font, complete with embellishing and everything. On the facade, the sideways log brick technique works wonders as wood-paneled walls. Thomas also has a water trough made of a translucent blue glass window. There’s also a water pump made of a crowbar and bar holder connection on top of a Technic connector spout. In addition to the neat details at the front of this build, it is fully furnished on the inside.
The floors and walls are detachable for maximum playability. The angled saloon doors look perfectly integrated into the build even with the upper floor removed, with the help of some wedge plates and triangular tiles. A SNOT tile technique is used for the wall frames, creating a very clean-cut appearance. I’m also impressed by the level of detail crammed into the hotel rooms, including ceiling to floor curtains and a mounted deer head.
Here is an up-close look of the saloon furnishing, though it’s not quite the same without the hustle and bustle of its daily customers.
Feeling the itch to go on a road trip? Take a ride through our archives for some more Western-inspired builds!