I hear it all the time from would-be builders that they just don’t have enough pieces in their collections. “I can’t make anything cool,” they bemoan, as if having a billion LEGO elements at their disposal would make building easier. Now, in some respects, that is true; having more parts does expand the horizons of what you can build. But more importantly, building cool things comes from an eye for how to use the parts one has, rather than the parts one wishes one had, and a small collection is as good as a large one in that respect. Take this windmill by Inthert, for example. It’s not huge. It didn’t take a lot of parts. Granted, there are some specialty parts like the green palettes and the green feathers, but most of what is in the build could come from the collection of anyone who has a few sets. It’s in the art of arrangement, the way the parts are used, that the coolness comes. And that comes not from having a ton of bricks, but from using them a ton and getting familiar with them.
For example, who, having the fence piece, thinks to put it into the bottom of a jumper plate? Not I. And the tiny round tower, the artfully placed foliage of all sorts, the grille tile fence…the list of clever constructions goes on. And the little Heroica figures are just the cherry on top. And it did not take a billion bricks! So what are you waiting for? Go get your collection out and start building something, if you aren’t already. With this quarantine, I know you have time.
This next LEGO render is brought to you by a builder who goes by the controversial name of Hanwasyellowfirst. I know what you’re thinking; thems fightin’ words! But before you go on a righteous rampage it is important to know that there are very fine people on both sides. Now that I’ve squelched that potential disaster let’s take a look at this awesome creation. Based solely on this image, I can imagine this structure atop a craggy mountain in an exotic bygone world. I’m loving the rustic wood finishes and the ramshackle roofs. Brown owls used as gargoyles here are an inspired touch and increased availability of these elements make for some excellent uses. This is a brilliant piece but alas does not come in green yet. (Ahem…LEGO, are you reading this?) In my opinion, the most exciting aspect of this creation is it rests atop a rather small footprint.
A rearview reveals that the rooms within this mountain windmill are just as fun and just as haphazard as I had imagined. I can get lost for hours marveling at all the interesting and fanciful details this creation beholds. How about you?
Lately I’m on the lookout for calming and peaceful LEGO creations; they add a nice balance to the chaos of the modern world. Happily, this windmill created by Sheo is just what the doctor ordered. There are a lot of things to love about the construction, like the curving and tapering rings of stone making up the tower. I also like how the base is incorporated into the main design. The path that leads up to the door curves down, breaking through the stone wall that rings the windmill. It creates a nice illusion that this is only a smaller bit of a larger scene, and not an isolated display piece.
There are also great details created by clever part usage. A minifigure sword serves as a weather vane, turntable bases create windows, and telescopes brace the sails. All in all, a welcome breath of fresh air.
The two most immediately eye-catching bits on this scene are the smoke and cloaks–well, capes, actually; 8 to be exact. Kevin Peeters does a nice job incorporating them into this lovely windmill. But that’s not the only great part about this build. The cobbled-together look of the stone building and rooftops makes for a great medieval homestead.
The foliage, including the fall-colored tree in the back are also nicely done. But my favorite part might just be the white snake element used for the wisp of smoke from the chimney, a technique we never tire of.
If you’re a fan of the medieval theme, check out some other cool architecture, like a seaside market, floating castle, hero’s cottage, or micro kingdom.
There’s nothing like a stiff breeze in your sails and a bit of steampunkery to make the workday fly. This rickety windmill by Martin Harris hits all the right notes with its exposed framework, abundance of gears, and plethora of thingamabobs that are the hallmarks of the aesthetic. The LEGO ship rigging elements pull double-duty here as framework, with Martin even taking advantage of their flexibility to bend them into place. Now the real question is: what does it power?
This mini-windmill model, built in collaboration between Mark van der Maarel and his son, resonates with positive energy. It’s wonderful to see the pieced-together building style normally associated with post-apocalyptic creations being used to covey a green message. The salvaged sails and junkyard components of the windmill are offset by wonderful foliage and neat tulips formed from lever bases. Nature is thriving here, a theme that resonates with LEGO’s recent plants set made from sustainable plastics.
If you were a medieval peasant, would you prefer a cozy hut in the village, or a windmill in the countryside? Though it may be a bit drafty, I think I’d pick the windmill. At least, I’d pick this one, built by Sandro Damiano! With its quaint cabin and cobblestone path, it’s a peasant’s castle!
Sandro does a great job of capturing all the little dimensions and levels. It keeps your eyes wandering around the scene. This garden is full of tasty veggies to take to the market!
Surely there’s a strong positive correlation between the number of intricate and charming medieval LEGO creations one comes across and how many times one smiles in a given day. Or at least I think there’s something to that. This wonderful scene by “kofi” certainly brought a smile to my face.
This build is quite interesting as it doesn’t overly emphasize any one structure or area in an extreme fashion. While the lovely windmill (that moves by the way) and other small structure certainly draw the eye in, as a whole it’s a very balanced build with lots going on. The subtle gradient on the ground down to the right really draws the eye in too.
The more I look at this build, the more I can’t help but think that I wish photographing LEGO builds in 360 was more of a thing. Wouldn’t it be neat to get a look at this build from all sides? Maybe take a closer look from the top looking down? Ah what the future holds.
Organic shapes can be awfully tricky with LEGO, and part of that challenge I think is what makes some of the pieces of landscaping and life we see that so very impressive.
Eduardo Gavilán (aToMiKWiWa) does a lovely job with the rock formations that create the foundation for his windmill, and shows how the builders used the formations to their benefit instead of sculpting to what they needed.