One of my favorite things about the winter is the beauty of a peaceful snowy mountainside, and this LEGO build by -LittleJohn looks just the part. It took me a little while to grasp the scale of this mountain, but then I spied the castle perched up on the ledge above the glassy waterfall. The ramshackle techniques used on this build come together splendidly to create a magical moonlit river.
We love a good LEGO creation that uses about double the amount of LEGO pieces to be built as you’d expect. This creation by Joe is composed of a lot of small little pieces to create patterns and structures. The scene depicts an abandoned village with one sole visitor. The visitor is apparently the only living soul in the town, just as the blue door is the only thing with colour in the town. Your eye gets drawn to the door due to the vibrant colour, and the door itself is exceptionally well built. But if you look past it, you’ll notice that the rest of the creation is as well. All the walls are made by slopes, tiles and plates to resemble woodwork. The use of the paled fence for windows is quite clever. Throughout the entire creation there are a lot of fangs, horns, angled bars, plates with a handles, and small windows used to represent snow and ice. Of those four, the last two are most resourceful.
Nothing feels nicer in the depths of summer than a glimpse of a snowy landscape. Jake Hansen (Mountain Hobbit) leads us to Winter’s Gate, an early seasonal treat. Filled with great techniques like mostly connected candles to form bamboo poles, inset cheese-wedge designs, and unusual angles, this build rewards you the closer you look. Case in point: that weathered staff the figure is holding is made from an umbrella and a minifigure hand. How many of you missed that at first glance?
If you want more cold-weather relief, our Winter tag is here for you.
Winter may have passed, but its scenes still provide a tranquil allure. This small model by Eli Willsea is a delightfully cartoonish landscape of such a pleasant, icy kingdom. Aqua slopes and curves are built studs not on top, aside from the few exposed to secure the tiny trees and little huts. Using unicorn horns in sand green for different sizes or types of trees is a great method at this scale, but my favorite are the bridges. The mold for wands includes two of the pieces attached to a non-System piece for structural stability. Eli was smart here, wedging unattached wands into the gaps in the wand molds to create small wooden bridges connecting the islands. It might not be “legal” but it certainly suits the scene. Of course, the most complex element is the focal point, the Cold Castle itself. While the nearby huts sport maroon roofs, the castle is capped by dark azure. The stone spires of the structure seem to make use of inverted building techniques to secure the lightsaber hilts. Those create pressure to hold the forks of the bucket handle wedged above the inverted, rounded gold tile used as the castle gate.
This miniature scene is yet another example of the subtle skills that builders like Eli Willsea make use of for their models. It’s one thing to know how to operate within the System but another entirely to know how to break the rules. It starts as a simple suggestion, an experiment in limits, and becomes a signature that builders can rely on to set them apart.
After spending a fair amount of time in ski resorts over the last couple of years, Pixel Fox decided to chronicle a lot of what they witnessed in one elaborate LEGO build. With only a few exceptions, the various hijinks these minifigures are up to are all based on real events. (I’m guessing the presence of an Ice Planet explorer is one of the exceptions.) Recognizing the similarity of this scene to the Where’s Wally? books (“Waldo” to us Yanks), Pixel Fox has provided a key of objects to search for. And while you’re hunting for guitars and gnomes, make sure to linger on some of the great build details, like the larger-than-life Swiss Army knife, the gondola lift car, and the numerous ways Pixel Fox has constructed variations on minifigure legs for realistic winter game chaos.
In my experience, bonsai trees are kind of fragile. But this sturdy specimen from Louis of Nutwood isn’t phased by harsh weather. With a snowy covering on the autumn-hued leaves, this tiny tree is ready for a long winter’s nap. I really like the evocative colors, the twisting trunk, and the tiny lantern on the edge of the pot.
This bonsai started life as part of a larger build, Louis’ Toro Nagashi Temple. It’s a great example of how removing a section of a larger creation can completely transform how its seen; in the temple scene this is “just” a full-sized tree. But recontextualize it and suddenly you’ve got a desk-sized botanical that could go head-to-head with LEGO’s own 10281 Bonsai Tree. Check out our bonsai tag for even more pint-sized greatness!
Pascal Hetzel wants to remind us that even the evil Empire gets into the Christmas spirit. That’s why these microscale AT-ATs have been outfitted in festive sweaters and ordered to leave some presents just outside the Rebels’ base on Hoth. There’s so much life to the walkers in this vignette. The head tilts and the tracks left in the snow make it feel like a scene from a stop-motion Christmas special. Maybe they’re going caroling next. “It’s Beginning to Look AT-AT Like Christmas.”
Daniel Cloward has constructed this charming winter scene featuring a cottage on a snow-covered hill. This LEGO build has an organic feeling about it, created through the curves in the rounded hill and the sloping angles of the cottage. The use of light purple on the roof is unusual but effective, as it blends in with the background sky. Claws form the leaves of the trees with the white pieces portraying snow steadily dripping off the leaves. It’s probably best to get inside quick and snuggle down by the fire, with a cup of hot chocolate at hand.
While this may not be Santa’s primary residence at the North Pole, we can pretend that this cute cabin by Andrea Lattanzio is Santa’s holiday home. Since Santa only works during the month of December, does he have the rest of the year off? Does he go on holidays? He must go vacationing all over the world since he has so much time. I’d think he has a cabin close by in the Canadian or Siberian wilderness somewhere to to escape his elf-infested home for a bit of peace and quiet. I sure hope he doesn’t need to get away from his wife, and that his marriage to Mrs. Claus is still doing well…
We’ve written about Andrea’s A-frame cabin before, but we forgot to mention who owns the property. Now I’m curious to see Santa’s beach house in a more tropical region of the world. Or maybe I’m just wrong and Santa doesn’t have the rest of the year off, maybe he rents an apartment in a big city and works a boring financial job…
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The Northern Lights (aurora borealis) are one of nature’s most beautiful miracles. Recreating it in LEGO is difficult, but I can’t think of a more marvelous idea than dragon wings. Yep, Malin Kylinger has used multiple sets of marbled dragon wings to recreate this lovely phenomena. The rest of her night sky is beautiful too, with raised diamond tiles used for stars. The scene is made complete with an adorable elf cottage, a fire, reindeer, and a decorated Christmas tree.
Despite the summer heat, LEGO builder Lukasz Wiktorowicz created a winter wonderland scene of carolers bringing seasonal joy to a lonely cottage. The tree almost steals the show, with leafless branches spindly pointing towards the sky. The use of brown minifigure hands to create additional branch points is fantastic and adds age to the tree. I also really dig the snow work, with clumps of snow slowly falling off the roof and much more piled on the ground.
Yet it’s the minor details that truly make this a wonderland of LEGO. Did you see the crosscut saw laying in the snow near the base of the tree? Or the wood hacked out of the trunk? Or the stump next to the house? Or the hinges on the cottage’s front door? You can’t fully appreciate what Lukasz has built without zooming in for a closer look. And that’s why we’re happy to showcase his creation here on The Brother’s Brick.
Winter wonderlands are a fairly common theme with LEGO builders, and not just houses and villages, but castles as well, like this cozy castle by W. Navarre. I hope they have plenty of tiny logs to burn in their tiny fireplaces. The model features a nice mix of newer and older gray parts for the perfect weathered look and speaking of weather, the scene includes several patches of snow on the roofs and the surrounding grounds. One of my favorite details is the little tower near the left side, which is attached using 1×1 rounded tiles on their side, stuck into the underside of the larger 2×2 rounded plate.