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September 2011
Set 10223: Kingdoms Joust
Bruce 30 IX 11

I'll put the Last March of the Ents back in a couple of days, but this news is too good to let wait. Feast your eyes on set 10223: Kingdoms Joust, unveiled today at BrickCon and around the world on line. It looks like this will run US$119 and will include 9 figs, including a new Black Falcon armored knight. I'm sure those in Seattle tonight will have lots of details to share with us when they get back to the forum. -Quick revision- It was pointed out in the forum thread that the image above seems to be a combination of two sets (from the official description). Hopefully more information will be forthcoming soon about the details. -Quick revision #2- Josh was at the unveiling and said the picture above is supposed to be one set. He will try to find out more.

Last March of the Ents
Bruce 30 IX 11

There stood a tower of marvellous shape. It was fashioned by the builders of OneLug, who smoothed the Ring of ABS, and yet it seemed a thing not made by the craft of Men, but riven from the bones of the earth in the ancient torment of the hills. A peak and isle of LEGO it was, black and gleaming hard: four mighty piers of many-sided SNOT were wwelded into one, but near the summit they opened into gaping horns. This was Orthanc, the citadel of Saruman.

This massive work was the brainchild of Remi Gagne and Brandon Griffith, and they quickly enlisted the help of Alyse Gagne and Bruce Lowell. Designing and building the attack of the Ents on Orthanc was in the works for the past eight months, and finally came together for photography last week. The OneLug team promptly tore their creation down and headed north to Seattle, where it is on display this weekend at BrickCon.

Red Beech
Bruce 20 IX 11

Our Dutch forum members may remember the medieval theme park Het Land van Ooit. The park shut down due to financial difficulties a few years ago, but the memory lives on with Paul Toxopeus. He's built LEGO renditions of many of the park's offerings, including this sign, some giants, the Manege Theater, and the iconic Pink Castle. All of these creations can be found on Flickr and on Paul's blog (currently offline) Het Land van Ooit van LEGO. The area around the park is also known for beautiful red beech trees. By the way, this is just one of Paul's great realistic trees, and in looking at his work I happened upon the Flickr group LEGO Arboretum, which is full of trees, plants and other MOCs that would spruce up any castle landscape.

To make the red beech, Paul had to paint the leaf elements with an aerosol spray paint. He washed the leaves, then added a layer of primer spray, then added two layers of dark red to each side. Since the leaves are flexible, the paint tends to crack if handled too much. So this is a perfect time to renew the call for LEGO to make leafe elements in a variety of colors. C'mon, LEGO, is that asking too much? Maybe a variety pack with dark red, orange, and yellow.

Paul lives in Wageningen, the Netherlands, and is a member of the Dutch groups Lowlug and De Bouwsteen. His MOCs can be found in his Flickr stream.

Castel Del Monte
Bruce 13 IX 11

Belfast (Diabel on Brickshelf) is an AFOL in Warsaw, Poland. He wanted to build a nice-looking castle, but didn't want a gray square. He likes architecture from the Mediterranean and so, looking around, he found Castel Del Monte. This striking castle was built by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in Apulia (southern Italy) during the thirteenth century. I think we can agree that not only is the original castle beautiful, but so is Belfast's microscale LEGO rendition.

Belfast is a member of LUGPol and his MOCs can be found in his Brickshelf gallery.

Ben E 5 IX 11

Yaron Dori is an AFOL from Holon, Israel. He has been a fan of LEGO bricks since receiving his first set, 105, as a five year old. Yaron loves history and travels ancient and medieval sites in Israel and Europe. His favorite themes are LEGO Castle, Pirates, and Western. Yaronís mocs can be found on brickshelf and mocpages.

CC: Please give us information regarding the historic Caesarea site:

YD: Caesarea was a city and harbor built by Herod the Great about 25Ė13 BC during the Roman Empire. Today, its ruins lie on the Mediterranean coast of Israel about halfway between the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa. It is one of the most impressive old cities in Israel, which I like to visit. One of the great parts of Caesarea is the great stadium that is a bit different today. The old stage is ruined and instead there is a new modern one. Five thousand people can watch each performance given by great singers of Israel every summer.

CC: How did you replicate this historic structure?

YD: I tried to make it as accurate as it can be according to the old diagrams of the place. My model is contains approximately 15,000-20,000 bricks. It took a few months to finish it. Most of the problem was the delay for bricks. The size of the model is 1.5 m x 1 m x 0.4 m (high) (or 5 ft x 3.3 ft x 1.3 ft).

CC: Tell us about future projects you are working on:

YD: I made a few creations in the same manner in the past like old churches in Jerusalem and Antwerp but this is the biggest creation yet. I hope to make more old architecture models in the future but Iím not certain which will be the next one. On the coming event of LEGO WORLD 2011 in the Netherlands I hope Iíll be able to display it live if I can find how to bring in on an airplane :-)

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