Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The amazing LOTR Lego designs of Blake Baer

The amazing LOTR Lego designs of Blake Baer

Fire and WaterDo you like Lego? Of course you do.
Well, Blake Baer is the brain behind a number of remarkable Lego dioramas that recreate famous scenes from the Hobbit. If you were excited about the announcement of the Lord of the Rings Lego series, you’ll love this. the full-resolution images of the scenes from The Hobbit that Blake has visualised in Lego are amazing.

TheOneRing.net: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Blake: I live in the USA, I am a sophomore in high-school and have been home-schooled all my school years, I am interested in pre-medicine, biology, or engineering as college majors. A couple of my interests aside from LEGO are: soccer, music, architecture, art, books of all kinds, photography, medieval times, and technology.

TheOneRing.net: How long have you been building with LEGO, and what inspired you to start doing it seriously?

Blake: I grew up with LEGO, so I’ve been building since I was about four. It wasn’t until I was 13 that I met a LEGO professional (one who makes a living from commissions) and he really inspired me to stretch my interests. Before this point in my career, LEGO had simply been a toy, but was now blossoming into a form of art.
It was this time that I came to learn about the online LEGO community. I was blown away by how extensive it was. I learned what MOCs (My Own Creation), AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO), and TFOLs (Teen Fans of LEGO) were. The community has its own conventions and social sites, Flickr and MOCpages to name just two. The LEGO community centers around sharing your creations online. As opposed to building by myself, sharing my creations on the web is much more enjoyable. Not only do you find fans of similar interest, like the Lord of the Rings community, but you can receive instant feedback and comments. The LEGO community is directly responsible for my maturing into a TFOL.

TheOneRing.net: How did you become interested in Tolkien and Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit? What drew you to them and what do you like about them?

Blake: The Hobbit was one of the first large books I read at age seven. From there, I moved through the Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, and Return of the King. These books and movies really struck a chord with me. I think they ignited my interests in medieval time periods and that genre of fantasy.
Aside from being in my top five as movies/books go, I totally love Tolkien’s writing style, and his complex story line. Very rarely will you find another author who put as much effort into his books as Tolkien did with Middle Earth. His development of different languages, sub-stories and histories adds so much depth. It isn’t just a story to me though. I am sure many of you agree with me on this. While Tolkien never wanted his books to be allegorical, I find myself continuing to dissect just a little more symbolism and meaning from the story, every time I read or watch. I still cry whenever I see the end of ROTK.

TheOneRing.net: What was the first original piece you constructed? What do you think of it now?

Blake: My first real MOC was a big dwarf mine which readers can find on my site here.  Looking back on it now, I am not at all impressed. Different sections I did well, while others fail to impress me. I also did a stop-motion animation movie of the Lord of the Rings with some of my close friends. That was about four years back, and we didn’t manage to finish it. I actually built a smaller version of Amon Hen for that video. There may have been some foreshadowing going on.

TheOneRing.net: Did you make the Lord of the Rings Amon Hen piece first? Did that inspire you to move onto the Hobbit?

Blake: Indeed I did. That was built in July-August of last year. Because of its surprisingly good reception, I decided to continue with the LOTR theme which brought me to my Hobbit series. Amon Hen was actually preceded by Hobbiton, which was a small model of the Shire that I built in 2009.

Amon Hen by Blake Baer. Click for full-size image.

TheOneRing.net: How did you select the scenes you re-created from the Hobbit? What did you look for?

Blake: When I think of the Hobbit, I think of spiders, dragons and a wooden city on a lake. I think everyone has different scenes in their mind from the story. I tried to pick the more iconic scenes and portray them as I saw them in my mind’s eye. I relied on artists’ paintings as well. As I construct scenes in my mind, I think of highlights that would bring the scene out more. For example, in my Amon Hen, the waterfall was the main attraction because even people who don’t know what LOTR is, still know what a beautiful waterfall looks like.

Read more by clicking on the title.

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