For the last 70 years people around the world have been creating buildings, vehicles and anything else they can imagine out of small colourful bricks. For Ben Pitchford that includes recreating the Middle Ages.
Few brands are as well known as LEGO. The Danish construction toy has been massively popular since its creation in 1949, and today one can find legions of fans who design and build various sets. The company even has a system in place for designers to submit their ideas, which may be turned into is sets that can be sold. Ben Pitchford is one of these designers, and his latest proposal is a medieval blacksmith shop.
“When building this scene I tried to evoke the charm and lack of boundaries you might see in a medieval fantasy world,” Ben explains. “I really enjoyed building these charming little homes, with their twisted geometry, colorful roofs, and wooden beams throughout.”
After creating the building as part of a larger set for Brickworld Chicago 2019, where he won an award for “Best Individual Layout”, Ben redesigned the Blacksmith Shop and submitted it to LEGO. “It includes a full interior with removable roofs and opening back wall to access the inside workshop, armory, and leisure area,” he says. “Having an interior with lots of accessories that include a “light brick” for the exterior forge give an added play feature. I also eliminated a lot of parts to bring the total piece count down to approximately 2350 for a more realistic approach. I know there are a lot of adult fans of LEGO who would be interested in building more challenging sets that look like this and I would love to see a revival of this medieval/castle theme so I posted to the LEGO IDEAS page.”
The process for getting a set idea is quite rigorous, and one of Ben’s previous ideas for a Medieval Watermill Project was rejected even though it reached 10,000 votes of support from fans. He believes that his new design has much a better chance of being accepted because of its reduced piece count and detailed interior.
Ben describes himself as “a big fan of anything medieval like castles, knights, the old dilapidated buildings, feudalism and their way of life so it was an obvious pick to recreate in the brick form. It’s definitely challenging to replicate this medieval architectural style using LEGO but when you place a few of these dilapidated buildings together on a village scene it’s a real eye catcher!”
You can vote for Ben’s Medieval Blacksmith Shop at: https://ideas.lego.com/projects/fe760b8b-4d27-4ab9-9373-353661f4a9f8
See also: Using LEGO to teach the Middle Ages