Giant LEGO Chess Pieces

January 26th, 2008

Over the years I’ve seen a few different LEGO chess sets. A year or two ago LEGO introducted a Castle Chess Set featuring pieces which were primarily based on minifigs. Eric Harshbarger built a larger one with an innovative board that included bricks lying down to form each square. I’ve even seen a very tiny set built using microscale-like techniques with pieces around one inch in height.

The set I’m working on is much larger. In fact, so much so, that I’m not sure I’ll ever build all 32 pieces. But eventually I hope to build at least one piece of each type. So far I’m about half way.  I’ve completed a Pawn and Castle, shown below and I’ve started working on a Knight.  That makes me 2.5 / 6 or almost 50% completed.  (I haven’t started on a King, Queen, or Bishop yet.)

LEGO Chess Piece Sculptures

I’ve included a couple items in frame to help with visualizing the size of these sculptures.  The Pawn is 13 inches tall and the Castle is slightly taller (one row of bricks to be exact).  Even though they are somewhat hollow, they are still pretty heavy with the Castle tipping the scales at 8 pounds (imagine a gallon of milk).

I built the Pawn first. Like most LEGO sculptors, I’ve built quite a few spheres in varying sizes, so the top of the pawn was pretty simple. The hard part was building a chess set that had the ‘classic’ look I wanted to achieve. I found that chess pieces come in every imaginable design and most of them are far more stylized than I was looking for. What I wanted to build is a replica of the cheap platic chess set I played with growing up. Of course I no longer have that set, but I did eventually find some good images online to use as a starting point.

Below is the Pawn alone (OK not quite alone, the soda can is still there with him.)

LEGO Chess Pawn Sculpture

Next, I built the Castle. Pictures that most resembled the design I imagined all had Castles with a shorter top sections than what I wanted. I originally built the Castle with a short top section, but tore it apart and enlarged it because it didn’t capture my idealized design.

In the end, I decided to build the set I had recorded someplace in my mind instead of mimicing a real chess set.  I realized this was the only way I would be able to look at my finished pieces and not feel an urge to change them. Since it seems I always think of things I should change on my work after it sits for a while anyway, I should at least be satistfied for a while when my work was done.

 Below is the Castle’s solo portrait also.

LEGO Chess Castle Sculpture

Finally, I’ve included a picute of the underside of the Castle to show the hollowness of it. It also shows off the symetry and consitency of how it is built. I must have been in a very particular mood that day! The underside also highlights my effort to maxiumize the amount of 2X2 and 2X3 bricks used. I have an abundance of both of these sizes, which are also often very cheap to buy in bulk – especially in red which in my experience is the cheapest color.

LEGO Chess Castle Underside

Having completed these first two pieces means that until the other 3 are done, I’ll never be lost for a project to work on.  I have a one brick profile outline of the knight completed, so look for future articles as round of the rest of my chess set.

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7 Responses

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  6. Kirkgf Says:

    well done, guy

  7. Sullivan Says:

    Very nice work. I love the first picture tho where u show the pawn and the castle. From there i can see something else… something like a distortion of view. Becoz it seems like it’s from a computer graphic but its not and its from Lego. O_O
    Keep at it and im sure ull be a fine sculpturer/artist XD.


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