(Written by Geneva – gid617)
The Summer Joust was born in 2016 as a multi-category LEGO community contest challenging builders to bring their best skills to the medieval theme. With 130 entries in the first Joust, the contest was a decided success and it has continued to be an annual summer highlight for castle builders.
Each Summer Joust runs for two months and has 6 categories. Besides first and second place for each category, there are also awards for the highest scoring entry, the builder with the highest average score across their three best entries, and the entry with the highest presentation score. Some of the prizes are official LEGO sets, but some are brick-built trophies donated by well-known builders (often frequent participants of the contest) like this trophy below by Jonah Schultz.
Every year, the quantity and quality of castle themed LEGO creations built for the Summer Joust is astonishing, but this year I was especially impressed. So let’s take a look at some of the 2021 Summer Joust winners!
The 12×12 Vignette category is an annual favorite. Entries are expected to fit the medieval theme, but aside from that size is the only restriction. With only a 12×12 stud base to work with, builders get very intricate and very creative with their parts usage. This year Markus Rollbühler won the 12×12 Vignette category.
One of this year’s most unique and exciting categories was Creating an Atmosphere. Builders were challenged to create a piece that would be instantly associated with an emotion of their choice. The winner of this category was Caleb Saw with Returning Home.
I was very excited about this category because I knew it would inspire lots of beautiful creations. Sure enough, there were half a dozen masterpieces! I highly recommend taking a look at all the entries but for now, here’s the second place winner, W. Navarre with Asia.
For several years now, the Summer Joust has included one category focused on a specific culture. This year the category was Asian. Once again, there were a variety of stunning entries. Second place was one by First Order Lego with his Golden Clifftop Pagoda.
Another category that brought out a lot of talent was the Monastery category. The first place winner was Joe (jnj_bricks), with Sanctuary.
The second place is so unique and my brother borrowed so many of my bricks to build it, that I just have to mention it. This is “Samye Monastery” by W. Navarre.
For those who weren’t inspired by the realistic Asian or Monastery categories there’s High Fantasy. The second place High Fantasy entry, “What We Do in the Clouds by Dan Ko, particularly impressed me with its incredibly creative use of little pieces!
Last but not least, every year there is a team category for the Summer Joust. For this category, 2-4 LEGO builders come together to build 2-4 creations around a single theme. This year’s theme was called Through the Seasons, and the winning team illustrated the lifespan of a castle, from springtime construction to a final abandoned ruin in winter.
Another team also had a terrific idea; Life on the Edge, a village of dragon trainers living on a cliff.
And that brings our look at the 2021 Summer Joust to a close. We’ve only scratched the surface of the more than 150 entries though, so there’s plenty more to see in the Summer Joust group if you’d like to dig a little deeper.
LEGO competitions are a great way to challenge and motivate yourself for a new creation. Contests run by members of the LEGO building community, like the Summer Joust, tend to be some of the most inspiring, most friendly, and most exciting competitions. The winning bar is incredibly high, but the participating community is very friendly and ready to share comments and suggestions with all the participants. Even if you don’t get inspired to build for the Summer Joust, it’s a great competition to watch from the sidelines. You can be sure there will be plenty of creations on display that will make it worth your while!
What do you think? Have you participated in or followed the Summer Joust at all? Are you inspired to build something medieval or maybe even participate in next year’s competition? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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