Barad dur is the fortress of Sauron. I loved reading the Lord of the Rings books growing up in my late teens and was inspired by the movies to go out and buy the official Lego sets. When the theme was retired, I had the idea that one day I would try my hand at designing a set based on the excellent source material available in the books and from the films.
I decided on Barad dur because I wanted a challenging build that was also a stunning display piece.
I believe that there is great interest in the Lego community for more Lord of the Rings sets, especially larger display models. Children and teens who loved the movies and missed out on the original sets are now adults who have the financial means and interest in Lego to build and display epic sets from all over Middle Earth. The imposing fortress of Barad dur could announce triumphantly the return of this much loved theme!
Here is a description of my own creation:
The Ground floor:
From the back of the model you can see the dungeon where the orcs interrogate Gollum. You can also see an area where troublesome prisoners are locked away, including skeletons and an undead jailer. You can also see a central corridor where the ring wraiths move in and out of the fortress. From the front of the model you can see the imposing battlements and heavily fortified armoured door.
The First floor:
From the back of the model you can see the witch-king of Angmar, chief of the ring wraiths, welcoming Sauron's guests to his fortress. You can also see a mechanism to activate the trap door to the dungeon. Two tables adorn this area for the processing of guests. From the front of the model you can also see orcs patrolling the ramparts and Sauron's banner with his infamous lidless eye wreathed in flame blazoned on a red background.
The Second floor:
From the back of the model you can see Sauron's throne room. On the left are the 3 rings he has recovered from the dwarf lords and on the right you can see proudly displayed the 9 rings gifted to the race of men. On the left of the throne you can see his awesome mace, Grond. The throne itself has an intimidating crown modeled after his helmet and behind it is a second banner with the eye of Sauron. A key to Sauron's catacombs of the ring wraiths can be seen to the right. In front of the throne is the palantir of Minas Morgul given to the witch king of Angmar as ransom for general Castamir's daughter during the shadow war. Sauron now uses it to communicate with Saruman in Orthanc and Denethor in Minas Tirith. From the front of the model to the left, you can see the cliff side into which the fortress is embedded, the slit windows to see into the throne room and 2 clawed monoliths pointing to the eye at the top of the tower. On the sides you can see flaming torches.
The Third floor:
From the back of the model you can see Sauron's smelting pot where his blacksmiths fashion the Morgul blades for his servants, the ring wraiths. Books filled with arcane law and potions of dark magic adorn the tables.
From the front of the model you can see a heavily armoured section of wall complete with hanging chains and flaming torches. The long thin tiles draw the viewer's gaze upward toward Sauron's ever seeing eye.
The Fourth floor:
From the back of the model you can see a winch with a basket that is used to transport supplies of ore for the smelting pot and booty for the trophy room up from the ground. I incorporated the winch mechanism into a turntable that rotates displaying photos of Sauron’s most wanted: Gandalf, Radagast, Galadriel and Aragorn. From the front of the model you can see heavily barred windows and dangerous spikes prohibiting any creature from scaling the fortress from the outside.
The Fifth floor:
From the back of the model you can see Sauron’s trophy room, complete with Frodo’s mithril mail, a Morgul blade, the staves of the blue wizards and the Mouth of Sauron himself. Also included is a ladder up to an attic where weapons of Sauron’s armoury are stored. From the front of the model you can see more barred windows and a fortification of chiseled stone and iron bars to support the magnificent eye of Sauron at the top.
At the very top of the fortress you can see the eye of Sauron as it blazes between 2 Gothic spears angled perfectly to accentuate his desire to rule all.
The model consists of 3,000 pieces and stands 79cm (31in) tall. It is 30cm (12in) wide and 13cm (5in) thick at the base. I have included 2 ring wraiths (including one on a black rider), 2 orcs, the Mouth of Sauron and the witch king of Angmar. There is a great opportunity to redesign the imposing witch king of Angmar as he is appears in the Return of the King as well as a minifigure of Sauron himself from the Second Age. I’d also love to see a new Gollum figure and a Nazgul would be icing on the cake!