Monday, May 27, 2024

Italian Heraldry: Castracani degli Antelminelli

 Castruccio Castracani degli Antelminelli (1281-1328) was a famous condottiero and lord of Lucca. Born into a noble family, he initially distinguished himself as a soldier in the service of the Ghibellines. His military and political skills allowed him to emerge as the leader of Lucca, where he established an authoritarian regime.

Castracani fought against the Guelphs and other rival city-states, consolidating his power in Tuscany. Among his most notable achievements is the victory at the Battle of Altopascio in 1325, which allowed him to extend his control over large areas of Tuscany. Besides his military prowess, he was known for his intelligence and political cunning.

He died in 1328, leaving behind a legacy as a great military leader and skilled politician. His figure was also immortalized by Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote a biography of him, contributing to his lasting fame in subsequent centuries.

Italian Heraldry: Braccio da Montone

Braccio da Montone, also known as Andrea Fortebracci, was an Italian condottiero born in 1368 in Montone, Umbria, and died in 1424. Descended from a noble family, he became one of the most skilled mercenary leaders of his time. Braccio was renowned for his strategic prowess and bravery, successfully leading his troops in numerous battles. He served various Italian lords and several city-states. His influence and power grew to the point where he founded his own state in central Italy. However, his ambition led him into conflicts with the papacy and other Italian powers. He died in 1424 during the Battle of L'Aquila, marking the end of his short but intense military career.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Diorama with rain


I've just completed a diorama for the FourBricksTall Bad Weather contest, but unfortunately, the limitations of my smartphone camera are evident.

Despite following the fantastic tutorials from FourBricksTall, I couldn't quite capture the rain effect I created using a water spray.

In this diorama, I wanted to evoke a sense of nostalgia, starting with the skeleton launching itself at the knight. The helmet the knight wears is none other than Basil's helmet from the Fright Knights line, which I modified about twenty years ago by removing the wings and part of the helm.

Moving on to the knight, wearing a sallet from BrickWarriors (a highly recommended site) and a standard LEGO armor that isn't visible in the photo. The cape and horse barding are my own creations made using tutorials found on The heraldry is inspired by the 1990s Playmobil knights line, one of my favorites.

The arm holding the sword, also from BrickWarriors, is a modified arm purchased on AliExpress. Lastly, the other skeleton wears a classic LEGO helmet that I painted twenty years ago after watching Braveheart and deciding to add leather to all the helmets.

The skeleton is clad in a classic armor, with a gambeson underneath that I made myself using graphics from the torsos of the Fright Knights. The graphics are available on

Although I used water spray for rain effects, I added a Photoshop filter to enhance the rain for better visibility.

Basil The Bat Lord

The Fright Knights are a series of LEGO sets introduced in the '90s featuring a medieval fantasy theme with a touch of horror elements. This line included castles and knight figures, but with a storyline and style that incorporated vampires, ghosts, and mysterious creatures. It was a unique interpretation of the medieval LEGO genre, adding some darkness and charm to the classic castle setting.

Basil the Bat Lord is a prominent character from the LEGO Fright Knights series. He is depicted as a sinister and powerful figure, often adorned in dark, elaborate armor adorned with bat motifs. Basil commands an army of spooky knights and creatures, including vampires and ghosts, in his quest for dominion over the medieval realm. With his menacing appearance and strategic cunning, Basil the Bat Lord embodies the eerie and adventurous spirit of the Fright Knights theme.

Recommended Soundtrack: Cemetery · John Carpenter

Custom Parts:

Armour by BrickWarriors

Flag remade by me

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Thank you, Play_Maxx!

Today I am proudly sharing this beautiful diorama created by Play_Maxx! I invite you to visit his Instagram page, where you can admire his incredible creations. He's truly talented! It was a great honor for me to see that Max included one of the shields I personally crafted in the diorama, using Lego knight heraldry.

To thank him, I created three new Playmobil shields for him using images of triangular Playmobil shields (historical shields from the 90s and perhaps the 80s) he sent me. I adapted the images to make the emblems compatible with oval shields.

The new shields are available here