Here’s two ways to make the LEGO Fell Beast without buying Barad-Dûr

After years of fans requesting it, months of leaks and weeks of speculation, LEGO has finally revealed the next Lord of the Rings set in the form of 10333: Barad-dûr. On top of this LEGO is offering a Gift With Purchase (GWP) that also also satisfies a request from many fans, finally giving us a Fell Beast in set 40693. As a GWP the Fell beast will only be available for those who buy Barad-dûr from LEGO between 1st and 7th June, and while stocks last on this much-desired item.

But what if you want the Fell Beast but you have no intention on buying Barad-dûr, which will costs €459.99, $459.99 or £399.99 depending on where you live? Well your only option is to head to the second hand market and pay outrageous prices… or there’s a third way.

It has been less than 24 hours, at the time of writing, since the two sets have been announced, but I have successfully reverse engineered the Fell Beast and made a free parts list and instructions for anyone to make their own at home. But there is a catch.

The official Fell Beast cannot be replicated perfectly. This is because the set comes with exclusive parts that are only available in its box. Most notably, and annoying, are the fabric or paper wing pieces. This is rather important to the overall look of the Fell Beast and presents a major obstacle. On top of this some other smaller pieces are not available in the right colours, but these are easier to switch out and much harder to notice. We’ll discuss that more later.

For now what I can say is that I have actually made two pairs of parts lists and instructions. One is the original which will require you to replicate the wings by cutting your own fabric or paper to stretch over the “skeleton” of the wings. The second option is my own custom build which replaces this with regular LEGO bricks which are readily available from places like BrickLink.

The links to all of this can be found below. You can also view a gallery below to see what the original (sans exclusive part of the wings) and my custom versions look like. Head to LEGO database and news site Brickset to see the original’s promotional images released by LEGO.

Original version parts list.

Original version instructions.

Custom version parts list.

Custom version instructions.

With those important links provided, let’s discuss how the recreation process happened, because it was quite challenging. It was, by far, the hardest GWP recreation I have done so far, after I did the same for the last few years for Dungeons and Dragons as well as Star Wars.

We’ll get to the wings soon but first let’s talk about the legs. The build here uses two pieces in colours they have not been released in before: this piece in tan is used for the back claw and this piece is used as the ankle joint, in dark bluish grey.

As far as I can tell the official Fell beast will be the first set to offer both of these pieces in these colours. To get around this I had to swap some parts out and I don’t think it’s too noticeable. LEGO doesn’t usually do piece recolours as a once off, especially for a GWP, so hopefully these two will appear in retail sets in the near future.

The only other problem area, aside from the wings, was the head. I am, let’s say, 90 percent sure I got this correct. It’s a fairly simple build on the surface but the two slopes on the sides are actually angled downward slightly. Implementing this angle, while making sure the head was still sturdy, was a bit of a nightmare. I am really looking forward to finding out if I was right in my build assumptions for this. Media who receive the GWP for review are usually kind enough to share scans of the building instructions, so we can compare my work to LEGO’s when that happens.

Finally we arrive at the wings. I decided to do a brick build of my own design, using the various arch bricks that LEGO makes to replicate the subtle curves. To try and be as accurate as possible, I placed the wing “skeleton” frame over my brick build to check that the proportions were right.

While I am proud of the build and its shape, it does suffer by being thicker, using more parts and being more monochrome. Trying to use other colours gives the build a very splotchy look so I went with pure black. It can clash against the tans and greys of the main build, but pure black really feels like the best choice. On top of this, the Fell Beasts (sometimes written as Fellbeasts) are also referred to as “Black Wings” so making the wings completely black is on theme.

If you can make something better please do share. I never claimed to be a particularly good LEGO designer, so try your hand if you don’t like my decisions. I also hope that some people who get the official set – and open it – will provide us with high quality scans of the cloth / paper wings so it is easier to replicate at home for those who want a more vanilla look.


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