In early 2014, French builder Pierre Coussy created this beautifully themed, Lord Of The Rings “Dwarf Mine” GBC. Late in 2016 while still very much only a “Star Wars Lego” fan, I saw a GBC display at a local LUG show. Not long after that, I came across the Dwarf Mine and was hooked.
Fast-forward to mid-2019. I went searching for the Dwarf Mine again, hopeful of finding instructions to build it. I found some photos and a video on PlanetGBC. After digging around in a French forum with the help of Google Translate, I was sad to discover Pierre had disassembled it shortly after the original 2014 forum posting, and had not created any instructions.
Though disappointed, I was still keen on building Pierre’s creation.
With about a year of Bricklink Studio use behind me, 23 photos and 93 seconds of video footage, I decided I would at least try and recreate it digitally. Each night of a 3-day Lego show running GBCs all day, I came home, fired up Studio, and worked at it.
It was a slow process, with much pausing of the video, and a lot of photo zooming. Despite what seemed like an abundance of source material to work from, it became clear fairly quickly that an exact reproduction, down to the last brick was not going to be possible. There were too many places where details could not be seen or inferred. I had made great progress, and was not going to abandon the project. I continued on, making small aesthetic changes to suit my taste, used parts that weren’t available when the original was created, and “made up the rest."
After about three weeks of working in Studio, I had a 2800+ part, mostly complete re-design that I was ready to start building. The physical build took less time. About a week later it was almost functional. The conveyor wasn’t co-operating and balls were constantly being bounced off. I was discouraged and put the project aside to work on a Batman-themed dozer pit for another Lego show that was rapidly approaching.
2014 photo of Pierre Coussy’s original creation.
I was as sad as a dwarf down to his last sausage, when I realised the Dwarf Mine no longer existed.
With the Lego show behind me, I took over the dining table and had another look at the conveyor problem. After redesigning the internal frame of the conveyor, it was working properly. A day later I finished the rear of the display.
Finally, after five years away, the dwarves returned and brought their mine back to life.
This video recorded in 2019 shows the build with the turntables. They have since been replaced with gears and a slightly different build to reduce the strain on the motor.
Frenchman Pierre Coussy is the original designer of the Dwarf Mine GBC. This was a follow up to his earlier “Moving Ruins” LotR themed GBC. To discover more of Pierre’s creations, visit his website at https://pierro1a6.wixsite.com/legocreations.