Tag Archives: Microscale

Some say “Go big or go home!” but it takes real talent to compress something down to just a few studs and still keep it recognizable. Of course, many of the micro models we feature here aren’t so small after all, whether it’s a vast cityscape or starship.

Classy castle in a creaky casket

Marcel V. has built a wonderful microscale LEGO castle in a box. The fortress itself has hints of Disney in its soaring spires and color scheme, but for me it’s the classy brown and gold of the casket which elevate this model into something special. The silky lining within the box lid — achieved with a nice pattern of curved slopes — is excellent. It’s so good when a microscale creation is more than “just” a tiny version of something else. Here, the micro-ness fits with the setting to conjure up something altogether more magical.

The casket

I had a go at building a LEGO kingdom in a box myself a couple of years back. However, Marcel’s brick-built box is much cooler than the slightly scabby wooden chest I used for mine!

Fountain Place in Dallas, Texas, in LEGO microscale

Just in time for BrickUniverse in Dallas, Texas this weekend, Rocco Buttliere presents a microscale replica of Fountain Place near the convention. The building is a refreshing sight among surrounding rectangular structures with its interesting angles all around, and Rocco nails it with LEGO bricks.

Fountain Place

See more shots of Rocco’s detailed model on Flickr.

Epitome of the Swedish idyll

We all know what Swedish houses look inside like (thank you, Ikea), but what about the exterior? Emil Lidé hones his microscale building skills with this lovely traditional Swedish cottage. We’ve already seen these brilliant trees in his previous set of sketches, however this house steals the show. Actually, there’s not much to describe besides the particular Scandinavian style, which the diorama is full of. And some huge boulders in the garden complete this land property especially well!

A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze

To be fair, this maze does have an exit, assuming, of course, the rat (or minifig) can find it. Kevin Moyer took the simple LEGO building technique of pressing tiles in between the studs on a baseplate and created something quite extraordinary. The slightly rounded edges of the tiles make this microscale maze look ancient and worn down by time.

Convolution

Of course, the best thing about this build is trying to solve the maze. See if you can find the path to the exit. But don’t start at the end like I always do, because that is cheating.

The hills are alive...

…with the sound of sub-standard housing. According to the builder, simply bricking it, this LEGO model represents a favela, one of the core urban slums of Brazil, where the firetrap structures stack up the hillside like a precarious house of cards, ready to collapse at the mere mention of a disaster. But scratch your head: it also kinda looks like one of those central Italian castle towns, carved into the hillside centuries ago and still struggling to catch up with the times. And the University of Colorado in Boulder is well known for its cluster of red Spanish tile roofs. So is it a slum? Is it a castle town? Is it a prestigious campus nestled at the foot of the mountains? Or is it… a spaceship? Depends on who you ask!

Favela

The weather outside is frightful, but the microscale’s delightful

I don’t know about everywhere else, but this weekend saw winter begin to take hold in Scotland. Appropriately enough, along come two lovely little LEGO builds which perfectly capture the chill in the air. First up, IamKritch‘s cabin looks like a great place to sit out the blizzard. The trees and the frozen stream are smart, but it’s the simple use of a brown grille brick for the cabin’s log walls which grabs the attention.

A Cabin in Winter

And then there’s Brick Blue Wren‘s wonderful winter diorama. I like the variety of techniques used for the trees, and the curved backdrop and base evoking the shape of a snow globe. The color scheme properly pops off the page, particularly those hefty snowflakes against the blue sky. A few more models like this and I’ll be all set for Christmas.

LEGO Snow Globe

Onward Comrades! For the Tiny Revolution!

P.B. spends his time building fabulous microscale walking tanks and artillery units. This one, in Jovian Regimental Colors no less, is a little cracker. The tank carries an impressive level of detail for such a small model — delivered through effective color blocking and a nice depth of texture. I love the use of bucket handles to add detail to the legs — I haven’t seen that before. But the undoubted stars of this show are the teeny-tiny figures — the crewman and the Commissar — effortlessly carrying off some Communist-era chic with their little red scarves. Well played Comrade PB, well played.

TU-138 with Commissar and Crewman

Take nothing but minerals, leave nothing but tyre prints

Check out this smart LEGO space rover scene from Sad Brick. The mining vehicle itself is an excellent example of quality microscale building, creating an impression of detail and realistic function with the use of only a handful of parts. But it’s the quality landscaping in tan bricks — tanscaping, if you will — which really impresses me. Don’t miss the tracks left in the dust behind the rover’s wheels — brilliant.

MicroRover

Swooshable starfighter orbits the moon

Pico van Grootveld‘s latest spaceship is a smart little model. The building techniques and bricks usage are on point — wheel hubs and dishes creating a selection of smooth curves. The stark color scheme works well, particularly against that lunar backdrop, and the presentation is simply perfect. Too often LEGO space builders can overdo the photo-editing on their images, leaving models marooned in a sea of garish lens flare. Pico gets it just right here — subtle effects providing the streak of engine trails, and colored spots on the twin weapon prongs and the drone’s central eye. An eminently swooshable design, presented well — this is my kind of space building.

Drone prototype Valkyrie

Paris skyline in microscale

Cecilie Fritzvold has once again been inspired to create a microscale city skyline in the style of the skyline sets within the LEGO Architecture theme. LEGO released 21028 New York City21027 Berlin and 21026 Venice as part of a trio of new city skyline sets earlier this year. Cecilie has chosen the beautiful French capital, Paris, a city full of impressive architecture and grandiose buildings.  Cecile’s build includes (from left to right) Arc de Triomphe, Tour Eiffel, Dômes des Invalides, Notre-Dame, and Colonne de Juillet (Place de la Bastille). The small strips of transparent blue on each side represent the River Seine.

Paris skyline

Notre-Dame is my own favourite in this build — I think that the combination of ingenious parts use and the textured stonework for such a small build are fantastic.  If you like this type of build, you will also enjoy  Cecilie’s Tokyo skyline build that we blogged a couple of months ago and Michael Jasper’s microscale model of Dortmund.

A handy way to build the Eiffel Tower

The official LEGO Eiffel Tower 10181 set is one of the largest sets released, with 3428 parts.  For those with less room for such a monster set or fewer pennies to afford such a sizeable price-tag, have a look at LegoJale‘s latest creation, which users a single part depicting the Eiffel Tower: A minifig hand. This microscale build manages to capture the essence of the Eiffel Tower, the skyline in the background, and the fountains in the foreground (as per the image that the build is based upon) with just a handful of parts.

Paris

The set-up for this shot shows how distancing parts of the build can give a very good foreground and background feel to the final shot without requiring any scaling. I always enjoy seeing set-up shots and this one is great because there is no fancy equipment — just LEGO, a book, and a camera.

Paris - Behind The Scenes