If you walk along Front West Street in downtown Toronto, Ontario you will see the impressive Fairmont Royal York Hotel. On June 11, 1929, the hotel officially opened. The Royal York changed names and ownership a few times since its humble beginnings as the Ontario Terrace, which consisted of four brick houses, in 1843. Jeff Van Winden has captured the architectural essence of the hotel in LEGO microscale. The sense of scale is emphasised with the busting street below with adorable little microscale vehicles.
I particular like Jeff’s clever solution to the intricate arched windows on the three main blocks at the front with this upturned minifigure basketball stand. Just be sure to book early if the Royal Family are in town, Queen Elizabeth usually has an entire floor reserved for her and her entourage and occupies the Royal Suite herself.
Bigger isn’t always better, and this micro machine by František Hajdekr is living proof. I’m always impressed with the amount of detail builders are able get into builds at this scale. The inverted 1×2 plate on the side looks just like grill on the real thing. Follow this simple instructions video and this miniature bulldozer could be clearing away small piles of rubble on your desk too.
Actually, for all I know, it might be chaotic neutral. But whatever its alignment, Micah Beideman‘s tentacled monster, with its numerous chaoticly distributed red eyes, sure is scary. The gaping mouth appears to use Ninjago dragon jaw pieces as teeth. And the use of inverted tires throughout the model creates a very organic effect. In my opinion though, the microscale ship both helps and detracts from the build; it adds a sense of scale, but at the same time disrupts the illusion of movement, as it seems overly calm considering that a monster of colossal proportions is rising from the water just beside it. I sure am glad these things are not real. I hope.
The challenge of building microscale architecture is about two things — limited size and limited number of pieces which work best as walls, windows and other structural elements. And when you finally reach a perfect balance of scale and elaboration, you have to put some truly extraordinary touches to make your build stand above any other creation. Emil Lidé explores some uncommon shapes and combines sharp and curved corners in his latest microscale tower. What makes this skyscraper truly spectacular is those tiny trees on different levels. They give a perfect sence of scale and remind us about Emil’s talent for building tiny trees.
As we enter 2017 we look upon a world scarred by tension and despair, where reason is too often discarded for demagoguery and life made meaningless by barrel bombs, drone strikes and rampaging lorries. Intolerance seems to spread among both people and nations; the threat of violence, never far off, lurks ever closer.
These factors are not new to our species. The equation has repeated itself often in human history, far too frequently with horrifying consequences. But our viciousness is not preordained. By reminding us of our past misdeeds, history can guide us to a better future. If we forget history, we will be doomed to repeat its mistakes. Pascal pledges not to forget history’s victims with this microscale version of Auschwitz.
Figures vary, but as many as one million people were killed in Auschwitz before Soviet troops liberated the death camp in January, 1945. Nazi Germany’s largest such facility, Auschwitz was the epicenter of what was perhaps mankind’s most barbaric moments. One could certainly praise the builder for this accurate and detailed recreation of Auschwitz’ infamous gates. But what is most striking is the message Pascal adds to it, hopefully lost on no one, that our darkest days may return if we fail to heed their lessons.
The Dark Tower series of books by Stephen King is quickly entering the public eye as the upcoming movie draws closer to release. While it’s on everyone’s minds, David Collins has created his own version of the mystical structure in LEGO. Designed for a “books to life” exhibit of LEGO creations, this Tower stands two feet (~61 centimetres) tall. Collins had intended to make the tower taller, but was restricted to this height by the rules of the exhibit. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s worth questing for regardless.
And what is a Dark Tower without a gunslinger to find it? Collins has also created a minifigure of protagonist Roland Deschain to go with it.
On a personal note, I can’t wait to see this movie. I love the books and, by a strange coincidence, they began filming the movie right here in my home country of South Africa.
A trio of Martian walkers carve a path of destruction through Tokyo Tag Team‘s city as the sun sets. The tripods look decidedly alien with a thin organic style contrasted by the squared off cityscape, and you don’t need to see the heat rays firing off to tell that they don’t come in peace.
While the tripods are the focus of the creation, I find the smoke trails off the burning buildings particularly clever. The billowing clouds of black curved bricks add a sense of movement that a vehicle on a plate just wouldn’t be able to capture.
Micro builder Emil Lidé once again displays his mastery of the miniature with his wonderfully detailed recreation of Lund Cathedral, home of the Church of Sweden. Like his other miniature builds (check out his Avalonian Countryside we previously blogged), this cathedral features a number of delightful techniques to get the most detail in such a limited and challenging scale.
The use of masonry profile bricks for the church grounds and grill plates to achieve the windows are particularly nice touches. The landscape is quite detailed given the scale, and I’m happy to see those fantastic trees again. If you’re wondering how Emil was able to build such an accurate model of the cathedral, the answer is simple: he just had to walk down the street, since Lund is his home town.
At a single stroke, Joerri Ridder demolishes the idea that LEGO makes so many specialised parts nowadays that it’s killing imagination. The use of a minifig flute for the tower in this minimalist winter scene is inspired, and the stripped-back scenery and restrained color scheme add a layer of bleak depth and mystery. This is simply beautiful microscale.
Stumbling across a pair of 48×48 baseplates in his collection, Joshua Brooks realized a bay for his Viceroy-class battlecruiser the IFS ILLIES (221) would look awesome. The ILLIES looks quite at home in this brilliantly detailed landing bay, getting re-armed by the loading crane. Under the watchful eye of the control tower, the ILLIES looms over the general hustle and bustle of the hanger floor. The multi-storeyed building, parked cars, small space-craft, and truck making a turn on the road give you a sense of the gigantic scale of the vessel.
Armed to the teeth with an assortment of cannons, lasers, and turrets, this ship looks like a sleek and precision-engineered instrument of brute force. And with its own mini docking bay and fleet of small fighters, it seems ready to take on any hostile targets.
Check out Joshua’s previously featured Shallow Water Assault Patrol Enforce and AH8-Raptor.
After 3 months of design work and building, Yubnub presents an impressive scale replica of Burj Khalifa in Dubai (currently the tallest structure in the world). Lots of cheese slopes — over 4,000, in fact — make the unusual Y shape of the structure come to life in bricks.
Though the skyscraper itself is impressive and definitely the highlight of the build, the detailed ground level surrounding the tower is also notable.
Building with LEGO is all about self-expression and exercising one’s imagination, but creations that tell real-life stories have always compelled my attention. Jeffrey Kong‘s stationery holder and drawer unit is not just a nice decoration for an office desk. In fact it is a tiny copy of the Old National Library of Singapore, which was demolished in 2004. According to the build’s description, the National Library building was one of the symbols of the city, especially popular among students. I love the symbolism of this work, and its neat clean style makes it a brilliant remembrance.