I own an island off the coast of Costa Rica – a really small one

“Welcome to Jurassic Park”. I’ve loved Jurassic Park since devouring Michael Crichton’s original novel in 8 hours of straight reading, months before the movie adaptation had even been announced. Then there were the years of waiting, wondering if Spielberg could possibly deliver on Crichton’s vision, before we finally experienced the jaw-dropping impact of seeing “real” dinosaurs on the big screen. In a world where CGI effects are the norm, cinema audiences have become rather blasé about regularly seeing the impossible made real — back in 1993, this was something special. The effect this movie had on me was considerable, and I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of recreating elements of the film in bricks. I figured I’d never be able to build a LEGO version of the whole park to the scale I wanted if I used minifigures, so instead I decided to give it a go in microscale…

I own an island off the coast of Costa Rica

I was keen to include the most famous locations and scenes from the story, whilst keeping to a manageable size. The diorama includes the helicopter landing pad, the Visitor Centre, the Raptor Paddock, the iconic gates, and naturally, the T-Rex Breakout. The layout is 76-studs long, and took me about 4 months to put together. The fiddliest bit was probably getting the Visitor Centre so I was happy with it — the angled wings fanning out to either side were a nuisance, and properly integrating the central conical roof without an unsightly gap proved much more hassle than I thought it would be…

Welcome to Jurassic Park

I seriously underestimated how much foliage I’d need to build to adequately convey the proper level of jungle coverage — three times I ordered parts from Bricklink thinking “that will definitely be enough”! However, I was particularly pleased with the level of greenery I managed to squeeze into the tight confines of the Tyrannosaur Paddock. Along with the Visitor Centre, this iconic scene from the movie was top of my inclusion list. The iconic Ford Explorer vehicles are tricky to pull off in microscale, but the addition of the half-plate brackets manages to evoke the signature colour scheme whilst keeping the size down so the “T-Rex” looks the correct size alongside…

Quiet everyone, they're approaching the Tyrannosaur paddock...

Overall, I’m pleased with how the model turned out. But as with any project like this, a bunch of “maybes” and “what ifs” remain. I’m bugged by the notion of building a mountainous backdrop to the diorama, and I may extend the whole thing yet further with locations and scenes from the other movies. Maybe a geodesic dome for the Aviary, and the articulated truck dangling from a cliff-edge? Who knows? For now, this is done, but like the JP franchise itself, I very much doubt it’s finished.

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