I really enjoy it when a builder thinks outside the box. Nathan Hake shows us that he is very capable of doing so. For his micro-scale LEGO church, he used wheel cover with y shaped spikes for the main round window in the church tower. There are ice scates on the roof and the entrance is a plate with tooth which is brilliant in its simplicity. My guess is that this church is gothic inspired because it matches the 5 key architectural elements: large stained glass windows, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, flying buttresses, and ornate decoration. The ribbed vaults are a bit hard to spot from the outside, but we can all imagine them there, right?
Yes, over 800 hours! That’s a long time, for sure, but not as long as the Vatican has been around, and less time than Michelangelo spent painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, too; yet this is no less a piece of art. This huge and detailed build by Rocco Buttliere is the first to depict an entire country in a single LEGO build, which is quite the accomplishment. It helps that Vatican City is the world’s smallest country, but still, everything is here, from the enormous St. Peter’s to the Vatican Gardens, along with every other building inside Vatican City, like the local supermarket and post office.
Now, I’ve seen Rocco’s huge and detailed version of Ancient Rome (huge and detailed seems to be a running theme with Rocco, like his Forbidden City and even a shopping mall), but I’ve never been to Rome. However, I have seen many pictures of St. Peter’s Basilica and the famous square in front of it, and everyone has seen pictures of the Sistine Chapel’s interior. But this LEGO version includes so much detail, it’s like I’ve been there now. In his typical style, Rocco also gives copious information with each picture, evidence of the amount of time spent meticulously researching his subject matter.
Is Katja and Ryan’s LEGO creation a finished work or a work in progress? Well the creation itself is finished, but the church is far from finished and it is nice to see how the structure is being created from the ground up. From the flooring to the pillars to the stained glass windows, the roofing, and the gargoyles. There is also a lot going on around the church on the ground. Among the activity is a small model of what the church will look like when finished. There is a cart delivering a Madonna and Child statue and an artist creating a painting of the church to be. There are a lot of small details to behold. Can you find the poor guy getting sprayed by a skunk in the background?
Saxon churches are surely a familiar site in England, but this is also true of the United States as well. This LEGO church built by Pieter Dennison certainly reminds me of some churches I have seen in New England.
Pieter utilizes a pretty simple color palette in this build – two shades of grey for the structure itself and then browns for the ground and what would be wooden components of the building. Much of the ground the building rests on is constructed using the SNOT (studs not on top) technique. The church itself is composed mainly of the usual bricks, slopes, and tiles – this is perfect as these churches were pretty simple brick structures. Some medieval minifigures oversee the reconstruction efforts of the church in this scene, which is fitting as this particular style of church was constructed between 597 AD – 1066 AD. Dennison’s build makes me imagine what “Sunday Best” would look like back in the Middle Ages.
I’m just blown away by this model; there’s complexity in representing a very organic real-world building and ARK.builds made it look easy. With such a complicated exterior I didn’t expect to see was any kind of interior, but he’s done it up complete with pews, organ, altar, and cross.
I asked the builder how these stunning curved walls were achieved and he shared the photo below. It looks incredibly fiddly with multiple hinges but it certainly got the job done.
With all that is going on in the world today, it makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to travel again. Will I get to see Italy, with all of its beautiful architecture, from the Roman ruins to the Catholic cathedrals, in person? Maybe not; although, if airfare stays cheap, I might be able to afford it for once! But just in case I can’t make the trip myself, talented LEGO builders like Giacinto Consiglio bring a taste of Italy to me. In this case, it is St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. The architectural beauty is lovingly crafted for us in microscale, perfect for tiny statuette tourists and worshipers.
These days, I find it increasingly difficult to differentiate between good renders and photos of real bricks, but does it really matter when the building is done so well? The tower is fantastic, especially the windows. The winged lion representing St. Mark over the entrance is also lovely, as are all of the other saint statues with One Ring golden halos. But my favorite detail has to be that rose window on the south facade, with excellent use of the newer arch piece. It’s the best rose window I have seen in LEGO, at any scale. Now to go buy my plane tickets to pay a visit to the real thing!
When I saw this image I said to myself-there’s something vaguely hot rod-ish about that church. Then I said, maybe I’m just a crazy car-guy instilling my crazy car-guy values into everything I see. Quit being weird and move on with your day! Because that is the kind of dialogue I have with myself. Then I read the title “Mechanical Church” and thought, “the fact that it looks kinda-sorta like a hot rod was totally Alego Alego‘s intent!” Who is crazy and weird now? Still me, probably, but at least in this case I have been validated. By using two engine cylinders and a radiator grille for a door it looks like the builder could lift the church from the grounds and install it in a hot rod, and the results would look pretty cool. If you do this Alego Alego, I suggest you call it “Holy Roller” or “Holy Roadster”. Brilliant idea or no?
Good LEGO microscale buildings manage to capture the essence of their subject, but the very best also trick the eye into looking much bigger than they really are. Rocco Buttliere showcases his skills once more, this time tackling the UNESCO-listed Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.
The real thing took 140 years to complete and is a masterpiece of Italian Gothic. Rocco’s version is a masterpiece of microscale, standing maybe only 20 bricks high, but somehow feeling much larger. That’s a testament to the level of detail packed into the model, the result of studs-in and studs-out building, and a great selection of parts, including two types of turntable bases, grille tiles, tooth bricks, Technic pins, and lightsaber hilts. Match all that with a beautifully captured dome, and a smart colour scheme, and you end up with a LEGO church which is fully worth of your praise.
A good microscale model can be defined by innovative use of new LEGO elements re-purposed to create unexpected new forms. A great microscale model combines this with traditional parts and colors to form a symphony that sets the model apart. This roadside chapel by Jens Ohrndorf is a perfect example of this mix. Take the entry roof, made from this modified plate with a small raised tab. Or the windows, made from the underside of 1×1 plates. Lining the foundation is a row of light gray ingots. I also enjoy the trees, which are just the right size for the scene (a design inspired by the trees in 10253 Big Ben).
This gorgeous piece of Mediterranean architecture is brought to us by Italian builder Gabriele Rava. The church’s asymmetry works beautifully to highlight the bell tower, and the building is loaded with great details, from the mixture of white and tan for the peeling surfaces to the wonderfully simple dark orange textured roof over the nave. The small chapel sits atop a tall quay with a spacious courtyard, which is currently hosting a wedding attended by a wide variety of personages, up to and including Dumbledore officiating.
This microscale LEGO rendition of Istanbul’s most famous landmark has been masterfully created by George Panteleon. The tan and dark tan elements blend seamlessly together to create the sweeping curves and rounded roofs of the 1,500-year-old building. The huge dome, which encloses a ceiling height of 182 feet, is created from the planet hemisphere element for Bespin. George has rigged the interior with lights, allowing the model to glow warmly, and added a lovely wood base. It all comes together as a wonderful display piece.
With their towering stone walls, crenelated turrets, and ornate decoration, medieval churches could almost be seen as castles–an idea helped in no small part by the frequency of medieval clergy acting like their secular counterparts. So whether this structure by KevinyWu belongs to the church or the state, the Fortress of St. Jocosa certainly prepared for what the world may throw at it. The fortress’ foundations are a nice bit of rockwork, giving a great feeling of a tiny castle perched upon a lonely rock, and the winding path leading to it, while using simple techniques of stacked dark tan plates, cuts a striking line through the scenery.