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.

We built a wall, we built the pyramids!

LEGO’s 2015 line of Architecture sets introduced a skyline format which has become quite popular amoung fan builders from Paris to Tokyo. Simon NH takes a brand new approach to creating skylines, building a one-of-a-kind evolution of construction. No matter how much building experience you have, each of these tiny structures features some crazy solutions, like the Colosseum’s walls built from light bluish gray 1×1 tiles with 1/2 circle (aka Stadium tiles).

History of Architecture

The Manhattan project’s Trinity test

No, it’s not the tagline of a new superhero blockbuster, it’s Brian Kescenovitz‘s LEGO version of the day in July 1945 when humans created the world’s largest synthetic firework display ever seen, proving conclusively the destructive truth behind Einstein’s famous formula: Mass times the speed of light squared really does equal a whole lot of kinetic energy.

Trinity test

Brian’s chef-hatted mushroom cloud looks just like one of the old photographs of this event. The stunning lighting effect was achieved using a tight-beam flashlight shining straight down and shooting with a long 1.6 second exposure. I love how the miniature New Mexico mountains and blurred objects in the foreground give this micro-scale fulmination a real sense of magnitude.

Disclaimer: Playing with nuclear weapons is really a very silly idea.

Westminster Abbey, Saint Margaret’s, and the Palace of Westminster in tiny LEGO microscale

We’ve featured the marvelous structures of master LEGO architect Rocco Buttliere quite frequently here at The Brothers Brick, from downtown Chicago to his recent 12-foot Golden Gate Bridge. Rocco’s latest LEGO build captures the heart of the sprawling Westminster World Heritage Site in the City of London, centered (or centred, if you prefer) on Westminster Abbey, the Church of St Margaret, and the Palace of Westminster where the UK Parliament meets.

LEGO Westminster World Heritage Site on Flickr

See more of this iconic London location

Rocketing up to a new home in the sky

There’s definitely a creepy feel to this microscale LEGO scene — it seems that a little extraterrestrial tourism has led to a sudden drop in the population, as if something untoward has left a rather full looking graveyard on the ground and a large ‘not of this world’ city in the sky. Kale Frost has left the exact history of events to our own imaginations, but the title “After the Martians Came” suggests a post-apocalyptic exodus from Earth. I love the use of the stud shooter trigger for the headstones in the graveyard, and Rocket Boy’s rocket outfit gives a nice retro 1960s film feel to the scene.

After the Martians Came

A closer look at the ground shows that a surprising number of parts have been utilised to make this microscale scene. The street lamp is cute and the damage to the streets is another sign that all is not well in town.

Graveyards and rockets

Machu Picchu in microscale

In 1983, UNESCO designated the legendary Peruvian citadel of Machu Picchu as a World Heritage Site. Located in the Sacred Valley, 50 miles northwest of Cusco, the city was constructed around 1450 at the height of the Inca empire and was abandoned just over 100 years later. At time of writing, the LEGO Architecture theme has yet to feature a South American structure or building. This omission prompted Diego Baca to build his own microscale version of this historic site.

Machu Picchu

Diego has captured all the key features including Huayna Picchu as the mountainous backdrop, the blue of the Urubamba River glistening on the left, and la piedra sagrada [tr. the sacred rock] represented by a single 1×1 round plate sitting on high. Also note the wandering llama in the middle of the site!

Diego has kindly created PDF instructions for this model in the same style as the official LEGO Architecture instructions, with a few pages of photographs, historical information, and step-by-step building plans.

Saturn 0.5 is go for launch

If the latest LEGO Ideas set NASA Saturn V is a little too big for your shelf or for your wallet, we have the perfect solution. Jussi Koskinen has built a compact Saturn V that can still separate into the launch and mission stages, just like the official set. Jussi has taken care to ensure each stage has the correct number of engines and maintains the same separation function as the larger model. I am impressed with the shaping achieved, since making a cylindrical LEGO rocket can be a challenge.

Mini Saturn V stages separated

As you can see, despite being small in size, Jussi’s mini Saturn V still looks the part when launched.

Mini Saturn V

A tiny castle trapped in a glass case

If your desk needs a bit of life, a tiny fantasy castle might help. Peter Ilmrud was faced with a similar dilema recently and came to the obvious solution. Inspired by the work of Yang Wang and armed with an IKEA HÄRLIGA glass case and a handful of bricks, Peter has created a cute little fairy tale castle.

Micro Scale Castle in Glass Dome 1

The build has lots of brilliant details like the round tower’s windows and the tree growing on the side of the rocks, but most importantly, the composition of the castle is what connects it all into a very coherent creation. I sincerely hope more builders pick up the concept, as there is lots of potential in glass-encased LEGO creations.

Give me a home where the tiny buffalo roam

Isn’t it marvellous what builders are able to come up with using literally handfuls of LEGO bricks? We’ve featured Grantmasters microscale slight of hand before. Looking at this elegant build, it’s possible to imagine fields of these thirsty beasts thundering the Great Plains in vast numbers. I’ll leave you with these inspirational words from a Buffalo: Stand your ground. Have a tough hide. Keep moving on. Cherish wide open spaces. Have a strong spirit. Roam wild and free. Let the chips fall where they may!

Buffalo

There grows another rubber tree plant

Microscale LEGO building can be a real showcase for imaginative parts usage. The technique used for the trees and hedges in this delightful little park by Josephine Monterosso is fantastic: twisted rubber bands. This clever idea provides a genuine organic feel — something hard to achieve with bricks at this scale — and adds a level of detail which makes the scene look much bigger than it really is. Brilliant building.

Christiansen Park

We don’t need a bigger boat

Although a bigger boat is sometimes a necessity, shrinking your favourite LEGO ships into more manageable proportions can be useful. Brick LeKao might have run out of display space, or perhaps he’s just a fan of more petite sets judging by his collection of cute Pirates of the Caribbean microscale ships. Silent Mary, the Black Pearl, and Queen Ann’s Revenge are all built in microscale, but despite their small size, they are completely recognisable as the famous vessels.

MINI Queen Anne's Revenge

Click to see more adorably miniaturized pirate ships

Microscale A-10 Warthog [Instructions]

For the enjoyment of his fellow military aviation buffs, builder ama77what has beautifully reverse-engineered this microscale A-10 “Warthog” fighter jet from a knock-off brand of building block, recreating it using bona-fide LEGO pieces and presenting it in the form of this handy single-page building guide. There really is nothing more to say here than go build it and SWOOOSH it!

Judge these LEGO Star Wars ships by their size, do you?

Star Wars fans will enjoy John Klapheke’s small fleet of microscale spacecraft (plus an AT-AT walker) from the original trilogy and The Force Awakens. Each vehicle is instantly recognizable through clever part usage and color blocking, an impressive feat considering not only that scale limits the part count, but also that John’s models are largely unique from the official mini models. My personal favorites of the fleet are the largest craft, the Nebulon-B Frigate, and the smallest, Poe’s X-Wing fighter.

Micro-scale Star Wars ships