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.

Call it Leviathan

Many LEGO fans talk about hunting for their white whale – that one set they’ve been searching for all their lives. This is, of course, an allusion to Captain Ahab’s ultimately fatal obsession with finding an actual white whale in Moby Dick (do 168 year old books need spoiler warnings?). It would seem that that fairy tale whale is still out there hunting ships, as Oliver Becker demonstrates.

"Thar She Blows..."

Has the white whale grown to such an immense size to dwarf the ship? Or is she a regular-sized whale and it’s the ship that’s actually tiny? We’ll never know for sure, but we do know that there’s some excellent parts usage at play here. Dead center in the frame of the shot is a white lever base, expertly used as the whale’s eye. I really love the swords with jagged edges used to create a splash – those few parts convey the creature’s movement. And it’s a big splash, so maybe it really is a larger-than-life whale.

Gringotts just got hit by a reducio spell

Building in microscale requires a special skill set. One must have an eye for simplification of textures along with a firm grasp of the essentials of whatever it is. Eli Willsea has that skill, as this tiny (yet still large) rendition of Gringotts bank from Harry Potter demonstrates. I am guessing it comes from the first film, as there is a recognizable Hagrid down in the vaults, alongside what I suppose to be Harry and a goblin. Everything one would need for Gringotts is there, from the columns to the large dome, along with the crazy tracks for the carts in the depths beneath. My one complaint is that the columns on the front-corner facade are too straight, lacking the signature tilts seen in the films.

Gringotts Vaults

The rock pillars beneath the street are impressive, built in sideways rings and then threaded onto Technic axles, allowing them to spin around into different configurations. This is great, because it means that you can build the same shape a bunch of times and have it look different depending on how it is angled. The cars down on the tracks are delightfully simple, consisting of droid arms and round 1×1 tiles with bar and pin holders. The cart up on the street above-ground is also inspired, making brilliant use of wands on sprue to give delicate texture to the rails. It’s also being pulled by something skeletal (a thestral, perhaps?). This was originally built for our own Harry Potter Microscale Magic competition, but Eli failed to complete the photography in time. While that is too bad, it is certainly better late than never!

A collectible alternative for those on a tight budget

It’s common knowledge that LEGO bricks aren’t the most inexpensive things in the world. We love them, obviously, but they’re something you have to do a bit of planning to afford. What then do you do when LEGO introduces something very cool like a giant wooden minifigure with a high-end price tag? Maybe you’re lucky enough to find room in your budget for one of your own. Or, maybe, you look for other creative solutions. Ryanzilbn found a great way to enjoy things while still keeping a little cash in their pocket.

This minifigure-scaled-minifigure (There’s a concept for you!) has the signature tan body and yellow hands of its wooden counterpart. The brick-built packaging closely matches the released version, with bright colors, a recessed collection of bricks, and even a representation of the informational booklet.

I may have to try building a copy of this creation for myself. It’s either that, or hope that Santa is really generous this year.

This is why Roswell can’t have nice things

Farmers don’t seem to be the type who like to be messed with, but that doesn’t stop aliens from messing with them pretty much since man has learned to plant green beans. Lokiloki29 builds a micro-scale scene depicting the classic battle between hapless farmers and the alien invaders who are hellbent on doing weird things to their livestock and crops. The gravel road beside the barn is a whole slew of these laid in sideways while the dismembered minifig hands cleverly depicts a cornfield. While small, the tractor is accurately created using just a few parts. I’m pretty sure I saw that exact model on the John Deere website. I’m not sure what this poor farmer did to deserve a close encounter of the probing kind. But to our new alien overlords, I like my beef tenderized and singed with just a touch of pink on the inside.

Alien invasion

Rebel against the blockade in the Rebel Blockade Runner

Are you a smuggler tired of being boarded by an Imperial cruiser? Or an Imperial politician with sympathies to the Rebellion? Or maybe you’re a starship captain looking for something that packs a punch? If you said yes to any of these questions, you need a Rebel Blockade Runner, particularly the one seen here designed by Ben Cossy.

SW Microfighters: Rebel Blockade Runner

Created to emulate the white and blue paint scheme of the CR90s from Star Wars: Rebels rather than the Tantive IV from A New Hope, everything seen here is as gorgeous as it looked on screen. This Rebel Blockade Runner incorporates the best of microscale design. I love the cockpit part of the ship by the way it fits exactly how an actual CR90 would look. The gun turrets on top, bottom and sides show that this isn’t a ship to mess with, and the use of the mechanical claw piece increases the playability of the guns.

I think the best part of this design is the smoothness of it all. Perfect angles and curves, as well as detailed hardpoints when screen accuracy is needed. I’m not sure how Ben created the angled port and starboard sections of the ship, but they look fantastic. Any Rebel commander looking to bust through an Imperial blockade would want something that looks this good.

This tiny temple towers above the sea

As Andreas Lenander’s Temple of Qa’te demonstrates, you don’t need a ton of LEGO bricks to create a big world. Despite it’s tiny size, Andreas’ diorama has a lot of activity, from the sailing ship and waves in the sea to the temple mounted high atop a cliff. There is some clever microscale parts usage here, including white claws for the ship’s sales and plant stems with 3 leaves representing palm trees. The greenery and architectural style of the temple give off a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern vibe, making it the perfect destination for tourists escaping the winter chills.

Temple of Qa'te

When the ants go sailing in...I feel bad for the spiders.

My original title for this article was something along the lines of a Zoolander quote, but then, that just made me feel old. But enough about me. We’re here to talk about a few amazingly detailed pirate ships at a scale suitable for Ant-man, the Wasp, or any other shrinking superhero, built by Robert4168/Garmadon and adorned with tiny sails made from paper, I think, and dozens of hand-tied rigging, which makes me tired just thinking about… or maybe that’s just me being old again. These ships may be small, but they still strike a mighty fierce cut.

Montroy's Flagship

This black-sailed ship is even firing cannons, using the ice-cream cone for the cannon smoke.

The Cardinal's Shadow

A castle is a wish your heart makes

The subject of an impressive official LEGO set, Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle has also proved itself a popular building with LEGO microscale modellers. However, few of the versions we’ve seen previously have captured the detail of the original as effectively as this beautiful creation by Koen Zwanenburg. The high walls rising out of the water are nicely shaped, with some ingenious parts use (check out the hammers as supporting buttresses beneath the crenellations). The soaring towers are lovingly depicted, with a level of texture and detail which makes the model seem much bigger than it really is. And who would have thought the underside of plates would so perfectly depict the tall windows built into the Mansard roof?

LEGO Disney Castle

This is an extensive redesign of a model Koen built a couple of years ago. It’s a great example of a builder revisiting their work and improving on it in almost every aspect. This is excellent microscale LEGO building.

What is this, a mall for ants? It has to be at least...three times bigger than this!

When laying out my list of things I would love to build someday from LEGO bricks, a shopping mall would be far down the list. Just kidding, it would not make the list. Malls are good for one thing, in my opinion, and that is serving as locations for LEGO stores. However, if a shopping mall wanted someone to build a LEGO version of it, and was paying for it, I’d be all over that. And that is what happened for architectural wizard Rocco Buttliere. He built this stunning layout of the Hawthorn Mall, showing the expansion that they are planning to do with mixed use commercial/residential units. It looks sleek and epic, and dare I say sexy, despite being a mall.

Hawthorn Mall Commission

See details of the mall below

LEGO EVA Unit 02 has activated

Mathijs Dubbeldam had a goal: to build the world’s most accurate EVA Unit 02 from the anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion. The head in particular reads strikingly accurate to me, but I am also impressed with the iconic long limbs, lanky frame, and spot-on details right down to the fingernails.

EVA Unit 02 in Tokyo-3

See more of this intricate model, including one of the building’s interiors.

We’re...not...gonna need a bigger boat?

Disney’s iconic ship, the S.S. Willie, set sail earlier this year with a LEGO Ideas set. Sure, the boat was a little smaller than the cartoon original, but you could forgive that little bit of cost-cutting since few of us would be able to afford a bigger one. But at least LEGO didn’t go as far as alego alego did when it comes to reducing part count. Because…wow. This is one tiny version.

Micro Steamboat Willie

Creating a recognizable shape at microscale takes some creative part usage, and we certainly have that here. The helm’s windows are roughed in using a single 1×1 plate with black square pattern, with the front whistles represented by a round 1×1 tile with pin holder. The star of the show, though, is the re-use of Vintage Mickey’s hat as the smokestacks.
With all the huge sets being released these days, it’s nice to see fan creations that don’t require an entire spare room to display.

Tiny house is big on charm

One of my favorite creators of LEGO modern architecture, Sarah Beyer, is equally skilled at both minifig scale and microscale, as evident in her latest tiny model, Whitesalt Villa. This modern structure is defined by the unusual use of an arch piece, which has some very interesting circles on the underside. Sarah continues this visual theme with a single brick with technic pin hole over the entrance. The angled placement of the building and the water feature have a very tranquil effect.

Whitesalt Villa MOC III