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.

This micro LEGO Dwarven mine has upper, lower and middle earth

Just when I think Letranger Absurde can’t surprise me further, they do! This micro build of a Dwarven Mine is spectacular and just dripping with NPU (nice parts use). There’s so much to look at in this small build, but the two things that catch my eye the most are the graveyard up top and the absolutely genius use of minifigure purses as minecarts down below.

Dwarven Mine

I love the combination of sideways and studs-up building and the limited color palette. The large amount of gray tones really makes the other elements stand out. The building detailing is beautiful and the dark tan ground level draws your attention to the middle of the photo, allowing the viewer to take in the upper and lower parts at the same time. The cluster of sand green trees is a nice addition that adds a little more color. The final touch is the wagon, perfectly realized in only three pieces and drawn by a brown frog posing as a dray horse.

Have fun storming this castle

If tiny LEGO castles are your jam, then Patrick B. has a treat for you. This 12 x 12 stud microscale masterpiece is full of so many cool parts that you’ll wonder why anyone bothers using standard bricks. The tops of Scala milk cartons make tiny blue tents, a minifigure microphone and tank linkage combine in the cannon, and dark green minifigure epaulets and tooth plates provide some vegetation. The castle itself is also a tiny work of art. If you look close you can spot bucket handles, minifigure hands, neck brackets, and even a basket as the interior of the front gate. And check out the construction on those towers! Quarter circle tiles are wedged into a 2×2 round plate to for the turrets. It’s a connection some might call “illegal” but I call “sweet.”

Moated Castle

If you’d like to see how Patrick achieved all this, check out the Instagram post highlighting the build. And if that still isn’t enough great part usage to satisfy you, I should mention this isn’t the first creation of Patrick’s that we’ve featured.

Who will take the ring to Mustafar?

As evil armies spread across the land, a young boy from a farming town journeys to strange places on a quest to defeat the mighty villain. Accompanied by a group of friends and gifted a glowing blue sword, he soon finds himself in the company of a weird little creature speaking in odd sentences, before ultimately defeating evil by casting it into a giant pit. That’s the backdrop for this mighty tower, which LEGO builder CRCT Productions calls The Emperor’s Eye or Vader’s Barad-Dûr.

The Emperor's Eye, Vader's Barad-Dûr

The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars share a lot of similarities, but perhaps none so visually striking as the resemblance of Darth Vader’s Castle to the architecture of Sauron, and this nifty little microscale diorama shows the resulting mashup. The best part is the Force-blue glowing eye between the spires. The squared-off base works well to counterpoint the jumbled lava rocks around the foot of the tower, and there are some great parts hidden if you look closely, such as chain links and robot arms.

Anthropologists discover evidence of the elusive miniature viking culture

A recent excavation in Northern Scotland uncovered evidence of the fabled miniature Viking, remarkably preserved inside a clay gourd. Discovered by Nicolas Carlier, who has done a marvelous recreation of the tiny village, using a variety of curved bricks and slopes to recreate the terrain upon which they were commonly constructed. Trees created using inverted clip plates are a bold interpretation of these hardy conifers.

VIKING Village

If you enjoyed this miniature model, be sure to stop by Nicolas Carlier‘s Flickr site for more examples of diminutive domeciles.

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

Click to see close ups of the model

A bright spot in the wasteland

Not every image of the post-apocalypse world has to be Mad Max-inspired bleakness. Builder Mountain Hobbit brings a bit of light and color to the wasteland two thousand years from now with their build New Babel. Graceful, densely packed microscale towers make for a great place to spend the end times. I particularly like the use of purple modified angle tiles in the exterior wall. Also neat is seeing the backside of the yellow tooth plates in the towers. And it may be a drab grey, but the use of a stud shooter housings in the domed towers is clever.

New Babel

Yeah, this looks like a great place to visit. But being post-apocalypse and all, you might not want to live there. If you’re looking for other scenic destinations, be sure to check out some of Mountain Hobbit’s other idyllic builds.

Enter the underworld, if you dare

A haunted forest, a ruined castle, an underground cavern — a lost world awaits. Eli Willsea‘s LEGO scene is a masterclass in microscale, creating a sense of epic scale and mystery with a tight colour palette and a small footprint. The forest ruins were a treat to begin with, but the vast underground chamber beneath the structure is where the excitement lies. We’ve got everything an adventurous explorer expects, from arching masonry and rickety wooden stairs, to perilous drops over deep dark water. My favourite detail is the section of the castle, poking from the water beneath the hole its collapse created — lovely stuff. I’ve obviously played too much Tomb Raider in my time — my immediate thought was that a jump to the hanging chain would surely activate some ancient mechanism to drain the water allowing access to a hidden chamber.

The Old World

Where Anakin lost a game of The Floor Is Lava

Here’s a teeny tiny LEGO rendition of Mustafar, lava-drenched mining planet, and the venue for The Big Jedi/Sith Showdown between Obi-Wan Kenobi and his errant apprentice Anakin Skywalker. This microscale Star Wars build by Tino Poutiainen is a cracker, packed full of clever parts usage and smart styling. Hammers and spanners make up many of the distinctive details of the mining facility, and a line of rollerskates adds some interesting textures to the structure’s upper surface. Best of all, a miniscule rendition of an AT-AT Imperial Walker which is the smallest-whilst-still-recognisable design I’ve yet seen. Lovely stuff.

Mustafar mining facility

It was a very small box of scraps

Way back in May of 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off with Iron Man. Now, a mere 12 years later, Josephine Monterosso pays tribute with an amazing microscale rendition of the Mark I armor. As you’d expect at this tiny size, there’s a lot of meaning packed into each and every piece. The legs, made of robot claws add some weight to the hips, and the connection grooves on the minifigure hands that make the arms manage to suggest elbow joints. The round helmet (looks like the base of a lever to me) conveys the right shaping. But the real star is the torso – made from a single roller skate. Not only does that part provide all the necessary attachment points, it also transforms the central LEGO stud into a perfect ARC reactor. It’s amazing how much information you can get from just six tiny LEGO elements.

Micro Iron Man Mk1

As impressive as the armor is, it’s also important to call out the setting Josephine built for it. Without this jagged rock backdrop, you might have mistaken the figure for a robot or even a sci-fi spacesuit. It may be a “simple” build of slopes and plates, but it adds great depth and context to the scene. Makes me wonder what other Marvel Moments might be possible at this scale. It’d make for a great, space-efficient diorama!

Blessed brick Jubilee Church is a divine achievement

ARK.builds’ 1:125 scale model of the Jubilee Church in Rome is a stunning facsimile with its accurately recreated curved walls, a supremely technical feat.

LEGO Jubilee Church

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.

LEGO Jubilee Church

LEGO Jubilee Church

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.

LEGO Jubilee Church

If you can dream it, you can build it

I’m a die-hard Disney fan. Walt is one of my creative heroes — a constant source of inspiration — and the theme parks at DisneyWorld are some of my favourite places. The current lockdown situation has seen us have to cancel a family trip to Florida, and whilst there are obviously much more serious problems in the world than a missed holiday, I’ve been feeling a bit down about it. I decided to cheer myself up by attempting to recreate some Disney magic with LEGO bricks. Three years ago, I enjoyed putting together a microscale LEGO version of Cinderella’s Castle, so I decided to set myself the challenge of creating some other iconic theme park sights. In addition to a rebuild of the Magic Kingdom’s centrepiece castle, I took a crack at Spaceship Earth at Epcot, and the Chinese Theatre at Hollywood Studios. We’ll see where my microscale tour of central Florida takes me next, but I feel Animal Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon beckoning…

LEGO Disneyworld Magic Kingdom Epcot Hollywood Studios

Magnificent Minas Tirith in Microscale

Minas Tirith, the White City, capital of Gondor, is one of the most recognizable locations from the Lord of the Rings series. From its many levels to the distinctive knife-edged stone dividing the city into two halves, and the massive rock face it was carved from. While it may be easy to recognize, it is not so easy to build, and Mountain Hobbit has done a masterful job of bringing this iconic city to life in microscale.

Minas Tirith

One of my favorite features is the gently curving outer wall, which features random studs, and an assortment of plates and tiles with some great offsets to give the wall a truly weathered look. The many subtly tinted slopes for roofs are a nice touch.