Hospitals have been a mainstay of the LEGO City theme since its very beginnings, but there’s never been an official set on the scale of Gary Davis‘ huge model of the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London. Gary knows the real building well, having visited it many times as a volunteer with Fairy Bricks — the charity which provides LEGO sets for children in hospital. He and Kev Gascoigne (‘Chief Fairy’ at Fairy Bricks) came up with the idea to build the model to celebrate the Evelina’s 150th anniversary.
The model took two months to design, a process which saw Gary poring over photographs and architects’ drawings, and given tours by staff of back-of-house areas to ensure the details would be correct. It took 60,000 bricks, and three months worth of building to put the model together — and somehow Gary also managed to move house during this time! The model is quite an achievement, managing to capture the distinctive shape of the real-world building, and stuff a detailed interior with minifigure action spread across examination rooms, offices, intensive care units, staff rest areas, and the atrium coffee shop and play area.
Take a look at more photos of this wonderful model
No self-respecting LEGO City is complete without its fair share of vehicles cruising the streets. But this prompts important questions: Where do these cars get their fuel? Where do the drivers grab a hot dog and coffee? And what’s to be done about all those emissions? LEGO’s new Filling Station — set number 60257 — provides some of the answers. Read on, and see what we think of this new addition to the LEGO townscape.
60257 Filling Station has 354 parts, and features 2 vehicles and 4 minifigures along with the filling station’s buildings. The set will be available from 26th December in the UK and EU, and 1st January in the US and Canada US $49.99 | CAN $69.99 | UK £44.99
Click to read our hands-on review of this new LEGO set
Take a trip back in time with Andrew Tate‘s bustling downtown scene, depicting a LEGO city during the 1930s. There’s a corner bakery, a menswear store, and a lovely cinema featuring the Egyptian architectural motifs popular on such buildings at the time. The streets are nicely busy, with a tram and a period-appropriate car, and packed full of minifigure action. In a refreshing change for a model set in such an era, there’s not a mobster to be seen! I particularly like the variety of colour and styling in the upper storeys of the buildings, and the top-most portion of the cinema frontage is just fabulous.
If there’s one thing that sets today’s LEGO elements apart from those of the past, it’s the wide range of bright colors found in modern sets; they expand upon the original LEGO primary color palette with stunning diversity. Many of these colors are only available for a limited assortment of parts. This digital model by Pau Padrós uses some great new parts like this brick with a half arch first released in 71043 Hogwarts Castle, and this rounded brick in colors LEGO has not released yet, but we can hope that maybe someday, they will. The model features an angled facade and plenty of unconventional construction that orients the LEGO stud in several directions within a single structure.
Abandoned factories seem to divide people into two camps: those who for some reason find them beautiful, and those who think such structures should be demolished as quickly as possible. Such locations attract all sorts of people, from graffiti artists to homeless people and edgy teenagers looking for adventure. Dutch LEGO builder and photographer Niek Geurts probably isn’t homeless, and I doubt he is an edgy teenager. Judging by his photography website, he seems to be inspired by abandoned industrial architecture, and his recent LEGO recreation of an abandoned factory is filled with all the functional details one would expect in a factory.
The scene has just about everything you could ask for. There is a little guard house, a railroad access, all sorts of hoses and air vents on the roof and other must-haves for any factory, abandoned or not. There are a few characteristics of abandoned buildings as well; broken windows, graffiti (wonderfully brick-built examples here!), cracked pavement and uncontrollable vegetation sprouting everywhere, including a bit of moss on the roof. The two bikes on the left side of the diorama are either stolen and discarded or the property of whoever is filming clickbait YouTube videos inside…
Manhattan’s Hearst Tower is one of the city’s most distinctive skyscrapers and DeepShen has built an impressive LEGO version of this interesting block. The faceted corners of the tower’s 182m height give it a striking visual signature, enhanced by the interesting contrast between the modern skyscraper and the 1928 cast stone facade which surrounds its base. This, the original Hearst building, was intended to be the ground floors of a skyscraper, but that construction project was put on hold by the Great Depression. In 2006 its purpose was finally realised — a protected landmark, the facade was retained as a street-level front for the stunning new building which emerged from its heart.
DeepShen says the model used roughly 20,000 LEGO pieces and is built to 1:156 scale. By my calculations that makes this creation around 110cm high — so it’s as impressive in scale as it is in shaping.
“Sveitserhus” is the Norwegian name for the Swiss Chalet style of architecture popular across Northern Europe during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Nowadays in Norway, surviving houses of this style are usually painted in white, and that’s the colour scheme Birgitt Jonsgard has chosen for her beautiful LEGO version. This stark all-white model might initially look simple, but the level of texture in the house’s “woodwork” is particularly impressive — with the style’s signature detailing and fretwork given due attention.
Birgitte has lavished as much care on the little details as on the house’s structure itself. Don’t miss the flowers in the garden, and the interior curtains and blinds, and the various furnishings visible through the windows…
In the last few decades, two of the most popular themes for LEGO creations are Castle and Town. Sandro Damiano has built a scene that could fall into either. Usually, it’s pretty easy to categorize a creation as one or the other, but at what point does a castle creation become a town creation? Is it a town creation simply because it is clearly in the modern day? Couldn’t we have a medieval village and still call categorize it as Town? Is an abundance of grey, brown, or tan required to be called a castle? Or maybe a protective perimeter wall?
The name of this beautiful creation does call it a Bavarian Town, but I’d argue it could fit into either theme. Replace the town minifigures and details with castle characters and details and – ta da – you’d get an amazing medieval Bavarian Town.
You may have seen the LEGO modular building sets, the newest being the 50s Downtown Diner and the Corner Garage. More than a dozen have come out since 2007, and while each is unique, they follow a certain set of rules. Once mastered, builders can use them to imagine new modular buildings of their own to construct a cohesive town layout. Diabetics may want to turn away now because you’re about to watch a writer lapse into a sugar coma as Tong Xin Jun has rendered the perfect doughnut shop to sweeten any town layout. Here Eastern meets Western design elements, as many buildings do in crowded cities. The left section of this modular boasts the aforementioned doughnut shop (mmmm doughnuts) and the apartments above are adorned in rare sand red while the right side sits a cozy Asian noodle shop.
Each floor lifts for maximum playability within, and like all good modulars should be, each interior space is well appointed. The added sun rays in the last photo adds warmth to this cozy and inviting interior. I can just smell the fresh-baked doughnuts wafting through the air.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to be alone with an entire box of doughnuts. Don’t judge me, I am not proud of what I am about to do. Go check out the builder’s photostream or something or better yet, here is a previous time we featured this same builder. Now go on, stop gawking at me. I am not an animal, I am a human being!
Ah, the joys of the great outdoors! Nothing like getting out on the road at the weekend with your caravan in-tow. Or, you could take a leaf out of Markus Rollbühler‘s book and take your caravan off-road and into previously inaccessible territory with this insane van-bearing walker setup! This bonkers LEGO creation is wonderful — packed full of nice little building touches. Check out the whips as pneumatic cables, the smart little camping chair, and the shaping on the caravan itself. And there’s a great balance of colour going on in the composition too, with the dark green legs providing a lovely contrast to the pale blue caravan.
If you happen to come across the obscure Flickr photostream of why.not?, you will likely be asking yourself the question “why?” more often than “why not?” The builder seems to specialize in very obviously giving her builds a message, but more often than not, the message is hard to pin down. Her latest creation is a nighttime scene of a room with an open window. This scene captures the ambiance of fresh night air so well that I can almost feel the cool breeze. It is actually so beautifully mundane that I can not help but relax and go to sleep now… Wait, nope, there are some chains on the floor and I have no idea what they are there for. No sleep tonight.
The build itself seems quite simple, with a cute city skyline in forced perspective as the background, using different shades of yellow as windows with a bit of variation, making for quite a realistic effect. I also really like the moon, built with a round tile and a white rubber band around it that gives a glowing effect. The room has a few interesting details as well, especially the little marbles on the table, which seem to be made of either levers or antennas. The handles on the windows and the door are a great idea too, using pearl gold minifig arms to achieve a very classy look.
Modular buildings, whether they’re sets or custom creations, are very popular in the LEGO fan community. They can be admired as standalone creations or as parts of larger town layouts, but there is something in every modular for every LEGO fan. Kofi says this is his first modular, but he does not seem to have struggled at all.
The first key feature to note is that while the two adjacent houses are quite dissimilar, they feel like they fit together perfectly. A modular building is not a true modular building without clever repeated part use for architectural detail. Kofi uses clips and wedge plates for these purposes, but the real star of the show is the houses’ “accessories”, namely the drains, built using everything from medium dark flesh bread pieces to different sorts of lightsaber hilts. Look closely and you may even spot a banana.