I designed this scene with a friend of mine, another talented LEGO artist named Tristan. Tristan trekked north to visit me one Thursday night, and over the course of a little under three hours, we conceived of and put together what you see here! We wanted to assemble a creation that required both of our complementary styles. I specialize in fine details, the small and the clever, while Tristan’s forte is building large and implementing functionality into his work. A large-scale microscale scene with an electronic component included seemed the optimal way to showcase our strengths, so that’s what we built.
The story: an intergalactic spacecraft arrives on Earth… not in present day, or in the future, but back in ancient times. The UFO’s mission is a Wall-E-esque one: gather vegetation samples from our green planet and harvest them for alien science. Indiscriminate in their approach—or, perhaps, just totally unruffled by the presence of human civilization—the UFO has alighted on the forest surrounding a greco-roman city atop a plateau. And thus begins Earth’s first contact with extraterrestrial life!
Originally, we thought we’d build the same UFO, accidentally beaming up a dragon from a medieval European castle. As we built, though (really, as we assessed how much time we had left in our session together!) our vision evolved. Read on to learn some more about who built what, what thoughts went into this creation, and more.
Tristan and I decided that we wanted the two component pieces of the scene—the UFO and the city—to not just arrive from different genres, but also exist in disparate color palates. We chose to build the earth-bound portion of the build in, well, earthy hues, while we designed the UFO in high-contrast, high-saturation, and even some translucent colors. Our goal here was to fully highlight the zaniness of these two sub-models encountering each other.
This tower beacon was mostly Tristan’s design. I love how he stepped up the sides of the tower subtly using SNOT (studs not on top), and how he cleverly used a rice hat for a roof. When photographing our build, I actually traded out some of the tower’s innards for a red light brick, which then shone up through the hole in the 4x4 round plate and gave an extra splash to the flame element.
I spearheaded the design on this Parthenon-inspired temple. It was my first time making use of the new-for-2019 arch parts introduced in the LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle set. I’m pleased with my solution for the triangular roof, which sits in place stably despite its disconnection.
We wanted the city to have a unified feeling, so the “water house” across the aqueduct from this temple intentionally marries together the two roof colors—gold and nougat—we’d been using on other buildings.
This forest employs a technique I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while; it’s been waiting for the right time to come out! I love how simple it is, yet how much a sense of depth and complexity it affords.
I devoted a majority of my time during our 3ish hours of work crafting the base of the model, from the ground plan to the plateau on which the city sits. I hope the angles and layering I’ve achieved here made that time worth it!
Tristan primarily built the UFO, as well as the Technic structure that supports and rotates it. I did contribute bits and ideas, though… I’d already picked out the greebley parts in advance for a different project, and as soon as Tristan said “UFO,” I also pulled out an 8x8 trans-clear dome! Making the UFO an “ice cream sandwich” design, with red on top and bottom of the “skirt” which was one we settled on to mask as much of the Technic under-girding as possible.
Thanks for reading! If you have any other questions or comments about this model, feel free to leave them in the comments below.