Every LEGO element can be used in different ways and represent different things. Used in the right context, a collection of plastic parts can be used to represent just about anything.
But the question remains, how simple or how small can you get and still identify the model? Microscale builders have been taking this challenge on for many years and Californian MOC builder, Nick Desimone has been taking a similar minimalist approach to his LEGO creations. With only a handful of LEGO pieces, he’s been recreating popular characters from movies, TV shows and cartoons which are surprisingly recognisable.
We asked him what it was like building on such a small scale.
How did you get started building these micro LEGO creations?
About a year before The LEGO Group release their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sets, I tried building a micro-sewer-lair for my shelf (to make up for not being able to afford the real set in my childhood). I took a few pictures of it and they ended up on my favourite website Geekologie.com! The response was so positive that I kept making more and fell In love with that style of building.
Building at such a small scale must be tough. What’s the hardest part about it?
The biggest challenge with microbuilds is colour. The colours used have to be spot on in order for the build to be recognisable. This has me constantly scanning recent sets for new parts/colours (like those light-blue studs that only come as diamonds in Minecraft sets).
Speaking of TMNT and Minecraft, how do you pick the themes for your microbuilds?
I try to pick themes that I’m passionate about. I’m sort of an omni-nerd so just about everything I’ve built is based off of something I loved growing up (or something I love now). I go through phases constantly where I’m really into one thing then jump to the next, so I usually try to pump out builds of whatever subject I’m currently feeling inspired by.
With all that jumping from theme to theme, do you have any builds that you’re most proud of?
I constantly go back and forth between favourites, but my 90’s Batmobile, X-Wing and Johnny-5 are some that I’m the most proud of.
So, what keeps you going and looking for new ideas?
The positive reactions to these little sets is what keeps me building! My favourite reaction so far has to have been from the LEGO fan event, BRICKSLA. I had about 60 of my microbuilds on display for two days and got to hang out watching people stand there and guess what every build represented! I would see parents pointing out ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ while their kids are next to them pointing out ‘Adventure Time’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. After posting them on Instagram for so long, there was something very special about seeing all the reactions in real life.
Guess the build!
Take a look at these 15 examples of Nick’s work and see how many you can recognise! Don’t forget to follow “nicksbricks” on Instagram where he shares his latest LEGO microbuilds. Leave a comment below and let us know which ones you can identify!
A photo posted by Nick Desimone (@nicksbricks) on