A Simple LEGO Kingdom

How to Create the Illusion of Detail

Bad news: there is no formula for creating an awesome LEGO castle like this one. Although Igor Elshin (Sunder_59) built this model more by feel than by a set of rules, he was able to share a few pointers with me.

Looking over Kazum’dar Castle from a bird’s-eye view, I was impressed by the clean appearance of the model. So I asked Igor, “How do you keep from over-complicating your micro-scale builds?” Read his answers below.

Model Building Tips From Igor

I don’t like my models to have too much greebling or texture. I prefer to build models that are mostly “flat” without many details; then I add several detailed spots to attract attention. Although I developed this style when building micro-scale star ships, it works quite well with other things too.

– Notice the “clean” appearance. –

Also, I try to stay consistent. I choose some detail size and cut off everything that is smaller. For example, if I decide not to “paint” common size windows, I do it everywhere in the model.

Finally, when I finish one part of my model, I immediately move on to the next part. Not until the whole model is almost ready do I go back and make any adjustments.

Taking His Models to the Next Level

This last tip is especially important. Being willing to move on to the next phase of a build even when the first part is not yet perfect enables Igor to keep building efficiently. It’s easy to spend so much time perfecting the first phase of a project that you never get around to completing it. Igor jokingly says he does this because he is lazy – but I think it is a skill.

Get a free copy of the LEGO ebook Amazing Brick Faces for a limited time here.

Currently unemployed in Russia, Igor is looking for job connected to 3D-modeling. Those familiar with his work, know that Igor, also known as Sunder_59 on Flickr enjoys building military and space-themed models. However, Igor says you may be surprised to learn that he is a pacifist!

– View from the back. –

Try It Out

Maybe it’s time to set some limits with your creations. Whether by letting go of some of the detail, cutting out a few elements to achieve more uniformity, or deciding to move on when something is “good enough,” your decision to simplify may add a fresh new look. Try it out, then let us know the results!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.