3 Small Things

While most of what I build consists of large models and mosaics, every now and then I fiddle around with things on a smaller scale. This page shows off a few things that I have built. There is no common theme other than the fact that they are all small (and they were not build on commission -- just for personal enjoyment).


Very often I realize that I have ordered pieces from BrickLink which I don't actually need. Such was the case when an order arrived and contained 4 8x8 round, black plates. I remembered why I had ordered them, but also remembered that I meant to get white items, not black.

As I stared at the pieces, they reminded me of vinyl records (yes, I do remember what vinyl records albums are). This inspired me to build a tiny replica of the phonograph I used to have hooked up to my stereo (model: Technics SL-B30). This model has relatively few pieces. The base is 12 x 10 studs (it shrinks to 12 x 9 using "jumper bricks").

And yes, there is a rotating piece underneath the disc, so the record platter does actually spin. Here's another picture.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Compact Disc Case

Also music related, I guess, is something I actually built way back in the year 2000 but never got around to documenting (you'll notice the dust on the model -- it's been sitting around for a while). It's a LEGO replacement for a CD "jewel case". The goal was to make a case that was hinged (would open and close), hold a CD, and be as compact a model as possible.

Compact discs are, of course, just under 5" in diameter. Conveniently, a 16 x 16 LEGO baseplate is 5" square. By using plate hinges and lots of plates and tiles, I was able to construct a case that was 16 x 16 studs and just over 4 plates tall (the slight excess is from the thickness of the baseplate).

The CD is centered in the case by using a pair of half apex pieces to form a pyramid. The disc rests on this pyramid, is raised slightly above the interior tiled surface, and does not jiggle about when the case is closed.

I apologize for the model being mostly black; it doesn't photograph too well.

More pictures: 1, 2.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Honda Element

I am not expert at building LEGO replicas of cars and other vehicles. There are many LEGO enthusiasts who specialize in such things. That said, I'm not one to shy away from a LEGO challenge.

I decided to build a small model of a Honda Element because my current assistant, Abby, happens to drive such a car (black in color). The model will be a thank you gift to her as soon as we finish our current project (which should be completed a few days after I write this webpage).

Now, I wanted the model to be a surprise, so I couldn't really stand out by Abby's car and take measurements and such... she would have gotten suspicious. Fortunately the Honda website had a few good photographs of the vehicle, plus one of those snazzy 3-D Quicktime viewers with the Element featured.

By choosing 1x6x2 arches as the wheel wells, I chose my overall scale and began to build. The Element not only has a distinctive shape, but its color scheme is unique. The arches about the wheels did not provide an exact match for color layout, and the dark gray bricks are a little bit lighter than the gray on the actual vehicle, but I think I managed to pull it off pretty well.

The bottom half of the LEGO Element is 10 studs wide, but it shricks to 9 wide starting at the windshield. I used plenty of Studs-Not-On-Top building for the front and rear of the vehicle.

Alas, there are no opening doors or tailgates. Remember, I'm admittedly no expert at this vehicle building thing. Besides, I wanted to have it done on time to present to Abby in a few days... I didn't want to obsess on making doors, engine blocks, and who knows what else.

Finally, I should mention a weird coincidence. On a Sunday morning after having decided to build this model and spending hours fiddling around with a prototype, I was watch a football game on television. Lo and behold, during one of the commercial breaks, here is an advertisement that shows a vehicle being built by oodles of virtual LEGO like bricks that are raining down from above.

When the commercial is done, the bricks have constructed a life size version of a Honda Element!

I kid you not (link to the digitized commercial).

Here are some more photos of my (much smaller scale) Element:

Back to Eric Harshbarger's main LEGO page.