You may have seen some of my posts on the LEGO Classic Space Themes of the 1970s and 1980s – there are some of them around here. But this is something entirely different – and still LEGO (which shows just how diverse the use and the fun can be without having to buy expensive models off-the-shelf).
I found a book in the local bookstore just a week ago or so – it sparked my interest because I did not have the slightest idea that someone would be interested in writing (and let alone reading) a book on LEGO – I stand corrected.
This book is written by two guys – Joachim Klang & Oliver Albrecht – who are both very active in the German LEGO scene. Both are active members of the Modellbaufans Rheinland community.
Now what is this about?
This is about what I would refer to as “free-style LEGO construction” – which basically means “create your own world with the bricks you got”. While this may still be an expensive hobby, todays tools allow “virtual construction” and that makes for an entirely different cost factor: free! With the ideas provided from a book like the one discussed above.
Midi Scale – making big things small
LEGO itself builds their models around their Minifigs – which basically define the scale (and it is a scale that makes for very detailed but also very large models). Let’s take a mid-80s model as a reference: LEGO Set 6631 – a small shovel.
The set – as shown in the image below – is made of 42 pieces. As it stands there, it is 12.3 cm in length, just a little over 3 cm in width and about 5 cm in height. And it exactly matches one Minifig construction worker…
In comparison, I have created a shovel in the Midi format, following the instructions in the above mentioned book.
This one is made from 36 pieces and measures 7cm in length, 3 in width and about 4.5 in height. But is it the model of a much larger shovel than LEGO 6631… putting a Minifig next to it would make it look like it is fighting a giant…
So the idea of the Midi-Scale is to create models at a much smaller scale than LEGO itself is typically doing – with the goal to build much larger scenes. Like an entire city… or a port… or an airport…
Every man for himself
Now here, every man (and woman) is for himself (herself): there are no official LEGO Sets supporting the midi-scale. Ideas for the scenes as well as for the individual pieces needed do have to come from own imagination much more than from a given instruction.
Of course, there is a large community – and ideas are traded. Everyone is free to re-use, improve and develop them… some things eventually can’t be done any better – a perfect representation is a perfect representation. But there is so much to explore and develop… and while in reality it requires a good amount of money to get all the bricks for a large scene, the virtual reality does not come with these limits…