Last week, I presented my review of the new 75341 Luke’s Landspeeder. While this latest UCS set comes with 2 minifigures, the set has been designed at decidedly greater than Minifigure scale – greater even than Jack Stone or Belville Scale. And so I put together some figures using techniques used for building the figures populating the Miniland Displays at the LEGOLAND theme parks. Don’t confuse these with the Minilands in the LEGOLAND Discovery Centres – they just use minifigures.
One of the great things about Miniland figures is that they can be built with the bricks that many of us have close to hand, and there is no obligation to make them posable – but you might need to think about the pose to strike before you start building.
Today, we will take a look through the pictures I have of the Star Wars Minilands from over the years, and we will look at building Luke Skywalker at Miniland scale.
From 2011 through to 2020, a Star Wars display was part of the Miniland display at various LEGO Land Parks around the world – I saw them at Windsor, Billund and Germany. the models were fairly similar in each park. The interesting thing about the Windsor Star Wars display is that it was indoors, unlike the rest of Miniland, where the models are exposed to the elements for years on end. This also meant that the light was pretty dim, so I didn’t get many (unblurred) pictures there.
Before we look at what I used to build my figures, let’s take a look at some of the Star Wars models previously on display at LEGOLAND Parks around the World. Pictures are from the family photo album and might be taken by Ann or myself…
So, what do these figures look like when they are not trying to appear as if they are from Star Wars?
Miniland is the jewel in the crown of any LEGOLAND park – where you can see parts of the world represented in miniature, filled with figures. The models of vehicles and buildings are impressive, but the figures hanging out, living their best lives, adds an extra dimension to the display.
So, how can we put these figures together? And what sort of parts do you need? One of the great things is that brick-built figures allow almost infinite levels of complexity in building technique, as well as a remarkable level of emotion
At its most simple, a Miniland figure is three studs wide through the body; Legs and waist are typically around 5 bricks; torsos are typically around 3. The head is 5 plates high, with a 1×1 square plate making up the neck. Arms may be hinged, SNOT elements or technic brick with the technic connector-stud, fixed or flexible.
Here’s a prototypical Luke Skywalker –
First the head: I’m using dark tan for his hair, and tan for the skin tones. You could use yellow (as they did in Miniland.) While Luke’s hair was blondish in colour, this felt like a better match, to me. I was unable to find a 2×2 plate, however.
Next – is the torso. I used a tan brick to mark the collar of his tunic. The offset plate allows appropriate positioning of the neck. The technic bricks allow for a stud connection. unfortunately, these are frictionless pins – gravity will influence where his arms rest. The new 1×2 brick with a stud on the side will help overcome this issue. In the parks, they use glue! Of note… In the parks, some figures might use an offset plate with a 1×1 tile on it to better represent the curve of the shoulders. I have not done this here. In this situation,
For Luke’s waist, we have a little bit of activity – I could have used 2x white 2×3 plates. The black elements form his belt. Ideally, I would have used downwards black brackets – but my supply is either low or poorly sorted,
We are using simple legs. Medium nougat. He is just standing straight up. I have taken the option to have his boots/leg wraps be medium nougat and replaced by white above the knees. Otherwise, you might consider using a brick with a stud on the side and a small tile to represent his knees.
Finally, his arms- possibly longer than actually necessary. 2 studs above and 2 studs below the elbow are probably enough.
And here is the final product.
It was only after building this, that I realised that the figures I built for the landspeeder were a slightly larger scale – with longer legs, and a slightly (one plate) taller head. The (true) Miniland scale figure was only slightly larger than my childhood action figure – which was way too small! I also gave that figure much longer arms.
And no two people are identical, so introducing variations between figures is to be encouraged. As you can see from the images above, all sorts of shapes can be introduced for hair, as well as arms and leg positioning.
Ben Kenobi is a completely different challenge, trying to get some dynamic appearance into his cloak:I had one leg moving forward, while the other was moving back a little. A 2×2 wedge plate gave the impression of his flowing sleeves. One thing I had not appreciated is just how rare 1×1 bricks in dark tan are. It turns out, that the best current source is probably the Chinese Ice Festival. Due to a shortage of technic bricks in reddish-brown, I have opted for a clip/bar arrangement on the shoulders. I am not entirely sure that his hood is not looking like a backpack.
But, one of the things I like about brick-built figures is the way you can build them up to the scale you need. The figures I ultimately displayed with my Landspeeder are essentially Miniland +20%, and I think they probably meet the scale for the model in a more appropriate fashion than my 3.75 inch action figures from the 70’s (Well, I have owned Luke since then…C-3PO I recently found at a local Market.
Obviously, these figures are not too flexible. To fit them into the Landspeeder, I removed the legs, and added some horizontal elements, long enough to hold the figure in the cockpit. I built some horizontalThreepio
Well… I started to write this article on May the 4th… It just took a bit longer than planned. Almost time for the Revenge of the Sixth…
I hope you have enjoyed this rapid survey Miniland Star Wars. Do you remember that aspect of the parks? What was your favourite Star Wars Scene recreated there? Why not leave your stories below, and until next time,