LEGO® Minifigures: they add life to our sets and our MOCs as well as a little personality to the benchtop. Over the last few years, since the advent of the first Collectable Minfigiures, they have become increasingly intricate in their designs. In the life of a casual LEGO Reviewer, I realise that I have been making photographing my minifigures for reviews unnecessarily challenging for myself.
Over the years, I have found myself photographing a lot of minifigures. Typically front and rear views, with and without a hat or hair, and revealing alternate face prints.
Typically I have several minifigures lined up, perched atop a transparent 1x2x5 brick. But then I have to turn them around for the obverse side. And this can be a bit tedious while trying to maintain the location of the figures within the camera frame.
And so, I have decided to build a tool that will make this process a little simpler for me. I’m looking for a platform, with multiple turntables. Now, I won’t be the first person to have made something like this. And it might not be the best execution of a solution. But it is a start.
I have been inspired, in part, by the dancefloor associated with the BTS Dynamite set, which allows you to set up a stage with 7 minifigures dancing in carefully choreographed unison. This is a little over the top for me, but the principle is the important thing.
Ideally, I can rotate figures in the same direction, and there will be adequate room between them. It should be ergonomic: ideally able to be held still, and have simple operation: a single lever would be great to just rotate the figures while adding a worm drive might be useful if I decide to use video in the future (or fall down the TikTok/Reels rabbit hole).
So – I am inclined to use the 24-tooth gears – spacing is just about right, and if I use 8-tooth gears in between, the larger wheels will all move in the same direction. I mount them on a 1×16 Technic brick using connector pins.
This is great but a bit fiddly to rotate, so I added a larger (40-tooth) gear, meshing with a small one on the other side of the Technic brick.
I attached a lever (lift arm) to the larger gear – this provides two and a half rotations of the smaller wheels with a limited sweep: perfect for spinning the figures around.
I applied 2×2-1×2 centred brackets above and below the technic brick, adding a plate to ensure appropriate spacing, and secured them with 2×4 bricks. Mounting the apparatus on a 16×16 plate, I added another plate to the side to use as a handrest
I put Connector pin-studs on the 20-tooth gears and covered them with 4×4 round plates – these fit perfectly. To ensure the minifigures rotate around the central axis of the gears, I placed 2 offset plates in the middle. I then elevated the display surface using transparent bricks.
Here’s the final effect:
I will probably look to build up around the mechanism and consider setting up a worm drive, in the future. In the meantime, I have Simple, Finger flicking simplicity to spin my figures.
As the figures rotate in a synchronous fashion, you can even set them up on a jaunty angle!
So why post it? Its probably marking a subtle change in the way I produce some of my content. Will this mean you see more new, frequent minifigure images on our Twitter, Instagram or TikTok Channels? I don’t know. Why don’t you follow them to find out! It may mean that we will see an evolving review style on the blog now: make sure you follow Ramblingbrick on WordPress or Facebook to be updated with new content: I have some exciting reviews of new Monkie Kid, City, Ninjago and more coming up over the coming months.
Until next time,
2 thoughts on “Time to Work Smarter, Not Harder: Building a Stage To Photograph LEGO® Minifigures.”
You are definitely one smart cookie.
Great content, and we’ll executed. Awesome to see different and unique content in the community. Keep it up!