If you follow any LEGO pages on Instagram, you probably have seen or heard of @elemental_lego. Some say bigger is better, but it takes a sharp eye and the creative talent to pull off a recognizable build in micro-scale.
(Micro-scale is the scale where models are too small to fit a minifigure.)
From the techniques he posts to the highly detailed photo instructions, to the seemingly endless scenes in micro-scale, we are honored to have our following guest for an interview.
BRIXINIT: For the few who haven’t heard of, or seen your work, can you tell us a little about yourself and what building with LEGO means to you?
JORDAN: Hello! I’m @elemental_lego on Instagram and my real name is Jordan. I am honored to share a little about me! LEGO is very important in my life: it’s not only a great creative outlet for me, but I believe it also impacted my career. Lots of building as a child helped me develop mechanical skills and spatial awareness that I use in my job as a patent attorney. And a quiet building session is a great way to de-stress after long billable hours.
BRIXINIT: How long have you been building? Can you remember what your first set was?
JORDAN: I’ve been building since about 5. My first set was the Blacktron Meteor Monitor (1875) in 1990. I still love those vintage space themes!
BRIXINIT: Do you have a process when it comes to building, if so what is it like?
JORDAN: I tend to start builds with specific parts in mind. For example, in my micro Endor build, I started with the hexagonal shape of the bunker (made by four cheese slopes) and built the bunker around that idea. Then I came up with the idea to use sand green clips as pine trees, and built the forest around that idea. I end up spending a lot of time building and rebuilding sections to get the proportions just right.
BRIXINIT: Most of your work on Instagram is micro-scale, except for one I personally love, the TV. What inspired you to create that, how many pieces is it, and what was the build process like?
JORDAN: What I enjoy building most are tiny worlds – I’ve always liked little scenes or environments that you can get kind of lost in. I think that’s what the TV and microscale builds have in common. I started with the screen of the TV first and tried to replicate the old Sci-Fi scenes I watched on my Grandma’s grainy old black and white TV. Then I built the rest of the TV around that. The whole build probably has about 500 pieces.
BRIXINIT: You’ve made many fantastic star wars scenes in microscale. (Our favorite is definitely the Assault on Hoth.) How long do they take to create, and which was the most fun/rewarding?
JORDAN: Thank you! I've built a scene for each Star Wars episode including Rogue One. Each one took quite a while to build, probably about 20 hours. A lot of that time is spent on the tiny vehicles, like the sandcrawler on Tatooine and Slave 1 on Kamino, but I really enjoy that part. The most fun to build was probably Naboo because it has lots of variety.
BRIXINIT: Which is your favorite piece and why?
JORDAN: A tough question, but I have to go with the old flame piece (6126) in transparent light blue (as featured on my profile pic!). Those little flames are good for everything – water, fire, plants, even chemical spills!
Part Number 6126 - Wave Rounded with Base Pins
(Castle Dragon Flame, Seaweed, Water)
BRIXINIT: What is your favorite technique/combination that you have either learned or created yourself? (Like the water, or foliage)
JORDAN: I really like building angled gaps into my scenes, like the trench on Hoth. It takes a few slopes and some work to get the spacing right, but really looks good. I’ve also been interested in mosaic tile techniques using cheese slopes and other parts – Katie Walker (eilonwy77) on Flickr has some very inspiring examples.
BRIXINIT: What is your all time favorite build? Yours or anyone else's?
JORDAN: Another hard question, but I’d have to go with Jeff Friesen’s beautiful microscale cities (@jeff_works on Instagram). His part usage and eye for detail is incredible.
Of my own work, my favorite build is probably a large armored AT-ST I built a while back. It doesn’t fit into the microscale genre at all but it was lots of fun to build.
BRIXINIT: Any advice for those new to building or aspiring to build better MOCs?
JORDAN: Look at lots of other builds and try out new techniques! I am always amazed at the unending creativity of others. I also think practicing with small builds before going larger is important – you’ll save your parts and a lot of time!
BRIXINIT: If you were a minifigure, past, present, or custom. Which one would you be?
JORDAN: An old Blacktron spaceman minifig. Sometimes I feel like my helmet doesn’t fit quite right and my visor is a little scratched, but at least I’ve got a great view!
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