Micro city

2016-01-21

It’s been a while since my last ‘real project’, not counting the update to the dino calendar. One of the reasons is that I am working on a slightly larger project: The – tadaa – Micro City. Micro city is a collection of models of buildings, vehicles and infrastructure that are at a small scale, so that a whole city will fit on your desk. I kept the models as simple as possible, most being simple blocks, so that despite their scale, they are easy to build. And it’s actually quite satisfying making them – I think it’s exactly the right balance between trivial and difficult.

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Here, using a box of matches, you can see the scale:

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So, the buildings are really small, which also has the nice effect that I can add larger buildings at roughly the right scale. The train station in the background, for instance, is about as big as a (small) train station would be, relative to the blue tram.

If you happen to have any Lego® blocks lying around, the building templates are scaled to match the dimensions of these, so you can use them as weights. This gives the paper buildings a heavier, nicer feel, and they are not as easily toppled as paper toys tend to be. Here is how using Lego® blocks as weights works:

build01

And for the arch:

build02a

Of course you don’t have to use Lego® blocks, you can either leave the buildings empty or add something else as weight (but make sure it fits and doesn’t rattle around). But some of you may have a collection of old, basic blocks (you shouldn’t use the fancy, detailed stuff they provide these days), you may want to use them. Just keep in mind that the blocks may be tied up in the buildings for quite some time, and don’t forget to reclaim them should you at some point (hopefully after playing with them for a long, long time) discard the buildings.

And remember to check back every so often, as I intend to expand the collection of buildings and vehicles over time. One good way to get notified is to register for my newsletter.

Here is the PDF file:

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Comments

  1. Michellé, Reply

    Hi,

    This little City is amazing! Have you managed to add to the city yet? I know you said later in 2016, but we are now in 2017 and to wards the end of the year…. So just wondering if there are any new additions to this?

    Kind Regards
    Michellé

    1. admin, Reply

      Sorry, my plans for the micro city were thwarted by a very busy schedule recently. I still plan on returning to the project and adding more buildings, but for the time being, I have to take care of a couple of more urgent projects. If you want to be updated on new additions, I suggest registering for the newsletter.

  2. Cath, Reply

    We are a daughter and Mum team – who are making your micro model town. Thanks so much – we love the designs!

    1. admin, Reply

      That’s awesome – thanks for your message! Good luck with the town. I am almost on may way to leave for vacations, but you can expect some more micro town models later this year.

  3. Rtiner, Reply

    Thanks for sharing amazing talent. It’s gonna work great for my art class students ^^

    1. admin, Reply

      Yes, indeed. I will definitely add more building types over time, so there should be enough buildings for everyone in the class. Would love to see this coming alive in a classroom – possibly with a street and sidewalk layout as well…

  4. Mike, Reply

    Markus,

    I am excited about making this new micro city. Should I glue the buildings and cars down as shown in your first photo? Will you be building around what you’ve shown us, or will you be moving these first buildings around as you add new ones?

    1. admin, Reply

      I wouldn’t glue them down right away. I will design additional buildings, and they probably will fit better together in a different arrangement. Actually, once I have a more comprehensive set – and if time permits – I will add a city plan as well. So, for the time being I would keep them individual.

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