Issue 30 of Blocks Magazine (April 2017) includes exclusive content about the LEGO Skylines series. This includes a look at all of the models in the series, and instructions to create your own LEGO Skyline based on your favorite city.

On this page you will find additional resources to calculate scale when designing your own LEGO Skyline models. It also shows the calculations that I used to determine the scale for the six official LEGO Skyline sets released so far.

# Calculating scale in custom models

The magazine includes a whole article explaining how to create a LEGO skyline of your favorite city. It also includes formulas to calculate scale in your LEGO models.

Before you get started, you need to know the height of your LEGO model in centimeters. You can measure the height of your model with a ruler, or you can count the number of bricks tall (and multiply times 0.96), or studs wide (and multiply time 0.80).

To calculate the scale of your LEGO model, you need to compare the height of your LEGO model to the real building:

`scaling factor = building height (cm) / model height (cm)`

If you already decided the scale for your model, and know the height of the real building, you can calculate the desired height of your model:

`model height (cm) = building height (cm) / scaling factor`

**To make this a lot easier, I prepared a simple Excel spreadsheet:**

- The first table will help you calculate the scale of your model. All you need to do is measure the height of your model, and look up the height of the real building.
- The second table will help you calculate the desired size for your LEGO model based on the scale you selected and the height (or width) of the real building. (in cm, bricks tall, and studs wide.)

# Scale of the official LEGO Skylines

Each of the official LEGO Skyline sets contain 4 or 5 landmarks. The following tables show the calculations which were used to determine the average scale for each model.

### 21026 — Venice

The Venice skyline model contains just four major landmarks with an average scaling factor of **1:750**.

Landmark | Actual Size | Model Size | Scaling Factor | Deviation | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

Rialto Bridge (arch height) | 7.3 m |
1 brick |
0.96 cm |
763 | 1% |

Rialto Bridge (span width) | 31.8 m |
4 studs |
3.2 cm |
994 | 29% |

St Mark’s Basilica (height) | 43 m |
6 2/3 bricks |
6.4 cm |
672 | 13% |

St Mark’s Campanile (height) | 98.6 m |
14 bricks |
13.4 cm |
734 | 5% |

Bridge of Sighs (span width) | 11 m |
2 studs |
1.6 cm |
688 | 11% |

Average Scaling Factor: |
769 |

### 21027 — Berlin

The Berlin skyline contains five major landmarks with an average scaling factor of around **1:1200**.

*The LEGO model of the Fernsehturm TV Tower is far too short with a scale of 1:1885, and the LEGO model of the Brandenburg gate is too tall with a scale of 1:739.*

Landmark | Actual Size | Model Size | Scaling Factor | Deviation | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

Reichstag (Parliament) building | 47 m |
4 2/3 bricks |
4.5 cm |
1049 | 15% |

Berlin Victory Column | 66.8 m |
5 2/3 bricks |
5.4 cm |
1228 | 0% |

BahnTower | 103 m |
8 2/3 bricka |
8.3 cm |
1238 | 1% |

Fernsehturm TV Tower | 368 m |
20 1/3 bricks |
19.5 cm |
1885 | 54% |

Brandenburg Gate | 26 m |
3 2/3 bricks |
3.5 cm |
739 | 40% |

Average Scaling Factor: |
1228 |

### 21028 — New York City

The New York City model contains five landmarks with an average scaling factor of **1:2250**. The scale is pretty consistent across all five buildings.

Landmark | Actual Size | Model Size | Scaling Factor | Deviation | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

Statue of Liberty | 93.1 m |
4 bricks |
3.8 cm |
2476 | 10% |

Empire State Building | 443.2 m |
20 1/6 bricks |
19.4 cm |
2289 | 2% |

Chrysler Building | 318 m |
15 bricks |
14.4 cm |
2208 | 2% |

Flatiron Building | 93 m |
5 brick |
4.8 cm |
1938 | 14% |

One WTC | 546.2 m |
24 1/2 bricks |
23.5 cm |
2322 | 3% |

Average Scaling Factor: |
2247 |

### 21032 — Sydney

The Sydney skyline model contains just four major landmarks with an approximate scaling factor of **1:2000**.

*The 1:3930 scale for the span of the Sydney Harbor Bridge in the model indicates that the bridge should be about twice as long as it appears in the model.*

Landmark | Actual Size | Model Size | Scaling Factor | Deviation | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

Sydney Tower | 309 m |
20 1/2 bricks |
19.7 cm |
15.70 | 33% |

Deutsche Bank Place | 240 m |
12 2/3 bricks |
12.2 cm |
1974 | 16% |

Sydney Opera House (length) | 183 m |
11 3/5 studs |
9.3 cm |
1972 | 16% |

Sydney Harbor Bridge (Span Length) | 503 m |
16 studs |
12.8 cm |
3930 | 67% |

Sydney Harbor Bridge (Height) | 89 m |
4 bricks |
3.8 cm |
2318 | 1% |

Average Scaling Factor: |
2352 |

### 21033 — Chicago

The Chicago skyline model contains five major landmarks with a scaling factor of **1:2500**.

*The proportions of very small details are always way off in a model like this, so I excluded the Cloud Gate in these calculations (It’s about twice as large as it should be, with a scale of around 1:1150). By excluding it in the calculations, all of the the models in the Chicago skyline have nearly the same scale.*

Landmark | Actual Size | Model Size | Scaling Factor | Deviation | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

CNA Center | 183 m |
7 bricks |
6.7 cm |
2723 | 8% |

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) | 527 m |
21 1/3 bricks |
20.5 cm |
2573 | 2% |

DuSable Bridge (width) | 78 m |
4 studs |
3.2 cm |
2438 | 3% |

Wrigley Building | 134 m |
6 1/3 bricks |
6.1 cm |
2204 | 12% |

John Hancock Center | 456.9 m |
18 1/6 bricks |
17.4 cm |
2620 | 4% |

Average Scaling Factor: |
2512 |

### 21034 — London

The London skyline model contains five major landmarks with an average scaling factor of around **1:900**. The Tower Bridge has the least accurate proportions — it is too tall, and the bridge span is not long enough.

Landmark | Actual Size | Model Size | Scaling Factor | Deviation | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

Nelson’s Column | 51.6 m |
6 5/6 bricks |
6.56 cm |
787 | 14% |

Big Ben | 96 m |
11 1/3 bricks |
6.6 cm |
882 | 3% |

Tower Bridge (span width) | 82.3 m |
8 studs |
6.4 cm |
1286 | 41% |

Tower Bridge (height) | 65 m |
10 bricks |
9.6 cm |
677 | 26% |

London Eye | 135 m |
15 1/3 bricks |
14.7 cm |
917 | 1% |

Average Scaling Factor: |
910 |