LEGO Architecture – Skylines series

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.

Learn about the LEGO Skylines series, and how to create your own Skylines in Issue #30 of Blocks Magazine.

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

An Excel workbook is provided to help you calculate scale when building Skyline models.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
You can download the spreadsheet here: Skyline_Scale_Workbook.xlsx

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