LEGO Skylines Interview and Guide, Blocks Magazine #30

Learn more about the LEGO Skyline series in Issue #30 of Blocks Magazine. I wrote three articles which teach you how to build your own LEGO Skyline.

The latest issue of Blocks Magazine includes 20 pages of exclusive content about the LEGO Skylines series. This includes 15 pages of content that I wrote, including look at how I designed my custom ‘Seattle’ Skyline.

In this chapter:

‘Urban Designer’ is one of many articles in Issue #30 of Blocks Magazine about the LEGO Skylines series.

Blocks is an excellent magazine that appeals to LEGO builders of all ages. This issue is especially appealing to adult LEGO builders. In addition to great content about the LEGO Skylines Series, this issue talks with Jamie Berard, the LEGO Designer behind the LEGO Modular Building series including the most recent ’10th anniversary’ addition: #10225: Assembly Square. We also get a preview of the LEGO House, the new Visitor’s Center being built in Billund, Denmark.

There are several articles are about LEGO Skylines:

  • Pg 58-59: Reviews of the new 2017 Skylines. You will find an in-depth review of the #21032: Sydney, #21033: Chicago, and #21034: London sets. (I think their review of #21033: Chicago is overly critical, but ultimately agree that it is the weakest of the three new sets.)
  • Pg 92-97: ‘Urban Designer’, an interview with LEGO Skylines designer Rok Žgalin Kobe. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Rok about his role at LEGO, the introduction of the LEGO Skylines series, and the evolution of the series with the second wave of sets released in 2017.
  • Pg 98-103: ‘Deconstructing Architecture Skylines’. In this six-page article, I analyze all six official LEGO Skyline sets to identify what makes a great LEGO Skyline set. Understanding the official sets is a good place to start if you want to create your own skylines.
  • Pg 104-106: ‘Your City in Bricks’. In my third article, I walk you through the process of researching, prototyping, and designing a LEGO Skyline model of your favorite city.
  • Pg 106-109: Paris, Rome, LEGO Movie, and Gotham Skylines. The magazine closes with four additional custom LEGO Skyline by Chris Wight, Steve Guinness, and Lauren Parsons. It’s a pleasure to learn about their creative process and see how they were built.

Blocks is a UK-based magazine, but you may be able to find it outside of the UK. (For example, it is sometimes available at Barnes and Noble in the US.) Purchase this issue or back-issues in print or digital format at

Interview with LEGO Skyline designer

I was thrilled that LEGO Architecture set designer Rok Žgalin Kobe was willing to answer some pretty technical questions about how the LEGO Skyline sets were designed, and tell us about the ‘making of’ the new series which was introduced in 2016. Make sure to get a copy of issue #30 of Blocks Magazine to read my exclusive interview.

“The second wave carries with it the evolution in the placement of the Landmarks…” -Rok Žgalin Kobe

Deconstructing Architecture Skylines

I also wrote an in-depth look at the six sets in the official LEGO Skylines set for this issue. I’m really excited to share this analysis with a broader audience, and I hope it inspires you to create a LEGO Skyline of your favorite city!

‘Deconstructing Architecture Skylines’ takes a critical look at the six official LEGO Skyline sets.

Creating my Seattle Skyline

In my article ‘Your City in Bricks’, I explain my creative process in re-creating Seattle in the style of the official LEGO Skyline sets. I’m really proud to capture the essence of my home city in a great looking model, and hope you like it too.

Seattle Skyline, by Tom Alphin.

If you are familiar with Seattle, you should notice that I selected the Seattle Space Needle, Seattle Central Library, Columbia Center, and Smith Tower.

Seattle Skyline, by Tom Alphin

To capture the spirit of the city, I also included smaller details such as the Monorail, International Fountain, and a Washington State Ferry boat.

For a more in-depth look at how to create your own LEGO Skyline, you will need to find Issue #30 of Blocks Magazine.

Learn how to create a skyline of your favorite city in my final article ‘Your City in Bricks’.

The article also teaches readers how the issue of scale is central to the design process when building LEGO Skylines.

In addition to the magazine article text, I created supplemental online content to help you understand how to calculate scale in your models. That page also includes an excel spreadsheet to help you calculate scale in your models, and the calculations I used to estimate the scale for the six official LEGO Skyline sets.

What do you think of my Seattle Skyline model? Did you purchase a copy of Blocks Magazine so you can read these articles? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

4 Responses

  1. j2___ says:

    hey tom, i was wondering how you built the Smith Tower in this skyline. The design of it looks really interesting and i am wondering how it was done.

    • Tom Alphin says:

      The front and back are larger SNOT assemblies attached to a core of part 4733 – Brick, Modified 1 x 1 with Studs on 4 Sides. (I’m afraid that I do not have build instructions or in-progress photos.)


  2. Serafin says:

    Hi Tom, I sent you an email of my own version of the skyline concept. Would love to hear your thoughts! How do I purchase this Blocks’s Magazine?

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