Movie-inspired LEGO Skylines by Matteo Mobili
You won’t believe how well these famous Movies and TV shows look when re-created in the style of the LEGO Architecture Series. There’s something for everyone in this diverse collection by Matteo Mobili.
When you browse fan-made LEGO MOC’s on Reddit, Flickr, Instagram, or Rebrickable you will quickly discover amazing creations by a talented artist that goes by MOMAtteo79. Matteo Mobili has been building and sharing LEGO models since 2016, and has designed a variety of awe-inspiring models from movies and TV shows that adorn modern pop culture.
By using vibrant contrasting colors and carefully selected pieces, all of the models are so unique it almost looks like scale isn’t a limitation. Having built and supported a variety of movie and tv show inspired architecture models, Matteo pushes the limits of what LEGO parts let you do and has created some very easily recognizable scenes from movies. Using old parts and new, many fans have even made these models themselves at home and have shared them for the world to see. It’s a testament to how great these models are.
Along with showcasing his many amazing models, Matteo has graciously agreed to answer some questions, letting us delve into the minds of a LEGO custom creator. Keep your eyes peeled for this exclusive interview on Brick Architect.
With the Star Wars franchise being pivotal to the success of LEGO it should be no surprise that many fans of LEGO are fans of those movies as well. Either through coincidence or on purpose, all of the skyline models created surrounding the theme of movies are of franchises that LEGO already has licenses too, either through dimensions or sets of past and present.
With 2019 marking the 20th anniversary of LEGO Star Wars there is no better time to showcase skyline architecture creations. This model shows iconic scenes from the first 6 movies in the Star Wars franchise, all custom built at a micro scale. The plethora of buildings and spaceships makes this scene packed with action, so packed that sometimes it can be hard to follow.
Planets such as Naboo, Tatooine, Hoth and Endor are visible in this build, however some movies are missed. From the forests of Endor to the trench run, Matteo carefully selected his pieces. Despite the level of detail however, the scaling of spaceships is not perfect. For instance, the Death Star is shown similar in size to the Millennium Falcon, something that is not the case.
My favorite part of this MOC is the creativity used to create miniature spaceships, some being complex while others being made of a few parts like the TIE fighters. The vehicles created here range in size from what you could see in an advent calendar set to those that are barely seeable. My favorite of the spaceships created are the Y-Wing and Slave I. Of his creations, this is one I have seen many builds for themselves. With a few cheeky people claiming it to be their own creation. Imitation is the best form of flattery I suppose.
2018 is also the year of the Harry Potter revival, and Matteo did not skip on joining in on the festivities, building a Harry Potter skyline to complement the already existing sets. In 2018 we saw nanofigure scale models of Hogwarts Castle and Diagon Alley and saw the impressive level of detail needed to build the sets at this scale. Matteo took this a step further by scaling down the models even further, something that seemed impossible to do while still keeping the quality level high.
From Diagon Alley, to Four Privet Drive, all the way to Hogwarts Castle itself, varied colors make every building stand out. Albeit a minor detail, my favorite of the miniature models in this set is the Knight Bus. With its purple color and placed beside London’s double decker busses this tiny yet easy to build model adds a beautiful touch.
Alongside beautiful skylines of the Harry Potter and Star Wars universe there are many more skylines that can be found on Matteo’s Flickr. Ranging all the way from Indiana Jones to Back to the Future. Even a skyline of Middle Earth can be found, something that I have wanted for a very long time and will definitely try to replicate. A little bit of fun is available for everyone.
Alongside great model depictions of Movies, Matteo has also created models from iconic shows on the small screen. From animated shows to the critically-acclaimed, the portfolio of designs is immense and ever growing. Currently on display on Matteo’s Flickr are skyline models of Springfield from The Simpsons, Westeros from Game of Thrones, along with iconic scenes from AMC’s critically-acclaimed series Breaking Bad.
First uploaded onto LEGO ideas and hitting 497 supporters, The Simpsons – Springfield Architecture Skyline shows iconic scenes from America’s favorite animated family. This architecture model is littered with memorable locations such as the nuclear power plant, Moe’s tavern, the Kwik-E-Mart all the way to Springfield Elementary and 742 Evergreen Terrace. Any fan of the Simpsons series will find this model a wonderful collection next to 71006 The Simpsons House or 71016 The Kwik-E-Mart. Both of these sets are unfortunately retired but can be picked up on the aftermarket. The instructions to create Matteo’s skyline however is still available and with the help of Bricklink and instructions found here you can put a little part of Springfield into your collection.
Moving away from the animated space are the wonderful models of Westeros from Game of Thrones along with a skyline of iconic scenes from Breaking Bad. Both models are small yet detailed, and with both being older models we can clearly see how Matteo’s building styles improve as he gets more creative with the pieces available. Iconic buildings such as King’s landing, Pyke, Winterfell and The Wall have been created in absolute detail. By making creative use of many 1×1 pieces in a variety of colors, each location’s architectural style is brought out.
To complement the skyline model of all of Westeros Matteo recently released an architecture model of just Winterfell. This detailed model has everything from the courtyard and great hall in beautiful stone to the Godswood with the Heart Tree. Unlike the skyline subgenre in Architecture, Winterfell is built in the style of conventional Architecture sets that depict an iconic building, adopting many similarities in style to the real sets.
Due to the nature of Game of Thrones’ content, we unfortunately may never see a Game of Thrones official LEGO set. Matteo’s sets however, act as a beautiful replacement. With Game of Thrones’ final season coming back into full swing I am sure many would love to have a set like this in their collection.
Not only has Matteo created awesome skylines but he has also created some amazingly detailed instructions to complement his builds. The instructions are easy to follow and highly detailed, showing exactly the thought and care that was placed into each of the models. The quality of the instructions and care taken into deciding each steps really makes for an enjoyable experience when building these sets. The styles that can be seen along with the design decisions for structure are very reminiscent of official LEGO architecture models. Matteo however adds his flare and take to all of his models and instructions, bringing them all to life.
If you would like to build any of his sets by yourself you can pick up instructions at Rebrickable and find the parts either on Bricklink or from your own collection.
Closer Look: Avengers Skyline
Of all of Matteo’s creations, my favorite is this iconic skyline based on key locations from the Avengers films. With the final installment in the Avengers movie franchise having been released on April 26th 2019, there has been no movie that has had more hype than this one. With a momentous number of playsets and builds being released in the superhero theme by LEGO it is of no surprise that LEGO fans like both DC and Marvel comics.
He created this dramatic skyline model in anticipation for the new Avengers movie. The model contains scenes from all the movies in the Avengers series including Iron Man, Black Panther, and Thor. The main focus of this build are the buildings themselves, something I will address in detail, however Matteo also did a great job building iconic ships like the Milano, the Quinjet, and Shield Helicarrier. It’s a fantastic model despite not being perfectly to scale, which isn’t practical across such diverse source material.
This model uses a total of 600 parts, with 231 being unique. This momentous number of parts is shown in the variety and creativity of the designers’ choices when building this set. This skyline measures at 44x13x19.6 studs making it a rather large set despite being microscale.
In this skyline we see 7 iconic buildings recreated. Of these, the first that all will recognize is Stark Tower. Towering above all the other buildings in this skyline the mix of blues and greys really accentuate the modern futuristic feel of this building. Contrasted by the tan and sand green of New York city’s Grand Central Station this detail is even stronger. By stacking wedge pieces and using grill pieces Matteo creatively designed windows at a miniature scale. As a final yet unnecessary touch cars and taxis are littered on the roads. These simplistic builds really add ambiance to the scene and from a distance adds flair.
Sanctum Sanctorum and the Mirror Dimension
Showing this build twice, once in the mirror dimension and once just as the Sanctum Santorum was a creative decision by Matteo. This perplexing view adds a lot of intrigue to what otherwise could be viewed as a basic building at this scale. Despite small pieces being used for key aspects such as the large round window, they are easily displayed in this model. The creative use of using 1×1 modified bricks to act as windows and gem pieces for street lamps stand out here. Alongside Stark tower this might be my favorite of the builds in this skyline.
Tony Stark’s Mansion
Not as iconic as the others but still iconic is Tony Stark’s Malibu Mansion. Unfortunately, not having watched a majority of the central movies in a long time my memory of these scenes can be hazy and that may be why I did not immediately recognize this. When looking at source material however it is clearly seen that this was very challenging to get at the same scale as the buildings beside it, and thus seems a little too large in reference to the others. The sleek white and transparent combination makes this stand out to the greys and tans of the surrounding builds. By using lots of curved parts, the modern aesthetic of this mansion becomes immediately apparent.
I love the Avengers skyline that was created by Matteo but unfortunately, I had no idea what this building was if it wasn’t for the Helicarrier. Being somewhat removed from the movies, my view was hazy remembering some of these, especially as others immediately recognized this as the Triskelion. The S.H.I.E.L.D headquarters is unfortunately a rather bland building outside of LEGO form. This model however, captures all the key elements of this building. From the cylindrical shape with its openings to the roof. Despite its simplicity, true fans of Marvel will immediately recognize this build.
Despite the majority of this model being built with just a few parts, there are no alternatives that could have a better impact than those used by Matteo here. By using a Cone Spiral Jagged part and the pearl gold color palette this simple model clearly captures the aesthetic of Asgard properly. The modern vibe of this location is captured through the variety of pieces that are used in this mini build, with transparent light blue capturing the water that surrounds the central tower. The contrasts of the two colors that are used here really complement each other and accentuate the design.
Titan with Milano and Q-Ship
The bright orange and blue of Star-Lord’s Milano ship immediately stands out here. Built on the barren wasteland of the planet Titan this mini build depicts the Milano flying away from an approaching Q-Ship. Both ships are immediately recognizable, with both made creatively with such a variety of parts to bring out a great overall look. The only criticism here is scale. With the Milano being almost as large as the Q-Ship behind it there can be some confusion at first glance. If this was built to scale however the Q-Ship could be as large as the entire skyline, so some creative liberty was needed when looking at scale.
The final of the Avengers builds is Wakanda under its shield dome. The use of a trans-clear dome windshield to create the shield was very creatively done, and adds a very important touch to the build. The use of trans-purple highlights the city’s reliance on Vibranium and despite not being immediately recognizable on its own, when placed beside other Marvel builds it is immediately recognizable. Fitting everything in the dome must have been a challenge. Despite that, no details are lost and no corners are cut. You can even see small details like the talon fighter in the model.
Thanks Matteo for allowing us to cover his wonderful builds and get some insight into his creative mind. If you want to follow his wonderful creations follow him on Instagram or Flickr. If you wish to build any for yourself go check out his instructions at Rebrickable and support this great content creator! Have any thoughts or ideas for what you would like to see Matteo build? If so, post a comment or let him know and maybe your ideas will become reality.
In addition to allowing me to share some of his amazing builds with you, Matteo agreed to an interview with Brick Architect! We’ll learn more about his approach to designing new models, the challenges he faces along the way, and tips and techniques when building at a micro scale. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter—we’ll let you know when the interview has been published.
Photos in this article by Matteo Mobili unless otherwise noted.
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