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Piandao's Courtyard
The pagoda and courtyard of Piandao's palace, from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
About this creation
Still on my Avatar kick. This started as a design exercise, to do something at a much larger scale than I'd worked at before. I deliberately kept most of the construction studs-up to help me get my mind around the project. I never intended to actually build this but I tested all of the design elements I wasn't sure about in real bricks. Still, it wouldn't surprise me if I made a mistake someplace. I started with the mosaic and let that dictate the size of the rest of the model. There are a few places where I think I messed up on the scale, but oh well.

I had to make a lot of compromises on the layout of the pagoda, and on the roof. In the show, the building is only ever shown from one angle, and I couldn't make things work quite the way they were drawn.

The mosaic was a challenge because it is never shown clearly in the show. Every shot where it appears, it's shown from a really low angle, cropped, and obstructed by actors. I think I got pretty close, but I'd love a piece of production art to prove me wrong.

I couldn't get the same level of detail on the windows as what is seen in the source art at this scale, so I went for something that looked good and didn't feel out of place.

The lion-turtle statues were tough. There's a lot of detail on them, and they're pretty small here. I'm not happy with the head, but I don't think I can improve it anymore.

The front entrance of the pagoda is never show in the show, so I doubt any production art actually exists. I sure couldn't find any, but I needed something to be there, so I used it as an excuse to try a few things I've not done before. I am exceedingly happy with the arch and the shrine, not so much the tree. Fans of the show had better recognize the design on the front door, or they don't deserve to call themselves fans :P.

This ultimately weighed in at just over 30,000 pieces (that could probably be cut down a thousand or so with more efficient engineering, I went overboard with support columns I think), 224 x 176 studs. There's no interior. I thought about it, but it wouldn't be canon and I had enough trouble working through the size of the model. I was careful to use pieces in existing colors, but I didn't give consideration to rarity.

This was done about 2/3 in LDD, 1/3 in MLCAD. I posted LDD versions of the model on Brickshelf. The compiled file needs a fair amount of RAM to open, but it will open.


 I like it 
  June 27, 2011
Sokka's Master is one of my favourite episodes and this is very accurate version of Piandao's Courtyard. Good job!
 I like it 
  June 3, 2011
Wow! Exelent"!... hola! I need a block of a Pagoda in autocad, either 2 or 3D. No way I can dowload tis?
 I like it 
  May 22, 2011
whaow!! you must have spend lots of time on it!!!
  October 20, 2010
This is awesome but what is MLCAD?
 I like it 
  September 29, 2010
Beautifull, nice mosaic too.....
 I like it 
  September 27, 2010
The most detail i've ever seen. Chinese buildings are usually tough to build but you hit it spot on. LEGO could really learn from you!
affliction .
 I like it 
Nicks Bricks
  September 26, 2010
This is great, nice job with the LDD~Nick
 I like it 
  September 26, 2010
Looks exactly like some of the temples I saw in China. =)
 I made it 
  September 26, 2010
Quoting Hank Hansen I would call you a nerd because you went through all the trouble of watching that episode again and again to see all the details but this is beyond words.
I went through the trouble of going through certain parts of that episode frame by frame, then adjusting the brightness and color settings on screenshots to make sure I wasn't missing any details. Go ahead and call me a nerd, it's OK :P
 I like it 
  September 26, 2010
I would call you a nerd because you went through all the trouble of watching that episode again and again to see all the details but this is beyond words.
 I like it 
  September 26, 2010
Wow this is really epic! How much time did this take?? Keep up the great work! Greets, Jelle
 I like it 
  September 26, 2010
Very good job, outstanding work
 I like it 
  September 26, 2010
WOW. This is really a model to be proud of. Capturing all that detail is incredibly difficult, yet you make it look so easy. Keep it coming! -Drew
  September 26, 2010
I would love to see it in real bricks. But with 30,000 elements I can understand why it is only in LDD.
By affliction .
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