Designed by yours truly and built by local elementary students for the C.S. Lewis festival in Petoskey, Michigan, this large diorama of the Narnian Castle of Cair Paravel was a whirlwind project that went from sketches to bricks in less than a month. Featuring over 7,000 elements, the model is loosely based on concept art from the 2005 "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" film, and is built in a grid format from 50 modular sections. Special thanks to the C.S. Lewis festival for this opportunity, the kids who made it happen, and my family for tremendous help sorting, invoicing, and cataloging. If you're lucky, you might even see this in person at Brickworld 2014!
About this creation
The model weighs in at 64x48 studs and has an overall height of about 1 foot. It's rare to find light tan castles, so from the moment the C.S. Lewis festival proposed the idea to me, I knew experimenting with tan and dark red would be something special.
A look at the back of the model. You can also see the seams between the modular sections in this shot. Each kid, over the course of the three week program built several of the 8x8 modular sections which were then technic-pinned together to create the castle.
A bird's eye look at the diorama and a good shot to see some of the interesting angles.
The castle keep where the four thrones of Narnia are found. And before you ask, no. Those pieces don't come in sand green. Spray paint. Gotta love it.
In all the concept art that I used designing the model, there was always a bridge spanning a ravine that led to the castle. This was the starting point in all my designs.
A waterfall of dots spilling onto a beach of cheese. Tasty!
This little fountain breaks up the monotony of the building and adds a neat little focal point.
The castle is just a little smaller than microfig scale, but the kids who built it sure did love running these guys all over the model.
The Concept Art
Concept art from the 2005 Chronicles of Narnia film was critical in developing a look for the model. Artist Henrick Tamm can be credited for nearly all of the concept art below.
An early sketch of my thoughts for the model.
A scale model of the scale model to get a feel for the geometry, color blocking, and proportions.
The completed digital design in LDD. Boy were those 50 modular sections a chore to engineer in LDD.
And this is what I wanted to do to the model about three weeks into the project.
The timeline for the project was so intense that I had to recruit some family help to sort out pieces for each of the modular sections. The dog, however, could care less.
Before we started building each week, the festival director Anne McDevitt would read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" to the kids.
The model was unveiled at the performance of "Narnia: The Musical." You can watch the short ditty I did below.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed this in-depth look at the project!
Very cool creation, Paul! Probably one of the best micro scale cities I've ever seen, haha now I'm inspired to build something in micro scale. Anyways great job designing and helping with the building because it really paid off. Oh and also it was nice to meet you at brickworld this year.
this is absolutely awesome. its mikroscale but still large size (64x48) lots of details...and 7000 pieces? wow. I did not know that microscale MOC needs so many bricks... if i could i will give to you no one like but 100 :-)
I have to say Paul that the build is great, but your engaging the kids is phenomenal. Looks like they had a wonderful time participating in this masterpiece. To bring Lego and literature together with the children is something to aspire to. You have accomplished that admirably. I am completely in awe of your work and proud that you were able to share it with us all. Thank you.
This is really quite wonderful, Paul. I'm always amazed at your work, but taking your talent and loaning it to a group of impressionable young folk makes me respect you more as a person. The Chronicles are some of my all-time favorite stories, so I could relate immediately when I read what was being represented here. The build is gorgeous, the design was well executed. I tip my cap to your talent, and to the kids that brought your design to fruition.
Hi Paul, I'm from Michigan and Petosky is a great place. I hope you picked up one of their rocks. Your castle is simply wonderful. The whole presentation is just great. The colors superb. I own so few gray slopes. I'm impressed with yours.
Wow, that is awesome... and not much else! Why did you spray paint those man? Ruining pieces! Also, I don't think that color really fits to well all the other roofs were the dark red, and it pops out as not the same to me. Super Job.
I like it
October 28, 2013
Wow! You are a master of microscale. It's hard to believe that this was put together in a month. The complex angles, the detailing, and the use of color are absolutely fantastic.
I like it
October 28, 2013
This looks fantastic! I really like what you did with the shoreline. Excellent dio.
I must say that I am thoroughly impressed with the amount of planning, preparation, and research that you were able to pull off in such a short amount of time! An impressive build with great color schemes and an impressive amount of detail! Well done!
Spectacular design, wonderful color choices, and great idea to have kids help build the model! I'm glad you were able to turn your genius with Legos into a business. This is definitely TBB-level quality!