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Lilsniffs

Help with making something dark and gritty

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I'm not sure where this would go, but I need some help.

I'm trying to make an alleyway that's dark and gritty, with brick buildings on each side. However, plain red bricks on each side don't look how I want it too. I tried using light gray pieces in between the red bricks to replicate the adhesive between bricks in real life, but it seems weird still.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to solve this situation?

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There are a few different things you could do.

Firstly, you could scrap the red altogether. The bright, primary red that is the normal LEGO red will always look pretty cheery. If you have your heart set on red, switch it to dark red for a darker feel.

Add subtle details like fire escapes, trash bins, dumpsters, or snot in the walls to make it seem more alley-like. 1x1 round plates make good debris and stones.

If you're photographing it, place your lights creatively and don't go for a bright look. It has to be well-lit, but well-lit does not mean bright, well-lit just means lit creatively so that the viewers can see what you want them to see.

I hope these suggestions might be helpful.

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Dark red might be preferable to regular red, but I'm sure if you had enough of it you'd have thought of that yourself. And depending on how big the walls in question are, buying dark red parts could get expensive.

Reddish brown could possibly work, but again I'm sure you've thought of that.

For the "grittiness" aspect, one thing I've seen done effectively is using a variety of colors, so that some of the parts look discolored or faded. For bricks, I'd start with either reddish brown, dark red, or dark orange, and then choose some other colors that look similar. Reddish brown and dark red together might work, in fact, if your collection supports that. Another advantage of this style is you only need a fraction of the wall pieces you need in any one color.

A hint: some of the best work I've seen with this style has used out-of-date colors along with their modern counterparts. The only real option for a brick wall in that regard would be reddish brown and old brown (officially known as Earth Orange, though it's just listed as Brown on most AFOL sites). But you might also come up with something strategic by alternating the gray colors you use for mortar.

That's all I can think of, honestly. But I'm not much of a visual thinker, so it's probably best to get some more input before deciding on a course of action.

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Use dark red or brown, and in as the ground, use dark grey or black. Just use darker colours in general :classic:

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The main problem with changing the colors is the fact I'm designing it in LDD and then buying it... thanks for giving me some ideas, though.

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Not to self-promote, but I've done a couple of these gritty-city MOCs recently, and experienced the same red-is-too-bright problem. I found a blend of dark red, old and new brown and normal red worked well, providing it was mixed with texture, such as log bricks and tiles-with-headlights. I can imagine old dark grey (and possible bley) and dark tan being good accents to change the tone slightly.

As for add-ons, bins, newspapers, litter, bollards, tramps, graffiti, drains, drainpipes, barbed wire, CCTV, chains, grills, broken windows/paving stones, random stains...

1inthecloseddownmarket3.jpg

welle1.jpg

1268504798m_DISPLAY.jpg

This picture from the Brick Testament also springs to mind -

4424478483_23eef901b4_o.jpg

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Thanks, SlyOwl, your MOCs gave me some ideas. I tried going for something similar to yours, but couldn't get it to work, so I made this. I'm not the best Lego designer, but here it goes!

gritty.png

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for mortar, you can use (non universe mode) the last brick color available on most bricks, which is kind of a cream, it has a nice aged look. also, for the bricks themselves, i'd alternate between dark brown, orange, red and dark grey, put them all over, I'd also use a combination of 4118793_8.jpg as your whole wall or in places with 4539090_8.jpg and other earthy colors as the brick face.

The bottom of 4118793_8.jpg will show through and appear like aged mortar. the flat plates in either orange, that dark red or brown will look good and break up the color. These days it's easier to get bricks to look uniform and walls built with motley bricks tend to look old.

Edited by Randal

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