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Hello all!

 

I have begun planning for a MOC I am making in my goal to create a realistic depiction of a bustling metropolis city, heavily influenced by New York City. It would be a police station! I am not an experienced builder (as in I have never made a modular MOC before), and I thought the best way to come up with a design was to lay out my options, by scouting around the Internet for other existing MOCs are real precincts in NYC. However, I have noticed many of these Police Station MOCs are just "big grey boxes" (I don't mean this in a mean way, but they are largely grey and they are very rectangular), and the real precincts are decrepit, brick boxes! 

I want my station to look nice, have texture, etc. etc., but I don't want it to be just one big box. The coolest station I saw so far was this French Police Station (I forget the guy's name, but I believe he posted this on Flickr; his name was French too), but the problem is that its architecture is obviously French in nature, and would look odd in my American city.

I have come here for advice. Specifically, how do I make my station look "nice" (i.e. doesn't look like a City set, it has texture, it looks like the great MOCs I always see here on Eurobricks!) and realistic without it looking like one big grey box? Any ideas for sources, or any existing MOCs you really like that fit my criteria (Urban, American Police Station)? 

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You can also try to start with building just a residential house (a townhouse in your case since you want to build a NYC-like city). What I found when doing my first modular is that making modular buildings is not easy, there are a lot of aspects to them that you need to learn experimentally during the building process, which can quickly become overwhelming. This is just what I discovered from personal experience. The examples posted above are great and I'm pretty sure those are not the first buildings that those creators made. So I would start simple and then ramp up and maybe try to avoid looking too much at how other people build them. What worked for me is finding a couple of photos of buildings that I like and trying to recreate them with Lego, choosing what details to include and what to leave out, how to scale those details properly in the lego form and which parts to choose to depict them. I must say that I'm not a professional by any means, just sharing what I discovered works for me.

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10 hours ago, zux said:

One of the ways building a realistic looking building is to find one build in real and then just adapt it with your vision of Police Station. 

Here are some examples I found on Flickr:

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

Example 5

Example 6 (Hospital in this case)

French Police Station you've mentioned is probably this.

Thank you for the examples! And yes, that was the French Police Station!

 

9 hours ago, meliander said:

You can also try to start with building just a residential house (a townhouse in your case since you want to build a NYC-like city). What I found when doing my first modular is that making modular buildings is not easy, there are a lot of aspects to them that you need to learn experimentally during the building process, which can quickly become overwhelming. This is just what I discovered from personal experience. The examples posted above are great and I'm pretty sure those are not the first buildings that those creators made. So I would start simple and then ramp up and maybe try to avoid looking too much at how other people build them. What worked for me is finding a couple of photos of buildings that I like and trying to recreate them with Lego, choosing what details to include and what to leave out, how to scale those details properly in the lego form and which parts to choose to depict them. I must say that I'm not a professional by any means, just sharing what I discovered works for me.

Thank you for the advice! My project is quit ambitious, as I am trying to make a brick-elevated subway underneath the whole city (and if it can't support it, I'll add wood or something). So, you're probably right, I should start with something else. A brownstone is iconic, so I could go with that. Thanks for the tips!

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Posted (edited)

You might also consider looking at real-life police stations from other cities for inspiration. When thinking of how to make an interesting-looking police station, the police headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts came to mind as a more modern example:

HQ.jpg?format=1500w

Edited by Lyichir

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Interesting question! I almost built a police station a couple months ago myself, but it ended up becoming a bank :wink: I think all in all, going with the typical downtown look is the direction to do. Brick walls, like 10246 Detective's Office would work well. With a couple of typical police-station-features added, like cameras, barred windows on the ground floor, a sign, streetlights - things like that. Maybe an entrance gate to a car park as well. Lots of possibilities to let it stick out a bit. An alternative to the brick wall would be some colour-coding. White/blue, for example, or whatever the local police colours are. 

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This is the Montgomery County Police Department here in the state of Maryland. Wanna build something that's not bland. Take influence from the design. Sorta reminds me of the police station in Lego City Adventures. 

3DStation.pngOtherwise, if you want simplicity but tasteful, I'd try to find old ones on eBay and/or Bricklink or go for the one in this year's brick box. 

60270_alt1.jpg

18 hours ago, zux said:

One of the ways building a realistic looking building is to find one build in real and then just adapt it with your vision of Police Station. 

Here are some examples I found on Flickr:

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

Example 5

Example 6 (Hospital in this case)

French Police Station you've mentioned is probably this.

I liked example 4 the best. 

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Consider some kind of story for your city. (Alien Invasion, zombie apocalypse, Seasme Street attacks!)

Then, adapt the architecture and people to that story.

I'd love to see Godzilla Vs. One Police Plaza.

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