WIP: Large model downtown city Part 3

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hey all,

This post is basically an extension of my last post adding a more detailed look into the city. I didn't want to post it in the same topic because it would just be too many pictures for people to load every time they would view it. Sorry that I am a day late, I wanted to put more in this post and I ran out of time yesterday.

Just in case, here is my "part 2" post, and also here is my "part 1" post for old times sake.


Something of an evolution, the layout has gone through so many iterations I sometimes forget where things came from. I have many drawings that were the in-between steps, and a few LDD layouts that were only testing parts, but overall there were 3 real main layouts.



This is the first layout that you might recognize if you've seen my other posts. You will see a lot of parts from here carried over to the next layout, but rest assured, I had to COMPLETELY rebuild for the next layout.



Here you can see just how much more ambitious I wanted to get. Why? Because at this point, I thought I would have a team working on this. The river is wider, the roads are no longer tiles, but SNOT, buildings are not up yet, the whole layout is narrower and longer, and...there is a large new addition: the island.

After I scrapped the team plan, I also noticed my budget a LOT more. The X-ed parts are what would eventually get cut piece by piece as the estimated cost went up. What was on the island?

-resort hotel

-beach restaurant


-2 lakeside condo buildings

-nightclub on mini-island

-gas station

-glass skyscraper

-2 shops



Here is the final layout (I am sure as hell not changing anymore!) The SNOT roads are in place, the 3 parts are cut out, and the final finishing touches to the floor plans are added. It may look like there are parts missing, but this is only so that I could get LDD to run the model, as I had to add the left, middle, and right floor sections and with such giant parts, LDD got VERY ANGRY.

Outlined is the EL-line which I am still working on, and the location of the subway insert. I say insert, because I want to have it built removable, but I have to see if I can keep the buildings above it stable when its out (most likely not).

The Buildings

Here is a quick guide to the locations of the buildings:



(sorry for the numbering. It is my personal numbering system that I set up back when I had the island and extra buildings).


(buildings with ~ symbol are ones I am unsure about, so if you have ideas, help me out :blush: )

1. old hotel

2. red/white El-line modern offices

3. opera house

4. post office

~7. electronic store (times square billboards)

~9. apartments

10. fitness center

11. offices

12. parking

13a. fancy car store

13b. fancy clothes store

14. library

~15. mall

16. tv/radio building

~17. mixed use (undetermined)

18. modern art tower

19. nightclub / bar

24. city hall

25. bank

26. federal building

27. police station

28. glass office building

29. hospital

30. skyscraper (mixed use)

31. skyscraper (mixed use)

33. market shops (8)

~40. condos

41. bar/store/apartments

~42. apartments

43. theaters

44. grand emporium (4 stories)

~45. condos

46. expensive condos

47. pizza restaurant

48. corner cafe

49. fire station

50. victorian house

51. green grocer

52. bar

~59. shipping / post

60. car repair

~61. factory

62. brewery

63. broken down apartments

64. warehouse

65. electricity hub

66. chemical plant

67. dock buildings (3)

And here are the pictures for them. I have more angles in my brickshelf when moderated.




Here is a picture of the subway insert (left):


And (right) is a picture of the inside. There are two landings on either side, and the cars are guided perfectly to them(it was on accident). There are service areas, and one "happens" to be under the bank. More pictures in brickshelf.

Here is the double-deck bridge:


And (right) you can see it in open position. I am working on a mechanism to automate it with a power functions motor, so its not in its final form.

Here is a gatehouse for some of the bridges. I don't know if it will fit yet.


Finally, here is a breakdown of one of the SNOT roads, just so you get an idea for them. (colors are for display only)



Building 30:

pieces: 13,039

weight: 24,084 grams (52 pounds)

Total Layout:

pieces: 118,678

weight: 281,668 grams (619 pounds)

Estimated Complete Total:

pieces: 150,000

weight: 350,000 grams (780 pounds)


All roads: $1,867

Lower Half: $4,327

Upper Half: $9,019

Extras (shipping, height stability, bridges, etc): $4,000-$8,000

Total Cost: $19,000-$23,000

Phase 2?:$3,166

Size: 110 (120 at center) x 237.5 inches. 78 inches tall.

buildings: 61 (counts split type buildings as 2+)

SNOT roadplates: too many (about 160)

You might be asking why? why why How I can answer: these stats include cars and population for the entire city, and you can see how big the city is. Every building has interiors (not added except for the biggest buildings, so that's where the extra 30,000 pieces will come from...that, and finishing everything). People populate the city sparingly (for my sanity, or what is left of it), and every street "area" has 1 or 2 cars to keep it looking "busy". I'm having anyone who wants to build cars help me, so that takes a bit of load off.

If anyone wants to give me free-bee car LDD models I'll take a look and see if they fit with the style. All cars are about 6 studs wide, with 8 studs acceptable for large vehicles.

You might ask why I chose the scale I did, and it took me a while to decide. I managed to figure that the size of the corner cafe buildings were about 1/4 of a real building roughly. I then took a real building in Chicago that I modeled my tallest building after and counted the floors (from a semi-distant view I might add, so it wasn't easy :tongue: ). I had set my tallest building at the exact height of 69 inches (now taller actually) so that it would fit where I build it (it was originally that height because I wanted it to be 19 floors). At 76 floors, the real building divided easily to 4 times the number of floors my building had.

So...the 1/4th rule. Buildings would be roughly 1/4th the number of floors that the real buildings they are modeled after, and 1/4th the width and length, with 1/4th the number of windows. I later added a couple floors to many buildings as they just looked too short. Go math!

Like I said in my previous posts, if anyone wants pics or specific LXF files (aka, not whole sections or layouts) just ask!

I will try and get flickr stuff up and out, but I'm getting pretty busy lately.

Now to get to work on FINALIZING! once the first "area" is done I can do a real estimate of price, adjust the entire build if there is a problem, and build it IN REAL LIFE!!

If anyone knows of any great/cheap large scale piece shops, please let me in on it :sweet:

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Once again - a fantastic project. And by far the largest LDD MOC ever. You are hereby the official LDDULSMD champ - Lego Digital Designer Ultra Large Scale MOC Designer :classic:

I guess I only have one tiny, humble comment. I was wondering about the Café Corner sets. Since everything else is your own creations, is there a reason why those official sets are in there?

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I like the bridge and the subway station roof design! I wish we could play a multiplayer game that used a s city like this, simillar to LU, but with all structures from lego! Your city would be IS a grand one!

Edited by Zblj

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LDDULSMD, well that's a mouth full. I like it!

I have to answer quickly, because the cafe corner buildings were bothering me too once I started seeing all the buildings I was going to build. At first I just wanted to save time and money. Then they stayed there because the buildings were numbered that way. By the time I got to building that section, I just really wanted to get the visual concept done so I could start building the tables, so I threw them in there.

Then I got to thinking, just like you, why are they in there if everything else is my own creation? Could that be a problem even? It not only seems weird, but its like a big sore thumb of laziness sticking out, after all the effort I put into everything else.

So, I'm thinking to still save money, I might use the same pieces and maybe the same purpose for each building, but rebuild them in my own style. Or swap pieces or something. But I'm definitely not keeping them as their official sets.

Short answer: to save me $1,000.

Oh, I forgot to mention: every building is built with separating floors like corner cafe buildings. I'm tempted to make the tallest buildings crack open (hinge) instead to make them more sturdy, but that is questionable if it can work.

Also, all taller buildings will have hand cranking working elevators. The biggest one has 3.

And, I left a bunch of easter eggs that I didn't mention (just features I didn't point out).

Finally, I'm trying to figure out if I can put lights throughout cheaply without having to drill holes in anything. Thankfully, all the building are built on-top of a technic base for stability, so cost is the real issue.

Thank you again everyone!

Oh, and I'd love a game with all Lego structures. The best would be like the legolands built into games!

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That's amazing! I love all of the buildings you've got so far, and I can't wait to see how you pull this off. Be sure to tell us where it'll be displayed once you've got that figured out.

If you're interested in me designing some cars and trucks, PM me with specifics. I'd love to help out.

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Wow. #31 is the best modern building MOC I've ever seen, let alone LDD. I am impressed. If I were you, I'd rather not make interiors, considering they be only barely visible.

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Wow. #31 is the best modern building MOC I've ever seen, let alone LDD. I am impressed. If I were you, I'd rather not make interiors, considering they be only barely visible.

My personal favorites are 29 and 30. Some of the other ones are pretty outstanding too.

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Can't wait to drive through it in a virtual car!!

Also, would be cool if other people could add to it to make the city bigger.

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First off, congrats to being my first post. I've just recently gotten back in to LEGOs since being a kid (quite a few moons ago :wink: ) and I've been surfing the MOC sites, Flikr, etc. looking for ideas and inspiration for stuff I can now build with my kids. (To keep a fight from happening, I told the ex-wife I was spending the money to buy LEGOs for the kids to have something to play with at my house, but let's face it we all bought this stuff for ourselves and just ALLOW our kids to play with some of it! :laugh: ) I have chosen this to be my first post on any of the MOC sites where I'm commenting on someone else's build.

With that said, oh my god...I can't beleive this MOC!! The sheer size of this thing is enormouse. I'd love to be able to get a closer look at some of it and even see pics if you have started the build process. Heck, if my building skills in LDD get good enough and detailed enough to meet your stringent quality standards I'd even love to maybe contribute an LDD building, vehicle or two.

Like I said, truly!!

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:blush: Oh my, thank you! And welcome to eurobricks! This really is one of the nicest communities (I even did s study on it), and we are all glad you are here. You can introduce yourself here, and trust me when I say the Adult Lego fan community is an addicting, welcoming, and fun group.

I really do feel honored to be your first post (especially seeing some of the unbelievable MOCs other people have made). I'd love to add any vehicle, and for sure need all the help I can get! Unfortunately, since the design of the city is pretty set, I can't add anyone's buildings. But there is one building that is not finished at all, and I have yet to re-make the official Lego corner cafe style buildings, so I might open that up to people.

As for pictures and looking, I am hoping to get this done in time to display it at the 2012 BrickWorld (which is the closest event for me; by Chicago). Yes that is a long time away, but I don't know how long it will take to get enough money for this, and that is the main constraint (I could always sell my car :laugh:).

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UPDATE: Looks like I overestimated my model originally. It was at a total of 118,678. Actually, it was supposed to be 113,718 (I saved 5,000 :sweet: )

But my current total with all fully finished models is at 159,513 (over my old estimate). Thankfully, I think I can safely manage a total of 200,000 pieces with an average price of $0.13 per piece.

So, I have 40,000 pieces to finish 10 sections of the model. I finished section 1, and it added 25,000 pieces (5,000 from the subway). If I go at this rate, 91,000 MORE PIECES!! way over....

I need to trim 51,000 pieces somehow. Any ideas?

One idea is to build the tables higher, but it gets complicated with the river, lower roads, etc

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If your city is supposed to be downtown Chicago, Illinois USA, I would trim off some of the outer, low-rise blocks that are not as interesting as the "high rise" blocks. Your IMAGINATION has no limits, but how big is your wallet? :look:

I downloaded your Building 29 (City Hospital) LDD .lxf file yesterday, and it loaded up on my Windows Vista Home Premium software in about 45 seconds. The problem is that it's been trying to create a "Building Guide" for 24 hours now, and it's still not finished! *oh2* My computer did not crash, but I don't know if it can finish its calculations. I'm going to let it run a little longer....

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Well done alienwar9. I have seen your project only now and i find it's very very amazing and so much detailed: i hope you can realized it soon.

My personal experience with LDD is that over about 5.000 pieces is almost impossible generate a building guide, even with a powerful pc.

Do you have encountered the same problem or don't use guide at all?

The building I like more is 3 Opera House and also 4 Post office: it possible to have lxf files?

Excuse me for my poor english but i write seldom and I don't want everytime call my daughter to check the text.


Don't sell your car, try to win the lottery rather

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