LEGO Perot Museum of Science and Nature

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I’ve been hinting since May with teaser pics and building tips for two months. And now the final model can be revealed. :)

Museum and me 1

This is a replica of the Perot Museum of Science and Nature which is currently in construction in Dallas, Texas.

My LEGO version is now on display through August 28th at Dallas CityScape at the current Museum of Science and Nature, 3535 Grand Avenue and 1318 S. 2nd Avenue in Fair Park, Dallas, Texas.

This model is one of the largest I’ve built as a freelance builder. It stands 2 1/2 ft x 2 1/2 ft x 2 1/2 ft and took two months to build.

P1270559

When I first took on the job it was a deceptively simple project. I mean, it is basically a big cube after all. But what I didn’t anticipate when I first looked at the blueprints and rendered images that I found online was that because of the large glass windows on the one corner of the building I would have to build an entire interior facade with multiple floors and angled walkways.

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Now I have to admit, there was some cutting and “cheating” involved in creating these walkways. I was going for more accuracy than LEGO purism for this model. I also used a few minifigs as models so that they could “use” all the walkways.

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There was also the problem with a third of the second floor “floating” which I mentioned in Building Bracing 101. Both the walkways and the curved roof were engineering problems I had to solve to make the model work.

As with most of my architectural models I made LEGO “blueprints” for the entire building. This building had 5 floors, half floors with the stairways, a roof, I also had to the corner interiors for where the glass was, as well as the exterior walls for all 4 sides. The blueprints alone took 2 weeks to create!

This was one of the blueprints I used:

Building Tip: LEGO blueprints are an important step that I often employ when building a real building. It takes a lot less time to erase a few lines than build, un-build and then rebuild a model, especially one this big. I also create prototypes for trickier sections that can’t be planned as easily on paper.

Here’s a prototype of the glass roof:
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Here’s the final result:
P1270522And no, its not easy to add a pattern like the white lines to a double angled section. :D

For those who are wondering, there is plastic saran wrap on dividing the bottom section and the top section. The plastic wrap helps to keep glue from getting where I don’t want it to go. ;)

I had to make the model in two sections, three if you count the removable angled escalator, because this model had to be able to go through a standard door. At 30 inches wide (2 grey baseplates) the building could not fit unless it was in two sections that could be then turned sideways to get through a door. That is also the reason for the very visible seam on the model. All glued models slightly warp as the glue dries and it is very difficult to not have two separate parts warp at different rates on such a large model. It is a necessary evil when created a glued model.

You can see many, many more photos of my building in all stages of construction on my Flickr photostream set

It was an exhausting (literally) and challenging model to build. In fact, because of all the engineering it was the most difficult building I’ve ever built. I’m not complaining mind you, I love working on big models. Every time I make one it reminds me that I can do it. ;)

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One Response to “LEGO Perot Museum of Science and Nature”

  1. sweener Says:

    Awesome! Nice work Mariann!

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