It's a small world.

Even before seeing the miniature globe at LEGOLAND, California, I had thought that it would be cool to construct a model of the Earth from plastic bricks. The sphere at the theme park used yellow bricks for land so as to contrast better with the blue water.

I preferred to use green, and while the contrast is not quite as high, I still like the results. My globe is also larger (mine is 48 studs in diameter -- 40 bricks high). A keen eye will notice that my sphere is modelled differently, and to be fair, LEGO's is actually a bit more sphere-like. My sphere basically uses smaller and smaller concentric rings or cylinders centered about the North/South axis. The LEGO Company's uses concentric rings that grow from all six 'poles' (up, down, right, left, front, back). Not only is this design more difficult to build, it requires many plate pieces (1/3 height) in order to be most effective.

I do not have access to that many green plates [frown].

All of that said, however, I am still quite happy with my LEGO Earth, and I plan to build a stand for it so that it may be rotated on a tilted axis just like a real globe you'd see in a classroom (assuming a stand proves sturdy enough to hold/spin a LEGO sphere that weighs several pounds).

Finally, before I invite you to look through the larger pictures (click on the thumbnails), I must relate a horror story about this model.

It took me about 12 hours to fashion the globe (I had an inflatable Earth/globe from which to reference). I built the Northern Hemisphere first and then, a week later, got around to constructing the Southern Hemisphere. When the two were done, I had the task of joining the two halves.

This sounds easy enough; however, meshing together numerous studs at once is actually quite difficult (the tightness on bricks really shows up when you try to press together surfaces with a total of hundreds of studs).

I placed the two halves together and literally used all of my weight to force them tight.




Finally, I had squeezed the two pieces together and an equatorial seam was barely visible.

'Man, that sure is together... it should never come apart.'

No sooner had I thought that than I realized that I had joined the hemispheres together at the wrong places (a 90-degree shift -- North Africa was joined with the lower part of Soth America)!


After pressing this globe together, I now had to prove myself wrong and actually try to get the thing back apart... get it back apart with no easy leverage points -- it is, after all, a sphere.

After prying at the equator with a pocket knife, I finally did manage to loosen the seam enough to separate the globe... but not perfectly. Pieces scattered, and some of the hemispheres stuck to the wrong halves.

It took me another hour just to carefully reconstruct the hemispheres and then join them properly.

What fun.


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