Types and Styles of LEGO City
There are several types of towns that we typically see when people post pics of their creations:
- "Lego-Set" style - includes many official Lego Town/City sets and other buildings in the same style: heavily compressed, open on at least one side for play access, often no stairs or other access to upper floors. This style has the advantage that it uses fewer bricks per building, and it's great where kids will play with your town.
Example: Sunder City
- "Futuristic / Fantasy" style - uses normal town pieces and pieces from other themes in creative ways to form buildings and scenes which fit outside the "real world". These might be underwater, in space, or planet-bound in some future time or parallel universe.
Example: Brad Hamilton's Bricktopia
- "Realistic" style - very detailed models which are as realistic as possible within the limits of scale. Scale is usually to match minifigs rather than the larger scale used in the Minilands at Legoland parks. Often used by train clubs to make towns for their exhibition layouts.
Example: Kevin Wilson's City Block diorama
- "Fabuland" style - uses the old Fabuland figures and sets, or the newer Mickey Mouse sets which use many of the same distinctive pieces. Buildings and scenes are often "cartoon-y" or humorous.
Example: Sheree Rosenkrantz's Fabuworld
There are plenty of towns which mix styles, or where buildings settle somewhere between the styles described. Parts from one style like Fabuland can often be used creatively in other styles.
People also build their towns at different scales:
- Minifig scale - scaled to fit minifigs so that doors are 5 or 6 bricks high and ceiling heights are usually 6-7 bricks (depending on the size of the building). Cars are usually 4 studs wide to fit on the standard Lego road plates, but large vehicles may grow to 5, 6 or 7 studs wide. Matches the scale of Lego trains, either 6 or 8 studs wide. (See Realistic, Lego Set and Fantasy style examples above)
- Classic Town scale - dates from the pre-minifig era when doors were 3 bricks high and two wide, and there was a variety of larger and smaller window sizes (see Gary Istok's "History of Lego" series for more details on classic windows). People can be represented by 1x1 round bricks: stacked 2 high for an adult, used singly for children.
Example: Gary Istok's buildings, of which one is featured here in the old Ancient Theme contest from 1998: Classical Museum
- Microfig scale - buildings are tiny, maybe only one or two bricks, and a town can fit on a single baseplate. This scale allows you to create a whole town without getting hung up on details of individual buildings.
- Technic/Belville scale - uses the figures from these themes, which are about 3" high, and scales buildings to fit them. Not common because there are no ready-made doors and windows for this scale, and the large buildings need lots of bricks.
- Miniland scale - as used in the incredibly detailed towns in Legoland parks. Not much used by fans because it takes a gargantuan number of bricks.
Example: Legoland Windsor
Whatever style or scale you pick, your town can be as creative as you want to make it.