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Monochrome Minifigure Display

Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
edited May 8 in Building and Techniques
I have become somewhat (well actually, considerably) addicted to designing and building LEGO displays. I designed and built a LEGO periodic table of elements for my daughter a couple years ago for her college graduation (see attached image). I now want to work on a monochrome minifigure display using a 48x48 gray baseplate with a layer of tiles on top to provide a background design of some sort.

The planned layout of the 48-figure display is as shown in the second attached image below. I know the background design shouldn't distract or overwhelm the minifigures themselves, so I'm trying to determine whether I should just use a solid black or dark bluish gray background OR something a little more colorful. Since I am not artistically gifted, I thought I would put it on the forum to see what ideas other more artistically gifted people might have for the tile layout. There may be other ways to layout the minifigures based on their color. The minifigs with speckles are actually custom chrome minifigs. Also, I will be building a customer frame and welcome input on the frame's color(s) too.

Anyway, feel free to provide your ideas...and thanks in advance!


FizyxdavetheoxygenmanGothamConstructionCopharmjodsnowhitie

Comments

  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 557
    I don't know that I have any insight about your monofig display, but I have to say that your periodic table of elements is quite fantastic!
    FizyxFarmer_JohnMr_Cross
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    ^Thanks...a guy that used to frequent Brickset custom engraved and painted the elements for me. My daughter grew up playing with LEGO and was quite ecstatic when she received it.
  • SparkyHamSparkyHam Bristol, UKMember Posts: 133
    My kids and I are slowly building up a collection of monofigs, and have just printed off your 48-figure plan to colour in the parts we've got! Thanks so much : )
  • MAGNINOMINISUMBRAMAGNINOMINISUMBRA Member Posts: 992
    Having seen quite a few monofig displays, my personal background preference is white.  Colour matched backgrounds tend to lose the figs and Black tends to darken the whole display (particularly with the darker colours of the palette). White brightens the colours up and the figs just seem to ‘pop’ more.
    LittleLoriFarmer_John
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    ^I see what you're saying. Do you think there will be any issues with the white turning yellow over time?
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,499
    ^I see what you're saying. Do you think there will be any issues with the white turning yellow over time?
    Possibly, and there might be issues with getting tiles that are all the same shade of white. On the other hand, shade variations could happen with almost any color other than black.
    Farmer_John
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    ^Reminds me of when I installed a few tiled floors in our house...had to make sure I purchased tiles in the same dye lot.
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,259
    Curious how you're getting along with this? I need to make a display for my figures as well.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited June 2
    @samiam391 - So...although I haven't officially started the work yet, I have got a bit crazy on the design and ordering side of things. My son is a huge Iron Man fan, so I am planning to make him a custom Iron Man display. My wife and I like Captain America, so I've been working on that as well. I'll post the plans here once they are completed.
    For the monochrome display, I have all 48 (8x6) minifigures in hand. Eleven the forty-eight will be custom chromed minifigures to make a bigger display. I still need to buff the feet on the medium lavender minifigure so it is fully monochrome...should be straightforward. I have decided (based on the recommendation from @MAGNINOMINISUMBRA ) to go with a white background. The pieces are on order from Germany and should arrive this coming week. I have also purchased oak boards to make the custom frame for the 48x48 gray baseplate for the substrate. I found a great store in D/FW to order UV-protected glass or acrylic from that is able to cut it to the exact dimensions (within 1/16" or 1.6mm).
    I will post pictures of the project as it progresses from the drawing board to the wall. ;-)
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited June 2
    @samiam391 - Here are a few shots of what I have for my design so far. I may have to adjust the clips attaching the minifigures up or down one row to best center the overall display; however, the part numbers and colors will be the same based on my current design.
    The first picture is the layout of the white 1x2 tiles on a 48x48 gray base plate including the clips to attach the minifigures. The second picture is the parts required to attach the minifigures to the background. The third picture is aforementioned attachment parts constructed without a minifigure. The forth picture is the aforementioned attachment construction with a minifigure included.
    The light-gray 2x2 tile, the dark gray 4x6 plate, and the minifigure shown here are only used for demonstration purposes. I like the clear back plate because it doesn't take away from the monochrome minifigures (also, it's the only color TLG sells). The 1x1 clips and 1x2 plate with stick that attach to the transparent back plate will be white to maximize contrast with the monochrome minifigures. I considered using a 1x2 clamp, but the 1x2 stick minimizes the depth of the display, minimizes the frame cost, and simplifies the frame's construction.
    Anyway, this is where I'm at...

    SumoLegomak0137SteveGstluxBaby_YodaLittleLoriGothamConstructionCodatsunrobbiesnowhitie
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    ^I meant to add, the technique used to attach the minifigures to the base maximizes the number of minifigures that can be displayed because it doesn't employ display stands, which tend to take up unnecessary space in the overall layout.
    SumoLegomak0137pharmjodsnowhitie
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,259
    @Farmer_John - It may be overly ambitious, but it would be neat if you could do a grey/whited out minifigure made of tiles in the background as opposed to just a completely white background. If that makes sense? 

    I have the complete collection +10 other prototype trans-neon colors that were never publicly released; so I'm trying to decide how to set mine up as well.
    SumoLego
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    @samiam391 - FYI...although I haven't checked it out on my Visio design page, it might be possible to include up to 56 minifigures (7x8 configuration) on a single 48x48 base plate if you have that many. However, I think 56 would certainly be the limit using the techniques I've shown above.
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,469
    That's quite an elaborate technique for attaching minifigures. On my "sorting board" I've been using 1x2 bricks and attaching minifigures by the holes in the back of the legs.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited June 3
    @datsunrobbie - Yeah...there are a lot of ways to attach the minifigures. Because of the "sealed" shadowbox custom frame I'm building, I want to minimize the chance I'll have to reopen the box once it's constructed. By attaching the minifgures by the back of the legs, I worry that they may eventually "lean forward" into the glass (due to temperature, vibration, etc.) and I'll have to pull the frame apart to fix them. Using stands will minimize the minifigs leaning; however, stands will also take up more display room while distracting from the minifigures themselves.
    The technique I chose attaches to the minifigure necks and hides the support directly behind the minifigure backs. This allows me to maximize the number of minifigures, provide solid support, and reduce potential maintenance issues. I think it also looks better ascetically because the minifigure's legs are dangling and their arms and body hide the connection to the back plate...they appear to be floating in space.
    That said, there are tradeoffs...the parts are certainly more expensive using my technique. Since I don't plan to take it down from the wall anytime soon, I'm okay with the additional costs.
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,259
    @datsunrobbie - Yeah...there are a lot of ways to attach the minifigures. Because of the "sealed" shadowbox custom frame I'm building, I want to minimize the chance I'll have to reopen the box once it's constructed. By attaching the minifgures by the back of the legs, I worry that they may eventually "lean forward" into the glass (due to temperature, vibration, etc.) and I'll have to pull the frame apart to fix them. Using stands will minimize the minifigs leaning; however, stands will also take up more display room while distracting from the minifigures themselves.
    The technique I chose attaches to the minifigure necks and hides the support directly behind the minifigure backs. This allows me to maximize the number of minifigures, provide solid support, and reduce potential maintenance issues. I think it also looks better ascetically because the minifigure's legs are dangling and their arms and body hide the connection to the back plate...they appear to be floating in space.
    That said, there are tradeoffs...the parts are certainly more expensive using my technique. Since I don't plan to take it down from the wall anytime soon, I'm okay with the additional costs.
    Have you found that the trans-clear clip doesn't mess up the monochrome minifigure aesthetic? I would have thought it'd "break up" the color.
    LittleLori
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited June 4
    @samiam391 - I just checked it out. The trans-clear neck clip is pretty thin, relatively see-through, and the neck of the torso assembly showing through the trans-clear neck clip is monochrome as well. The trans-clear neck clip seems to blend in nicely with the darker monochrome minifigures; however, "break up" of the color becomes more apparent as the minifigures become lighter in color as far as I can tell. I'm sure it will also become more apparent the closer one stands to the minifigure display. That said, I think it looks fine for my purposes...
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