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What do you use as the base for your mega cities?

We've gone a little crazy at our house and have now dedicated an entire room to building our Lego City. We have about 8 of the city buildings and 4 of the constructor houses, as well as the cargo train that surrounds the city. We need to know what to use as the base -- is there something that we can use underneath the whole city? We want to make it cohesive, like an actual city, not just a house dumped here, and a garage dumped there...we want a shoreline, a forest, etc.

How have you all tackled this problem? I suppose we could put a ton of plates together, but the plates are so small, it would take 50 - 100 of them. The room is probably 200 sf. We bought so many tracks that the train goes around the entire perimeter :), but then everything else is just dumped around. Any ideas on how to tie it all together?

Ideally we could find a giant Lego roll out mat, but that doesn't exist!


  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,555
    edited February 2013
    If you don't want to use plates or baseboards, then how about a large MDF board and paint it. If you have a router and the board is thick enough, then you can cut out spaces in it one plate deep, and sink plates in to these holes for building on. Otherwise, just stand the buildings where you want them.
  • lilmonster777lilmonster777 Member Posts: 53
    Take your time and use LEGO,when you can afford road plates grass plates them
    I've been working on my city for 5 years,i started with painted wood {for roads etc} but it dosen't look right in my view :)
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,555
    ^ It doesn't look quite right, but you still need something flat to put the plates on anyway. So you might as well start with a large board anyway.

    Also lego do something similar for their toy fair displays ...

  • rolvtdrolvtd Member Posts: 52
    @lilmonster777 - Is that city....on the floor? How in the heck to you get to it (for adjustments, etc)?
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    I'm sorry, all I can think about is 200 square foot!

    Oh, and base plates all the way for me.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Member Posts: 4,270
    ^ it sounds a lot, but it's only about 14ft x 14ft, about the size of my living room. Still very nice if you've got that amount of space to dedicate to Lego, but not as huge as you might think to start with.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    ^ my bad, I read it as 200ft x 200ft !!
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Member Posts: 4,270
    ^ that's the size of a small to medium-size supermarket!
  • lilmonster777lilmonster777 Member Posts: 53
    @rolvdt i step over the mine onto the airport take one big step over the parking garage onto the street then another step puts me on the water.
    from the water i can reach most of the back part of the city,if there's a part of the city i just can't reach i make my 5 year old shimmy down the street,this works pretty good but every once in a while he goes king kong :(
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,548
    ^ clearly you are in need of pedestrian crossings! lol. :o)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,756
    For starters I'd strongly advise against putting your layout on the floor - it'll be back-breaking if you intend on spending any reasonable amount of time working on it, people will tread on it etc. etc.. I bought a few identical, very basic but sturdy pine tables, pushed them together, and I'm using those as a base.

    The easiest bet would then be to use LEGO road plates and base plates to map out your city. Not cheap, but you don't have to buy them all at once and it means that everything you build will stay where you put it ! I'm actually going with brick-built roads in mine, but that's a whole other story.....

    Have fun !

  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    edited February 2013
    ^^ you need the roads with the green edges :) ... nice layout by the way, gret to see loads of sets together, especially love the old coastguard chopper.

    The lightest board is corrugated clear plastic of the type that lean-to garage rooves are made of. It's more expensive but the light weight is a real benefit.

    Double sided sticky velcro works on the back of the baseplates to hold them in position.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258

    ^ that's the size of a small to medium-size supermarket!

    Hence my initial reaction!

  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    Our layout is built of 2x4 legs and supports, topped by particle board then streets, grass, dirt, and water are either hand painted or sponge painted. Somewhere on the forums I posted several pictures. If I can find them I'll post a link.
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