UNDERATED for LEGO Ideas: April 2017

Rejoice, for it’s the end of April and time for another edition of UNDERATED for LEGO Ideas. I’ve lost count of how many months I’ve been writing these posts, but it’s fulfilling.

UNDERATED for LEGO Ideas – for those who don’t know – is my effort to help promote some lesser-known LEGO Ideas projects. All of the projects featured in these posts are those I would buy if they happen to reach and pass the review stage. They also have 500 or less supporters at the time of writing, hence why I want to help give them a push.

UNDERATED happens near the end of each month, so all of the projects featured in these posts were added to LEGO Ideas during that same month.


Putting aside all the drama and distrust on my end, I wanted this month’s preamble to be on a lighter note. We can look no further than LEGO Ideas’ own feature, the 10K Club Interviews. As its name suggests, it features interviews with the owners of LEGO Ideas projects that have reached 10,000 supporters.

If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to relate to those who’ve achieved [what we perceive to be] massive success. It usually sounds like they’re talking down to us, and that their success was somehow handed to them on a designer plate. When you’re struggling to have your existence acknowledged, these people being publicly lauded feels like a kick in the teeth.

Even then, whether their stories are real or fabricated, there are things we can learn from them. What stood out for me was this particular quote from So Youn Kim, who is behind the Lego Store Modular Version:

Successful creations come from the details, which cannot be easily achieved with subjects you are not familiar with.

Long story short: it’s the difference between someone aiming to get 10,000 supporters with an IP-based project, and someone passionate about the same IP who happens to gain 10,000 supporters with a project. It might be worth me writing a post about that paradigm at some point.

What a long preamble. Let’s get to my choices for this month.

Taj Mahal by lukamull

LEGO has already released an official Taj Mahal set, but that was quite some time ago – probably during my “dark age”. It wasn’t nearly as colourful as this version by lukamull, who wants to reintroduce it at a smaller scale and incorporating more of the surroundings.

I prefer to avoid Architecture style projects in UNDERATED, as a handful have since been made by LEGO officially. However, the building techniques and colourful style of this project are significant enough. I particularly like the large trees near the front of the model, even if the building technique is considered illegal.

This is the most successful of my nominations this month, with 439 supporters behind it at the time of writing.

Tate Modern London – Microscale by Ldd_fan

Another colourful Architecture style project can be found here, as Ldd_fan recreates the famous Tate Modern museum, complete with its recent extension.

I have no idea what inspired the style of the new section of the museum, but the way it’s been designed in this microscale version is rather clever, making use of the new quarter circle tiles. There’s a good amount of detail in the refurbished power station too.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a less colourful version suddenly became an official set, but I think this version deserves a push. Only 171 other supporters seem to agree.

LEGO Niagara Falls by Pretzel829

You could argue this is yet another Architecture style project, but the use of colour in this one can’t be ignored. If you’re not impressed by the prominence of [what looks like] Medium Azure parts, the 1×2 grille tile is present with a vengeance.

Even if you don’t connect these models with Niagara Falls, these would look great on your desk. And if you don’t care for the model at all… think of all those microscale parts! Of course, you’ll have to provide your own parts if you want to include a barrel or two.

There are 120 supporters behind this project at present, so why not join them?

Dutch Windmill by johliebe

With the Old Fishing Store becoming a reality, and the upcoming Apollo-11 Saturn V set breaking the GBP 100 mark, it’s only a matter of time before we’ll see the first LEGO Ideas modular building.

Instead of just giving us a detailed building to look at, the Dutch Windmill introduces a kinetic element. Props have to be given for the use of those otherwise useless boat parts. The only concern is whether the windmill can actually be built, as the project owner wasn’t able to complete the design using [the other site’s] stud.io.

As it stands, we have exactly 200 supporters for the windmill.

That’s all for this month’s UNDERATED for LEGO Ideas; tune in at the end of May for another round of projects. In the meantime, for all you project owners: keep your head up.