Smolny Cathedral . SMOLNY CATHEDRAL
Located in St. Petersburg, Russia and created by the same architect who redesigned the Winter Palace --Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli -- Smolny Convent and Smolny Cathedral were originally designed to house Elizabeth; who wished to become a nun after being denied the throne. After Ivan VI was otherthrown, she quickly decided against such action and instead became seated on the Russian throne. She fully supported the continuation of the Convent until her death in 1762.
Her successor did not like the Baroque style, and all subsequent funding was immediately halted. Though there was a grand bell tower planned for the Convent, it was never to be. In fact the interior of Smolny Cathedral was left unfinished until 1835. In 1923 Soviet Authorities closed down the convent where it lay in near ruins until 1982. Today the Cathedral serves as a concert hall, while the outer buildings are mainly used by government offices.
Here I have built a likeness of the Cathedral using an estimated 20,000-30,000 LEGO bricks. This design has taken me nearly a year to complete from concept to final assembly. It has traveled over 1700 miles from Prescott Valley, Arizona to be here today for Brickworld and your enjoyment.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. However, please refrain from asking me how much I spent on the LEGO in front of my wife. She’s a bit touchy on that subject. ;)
Heath Flor . I slaved away for an entire year, spent most of my savings, and drove my wife crazy with this build I presented at Brickworld last week. Smolny Cathedral sits at 5' long, 3.5' wide, and a little over 4' high which make it by far my largest MOC ever! I was nominated for best Mega Creation, but lost to a ginormous mining build with 4 trains, massive amounts of rock work and a lagoon with a nasty serpent!
The best part was the praise I got from my friends in my LUG: VirtuaLUG. If you haven't heard of us yet....you will. This was only our second official show, and we have some great surprises coming up in the future. Many of which will be from yours truly. ;)
For those who say I don't build....you're wrong. It just takes me longer. :P
One thing I really wanted to nail was the window work. I was very pleased with the results, and got quite a few compliments from builders I highly respect.
Another thing I wanted to do was not build on a base plate, which is something Mark Larson sparked as an idea for me during Brickworld last year.
Everyone asks, why Medium blue? (Yes it's medium...trust me, I've ordered enough to kill someone this last year!) Well I mistakenly told folks during Brickworld I had wanted to build the Winter Palace which is medium blue....that was an error. I meant to say Catherine Palace. Oh well....a bunch of folks must think I was pulling their legs now. LMAO
I had quite a few problems with the roof. The tables weren't straight, and for whatever reason I ended up half a stud off on one side....it was really weird actually, since everything was cool when it sat in my garage. The dome was also leaning, which really was a head scratcher for me. I fought it all day Thursday with Josh IscreamClone, Dave Kaleta, and Tyler Halliwell before I went and got hammered and called it a night around 4 in the morning.
I woke up at 8 with a vengeance....I couldn't let it stand. Armed with a red bull and Pepsi, Tyler helped me to pull the dome back out, and I meticulously rebuilt the roof in a couple hours after shimming the dome support and pulling off a layer of brick. By noon I was done, and ready to help out the rest of the LUG. One side was still half a stud off, so the only thing I could do was close it up and call it good.
ElBarto helped me with the photo editing, because I'm horrible at it! Thanks buddy!
As a bonus, here are some WIP shots I took along the way.
Here are a few of my templates I built up to ensure I was building everything within spec. A few changes were made along the way.
I built up one side a little bit to get a feeling for the size.
Here I am trying to finish up the outline in December.
Mister Bones hinted at putting it on plywood for easy mobility....thanks for the tip!
Here you see the quarter sections being sized up. I was actually one stud off in the rear and had to take a full weekend to redesign. Also I originally planned on doing the lower base in Dark Bley, but the wife thought the Dark red not only matched the photo better, but looked better as well. She was right....of course!
It was tough to keep the momentum of the build going because I needed so many parts, so I worked on it one quarter section at a time until I either finished or ran out of parts.
Here I'm putting the perimeter together to check fit, make sure there's no color mismatches, etc. I had only a couple of changes to make, so I was very pleased at this point. Notice the beer bottle for scale.
Here I'm just barely starting on the dome, and trying to get an idea of how many plates I needed for the roof....answer: A LOT!!!!
I started to build ahead because I was quickly running out of time and still running out of parts! This was in MAY!!!
Of course I had a little help from my friends.....and LOTS of booze!
Well, there you go....the reason I haven't been posting in a year. I dedicated all of my time to this build to make sure it came out the way I envisioned...and it worked! What's next??? Who knows.....but I just hope it's as fun as this was!