I really admire brick built figurines, whether miniland scale or just what works for the build, I think they involve some really creative uses of simple bricks… Basically, I’m jealous and have always wanted to do my own so when I thought of building a square face with rounded corners using 1×1 modified arches, I felt my opportunity had arrived. I went for a Leia figurine first as I had an idea about how to do the hair and in ‘A New Hope’ garb, the white dress should minimize the difficulty of this first attempt.
The key was making the head work though as it required what I call ‘positive anti-stud’, that being when there are studs in an arrangement facing away from each other. I played around for a while trying to figure out how to achieve the effect in what is quite a small internal space: one attempt was to use 2×2 round plates held together with a 2M cross axle. Making sure there was a way to connect the body to the head was an additional challenge and eventually, I settled on bracket plates with technic bricks in the middle holding a cross-axle-with-stud to allow firm hold with rotation.
The body was more of a free-form build; I just pulled a large selection of what I thought I’d need in white and had at it. Let’s talk about boobs for a moment because making them out of LEGO is a challenge; the form of a female bust contains many subtle curves: how the material fits around it and hangs off it creates the final shape and form and I didn’t want it to look silly or comical. I decided to use curvy bowed brick/plates on their side but that meant I had to get all that subtlety in 3×3 studs… Hmmmmm.
I was quite pleased with my final design although setting the upper two thirds on jumper plates had left a huge space in between. Building straight across just looked like a man’s chest so I needed that change in depth to keep the feminine form. I decided it was good enough and fit the style of the build well but it wasn’t until after I started writing this that I realized how much it bugged me and that I could add the bowed plate in the middle to lessen the severity. Now I’m really happy with it as I think it does a great job of representing how the loose dress falls around the bust and down towards the waist.
The torso was a simpler matter, bricking back to fill the body, technic bricks top and bottom (turns out I don’t have a 1×2 in white but as you can’t really see it, Brick yellow will do). I tried the figure without a neck at first but didn’t like it so used a 1×2 cheese wedge to bring together and continue the angle created by the bust. Adding 1×2 to 2×2 brackets at the shoulders, I then built the arms, the exact position of the right elbow being something that took a lot of refinement. I intended Leia to have an Imperial blaster rifle but what I built first looked more like her pistol so I would need to make a decision about that at some point.
After creating a black belt with a 2×2 jumper, I was ready to build the legs. Carrie Fisher’s pose in the shot in question was quite static and I felt that bricks going straight down would look unnatural, even if it was more accurate so I gave her a wider stance to emphasize the posture and create flow in the dress. My first attempt was okay but looked like she was bending both knees the same way so a complete rebuild was in order. My second attempt was much better as I tried to focus more on how the dress would flow around the legs; where it might bend and fold. While I don’t think it’s perfect, my final design is a much better representation so I’m happy with it. I also added shoes as they are visible in the photo and the black soles compliment the belt and create a natural outline at the base.
Finally, I actually looked at an imperial rifle and set about doing a better job. I settled on a design that I think captures the feel well, even though it contains some inaccuracies.
I really enjoyed building this figurine and I think the style clearly has scope for me to do more; there’s only one question… Who next?