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  1. #1

    • Joe Flowers
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    Lego Mickey Mouse Mosaic - with photos

    Not sure if this is the right forum or not, but I wanted to share this.


    I had wanted to make some sort of Lego mosaic for a while now, but I couldn't figure out what kind of source picture I wanted to use. Whenever I tried it with people, the colors just looked pretty far off unless you did black and white. That's when I started looking at cartoons. My wife's office is full of Disney paintings we've done, so I knew she'd probably like a Lego Mickey mosaic. I found this source picture online titled "Mickey Salutes America" and decided it would be the perfect picture to make a mosaic out of.


    I used a program called Mosaic Creator to generate the mosaic. For the input pictures, I used the color swatches of the Lego Bricks and set the output cell size as 1x1. For the total output size, I based it on the standard Lego base plate size of 32x32, and chose an output of 96x124. Doing the math, that meant there would be 96 studs * 124 studs = 11,904 studs.
    Mosaic Creator will give an output file showing what each cell should be.
    [9,18] Light Bluish Gray.bmp
    [9,19] White.bmp
    [9,20] Medium Blue.bmp
    [9,21] Dark Bluish Gray.bmp
    [9,22] Medium Blue.bmp
    [9,23] Medium Blue.bmp
    [9,24] Dark Bluish Gray.bmp
    [9,25] Dark Bluish Gray.bmp
    [9,26] Medium Blue.bmp
    [9,27] Medium Blue.bmp
    [9,28] Medium Blue.bmp

    From there, I could have gone off and ordered 12,000 1x1 Lego bricks that were the correct color, but I wanted to take it a little further. Lego bricks certainly are not cheap, and even the cheapest 1x1 bricks are 4-5 each. Multiply that by 12,000 and you're looking at $600.00 just in 1x1 bricks. This project was starting to get a little expensive.

    I knew that while 1x1 bricks were 4-5 each, you could also find 1x2 and 2x2 bricks for about the same price. My next goal was to find where I could combine sections of the mosaic and use larger bricks. I imported the list that Mosaic Creator generated into Excel and I wrote a program that would scrub the original and replace sections of 1x1 bricks with larger bricks. In the end, I was able to make a section that looked like this to this.


    My program also told me how many bricks of each I would need to order.
    From there, I went to a great site for buying Lego bricks in bulk called Bricklink. There are multiple sellers who have their own stores with a wide variety of stock, and in some cases pretty different prices. It was a little confusing at first to navigate but eventually I was able to find all the pieces I needed. There are some power sellers there where you could buy every single brick you needed but their prices are a little higher. In the end, I placed orders with 4 separate sellers and received my bricks within a week.


    The next stop was to the Lego Store at Downtown Disney to grab some base plates. I also went to Home Depot to get some plywood to mount everything to and some glue because I knew I didn't want this coming apart.


    I read that the best glue to use to keep the Lego pieces from coming apart was a PVC glue called MEK that would slightly melt the plastic and then fuse the two pieces together. The glue came in black and clear, and while I started with the black I wasn't really happy with the results since it occasionally dripped or squished up to the surface. Also, I had read that the best way to apply it was to smear a thin layer on the base plate and then place the pieces. I found that when I did this, it melted the base plate too much, and the Lego pieces didn't fit flush next to each other. I eventually found that I liked dabbing the pieces individually on the glue brush before I placed it. This made it so there was just enough glue to hold them together, and they also snapped onto the board when they were placed.


    I used Liquid Nailz to stick the base plates to the plywood. The base plates are starting to peel away from the plywood right now, so I haven't figured out what to replace it with. Possibly double sided carpet tape. Anyway, while gluing the plates to the plywood, I had to make sure they were still spaced correctly so I placed 2x2 bricks all along the seams while I glued it down.


    Here's the work in progress. My wife and I made each 32x32 section on a different board before we transferred it to the final board.


    And here's the finished product.







    Total cost:
    • 1x1, 1x2, 2x2, 2x4 bricks including shipping = $205
    • (12) 32x32 blue Lego base plates = $60
    • Glue and plywood = $20
    • Total - $285


    Total Time:
    ~6 hours to assemble all the Legos
    not sure how many hours it took for planning, ordering, etc.

    Total Weight: 16 lbs.





    All in all, this was a really fun project.

    If anyone has anymore questions about it, let me know and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.
    Last edited by mre200200; 09-21-2010 at 06:12 PM.

  2. #2

    • sleepy lagoon
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    Re: Lego Mickey Mouse Mosaic - with photos

    Wow... cool!! That is impressive. You have inspired my son!!


  3. #3

    • Looking for Hidden Mickey
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    Re: Lego Mickey Mouse Mosaic - with photos

    Wow that cool! Great job!
    Check out my page at www.myspace.com/wheresmickey

    Check out my pin collection at www.pinpics.com. User name is WheresMickey




  4. #4

    • Member
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    Re: Lego Mickey Mouse Mosaic - with photos

    I think that is so amazing. Way cool. Where are you going to put it?

  5. #5

    • Minion
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    Re: Lego Mickey Mouse Mosaic - with photos

    Very cool!
    I want my cake back!

  6. #6

    • DisneyFan
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    Thumbs up Re: Lego Mickey Mouse Mosaic - with photos

    All I can say is amazing. Very unique and fantastic work!

  7. #7

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      MiceChat Moderator
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    Re: Lego Mickey Mouse Mosaic - with photos

    Very cool!!!
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  8. #8

    • Disappearing/Reappearing
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    Re: Lego Mickey Mouse Mosaic - with photos

    THAT is freakin amazing!


    Good work! That's just awesome.




  9. #9

    • Joe Flowers
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    Re: Lego Mickey Mouse Mosaic - with photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazziered View Post
    I think that is so amazing. Way cool. Where are you going to put it?
    Thanks for all the compliments!

    Eventually it's going to end up in my wife's office. She's already got 20 something Disney paintings hanging on her walls, so a 3'x4' Lego Mickey will fit right in.

  10. #10

    • I see mouse people
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    Re: Lego Mickey Mouse Mosaic - with photos

    that.
    is.
    awesome!!!
    My son is 7 and a Lego-holic. He has been reading over my shoulder and bouncing with excitement. Really, you did a fantastic, amazing job and that is just the coolest thing! Now I have something else on my wish list...that software!
    Thank you SO much for sharing!

  11. #11

    • Senior Minion
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    Re: Lego Mickey Mouse Mosaic - with photos

    Holy Cow!!!!! That is amazing!!!!!
    Press today is so concerned with cool vs. not cool that they're starting to forget good vs. bad. I'm not sure I'll ever be "cool", but I will always tirelessly strive to be "great". - Josh Groban

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