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Smolny Cathedral
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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
About this creation
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!



Comments

 I like it 
  August 19, 2013
Awesome.
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
OH MY GOSH! YOU SHOULD HAVE WON THAT CONTEST!
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
Congrats, Dude! Almost missed it. Incredible build!
 I made it 
  May 26, 2013
Thanks all...can't believe I actually made MoTD! LOL
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
Excellent. It looks like a TON of patience went into that puppy.
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
#2: holy...
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
you're on the home page!
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
Hey! Congrats on MOTD Mr. Flor, it's been nice revisiting this epic build.
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
Awesome! congrats on MOTD well deserved! :D
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
What? No stripper pole?!? XD I think the only thing that can add to the delight of this is some 18 year old Highland Park. Fantastic build! And, of course, CHEERS!
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
Hey, I ''ve seen this before! Congrats on MOTD! :)
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
Congrats on a well deserved MOTD. Psssh. Like you needed it. You're creations are already awesome, all in which should have a least 100 likes! :)
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
Congratulations on MOTD! ;) thoroughly deserved
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
Congratulations on an MOTD!
 I like it 
  May 26, 2013
congrats on MOTD!
  May 26, 2013
MOTD? *sniff* They grow up so fast...
 I like it 
  December 31, 2012
I have done similar projects twice and I know what it takes to end up with the final result. You have build an amaizing building, bow to that. I had the same problems assembling MOC at different locations. My solution is to build on movabale platform that can be splited at same part as MOC to fit door openings. Wooden platforms are attached to each other with wooden pins to get corret elevation of platforms even if base is not even. Very cheap solution for what could be a major problem.
 I like it 
  December 6, 2012
I had to see this, much bigger than the cathedral! it would have been cool to see your fig in front of those feats, big projects like that makes tensions in a couple, I know first hand, life as an artist ain t easy when you re passionnate, I love the color scheme, and yes dark red must look better, [although we ll never see], as russian buildings use it a lot, and the colors are very harmonious, I was on the pages when you built this, as I have nt commented you much then, I remember a nice base, but, not much more, the size of this is unbeleivable, building on even surfaces that covers that is difficult, I saw you used plates for the roof, have you tried baseplates once? it s lighter and much cheaper, quite easy to frame and put toghether, just curious, awesome piece of art heath!
 I like it 
  November 26, 2012
To be honest, I hate huge builds because you can't see all the little details and the appreciation for the parts used declines, but with the WIP pictures, I can get some more respect for the creation. But I think because this has the repetitive and symmetrical details instead of random bits every which way, I can really enjoy what you have created. Here's another 5/5 rating, which I tend to give out a lot anyway, so maybe it's not something to brag about there. I guess I'm just too nice. If it means anything to you, this one was more genuine than most. Ugh, writing my thoughts is difficult because I like to ramble on about anything that comes to mind. At least you didn't do that while describing the creation, so there's one more reason this post is great. Okay, have to stop now, I'm running out of things worth saying, must end positively. Cool MOC; very well built; I could never do that myself anytime soon; LMAO.
 I made it 
  November 8, 2012
Thank you very much (both) Davids! I'm very glad you enjoyed my labor of love!
 I like it 
  November 8, 2012
A big, beautiful MOC: all of that medium blue you bought looks wonderful! The delicate work around the windows is lovely and there's so much of it. I think that the photos that really give a sense of the scale of the build are the WIP ones. These were definitely worth including for this and it was also fascinating to see how you tackled this mammoth task. "Awesome" is an over-used word on MOCpages but this truely is!
 I like it 
  November 8, 2012
Just spent half my lunchbreak looking at this baby. You've set he bar so high here its hard to think how you could better it. Simply stunning, and really inspirational.
 I like it 
  September 23, 2012
Really beautiful! I'm working on a book of mocs to be published next year and would like to include this in it. Can you email me at mike@michaeldoyle.com to discuss? Thanks and congratulations on this incredible build!
 I like it 
  September 18, 2012
This just blows my mind away. And I saw this displayed at brickworld 2012! it was neat to see it in real life. It sure is larger than I expected.
 I like it 
  August 22, 2012
Breathtaking!
 I like it 
  August 7, 2012
This is seriously stunning. Lego architecture at its absolute best... and a heck of a lot of medium blue! Fantastic work.
 I like it 
  July 18, 2012
Wow! This is impressive. What an accomplishment. Did I miss the reference pic? Now I have to google it.
 I like it 
  July 11, 2012
Beautiful build...just stunning.
Heath 'kik36' Flor
 I like it 
Chris Melby
  July 9, 2012
So what do you do with it now, disassemble or display?
Heath 'kik36' Flor
 I like it 
Chris Melby
  July 9, 2012
I think that's the best, tear them down and move on, otherwise they just get dusty, and it's tough to afford to keep the brick collection up! Great project!
 I made it 
  July 9, 2012
Quoting Chris Melby So what do you do with it now, disassemble or display?
Torn down for future projects!
 I made it 
  July 6, 2012
Quoting Josh B. Alright, it is time. I believe I've previously informed you of this creation's excellence, but I've been waiting to be the one to push this to the top. So, I shall now officially give you your 107th like, and tie this with your most popular MOC, in hopes of boosting it to the number one position. Bravo.
LMAO Thanks Josh! Now all we need is a tie breaker! ;)
 I like it 
  July 6, 2012
Alright, it is time. I believe I've previously informed you of this creation's excellence, but I've been waiting to be the one to push this to the top. So, I shall now officially give you your 107th like, and tie this with your most popular MOC, in hopes of boosting it to the number one position. Bravo.
 I made it 
  July 5, 2012
Yay, this has almost dethroned the courthouse as my most popular build!
 I like it 
  July 3, 2012
Amazing job.
 I like it 
  July 3, 2012
Magnificent detail!
 I like it 
  July 2, 2012
...If I started to describe this in words you would be asleep before you'd finish. AMAZING job!!!
 I like it 
  July 1, 2012
I can't tell you enough words to say that is so amazing!! Great job!!! more than that outstanding work!! Can you come see my u-boat?
 I made it 
  July 1, 2012
Quoting Shannon Young As someone with more than my fair share of large creations abandoned before completion, let me congratulate you on sticking with it. It's so easy to lose interest as the weeks slide by... lose focus and momentum when you realize you need to make YET ANOTHER Bricklink order... yeah. And then you consider that this beast had to be transported somehow, making interior support that much more difficult -- you can't just slap a bunch of brick together in there any which way. You have not just elevated your game here, you've sent it into the stratosphere.
Thank you very much for your kind words Shannon! That means a lot to me coming from you! And Don't worry RU Corder, I'm sure I'll still post silly stuff here and there. After all, I learn a lot from the silly builds too and I'm not afraid to fail from time-to-time. ;)
 I like it 
  June 30, 2012
Wow! This is a truly stunning cathedral! Beautiful work :)
 I like it 
  June 30, 2012
As someone with more than my fair share of large creations abandoned before completion, let me congratulate you on sticking with it. It's so easy to lose interest as the weeks slide by... lose focus and momentum when you realize you need to make YET ANOTHER Bricklink order... yeah. And then you consider that this beast had to be transported somehow, making interior support that much more difficult -- you can't just slap a bunch of brick together in there any which way. You have not just elevated your game here, you've sent it into the stratosphere.
 I like it 
  June 29, 2012
Heath, I have to say, before now I've never really considered you as one of the best builders on MOCpages. But with this... You are now up there on the "best" list in my opinion.
 I like it 
  June 28, 2012
It really doesn't get much better than this! Absolutely stunning!
 I like it 
  June 27, 2012
wow amazing build love it well done .how about buckingham palace for your next project if anyone could do it it would be you
 I like it 
  June 27, 2012
This is certainly worth the work! It's a shame you had all that trouble at the very end, I would have the mojo left to fix that! Kudos to you, this is an incredible feat!
 I made it 
  June 27, 2012
Quoting Dan Austin Wow!!! This is incredible!! I work at the LEGO store at Arundel Mills Mall, in Maryland, and as it so happens I'm currently doing study abroad in St. Petersburg to study Russian, where I take each and every one of my classes in the smolny complex. I get to see this lovely building every day. (I'm glad you did it at a scale that you can't see the creepy baby faces all over the thing.) From a fellow LEGO fan and Smolny student, well done!!!!!
Oh wow, that's really cool!!! I've never seen the building in person....I bet it's an amazing sight!
 I like it 
  June 27, 2012
A masterful recreation of a masters work. Mastery all around. I wondered why there is no baseplate, but I guess this is a unique effect, although reducing the sense of scale by just a bit. Or that could be just me.
 I like it 
  June 27, 2012
This is just fantastic! All the angels and amezing attention to details makes this to one of the btter cathedrals I have ever seen! The colors works perfect toghter aswell! //Viktor
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
Wow!!! This is incredible!! I work at the LEGO store at Arundel Mills Mall, in Maryland, and as it so happens I'm currently doing study abroad in St. Petersburg to study Russian, where I take each and every one of my classes in the smolny complex. I get to see this lovely building every day. (I'm glad you did it at a scale that you can't see the creepy baby faces all over the thing.) From a fellow LEGO fan and Smolny student, well done!!!!!
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
Wow!!! This is incredible!! I work at the LEGO store at Arundel Mills Mall, in Maryland, and as it so happens I'm currently doing study abroad in St. Petersburg to study Russian, where I take each and every one of my classes in the smolny complex. I get to see this lovely building every day. (I'm glad you did it at a scale that you can't see the creepy baby faces all over the thing.) From a fellow LEGO fan and Smolny student, well done!!!!!
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
Wow, fantastic work!
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
Wow. This cathedral is both massive, and beautiful! Awesome job, and great choice in subject matter :)
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
I never doubted you for a second! WONDERFUL!
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
Wow Heath, this is one stunning build! My jaw hit the floor when I saw it scaled next to the beer. So insane.
 I made it 
  June 26, 2012
Quoting Stuart Delahay Congrats on the bloggage brother and on a superb build. All the effort shows, but we've been telling you how good it looks for months! You could do with some plywood though.....
I knew I forgot something!
 I made it 
  June 26, 2012
Quoting Arthur Gugick Shannon: Yea, Arthur Gugick thought it was "flipping" amazing. A "Master" build.
LMAO! Thanks Arthur.
 I made it 
  June 26, 2012
Quoting Matija Grguric http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/06/26/smolny-cathedral/ I've blogged this on TBB. Amazing job on the model! Enjoy. :)
Thank you very much kind sir! A real pleasure to hear such kind comments from a builder I admire!
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
Beautiful work!
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
Great work, indeed! What a treat to see something like this. Truly remarkable - I mean the colors the build, the everything!
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
Fantastic job, Heath! It was awesome to see this in real life! I love the use of the dark red near the base, it compliments the med blue very nicely. Also the windows look spectacular! Keep up the awesome builds! Oh, I almost forgot, are you going to tear it down eventually?
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
Wow, what an amazing build! Just beautiful. :)
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
Congrats on the bloggage brother and on a superb build. All the effort shows, but we've been telling you how good it looks for months! You could do with some plywood though.....
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/06/26/smolny-cathedral/ I've blogged this on TBB. Amazing job on the model! Enjoy. :)
 I like it 
  June 26, 2012
I havn't been commenting on MP recently as I am currently working on a huge dio for NZs first Annual Lego Show in July. This build was to awesome to pass by. Its nice to see you go BIG scale, any an amazing job too! A huge well done Heath, do it all again next year right?
  June 26, 2012
Shannon: Yea, Arthur Gugick thought it was "flipping" amazing. A "Master" build.
 I like it 
  June 25, 2012
Hey man I meant to comment on this a few days ago: bloody brilliant stuff mate!! With you sitting next to it the size really shows up, it looks like a beast! All of your patience and hard work shines through, it's just gorgeous to look at with the colour work and the details. Did Arthur Gugick like it at BW? If he likes a large architecture moc YOU KNOW it must be good ;) Well, I'd say you've eraned yourself a rest now, cheers!
 I made it 
  June 25, 2012
Quoting StoveTop Creator What was already an amazing architecutural design is now amazingly recreated in bricks! Wow! Oh, uhm... several of those bottles appear to be unopened?! :)
Don't worry, that usually only lasts a day or so. :P Actually I saved a bottle of 21 yr old Bushmills Irish Whiskey to celebrate finishing the build....it was a great feeling to crack that beautiful bottle open!
 I made it 
  June 25, 2012
Thank you all very much for your kind words! I appreciate it greatly!
 I like it 
  June 25, 2012
Outstanding, I love the colors en the details 5/5
 I like it 
  June 24, 2012
It was an architectural wonder to behold - beautiful job my friend. Lee.
 I like it 
  June 24, 2012
Actually, it's st. Peterburg.
 I like it 
  June 24, 2012
I know I don't need to tell you again my thoughts on this, but I shall for the sake of the record: Incredible! The window detailing alone is top-notch, and I still think the way you handled the angles on the roof was pure genius. The photos are nice, but they don't compare to seeing it in person!
 I like it 
  June 24, 2012
Most impressive seeing all the stages and the fantastic final creation alltogether now. As a fan of architectural MOCs, I must say that this one leaves me speechless (which is not such a big deal, since I'm writing this comment).
Heath 'kik36' Flor
 I like it 
Büürli Burri
  June 23, 2012
This is absolutely great. The blue and the white fit very well together :D Btw. to the scale: Is that an American beer bottle or a Russian one? XDDD
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
What a beautiful creation! You've really outdone yourself here.
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
I've been there and seen this in person. This replica is legendary. Incredibly well done. kudos to your wife for putting up with you during what must have been an arduous process. I wish I could have gone to brick world to see it in person.
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Most impressive! Time, money, effort, creativity ... need I go on? The dedication has gone above and beyond! We are not worthy! ... well, if you could pass the Jameson, that would be cool, too! XD
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Staggering work of art Heath. And a great pick from a historical point of view. This Moc seems as epic a work as the place itself, for me at least:) Good to see it presented finally. I can only imagine the dedication this required, call me gobsmacked. Brilliant!
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
You've really outdone yourself this time Heath. It has been great watching this coming together over the past year, and mostly watching your commitment to this beautiful beast! I would have given up 11 months ago... I don't think there is any doubt in anybody's mind right now that you are a legend and an inspiration. Kids everywhere will be saying "wish I could build like Heath".
 I made it 
  June 23, 2012
Thank you all for the kind comments! Thanks especially to my friends who have watched this grow over the few months. I'm truly inspired by all of you to build, build, and BUILD!!!! :P As for comparisons to Arthur or Sean....I'm deeply flattered, but I'm nowhere near their level. They both have an impressive portfolio that will take me years to catch up to. I will say I had some great conversations with Arthur at Brickworld though, and look forward to his next masterpiece!
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
A truly spectacular work of art, and clearly a labour of love. This is something very special.
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
The colors are awesome, and the architecture is beautiful. The size is also impressive.
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Now that's a nice looking building, it looks a lot bigger in those last WIP shots. >Eric
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Two things. This was BEAUTIFUL! And... you were robbed! ~ Chris.
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Your best build yet! Awesome job Heath! It was really cool to get to see this in person. I love the color scheme. Cheers!
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
What was already an amazing architecutural design is now amazingly recreated in bricks! Wow! Oh, uhm... several of those bottles appear to be unopened?! :)
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Wow, that is awesome... I can also relate with the Booze/building... I don't even know how many 100's and 100's of cans of beer that I go through doing a model... ;)
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Heath, It was wonderful seeing this evolve over the year and hearing your stories and struggles as you progressed. I also loved the passion with which you spoke about it at BW and the way you made everyone who asked questions about it feel welcome into your world. This is an outstanding design and I very much appreciate the way you focused on translating real world architecture into a Lego building (very challenging). I am incredibly impressed by the dedication that you brought to this project. Well done. ~Dave
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
This is amazing!
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Totally worth your effort, Heath! You had to see the thing in person to get a feel for it's sheer magnitude, but these pics, especially the WIP ones are great fun to see.
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
This is a stunningly beautiful MOC, Heath. Apparently it's a false rumor that drunk people can't build as well as sober ones. Its obvious how much you've grown in your building skills, when we compare this amazing building to your one year Anniversary build from 2010 - WOW, you've really improved! Now you're one of those big builders, like Arthur Gugick or Sean Kenney :) Can't wait to see some more awesome builds from you :)
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Coming from someone who takes years to complete a large build, I hope you feel it was worth all of the time, expense, and effort. On behalf of the community, though, we sure appreciate it!!! Stunning work, Heath. And as a side note, all of that sexy blue and white is yours, brother...from now until the end of time!
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Heath, your best creation yet. Brilliant work mate! Such a stunner.
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
fantastic build, you don't get a feel for the scale till the shot with you in. great work an epic creation.
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
This was incredible to see. I was very glad that it successfully came together in the end, even though the darn tables gave you some initial issues. I can't wait to see what you do next with the blue. Smurfs?
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Beyond belief here, Dude! The level of detail at this scale is unreal. Although I didn't see it in person, I may be the only one to have seen it at 1000X magnification. Glad to give you a hand with the pics, the honor is all mine. Congrats!
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Incredible! The colours are perfect, details amazing, and size stunning. Seeing that WIP shot with you beside it was awe-inspiring, great work!
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
A wonderful model, and an epic build. Also thanks a lot for the WIP photos. Sometimes they are as interresting as the finished MOC!
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Brilliant work! The details are fantastic and the whole thing is a stunner. I liked the WIP photos as well. Great job! --Blast--
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Outstanding details!
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
A great build! What to say? It's amazing! Greetz, Elio
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
yea ofcourse was the beer bottle for scale messurements.....and not for drinking..... its a really nice cathedral, i really like the color shceme, (i havent seen so many lightblue bricks in a build before)
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
You've outdone yourself brother! Congrats on your first real "SHIP" and on a tough build, you got done masterly! ;-) - K.
 I like it 
  June 23, 2012
Amazing piece of architecture you got there. Well done.
 
By Heath 'kik36' Flor
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