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Candle in the Wind
A large scale figurine of Marilyn Monroe.
About this creation
If this figure isn't immediately recognizable, then I guess I've done a pretty bad job building it. The American Film Institute rated Marilyn Monroe among the top six female screen legends on all time, and her famous dress-blowing scene from The Seven Year Itch is one of the most lasting images that has ever come out of Hollywood. Supposedly, that scene was also one of the main reasons for the break-up of her marriage to Joe DiMaggio.

Over the last few months, I have built a number of figures. So far, all of these figures have been men -- McBain, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Patton. I figured the time was right to challenge myself and build a female figure. After thinking about it for a while, I couldn't come up with a better challenge than Marilyn Monroe.

This build proved to be even more of a challenge than I expected. I had to start over several times and ultimately had to increase the scale I had used in my last few figure builds by about 33%, making Marilyn the largest figure I have built so far (the figure stands about 36 cm high). Getting her billowing dress to look even approximately like it did the original picture proved to be one of the most difficult things I've ever done with LEGO bricks. When I finally worked out the hinge- and wedge-plate technique that I used for most of her dress, I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is was still a lot of work after that.

I know it isn't perfect (the face looks a little more to me like Liz Taylor than Marilyn Monroe), but I have run out of ideas and patience on this one. It's time to cut it loose. In other words, "Goodbye, Norma Jeane..."



Here's another version of the last picture, with more lighting:








Comments

 I like it 
  October 6, 2014
The sculpting is top tier.
 I like it 
  September 24, 2014
I'm having a contest called "The BIG thing" and want YOU to join! so go and see what's up!
 I made it 
  July 21, 2014
Quoting Lego Jim .... Awesome build. Very natural pose. I like the shoes. Great job.
Thanks! It was some trouble to get the pose just right, but with a build like this a few small adjustments can make a huge difference.
 I like it 
  July 20, 2014
Awesome build. Very natural pose. I like the shoes. Great job.
 I made it 
  July 8, 2014
Quoting Sven Jagdmann Only two words which describe it perfectly. Absolutely beautiful! :)
Thank you. The beauty, obviously, comes from the subject, but I'm glad that my build let it show through.
 I made it 
  July 8, 2014
Quoting Henrik Jensen I will not say she's beautiful made out of LEGO, the nose is a little too big! But having said that, it is amazing how well it looks like her. The way she poses and the dress flutter, hits the bull's-eye. Excellent design! Do you think it is possible to build the figurine without gluing it together?
Thanks! I agree with you about the nose. I am still thinking about whether there is a better solution for that, but I haven't come up with anything yet. As far as the structural integrity goes, I think it should be pretty good. The hip joints use the big Bionicle ball-and-socket connections. The ankle joints are just hinges, but they are buttressed so they can't move. I am a little uncertain about the knee joints, since they are simply the newer ratcheting hinges, but they could be jammed in place with a little wadded up tissue. As far as the dress goes, every connection between hinged parts is at least two studs. The front and rear portions of the dress are not connected, but they are designed so that if the hinges fail, the two parts will fall against and mutually brace each other.
 I made it 
  July 8, 2014
Quoting Tom Simon Lovely, in every sense.
Thanks! The subject matter certainly provided me with a good opportunity to make an impression, but building female figures accurately is more difficult than I had imagined.
 I like it 
  July 8, 2014
Only two words which describe it perfectly. Absolutely beautiful! :)
 I like it 
  July 8, 2014
I will not say she's beautiful made out of LEGO, the nose is a little too big! But having said that, it is amazing how well it looks like her. The way she poses and the dress flutter, hits the bull's-eye. Excellent design! Do you think it is possible to build the figurine without gluing it together?
 I like it 
  July 8, 2014
Lovely, in every sense.
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting Stephan N Absolutely wonderful, she looks perfect.
Thanks! I'm glad you like it.
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting Caleb S I LOVE THAT MOVIE! That is the best creation on mocpages! good job dude!
Thanks! I can't say that I've seen more than a few minutes of the movie myself, but this scene is definitely ingrained into my memory.
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting cyberfrank 2010 Woah! very impressive! beautiful!
Thanks!
 I like it 
  July 7, 2014
Absolutely wonderful, she looks perfect.
  July 7, 2014
I LOVE THAT MOVIE! That is the best creation on mocpages! good job dude!
 I like it 
  July 7, 2014
Woah! very impressive! beautiful!
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting Yann (XY EZ) Great job on this one! Nice modell! 5/5
Thanks! I chose this subject because I knew the dress was going to be a real challenge. I wasn't even sure whether I'd be able to work out a solution for it, so I'm happy that folks like final build.
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting Topsy Creatori Beautifully done! :)
Thank you!
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting Alex Rode Matt . . . That's plain impressive. Wow!
Thanks, Alex. I'm glad you like it. This is without a doubt the most difficult figure I've ever built, and, other than the large ships I've done (the USCGC Reliance and the Andrea Gail), probably the most difficult build overall.
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting Dr. Monster Phenomenal! I have no idea how you managed to do this. Are you some kind of Lego wizard?
Thanks! Wizard -- probably not. Obsessive compulsive builder who spends too much time on his MOCs -- much more likely. :-)
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting Mihe Stonee that's soo sweet and se... together ! you really nailed the situation! beautiful done!
Thanks! This MOC took way longer than it should have, so I'm glad to see that people like the results.
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting matt rowntRee WOW! The shape and flow of those pleats are stunning. And those gams! -whistle- Love how you got the pose with the slight twist of the legs inward, shows that she might have been slightly modest. ;) Fantastic work and I too would very much like to see more pics. Not a worry as this was truly instantly recognizable. Outstanding!
Thanks, matt! After looking at the original still images and movie posters, I realized that getting the knees turned in slightly was key to capturing the somewhat coy element in the pose. I also tried to make it look like her shoulders were hunched up and forward, but I'm not sure if I got that quite right. I'll see what I can do about getting up some more pics in the next day to two.
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting clayton Marchetti WOW! That's incredible . Nicks right the face is beautiful. The technique you used for the dress is mind blowing ! Those legs are unbelievably gorgeous ! Phenomenal work!
Thanks! The skirt and legs were probably the most difficult part, so I'm glad that you think they look good. The face, oddly enough, came together fairly easily. I thought that would be tough as well.
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting Gabor Pauler Solution of the skirt is groundbreaking. Please add more pictures. I would reconsider nose construction: 1x1 plate rotated 45 degrees can give more thin feminine nose solution.
Thanks! Regarding the skirt -- I can't tell you how many times I started it and then just completely threw out my work before I arrived at something acceptable. I'll try your suggestion for the nose, but it is unfortunately not a simple swap due to the construction of the face behind the nose.
 I made it 
  July 7, 2014
Quoting Nick Barrett She looks great - feminine faces are so hard to do; you've done excellently. The body shape, pose and dress are all perfect.
Thanks, Nick. Your opinion means a lot. After this experience, I certainly agree that feminine faces -- in fact all aspects of female figures -- are rather difficult to do well. I think it will be a while before I attempt one again, but at least this was a good learning experience.
 I like it 
  July 7, 2014
Great job on this one! Nice modell! 5/5
 I like it 
  July 7, 2014
Beautifully done! :)
 I like it 
  July 7, 2014
Matt . . . That's plain impressive. Wow!
 I like it 
  July 7, 2014
Phenomenal! I have no idea how you managed to do this. Are you some kind of Lego wizard?
 I like it 
  July 7, 2014
that's soo sweet and se... together ! you really nailed the situation! beautiful done!
 I like it 
  July 7, 2014
WOW! The shape and flow of those pleats are stunning. And those gams! -whistle- Love how you got the pose with the slight twist of the legs inward, shows that she might have been slightly modest. ;) Fantastic work and I too would very much like to see more pics. Not a worry as this was truly instantly recognizable. Outstanding!
 I like it 
  July 7, 2014
WOW! That's incredible . Nicks right the face is beautiful. The technique you used for the dress is mind blowing ! Those legs are unbelievably gorgeous ! Phenomenal work!
 I like it 
  July 7, 2014
Solution of the skirt is groundbreaking. Please add more pictures. I would reconsider nose construction: 1x1 plate rotated 45 degrees can give more thin feminine nose solution.
 I like it 
  July 7, 2014
She looks great - feminine faces are so hard to do; you've done excellently. The body shape, pose and dress are all perfect.
 
By Matt Bace
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