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Safe Passage
A micro-scale (roughly 1:125, or 1 meter per stud) model of a lighthouse, with two fishing boats passing by in the distance.
About this creation

There is something special about lighthouses. For centuries, millenia even, they have enabled safe passage through rough coastal areas, and have been a welcome sight to weary sailors. I have been planning to build a lighthouse for quite a while, and now I have finally done it.

I have situated the lighthouse on a rocky outcropping. Next to it are the lighthouse keepers's house, a service building, a gazebo/rotunda, and a number of other smaller features. Out in the water are two fishing boats, a 72-foot (22 meter) longliner and an 82-foot (25 meter) stern trawler.

The most difficult part of this build, believe or not, was trying to make the wakes look reaonable at this scale. Creating a realistic-looking wake pattern is tricky, and I was lucky to have found a document written by a model shipbuilder to use for some guidance.

Below is a "night" version of the main image.



And here are pictures of the diorama from a number of different angle, with a "day" and "night" version of each.






















Comments

 I made it 
  August 24, 2014
Quoting Keith Goldman Man, what a clean build, this looks like something from a late 80's computer game that never was. You've got a great sense of composition here.
Thanks! I draw many of my ideas about how to put together a scene by looking at pictures of real scenery. Lighthouses seem to almost always make for good scenes.
 I like it 
  August 22, 2014
Man, what a clean build, this looks like something from a late 80's computer game that never was. You've got a great sense of composition here.
 I made it 
  August 6, 2014
Quoting clayton Marchetti Beautiful scene! Love the lighthouse. The two ships look great heading out ! This would look great as a print and framed! Magnificent !
Thanks! Lighthouses are very photogenic -- if you represent them well, the results have a pretty good chance of looking good.
 I like it 
  August 6, 2014
Beautiful scene! Love the lighthouse. The tow ships look great heading out ! This would look great as a print and framed! Magnificent !
 I made it 
  August 6, 2014
Quoting matt rowntRee Everything about this is just wonderful! The boats are perfect and those wakes are phenomenal. The structures are beautifully quaint and inviting. Truly a welcoming sight for weary fishermen. Gorgeous!
Thanks! Having lived a large part of my life in New England, I wanted to try to recreate some of its unique scenery. Lighthouses are one of the favorite subjects for photographers, so they seemed like a logical choice.
 I like it 
  August 6, 2014
Everything about this is just wonderful! The boats are perfect and those wakes are phenomenal. The structures are beautifully quaint and inviting. Truly a welcoming sight for weary fishermen. Gorgeous!
 I made it 
  August 6, 2014
Quoting Nick Barrett Beautiful!
Thanks! I think it is fairly easy to create a beautiful scene when a lighthouse is involved.
 I like it 
  August 6, 2014
Beautiful!
 I made it 
  August 5, 2014
Quoting Sebeus I This is very cool, I don't think I ever saw a diorama like this, I really like those night pictures.
Thanks! I created the "night" pictures by using a diffusive media in POVray. I like the effect, but I think there is still a lot of room for improvement once I get a little more familiar with its capabilities.
 I made it 
  August 5, 2014
Quoting Gabor Pauler Your rock building technique rocked me. Excellent!
Thanks! The rocks actually weren't too hard to do once I got into it -- there is almost a "rhythm" to building rocks.
 I like it 
  August 5, 2014
This is very cool, I don't think I ever saw a diorama like this, I really like those night pictures.
 I like it 
  August 3, 2014
Your rock building technique rocked me. Excellent!
 I made it 
  August 2, 2014
Quoting Lego 4 Life Amazing! Your PC can handle so many pieces
Thanks! This model is about 4,200 parts. I think the largest one I have done is my Firehouse 8 diorama, which came in at around 6,200 parts with all of the vehicles included. If I ever finish my USCGC Hamilton model, I expect it will come in at around 15,000 parts. Hopefully my PC will be up to the challenge (I don't expect a problem with POVray, but LDD starts to really lag at around 5,000 parts).
 I made it 
  August 2, 2014
Quoting Elk Guard Great work!
Thanks!
 I like it 
  August 2, 2014
Amazing! Your PC can handle so many pieces
 I like it 
  August 2, 2014
Great work!
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Dr. Monster An amazing scene. I love the boats, and the lighthouse looks great. Very well done.
Thanks! I had built the boats for a previous MOC (my fishing village), but I've been looking for a way to re-use them for a while, since I like the way they came out, too.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Yann (XY EZ) Superb job! I like it a lot! It should be a set!
Thanks! It would be a pretty large set, but it could probably be scaled back to reasonable size by getting rid of the water and lower the height of the peninsula somewhat.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting gene 3S A little touch of anime, niche looking!
Thanks! I'm glad you like it.
 I like it 
  August 1, 2014
An amazing scene. I love the boats, and the lighthouse looks great. Very well done.
 I like it 
  August 1, 2014
Superb job! I like it a lot! It should be a set!
 I like it 
  August 1, 2014
A little touch of anime, niche looking!
  August 1, 2014
You've certainly done just that!
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Sam the first Gorgeous work everywhere.
Thanks! I think that lighthouses are a good subject for modeling. If you do an accurate job, you are almost guaranteed to get a gorgeous result.
 I like it 
  August 1, 2014
Gorgeous work everywhere.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting David Alexander Smith Great water technique.
Thanks! The water/wakes took a lot of work, so I'm glad that others like the result.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Kayla . Great job with the detail, especially with the rock work on the island!
Thanks! The rock work was a bit tedious, but actually not very difficult once I got into the mode of building it. As Henrik pointed out, I probably could have used a little more texture on the rocks, but I am satisfied with the way they look, at least from a distance.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Luke V Wow! So much detail on such a small scale! This is amazing!
Thanks! I am definitely in the mode of building micro-dioramas at this point, so I am getting some good experience about how to include various details, even at a small scale. I am planning at least one more micro-diorama in the near future, but I suspect I'll be doing quite a bit more of them, since I like working in micro-scale.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting T.J. Brammer Amazing! I always like how you can pack so much detail into a small scale. The small island with the lighthouse in awesome, and the boats with the small waves from the motor.
Thanks! Getting the right details into the scene is definitely the key to making it look realistic. The flipside, though, is that you often have to leave some details out, because trying to include them would look awkward at the scale.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Senator Chinchilla . Looks great! Nice boat wakes. Perhaps some waves or general uneven-ness in the water's surface would help too, though. Nice wet-effect on the rockwork, too.
Thanks! I did consider adding some waves to the surface of the water. In fact, at one point I was considering making the seas very rough -- something like 10-15 foot waves. It would have been an awful lot of work to do it, though, so I went with calm seas instead. Maybe when I have a little more energy, I'll give something like that a try.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Mark McPeek Beautiful work once again! The boats' wakes are impressive!
Thanks! The wakes were a lot of work. I had to try a number of different options. I think the final result, at least from a distance, gives the effect I was looking for, which was to make the two boats look like they were slowly steaming at about 8 knots. Your mind picks that up automatically from the spacing of the waves in the wake pattern -- pretty amazing stuff.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Jet Best I really like the boats and their wake!
Thanks! To be honest, I borrowed the boats almost unchanged from my Fishing Village MOC, so they weren't a lot of extra work to put in here.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Henrik Jensen Another fine diorama, but with room for improvement. In some way it's all too neat to resemble reality. Your fishing boats look really good, with the wakepattern. However especially the houses and the rocks are too neat, I think that "no studs allowed" spoils the expession. The rocks are missing the rugged and rough surface.
Thanks! I think I see your point about the rocks. At the lower levels, the rocks probably would be washed smooth, but higher up, they probably should be a little more jagged. I don't know whether exposed studs would be the right solution, but it probably needs some more texture somehow, and probably some moss or other plant life as well. I'll try to keep that in mind if I attempt something like this again.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Mariner 1000 Excellent job as usual, Matt! Keep up the great work.
Thanks! I do have at least one more micro-scale diorama in the works, but there is still quite a bit of work left to do on it, so it probably won't be ready for a while.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Stephan N I am very impressed by your creativity. This looks very good.
Thanks! Like I said, this is an idea I've had for a while, some I've some time to mull it over in my head. Since I've built some other micro-scale dioramas lately, I figured I would finally take a crack at this subject.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Tom Simon Lovely conception. When you build it, how about a small island for seabirds?
Thanks! The island is a good idea. I did include the two small islands in front of the lighthouse, but they are just covered with a little moss and other greenery. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the scale is about one meter per hex, so if I were to put birds somewhere, they would have to be pretty big. Something like an albatross, which can have a wingspan of almost 4 meters, might be appropriate.
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Paulo Rodriguez The wave patterns are superb! It looks just like the real deal from far away, your best diorama by far! Love every single detail you put into this!
Thanks! As I said I the description, I found a nice document to use as guidance for creating the wake patterns. For others who want to do it, here's the link: http://www.steelnavy.com/WavePatterns.htm
 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting Sven Jagdmann This is a very nice creation. The landscape with all the buildings and the lighthouse is full of nice details. And the water effects are also very cool. Now in real bricks please ;)
Thanks! I spent some time looking at pictures of real lighthouses for inspiration, which is where I got the idea for most of the details. The rotunda, though, was something I came up with on my own. As far as building it IRL goes, if someone is willing to sponsor the roughly $1000 of Bricklink orders that it would take to build this, I'll be happy to assemble it. :-)
 I like it 
  August 1, 2014
Great water technique.
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
Great job with the detail, especially with the rock work on the island!
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
Wow! So much detail on such a small scale! This is amazing!
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
Amazing! I always like how you can pack so much detail into a small scale. The small island with the lighthouse in awesome, and the boats with the small waves from the motor.
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
Looks great! Nice boat wakes. Perhaps some waves or general uneven-ness in the water's surface would help too, though. Nice wet-effect on the rockwork, too.
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
Beautiful work once again! The boats' wakes are impressive!
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
I really like the boats and their wake!
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
Another fine diorama, but with room for improvement. In some way it's all too neat to resemble reality. Your fishing boats look really good, with the wakepattern. However especially the houses and the rocks are too neat, I think that "no studs allowed" spoils the expession. The rocks are missing the rugged and rough surface.
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
Excellent job as usual, Matt! Keep up the great work.
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
I am very impressed by your creativity. This looks very good.
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
Lovely conception. When you build it, how about a small island for seabirds?
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
The wave patterns are superb! It looks just like the real deal from far away, your best diorama by far! Love every single detail you put into this!
 I like it 
  July 31, 2014
This is a very nice creation. The landscape with all the buildings and the lighthouse is full of nice details. And the water effects are also very cool. Now in real bricks please ;)
 
By Matt Bace
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