...Exterior Details and Grounds

Above is the picture that I based most of my design work off of. The Hall of Justice is a fairly simple combination of shapes - a nice boxy base building, a half-sphere for the main meeting area, a couple of towers for accent. The only real challenges facing me were two areas:

  • LEGO bricks don't do "round" very well - that spherical area was going to be a real pain. Not to mention the big arch that makes up most of the front of the building.
  • The show never gives a good sense of scale - just how big is the Hall of Justice?

In preparation for building - and because I'd been looking for an excuse - I picked up the first season of "Challenge of the Super Friends" on DVD. In addition to reminding me just how awesome this show was, it also had a few hints as to the scale of things.

The key was in how the Super friends enter the building.

All the shots of the front that I've seen lack any sort of doors. (Not that artistic continuity was a big thing for these guys - the image at left is one of the better "head on" shots of the hall ...because it lacks the giant sculpture in the middle of the reflecting pool! ) However, the schematics for the interior of the hall show two ways in from the front - a doorway on either side of the thick center uprights.

Working from that and other interior hints, it became obvious that the doors into the Hall had to be under the big horizontal crossbeam on the front - and that the doors were roughly "normal person sized". This combo of details puts the crossbeam roughly ten or twelve feet off the ground - with doors that are framed by the white lines seen in the photo at left.

I spent roughly two days working out how to convert those proportions into LEGO bricks. Oh, the basic conversion factors for LEGO to "Real life" have been worked out before, but I wanted to figure out a match that would allow me to fit the Hall neatly onto existing LEGO base plates - and thus allowing for easy incorporation into standard LEGO Town displays. I ended up using the width of the side towers as a base unit - at six studs across it allowed the main hall to fit exactly on one extra-large grey base-plate with the side walls on their own smaller base plates.

Here's my completed hall with a good portion of the grounds built up. (You can click on the image for a much larger view.) I would have gone farther with the grounds but for the size of the dining room table and that I completely ran out of dark green base plates.
(You can see a lighter green one on the far side of the hall in the shot at left - it was either use that or try and deal with the height difference between base plates and normal LEGO plate-bricks. Not fun.)

The Hall of Justice itself is roughly the size of the Church of the FSM - 75 studs or so in length and 58 studs in width. The top of the center uprights are 27 bricks tall.

One of my goals in building the Hall was to have a setting that I could use in the BRiCK House comic. To that end, the Hall is made up of five major parts: the front facade (and main floor area), the two long side walls, a back hangar door (and remainder of the floor), and the roof. Construction started with the towers and front "H" to get the spacing right. I then turned to Bram's Sphere Generator to create a rough schematic for the arch and dome. The dome itself took a day to piece together. But once the arch and dome were complete I could begin to work on the much easier "big flat expanses." Those went quick. The final step was to decorate the interior - that took another weekend of part-time building.

I should probably mention that the arch on the front of the building gave me some serious fits. Most of the cartoon graphics show the arch as a half-circle that ends at the horizontal crossbar. The interior details, however, show the curve as ending much closer to the top of the towers. I ended up compromising and using the dome I had built as a guide to creating a smooth curve. The end result is still very close to the source photos while allowing for the interior to be a bit closer to what I remembered from the show.

In other "it's close but not quite right" notes - the trees alongside the pool are more like shrubs in the cartoon. I tried the standard LEGO shrub to see how it looked - trust me, the trees are an improvement. The other is the base on the sculpture in the pool - I really should go back and thin that out a bit. The cartoon shows it as being on a raised base, but not quite *that* raised.

But enough with the problems, let's look at the goods. Click on the links below to continue the tour.

Hall of Justice Exterior Navigation: << First Page < Previous || Next > Last >>

The Hall of Justice
Hall of a Good Time


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