Lego model of Nichols Band Shell

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In April 2014 I found that the small circular concrete stage of the Nichols Band Shell in Stewart Park, Roseburg, Oregon is just big enough for me to turn circles on riding no hands while I play guitar through the battery-powered amplifier strapped to my Schwinn ten-speed bicycle's rear rack. From April through October 2014 I performed dozens of unscheduled unofficial free concerts for the public there. Some were two hours long; most were forty-five minutes to an hour long; some were only fifteen or twenty minutes. It takes me an extra forty-five minutes to an hour on top of that for me to ride the round trip to the park from my house too, playing all the way there and back.

view from front of Lego Half Shell model

Welcome to the show. This is a screen capture from a free software program from Lego called Lego Digital Designer. Compare this Lego model to a similar view of the actual band shell in the image below. And of course on stage is a Lego model representing The Bicycling Guitarist.

photo of the real Nichols Band Shell with an earlier prototype version of this Lego model

This is a photo of a much earlier version 5 of my model with the real Half Shell stage in the background. The sides and back of this model are too straight and the roof is too flat and too low, partly because I did not then have enough Lego parts of the right colors, sizes and shapes to build it better, and partly because I did not know then what I know now about building a model like this. In the five months since version 5 was built I redesigned and rebuilt the model eighteen more times to the current version 23 shown in the other photographs on this page.

The Lego stage might be a little smaller than the real one in relation to the size of the Lego people, but it is actually fairly close to scale considering the size of the people, the size of the bricks, and the size of the base plate (32 by 32 studs) that I put this on.

The guitar held by The Bicycling Guitarist minifigure in this photograph is not made by Lego but by a third party company named BrickForge. Lego does not yet make a double-cutaway electric guitar shaped like mine. The other photographs on this page are screen captures from Lego Digital Designer and show the Lego Flying V shape electric guitar.

how smooth the curve looks from rear quarter

It is difficult to make something look smooth and curved from rectangular blocks and plates considering the scale of the bricks and minifigures involved. This rear quarter view angle shows my attempt to do so with version 23 of this model. This is a great improvement compared to the boxiness of version 5 in the previous photograph. I finally got enough of the pieces I needed to complete version 23 in late November 2014.

close up view of some of the audience

Here is a closer view of some of the audience in my model. There is a happy blonde woman holding a wine glass and a man in a bush hat with a camera. Some of the audience members have their heads turned to watch the show. There are some differences in the parts used for audience members between the actual model and the Lego Digital Designer program, but the program's available parts are also pretty good.

Lego dog customized by hand painting and scratching the finish

The Lego dogs shown in the screen captures from Lego Digital Designer are plain color with smooth finish, but the ones I use in the actual Lego model were customized by me. Each dog was hand-painted differently and then the finish was scratched to try to simulate the appearance and texture of fur. These custom dogs are visible in the photograph of the earlier version 5 above and have been used in all versions of this model built with real Lego bricks.

Going from level 4 to level 5 around the corners to get the angles of colors right

Another difficulty in building the lower levels of bricks was to get the angles right for the white and yellow colors. I had to use a lot of little white and yellow plates of various sizes and shapes to make it come out right, especially going around corners. The Building Instructions generated by the Lego Digital Designer program for my model file has steps one can click through to see this. I tried to not only get the colors and angles right but also to cross-link the parts as much as possible for strength.

Looking up at ceiling inside model

Here is a view looking up to the ceiling inside of the model.

Building Instructions

Lego Digital Designer is a free software program available from Lego. I won't provide a link because their website may change the address when it updates, but any search engine can find it if you want it. Here is a link to the Lego Digital Designer lxf model file for this model to open in the Lego Digital Designer program if you have it.