Pat Acton Builds LOTR’s City of Minas Tirith Out of Matchsticks

With one of the most imaginative minds, J.R.R. Tolkien created the city of Minas Tirith for The Lord of the Rings. Now artist Pat Acton has created a model of this intricate city for Matchstick Marvels Studio. The ambitious project took 420,000 matchsticks placed just right and now resides at the Matchstick Marvels Museum in Gladbrook, Iowa. Acton has been working with matchsticks since the late 70’s; his first model a simple, small model of a country church. Since then he has transformed 4 million wooden matchsticks into 65 impressively detailed models of famous architecture, art, and complex machines.

In This Village is a Model Village. And Inside That is a Smaller Model Village. And Inside That is…

In the tiny English village of Bourton-on-the-Water is a tiny model of Bourton-on-the-Water… and guess what’s inside that model?

You’ve seen the Droste effect many times. It’s where a picture appears within itself, and then again inside the picture of itself, growing ever smaller into infinity (or at least that’s how it seems).

It’s Not Photoshop. These are Iconic Photographs Recreated as Miniature Models

When they aren’t creating high quality advertising photographs, Switzerland-based Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger have been building impeccably detailed models of iconic photographs. Viewed from the same angle as the original photograph, you would almost swear these were Photoshopped. Like so many good (and crazy) ideas, this one began with a bit of fun

Tiny Worlds Float on Gallery Walls. Sculptures by Cuban Artist Jorge Mayet

Cuban artist Jorge Mayet is creating his own miniature worlds. Attached to white walls, many of his sculptures seem to float in the sky, their bottom sides revealing raw soil and roots as if they have ripped free from all that is below. Other sculptures seem to explode in mid-air, their small wooden houses becoming a cloud of floating splinters. This is no destructive event, however, but one that makes things move and spread.

Like his floating islands, Jorge left Cuba 22 years ago to explore the world. He landed on another island, Palma de Mallorca, Spain. His work today draws inspiration from his homeland, creating a conversation about belonging and nostalgia for place.

Thomas Richner Built a Millennium Falcon from a Basement Full of Cardboard Boxes

…in a basement far, far away (well actually Columbus, Ohio), animation artist Thomas Richner had a big mess of boxes to clean up. He had two options: recycle them responsibly, or build a 5 foot long model of the Millennium Falcon. We’re sure glad they didn’t go to waste.

One hundred and forty hours later (and a whole lot of glue) the Star Wars model is complete, and so realistic it almost looks like a still from the movie when filmed in front of a green screen. Let’s take a trip through Richner’s process from humble start to hyperdrive finish.

Man Builds Giant Kinetic Art Piece Using 100,000 K’Nex

I’m sure you’ve seen some form of kinetic ball machine before. Small balls are lifted to the top of long rollercoaster-like tracks and dropped through a series of fascinating paths until they reach the bottom – only to be scooped up again for another ride. Austin Granger is no stranger to these machines, but uniquely, he’s been building them for the last few years out of the K’Nex construction toy system. Now, he’s topped all his other efforts, creating a massive 23.5 foot tall, 40 foot long machine using over 100,000 pieces!

Massive Model of Rivendell From The Hobbit and LOTR, Built with 200,000 LEGOs

When it comes to Middle-earth, there are few places more beautiful than Rivendell. Home of the elves, this magically lit outpost from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings could easily be paradise… even if it’s built out of LEGOs. Alice Finch recently teamed up with David Frank to create an insanely massive model of the place using around 200,000 LEGO pieces to complete!

Disintegrating: Exploded Exotic Cars by Fabian Oefner

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In the blink of an eye, the classic Mercedes stopped in front of you perfectly explodes into a million pieces, spraying mufflers, brake calipers and intake manifolds high into the air. At least that’s what it looks like is happening in Fabian Oefner’s surprising new series. We’re fond to Oefner’s visually stunning work, but usually it involves slinging paint around his immaculately clean studio, or at least playing with ferrofluid, magnets and water colors – this series is something completely new. And don’t worry, no classic cars were harmed in the making of these images – despite how real they look, these are actually tiny models.

Need a New Boat? Just Break Out the Parts and Build it with a Life-Sized Assemble Kit

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When Michael Johansson isn’t treating his art like real-life Tetris, he’s making life-size injection molded “assembly kits” of everyday objects. Need a new hair dryer or lawn mower? Don’t worry, he’s got you covered with all the pieces flat packed on a board, ready to break off and build. His whimsical art pays homage to the plastic model kits of our youth (ok, I’m still obsessed), where our favorite cars, planes and ships were all waiting for us in in one small box.

Visual Bits #329 >Unbelievably Executed Architecture

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