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Boise made of Lego? How an Idaho guy dreamed up this skyline model

You might notice them in the stores. Lego sets with landmarks and skylines made out of the popular building bricks.

Paris. Dubai. NYC.

…Boise?

Not officially – and not in stores, but one avid Lego fan decided to put together his own “Architecture series” recreation of the City of Trees – even complete with a few trees.

[Idaho hits its 130th birthday! Can you ace this quiz?]

The highlights are there: The US Bank Building. Grove Hotel. The Capitol.

And of course… the Blue Turf.

Matt Uptmor took on the challenge last year – but recently posted it on Reddit where it got wider attention.

“I had been following the Lego skylines series since they started in 2016,” Uptmor told BoiseDev. “I didn’t own any of them at the time, but the sets all looked really good and I was fascinated with the line. Sometime in March of that year, I thought I might try to make my own, and of course Boise was the obvious choice.”

Digital model

Uptmor designed out the digital model with a program called Stud.io. He hasn’t actually built out the model in bricks, but says he will use a service called Bricklink to buy the parts. With more than 500 pieces, the literal building blocks would run higher than the actual sets sold by LEGO.

The set also includes the Boise Depot and Idanha hotel – a total of six of Boise’s landmarks.

“I made a shortlist of buildings to include based on my knowledge of the city, and some Google image searches as a refresher,” he said. “The official sets have around 5-6 buildings in them, so I wanted to narrow my selection down to that while still having enough room for all of them, as the size of the base was also fixed by the Lego sets.”

Uptmor said his inspiration for the Boise model came from his knowledge of the area and interest in finding new things to model with Lego.

“For this project, the inspiration came from preexisting Lego sets, but it can come from anywhere,” he said. “I’m a big Star Wars fan myself, so a lot of the other stuff I make comes from there, but you can get inspiration from all kinds of other sources. Looking at other people’s creations always gets my brain going. Even just looking out your front door. You don’t have to make a model of something big or important, you could just make the tree in your front yard, or your neighbor’s car.”

For now, the steps involved in making the model aren’t available, but Uptmor has said he’s working on it.

(Thanks Bradley for the story lead!)

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at don@boisedev.com.

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