How to Build a 3D Rainbow LEGO Flag
It's Pride Month and to celebrate I built a 3D Rainbow Flag out of LEGO pieces. In case you would like to create one yourself, I've written down all of the do's and don'ts I learned the hard way.
Front of my 3D Rainbow Flag
Determining the Size
Commonly used aspect ratios for flags are 2:3 and 1:2. I figured 2:3 would look better on social media pictures so that's what I chose. I also wanted to have some space on each of the colors, but not too much of it. I settled for a width of 4 studs. 4 studs times 6 colors equals 24 studs in height and 24 x 3/2 = 36. So, my first step was to build a "blank" 36 studs by 24 studs rainbow surface.
On the back, I secured all of the plates with other plates. It doesn't matter which color the plates on the back are as they will not be visible, except for the ones on the border. I wanted that to be white for photographing reasons, but you can use whichever color you like or have an excess of.
Back of the Rainbow Flag on my first attempt to make it stand
This is also a great time to think about how you're going to present your masterpiece once it's done. If it's supposed to stand on it's own, I recommend adding a few bricks to the bottom both in front and in back. If you place the bricks only in the back, the flag will eventually fall on it's face and you'll have a very colorful mess to clean up. Trust me - I speak from experience.
Picking the Colors
The variant of the Pride Flag I chose to make consists of six colors: red, orange. yellow, green, blue and violet. For the base, I used the same LEGO hues. The next steps are easier to do if the base already has the color you are aiming for.
There are approx. a million representatives from the blue color family at LEGO and only several from the violet
Now it's time to create some texture. In the LEGO world this process is know as greebling. You add stuff to a surface to make it more visually interesting. The stuff itself has no other purpose but to look nice.
Usually, builders will do greebling with only parts of the exact same color as the foundation. And you are free to do so as well. My approach to greebling for this MoC was to add texture, height and color variations to the entire flag surface.
Texture, height and color differences throughout the flag
For each of the six color stripes, I decided on several LEGO colors that would be near the target color on the color spectrum. I would say 3 shades are a minimum and 10 would be stretching it. Transparent colors count as colors. Then I rummaged through my LEGO collection to find interesting parts that would fit what I wanted to do. The best sources turned out to be plants, animals, hair pieces, transparent parts and kitchen utensils.
The yellow and white printing isn't a problem for this bird and it shouldn't be for you either
Don't stress if a piece contains a tiny bit of another hue. It'll just bring in more visual interest.
Putting It Together
The bigger coral parts are on the bottom with the smaller ornaments on top
I like to place the bigger (usually plant) elements first. Spread them out more or less evenly and then fill in the gaps with the smaller pieces. Also put some decorations onto the bigger parts.
Snake hiding behind the leaves
Some parts, like the snake in the picture above, you don't need to attach to the surface. The snake is covered with foliage enough that it cannot escape. For everything else, there are clips and knobs (hollow studs).
Use clips for the parts that are being difficult
Often times figuring out what to put where feels like solving a monochrome puzzle or playing a level of Tetris with non-Euclidean parts. To mitigate this, I use various 1x1 elements to gain some height and rotate the main attraction.
Lift your decorations up with 1x1 parts
Even after all this work, you'll still have some "empty spots" on your surface. I consider a spot "empty" if any 1x1 part could fit onto it. This is the best time to get out all of the 1x1 round plates and flowers. I prefer the flowers because they are more textured than the plates and you can use them as holders.
With so many holders now already in place, it would be a shame not to use them. Spread around some fires, jewels, horns and food. Some hair pieces and animals have minipin holes - use them too!
Flowers are easy to fit into "empty spots" and look great
When you run out of parts, space to put them on, or time to build - you are done! Congratulations! Take a moment or two to appreciate what a nice thing you've built. And if you intend to display it upright, please make sure you attach several bricks to the back and the front.
Adding bling to my rainbow
(Have you found all of the infinity stones? If yes, you get 6 crystal points! If not, I hope Thanos hasn't found them either.)