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Elmo Sculpture

January 20th, 2008

Finally, I’m posting my first entry about an original project of my own. This Elmo sculpture is my most recent LEGO project, which I just completed. I had been looking for an idea for a medium-size sculpture to build. I wanted to build something new, which isn’t easy since sites like MOC Pages and Brickshelf include projects of almost every imaginable character and subject.

However, I found my inspiration in my 18 month old daughter’s favorite character, Elmo. This Christmas was an Elmo Christmas for her. Under our tree, Santa had graced her with Tickle Me Elmo in addition to several Elmo Books, DVDs, and even Elmo slippers. With our home already buried in almost everything imaginable Elmo, it seemed like a natural idea for my next project. A quick scan of the web seemed to indicate this was a new idea, or at least others with LEGO Elmo sculptures were not sharing them with the world yet, so I was excited to get started.  Shown below is the completed sculpture, which stands 20 inches high.

Elmo Full

 As with most projects like this, when I started, one of the first things to determine was what scale to build the sculpture to.  Since first seeing the beautiful sphere sculptures pioneered by Bruce Lowell a couple years ago, I had build several of them, and have since wanted to include one as part of a larger project.  Using them for Elmo’s eyes in their original 6.8 stud width turned out to be almost ‘life size’ for Elmo, which was the determining factor for how large I would build this sculpture.  Plus, Elmo’s round eyes are one of his defining characteristics, so having high accuracy in this part of the sculpture would be a key design decision that would really bring Elmo to life.

Finding a way to meld two of these spheres together and expose a suitable connecting surface on the bottom was a bit of a challenge, but I was pretty happy with the results, shown below.

Elmo Eyes

Although the color of Elmo’s nose is somewhat unique, luckily LEGO Bricks have been produced in a color nearly the exact matching orange shade and I had just enough of the right bricks to construct an oblong sphere nose for Emlo.  I used a technique very similar to Elmo’s eyes and once again faced a challenge in finding a way to connect his nose to his eyes and head securely without having any gaps.  There are many small tiles and plates facing different directions, but in the end I was able to put together his eyes and nose on a contoured brick surface without using any glue or other non-LEGO connectors to keep everything securely in place.

Next, I completed the remainder of Emlo’s head.  Although his eyes and nose were very round for a relatively small scale (a testament to how amazing Bruce’s sphere design is), I decided that building with bricks only (no plates), with all bricks facing studs-up, would be adequate to capture the shape of the remainder of Elmo with enough accuracy to make an acceptable result.  The only other place I deviated from this design decision was with his mouth, where I used plates to achieve a smooth missing-piece-of-pie shape for his partially open mouth.

Here is a close up of Emlo’s head, which shows the eyes, nose and mouth in more detail.

Elmo Face

I completed Elmo’s body using a design which is a blend between the puppet Elmo body shape and the cartoon Elmo body.  When researching for pictures of Elmo, I found a lot of variation in the shape of his body.  I did some trial and error until I arrived at the final design, which best captured Elmo’s unique shape as it exists in my imagination.

In the end, I was pleased that my 18 month old Elmo fan, who can only say about 10 words – immediately shouted a very clear ‘Elmo’ when she first saw the completed sculpture.  It was a bit of validation that I had accurately captured his essence in brick form. In fact, yesterday when we visited the Museum LEGO Exhibit, she said ‘Elmo?’ when we walked into the room, remembering how at home she had seen Elmo in the same form.

 Too bad for now this is one Elmo that she can only look at, and cannot hold or play with!

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4 Responses

  1. Toy links : Fanmode Says:

    […] Lego Elmo MOC. [via] Speaking of that lovable character … […]

  2. Lauren Says:

    I would love to get the plans for how you made Elmo. He is incredible. Email me at laurendestasio@gmail.com if you can.

  3. Andrew Says:

    hello,

    This is fantastic!!
    I am actually attempting to create an Elmo just like this once right now. Is there any chance of maybe a few more photo etc? That would be wonderful!

  4. Elmo Sculpture | Beyond the Brick Says:

    […] Name of Model: Elmo Sculpture […]

 

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