501st Rose Bowl Parade Lego Diorama Project

Progress Tracker

May 20, 2013: Time to get on that big boat to Celebration II !

May 18, 2013: It's a wrap on the first incarnation of the Legion LEGO Rose Parade Diorama!

May 12, 2013: The Endor Float arrives, is glued together, and festooned with flowers by Elizabeth and Julianna. Mock-up of entire parade with the two floats.

May 4, 2013: The Naboo Float arrived today and was reconstructed to place in the parade! Ken Milano did a fantastic job designing, gathering the parts, building, and perfecting this elaborate piece which sits like a crown at the back of the parade! Ken is also designing the Endor float, which will be here soon.

April 13, 2013: Carolina Garrison members come over to lend a hand with the diorama including Tom Gardner, David Cope and his son DJ, and Brad Lee.

March 22, 2013: Filled the stands with spectators, working to arrange figures by color, diversity, unique 'wow' factor. I also tried to spread some celebrity figures around so we can play 'Where's Waldo' style game with the kids who see the diorama. Even threw in soms Star Wars figures here and there to show support for the marchers from their fellow Star Wars people. Looks pretty good but can still change it around some if we need to. Planning a build party where we can individually glue each figure down as well as their hair, hats, accessories, etc. The crowd has arrived! Much thanks to all the people who parted with their LEGO people to let them be here for the party!

March 17, 2013: The bleachers are finally complete and totally redesigned to be very strong. Tom Gardner picked up all the pieces to complete them at the LEGO store in Concorde and now they are a shiny thing of black beauty! Maybe it doesn't come out in the photos, but they are beautiful and now we'll stock them with the spectators and get ready to glue them all down. Woo hoo!

March 5, 2013: My brother in law Ken decided to give Star Trek vessels a break and helped us big-time designing this mock-up of the Naboo Float from the 2007 Rose Parade. He is now ordering the parts to build it up in time for the Diorama's unveiling in July at Celebration Europe 2! It's so awesome to have so many cool and talented people helping with this - feels like a big family project! Can't wait to see this part done and added to the parade! Way to go, Ken!

March 2, 2013: The family took a trip up to Charlotte, NC to the LEGO store to get serious about getting the materials for the parade bleachers. I sat in the building area of the store for an hour sizing up the pieces we'd need and the most efficient way to build bleachers without spending too much on bricks. I finally settled on black 2x8 bricks as the main material and picked up a full case, as well as a large cup of 2x4 bricks for end pieces because you have to stagger bricks when building to strengthen the structure. I also picked up six of the light gray 48x48 base plates so we can figure out exactly what surface we're working on. I'm staying away from street plates because they're smooth and very specific in shape and I prefer something we can work with that's flexible and we can actually mount the troopers onto. Some LEGO builders might find this primitive looking but I like the peg surface of the plates for keeping the LEGO feel of the environment. We can trim the plates to fit the wooden boards onto which the diorama will be mounted, and we can paint areas to appear black asphalt later. No big deal. Anyways, I then got it all home and tried two different builds for the bleachers: both stair-stepped but one version having one-peg deep steps and the other with two-peg-deep steps like I've been using up til now. Pictured is a comparison of the two. I'm leaning towards the former because it saves a LOT of building material and gives us more room on the board. With a 2' wide platform we're mounting onto, that gives us roughly 73 pegs across - so after you deduct a foot-print of about 48 pegs across for the troopers in the parade that only leaves 25 pegs, 12-13 on each side. The 'skinny' bleachers only take up 8 pegs while the 'fat' bleachers take up 12, which is ALL of the side-line space. So we're going with the skinny bleachers. The figures have to be packed in there a little tighter front-to-back but most people I've asked say it doesn't take away from the look of the crowd at all and in fact makes it look more packed and busy and therefore like it's a more exciting event going on.

Feb 21, 2013: We used the parts from the Endor sets being sent in to mock-up the Endor float. Not a great job, but it's a start and a working prototype for how we want it to look so now's the time to start improving on the prototype. We have two builders working on the two floats right now!

February 9, 2013: Just shy of my birthday we are almost 100% done with the main parade group and looking good enough to start building the infrastructure around the parade. 100% of Alpha and Flag companies present, needing a few orange and black pauldron desert troopers and one Commander Deviss and one Commander Bly to complete Bravo. We also need Jango Fett, one last Ewok, a few padawans, a Luminara Unduli, and a Packing Dress Padme to complete the floats. Also looking for about ten more Imperial Shuttle Pilots to fill out the Elite Squad. Phase Three we'll look to add the orange-and-yellow Twi'Lek dancers and the Grambling State Marching Band but honestly we can proceed even without those and still look pretty good. Now it's on to buying bricks and building good looking stands. As always, we can really use some regular plain ol' LEGO people figures to fill those stands!

Jan 31, 2013: Mock-up of the three companies of troopers. Alpha Company just needs 30 Stormtroopers to be complete. Bravo Company is short a few biker scouts and desert troopers as well as Commander Deviss, Commander Bly, and a second 501st Legion Clone Trooper. Flag Company is all present and accounted for - just need flag poles and flags!

Jan 25, 2013: Mock-up

Jan 22, 2013: Wave 12 of the incoming LEGO parade attendees: Kathy Schmick Beach sent in George Lucas himself along with three spectators for the crowd, and Bryan Kihlmire sent in a Desert Trooper, 3 Stormtroopers, four Biker Scouts, a Tusken Raider, Yoda, and two civilians. And my daughter Allie sent in a trooper and a gold C-3PO! So what to do but build a spectator booth for George (even though he was sitting in the stands with everyone else, it's more fun to give him a spot where he's more easily showcased). He looks pretty proud of the troopers!

Jan 19, 2013: Third Mock-up

Jan 13, 2013: Second Mock-up and Wave 6 of arrivals - Tony Archuleta sent in a TK and a TB and Steve Greenwood of Wookieepedia fame sent in 21 regular LEGO figs to be spectators in the stands. Check out how cool it looks to have MORE of a crowd to set the scene. Notice Hubert Siebertz ID4274 as Drill Captain sporting his signature sunglasses.

First mock-up using what we've been sent so far. Almost a full company from the parade assembled! Of course this is not the composition of a company, we will adjust as we get the accurate costume types for the positions that marched in the actual parade. But it's a good preview of how things will look when we start getting it all together. Notice the stands: we need a LOT of figures in the stands and any old unwanted LEGO figures will do - just normal people LEGOs will look great making up the audience. I love the black and red and white popping like that!

Jan 10, 2013: We're at the half-way point in donated or pledged TK's! Lots more figures to get and we need TONS of boring normal LEGO people so send 'em in and let them be part of the audience!

Jan 6, 2013: Our progress so far

Jan 1, 2013: First set of troopers to show up at the parade marshaling area!

Please feel free to contact me to regarding proper placement, numbers, names, or corrections at trooper.tk210@gmail.com with the subject line "501st Diorama"

Together, we can recreate a memorable piece of history!