Abandoned Lot

Swebrick Masterbuilder (5 of 5)

The theme for Swebrick’s Masterbuilder competition was ‘Park & Nature’ this time around, and as that is what I love to build the most, it was pretty natural for me to join 🙂

At first I had quite a few ideas of different kinds of undulating landscapes, but as some of the rules were clarified it turned out that entries needed to have a certain height around the whole build. This was quite a heavy limitation as nature rarely is that flat, so I had to rethink my ideas a bit.

Finally I settled on the idea of an abandoned lot, as it would make sense that it would be flat. I had planned to have a heavily ruined house and perhaps some broken swings on the plot, but in the end I did not include them, as I felt they would detract too much from the theme, which was nature.

WIP Swebrick Masterbuilder 2017 (003)

Once I had decided to remove signs of civilisation in favour of more vegetation, I realised the build felt very chaotic and there was nothing for the eye to focus on. So I added a smaller and more discreet man made structure – an abandoned root cellar. This also gave some much need height difference in the build.

WIP Swebrick Masterbuilder 2017 (004)

As this was a build where the vegetation essentially had to carry the build, I did a lot of experimentation to come up with a wide range of flowers, bushes and even a couple of trees. For this purpose I put together some small mini-builds to test the vegetation out, to be later incorporated in the full build.

Foliage Concept

The first mini-build used bright colored flowers on a darker ground. I quite like using both the stick and base of small levers for different kinds of flowers. In the back I built a couple of leafy bushes, based on the bamboo plant part, which I think turned out really well.

Foliage Concept 2

The second mini-build was more centered around a pile of rocks that I intended to include somewhere in the build. Here the colours are less bright and more olive green and dark green is included in the vegetation. Tried out a couple of usages for the small claw piece here. As I intended to have one are with a few pine trees I also made some sort of prickly, dark green bush in the back that I wanted to use for transition into the forested area.


I had experimented with trying to make a spruce before, but hadn’t been able to make something satisfactory. This time I tried layering interlocked leaf elements and it turned out really nice, so I made a small mini-build with two of these trees, with a bit of a drier ground which tends to be the case under spruces. Later I added another of these to the build as well, to thicken up the forest a bit.

Slope Tree

I also wanted at least one tree in the open area, and I had created this tree just a week before, so I decided to try to use it, eventhough I felt the shiny quality of the leaves wasn’t really in sync with the rest of the build. Later, after some feedback from other builders I spent some time trying to come up with a different tree, but I was out of ideas and so I went back to this design again. Although, I did change to trunk into a birch type of trunk instead of the dark brown/black that is seen in the image.

Swebrick Masterbuilder (2 of 5)

After having done all these smaller builds, it was time to add them on to the main build. During the assembly I had to disassemble one of the foliage builds and spread the plants a bit more evenly across the build.

Swebrick Masterbuilder (3 of 5)

The process of putting everything together became an iterative process, where i filled up the build with plants, then took a step back to see what worked and what didn’t, then I went back to move things around again, and so on.

Swebrick Masterbuilder (4 of 5)

In the end I’m really happy with the build. I feel it captures the very lush, overgrown feel that I wanted for the build. I’m also quite happy with the range of vegetation I managed to come up with. Putting in all the little green bovine horns in front of the cellar was quite a pain, but I like the look. The two green bushes with lavender/pink, located behind the cellar are also quite a favourite as I think they really look like a real plant.

Swebrick Masterbuilder (1 of 5)

It was quite a fun experience going “all out” with vegetation. Now I find myself low on green pieces though 😉

Hope you enjoyed the build 🙂

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