Back in July 2022, I filled a Pick and Build cup at the LEGO® Store using rounded 1×2 plated with open studs. At the time, I was not sure what I would use them for. However, I knew I wanted to experiment with rounded structures. The other night, I sat down to tinker and decided to try and use the bricks to build a tree. The result was actually interesting. It’s a simple design, but is has a lot of customization potential. The branches and roots are both poseable. Additionally, you can easily adjust the trunk diameter to suit your project. So, instead of sharing build instructions, I’ll share the basic MOC tree technique instead. You can go ahead and adapt it as you like!
You need two different types of pieces for this: leaf elements and 1×2 rounded plates with open studs (but lots of each).
The main section of the trunk consists of rings created from the 1×2 rounded plates. My base unit was a ring formed of 10 plates staggered in two layers. As mentioned before, you can make the trunk bigger if you want. However, if you try to go smaller, the trunk will look very square. Even five bricks per row is not perfectly round. With that said, real trees vary in shape too, so it adds a touch of realism.
Any time you want to add a branch or a root, simply place two rounded plates perpendicular to the rest. In order to maintain the staggering in the trunk, I suggest two branches/roots from the same junction. I managed this in two ways. Sometimes, I kept the two plates together for a larger root or branch. However, since this technique offers such malleability, you can easily divert the two limbs in different directions. Subsequently, on the next layer of plates in the trunk, you can send two branches or roots off in a different direction.
The limbs and roots are poseable for a completely custom look.
I have not tried to build this tree into a scene yet. However, I think it will be easy. The center of the trunk is hollow. The base has many attachment points though. Obviously, you can’t stick it directly to a plate. The studs won’t line up. But if you build a layer of tiles on a plate, you can strategically place tiles with a single stud on top or jumper plates among them. That way, you can rest part of the trunk on a couple of studs and pose the roots to connect with others. Additionally, if your trunk is large enough, you can assemble a central structure hidden in the trunk that connects firmly to the baseplate.
I recently shared some video of this on TikTok and Instagram. You can check it out on either channel if you’re interested. What do you think of my MOC tree technique? Is this something you can see yourself using? Let me know in the comments below or reach out on social media. Alternatively, share your favorite tree technique!
Until next time,
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