Sean Kenney: Art with LEGO bricks
Chevy Suburban     ‹ Back to portfolio
Photo of Chevy Suburban
1:20 scale, 11 inches long        450 LEGO elements.        Completed August 7, 2004
This model is about 11 inches long and is very sturdy due to its basic standard construction. The LEGO Master Builders use this form of construction for models in their theme parks... LEGOLAND Californa's chief model maker Pat DeMaria once said to me "You use very different building techniques when you're building for outdoors versus for a display case."

My inspiration for this model came while I was debating what I could use to contrast my Audi TT. As I was driving through my neighborhood, I passed an immense, shiny, brand-new Chevy Suburban. I'm not a fan of giant gas-guzzing SUVs, and I thought that posing a tiny European sports car with an immense American sport utility vehicle would make an interesting editorial justoposition.

I rushed home and immediately started the Suburban. When it was done later that day, I began work on the Audi TT, and by the end of a long day of building, both models were done.

Here is the Suburban with my Audi TT. Both are built to 1:20 scale, which is the scale used in LEGOLAND's "miniland" models.

Here is another photo of the Audi and the Suburban. To get specific measurements, I went to Audi's and Chevy's web sites. Did you know that both vehicles have 17 inch wheels? As a result, both of models use the same LEGO wheel element (with different sized tires.)

I would have used half-stud offsets to create a gentler slope for the side windows, but I didn't have enough. Note the use of half-stud offsets to create a subtle rounded front bumper and front grille. The entire front overhang (bumper, grille, headlights, etc) is a two-to-three stud deep subassembly that attaches seperately to an otherwise flat-fronted model just in front of the front wheels.

The golden Chevrolet logo is actually just a regular tan-colored LEGO plate. This idea was borrowed from LEGOLAND's official models.

The back side of the beast. The trailer hitch, the exhaust pipe, door guard, and the rear window are the only LEGO elements in this model that are oriented sideways.