Making Little Big City  Berlin

MAKING OF Little BIG City

Little BIG City has been lovingly crafted within 30 months - designed with incredible attention to detail, meticulous research, plenty of blood, sweat and tears, and a little bit of magic! A real labour of love. Read on to discover how the amazing Merlin Magic Making Team have brought Berlin to life like never before.

THE TEAM

A Little BIG team of 40 - including creatives, artists, painters, model makers, carpenters, mechanical engineers, and 3D Printer technicians- have been meticulously drafting, crafting and creating our Little BIG City Berlin over 30 months.

Our 5000-strong cast of Little BIG City residents are all carefully researched, dressed and brought to life each with their own professional stylist, from the makers of Madame Tussauds.

LET’S GO BUILD BERLIN!

It’s been a BIG job building all the many buildings in our Little BIG City! We started by deciding what to show, in which era (or eras) it should appear and where! Then, for every building, we used architectural drawings, photos and Google street view. Using cutting edge software, everything is drawn to scale.

For the building, we crafted each part individually out of 3D printed plastics, machined acrylic, plywood and MDF, cut to a tenth of a millimetre. 
For the larger buildings we used FFF, or Fused Filament Fabrication. This new process builds up thousands of layers 0.2mm at a time to create GIANT structures.

For finer detail we used Stereo lithography machines. This process hardens resin with a laser, allowing us to get much finer quality and much finer surface finish.

The model makers and carpenters then assembled all the pieces, weathering them to make them appear time worn, before handing them to the painters. We spent between 15 to 20 hours just on painting each building painting to get all the details correct!

THE REICHSTAG

THE BIGGEST OF THE ALL!

Of all our buildings, the most awe-inspiring is the Reichstag – especially when you see it shockingly aflame. This was the seat of German government until the great fire of 1933 and was rebuilt after reunification.

It has a special place in our Berlin story.

  • It’s as big as a Trabant car.
  • Each Reichstag parapet tower took an enormous 120 hours to print on a 3D printer
  • To achieve the amazing “Reichstag on fire” effect, seven projectors create images 4m x 2m to give a hyper realistic representation of the fire.

Now a Little BIG City wouldn’t be much of a city without people! Our Little BIG characters are very important as they’ll show and tell you what life was like in their times. Our 5000 residents and 356 cats and dogs took 4 – 7 hours to make each – although some of the more lavishly dressed characters took over 10 hours to craft.

They have been created through 3D digital body sculpting and dressed to impress by using digital clothing design software. Then, Little BIG residents came to life on 3D printers. Starting as powder, compressed at a scorching 173 degrees, they took 24 – 30 hours to print before being sent to the hairdressers for quick blow dry. And then off to the painters to be each individually hand painted and colour checked. 

See who’s inside Little BIG City

Book online now to reserve your time and see Little BIG City by yourself.