It has been two years since I finished my 1:1 sculpture of my character Shaana. Since then I’ve moved, and having set up a brand new Lego building area I wanted to make something big again. And the choice was fairly obvious. Niereth is a much newer design of mine, having been created in 2018, but she quickly became a favourite.
After having already learned roughly how to make a sculpture of this size, the build took shape quickly. I made a 1:1 sketch to figure out how large she would need to be to scale with Shaana, who is 181 cm tall while Niereth is 175 cm. This time around I had the super useful Technic frames and liftarms with holes on all sides, which made the internal skeleton much easier to construct. So I very quickly had the general concept up and running, and could get started on the face. This time the head is separate and sits securely on the neck but can be removed. With all the frames it was much simpler to mount the outer layers, so I can remove most of them very easily which turned out to be helpful.
It was important to not simply make Shaana’s face again, so I just used the general proportions but used other parts whenever I could. Her face started out fairly blocky, but I was happy early on with the eyes. I was going to use the flexible spikes for her eyebrows, but they turned out too straight and I eventually changed them for brick builds. The lower face also saw a lot of refining, ending up with lots of curved slopes that made her a lot smoother than Shaana. The nose was a stroke of luck, as I could fit slopes alongside it to cover all gaps.
The main focus early on was to get her armor right. I had a bunch of 2×4 tiles in metallic silver left over from Shaana so those became the basic layout, but I also needed to stock up on weird Agents parts to get more variety and I’ve now mostly exhausted the worldwide supply of 2×4 angled plates in metallic silver. The shoulder sections sit on top and include a collar that folds around her neck using classic rocker hinge plates connected with 1×2 rounded plates. I built the shoulder straps early, using hinges to fold them slightly. This part is very fragile but looks good. The front of the armor is one section and her chest is built around a Technic frame that is angled to the rest of her body. The lower torso was fairly simple. I used basic Pythagoras proportions to angle the folds in her dress and added a long fold that extends from her chest to add more detail.
Around the sides there are two major sections, one around her armpits that I filled in with silver to make her chainmail, and one lower section that was similar in build to her lower torso. Connected to the upper part I filled in the contours of her chest with plates, but the lowest part was tricky. Niereth has straps holding her armor going around her bust and under her arms. The buckle was quite complex to design but I found a way to use window bars. Compound curves are tricky enough along two dimensions with Lego, nevermind three. She was fairly blocky for a long time, but I eventually found the curved slopes on the back of the London Bus that were perfect in size to finish her up.
After all this, the back was fairly straight-forward. It has two sections, with the armor being a quite simple chunk. It does sit at a slight angle to make for a better overall silhouette. I spent my last curved metallic silver slopes here so I don’t get tempted to make another character in armor. I used some similar techniques as the front for the lower back, but at this point my problem was mostly having enough red tiles available.
I started figuring out her hair early on, and it was quite a big problem for a while. Niereth has big curly hair in big locks, and I decided to make sort of a wig that would connect to her scalp and fall naturally, instead of making a solid sculpt that would be very fragile. So I needed a way to extend fairly heavy parts in eight directions, with two being in front of her face. The answer was, as usual, Technic. Lego doesn’t make many eight-sided parts so I had to design my own contraption which uses angled connectors and Technic bars to make a mostly equal octagon. From this I could hang Technic liftarms and then build the hair mass on those.
The next problem was how to connect all this on top of her head. I ended up building a crazy combination of a propeller hub and A plates which gave me a structure with 1×6 plates along the edges, on which I could mount curved slopes that made up the hair. Four parts are built directly on the structure and four hinge over it, and additional slopes curve down to meet the hanging sections below. The hair ended up slightly flatter than I had designed, but there’s already a lot of weight hanging on those Technic liftarms so I don’t want to push my luck. I’m still very happy with it and proud of the design.
While waiting for the last few parts from Bricklink, I quickly built a similar platform to sit her on. Like with Shaana, it’s in two parts that clamp around the base of the Technic frames inside her, so she is securely connected. Since the inside is more stable, I can easily carry her just by grabbing her waist, which makes her a lot more portable.
Overall the build took around nine months with some long breaks. While I wasn’t actively working on it, I kept thinking about the build a lot and figuring out solutions, so she has been on my mind for quite some time now. Niereth ended up 61 cm tall, 47 cm wide and 21 cm deep.