December 18 is a long time away; a lifetime, it feels like. And, while the plot of The Force Awakens isn’t known just yet, there’s nothing to stop you from picking up some new LEGO sets or Hasbro figures and scripting your own episode seven. One might imagine that this is what Vesa Lehtimaki is doing right this moment.
Lehtimaki is the force (pun not intended) behind many of the humorous and wonderfully enjoyable photos you may have seen floating around the Web these past couple of years. The Finnish photographer is well known for his images he painstakingly creates using his son’s toys.
While he has played and created with a variety of toys, his latest endeavor, LEGO Star Wars: Small Scenes From a Big Galaxy only uses bricks from the Danish toymaker. While Lehtimaki uses a variety of background materials to recreate scenes from the movies (and make up a few of his own), all of the subjects are made from LEGO bricks … mostly. Sometimes, Lehtimaki uses LEGO sculpts to create molds that he then injects with acrylic to create special effects.
He is also very clever with lights and cleverly approaching the staging of scenes. For example, to create a blizzard scene on Hoth, Lehtimaki was having a hard time capturing falling snow. He finally solved the problem by placing two minifigs and a Y-Wing in a small aquarium full of water and then using a sieve to sprinkle ground plaster across the surface. The final photo is very convincing.
Lehtimaki is very open about his workflow and, while the photos are very fun to look at, perhaps the most interesting part of the book comes in the final chapter where he talks about his process and the tricks he used to get shots. It’s altogether very enjoyable and celebrates what is, possibly, one of the greatest convergences of geek interests: Star Wars and LEGO. Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy is in bookstores now.
Disclosure: GeekDad was sent a copy of this book for review purposes.