Gigantically tiny scale models of cities
September 20, 2006 8:59 PM   Subscribe

scale model cities: moscow, new york, edinburgh, shanghai, shanghai (ii), nanjing, london, london (ii), old jerusalem, sydney, san francisco, 4th century rome, singapore, havana, beijing, cincinnati, pompeii, futurama (via)
posted by jonson (42 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
For more on Futurama, a 37,000 sq ft "city of the future" from the 1939 World's Fair, see this excellent video (embedded mp4)
posted by jonson at 9:00 PM on September 20, 2006


Neat!
posted by blahblahblah at 9:20 PM on September 20, 2006


[this is good]
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:23 PM on September 20, 2006


I can't find Planet Express.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:24 PM on September 20, 2006


San Francisco was also done in Jell-O
posted by vacapinta at 9:30 PM on September 20, 2006


This was an interesting photo from the Pompeii set. Much to see in this post. Thanks!
posted by snsranch at 9:33 PM on September 20, 2006


Also, I didnt see this link in there but at Roppongi Hills, they pretty much have them all.
posted by vacapinta at 9:34 PM on September 20, 2006


Wow! Shanghai is huge.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:45 PM on September 20, 2006


There are a few more here (at the bottom of the page), my favorite of which is this model of Los Angeles in the year 1940.
posted by jonson at 9:46 PM on September 20, 2006


[Godwin!] BerlinGermania Welthauptstadt^ (more at Albert Speer.)
posted by cenoxo at 9:56 PM on September 20, 2006


Apparently, the images from New York on the site haven't been updated for at least five years.
posted by cytherea at 10:45 PM on September 20, 2006


Tokyo
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:49 PM on September 20, 2006


(am i the only one here who has an irresistible desire to trample across these things in a fluffy godzilla suit?)
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:36 PM on September 20, 2006


UbuRoivas you'd probably be a little oversize. The last scale model city I saw was San Jose's downtown. A two foot tall Godzilla would have been just right.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:40 PM on September 20, 2006


BrotherCaine, this is life, not art.

The movie version of Godzilla wasn't wielding a golf club either, but that sure as hell would be a part of *my* scenario!
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:07 AM on September 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


another quality post from jonson - diamonds on the inside
posted by 404 Not Found at 2:24 AM on September 21, 2006


Nice. I live in the death star.
posted by klaatu at 2:52 AM on September 21, 2006


Cincinnati?
posted by hwestiii at 2:54 AM on September 21, 2006


A model of the hydrological dynamics of the Bay Area. It occupies a warehouse and has a tide generator. They use it to study sediment flow, salt and fresh water mixing, and all sorts of other water use issues for the bay. It's definitely worth the visit if you can make it out to Sausalito.

Photos.
posted by noble_rot at 3:12 AM on September 21, 2006


Sigh. I'm so over the whole tilt-shift lens thing ... yes, yes, yes, very clever, make a real city look like a tiny, little model ...
posted by kcds at 5:30 AM on September 21, 2006


kcds : "Sigh. I'm so over the whole tilt-shift lens thing ... yes, yes, yes, very clever, make a real city look like a tiny, little model ..."

Er, which links are you referring to?
posted by Bugbread at 6:10 AM on September 21, 2006


jonson, excellent post as usual. thank you!
though noted: the shanghai (i) link goes to the edinburgh flickr link.
posted by carsonb at 6:32 AM on September 21, 2006


kcds: the tilt-shift technique may be in effect here on some links, but they're all models. it must work both ways, model -> real life, real life -> model.
posted by carsonb at 6:35 AM on September 21, 2006


These are cool. It might be irrelevant because it's changing so quickly, but does anyone know if there's any of Dublin (Ireland, not Ohio) floating around? A few quick searches haven't dug one up.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:42 AM on September 21, 2006


bugbread, I think kcds is being sarcastic, joking that these can't possibly be real models.
posted by jonson at 7:03 AM on September 21, 2006


And yes, carsonb, I just noticed that initial shanghai mix-up myself. For those who want to see the shanghai 1 photo, it's linked from the (via) post at the end of the FPP.
posted by jonson at 7:04 AM on September 21, 2006


Apparently, the images from New York on the site haven't been updated for at least five years.

"The buildings of the World Trade Center have been retained as a memorial, and there are commemorative plaques with descriptive information about them on the ramp nearby."
posted by eddydamascene at 7:06 AM on September 21, 2006


jonson: sheesh. Every time I see your username now, I know it's going to be good. How do you find all this stuff?

[I picture you à la that guy in Gibson's Pattern Recognition that lives in a cardboard box, jacked into the 'net 24/7, seeing all these connections... not that you live in a carboard box. I guess I didn't have to mention that part.]
posted by exlotuseater at 7:12 AM on September 21, 2006


If you live near NYC the Queens museum is a great place to go. The scale model is really, really impressive in person. Especially when the lights come down every few minutes for the "night simulation".

The art museum and the worlds fair museum are also full of great work/artifacts and if it's nice out, walk the grounds of the deteriorating worlds fair structures (before they're gone!).
posted by JBennett at 7:21 AM on September 21, 2006


I love this stuff. (I recently saw the Zhan Wang: Urban Landscape Beijing exhibit at the Williams College Museum of Art and was amazed at his recreation of Beijing using household utensils.) Thanks for another great post, jonson!

Gotta say, that Edinburgh one is kinda tacky. But the Scots have better things to do than apply detail to city models. Pass the Lagavulin, laddie...
posted by languagehat at 7:37 AM on September 21, 2006


The Shanghai (ii) one seems to be the winner of the bunch. It takes the entire second floor of the building. Visit the Flickr page & view "all sizes" on this shot, just awesome.
posted by jonson at 7:56 AM on September 21, 2006


THat doesn't look like Futurama - where's the Slurm billboard?
posted by Mister_A at 8:12 AM on September 21, 2006


Jonson, judging by the scale of the model vs. the people's feet in that shot it's probably the same size as the NYC model in Queens if not a little smaller. The NYC model benefits from the exclusion of any columns.

Awesome!
posted by JBennett at 9:00 AM on September 21, 2006


A two foot tall Godzilla would have been just right.

So basically we just need to get a good sized iguana in there. Someone get on this! I need to see 4th century Rome be taught a giant radioactive lesson.

Smug Praetorian bastards.
posted by quin at 11:24 AM on September 21, 2006


Cytherea is right about there being no updates to the NYC model in 5 years, at least if the photo that JBennett linked to is recent.

At the center of that pic, about 1/3 up from the bottom, there's a white bridge, and just above it are two large cylindrical structures, with a red and white checkered pattern at their tops. I'm pretty sure those are the gas storage tanks in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that were demolished in summer 2001.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:03 PM on September 21, 2006


(Re: NY, I think it's better that the models be a snapshot of the city, rather than constantly updating the model as the city changes).
posted by -harlequin- at 1:16 PM on September 21, 2006


totally awesome!

btw, looks like the first shanghai link actually points to the edinburgh picture.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 1:49 PM on September 21, 2006


sgt, you're right, but if you want to see what it originally was supposed to point to, click here.
posted by jonson at 2:17 PM on September 21, 2006


Of the photos showing the model of San Francisco, the largest one has been flipped. Use a mirror to see it correctly. The smaller image shows the correct orientation of the Bay Bridge with downtown.
posted by namret at 6:10 PM on September 21, 2006


the future by design
posted by crunchland at 7:25 PM on September 21, 2006


Nice stuff, thanks jonson!
posted by carter at 7:22 AM on September 22, 2006


jonson : bugbread, I think kcds is being sarcastic, joking that these can't possibly be real models.

Not only does the Jonson name on an FPP pretty much guarantee it's gonna be a great post, he even manages to decode the apparently otherwise inscrutable kcds sense of humour. Double threat!
posted by kcds at 1:07 PM on September 22, 2006


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