The Base8 Modular Landscaping Standard

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Roads

  • Baseplate: Green (unless otherwise specified)
  • Primary color: Tan, 40-90%
  • Secondary colors: Light/dark grey/bley, browns & reddish browns

Roads should be 8 studs wide when they meet and made with a single layer of plates. Use small grey plates for rocks and pebbles and brown for streaks of mud. More grey can be used in more civilized areas for cobblestones, but try and keep your edges 70-80% tan.

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CCC Walls

  • Baseplate: Green (unless otherwise specified)
  • Primary color: Light grey
  • Secondary colors: builder’s discretion

Build CCC walls to the same dimensions as in the CCC section. The only difference is the placement. In an 8cre, the wall should be placed in the middle, so 2 studs of green should stick out on either side of the base. On a 32x32 baseplate, for instance, one edge of the wall might be 10 studs from the corner and the other edge 18 studs from the opposite corner, or 2 studs from one corner and 26 from the other.

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It took 1 minute 27 seconds to convert this wall from CCC to Base8

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Seashore

  • Baseplate: Blue
  • Primary color: Tan, 75-100%
  • Secondary colors: Light/dark grey/bley

Seashores take up the outer 6 studs of an 8cre, with the last 2 studs matching the land behind it (normally green) and anything further being ocean (blue). In a BPB display, the starting baseplate should be blue with 1-2 plates high of tan for the beach and 3 plates (1 brick) high of green on the groundside edges. Propagate your shores with grey rocks and small plants.

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Riverbank

  • Baseplate: Blue
  • Primary color: Light grey/bley, 50-90%
  • Secondary colors: Dark grey/bley, green, tan, browns

Riverbanks are similar to seashores, but shouldn’t be as wide and sandy. Make them 2 studs wide instead of six and grey instead of tan. Everything else should be the same as seashore.

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A 32x32 BPB module with opposing river bank 8cres running down the middle.

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Streams

  • Baseplate: Blue
  • Primary color: Light grey/bley, 50-90%
  • Secondary colors: Dark grey/bley, green, tan, browns

Use streams when you want running water that is smaller scale than rivers. Rather than building a single bank per 8cre put both banks in an 8 stud wide section with 4 studs of blue between them and forget about the 2 studs of green buffer.

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Two stream modules, the first built normally, the second with BPB in mind.

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Cliffs

  • Baseplate: Green (unless otherwise specified)
  • Primary color: Dark grey/bley, 50-90%
  • Secondary colors: Light grey/bley, green, browns

Cliffs should be 4 studs wide at the bottom, 1-2 studs wide at the top, and 7 bricks tall (coincidentally, the width of a BURP and the height of a LURP) and be backed up against one edge of an 8cre (so 4 studs of ground, then a cliff face that ends 7 bricks higher). Make them rocky with a decent mix of dark and light greys with patches of green and brown and small plants interspersed. Your coordinator may decide to change the height, but if you’re not sure its safest to go with a multiple of seven. ADDENDUM: Cliffs are now 8 bricks high, not 7, because 8 bricks comes to almost exactly 3 inches and makes finding non-lego supports for cliff-high baspeplates much more convenient.

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Keep in mind you will have to build supports for any modules placed behind your cliffs.

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Hills

  • Baseplate: Green (unless otherwise specified)
  • Primary color: Green 80-100%
  • Secondary colors: Light/dark grey/bley, browns

Hills are difficult to coordinate and somewhat brick intensive, I would recommend using them sparingly. The display coordinator should determine the level of detail required. For Base8 make them 3 bricks high for every 8 studs, or 7 bricks for every 16 in order to match up with cliffs.ADDENDUM: Hills have been changed to 4 bricks high for every 8 studs. It's a much simpler ratio and, like cliffs above, 4 bricks come conveniently close to 1 and 1/2 inches in height.

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Two different techniques for hill construction, one more natural the other less brick intensive.

Further Note

It should be stressed that only the edges need follow the Base8 rulings. Builders are encouraged to move away from 8 stud measurements within their creations, as long as the edges conform to multiples of 8. A road, for instance, could widen or narrow, curve, etc., as long as it is 8 studs wide and 0, 8, 16, etc., studs from the corners when it meets the edge. This makes the landscaping appear more natural; if builders conform too closely to 8x8 squares you will end up with something more resembling a checkerboard than rolling hills.
Conversely if you keep your modules small and give them specific roles you do increase their modularity factor, which allows you to rearrange them more freely.

Off the Edge

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A plain 32x32 baseplate versus a slightly “dressed” one.

So now that you’ve got your edges down what should you fill in between? Even if you only have a little time and are just contributing a few green baseplates to fill space, at the bare minimum taking a minute to put down a
few grey 1x2 bricks for rocks and a plant or some flowers will make a big difference in the aesthetic value of the display as a whole.

But if you’re feeling more creative, think about making some farms or trees, or some adventurers fighting a dragon, build a forest, a swamp, some ruins, a cave…If you have a stream running through your plot, why not build a watermill? There’s all kinds of possibilities. Remember you only have to conform to the edges; if you want to build another road or maybe a stone path that connects your church to the road, go right ahead. And most importantly of all: populate! Don’t leave your area looking like an abandoned wasteland. Use the terrain to your advantage; if you’ve built farms have farmers working them, if you have a road put troops marching on it or have forestmen robbing a carriage. Towns and villages should be especially populated with hawkers selling wares, peasants with hand carts…and don’t just have your minifigs standing aimlessly looking off into space. All you have to do is bend back one leg on a minifig and suddenly he’s walking somewhere.

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