10 Beautiful Scale Models That Would Leave You Speechless

Your eyes won’t even believe it themselves! Take a close look at each of these models, and to get even closer, use the SONY QX100.

1. Robert Moses’ “Panorama of New York”

Bilgin Sasmaz / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Currently located in the Queens Museum, this 1:1200 model from 1964 contains 895,000 buildings, 3,172 colored lights, and it consists of 273 different parts. It took over 100 workers three years to build on this 9,335 square-foot surface. Here, one inch equals 100 feet.

2. Shanghai Model at the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Museum

Via REX USA / Alex Segre / Rex

The exhibition hall’s goal is to show how Shanghai has excelled in city planning and construction, and this mesmerizing 1:500 scale model makes it pretty clear that they’re doing something right.

3. This scene from LEGOLAND in Günzburg, Germany

William Volcov / NewsFree / LatinContent / Getty Images

LEGOLAND Germany has more than 50 ride attractions and was built using about 55 million LEGOs. Before the park’s opening in May of 2002, 140 model designers spent three years planning and executing this marvelous achievement.

4. Chris Burden’s Metropolis II

Seth Anderson / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Via Flickr: swanksalot

This fast-paced city is comprised of 18 roadways, one six-lane freeway, and miniature cars that travel through the city at 240 scale miles per hour.

5. The Neuschwanstein Castle Model at the Adventure World Railway in Austria

Martin Moos / Getty Images

This castle (and its surroundings) were built in 2003 on a surface of 300 m². Visitors can watch as trains travel about 600 m of rails that pass through cities, over mountains, and around castles like this one.

6. The Hogwarts Castle

John Phillips / UK Press / Getty Images

This 1:24 scale construction of everybody’s favorite wizardry school appears in all seven of the Harry Potter films. According to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour website, “[Building it and altering it for all seven movies] was so extensive that if one was to add all the man hours that have gone into building and reworking the model, it would come to over 74 years.”

7. Italo Gismondi’s Model of Imperial Rome during the Age of Constantine

De Agostini / Getty Images

To celebrate the birth of Augustus, Mussolini hired Gismondi and his incredible eye for detail to build a 1:240 scale of Rome between AD 306-337. The project lasted from 1933 to 1937 and is 55 feet wide.

8. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela from Mini Europe, in Brussels

Nigel Swales / (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Via Flickr: nigel321

If your dream is to cram all of Europe into one trip, “Mini-Europe” in Belgium is the place to go. This particular 1:25 scale model is built on the site where the remains of the Apostle Santiago el Mayor were found, and it was completed in 24,000 hours.

9. This Beijing Model of City Planning in the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall

Ivan Walsh / (CC BY 2.0) / Via Flickr: ivanwalsh

Built on a scale of 1:750, this model of the metropolitan city covers an expansive 302 square meters. It’s made of plastic and wood, and it only took 150 workers one year to build and cost over four million yuan (or around $660,000).

10. The “New City” in Dubai’s Cityscape 2008 International Real Estate Exhibition

MARWAN NAAMANI / AFP / Getty Images

In 2008, the real estate firm Meraas Development revealed its plans to rebuild the Satwa area of Dubai and create this “new city.” The project was estimated to cost $95 billion.

For another impressive innovation, check out Bruce Zaccagnino’s “Northlandz” — the world’s largest model railroad.

As part of its Separate / Together initiative, SONY separated the lens from its QX100 camera to document this railway’s artful twists and turns. Catch the full documentary here.

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