Sunday 11 June 2017

A Place Both Wonderful and Strange

With the new season of Twin Peaks premiering a few weeks back, I sent fellow fan @jonkristinsson a Lego Digital Designer model I made last year of the 'Red Room' after seeing some amazing Lego renders he had produced.

It made me realise there would never be a better time to polish the model and submit it to Lego Ideas, the online peer-approval process that has resulted in the official Lego Ghostbusters and Back to the Future sets. So I went about refining it and actually ordering the pieces to build it. I also downloaded some software allowing me to render some better images myself - nothing as good as Jón's, but better than a screengrab from LDD.

So, after many hours of rendering a few images (my CPU is OLD) and writing a brief summary of the set, I submitted my proposal...
And today I received an email saying it wasn't approved :(

As detailed in their comments, "unfortunately...the brand or licensed property your project refers to contains content or themes that we find inappropriate for a potential LEGO product.I suppose that's reasonable - there's plenty of sex, drugs, murder and violence in Twin Peaks - but it's still disappointing.

So rather than completely waste all those hours of rendering, I thought I'd put them and the photos up here along with the text from the proposal:

My proposal is the 'Red Room' from the TV series Twin Peaks. It is a surreal, purgatorial waiting area where FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper finds himself trapped for 25 years.
It will be recognisable to fans and newbies alike -  the room has become iconic since it was first seen 27 years ago. It's visually striking and has been referenced and parodied in all sorts of media, from The Simpsons to Scooby Doo.
Model Info
I built this model first using LEGO Digital Designer (LDD) before ordering the bricks to test it. The set uses 536 bricks with a 32x32 stud base (although in an unusual 'diamond' formation due to the zig-zag floor pattern.) I've tried to make it as small and affordable as possible while keeping a good balance of detail and scale. It uses mostly common bricks and provides a fun and varied challenge for builders of all ages/skill levels. The furniture is attached to studded tiles.
Note: The real-life model in the photos shows some variations from the rendered images - I am waiting for more parts to arrive! I'll update the page when it's finished.
The set includes four minifigures: the coffee-loving Special Agent Dale Cooper, the Man From Another Place, Laura Palmer and the Venus de Medici statue. All of the characters (except the statue) would have reversible heads with white-eyed angry faces representing their malevolent doppelgangers.
I have used easily available parts but these could be exchanged for more detailed versions - I couldn't find a torso with dress detailing for Laura and The Man From Another Place should really be wearing a red shirt and black shoes!
Possible Alterations
  • The brick count might be reduced by redesigning the red curtains with fewer pieces (however, the non-uniformity of the curtain is intended to replicate how the real fabric hangs.)
  • The six plates used as the centre of the base could be replaced with one 16x16 plate (I couldn't source one for my prototype model) which would reduce the brick count and also improve structural integrity.
  • Other minifigures could be included or substituted - Mike (the One-Armed Man) or the Giant might be good. Additional decorative flourishes are possible (for example, adding other elements associated with Twin Peaks such as a cherry pie, a fine coffee mug, an owl, Cooper's dictophone, a Douglas fir tree, a log, etc) but I have included only the essential pieces relevant to this room.
I hope you like it! Thanks for your consideration and support :)


On the bright side, I'm very happy with the model, and the new season of the series is cracking. Utterly impenetrable, I'd imagine, if you haven't seen the original two seasons and the film Fire Walk With Me, but delightful for longtime fans who have been waiting so long. Every episode is something to chew on and savour.

*thumbs up*