City Block Standard
This is the standard for downtown city blocks at BayLUG/BayLTC
If you are interested in participating in such a layout, the best
way is to build a city block and bring it to a show. If you don't
have a full block however, you can build individual buildings on
32x32 or 16x32 baseplates and combine with another member to build a
full block. We also often have space for one or two additional
individual buildings on the edges of the city, so bring whatever you
have and we'll find a spot for it.
Whatever you build, please make sure to edit the wiki page for the
event you're attending, and list what you are bringing (under the
“Downtown” section), so whoever's putting together the
layout plan can allocate space for you.
City Block Dimensions
The basic city block is a 2x3 rectangle of 32x32 baseplates, or
64x96 studs total. You should build your buildings on baseplates
(do not use the 16x16 plates as the base for your buildings) so they
line up properly with the roads. You can use whatever size or number
of baseplates you need to fill up the 64x96 studs, though most
people use 32x32 baseplates for each building.
Your block should include buildings facing all four directions, so
the corners of the block should have buildings that face two sides
(similar to how Cafe Corner, Grand Emporium, or Palace Cinema sets
Note that unlike the LEGO modular buildings (Cafe Corner et al.),
which leave up to 8 studs of sidewalk on the baseplate on which they
are built, our club standard is that buildings should be built out
to the edge of the baseplate they are on. Any sidewalk on your
building's baseplate will be added to the sidewalk of the road,
which produces an unnaturally wide sidewalk in total. To avoid this,
make sure your buildings have few if any sidewalk tiles on them
unless you are deliberately trying to build a wide sidewalk
(e.g. for a sidewalk cafe).
It is not necessary to have Technic pins connecting adjacent
buildings, as once the roads are connected together it holds the
buildings in place quite well. You may include them if you wish. If
so, it is recommended to use the same spacing as the LEGO modular
Open space in the center of the block should have a logical
explanation, such as a back yard for one or more of the buildings,
an alleyway or parking lot (which should therefore be connected to
the outside roads), or other similar use.
Buildings are typically 32x32 but may be any size as long as your
buildings combine to occupy a full city block. However, if your
block has any gaps they should be 16 or 32 studs wide so as to
easily accommodate another member's building to complete your
BayLUG uses the old style road baseplates from the 1980s and 1990s,
with 7 studs on each side and green and white stripes along each
side of the road. Many club members have these road baseplates already,
so if you don't have the roads for your block you can probably
borrow some. If you want your own, you should be able to buy them on
BrickLink or eBay. Here are links to the BrickLink catalogs for each
To make a full city block you need a total of 10 straights, and
some combination of crossroad, curve, and T-junctions depending on
the layout. However, since adjacent blocks share the road that is
between them, you don't necessarily need all 10 straights.
The roads should have tiled sidewalks (using 2x2 Light Stone Grey
a.k.a. “Bley” color tiles) completely covering the studs
of the road baseplate. Although the roads have 7 studs on each side,
we tile 8 studs on each side, covering up the white line on the edge
of the printed road area - as a result one row of the 2x2 tiles are
connected by only two out of four possible studs.
On the sides of the road baseplates where the road meets another
road, leave 2 studs showing on each side, 4 studs in from the
outside edge. (Use a 1x2 tile next to each one to match the rest of
the tiling.) We use these open studs to connect adjacent roads using
streetlamps (provided by the club).
For street intersections (Crossroads or T-Junctions) leave 2x2
plates instead of tiles in the designated positions which we will
use to mount traffic signals (provided by Bill Ward):
- Crossroads: In each corner, the 2nd tile in each direction
from the corner is replaced by a plate.
- T-Junctions: For cars approaching from each of the 3 directions,
they should see a traffic signal on their right hand side on the far
side of the intersection. Leave a 2x2 plate in that position.
Here are examples of how to apply tiles and plates to the roads to
meet these standards. Click each one for a larger image:
You do not need to make them as boring as this. Especially for the
straights and curves, feel free to add whatever decorative elements
as long as there is enough space on each side of the road for
minifigs to walk around.
For the curves, use whatever approximation you wish to line the
edges of the road - just try to cover as much of the white stripe as
possible while leaving the green one exposed.
Note: Since road baseplates are shared by the adjacent blocks,
remember that if you put decorative elements on the straight roads
that must match up with your buildings (e.g. driveways, street
furniture, etc.) then when you get to a show it may be necessary to
transfer these elements to another person's road baseplate, or for
them to transfer theirs onto yours, if they have similar needs on
their side of the street.
Here is an example of how all the parts fit together to make a
Lamps and Streetlights
The lamps are used to anchor two adjacent road baseplates together on
the exposed studs at the edges of the baseplates.
Traffic signals must be placed so that the cars can
“see” them on the right hand side of the road on the far
edge of the intersection. Angle the traffic light slightly off of
square so that it points at the drivers stopped at the
To detach traffic signals, place a fingernail next to the corner of
the post base, pressing down on the grey 2x2 plate, and tilt it off
To remove the lamp connecting two road baseplates, just lift up one
road baseplate while holding the other down, and the lamp should pop
right off along with its 2x2 grey plate.
Note that there is a 2x2 grey plate at the bottom of the lamp, but
for the traffic lights the 2x2 grey plate is attached to the road
baseplate. This plate is used to raise the base of the post up
above the height of the tiles surrounding it, since it has a nice
rounded white base. For the traffic signals, since the 2x2 tile
tends to stick to the baseplate anyway, our standard is to leave
This is how to build a lamp. Note that BayLUG supplies the lamps
at our shows, but you may wish to have your own for your own
This is how to build a traffic light. Note that Bill Ward supplies
the traffic lights at our shows, but you may wish to have your own
for your own use.