For whatever reason, a popular means of expressing one's enthusiasm for a piece of pop culture is to look at said thing and ask: "What if this was the size of a hamster village and made out of something completely stupid?" Replica and miniature hobbyists occupy a unique territory of fandom, but fortunately they're able to channel their obsessive natures into mind-boggling projects like ...
#5. A Lord of the Rings City Made of Matchsticks
For reasons that neither science nor theology will ever be able to explain, Patrick Acton decided to spend three years of his life stacking matchsticks together to form the mountain city of Minas Tirith, as seen in the Lord of the Rings movies:
"It's a burning passion."
Between the fortified city and the mountain upon which it sits, this seven-tier structure was built using 450,000 individual matchsticks. To us, gluing together that many matchsticks into a shapeless blob sounds like an impossibly tedious task, but Acton sculpted the city down to the last tiny detail, including windows, doors, staircases, archways, and even the trebuchets sitting atop each watchtower along the outer wall. He even managed to build curved walls and the winding branches of a miniature tree using nothing but tiny, brittle sticks.
We're amazed he didn't whittle a stick figure Denethor to plunge down in a fireball of self-fulfilling prophecy.
Acton's attention to detail was so specific that he had to create new buildings and structures to populate the fantasy capital city of Gondor, because neither the punishingly wordy books nor the 10-hour movie trilogy contained enough material for his liking. This makes Acton the first person in history to decide that The Lord of the Rings, in all of its adapted forms, simply wasn't long enough.
Acton thinks the final Hobbit film should be split into two parts.
The matchstick Minas Tirith is now part of the Ripley's Believe It or Not! collection, where it is displayed alongside other Patrick Acton structures, such as the 600,000-matchstick replica of Harry Potter's Hogwarts School of Wizardry, because Patrick Acton decided at an early age exactly how he wanted to be remembered.
As the man who built a fantasy dick tower out of matches.
#4. A 20,000-Piece Motor-Powered LEGO Batcave
If you wait long enough, your favorite pop culture property will inevitably be made into an impossibly expensive LEGO set. But the truly obsessed don't sit around and wait for that shit -- they make their own. Take Wayne Hussey and Carlyle Livingston II. They didn't feel like waiting for the gods of fun and whimsy to shine their light on Tim Burton's Batman, so they went ahead and created their own absurdly detailed LEGO Batcave themselves. The thing is so huge that you'd have to actually be Bruce Wayne to buy one in the unlikely event that they're ever mass-produced.
We're pretty sure you could fit a life-size billionaire orphan in there.
Livingston used to build props and models for the film industry, and Hussey is the director of BrickCon, a LEGO fan convention. With their powers combined, they were able to patiently spend over 400 hours assembling a LEGO replica of Batman's underground toy chest. The finished product consists of about 20,000 bricks and weighs around 100 pounds, which is enough to crush a child to death should it happen to tip over in the middle of a spirited play session. It includes five different Bat-vehicles to ride:
Six, depending on the type of stories you tell about his relationship with Robin.
A tiny armory:
Hang your Batarangs neatly, or face angry drunken Alfred.
And a miniature Batcomputer to decode the Riddler's nefarious riddles:
Complete with pictures of Catwoman and ... um, Abraham Lincoln.
The LEGO Batcave requires four tiny motors to power all of its moving parts, which is more than most people need in their entire house. However, that's nothing compared to Gotham Park, the LEGO replica of the Joker's headquarters created by Paul Hetherington. It doesn't just "have" moving parts -- the entire thing moves.
Modeled after an abandoned theme park, the LEGO Joker's lair includes delightful automated set pieces that feature Batman getting assaulted by villains and Commissioner Gordon being lowered into a vat of acid. The elaborate scenes in Gotham Park require an undisclosed number of 9-volt motors and 30,000 LEGO bricks -- a full 10,000 more than the intimidatingly awesome LEGO Batcave. Then again, if anyone was going to outdo Batman in elaborate ridiculousness, it would be the Joker.
Some men just want to see their free time burn.
#3. Amazingly Detailed Titanic Replicas Built from Spare Parts
via Reality Pod
Jason King of Welwyn, England, is super into the Titanic, which hardly makes him unique, despite the fact that it seems like an unsettlingly strange thing to be a fan of. In order to express his boundless enthusiasm in an equally unsettling manner, King decided to build his own replica Titanic out of garbage, such as scrap VCR parts, broken clocks, and other bits of random junk nobody wanted. This is presumably because Jason King, a student of history, wanted to pay tribute to the little-known fact that the original Titanic was also fashioned from old VCR parts.
via Reality Pod
Our fact checkers have not verified that last sentence.
The finished replica is just under 9 feet long and was constructed over the course of two years, finishing just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking.
The Guinness is there both for scale and to honor all of the Irish trapped in steerage.
King researched the Titanic's blueprints and read over 150 books on the infamous ship to learn the precise locations of brutally specific details like door handles, signal bells, and even the number and positioning of the benches on the top deck. It is unclear how many Billy Zanes he sculpted, although we assume the final count was at least one.
He fashioned a tiny Bernard Hill out of Slim Jim meat stick shavings.
Not to be outdone by a fellow tragedy enthusiast's mad scientist-level of obsession, Stan Fraser of Scotland flung 12 years of his life into the cauldron of oblivion to construct his own 1:10 scale Titanic replica out of two old motor homes in his backyard.
Peter Jolly Northpix
The trailers' occupants are trapped inside, victims of man's hubris.
To properly showcase this 100-foot mammoth, Fraser converted the inside of the replica ship into a full-size cafe and turned his house into a makeshift maritime museum. He also made sure to add a functioning Morse code station, presumably so visitors can relay his ransom demands to their loved ones once they realize they've been locked inside.