Product Idea |

Metallica the Black Album Album Cover

Continuing to envision all things Metallica in LEGO I decided it was time to look at an album cover or two. 

All things being equal, The Black Album seemed like the easiest one to tackle first. That said, inspiration struck, and I instead tackled the new 72 Seasons Album Cover first. Once I was done with that, I set out to create The Black Album.

I am a physical builder, so I always start out with a very colorful prototype or two figuring out what I have versus what I need, and then I order parts.

The biggest question with The Black Album was what color to make the snake and Metallica. On the actual album, it is black on black, and very hard to see. Knowing the pieces that I needed to make the snake, I looked at the color options for the Tile 4x4 w/Bow, No 1 and saw there was a metallic silver that I thought would look good, and it was a color option for all the parts I needed. Decision made.

I started with a 32x32 baseplate, covered it in black plates, bordered it in 1-by black tiles, and then used 2x2 tiles for the album face. Where the snake and Metallica would be, I used a series of 2x1 tiles, 2x2 jumpers, along with 1x1 round plates and cone bricks to achieve the height and depth needed for the letters and snake body.

Overall the design and build came together quickly. Photos, on the other hand, were an entirely different story!

It took many attempts, and at times felt downright impossible to get pictures without a reflection in the black tiles. Lighting was extremely difficult, again due to reflection, and after a week of trying, I moved outside to try to get pictures in natural light. This posed an entirely new set of obstacles as now I could not only see myself, even when in the shade, but I could see trees and clouds. 

One morning when I was about to give up and title this a ‘just for me’ piece, I realized I may have been going about it all wrong, and turned my setup around so that my back was to my house. I hung a black blanket up against my house, dressed in head-to-toe black, including a black balaclava and gloves, so that all that was exposed was my eyes. I then hid my eyes behind my camera so that the black album was facing all black. Success!

Why would this make a good set? Here are two reasons, LEGO and Lars Ulrich. Arguably Denmark's two most famous exports. The better question might be: How has this not happened yet? 

31 years later, this is still a frantically-popular album that continues to sell an impressive amount of copies each month. People who don’t consider themselves Metallica fans, very likely know at least one song on this album. Both LEGO and Metallica fans are avid collectors, both fans come in all ages, and this is a set that everyone can enjoy.

418 pieces (tracked by a brick-by-brick video I made taking pictures of every piece as I snapped them into place) 

Dimensions: 32x32 studs (25.5cm wide x long x 1.75 cm deep)

My hope is that when Metallica fans look at it, the response is a smile, say "I WANT ONE!" and be inspired to vote.

If you would like to one day build this, please take a minute (that’s all it takes!) to set up a LEGO IDEAS account and click the SUPPORT button. 10,000 votes are needed for it to move-on to be reviewed by LEGO for consideration as a potential buy/buildable set.

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Thank you for your support!

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