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Families flock to Steam Museum for Lego event
LEGO enthusiasts of all ages thronged to the Steam Museum over the weekend to enjoy the Great Western Lego Show, the biggest event of its kind in the country.
Children and parents alike spent two days marvelling at the detail and complexity of some of the models, which were constructed by Brickish Association members.
There was a scale-model replica of a Rolls Royce Trent 1000 jet engine, which powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, an expansive medieval castle and a vast array of creative and inventive tables and stalls.
Of course there was also the opportunity to play, with a 100,000 piece mosaic made up of tiles created by visitors.
Ed Divent, of Bright Bricks, led the ten-man team who worked tirelessly to build the Rolls Royce jet engine, which includes 150,000 individual bricks and is more than six feet long.
“It took just under three months to put together,” he said. “It was originally commissioned by Rolls Royce for display at the Farnborough air show, and is about half the size of the real thing.
“It has got all the compressors and turbines in it, so represents the real jet engine. There is a whole design process including a tour of the factory to learn how to break it down into individual units to build.
“The fan took five attempts to get right, but it is now one of the parts I am most proud of.”
Ed has been using Lego from a very young age, and became so good he was offered a job doing it.
“I started building when I was around two and never got tired of it,” he added. “I used to do it in my spare time until Bright Bricks approached me with a job.
“Lego is the toy that never dies. It is educational, because there is maths, engineering and thought involved.”
Parents and children were awestruck and inspired by some of the projects on display.
Simon Broome, 45, said: “I was more of a Meccano man myself, and I am an engineer now so maybe that had something to do with it. The jet engine they have is just brilliant, and shows just what can be done. It brings maths into the process, and really covers the whole age range.”
His son Jona-than, 10, said: “I have been here about four times, and my favourites are the Star Wars models. It gets better every time. I have tried doing some of the things I have seen here at home. I tried making a fort but I did not get on very well. But if I practice enough I might be able to make something like these.”
Finn Marjoram, 11, said: “It is amazing. The best thing I have seen is the big castle, it is huge and the detail is brilliant. It is much better than last time I was here. I have got a lot of Lego at home, and it is definitely my favourite toy.”
Stefan Marjoram, 43, said: “It is great fun. We came a couple of years ago and Finn won a lego drag race competition with one of the cars he built. It is a good chance to come and see what other people are doing in their bedrooms.”
Some of the creators and designers of the projects have worked for months getting them ready, and got back into using lego after having children themselves or through nostalgia.
Steve Swandell and James Clinch helped work on the medieval Tigelfah castle after meeting at an Adult Fans of Lego group in London.
“We are two of the eight people who built the castle town display,” said Steven. “I got back into it after having kids myself. I remembered how much I loved it and realised a lot of other adults do it as well.
“As an adult you have the money to go and do exactly what you want with it, and to be able to do something tactile with your hands is very therapeutic.
“Once you get beyond the fact that it is a toy it is a medium for self expression.”
James said: “We all put it together in our own places individually, and co-ordinated it by taking photos and sending them to each other. Off and on this has been going for about two years, and the original idea for the collaboration was put down at the Steam Museum last year.
“I rediscovered Lego and saw how much it has come on since I used to play with it in the 1980s. There are very different parts available now, and it is a challenge to work out the ways to use them.”
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