Australian LEGO Certified Professional Ryan McNaught and his workshop team have built a life-sized replica of the TARDIS from Doctor Who. Images of the LEGO TARDIS on Bondi Beach in Sydney started circulating on the web yesterday, but you can see it in person at the Zing Pop Culture Store in Macquarie Park through the 18th this month, and then at the Doctor Who Festival in Sydney on the 21st and 22nd of November.
We reached out to Ryan and the BBC to uncover some details and exclusive photos not shared elsewhere. Ryan tells us that his team of 5 builders spent 45 hours just to design the LEGO TARDIS, and then 206 man hours to build it. Everyone is sworn to secrecy on the part count, since the BBC will be holding a contest to guess the number of LEGO pieces used to build it — suffice to say it’s a fairly insane number of dark blue LEGO all in one place! Built to exacting specifications provided by the BBC archives, it stands 316 bricks high (303 cm or nearly 10 feet tall).
The front of the TARDIS features a brick-built notice and fully functional door, which will enable Peter Capaldi himself to emerge from the LEGO TARDIS at the Doctor Who Festival later this month.
The light on top works, and Ryan’s team even built a matching Sonic Screwdriver.
To enable the BBC to transport the LEGO TARDIS to various events, it incorporates an internal steel frame. As to other secret details, Ryan tells us, “It may in fact be bigger on the inside, it certainly felt like it when we were building it!
UPDATE: Ryan has added some more photos to his Flickr photostream, including this great photo of the team behind this epic build.
We’re big fans of Chris McVeigh (powerpig on Flickr) here at The Brothers Brick, and we’ve been enjoying his brick sketches for a couple of years. But Chris hadn’t tackled a self-portrait until now. Chris’s signature mustache and resplendent beard come through wonderfully with just a few plates and tiles.
A large contingent of the Brothers Brick were in Seattle to celebrate BrickCon 2015 last week. Unfortunately Tommy Williamson, our good friend and BrickNerd‘s Nerd-in-Chief, was unable to make it up from the in-bred backwards Gold Rush ghost town of Lompoc, California to join us.
The rumor was that a light mist had been reported approaching the water-starved Golden State from the North, so everyone was camped outside with their tongues out to try and capture droplets of precious moisture. In the end, it actually turned out to be a mysterious cloud of pleasant smelling smoke wafting down from the Portland area.
In an attempt to cheer Tommy up about this, and to give his hoards of adoring BrickCon fans something to throw their underwear at, we decided to create a substitute we called Flat Tommy. Flat Tommy fitted in perfectly. Most people couldn’t even tell the difference, even when talking to him, and soon enough he was put to work on various tasks:
It’s the Lemur here. Just got back to the compound after a great weekend in Seattle, at BrickCon. There were lots of tasty creations there and I was able to get my paws on all kinds of cool swag.
Caylin let me check out everything on the condition that I not break anything and that nothing got eaten. I took a few little nibbles here and there but was able to stay out of trouble, for the most part. I did accidentally clear the building during public hours, but that really wasn’t my fault. Who knew the shiny red “fire alarm” panels weren’t for public consumption? Anyway, the Fire Department responded quickly, nobody got hurt and I got to sit in a fire truck.
Paul Hetherington won “Best in Show” with his motorized Steampunk robot called “Unchain My Heart”. It kind of creeped me out but it was very well built. I even sat on its head and no breakage occurred.
To round off our exploration of the rich LEGO repertoire of Letranger Absurde, here is a charming representation of Victorian dandy Algernon Moncrieff, from Oscar Wilde’s farcical play The Importance of Being Earnest. With larger character builds, it’s less common for builders to take the trouble to construct an entire scene, but this one comes fully furnished for the period (the Vermeer painting is an especially nice touch), while the casual posing and puff of brick-built smoke breathe life into the whole thing.
From the builder: “I’m quite fond of this one. Leaving aside the fact that it’s an update to my very first character build and based on the very first play I’ve ever read and fell in love with, I feel that I’ve accomplished some things here: making a detailed scene for my large scale figs that doesn’t feel like a cheap prop and managing a pretty natural pose (most of my previous chars just felt too wooden). I’ve also experimented a bit with photography; despite the loss in clarity and quality, I think the natural low light makes the scene feel more natural.”
This week we’ve been exploring the works of versatile Romanian builder Letranger Absurde, whose love for antique objects and certain comedy horror movies appeared to collide in this LEGO version of the Necronomicon. Hail to the King, baby!
From the builder: “This is both a tribute to the comedy wonder that is The Evil Dead, and to Mihai Marius Mihu, the builder from my country whose work made me realize for the first time there’s more to LEGO than collecting sets. Klaatu Verata Necktie!”
Our next featured creation from Iron Builder veteran and history lover Letranger Absurde features lots of yummy dark brown and one particular example of nice part usage (can you spot it?).
From the builder: “This was built as a request; perfect opportunity for me to build an Arthurian themed MOC since I’ve always wanted to do one. The sword’s pretty much the same from the Witcher build I’ve done previously.”
Our second find from the hoard of Letranger Absurde is this cunningly crafted microscale homage to the book that first introduced the world to the concept of the alien invasion story, H. G. Well’s The War of the Worlds.
From the builder: “I’ve always been a fan of H. G. Wells’ fiction (one of the very first builds was a Time Machine / Star Wars crossover; it’s a complete mess, but that’s a different story!). So building this was always on my list. The dumbbell choice of part in Iron Builder was just the inspiration I needed to finally go ahead with it. I chose to take a more personal approach to the scene and not base it directly on any adaptation, but still wanted to keep a rather retro aesthetic for the tripod… unfortunately I’ve only had enough parts to make one.”
Welcome to Week of Wonders, a new irregular feature in which we spotlight previously overlooked creations by a particular builder that we admire. Each day we will highlight a different build, enhanced with exclusive commentary and insights from the builder themselves.
For this first WoW, we’ll be unearthing a hoard of treasures by prolific builder and TBB regular Letranger Absurde. And in the wake of the most recent wave of Star Wars mania, it seemed appropriate to begin with this perfect movie mashup. Somehow it just works. Spooky!
The Wonderful Jedi Master of Oz
From the builder: “I built this one for a mixed theme contest. Initially I wanted to use Jar Jar for the scarecrow (the only reason this build exists). But then I figured it would be out of place among Original Trilogy characters and replaced him with Han. The fun part is that this build was born from the idea of using Jar Jar as the brainless scarecrow and he didn’t even make the final cut; a fitting fate for such a wonderful character I suppose.”
Beautiful LEGO: Wild! is the third title in a series of best-selling coffee table books by Mike Doyle. Like its predecessors Beautiful LEGO and Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, this edition features a carefully curated collection of LEGO creations by some of the community’s top builders.
Compared to its hefty hard-backed cousin DARK, this slimmer book is more reminiscent of the original Beautiful LEGO. Like DARK, its builder profiles are kept to a minimum and the focus is squarely on the photographs. Otherwise the format is the same, with images organized into categories and carefully labelled with info such as title, builder, year and part count.
To differentiate each new volume from the last, Mike has chosen to assign them over-arching themes. And while DARK was ambiguous enough to allow for a pretty diverse range of builds, WILD is necessarily more constrained to subject matter in some way related to plants, animals or nature. And since it doesn’t feature any of the nature-themed builds already used in the first two books, sections like the ones on bugs and dragons end up relying on some slightly less polished builds than readers of the earlier books might be used to seeing.