By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea

After wowing us with his circus model, Ian Hoy is back with another incredible scene. This time he’s trading in performing animals for some fun times at a beach fun fair. The scene is filled with little details and it features, among other things, a brick mosaic backdrop and a drop ride with a shark theme. Having spent a lot of time at boardwalk carnivals as a kid, this piece really speaks to me, bringing back fond memories of haunted house rides, rollercoasters and boardwalk french fries cooked in peanut oil. Just looking at it, I can almost smell the salty air and hear the funnel cakes sizzling away in the deep fryer. There is so much great stuff packed in here, it’s hard to know where to begin, so let’s start at the bottom and work our way up, shall we?


The beach area is populated by a variety of beach goers engaged in the many activities. I love that the word “ocean” not only tells you where we are, but is incorporated into the overall design by having it being created as a sand sculpture by a bathing suit-clad minifigure. I also enjoyed checking out some of the smaller details like the treasure chest buried underground and the baby sea turtle and mini sandcastle by the shore.


The booths are nice little builds but the one that really stands out is the shooting gallery booth shaped like a crab that even includes a scoreboard on the side. Although the other two partially obscured, additional detail photos reveal one to be a food shack shaped like a shrimp and a ticket booth for the central focus of the piece, the large drop ride. The use of the shark as the central decor piece at the top keeps up the ocean theming nicely and I appreciate the lettering spelling out “freefall,” in case there is any doubt about what kind of ride this is. The three different expressions on the riders’ faces are a perfect encapsulation of the various feelings one goes through on these types of rides: joy, fear and stomach-churning nausea. Perhaps he shouldn’t have had that third cotton candy before getting on!


The whole scene is backed by a terrific brick mosaic of a sunset over the water. Having tried some of these myself, I can tell you that pulling off that kind of detail can be difficult to achieve using only bricks. Most builders would default to plates for more fine detail but the builder pulls off this look masterfully. He even transitions from 2D to 3D at the bottom with addition of blue translucent slopes as waves and a few rock formations with seaweed emerging from them. Overall, a perfect encapsulation of the beach-going experience.