Tag Archives: Lego

Brickworld 2016

AE7I9096.jpgWhen we lived in Chicago, we made a couple of visits to the Lego convention, Brickworld.  Some of the Lego creations on display were really impressive and I have included them in previous blog posts.  It just so happened that, this year, Brickworld was on the same weekend that we were in the Chicago area for my niece’s graduation.  We had a little spare time on the morning that we were flying home so we decided to check it out en route to the airport.

AE7I9107.jpgThe venue has changed from when we last went.  It is now at a larger location and everything is in one large room.  The previous place had four smaller rooms.  This seemed to result in the more advanced pieces being grouped together.  Now everything is scattered around the one space.  Combined with the many retail stands, it made things a bit more tricky to see in a short space of time.  Even so, we managed to cover everything enough to feel like we hadn’t missed out on anything.  I even managed to FaceTime my sister in the UK so she could see some of the stuff from a long distance!

AE7I9120.jpgAs with previous years, there were plenty of impressive creations.  A section of downtown Chicago from the area we used to live was very cool.  A recreation of a baseball stadium seemed to be incredibly detailed but it was quite hard to see since it was enclosed in a case.  A guy had produced a detailed representation of a building from his home town in Europe.  A Middle Ages scene from previous years had received some updates.  My favorite, though was a scene from D-Day.

AE7I9168.jpgThe scene consisted of a landing craft with soldiers and vehicles coming ashore on a Normandy beach having taken the area in battle.  The level of detail was impressive with the water created from thousands of little pieces.  I have no idea how many total pieces were included but it was clearly a lot.  It must have cost a small fortune to put together combined with a lot of time and effort.  A very impressive effort.

The Lego Artwork of Nathan Sawaya

IMG_3546.jpgNathan Sawaya may not be an artist you have heard of before but you may have seen at least some of his work. Nathan is an artist who works in Lego. He manages to combine the artistic vision of the piece he is trying to create with the technical skill in creating structures using standard Lego pieces – no simple feat given that most shapes have gentle curves to them and Lego is mainly straight edges.

IMG_3534.jpgAn exhibition of some of Nathan’s work was on recently in Walnut Creek and we headed along to see what was on display. There were two types of exhibit. Some were straightforward Lego creations on display on their own. The rest were a combination of Lego and photography. Nathan had created some elements in Lego that were then combined with photography to incorporate the Lego sculpture in the main photo. For example, one of the pieces was a bare tree that then appeared in a landscape shot. Another was some railroad tracks that became the foreground to a train station.

IMG_3537.jpgThe sculptures varied a lot in themes. Some were relatively light hearted such as a dog or some clouds. A woman’s red dress blowing in the wind with parts of it blowing behind (but with no-one actually in the dress) was a particularly interesting piece. Others were far darker in their inspiration with themes of escape and repression in the corporate world included. These pieces were often the more interesting ones to see as they had more to interpret versus the more light hearted but literal items.

IMG_3520.jpgThe audience for the exhibit was quite varied. Many people had brought their kids along based on their interest in playing with Lego at home. I suspect they were not quite so enthused with the more sinister works. The other visitors were decidedly more adult. Whether they are just fans of Lego or interested in the messages the artist was conveying, I shall never know.

Brickworld 2013

wpid6989-AU0E3856.jpgOnce a year a Lego convention is held in the Chicago area.  It used to be up in Wheeling and I have blogged about it here.  This year they moved to a new venue in Schaumburg.  We went along again.  Some of the creations that people put together for this event are quite stunning.  Their creativity and ingenuity are very impressive.  Not all of the stuff suits me but I am cognizant of the skill, even for those that I won’t spend much time checking out.

wpid6985-AU0E3848.jpgI am not a Lego builder but my family has a few enthusiasts.  I hope they enjoy a far larger gallery than usual.

Brickworld 2012

Each year a Lego event called Brickworld takes place just north of Chicago.  Last year was the first time I had visited the event and I did write a blog post about it then.  If you want to see that, you can find it here.  The event is a convention for the Lego artists and they have a number of sessions before the whole thing opens up for the public.  That was when we got to take a look.

There are a whole bunch of really cool models that people have made.  Some of these are relatively straightforward models of individual subjects while others are far more involved.  There are dioramas based on people’s own ideas or themes such as movies.  Some are unbelievably complicated.  Often there are structures with multiple levels of detail.  A medieval castle may look impressive but you might take the top off and find interior rooms fully modeled as well.

Additionally, there was a complex machine that moved little Lego footballs around all sorts of clever contraptions and ultimately back to where they started.  It was a never ending path (provided the balls didn’t get stuck or fired out of the capture range of part of the device!).  Stills don’t give that device any chance of being appreciated so I tried making a little video of it which is below.

The level of detail in some of these models is amazing.  One medieval scene had hundreds of troops and horses set up, all of which had been done for the first time when setting up at the exhibit.  Some real effort is involved.  The Justin Bieber concert above also involved a lot of minifigs being set up.  (It was also surprising to see how many Bieber figs were in different models!  What does that mean??)

I will not say any more about the event but below are a bunch of shots of some of the myriad models made.  You can see them better than I can describe them.

Lego Masterpieces

An event was held recently that I had never thought of visiting before.  It was a Lego convention of some sort held up in Wheeling.  I had no idea what to expect at this – was it going to be a lot of vendors selling stuff or exhibitors of their creations.  It is safe to say, it was a lot more fo the latter.  I don’t know whether I was being unimaginative, but the quality of the work was astounding.

There was a lot of variety.  Quite a few Lego fans obviously like fantasy themes and so there was plenty of work like this.  I wasn’t as interested in that as I was in the creations of normal things that people had put together.  They obviously have a lot of imagination – and a lot of Lego.  One guy (who admittedly worked for Lego) had come from Australia.  I had seen a previous creation of his online.  It was a Qantas A-380 and was stunning.  This time, he had recreated the Love Boat and the captain from the series had coincidentally been in the day before and autographed it!

There was far too much stuff to fairly represent here but below are just a few shots of things that I was really impressed by.  (By the way, I know I said the fantasy stuff isn’t my thing but the Lord of the Rings display is included since it was quite incredible!)