Wednesday, 20 July 2011

"You have reached your destination"

So, after all the build up and late nights, finally the event itself. Having spent much of my free time over the past few weeks building a succession of UCS Star Wars sets including the Super Star Destroyer, Death Star II, Venator and the Naboo Starfighter, it was with some relief that I got them to the UK National Space Centre (largely) intact for the Brickish Association "Spaciversary 2011" event. I say largely intact as the Venator experienced a substantial 'structural mishap' en route, but it was thankfully nothing that 20 minutes of rebuilding couldn't cure....

Anyway, I'm delighted to report that we managed to put on a spectacular Star Wars UCS show - all 17 official UCS models were on display, together with the unreleased Super Star Destroyer, and about the same number of magnificent MOC Star Wars UCS models which really didn't look out of place at all among the official sets. Collecting together all 17 different UCS models to date plus the Super Star Destroyer was a world first, and I have to say that seeing all the models together side by side was a real treat. You can find some pics below - click to enlarge.

Super Star Destroyer and Imperial Star Destroyer
Set 7191 UCS X-Wing
UCS heaven....
Too many UCS to list....
A few people had seen my review of Set 10221 Super Star Destroyer and came over to introduce themselves - cheers, pedro, lincolnwho and others who stopped by for a chat ! It was great to see how enthusiastic the attendees were about the models, and how excited people were to see sets in real life that they'd previously only seen in pictures.

Day 2 - MOC Republic Fleet
Day 2 - all the TIEs....

                                                     Cavegod's B-Wing

A real highlight for me was getting to see Cavegod's magnificent homebrew models 'in the flesh'. Many of you will have seen pictures on Eurobricks and Flickr of some of his creations, such as his huge AT-AT, the newly-completed Sandcrawler, Slave 1, TIE variants and B-Wing (above) but seeing them up close and personal was something else altogether. Witnessing the gasps of delight from watching kids (and more than a few adults as well...) as the massive motorised Sandcrawler lurched forward and lowered its front ramp was a reminder of the ability of LEGO to bring a smile to peoples' faces.

Cavegod's MOC AT-AT - my "best in show"...
"You lookin' at me ?"
Cavegod's MOC Sandcrawler

MOC Republic Attack Shuttle

In addition to the UCS display, there was an enormous amount of other stuff at the show. Dragon displayed an impressive collection of Star Wars sets including Technic, minis, and a load of system scale models (including all the system scale Slave 1's), while Ed, Annie, Stuart and Naomi unveiled their massive and quite superb Space Shuttle, complete with fuel tank, boosters and launching pad.

Ed, Annie, Stuart and Naomi's Space Shuttle
System Scale Slave 1's
Set 8010 Technic Darth Vader

Other highlights for me were Peter Salter's R2-D2 which moves, spins its head, and lights up, Skegga's whimsical "Early English Map of the Universe", and the Neo-Classic Space Galaxy Explorer by Pete Reid, Stuart Crawshaw and James Shields. I'm a total sucker for their Neo Classic Space stuff, having worshipped the 'original' Classic Space sets as a kid in the late 70's and 80's.

Peter Salter's R2-D2
Skegga's "Early English map of the Universe"
Set 928 Galaxy Explorer, Neo-Classic Space Style, by Pete, Stuart & James

In addition to the models on display, there were a number of other attractions including a large LEGO mosaic commemorating the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first manned space flight, which was constructed one baseplate at a time by show attendees. The LEGO company themsleves also had a presence at the event, setting up an area where attendees could rummage through large crates of LEGO to build modules for a large Martian base display. And then there were the NSC's non-LEGO exhibits to keep people entertained, not to mention a guest appearance by Prof. Heinz Wolff, celebrity scientist beloved to some of us oldies as presenter of TV's "The Great Egg Race".

Yvonne Doyle's Endor Scene

Robert Clarkson's Sevice While-U-Wait, complete with fibre optics...

This is the second year that I've attended the Brickish Association's NSC event, last year as a passive observer, and this year as an exhibitor. I've thoroughly enjoyed both visits, and really hope the event continues for years to come. If you'd be interested in joining the association and maybe even exhibiting your own LEGO creations, or just want to find out what other exhibitions are planned, feel free to visit the Brickish website for further information.

<-- Super Star Destroyer review Part 1

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