Sunday 3 October 2010


Every now and then during the course of my LEGO life I have one of those jaw-dropping moments when I can't quite believe what I'm seeing. I had one the first time I saw Set 10030 UCS Imperial Star Destroyer on display, and also when I emerged from my LEGO dark ages and found someone selling a sealed UCS X-Wing Fighter like mine, which had been bought for £50 in the sales and then stuffed in a cupboard unopened for a decade, for $1500 on Bricklink.

Anyway, I had another of those 'moments' yesterday. I decided to get in the car and go down to STEAM to check out the Great Western LEGO Show. I'm pleased to report that it was absolutely packed - LEGO love is clearly alive and well in the UK. I didn't really have an agenda - it was nice to just wander aimlessly around the exhibits, check out what was for sale and chat to some of the model builders. Then I found something that literally stopped me in my tracks....

Just take a look at that thing - it's massive ! Around 7 metres long, and it weighs a quarter of a tonne. Utterly astonishing, and having seen it up close I can confirm that the level of detail is just incredible (click on the image to enlarge). It apparently consists of around 250,000 bricks. That's a quarter of a million bricks. A QUARTER OF A MILLION BRICKS ! I think the guy in the dark blue polo shirt on the far right of the picture is Ed Diment, the creator of this behemoth. Respect ! Credit is also due to some of his collaborators, including Ralph Savelsberg (who I think I spoke with while staring aghast at the model) who designed and built the aircraft on the deck with help from Annie Diment, who I assume is Ed's (presumably extremely long-suffering) wife. You can read more about the background to this model here. As far as I'm aware, Ed doesn't work for the LEGO company, so I guess he had to source all 250,000 bricks himself at his own cost. Phew - that's some serious dedication for you. I really have to bow down to this guy - from a LEGO perspective I am simply not worthy. I did want to go shake him by the hand, but the whole time I was near his model he was surrounded by other star-struck people. So if by any freak occurrence you ever read this, Ed - well done, your model is simply awesome !

There were a number of other stunning creations on show, including a fantastic model of St. Pancras station (picture below) in London, complete with some of the most realistic LEGO trains and vehicles such as buses and coaches that I have ever seen. I would love to give a name check to the talented builder(s) responsible for this - if you know who's responsible then please post a comment below to give him or her due credit. My picture below doesn't even start to give a true picture of how amazing this model is, but hopefully you get the idea......

Other highlights for me included the opportunity to see the newly-announced Harry Potter Diagon Alley set and the newly-launched Tower Bridge set "in the plastic", and also actually meeting a number of people who I've interacted with online but never previously met in the flesh - cheers, guys!

Newly revealed - Set 10217 Diagon Alley

So thanks to Martin and colleagues for organising a great show, well done to all the model builders, and here's to next year !


  1. Anonymous3/10/10

    You have correctly identified Ed in the Intrepid photo.

    St Pancras was built by Warren Elsmore. Warren was responsible for teh 225 in the station, and Carl Greatrix (Brixktrix on flickr) built the rest of the trains. Many of the road vehicles are By Raph Savelsberg (of Intrepid planes fame), Mad Physicist on Flickr.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

  2. It was great to meet you on Saturday and put a face to a name at last, Dave. I'm glad you had a good time at the show.

    Thanks again for lunch!

  3. Ah, was that you and Huw I saw at KFC around one o'clock on Saturday? Like you i was stunned by the models on display. Well worth seeing. Just wish I'd taken a LOT more money!!

  4. @bic3 - guilty as charged. My first KFC for about 10 years. Just glad the company was better than the food !

  5. Thanks for the very nice blog Dave. That is indeed me standing at the end in the dark blue polo shirt. You should have barged through the throng and said hello, but if you got to speak to Ralph that's just as good. I've been collecting the parts for 35 years, so rest assured I didn't bankrupt myself!

    Lego Monster

  6. Hi Ed, I'm delighted that you got to read the blog and see how blown away I was by your magnificent creation ! I suppose the question now is whether or not you can ever bear to take the Intrepid apart, or whether it'll remain intact for ever and you'll have to collect pieces for another 35 years to build your next masterpiece.....?! Well done once again, and many thanks for sharing it with all of us at GWLS.

  7. Dave,

    Thanks for the kind comments! I see that Carl and Ralph have already been name-checked, and it's them that I would thank for the St Pancras display. It looks very dull without their contributions!


  8. Cheers, Warren - great job on the St. Pancras model. It's also impressive how you guys collaborate on these creations. I loved the Routemaster buses and the green coach, incidentally - were they Ralph's ?

  9. It's as though we're having a little reunion here. I am glad you liked the show. I had a blast talking to everybody.

    Few of the planes on Intrepid were actually mine. I don't live in the UK, so I was a bit limited in what I could take with me. I built the prototypes for each of the four types (as well as the Japanese Zero). Annie did most of the work building copies using instructions I made for them.

    The green coach indeed is mine. I also designed the routemaster, but as with the planes, only one of them on show was mine. The rest were built by Warren, using mine as an example.

    It's nice to have other people do the hard work :-)

  10. Wow, that is phenomenal...