After our private set up day yesterday, the LEGO House was open today exclusively for the 2019 AFOL Day, for visitors who are in Denmark for the Skærbæk Fan Weekend in a couple of days. Fairy Bricks were in attendance with one of their huge LEGO mosaics, and I was able to complete square 358 while I was waiting for the events to begin in earnest.
It slotted into the pattern somewhere near the middle, but didn’t look like it really fitted there until the mosaic was complete (which we will see later on).
As the AFOLs gathered in the atrium, Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, 4th generation owner of the LEGO Group, was interviewed by Jesper Vilstrup, General Manager of LEGO House. It was an upbeat discussion and fans were able to chat briefly with them both afterwards.
I was able to thank them in person for the amazing opportunity of being able to display my work in the Masterpiece Gallery, and we traded Sigfigs as a souvenir, which was very cool.
Upstairs in the main Gallery, AFOLs were beginning to wander about and look at all the wonderful exhibits.
The video link I included in yesterday’s blog post will show you my interactive tour around the Gallery, but I will also showcase some photos of my favourites from each builder here. The first is this really fun Hot Dog van by Hsinwei Chi of Taiwan. He is one of the two other AFOLs I share the display case with.
I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite from my own MOCs! So here’s another view of it in its entirity.
Eero Okkonen is renowned for his character builds and this rendition of his favourite Finnish Heavy Metal band Circle is no exception. Each band member has so much life in him!
Jason Allemann, half of well-known building team JK Brickworks is famous for his kinetic models. These chariot race horses can gallop along while the chariot gently sways behind them. None of the builds in the cabinet were moving, but they did have a display showing a video loop of how the models work, which adds a great deal to their appeal.
Krystal Dubois in the K in JK Brickworks, and this wonderful model showed off bags of humour and character which I enjoyed very much.
Marion Weintraut’s model was a large-scale dilapidated mansion. There were so many fantastic details showing how the building was going to wrack and ruin – but among my favourite techniques was Marion’s use of the sprues (which normally get thrown away after builders have extracted the three-leafed plants from them) to form vines creeping all over the building.
Zio Chen had made some charming little lucky pigs (for the Chinese Year of the Pig) as part of his display. I also loved the intricate plaque with Chinese writing, although I’m sorry to say I can’t read what it says.
Paul Hetherington’s build was another highlight – he’s a builder after my own heart in his use of bold colours to build architectural subjects. You could look at this for hours and constantly see new details emerge.
Timofey Tkachev’s Steampunk-style typewriter also caught my eye. Although it’s clearly more up to date than you think, since is has a key for “.com”!
This mosaic portrait of John Lennon was by the late Aurthur Gugick, an American AFOL who was tragically killed in a car accident in March along with his girlfriend. I wasn’t aware of his work until I saw this picture, but it’s clear that the LEGO community has lost a very talented artist. This picture will apparently hang in one of the offices at the new LEGO HQ building when it is completed later this year. A fitting tribute to the man, I think.
Simon Hundsbichler is an Austrian AFOL who has a knack for bringing living things to life in brick. My favourite model which he brought along was of this tiger drinking from a swampy pool.
Serbian AFOL Milan Sekiz meanwhile had built an Iron Man suit of armour which he can actually wear! It looked quite fragile and was one of the last models to be fully set up in the Gallery yesterday.
Matthew Goldberg’s fantastical creatures are mostly built from Bionicle and other constraction elements. They can look quite unlike “normal” LEGO but still show a high degree of skill and artistry to each creation.
All the models in the Masterpiece Gallery are amazing in their own way, but I think my favourite has to be this spectacular coral reef by Ryan van Duzor. He is a biology teacher by trade and this astonishing MOC has to have some of the craziest parts usage I have ever seen!
Sven Franic’s wizardly-inspired owl, magic wand and other paraphernalia was chosen for inclusion just before Sven got a job as a LEGO designer. It’s not surprising to see why they hired him!
Stephan Gofers’ two models were quite different – this western train ambush had many wonderful details to admire. His other build was a teetering version of Jack Skellington’s house which looked like it was defying gravity.
A few weeks prior to my Danish trip, I had been chatting with Matthew Ashton who I follow on Twitter. He is VP of Design and lead judge on the first ever LEGO Masters TV show, which aired in the UK on Channel 4. I wondered if he would be around during the AFOL Day and he said he would probably be in meetings all day but wasn’t sure. Just before lunch today he tweeted that he was free for half an hour if I wanted to say hello at the House! And so here we are, all smiles. What a lovely thing for him to do, seeing as I’m just another fan, and I’m sure he has thousands of those!
There were various other activities going on during the day, including a tour of the LEGO factory but sadly I wasn’t able to get on one of those – there was a bit of a scrum for places and I was just too late. But I was pleased to see that the Fairy Bricks Mosaic was finally finished – can you spot the square that I made?
During the afternoon I was interviewed by Beyond The Brick about my Micropolis MOCs (my section starts around 4’26”). It was woven into their tour-around-the-gallery video, compèred by Stuart Harris, which was finally released on Christmas Even 2019 (they clearly had a bit of an editing backlog after their European trip!).
That capped off another amazing day at the LEGO House! Tomorrow we will head south to the international gathering of AFOLs that is the Skærbæk Fan Weekend.