Big designs fill the city arena at the North Island Lego convention
WARWICK SMITH / Stuff
Brothers Trevor Whitehead, 6 (left) and Douglas Whitehead, 4, examine car models.
It seems bigger is better according to Brickcon exhibitors whose grand designs filled the city arena.
The Wellington Lego User Group brought together 120 exhibitors from Auckland to Invercargill to present their visual art at the Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North from Friday to Sunday.
An impressive replica of the Sacred Heart Convent and the former Erskine College building was the focal point of Brickcon, winning the show’s best of the weekend’s exhibits.
Carefully constructed to represent the historic accuracy of the building in Island Bay, Wellington – which has since been converted into apartments – Frank Averes stacked more than 250,000 bricks over nearly a year to bring the miniature version to life.
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Over $ 25,000 worth of bricks from his collections were on the tables.
It’s a labor of love, Averes said as he watched his audience gaze at the masterpiece in awe.
“I build big. It had to look like the original chapel within the limits of the lego.
“But the formation of the pews, the layout of the chapel behind the altar is quite close.”
Averes, like many, loved Lego as a child, but moved away from it as a teenager.
But over the past 20 years, the computer scientist has returned to his passion in full force, holding what is believed to be one of the largest collections of lego pieces in the country.
He hopes to open a gallery of his works at Bulls next year after purchasing a 250-square-meter building to showcase the inventive pieces he can’t stand taking apart.
“I’ve taken too many good builds apart over the years, but now that I have a spot I can glue everything, I won’t.”
Brickcon visited Palmerston North for six years and every year it got bigger and more elaborate, said event organizer Al Collis.
“When I started six years ago, you could come into a small room, and it was just on tables, but now it’s become that.
“Most of them are the creations of the people they themselves built. You just put bricks on bricks, that’s what we do.
Thousands of dollars and hours have been invested in these masterpieces, he said.
“We actually struggle to find very few sets because the build level is crazy,” Collis said.
Profits from the event will be donated to Parafed Manawatū, a sports organization for people with disabilities. Last year $ 10,000 was raised for the charity.