Lego-built London 2012 Olympic Park pictures and eyes-on
There aren't many people in the world who can say their official job title is "freelance Lego artist". But that's exactly how Warren Elsmore introduced himself to Pocket-lint when we went to look at his all-Lego model of the London 2012 Olympic Park.
Elsmore spent around 300 hours - that's about three full working weeks of dawn-till-dusk fiddly fingertip-bricklaying, folks - crafting his miniature version of the Olympic venue in London's east end.
This Lego world features all the standout venues and structures: from Anish Kapoor's Orbit, to the swooping roof of the Aquatics Centre and, of course, the grand Olympic Stadium.
It's not a scale or perfect replica of the Olympic Park, but then it was crafted from unofficial research, with no official input from the Olympic body. Which explains why there's no Olympic flame in the miniature world - nobody, bar from the privileged few, knew where that was going to bebefore its unveiling at the opening ceremony. The flame might be added at a later date, but the Perspex housing in which the models are held means that's not possible just yet.
The structure - split into two main parts, each underlined with strong boards - is the amalgamation of some 250,000 Lego bricks and weighs somewhere around 70-80kg. It's one weighty village, so much so that the Olympic Stadium has been built with hidden "Lego handles" to help remove it separately from its surroundings.
What's perhaps most impressive is that there was no pre-design or visualisation. That's testament to Elsmore's abilities with the miniature bricks; the result of a lifetime's work of crafting mini-model structures. He told us that if he had designed the Park in advance it would have taken at least twice as long to build, and, as it takes some eight weeks to receive his bags of Lego direct from the Danish company, the time just wasn't available.
Despite the waiting time, the structures are built using standard, off-the-shelf Lego bricks. Not one of the pieces has been specially crafted for this project - impressive when considering the curving detail of the Orbit structure, yet more obvious when looking at some of the crude elements. Still, that's part of its beauty: there's no "drug cheating" here.
So does the man who spends his life knee-deep in Lego ever find it gets the better of him? Sometimes. The transparent Lego river that runs through this particular model is built entirely of "1x1" blocks. They're fiddly and after hours of positioning the miniature blighters, Elsmore was glad it was finished. But we reckon it was worth it. It's an impressive-looking Olympic tribute.
If you fancy going to take a gander at it, then head down to St Katherine's Dock where the Imagine Denmark area has a host of Olympic fun, including an outdoor screen showing live Olympic events and, of course, Elsmore's commissioned Lego Olympic Park.
Oh, and if you fancy buying this one-of-a-kind structure it'll set you back a cool £20,000. Pricey, but possibly cheaper than some of the prices ticket touts are asking for Olympic tickets after Locog's farcical lottery and sales system.
Like Elsmore's Lego? Take a look at his website to learn more about what this Lego-lover does
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