Here is an excerpt from an interview Ivan Macintosh and Tamsin Rees did with Westpac, regarding their impressive model of The Terrace.
How many hours did it take to build?
Unfortunately we can’t say exactly, but we estimate that it took us about 2 years. However, this is estimated duration rather actual build time. This was due to a couple of factors, firstly there are no Lego build instructions for this model (so we spent a lot of time experimenting to get the building shapes and scale right). Secondly we started planning and building this model before before the Terrace had been built (initially we were using the artist’s impression for the proposed Terrace development). So we had to make regular visits during the construction of the real Terrace to double check on progress and take more photos to help us create our model. The final model is made up of an estimated 10000+ bricks,
It was our way of celebrating Christchurch’s iconic landmarks that had survived the earthquakes and also the excitement of the city’s regeneration when the CBD rebuild finally started. We had already built a spring and a summer scene around historical landmarks, so it was great opportunity to try and recreate some interesting modern architectural buildings in an autumnal setting.
Would you mind telling us where/how you get the blocks to create these?
We source our parts from a variety of sources. For the mini-figures Lego release a few new mini-figure series each year. From these interesting characters, we are often inspired to create diorama stories (e.g. Grandma’ birthday party and the Jazz band with the saxophone player). We find that as soon as you start adding the mini-figures and the little stories, it really helps to brings the model to life. We tend to source our mini-figures from Toyworld. For bricks it just isn’t economical to buy multiple Lego sets to get the specific parts and colours required for custom builds. For this we mainly shop at a bricklink.com. This is one of the main marketplace websites for Lego. It literally has thousands of sellers from around the world selling individual bricks nicely inventoried by part type and colour. We try to mainly buy from the NZ operated sellers, but for some of the parts that are harder to source we tend to buy those from the European sellers. Another way we source Lego is through the LUGBulk scheme. For this you have to be a member of one of the RLUGs (Recognised Lego User Groups) and fortunately we have one in Christchurch, lug4x2.org. Under this scheme, once a year we have the opportunity to buy various Lego parts direct from Lego (in larger quantities and at a good price).
How long have you been creating lego models?
As adults we got back into creating Lego models following a visit to the 2013 Christchurch Bricks Show. We realised that it was a friendly community of builders of all ages and their models on display were truely amazing and inspirational. Lego has come on a long way since our childhoods - so many more interesting bricks in a wider range of colours! Our first time exhibiting was the following year where we had created a Lego version of the Christchurch Antigua Boatsheds. We won the prize for ‘Best Newcomer’ and were hooked.
What else do you build?
Our exhibits have been mainly the iconic Christchurch landmarks - Antigua Boatsheds, the Re:Start container mall, New Regent Street (complete with a motorised No.11 tram), and now The Terrace. We have also played around with Great Ball Contraptions (GBC). These are similar a marble runs - search Lego GBC on YouTube if you want to be mesmerised. Outside of exhibiting we enjoy building the Creator Expert Modular building sets. Lego release a new one of these at the start of each year.