Mowbray 2016

After only two years Mowbray Bricks has become something of a must for Brickshire builders. Luckily the people who live and work around Bedale and North Yorkshire clearly feel the same because over 1800 turned out to support us and our fundraising efforts meaning an impressive total of £5000 was raised for Mowbray School. A steady stream of visitors meant we were busy from the moment the doors opened on Saturday and Sunday was even busier with dads and children enjoying a Father’s Day treat together. As one of our members said ‘We’re in the middle of nowhere, where have all these people come from?’ I didn’t know but the smiling faces demonstrated that a good time was had by all.

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This year’s event saw 0ver 30 AFOLs displaying models that ranged from a Star Wars diorama, intricate and detailed renditions of vehicles to a realistic village square and fantastical elves universe. As usual the city layout, featuring an impressive monorail and five-wide train track was a big draw with children and adults. The speed build was enthusiastically attempted by old and young alike with some individuals coming back to try and improve their time more than once. A couple of LEGO’s most recent Ideas model, the maze, (including a track especially designed for very young children) were available to play and the building table was never empty. The final part of the ‘something to see, something to do, something to buy’ LEGO show triptych was completed with the sale of a range of LEGO merchandise, sets, loose parts and mini figures.

The organisers would like to thank all who visited and look forwards to seeing you again next year. Plans are already afoot!

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2016 Update

So far this year members of Brickshire have displayed at a number of events.  Our models have been enthusiastically received as far afield as Irchester in Northamptonshire and Wakefield at the third Yorkshire Brick Show.

Next on the horizon is Mowbray Bricks (18th & 19th June) – a fundraising show for Mowbray School, a special school complete with working farm. There will be lots to see and do and, with a ticket price of only £2.00 per adult and £1.00 per child, is an absolute steal.  LEGO sales area and refreshments will be available. 

Only two weeks after that many of us will be supporting Fairy Bricks at Bricktastic (2nd & 3rd July at Manchester Central), the standout LEGO event in the North this year.  There will be loads of inspiring builds to admire and builders to meet as well as brick pits and a mosaic to complete.  

Next up in September (24th-25th) is Block-Con in Hull, a new event with lots of exciting innovations and activities on offer. 

October sees the end of our planned events this year with two one day shows at either end of the half term holiday.  Brick Lincs, another fundraising show with loads of activities, displays, LEGO sales and refreshments will be held on 22nd October at Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School in Lincoln.  At Ultra Con (30th October – Doncaster Racecourse) we will be part of a much bigger event with lots of non LEGO related content as well as Brickshire’s fantastic display of models.

In addition to our collaborative events one of our most talented builders Marcin Witkiewicz has been commissioned by LEGO to build a replica of Warsaw Royal Castle for LEGO Poland to be exhibited at various promotional events throughout Poland. Those of us who attended the Yorkshire Brick Show were able to admire this fantastic build in the ‘plastic’ before it headed off on tour.

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Ultracon 2015

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September this year saw Brickshire attending Ultracon at Magna which, despite the change in both name and venue, is actually the same event as Knightcon which we attended last year.

Some of the models there have been seen at previous events, some were altered versions of previous models, and some were completely new; however all of them were absolutely fantastic. Ultracon was the first outing for some amazing builds, such as Craig Rushton’s Batcave, which won more than one award on the day, as did Richard Lawson’s Bumper cars which was also a brand new build. Other awards were won by Chris Adams’ ‘Once Upon a Brick’, which, although it isn’t new to events, is constantly having new members added to it, such as the Frozen girls and The Little Mermaid.

The show also featured a wonderful new collaborative build ‘England in Early Summer’, which, just like the other collaborative builds our members have done, was a fantastic example of how amazingly talented our members are and what can be achieved when great minds come together.

There were so many wonderful creations there that I am unable to mention all of them, but needless to say they were all amazing and, as I always am, I was blown away by just how skilled all of the Brickshire members are.
However, Ultracon isn’t just a show based around LEGO, it is primarily a convention for all things geek. Some Brickshire members really got into the spirit of things and, alongside the attendees of the event, decided to cosplay. We had Marty McFly, some of the crew of Serenity, and my personal favourite, Arnold Rimmer, who was posing for photos and doing the Rimmer salute much to the pleasure of the guests.

Our friends over at Bricks and Bricks Culture also came to the event, and their stand proved to be quite popular. There was fun to be had all round with them enjoying having their magazine photographed with all of the amazing cosplayers, as well as people enjoying the magazine and the extras that they brought with them.

Overall it was a great event, with stalls, parades and movie cars. There was plenty to do and see. Just like last year the Brickshire team had a brilliant time, and we hope that everyone else in attendance did too.

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Yorkshire Brick Show 2015

Andy_NCMThe 2-4th of May 2015 saw the return of the Yorkshire Brick Show to the National Coal Mining Museum for England in Wakefield. After the success of the first year and the headaches caused by the huge crowds, the organizer went down a different route, holding the event over 3 days and offering timed ticket entry and VIP passes with the proceeds supporting the museum and the fabulous Fairy Bricks Charity that delivers LEGO
sets to hospitals all over the UK.

For the exhibitors the event started on the Friday evening with the ‘set up’. This included Andy Wood’s record-breaking attempt to build the deepest underground LEGO model ever constructed. I have to say even though I never got down the mine; the pictures I have seen of the model demonstrate Andy’s remarkable design and building skills. Having only a few models to display, I arrived on Saturday morning. It was my first trip to the mining museum and, coming from a mining family, I was excited to see it. It has a great family feel with extremely helpful and accommodating staff. The hall was a hive of activity with exhibitors and helpers arriving and last minute preparations well underway.

It was nice to see three Lego user Groups (LUGs) supporting the event; Brickshire, Northern Brickworks and the Brickish Association. The main hall was very well set up with the Hairy Fairy, Kevin from Fairy Bricks, directing the original Fairy Bricks mosaic (a great interactive element of any LEGO show) in the centre of the room, and a U shaped display of various models around him. A separate entry and exit point ensured a directed flow, giving visitors a chance to view all the models within the time allotted.

Outside the main hall the Bricks and Bricks Culture teams were there in force and their support, I have to say, added a further dynamic to the event. As well as offering the first edition of both magazines, they hid some exclusive Bricks minifigures in the display, offering prizes for those who spotted them all. In addition they brought some Jurassic Park sets, not yet on general release, for general perusal – a nice way for our visitors to start the LEGO feast before them.

On entering the exhibition room, you were immediately dazzled on both sides. To your left were Mark Sellick’s impressive Pokemon models and a fantastic representation of the ‘Last March of Ents’ from Lord of the Rings. Also on show were his subtle representations of a LEGO Fries Stand and a Burger Station, based on the LEGO Land Theme Park game and a fabulous LEGO Friends themed street, unusually but pleasingly featuring mini dolls. Mark was also given the thankless task of handing out the Brickshire ‘Spot the minifig’ competition forms, which was included in the ticket price and offered the chance to win some LEGO goodies, although someone’s (naming no names) cryptic answer to said competition caused plenty of headaches for a later display table.

Once again Andy Veltman, Dave Key and team did a fabulous job of bringing and setting up their superb city scene. Included were many retail sets that kids love to see as part of a large city scene, and MOC’s (My Own Creations: the term used to identify a unique creations by a LEGO model builders). This included a department store, bank and Ferrari garage. It goes without saying that no LEGO city can be complete without trains and this layout had all that and more. People sometimes forget that there is far more to it than simply putting together a lot of retail sets. It requires careful planning and a lot of thought had gone into this display.

The display was such that the visitor had to continually nip from left to right to ensure they saw everything. Andy Wood’s ever impressive Skull Cove and Medusa’s Temple were there to admire, as was his unmistakable geekdom in the form of ‘Jurassic Hoth’ (an AT-AT/T-Rex chasing a snow speeder based on a picture he had seen). Not unsurprisingly, given the nature of this model, it was only on show on May the 4th. Then came Robert Clarkson’s cracking street scene complete with monorail – a true gem of the show. As usual there were some subtle references to Robert’s sense of humor within the model to chuckle at.

Luc Byard’s body of work included a huge Darth Vader Mosaic, signed by the one and only David Prowse, (I think he was the green cross code man back in the 70’s), and is well worth a look if you get the chance to see it. A technically precise builder, Luc’s truly lovely LEGO Yorkshire Rose is now included on his Brickshire brick-built logo. His Speedy Owl and a row of Disney themed small modular builds were also worthy of perusal. Next
was Jack Anton’s magnificent ‘Battle of Kashyyyk’. Remarkable in size and skill, I am sure Jack will go extremely far with the talents he has, maybe even a future LEGO designer?! Also included on this display table were Kevin Hyatt’s models – ‘Endor Speeder Chase’ and a Ninjago model based on a vastly improved retail
set.

A large brick built Hulk minifigure by The Brick Ladd was followed by Bricks 4 Kidz, doing what they do best, demonstrating motorized LEGO theme park rides and a motorized wave. Following on from that was, as mentioned previously, the second City layout by Mark Willis, showing retail sets though the ages – a lovely nostalgic look at some of the older sets right through to newer sets of today. Have some trains running round it and through a castle and you’re on to a winner in my book. The kids really loved it and a lucky few drove the trains through the castle.

The last table was made up of various models, including my own take on the new ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’ TV show. Hearing cries of ‘look the Thunderbirds!’ from both kids and adults alike was very gratifying. Marcin Witkiewicz’s technically brilliant, detailed and intricate models including various vehicles and a train scene began this table.
His work has to be seen to be believed and I had to keep asking myself if it was really made out of LEGO! After Marcin’s models was the always impressive and ever expanding Cloud Cuckoo Land from the LEGO Movie by Sally Mansfield-O’Donnell. Cloud Cuckoo is always a crowd pleaser following the success of the LEGO Movie, and here’s to it getting even bigger. Next were Nicola Lawson’s lovely little Lord of the Rings models – perfect scenes in every way, demonstrating some different build techniques, the water effect being one of them.

Last, but by no means least, we had Chris Adams’ portfolio of work, including the ‘Jaws’ and ‘Ghostbusters’ posters, works of art, which most people, even non-LEGO fans, would be more than happy to hang on their wall. The display was rounded off by Chris’ LEGO Ideas Project, ‘Once upon a Brick’. These are lovely representations of Disney characters based originally on the standard profile of a standard 2×4 brick and subsequently extended to include other 2x brick combinations. Check them out on the Ideas website for a better idea of these wonderful creations, that, with the right support, could be made into a genuine LEGO set.

The whole event was really well organized by Richard Lawson and raised a massive amount of money for the two charities. So if you are reading this and didn’t go, then all I can say is:

Get yourselves there next year as it’s going to be just as good, if not even better…

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Mowbray Bricks 2015

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The first weekend of July saw the return of the Brickshire folk to Mowbray school in Bedale.  With more than 1000 people including international visitors from BeLUG (Belgian LEGO User Group) and a final total of well over £2000 raised for school funds during the two day show, Mowbray Bricks 2015 can be described as an awesome success.

Indeed everything was awesome with some of LEGO’s most detailed models from the discontinued Taj Mahal to this year’s Ferris Wheel on show. The brilliant modular city layout including working trains and monorail was a great pull as was the display of ingeniously creative MOCs (builder’s own creations) which ranged from Iron Man’s mansion and a space port to a Pacific island complete with a detailed underwater diorama.

Hands-on activities such as the Fairy Bricks mosaic and build table full of LEGO elements meant that budding builders were entertained while parents partook of tea and cake in the adjoining refreshments tent.  A great time was had by all concerned and we are already looking forwards to the 2016 event.  Hope to see you there!

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