This Saturday our builder Simon Pickard will be holding his own exhibition in Wellington, Somerset. Simon is perhaps best known for making headlines with his very own LEGO filled shanty town, but more importantly he is one of our most talented builders. So important stuff first, here’s the details for Simon’s forthcoming exhibition:
Venue: Wellington Baptist Church, Wellington, Somerset
Date: Saturday 18th August
Time: 11am to 5pm
Tickets: £3 per person (under 2’s go free) and its cash on the door only.
The exhibition will not only have Simon’s history builds, but many of his other models, including models from his newly co-authored LEGO Animal Atlas. Here at Brick to the Past however, we are mostly interested in the history stuff, so here’s a nice little showcase of what Simon has built for us over the years that you can see at Saturday's event! It’s a veritable journey through time!
As you'll see, this lad is a real talent, so take our advice and head to Wellington this Saturday!
Battle of Thermopylae
Simon’s model of Thermopylae is one of the first he built and pre-dated his entry into the Brick to the Past crew. With skills like these we’d be crazy not to have him among us. The model depicts the battle of 480BC between Greeks and Persians and stylistically draws much from the Frank Miller and Lynn Varley graphic novel and subsequent film. The model has not been on public display since 2013, so this is a rare not-to-be-missed opportunity to see it up close.
So what are its vital statistics? The model weighs in with a length of 192 studs and a height of 70 bricks… so t pretty hefty, It has 128 rare Spartan minifigures plus 375 Persian warriors of Simon’s own design. In total, Simon guesses that there are around 20 to 30 thousand parts in this model. Pretty damn impressive for an early piece of work.
Iron Age Village
Simon’s Iron Age village was originally part of our 2015 model The Wall: Rome’s Northern Frontier, for which we recreated the landscape of 2nd century Roman Britain complete with a re-imagination of the Emperor Hadrian’s famous super-structure.
The village features a selection of roundhouses, one of which has a cutaway section to reveal the living conditions inside. Simon has used some real innovative construction methods in this creation, harassing LEGO's flexible tubes to create the conical structures of his roundhouse roofs... though we should point out that they are so delicate and an absolute nightmare to transport! The model also boasts a barrow mound and stone circle, which do of course, reference even earlier times.
Anglo-Saxon Woodcutter's Hut
This creation was originally part of 2016's England 793 model, which took a cross section of Anglo-Saxon England and sprinkled it with encroaching bands of Viking raiders. This section was the wild and quiet part of the model, featuring a high hill and dense forest – there is an absolute wealth of interesting tree techniques packed into this piece. In the centre of this forest is a carpenter’s hut, complete with authentic 8th century machinery. This model also contains one very surprising feature – a vast underground cavern complete with stalagmites and stalactites, subterranean waterfalls and dinosaur skeletons. You’ll have to visit the exhibition to see it!
This galleon is Simon’s latest creation for Brick to the Past and forms part of our model Henry Morgan: Welsh Raider of the Spanish Main. The model is about the aforementioned buccaneer’s raid on Lake Maracaibo in 1669 and Simon’s galleon represents part of the Spanish flotilla Morgan sunk while making his escape. While the galleon provides an extremely tantalising morsel, you’ll be able to see the whole model at the forthcoming Great Western Brick Show in Swindon on the 6th and 7th of October.
Scottish Highland Township
The highland township was part of 2017's model The Jacobite Risings: The Fight for Britain's Throne, a series of uprisings, rebellions and wars that occurred predominantly in Scotland, but also spread into Ireland and England, between 1689 and 1746.
We feel that one of the most interesting aspects of our work is the depiction of everyday life as lived by ordinary people and so this part of the model was one of its most important. The township is alive with activity including waulking the cloth and cow herding. Simon not only took inspiration from archaeological remains, such as those found in Glen Banchor, but also from the recreation of a township at the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore.
Baker Street Station
Baker Street station was part of our 2014 model London 1875: The Capital of an Empire. Simon took on the task of recreating part of the city’s embryonic underground system by constructing a partial replica of the first Baker Street platforms, which comes complete with vaulted roof and an early metropolitan steam train. The station is topped by a museum which is filled with objects inspired by the displays at the National History Museum.
We hope you are impressed with Simon's work and are able to go to his exhibition; you can see more of his work and follow him on Flickr. To be kept up-to-date on all our events and other doings, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
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