[ occasional pirate ], [ scribbly fellow ], [ hat devotee ], [ improviser ], [ cat dad ], [ sometimes unhappy in the brain ], [ AFOL ], [ consumer of eye-candy ], [ beer drinker ], [ enraged cyclist ], [ please talk to me about Transformers ], [ very bad at DIY ], [ enthusiastic duct-taper ]

LEGO Temple of Quiet Contemplation on Display at Birmingham LEGO Store

So, I’ve been busy, and forgot to tell y’all about finally achieving a life goal that I hadn’t realised I had… I keep forgetting to celebrate the things that I love and make me happy. I shall try harder…

A few months ago, in the depths of pandemic peace and quiet I joined Brick Central LUG – a recognised LEGO user group for those individuals such as myself with an abiding interest in the wondrous brick. I figured it would be a good time to ease into things, since literally nothing was happening for anyone anywhere, and all my other activities were similarly stalled. It’s slowly been defrosting since then, with a bunch of online activities due to kick off this Friday, which I’m pretty excited about.

I had not twigged that the lovely builds I’d seen in display cases at LEGO stores were supplied by LUGs, and that since I was now in a LUG, that maybe one of those cases could be mine… Not until our LEGO ambassador posted in the LUG Facebook group that a month-long slot was coming up at Birmingham’s store, now that it had re-opened, and asked for submissions. I don’t keep stuff assembled for long, and had been quite close to happily dismantling the temple a week earlier, so it was the only MOC I have around. I’ve never displayed any LEGO publicly before, and I’ve always been rather intimidated by the incredible building I see online and at shows, but after much dithering, I finally sent some pics in. Now, it’s possible that no one else had anything ready, but I prefer to think that there was a lot of competition and a tragic error was made, resulting in mine being selected. Also, I was available for a very early start to be at the store as it opened on a Saturday about three weeks ago.

There was a slight hitch: the case is only 23.5 centimetres high, with a thick lip reducing the opening to about 21.5 cm. The temple had never been assembled with such constraints in mind, but I was confident I could shave a couple of inches off the top. I mean, that’s what I said anyway… It gave me a chance to open up the walls a little and neaten up some of the edges while adding a little extra gold (plus saxophones, so that’s a win). It may not be noticeable to the unobsessive eye, but to me the reduced height made it much prettier. Here are some before and after pics:

Totally different, right? Next up was transporting the damned thing by train. Thankfully I’d nicked this “Really Useful Box” full of LEGO a few years ago, and it’s the perfect size for a 32 stud baseplate surrounded by fat bubble packaging. The baseplate itself was blu-tacked onto a cardboard box lid so it could’t get bounced around and I’d be able to lift it out completely. I took off all the fiddly bits at the top which were obviously gonna get knocked off though. And… success. Not one plant bit out of place! Sure, I had to partly dismantle it to fit it into the display case, but I was very pleased.

It was great to meet Mike, our LEGO ambassador at the store, and to meet Adele and her amazing LEGO store team. They were all incredibly lovely and genuinely interested in chatting about LEGO and my daft little temple. They were also kind enough to take some pics of me looking absurdly happy:

It’s fun to browse a LEGO store with others, especially when in a flush of excitement you want to have a mini-LEGO bender… I’m very grateful to the store team for making me feel like a proper VIP. Quite a lovely day all round, not least because this was the furthest I’d been from home since March! Alas, it has but a few more days left on display before I must go and retrieve it, hopefully with similar success. And I guess that means I’ll have to see what’s on the pick a brick wall too… Brick Central LUG have a nice feature on the build here: Temple of Quiet Contemplation, and I’ve been very touched by the nice things people have said about the temple too. I’m looking forward to doing some more building, and perhaps taking this to a show some time next year!

You should join Brick Central LUG! Do so here.

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