Blocking Out An Image


I am sort of ambivalent about being unsure whether to go one of two ways about this – more or less. On one hand is the desire to sadden and offend a clean and decent group of people and on the other hand there are four fingers and the thumb. Plus we have to remember that Denmark is always with us. And in the case of Western Australia our Denmark is full of hippies…

Okay. Decision made. I hate Lego.


Gasp. Shock. Horror. Cries of ” Off with his head! Unleash the flying monkeys! Oooodinnn…!”

Before we are beset with fleets of longships rowing up the Swan in search of my head, let me qualify that – I hate Lego used for models that are not buildings. And I do not speak lightly – I have visited Legoland in Denmark in person – and I loved the Lego buildings outdoors. I have a little plastic pilgrim badge to wear with pride.


Here are a series of images shot over the last couple of years at the plastic model convention in Perth. Lego is plastic and certainly qualifies for entry. The models are very well made and quite entertaining. Their makers should be proud of their visualisation and assembly skills.


But the use of blocks to make complex curves and details is one of the most jangling of visual presentations – it is like seeing roughly – made digital images from a sensor with too few pixels. They can get away with it when they use the blocks for architecture as the lines are likely to closer to the real building materials. An exception is the model of the Opera House. That jangles. Of course it might be argued that the real thing jangles as well, but that is another story.


I also find that the use of primary colours to mimic real ones to be awkward. I believe that there are far more choices in the block range these days and the modellers can choose a closer match. I do salute them for their dedication in collecting such a large backlog of parts to allow them to construct things – perhaps they can order in bulk directly from Lego and not have to buy in small quantities.


There are those who may argue that my opposition is illogical – given the long-established practice of making structures from the equally-unsuitable Meccano , Erector, or Dux building sets. They made great travelling crane models, a spectacular Sydney Harbour Bridge model, and lousy aeroplane or car models. So they did, and the green, red, and blue colours were no better help to reality than those of Lego.


Tinker Toys were never realistic – Skyline sets were. Lincoln Logs were wonderful in only one genre – and that is where they scored and Lego doesn’t. They posited form and function with the appropriate material in small scale. If you were content to make Ft. Apache or Lincoln’s birthplace, you could do a superb job. No-one ever tried to make a model of a DC-3 with them.



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