Lego project set for Brixhibition

HE HAS built Big Ben, the White House, Taipei 101 and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Now Ken Draeger is close to finishing his most ambitious Lego project yet - a 12 square metre recreation of Launceston's Civic block. 

The Summerhill web designer has spent the past 10 months researching and constructing 22 of Launceston's most prominent buildings using the world's most popular toy. 

The painstakingly detailed project, which sprawls across five tables, features to-scale landmarks including the Launceston General Post Office and town clock, the Town Hall, Henty House, the police station, Magistrates Court, Foot and Playsted printers and the Pilgrim Uniting Church. 

Mr Draeger said he had researched the dimensions of each building, calculating measurements from Google Maps and Google Earth, while also studying photographs and regularly visiting each site.

``It's pretty much a crossover of two of my biggest passions: architecture and Lego,'' he said. 

``I've tried to make the models as close to the scale of the actual buildings as possible, right down to the colour and shading of each brick.''

Last week Mr Draeger allowed  The Sunday Examiner  a sneak peek at his Launceston project - but forbade a full reveal until the second annual Northern Brixhibition on April 26 and 27. 

The Northern Brixhibition is a display event run by the Taz-Brick Collectors Club, a group of 30 adult Lego fans who are spread across the state, with similar shows being held in Hobart for the past three years. 

The 2013 Northern Brixhibition saw 1600 people each day pack into the Kings Meadows Lions Club, forcing organisers to upgrade to the Kings Meadows High School hall for 2014.  

This year's Brixhibition has also incorporated a Lego Kids in Schools competition, with Northern primary school pupils urged to get creative to win Lego sets and tickets to the upcoming  The Lego Movie  premiere.

Like many adult Lego fans, Mr Draeger said his obsession started as a child.

``I had heaps of it as a kid, but the interest waned over my teenage years,'' he said. 

``It's only been in the last decade that I got back into it.

``I bought a kit for my niece and helped her build it, and I guess that just opened the door up again.''

Mr Draeger has built several global landmarks from pre-made Lego kits, including the Parthenon, the Eiffel Tower, and a 7000-piece Taj Mahal.

But he said the most satisfying constructions were ``freelance'' models that he researched, sourced and built himself. 

 WHAT:  Northern Lego Brixhibition.

 WHERE:  Kings Meadows High School, April 26 and 27.

 WEBSITE:  www.tazbrick.com/ or www.facebook.com/TazBrickCollectorsClub.

SCHOOLS COMP:  Lego Kids in Schools registration deadline is March 7. Phone 6343 3720 to get involved. 

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