The LEGO Creator Expert Big Ben (10253) is available since a few weeks, and after having reviewed this stunning set, I had the chance to ask Jamie Berard a few questions about the design process of this set: Jamie is Design Manager Specialist for LEGO Creator Expert, and creator of the Fairground Mixer (10244), Parisian Restaurant (10243), Horizon Experess (10233) and many other sets.
What has been the most challenging part of creating the Big Ben – and why?
I think the biggest challenge was trying to limit how many small elements we needed while still maintaining a reasonable level of detail and authenticity. The real-life Palace of Westminster has more details than any other world building that we’ve recreated (Taj Mahal, Sydney Operea House, Eiffel Tower and Tower Bridge). It’s also a building with lots of repetition.
In the end, I think we did a decent job of using bricks instead of plates wherever possible while alternating the build to avoid all the repetition happening at the same time. Hopefully the pride of creation at the end rewards you for your efforts.
The texture of this build is very detailed – which part is the most fun part of it, may be the tan teeth? How do you get such ideas?
It’s always fun when you find an element that works perfectly for a particular detail. The tooth actually looks quite close to the many shields that adorn the façade of the building, so it was an easy one to fit in.
I can’t take credit for all the cool ideas that you’ll find in the models I work on. I’m lucky to be surrounded by some super-creative and talented colleagues. Often it’s while having brainstorms with them or by asking for feedback that many of our best creations come to life.
As far as the part of the building that I think is the most fun to build, I would definitely say that is the clock mechanism and upper tower. It just comes together in a neat way and makes me smile each time I rotate the dials.
The Elizabeth Tower is impressive – so after the Ferris Wheel, it seems, that you love to build big models, right?
Size doesn’t matter as much as the challenge. But, I do have to admit, there’s something amazingly cool about pushing the limits of what we can be built with LEGO bricks. 🙂
Thank you so much for your time, Jamie – and we really hope, to see more stunning world buildings as LEGO models in the future.