My New Year’s resolutions

So, the first thing on my New Year’s resolution list has just been achieved!  Start a blog! Well, I guess starting it is the easy part, it’ll be keeping it going that’s the problem.  Still, baby steps…

Before committing myself to a whole load of new tasks for 2018, let me just introduce this new blog and what I’m going to be posting on it.  I’m hoping there will be stuff that’s of interest to lovers of architecture, lovers of particular buildings or architects, lovers of Glasgow and those who might fancy a wee dabble at building something awesome themselves.  Most of what I’ve learned I’ve either:

  • Found out the hard way through trial and error
  • Done some random googling
  • Asked my kids
  • Found in Warren Elsmore’s book

So, I’d thought I would share some tips and insights from what I’ve discovered, and let you see how I’ve constructed my buildings.  I will also take you through some of the designs and provide a bit of background and information on some of Glasgow’s architectural and cultural gems.

Still reading? great, here’s what I hope to achieve in 2018…

  1. Start a blog
  2. Keep blogging
  3. Finalise the mini Barrowland Ballroom model
  4. Rebuild the Caledonia Road Church
  5. Have a go at the Battlefield Rest
  6. Construct a larger building (I’m not making any rash promises as to which one!)
  7. Tidy my workspace

Mini Barrowland

My original Barrowland Ballroom model is still my most popular build and people keep asking if it’s for sale.  Unfortunately at three feet long and around 2,500 bricks, it’s not one that I can easily churn out.  And if I were to sell it, the price I would need to charge would make people swear at me.  The solution is simple (so simple that I never actually thought of it until my father in law suggested it) – make a smaller one!  The smaller one is only around 30cm long.

I’ve had the protoype designed for over a year now (you can also see it lit up in the pic above), but have struggled to incorporate a lighting unit in a way that I’m happy with for a finished product. I’m hoping inspiration will strike me when I look at this again in 2018.  One option might be to find a suitable frame that the lighting unit can be built into.

Barrowland white background
Mini Barrowland model

Caledonia Road Church

My Caledonia Road Church model was another early one that I made, and it was a great one for learning some useful techniques.  The Alexander Thomson Society got in touch last year as part of the bicentenary year to ask if I wanted to include it in their Takes on Thomson exhibition.  By that time, my model had been dismantled, stored away in the loft and many of its parts were cannibalized for other builds.  So I need to rebuild (and improve) it this year.  I’m going to use dark tan bricks instead of tan, so that it looks more authentic.  I’m also going to try and make the tower in full.  The difficulty is that you can’t get all bricks in all colours, so I’ll need to see what I can do with the dark tan.

Greek Thomson’s Caledonia Road Church

If you want to see how the dark tan and dark bluish grey brick go in combination, you can get an idea from my Glasgow University vista.  It gives a pretty good proxy for the weathered blonde sandstone; characteristic of many Glasgow buildings.



Battlefield Rest

I’ve been interested in doing a model of the Battlefield Rest for ages.  It’s very local to me, and one that’s been suggested by several people (including the owners!).  It’s not going to be easy though, so I might just start with one facade and see how I get on.  Both the colours and the shape don’t lend themselves immediatley to Lego, so it may take a while!  I’ll keep you posted.


At least since moving house I’ve got some dedicated space for my Lego.  But it seems that my clutter just expands to fill the available space.  I seem to spend most of my time trying to find the right pieces amid the clutter.  So I need to prioritise getting a bit of order into my bricks so that I can work more efficiently.  Any tips or advice on storage welcome!


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