It was my father in law who originally suggested that I build a smaller version of my Barrowland Ballroom Lego model. I didn’t give it much thought initially because I thought it wouldn’t work. My original Lego Barrowland had proved to be a big hit on social media, with a lot of people wanting me to build one for them. The problem was that it took me the guts of a year to build that one, and measuring three feet long and more than a foot high it wasn’t the most practical building to mass produce.
My first attempt to miniaturise it failed because I got hung up on trying to get lights that worked for it. But after experimenting with various battery operated lighting units I couldn’t make it work in a way that looked right. At that point I didn’t bother finalising the design.
It wasn’t until midway through 2019 that I came back to the project and made an effort to get a prototype that worked without lights. I’m really glad that I did though, as I think the finished design looks great and is a decent representation of the building.
The main facade of the building (like its bigger brother) is made up of 2×2 tiles mounted on studded bricks. I’ve used L-shaped tiles to fit around the little windows and 1×2 jumper plates to mount the stars on. The stars are those glow in the dark ones that you can buy for sticking on the walls and ceilings of kids’ bedrooms. But unlike for the larger version I didn’t nick these ones from my own kids. Each star is superglued onto a round transparent plate.
The sign is made from a photograph of the original, blown up and printed on a transparency and then laminated (more on making signs here).
For the doors I use brown and dark grey container pieces, which have the right kind of panelled texture on them. The ground floor is mostly a flight of fancy, as the different stalls change over time. If you look at most pictures of the Ballroom, the gound floor is largely shuttered up when it’s being used for gigs. So I’ve used a bit of imagination in designing some of the stall frontages, and each one I make is slightly different.
The white part, which I think houses the stairwell, was the most difficult to get right on the miniature version. Because it is an odd size (5 studs across) I need to use jumper plates to centre it into the rest of the model. This also allows me to add white plates to either side of it.
Now I’ve got the design right I can produce these more quickly. If you’d like to order one, please get in touch through social media. I can’t post them in the mail because they are too fragile (particularly the stars) so you’ll need to be in or around Glasgow. I’m also selling a few at Stephen O’Neil’s Art shop in Shawlands.