View it outside our shop in Willowbridge Shopping Centre.
While some of us were on the couch catching up on the latest Netflix series, members of Cape Town’s LEGO User Group, CapeLUG, spent much of the lockdown period working remotely to build a scale model of Table Mountain. In total, it took 35 000 bricks, 340 hours and 25 people to build!
We asked CapeLUG member Malcolm Keevy to give us the dirt on how it all came about.
Since its inception in 2017, CapeLUG’s exhibitions have featured many individual MOCs (Not sure what this stands for?) by its members. The Table Mountain project was conceived as a way to build something as a group.
“We had a few ideas of things that we as a group wanted to build together. In the end we decided on the mountain because it is an iconic feature of Cape Town and we thought it would be a great display and had a number of ideas for features to be added like the cable car,” says Malcolm.
“We also had a good idea about how to go about the process, (like getting a design, figuring out what parts are required, etc.), so that also factored into the decision.”
The building process
The planning was the biggest challenge in the whole process.
“The first phase was designing the build, which we started last year. We did this with mapping data from Google in order to generate the contour elevations and developed a building plan and the parts list we needed to build the model.”
“Then we added colour selection to that to get the feel of the rocky mountain faces and the currents and waves along the sea. We received parts towards the end of 2019 and had two building sessions at the beginning of the year where the group got together. In those sessions we built about 75% of the model.”
The model itself has a horizontal scale of 1:10 000 and an exaggerated vertical scale of 1:5000 to best show the contours.
AFOLs make a plan
Little did the group know that 2020 would throw a spanner in their plans. With a national lockdown implemented from 27 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to think of new ways to build together while being apart.
“Once it became clear that we weren’t going to be able to meet for a while we divided the remaining parts and gave individuals blocks to build on their own. It wasn’t as good as building together, but we also wanted to get the project completed and on display. Most members hadn’t seen each other since the start of lockdown, so even the short visits of dropping off or picking up blocks was a good change. And when building on your own, you still have the feeling of working on a group project.”
“There was quite a lot of coordination required, but eventually we got everything built and then we were able to meet up (albeit with limited numbers) to put it together and make the final adjustments. It was amazing to see the individual block sliding together (and all lining up!) to give us the finished model.”
You can view CapeLUG’s scale model of Table Mountain outside our shop at Willowbridge Shopping Centre.
While the group still has to finalise plans for events into 2021, you can expect a few exhibitions and hopefully another group build.
CapeLUG creates a space for Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOLs) to get together and share their love of building. When safe and possible, they get together to share information and techniques, work together on projects and just hang out.
Interested in joining? Find out more at capelug.co.za/join