Hello there!

We are Bright Bricks, a professional LEGO building company based in the UK. We are the home to the UK's only LEGO Certified Professional, one of 13 in the World, Duncan Titmarsh.

Proof Here And Here!

We have worked/built for Rolls-Royce, Philips, Sandvik, London Underground, Google, DK Books, Channel 4, and for The LEGO Company too! We have models around the World from Finland to the USA to Qatar in the Middle East and we've built things like giant shoes, greenhouses, enormous handbags, mammoth advent calendars, a 12m tall Christmas tree, Machu Picchu, the London Olympic Stadium and a Trent 1000 Jet Engine!

At last count we have over 6 million LEGO bricks!

We also do timelapse films of our work, which you can find on our Youtube Channel here:Bright Bricks Youtube. Our latest is a fully operational Giant Lego Wristwatch!

We also have more pictures of our work online at our website:

Ask us anything about life as professional LEGO Artists! :)

Update: (25/6/13) WOW! Thank you for getting us to the frontpage :) We'll keep answering questions! :)

Update 2:(25/6/13) The response has been Incredible guys!!!!! We did not expect this response at all!!!!! LEGO is awaiting so unforunately we have to get back to building. Keep your questions coming and we will be back tomorrow (GMT) to answer what we can!

Update 3: (26/6/13) Hello guys, back for another day of questions! Keep them coming our way, If you'd like to keep up to date with us and our various projects, perhaps follow us on twitter, @BrightBricks We will be post more timelapse videos on a regular basis, so watch out for them, now to questions!

Update 4: (26/6/13) Thank you all for your great questions! For now we have to get back to building! We will answer all your questions as soon as we can! Thank you so much guys!

Comments: 693 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

SomeRandomFruit252 karma

Do you have a dream project? Like a 1:1 scale of some famous building? :)

BrightBricks450 karma

We would absolutely love to make a 1:1 scale model of a classic red London Routemaster Double Deck! :) We reckon it would take about 10 million bricks.

DeepStatic113 karma

If anyone would like to join me in tweeting this to London Mayor Boris Johnson... https://twitter.com/henrycarless1/statuses/349565705613623296

BrightBricks77 karma

Yes please do! We would love the oppurtunity! We will be back soon to answer more questions!

Ihmhi54 karma

If you made it at the 1:1 scale, would the Legos be able to structurally support a person standing inside it? What about on the second floor?

hadhad6929 karma

There was a UK show (James Mays toy bullshit) where they attempted to build a house out of lego. It ended up being to heavy to support itself IIRC.

Maybe with better foresight it could be possible though, they seemed to be doing it quite haphazardly.

xniinja20 karma

I'm sure there are possibly some structural tricks that can be used, such as arcs.

VruNix22 karma

If I remember correctly, most large-scale Lego constructions use additional structural support (steel frames, etc)

BrightBricks3 karma

Yes they do!

BrightBricks3 karma

We would most likely add a steel frame on the inside of the bus, as we have to do for health and safety regulations!

Tall_Rassman166 karma

What goes into becoming a Lego Certified Professional? What does the process look like?

BrightBricks199 karma

Either have an existing company building LEGO models, have a portfolio of comissioned work, demand from the local LEGO business unit, and meet a whole number of other criteria from LEGO. Trust us, its not easy! :)

LovesScience138 karma

Have your feet completely lost all feeling yet, or do you were special shoes?

BrightBricks167 karma

Just regular shoes :) No Lego on the floor!

for_research_only114 karma

What was your first lego set you built as a child?

BrightBricks177 karma

Set 480, Rescue Helicopter from 1975 :)

for_research_only68 karma

That's awesome! Makes me miss my first one

BrightBricks67 karma

I remember that! Lovely set :)

Tall_Rassman107 karma

What has been the most challenging project you have ever taken on and why?

BrightBricks200 karma

Our most challenging project was the Trent 1000 jet engine. This was mostly due to having to design it to function as the model, which involved engineering a way to counter rotate compressors within the engine, as well as designing the shape of the fanblades! There is also a timelapse of the project on Rolls-Royce's youtube page, linked here

Edit: Grammer and linked properly

karmanaut110 karma

Hey guys: try and avoid shortened URLs, because the spam filter deletes them. There are no character limits here, so you can use the full URL. You can also format links into text, like this. Just do [the words in brackets](and the link in parenthesis).

BrightBricks127 karma

Apologies! Didnt know if that worked in comments as well as in the initial post. Will edit and do that in future!

Salacious-94 karma

Do you ever require custom pieces? If so, do you make them yourselves or get them from Lego?

BrightBricks158 karma

No, we are only allowed to use current available parts from LEGO sets in shops now!

geoffgrindd71 karma

Please explain the planning that goes into making such an elaborate model. I can't imagine you guys just jump straight on a project without some type of initial process.

BrightBricks89 karma

As with any project, we have to do initial research. With the Jet Engine, we were invited to Rolls-Royces factory in Derby. We took a LOAD of pictures of the engine, as well as got several technical drawings.

We then break the project into subsections and start prototyping!

grant043 karma

Do you use CAD programs at all in your design?

BrightBricks80 karma

Nope!

fozzie198467 karma

what is your favourite lego toy?i had a job in a toy store years ago when i was 16 and i got to build lego to use as dispay pieces,hands down best was the massive lego train sets you use to get.never did get to build the death star though

BrightBricks91 karma

Set 497 in the US and 928 in UK, The Galaxy Explorer 1979. It was Lego first venture into space!

With special mention to the current Star Wars Starship Destroyer! Thats just amazing to look at.

Edit: Spelling

asiansteev60 karma

How do I get these two goddamned flat pieces apart? And who stuck them together in the first place?!

BrightBricks83 karma

Use two brick seperators! :)

layendecker48 karma

Pretty sure you did a job for my company! For a live events project we had a 2 foot Buffalo made up, and a load of little ones to hand out as freebies- the full sized one had to be moved around a few times per day, something I refused to do...

Which leads me to my first question - what is the biggest and most dramatic break you have witnessed of a Lego structure you have built?

Also, as an old school lego nerd, what are your opinons on the ever expanding line of specialist shapes available? Are you a bricks only purist or do you embrace the creative possibilities that these new and unique shapes represent?

Thanks for the AMA.. I very rarely ask questions, but one of my long-serving obsessions is Lego- congratulations on being one of the very few people who makes a career decision at 5 years old and sticks with it!


Also everything looks pretty amazing on your web side, but if you need any help or advice (for free) in the murky world of web marketing then feel free to give me a message. I specialise in video content creation and SEO and always have time to answer questions or give advice to good businesses.

BrightBricks3 karma

On the specialist shapes - We use all available lego parts including the specialist shapes. More parts to work with! LEGO have a cap of about 7000 different parts, with colour combinations at anyone time, and they stick to that. When something new comes in, something old goes out. Variety is the spice of life, and we need to find a way of working with all of LEGO's parts. We LOVE every part, from bricks to minifigs skeletons!

DAL8245 karma

I have an idea for a Lego based scientific toy. I have no idea how to go forward with it.

Can you provide any suggestions?

I'll happily share details if you're interested. :)

BrightBricks57 karma

Is it on Cuusoo?

That might be a start?

n0rdique45 karma

As a LEGO expert, please set the record straight: "Legos" is NOT the proper plural, correct?

Apologies if this question has already been asked.

BrightBricks109 karma

LEGOs is not the plural!

WeirdWhirl44 karma

Whats the weirdest thing someone ever asked you to build? Ever turn anything down?

BrightBricks66 karma

Full sized horse!

RobBobGlove41 karma

what do you think about minecraft?

BrightBricks57 karma

Never played, but the LEGO Minecraft set looks rather interesting! Things at that scale are cool :)

Purdew34 karma

What was it like working with James May on his fantastic full size Lego house? Did you guys build it with an intent for someone to actually live in it or was it always an art installation?

BrightBricks45 karma

It was good fun, we were there to provide technical know how and assistance, but it was primairly designed as a One off TV stunt, so unforunately it was just a art installation.

Did have a flush loo though ;)

JackXDark32 karma

My little boy has said that when he grows up he wants to be a Lego builder. Seems like he'd love working for you. Is there any chance of him visiting one of your projects, or for you to send him a message telling him what he needs to do to work towards this goal. He's five, by the way. Thanks!

BrightBricks34 karma

We have some models on public display at Swindon Designer Outlet. Send us a message on our facebook page and we can see what we can do with the message!

tokitorii19 karma

What did you guys go to school for/what was your vocational training? And how did you end up building lego models professionally?

BrightBricks38 karma

Diploma in Business and Finance, Master in Statistical Research Methods. Duncan worked as a kitchen fitter, and in IT and for Honda before this.

We started the company, part time at first, one job led to another, and here we are!

Theemuts19 karma

Do you have to spend a lot of time on structural analysis and such to make sure a large model doesn't break apart during the design process? You seem to have quite the engineering background.

BrightBricks35 karma

Yes we do. For Health and safety requirements we have to put steel structure in our larger models to prevent collapse and injury.

riley_collins_17 karma

This is one of my dream jobs. Is this your dream job too, and do you have a dream project? Also, what's your favorite thing you've ever made?

BrightBricks19 karma

Yep this is our dream job, our favorite is in the comments above!

CrokoJoko17 karma

How do you go about procuring all of the pieces needed for an upcoming build?

BrightBricks26 karma

It is possible to order from LEGO pic a brick online. We build mostly from our existing stock.

dexter3017 karma

What would you not build for anyone for any price?

BrightBricks32 karma

We have guidelines from LEGO from what we are allowed to build, we're not allowed to build anything inappropiate such as drugs and alcohol etc.

Tall_Rassman16 karma

What kind backgrounds do your employees come from? Seems like a job that would be hard to show your qualifications.

BrightBricks22 karma

From all sorts of backgrounds, from design to sound engineering and video editing. We've never actively recruited people, we tend to find the skilled people we need, based on what our needs are at the time.

Corknugget15 karma

What did you have most fun building?

BrightBricks26 karma

The Advents for our Giant Advent Calendar we built for LEGO. Doing boiling brussel sprouts on a stove was one of the most interesting things to try to make!

sully432114 karma

[deleted]

BrightBricks14 karma

Nope we have no influence over LEGO's design process, only our own models!

brickfrenzy8 karma

Hey guys, love your work. I've been a big fan of Ed's work on Flickr for a long time.

What are your thoughts on using non-Lego for structural work? When doing a commission, do you use glue, or internal structure made of non-Lego (wood, metal, etc) to help support things?

BrightBricks9 karma

We try to avoid using anything other than LEGO as much as possible, for health and safety we do have to put steel inside sometimes.

Ed says thank you! :)

GentlemanBigfoot8 karma

What's the process? Do you make computer generated models then build it? Or go old fashion and just sling pieces together till it works?

BrightBricks7 karma

Depends on each model we build.

Keen_As_Mustard7 karma

[deleted]

BrightBricks8 karma

BrickLink ad LEGO pic a brick are your best bets for getting bricks.

We dont really use CAD or LDD that often, we mostly use our engineering know how in the design process.

Nallenbot6 karma

The watch and jet engine are incredible, have you ever turned a project down as too difficult?

BrightBricks11 karma

Not yet :) We only turn them down if the timescales are impossible or if they go agaist LEGO's guidelines.

Other than that, We are capable of building ANYTHING!!! :)

lucky_wood5 karma

How did you start the business? Were you working for Lego before becoming an independent company?

What was your initial spend on lego bricks to get going?

BrightBricks5 karma

See our previous answer above about how we started, but no we didn't work for LEGO before we started.

SexCymbal4 karma

How accurate is the belief that one day Minecraft or virtual block-building will replace LEGO itself? Do you guys have any plans on how you would deal with this change in the market?

BrightBricks8 karma

Doubt it! There will always be call for things in the phsyical world!

She_Likes_Cloth4 karma

How difficult was it to get the right pattern down for complex curves and shapes? Is there a technique you learned somewhere? Or was it mostly trial and error?

BrightBricks3 karma

Yes its difficult, the only real way is to learn through experience!

blastoise_mon3 karma

Have you seen business rise or die down with the advent of new technology like game consoles and tablets?

BrightBricks5 karma

Not been adversely affected by it, just more ideas of things to build!

ghettomuffin3 karma

what is the deal with the LEGO men that have washed up on a couple of shores around the world? EDIT: Giant LEGO men

BrightBricks3 karma

Not sure! Never heard of that happening.

rnienke2 karma

Is anyone around there brave enough to not wear shoes?

How do you keep your hands from getting all torn up? That's all I really remember about Legos.

BrightBricks11 karma

Nope, we all have shoes ;) But we use LEGO brick seperates to save our hands.

atom-1 karma

Are you the guys that did the Lego tube map?

BrightBricks1 karma

That we did! :)

ValErk1 karma

Have you seen the trailer for the new lego movie, if so what do you think about it?

BrightBricks1 karma

Its awesome :)

Galactic_Voltron1 karma

How long would you say it takes to complete a project, and how many people work with you to complete one?

BrightBricks1 karma

Dependant on each one.

Senile571 karma

Do you have any special tools that you use when building your creations?

BrightBricks1 karma

Just our hands and our LEGO knowledge!

RoboCop_1 karma

Did you build the giant shoe, watch and handbag in Swindon outlet village? If so, jolly good show.

BrightBricks1 karma

Yes we did, there are timelapse of the shoe and watch on our youtube channel!