We are Bright Bricks, a professional LEGO building company from the UK back again for another AMA Session! We're home to Duncan Titmarsh, The UK's only LEGO Certified Professional and now a health staff of 30 builders! Some of our clients include The LEGO Company, Rolls-Royce, Google, Transport for London, Channel 4, BP, Exxon Mobile! At last count we have over 10 million LEGO bricks in the warehouse.

We just finished producing a short documentary on how we built our giant LEGO models, and our Christmas model for LEGO UK. This year its a life sized Replica of Santa's Sleigh and Reindeer!

This is still on display in Covent Garden in Central London until December 29th if you would like to see it in person. We regularly post videos on our channel, perhaps subscribe to the channel stay up to date with them ;)

You can find more pictures of our work on our Facebook Page or our Website

Of course here is our proof here Go on! Ask anything LEGO Related, and about our jobs as Professional LEGO Builders! :)

Edit! Still here still answering your questions guys. We're just back from a short break at our christmas party! Happy holidays too you!!

Edit 2: Thank you all for your questions! This has been a blast! We will be back tomorrow morning (GMT) to answer more of your questions, as its quite late by our time. Keep the questions and we will get to all of you! Promise :)

Edit 3: Here we go again people! Will try to answer as many questions as we can. Be sure to watch our documentary about how we build large scale models here!!: youtube.com/watch?v=QECKe3IjvDY

Comments: 357 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

JPil1999101 karma

If you could only build with 3 Lego Blocks what colour and type would they be?

Bright-Bricks137 karma

Red 2x4 brick, green baseplate, and a 1x1 brick with studs on 5 sides!

Ataraxist38 karma

but why?

Bright-Bricks116 karma

with 2x4s you can make pretty much anything structural, Base plates for something to put them on, and 1x1 with studs on all but one size of help with SNOT (Studs not on top) type building!

EvergreenHulk85 karma

When you put glue on a Lego is that like creating a horcrux a tearing off a piece of your own soul?

Bright-Bricks68 karma

Its not as bad as THAT! But we do feel for the bricks...

WOOTerson71 karma

What has been the biggest LEGO disaster you guys have faced with an order or build?

Bright-Bricks144 karma

We once dropped Westminster Abbey, the west side of it at least. Roughly 40000 unglued Lego bricks. That was a long rebuild...

joshcouch51 karma

Thanks for doing this, I have two questions for you.

1) What do you do with the pieces after you build them?

2) What is the longest anything has taken you to build?

Bright-Bricks72 karma

No worries we have done one of these before and it was a lot of fun!

1) Our models are made to order by clients and are usually glued together. So after we have built them we deliver them to the client and they keep them either on display or take them on tour around the country/countries (Like a our Giant LEGO Netto Dog!)

2) Our Giant Advent Calendar we made for LEGO UK 2 years ago took 4 months to make (made of 600000 bricks!) We may have another video of that coming soon!

dreadpiratewombat41 karma

I didn't realize that being a professional Lego builder was a "thing" outside of working for Lego themselves. As such, thanks for the AMA!

What is the most unusual or unlikely background of one of your builders?

Bright-Bricks37 karma

Yes there are several outside of LEGO! Most part of the LCP (Lego Certified Professional Program) Amazing isn't it?

We have a few with an odd background on staff. Costume Design, Senior Aircraftsman in RAF, an Arboriculturalist, Foreign Currency Distributor, and Sound Engineering.

salamanderme14 karma

My 6 year old son wants to be a lego builder/engineer when he's older. I had no idea you could work with them outside of LEGO. Any tips or inspiration for the kiddo?

Bright-Bricks45 karma

Always challenge yourself to build whatever you can with whatever parts you have. Never stop playing with LEGO. Use your imagination everyday to make the LEGO come to life. Work hard in school in sciences and maths, and even if you don't do well, make sure you always try your best. Thats how we all got to where we are!

plusharmadillo40 karma

What's your favorite thing that you've ever built, and why?

Bright-Bricks79 karma

The Airbus A380 we built for Heathrow Terminal 5! Aeroplanes are one of our favourite things to make. Lots of complex curves.

plusharmadillo63 karma

Thanks for answering! That's this project, right?

Happy building!

Bright-Bricks49 karma

Yes it is! Very proud of it.

One internet point to you for that find.

SoWhatIfImChristian37 karma

Can you post a video of you guys stepping on a lego piece barefoot?

Bright-Bricks117 karma

Due to our health and safety guidelines, all our staff are required to wear appropriate footwear in the warehouse ;)

Tusserte36 karma

How do you acquire all your Lego bricks?

Bright-Bricks69 karma

Our contract with LEGO allows us to order bricks direct from them in bulk. But you have to be a LCP in order to do that!

dreadpiratewombat30 karma

Separate question: what is a build project you desperately wish someone would contract for? What's in your builders dream bucket list?

Bright-Bricks73 karma

Full Sized London Bus!! Or a Minifig scale Imperial Star Destroyer from Star Wars (Would be about 40 meters) =D

dreadpiratewombat30 karma

Good lord either/both would be awesome!

Bright-Bricks52 karma

We are really hoping a client will come along soon so we could do either. Anyone got a direct line to JJ Abbrams? No... Anyone..?

dreadpiratewombat46 karma

This is reddit, stranger things have happened.

Bright-Bricks31 karma

Lets hope! That or Boris Johnson gets the budget to order an old Routemaster from us.

SilkyConan25 karma

Is everything awesome?

Bright-Bricks60 karma

Everything is cool when you're part of a team :)

usa_dublin24 karma

I notice you use glue. How often do you see people trying to pull bricks off?

Bright-Bricks37 karma

Most models we display in public do have SOME people try to take a bit home with them...

Mookiewook17 karma

Hey guys, love your work. I have a Durham Cathedral set that's on the way to me which I can't wait to build.

1) what kind of LEGO blogs or articles do you guys like reading the most?

2) is there anything that existing Lego blogs or writers can do better?

Bright-Bricks15 karma

The brothers brick, and brick set. Oh and blacks magazine!

Write more about us ;)

Bright-Bricks10 karma

We also designed the larger one being built by the public and on display at Durham! :)

ColdplayParadise17 karma

Is it hard to build all that stuff?

Has it happened sometime that the lego have collapsed?

Bright-Bricks17 karma

Yes it's fairly complicated, but an enjoyable challenge!

RandomManShouting14 karma

Are there types of LEGO that only you guys can special order and is not available to the public?

Bright-Bricks26 karma

Nope we only can order and only can use parts available in current sets!

chris_m_h14 karma

I've always wondered, when you build something massive, is the centre core hollow, or filled with massive duplo bricks or.....well...what's in the middle, man?

rrroach8 karma

If you watch the video linked in the original post you'll see that they use a minimal steel frame and use Legos to fill up the rest! Very cool stuff!

Bright-Bricks9 karma

One internet point to you sir for watching the video ;) But yes exactly that. Minimal steel. Lattice of LEGO

tculpepper13 karma

If you had unlimited time and resources what would you build and why?

Bright-Bricks50 karma

A minifig scale model of the Earth, and we would put it in orbit. We sound like Bond villains. Would be about 200 miles across!

rrroach13 karma

When it comes down to assembling your build brick by brick, is the arrangement of each of the bricks something that you've planned in advance? In other words, are the builders/assembly workers following a strict set of instructions like those you'd find in a normal Lego set, or is much of it done off the cuff? I'm curious how you're able to achieve such perfect curvature and scaling and whatnot considering that you build from the bottom up.

If you do have strict instructions for the assembly, how are those created? Is there special software that allows you to convert a CAD model into a custom Lego set?

Sorry for the technical questions; I'm an engineering student and a Lego Maniac for life :)

PS - A small suggestion: turn down the volume of the music in your next video just a tad! It got hard to hear what was being said at some points.

Bright-Bricks17 karma

Much Much more off the cuff! CAD is something we rarely use, but when we do its make sure steelwork will fit in a given model, etc etc. A lot of work is free hand with us looking at reference pictures, or working from technical drawing here and there. They only strict instruction is, Can you build this bit here? or can you make this? The answer is usually yes!

approx-12 karma

Are you fans of Minecraft? I always felt that it was the digital equivalent to all the fun I had with legos at a kid.

Bright-Bricks15 karma

Massive fans! This year we built a giant mining style Minecraft Steve for Hamlets Toys and LEGO UK. I still believe its being displayed in Hamleys!

I (social networking guy at the company) have played a fair few hours of minecraft, and I'dsay its a lot easier to build in the micro physical space with LEGO than the digital Macro space of Minecraft

DJSub12 karma

How many years did it take to make this profitable?

Starting out, how many people said it couldnt be done?

Bright-Bricks25 karma

We've been a profitable from the get go. Nobody said it couldn't be done but a lot of people are surprised a company like ours exists.

deltagolfthree11 karma

What's the weirdest thing you've been asked to build?

Bright-Bricks23 karma

A 20 Metre tall rubber duck! Would have taken a team of 60 a year to built it.

name_is_arbitrary7 karma

Do the completed projects get heavy? Do you build on a wheeled platform or something, or just lift the thing when it's done?

Bright-Bricks15 karma

Yes quite heavy. A lot of our project have steel cores and bases due to Health+Safety standards. We usually palate truck them around on those bases, or like our model of the RMS Queen Mary, we build it in sections that can be placed together! Pictures here: RMS Queen Mary Gallery

ohhwerd7 karma

Where can I get that xlarge white baseplate?

What has been your favorite project to work on?

Bright-Bricks14 karma

Try Bricklink! =) There's a chance there would be some on there. Search 48x48 base plates or part 4186

suaveitguy7 karma

How do you design your models, do you have software that can convert images into lego plans? Do you use plans?

Bright-Bricks8 karma

We use 3D model software only rarely, to help with health and safety design of steel cores of the larger models and displays. Mostly everything is is done from drawings, or calculations, or done freehand with reference pictures. It all depends on the model!

Bob0027 karma

What has been the most fun to build?

Bright-Bricks11 karma

The big yellow NETTO Dog we made recently! It turned out so nice. Build Gallery

Or a part of Bricksburg from the LEGO movie!

chris_m_h6 karma

How do you feel about people who say "Legos"?

Bright-Bricks8 karma

We cry. It makes us cry.

suaveitguy6 karma

What aspect of the job burns you out? Is it all fun and games?

Bright-Bricks19 karma

On larger models of all the same colour, you can get a bit cross eyed when looking a the same stud pattern all day!

animalcule5 karma

Do your fingers start to hurt after so much building? I always remember burning out after a couple solid hours of LEGO because my fingers would get sore.

Bright-Bricks6 karma

Like guitar players and bass players, we've developed calluses on our fingers tips, this helps with the daily sore fingers!

bgahbhahbh5 karma

Wouldn't it hurt, to spend so much effort building something and having a giant disaster in the end?

Also, what do you do in your spare time?

Bright-Bricks7 karma

Yes it absolutely would. We don't wish that feeling or experience on anyone. Lets hope we never have to feel that again!

In our spare time we do a variety of things, some us volunteer, you know regular people things! But a lot of us leave/do all our LEGOing here. Everyone needs time off from things! Only the dedicated few still do LEGO as a hobby outside of work.

stevotherad5 karma

What was your first LEGO set?

What is a typical work day like for you?

Bright-Bricks8 karma

My personal first set was a Aquanauts set in the late 90s (23 Social Media guy here) But the old guys had anything from Blacktron to Classic space.

Duncan's was Set 480, Rescue Helicopter from 1975!

Bright-Bricks6 karma

A typical day usually starts around 7:50, get to grips with make we are building that day. Next we gather the parts from the draws we think we'll need and start building. We take coffee breaks and lunch break like a normal company does all together and continue each task we are assigned after those. The specifics vary from build to build. Sometimes we are in large group all working together. Other times we all work on various element of the same build. We can all work on multiple projects at the same time now as the company has grown from the 4 of our last AMA to our now 30 staff!

Casper0425 karma

Where is the best place for the average joe to buy LEGO in bulk?

I am mainly wanting Technics bricks.

Bright-Bricks5 karma

Absolutely Bricklink is your best bet, or batch orders from eBay sellers

JEWCEY5 karma

  1. Do you have any tips for people who want to build usable furniture out of LEGOS? Would DUPLOS be safer?
  2. I can file LEGOS back into their buckets; may I please move in?

Bright-Bricks11 karma

Use SNOT (Studs not on top) technics of building to get get long flat areas to use for drawers! Life saver instead of using a sliding wheel system like most drawers are.

matttejs5 karma

Is everything awesome?

Bright-Bricks7 karma

Absolutely awesome :) Tegan and Sara and the Lonely Island did a very good job on that track!

suaveitguy3 karma

Do you construct the inside of models too - or just a shell? Are they solid?

Bright-Bricks3 karma

Watch our documentary where we answer this very question! ;) link or here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QECKe3IjvDY

Gen_Jack_Ripper3 karma

What kind of skills are wanted for a job like yours? I used to spend hours building one item, to "get it right". I always thought I had an eye for how to engineer a piece with a set goal in mind. Even if that was as small as a lightbar on a vehicle.

That said, what types of people do you hire?

Bright-Bricks4 karma

Very spacial minded people, people who think in more of 3D, someone with a great reference of all the current available LEGO parts, but that can be taught and eye for detail. We can hire a wider range of people with those critrea

caseyoc3 karma

Can you think of any reason why we don't build real buildings out of scaled-up Lego-type bricks? Seems like they'd be an amazing, sturdy resource.

Bright-Bricks7 karma

If they were glued then the could hold their weight just fine. But health safety codes and standards are a thing in our world! Also it would be very very expensive to use a basic construction material, when you can consider that you can lay a concrete floor in seconds, but that out of LEGO would take hours if not days.

We have heard of some construction materials that are "modular" similar to LEGO but very scaled up. We like that sound of those ;)

seacucumber30003 karma

A few questions:

  1. When did you realize you wanted to build LEGO professionally?

  2. Did you go through your "dark age" or whatever they call it when you lose interest?

  3. Have you ever been ridiculed because you build LEGO? I would imagine people are a lot more receptive about it as adults, but what about when you were younger?

Bright-Bricks3 karma

Many of our staff went through the dark ages, but came back into the fold later in life ;)

We all came from various backgrounds which we worked our way down those career paths. Its always been a dream, just need to wait for the right opportunity. To the except Duncan who started this off after working as a kitchen fitter. Once the work started coming in, it snowballed!

phil0353 karma

have you do a reddit secret santa this year? and more over do you take requests for private clients?

Bright-Bricks4 karma

A few of our staff have on personal accounts, but not as a company as a whole!

Its more we take request FROM private clients. They usually come to us with an idea, and we facilitate that!

phil0354 karma

Aha Thank you for the reply. expect an email from me at some point in the future then =P how much as a rough guestamate would a 2 teir wedding cake be? so I can start saving up

Bright-Bricks6 karma

Send us an email at [email protected] and we may be able to help. We've made cake toppers and cakes before, as well as Giant LEGO Cake 2 metres across to celebrate the Brownies (British girl scouts) 150th anniversary. Linked here

CallMeDrewvy3 karma

How do you plan your builds? What software, if any, do you use?

Bright-Bricks3 karma

We show how we plan our large scale builds in this documentary here or here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QECKe3IjvDY

AkumaKyoushin3 karma

I love lego so much just way to expensive. Do you get like an unlimited supply or do you get told to only use a set amount?

Bright-Bricks6 karma

We order and pay for a certain amount. We usually calculate exactly what parts and how we need before we order. A unlimited supply would be amazing!!! =D

lvest3 karma

Do you have certain techniques for when you construct a building or something similar or do you just start putting pieces together?

Bright-Bricks2 karma

Yes we do, watch our documentary and we explain several of the techniques we use! Linked above :)

FattM3 karma

Was not aware the Uk had a professional builders, now prouder of us. :) A couple of random ones:

1) Have you ever built anything to take home yourself, and what is it/would it be?

2) Was it you who did the dinosaurs and others for Snetterton?

3) Legoland: Company trip? Opinion since the buyout? Favourite zone?

Bright-Bricks3 karma

We have done quite a lot of dinosaurs as of late! I'm out of the office now until Monday, i'll use some google magic to try to find out for you. Was it the Jurassic Coast?

Yes many things here and there. Some mosaics for family members, working clocks to hung up at home. I (the social media guy) Have a 2 foot tall 3D representation of 8 bit Link from Legend of Zelda on NES. Will try to find a picture to link...

paulrenaud3 karma

After the Lego movie came out and demonized gluing bricks together(crageling) do you guys feel bad about using glue? Also are you guys hiring?

Bright-Bricks7 karma

Nope we don't feel bad, we feel happy we are delivering a product to clean that they will love and keep for many years to come, and display for many years too

IAmArique3 karma

The question I always ask all Lego "Master Builders": A Wizard has turned you guys into Lego bricks. What bricks are they? (Hard mode: No minifigures.)

Bright-Bricks8 karma

2x4 Red Bricks. The Classic. You can use 2x4's to make them back into more useful body, since you can build almost almost anything out of 2x4s

paulrenaud3 karma

During a build do you guys refer to each peice by number or do you have special names for each peice? for example "hey can you pass me a 4186." or "hey pass a 48 x 48 green baseplate."

Bright-Bricks7 karma

We usually work in the order. Stud length, colour, type of part. So for example. 2x4 Red Brick, 1x4 blue plate, 1x8 brown tile.

BananApocalypse2 karma

Does having almost unlimited access to all bricks take away from any of the enjoyment of Lego?

For me one of the most rewarding parts was using creativity and limited resources to create designs.

Bright-Bricks2 karma

Not at all, it only facilitates creativity, because we can make anything, we make anything!

Jazcash2 karma

What do you think of Minecraft? Ever played it?

Bright-Bricks2 karma

We have yes, and we very much adore it! The music is very peaceful

twirlyleg2 karma

What do you call the plural version of a Lego? I've heard Lego (like the word sheep, it doesn't change with multiples), Legos, and Lego bricks. Are any of these incorrect? Thanks!

Bright-Bricks9 karma

Like Xerox, LEGO is just a company that has had their most popular product turned into noun for a type of thing. The plural of a LEGO Brick is LEGO Bricks.

But in terms of if its LEGO or LEGOs, its LEGO. LEGOs just sounds wrong.

goodnewsjimdotcom1 karma

Why don't you guys make a minecraft style game? But instead of all the same size blocks, you put in your custom ones?

Bright-Bricks2 karma

Like a real life minecraft world made from LEGO? The Idea has potential