This job taught me, beyond any doubt, that Lego is surprisingly difficult to work with! Because Lego needs to stay nice and square, any time bricks start to sag under their own weight, it leads to compound errors the further along you build. And this usually only presents itself after it is too late to go back!
The van was chocked up to completely level off the sides. Following this, an aluminium frame was erected around the sides, which would give us a platform to build off. Because we were using our actual works van, we had to cover the whole thing in masking tape (application paper for vinyls). We also had to cover all edges in red vinyl, because none of the original white van could be seen, even on the insides of the doors, when they were opened.
Work started with a lot of experimentation. Trial and error occurred for nearly a week. We were looking for the quickest way to follow the form of the van, but also a method that wasn’t going to be inherently fragile.
We tried to build the back and sides ‘upwards’ by going left-to-right like a typewriter. After about 250mm of height was built, we would hose in some expanding foam at 300mm intervals across the walls. The growth of the lego was surprisingly so, because it required way more concentration than most of us had considered. The Logos required a planagram to be printed, which was another slow process. We were all wearing trays around our necks like cinema servers, all with cups of Lego with various colours and sizes.
This job ran longer than we would have liked, and the week before delivery required early starts and late nights, not least the final night, which ran till 11.30pm.
The van was one of our most popular props locally, with numerous members of the public dropping in to follow the progress. Driving the van around was a fantastic experience simply for the reactions it garnered. It was also very reassuring to see that not a single brick of Lego fell off the van on its maiden voyage. A mind-melting project to be sure, but a rewarding one.
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