LEGO Model Forth Road Bridge Unveiled

25 Aug 2014

news-title-road-bgUsing 10,000 bricks and standing almost 2.7 metres tall, a LEGO model of the Forth Road Bridge will go on display at the National Museum of Scotland today [25 August 2014].

The model has been commissioned by the Forth Estuary Transport Authority, who own and operate the bridge, as part of activity to celebrate 50 years since the bridge opened in 1964.

The intricately detailed and engineered structure reveals a cross-section of the Bridge’s deck and supporting steel truss, as well as one of its soaring main towers. The model, which also features LEGO mini-figure maintenance workers and bridge staff, will be on view until 15 September and was created by leading Edinburgh-based LEGO artist, Warren Elsmore.

Warren has been building LEGO models for the past six years, with previous high profile works including St Pancras Station, the Olympics stadium, Westminster Abbey and the Forth’s other famous crossing, the Forth Bridge.

However, his replica of the Forth Road Bridge has proved to be one of his biggest challenges to date. Warren explained: “This model of the Forth Road Bridge has definitely been one of the most difficult that I have worked on, due to the complexity of the original structure.

“As well as the main tower and deck, the model also reproduces the Bridge’s under-deck steel truss, which is an extremely intricate piece of engineering that required hours of computer modelling to reproduce. However, after almost 150 hours of work, I am extremely pleased with how the final piece has turned out, and hopefully it will fire the imaginations of those visiting the museum.”

Warren used approximately 10,000 pieces of LEGO to create the model, including over 3,000 elements in the deck and over 2,500 bricks in each of the tower legs. The model is built on the approximate scale of a LEGO mini-figure at 1:65.

To give the structure added stability, Forth Road Bridge maintenance workers constructed a supporting steel framework for Warren to build the model around. This required great accuracy so that the bricks would fit neatly around it and used approximately 120 kilogrammes of steel.

Barry Colford, Chief Engineer & Bridgemaster at the Forth Road Bridge, commented: “As an engineer, I was fascinated by the proposal to build a replica of the Forth Road Bridge from LEGO. The final model is superb, created with great attention to detail and a very accurate rendering of the Bridge’s structure and dimensions.

“We commissioned this model in order to reach out to the many thousands of visitors that will pass through the National Museum of Scotland at this time of year, in particular the young, and the young at heart. Hopefully it can help inspire Scotland’s next generation of engineers, whether they choose to work with steel and concrete or plastic bricks!”

The model has been unveiled as part of the Forth Bridges Festival, which will reach its climax with the FRB 50th Birthday Party and Torchlight Procession on 13 September, when 2,014 torch-bearers will form a river of fire across the bridge before witnessing a massive fireworks display launched from the full length of the suspension bridge. For tickets and further details visit www.forthroadbridge.org.