LEGO Sculpting FAQ

  1. Do you sell your sculptures, or create them on commission? Yes to both questions, but a LEGO sculpture of any size is not cheap. If you are wanting a human-sized sculpture, for example, you're all ready in the range of a few thousand dollars. All projects are negotiated on a case by case basis. If you have an idea about what you would like to have built, please feel free to contact me. Provide as many details as possible (what you want, any digital pictures you may have to assist, timeframe for completion, and so forth). More explanations about all of this are given on my pages about Sculptures and Mosaics. Please note that certain images and characters are trademarked by other entities. I cannot build such sculptures commercially unless permssion is obtained from the trademark owner. Models such as R2D2 are only sculpted for my personal enjoyment. If you would like a sculpture/mosaic constructed, either pick a public domain image (like Alice or Mona), or obtain permission from the owner of the trademark/copyright.

  2. How long does it take to build these things? That depends on what you want built, and specifically how large it is. It is also depends on the avilability of the pieces in particular sizes and colors. A human-sized statue will usually take at least a month to design and build. Also, if the models have to be glued, that adds significant time. Mosaics are usually built much more quickly, but a mosaic of any significant size will often require at least a week.

  3. Do you use glue when constructing your sculptures? No, I do not use glue on my personal constructions; I will use it on other models if a client so requests (this is usually necessary to ensure the model will get shipped safely). All of the models are 100% LEGO bricks, with no extraneous materials used for construction, adhesion, decoration, et cetera. When I do glue a model for a client I use the following glue: Oatey, All Purpose (PVC, CPVC, ABS). It is available at most hardware stores (look in the plumbing section).

  4. Are the models solid? No, generally not (if they were, they'd be un-godly heavy). Most outer walls of the sculptures are 2 'studs' thick, but it varies. For example, R2D2's torso is 2 studs thick, while his legs are basically 1 stud thick.

  5. Do you have instructions/diagrams that you follow as a guide? No. Usually I only have sketches or pictures of the object I am trying to create, but I do not have explicit LEGO-instructions. The actual building process is very organic, and requires an immense amount of mental visualization before and during the creation process.

  6. Do you take apart the models after you have completed them? No, usually not. While disassembling the models would most certainly refresh my brick supply, I try to keep all of them together. They are currently on display throughout my house/studio.

  7. How many LEGO pieces do you have? I do not have an exact count, of course, but a conservative estimate would be that I have half a million (500,000) bricks in my working supply. I have probably used another 300,000 bricks in various projects and models (some of which have gone to clients, others are used in the prototypes about my place). The vast majority of my pieces are standard bricks and plates... probably only about 5% of my supply are 'specialty pieces' of some type.

  8. Where do you purchase your LEGO bricks? Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys-R-Us are often good supplies of current sets. The LEGO website also has a complete selection. BrickLink is also an invaluable resource when looking for specific pieces in specific quantities.

  9. Can I give you my old LEGO sets/bricks? Uhhh... sure. I do not generally buy used LEGO bricks from people, but if you have some old sets that you are not using, you are more than welcome to send them to me -- the pieces will be put to good use, I assure you. I prefer relatively clean pieces, few teeth marks, few clone bricks, and ideally they come from a smoke (cigarette) free household. If you would like to donate your bricks to me, drop me an email and I'll tell you where to ship them.Please note that by 'donate', I mean just that: no compensation will be given, though I will add your name to the Donators Page. And you get a genuine 'thanks' from me.

    If you think you may just want to send a few pieces, here is my current LEGO 'wishlist'.

  10. Where do you store all of your LEGO bricks? I actually have another webpage about this.

    So the story goes:
    Only a few years before his death Mozart was visited by a young composer who wanted to know how to write a symphony.
    "You're very young," the great man told him. "Shouldn't you start by composing ballads?"
    "But you were composing symphonies when you were only ten."
    "I know," said Mozart, "but I didn't have to ask how."

    -- From More Joy of Lex, Gyles Brandreth

  11. Do you need an assistant? I have hired assistants in the past, but it is not a regular practice, so, please... send me no resumé.

  12. How can I get a job like yours? What can I say? I did not interview for this job. I just started doing it. Please don't email me and ask, "how do I get your job?"

  13. Do you consider what you do art? Art schmart.

  14. Do you give tours of your studio? No, I'm afraid not. I will announce any public displays or exhibits of my works in the future, but for now, these webpages will have to suffice.

  15. Do you work for the LEGO company? No, I have done some computer programming for LEGO on a contractual basis, and I have created some mosaics for the company on commission, but I have never been an employee of LEGO.

  16. When will you release Pixelego again? I do not know. When I do, it will appear on my website again. Other mosaic programs are available: one is at LEGO Shop At Home, and a second is at LUGNET. James Motley is also working on a project called 'Brixalator' which might be of interest; it is available on the 'Projects' section of his LEGO pages. Finally, a primitive Pixelego cousin that I wrote is also still available: Pixelego Viewer.

  17. OK, since Pixelego is not available, will you give me advice on how mosaics are done? How about consulting work? Afraid not. Right now I'm not interested in doing 'consulting work' for mosaic projects. Even with the aid of my program there is still a lot of work that goes into planning, optimizing, and building mosaics. I really do not have the time (or motivation) to impart that 'expertise' on someone else. My mind may change in the future, but that's my answer for now.

  18. Which is correct as the plural of LEGO: 'Lego' or 'Legos'? Neither, actually. The word 'LEGO', when used as a noun, should only refer to the company that makes the product. Otherwise 'LEGO' is supposed to be used as an adjective. Thus, when referring to the pieces, neither 'lego' nor 'legos' is correct... rather one should say: 'LEGO bricks' or 'LEGO pieces' or whatever (using LEGO as an adjective -- and one should really capitalize all of the letters, and put the little 'circle-R' symbol after it (®)). This is all a matter of protecting the trademark of 'LEGO' for the company (using it otherwise degenerates the strength of the trademark). This is not to say that I use the word correctly 100% of the time... but that's the answer to the question (it's always fun/painful to read the near-flame-wars that start at over this topic... and generally, both sides are wrong).

  19. Other questions. Frequently Asked Questions about LEGO and its products in general are also archived (at a site other than mine).