Full Plate in the news: “He builds great architecture in miniature”

The original article, “Han bygger stora byggnadsverk i miniatyr”, appeared today in Sydsvenskan, a local Swedish newspaper. Below is a translation of the article into English.


He builds great architecture in miniature

By Alf Sjögren
Published 22 January 2017

Emil Lidé has built the Lund Cathedral in Lego. Now his clever, small-scale builds have begun to attract the attention of Lego enthusiasts.

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Lego builder Emil Lidé with his son Enoch Lidé.
Photo: Sandra Henningsson

The interest in Lego was reawakened in Emil Lidé a few years ago, when his now 5-year-old son, Enoch, received his first Lego set. Now they build almost every day. A large table with storage boxes – their Lego workshop – take central place in their living room in their house in Lund.

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Emil Lidé with his model of the Turning Torso.
Photo: Sandra Henningsson

“I haven’t built in 25 years,” says Emil Lidé.

It has become increasingly common for people to rediscover Lego when they reach adulthood. Lego enthusiasts themselves say that they have emerged from “the dark ages”, referring not to medieval times, but rather the teenage years when many stop building Lego completely for a long time.

Emil Lidé builds based on feeling or blueprint, depending on which is better suited for the build.

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Multiple Lego axes are used to build the trunk and give the impression of tree bark.
Photo: Sandra Henningsson

“Lego tends to be angular and inorganic. I felt that I wanted to build nature, especially trees, as it’s hard to build good trees. I want to develop new techniques.”

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Emil Lidé’s Lund Cathedral.
Photo: Sandra Henningsson

When designing his own version of the Turning Torso, Emil Lidé used a digital designer software as well as his knowledge in engineering to achieve the right degree of rotation for the building.

“This build rotates 90.15 degrees, while I think the Turning Torso rotates exactly 90 degrees,” says Emil as he reveals the secrets hidden in the interior of the build.

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View of the Lund Cathedral from above.
Photo: Sandra Henningsson

It took a number of hours to flesh out the design, and the Lego Torso is not an exact copy of its real life counterpart as it had to fit on a small Lego plate, which was one of the conditions in a building contest.

Standing next to the Lego Torso is a red cottage with a white trim which took a while to put together.

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A cottage with a white trim
Photo: Sandra Henningsson

“It was more difficult and took a longer time to build,” says Emil Lidé.

Emil has already become a famous builder in Lego circles where he goes by the name “Full Plate”.

Like many other adult builders, he has chosen to build in microscale, with the corresponding challenge of making the most of minimal Lego. A small island that he has built is an example of that. “Only seven pieces,” he says.

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An island built with seven pieces.
Photo: Sandra Henningsson

Emil Lidé has nothing against large scale Lego builds.

“Often I wish to build a little smaller and with more details instead, which can lift the entire build.”

Building large scale is expensive, takes a longer time, and requires more space. “If you need to rebuild, it is faster to do so when it’s small scale.”

A newly-minted Lego builder only knows a few of the many ways that Lego pieces can be combined. Hobbyists share tips freely via various online forums. Emil Lidé himself received help from two fellow competitors when he built what proved to be the winning entry in a contest. “It’s a very positive atmosphere where everyone helps one another.”

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A volcanic eruption.
Photo: Sandra Henningsson

Sorting Lego pieces is necessary, otherwise there will be no Lego building. A Lego builder must almost have to like to sort as much as they like to build.

When it comes to the Lidé family, this principle is necessary for several reasons. Lego pieces should not land up on the floor, for there is a risk that 6-month-old Emmanuel might get hold of them. 3-year-old Liv is, so far, mostly interested in Duplo, the larger version of Lego.

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A full range of storage boxes is essential.
Photo: Sandra Henningsson

All the Lego is sorted in an order that Enoch has already mastered. He climbs up on the table and pulls out the right box to retrieve that little Lego piece that is needed.

“Sometimes I have to ask Enoch where the pieces are,” says Emil Lidé.

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One can never have too many heads.
Photo: Sandra Henningsson

Wife, Sarah Lidé, does not build Lego.

“No, but I help to take them apart,” she says and smiles.

Having lots of Lego in the living room does not bother her at all, rather to the contrary.

“It’s enjoyable for us all, and it’s better than computer games.”

Sarah Lidé has set up Emil Lidé’s blog where his Lego creations are featured.

Builds are taken apart afterwards and made into new constructions. There is a question about Lego that Emil Lidé does not have an answer to. That he has tens of thousands of Lego pieces is clear, but as to the exact number of pieces, he has no idea.

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