1.5m bricks used in Legoland Malaysia's new Star Wars exhibition

1.5m bricks used in Legoland Malaysia's new Star Wars exhibition

Eleven years ago, German telecommunications engineer Stefan Bentivoglio saw a documentary about Lego.

At the end of the programme, there was an advertisement for Lego model designers.

"The moment I saw that advertisement, I knew that my chance had come," said the electrical and mechanical engineering graduate.

He was eventually hired after several rounds of tests and interviews - in one, he had to build a cat from scratch within 45 minutes.

On s, the 36-year-old master model builder is putting the final touches on the Lego Star Wars exhibition centre in Legoland Malaysia.

The exhibition showcases some 2,000 models made up of more than 1.5 million bricks.

The RM6 million (S$2.4m) Lego Star Wars Miniland Model Display opens to the public on Sept 6.

Fans might find themselves drawn to it like Luke Skywalker to The Force - it features seven sections dedicated to the six episodes of the Star Wars series, and one section on the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Life-sized models of Darth Vader, C-3PO, and R2-D2 - complete with special effects - will greet fans at the exhibition. A whopping 80,000 bricks were used on these three models alone.

Besides large-scale battle scenes like the snow battle in The Empire Strikes Back, one of the highlights is the Millennium Falcon model, weighing 37kg and made up of 15,000 bricks.

Said Mr Bentivoglio: "We put lots of effort into setting up the large battle scenes with hundreds of droids and clone troopers on the battlefield. It is going to be awesome."

After first coming into contact with Lego at five, Mr Bentivoglio spent much of the rest of his childhood replicating vehicles and figures with coloured bricks.

He said: "Just sitting around and playing with Lego, that was my dream job."

Since joining Lego, he has been involved in building projects at Legoland parks in Denmark and the US.

In 2011, he joined Legoland Malaysia Resort as a project coordinator and was promoted to master model builder last year.

He has this advice for all aspiring builders: "Plan ahead and think about the Lego selections you have. Use your creativity and imagination when designing a model.

"Everyone can be a master builder as long as you know how to handle the blocks."

For more information, visit www.legoland.com.my

colintzx@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on August 30, 2014.
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