As SSEN Transmission and its principal contractor Morgan Sindall Infrastructure began work to dismantle and remove 46 transmission towers and 12km of overhead line from the Cairngorm National Park as part of their VISTA project, Senior Safety Advisor at Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, Grahame Kirsopp, had other ideas - instead starting work to construct his own Transmission tower, built entirely from Lego!
Grahame, a self-confessed AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego), was on the lookout for a new challenge and rather than buying and building commercial sets, he looked for inspiration to create his own models which he found when he came across a drawing of a new transmission tower.
Reflecting on his challenging build, Grahame said:
“I started out hunting out instructions for old kits that were no longer available and trying to obtain the parts and build these, but I soon got bored of following the instructions and went looking for a new challenge.
“One of the main challenges I experienced was trying to construct the complex angles used in the construction of transmission towers and after a lot of head scratching early on, I very nearly gave up.
“Now that I’ve finished the project, I’m delighted I persevered and if anyone in Lego is on the hunt for a new commercial design, they’re welcome to get in touch!”
After Grahame completed the first draft in autumn 2019 he asked his SSEN Transmission colleagues for feedback on the construction of his Lego tower, drawing on their tower and engineering expertise. He used their comments to strip back and modify his design over the Christmas break, completing the model in time for the team starting back at the beginning of January.
The completed tower stands 2.1m tall, nearly 1m wide and contains just under 8000 individual Lego pieces. The whole build has taken around 6 months and unlike a lot of builders who glue their models, Grahame’s tower is fully self-supporting, a truly great feat of engineering!
The completed tower sits proudly in the site office at Boat of Garten and includes climbing lugs as well as insulators, a detailed replica of a real transmission tower. Never one to sit around, and in line with his other passion - for safety - Grahame is now trying to develop anti-climbing device for the tower to keep the Lego people safe from danger.