Monday, February 6, 2017

Brick By Brick 2017: The Winners

Neil and Yevette Newlin from Gloucester, Virginia, bring in Neil's scale Lego creation, the Cyclone-class patrol craft Tornado (WPC-14), which was in US Coast Guard service from 2004-2011.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)  
On Saturday, 2,936 visitors and volunteers attended Hampton Roads Naval Museum's Sixth Annual "Brick by Brick: LEGO Shipbuilding" event at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in Downtown Norfolk.  Over 100 of them entered their ships into the event's shipbuilding contest, which was divided by age classes and by where the models were created.  If the models were made outside the museum using parts provided by the builder, they were judged in the "Home-Built" section, while models made between 10 am and 2 pm (the judging deadline) at the event with parts provided by the museum were judged in the "Museum-Made" section.
Neil Newlin fixes some slight damage to his Lego scale model of USCGC Tornado (WPC-14) while setting up to display. He based its size upon the standard Lego figure, which he estimates at 1:107. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)
Newlin's Lego scale model of USCGC Tornado (WPC-14) featured a cutaway combat information center and bridge. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)
Winning entries made at home continued their strong scale streak this year.  In the 17-and-older division, Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Neil Newlin from Gloucester, Virginia, wowed the judges with a scale Lego model of USCGC Tornado, a ship he was stationed on for three and a half years.  The model, made to the exact scale of a standard Lego figure and featuring a detailed bridge and combat information center, took nearly 15 months to create.  
Division winner Jack Koleszar went to lengths to ensure his Slava-class cruiser's SS-N-12 anti-ship missiles and distinctive radars looked authentic.  Although a Soviet-era design, three remain in Russian navy service today.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)
The Slava-class cruiser Marshal Ustinov passes Fort Monroe after a port visit to Norfolk in 1989. (Official US Navy Photo by PH1 Jeff Elliot, via Wikimedia Commons)
Jack Koleszar, who won his age division last year with his scale Vietnam War river monitor, this year crossed the Cold War divide by bringing in a Soviet Slava-class cruiser.  He also utilized custom parts for just the right look which, according to Koleszar, sometimes took longer to come in through the mail than it took for him to build the model itself. 
Mark Anderson creatively used Logo bricks to depict the secret operation Project Azorian, which used the giant "mining" vessel Glomar Explorer to attempt to salvage a lost Soviet submarine from the seabed three miles below.  (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)
An early depiction of the Project Azorian operation (

Historically-based models once again netted second places in the 13-16 and 17-and-older categories.  In the latter, nuclear engineer Mark Anderson once again used Lego bricks to create a historical diorama.  Last year, he told the story of the destruction of the Gosport Shipyard (Now Norfolk Naval Shipyard) during the Civil War.  This year he introduced event visitors to Project Azorian, a daring CIA-led effort during the Cold War to raise a sunken Soviet nuclear submarine.  Scott Endrusick of Smithfield, Virginia, captured second place honors in the 13-16 category with a perennial HRNM favorite, USS Monitor.   
Scott Endrusick's USS Monitor display included details about how conspirators in the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln were confined to a Union ironclad after their apprehension. (Photograph by M.C. Farrington)
Category: Home-Built

Ages 4-6

     1st place: "Victory," by Victor.

     2nd place: "Minecraft Zombie Hunter," by Liam.

Ages 7-9
     1st place: "Devastator," by Daniel.

     2nd place: "Viper," by Emerson.

Ages 10-12
     1st place: "SS Bounty," by Mitchel & Mark.

     2nd place: "The Jewel," by Ben.

Ages 13-16

      1st place: "Slava-Class Cruiser," by Jack Koleszar.

      2nd place: "USS Monitor," by Scott Endrusick.

Ages 17+

     1st place: "USCGC Tornado," by Neil Newlin.

      2nd place: "Glomar Explorer," by Mark Anderson.

Fan Favorites

     1st place (4-6): "Captain Fire"  

     2nd place (13-16): "Pirate Ship," by Joshua.

Category: Museum-Made

Ages 4-6

      1st place: "The Ship Yard," by Maliyah.

      2nd place: "Lady Pirate," by Dalton.
Ages 7-9

      1st place: "Vikingator," by Mattanial.

      2nd place: "V8 Power," by Nicole.

Ages 10-12

      1st place: "Modest Hog," by anonymous.

      2nd place: "Carnival Lego" by Joshua

Ages 13-16

      1st place: "USS Wisconsin," by Chase.

      2nd place: "Inspiration Ninja," by Dyahmi.

Ages 17+

      1st place: "WWI Light Cruiser," by Juston.

      2nd place: "Floating Deck," by Patric.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners! 

If there are any questions about the Lego shipbuilding competition or for any other questions relating to past or future Hampton Roads Naval Museum events, please call Special Events Coordinator Elijah Palmer at (757) 322-3168.

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