LEGO Ideas: Palm Hill Skate Park by Ben Andrews
A new project that's gaining popularity over on the Ideas site, is the Palm Hill Skate Park—a project by user Ben Andrews that harkens back to the nostalgia of the Gravity Games theme of my childhood, but with an updated modular feel to it. Ben's project recently surpassed the 1k supporter mark, and I sat down (virtually) with Ben to gain some insight into his background and influences for this project.
Read his answers below, check out the gallery and be sure to head over to the Ideas site to show your support! You can also read the full project description after the Q&A section.
Q & A with Ben Andrews, Project Creator
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Ben Andrews and I'm a writer, advocate, mentor, artist and brick builder. I'm based in the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, with my beautiful family.
What inspired you to build a skate park, and were you influenced by the Gravity Games Theme from the Early 2000s?
This is a great question ... When I was younger, even now to a lesser extent, I used to skateboard a lot. I was never one to be the skate park power house but I have definitely been inspired by those that call a skate park home. These active spaces are an incredible birth place of resilience and don't tend to get the credit they deserve. I have loved the concept of building LEGO skate parks for a long time and have built tons of skate elements that would go into the LEGO universe ever since I had my first LEGO skateboard. Though I'm aware of the the Gravity Games sets, I was never privileged to actually own or build any and though I really appreciated the TLG had these, most skate-based sets to come out have been based around it being a sport and not a lifestyle. I really wanted to bring the lifestyle element to the Modular range as it would expand the demographic to incorporate outside activities within the setting of a LEGO City.
Were you inspired by any specific sets from that theme?
Apart from the connectivity of the Modular range, it was when the small LEGO Friends skate park was released and I saw the vibrancy of the half pipe that really triggered me. Then it just bloomed from there.
Tell us a little about some of the building techniques you used and which ones you're most proud of.
The billboard on the front left side has got to be my favorite sub build. The techniques to get it framed and structurally sound are elegant and sturdy. Without giving too much away, it involves quite an amount of SNOT (Studs Not On Top) as well as 1x1 modified plates with the light attachments … I had a ton of fun figuring that out! I also really enjoyed designing the skateboard sculpture at the entrance. I think I got it pretty spot on for the scale. The use of pneumatic T-bars for the trucks really brought it to realism.
There are initial reports of an official LEGO City Skate Park set coming at the end of this year or early 2021. Do you think this will effect your project from reaching approval?
As the set in question, is just shy of 200 pieces, I don't see it being a conflict of interest in the slightest. I was a tad taken aback when I read about it at first but I'm really glad that TLG are still honouring skate life by still including it as a reoccurring theme for LEGO City. If anything, it may inspire others to vote for my set, being that (by part count alone) it's 10 times the size.
Are you currently working on another project, and can you give us a hint about what it is?
Ooooo... You just want all the dirt, don't you?! Well, the short answer is yes. I actually have two other sets in the works at the moment.. One being another modular that will push the limits of the piece count (being 3000) and another one that LEGO collectors, builders and historians may really enjoy ... Well, we'll see ...
What's your favorite LEGO Set?
Sorry, what was the question? How long is a piece of string? Jeez ... I don't know. There are so many that I love and so many that I wish i had! In relation to building techniques, I'd have to say the Saturn V. That was nuts, from start to finish. It was also really respectful of the original design, both of the real rocket and also the Ideas submission. But if we are looking over time, I'm a pirate's sentimentalist ... The Renegade Runner from 1993 made such an impact on me. So much so, that I ended up getting a tattoo of the flag!
From the Project Creator:
Welcome to the LEGO City’s most active space!
Large open spaces can be few and far between in the bustling Bricktropolis. In fine weather, after a busy day at work in the constantly booming city centre, this physically engaging location is a premier spot to catch up with your peers and shred the day’s stresses off.
Palm Hill Skate Park encompasses a large half pipe with a higher vert side, a seven stair set, fun-box, curved grind box and grind rails. This skate spot can play host to most styles of skating, scooter and BMX riding with ease.
Palm Hill Skate Park offers more that just a place to shred too! In need of a new set of bearings? How about a new deck? Maybe some tunes playing out over the skate park? Well, Old Skool Matt has all you need to keep you moving in the right direction, in his handy dandy skate shop.
This vibrant skate park is built upon the large 48x48 stud baseplate, which to date, has only appeared in a handful of sets! Built off the same principle and connectivity as the other Modular Buildings in the LEGO range, this set will bring other options to your own modular city, allowing for alleys and parking spaces behind your rows of shops.
Removable billboard, lights and palm trees to assist in gaining easy access to all angles of the park.
Removable roof of the skate shop to help Old Skool Matt assist his customers.
Lots of smooth surfaces to help your Minifigs skate freely.
Brick built smart phone stand and transparent handles to assist in filming your favourite skate tricks in stop motion!
Swap out the curved grind box for a grind rail to customise your own style.
This Playset pays homage to the creative world of physical achievement found in many real life cities, and the courageous pioneers setting their own goals.
Keep your eyes peeled for future updates, Thanks again and please feel free to share this project to help make it a true possibility!
What do you think?
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