Homer . LEGO Homer is 4 feet tall and contains about 10,000 LEGO elements. He has an open hand that functions as a real cup holder. Two Homers were built; the first in 2003 as a personal project, and the second for a brief public display in Washington DC, August 2005. . LEGO Homer was a personal project; as a LEGO Certified Professional, Sean can't sell copies of copyrighted characters. Contact Sean if you'd like to commission something else.
Design Sean spent over 2 weeks designing and building the sculpture. It was the first time he had ever built a large-scale LEGO sculpture. Much of the building process was pure visualization, double-checked by a little counting and math. (Sean had to recall a lot of math that he had not used since high school, such as the "rise over run" principles from geometry.) Sean finds that building curved surfaces with square bricks is a fun challenge, so he did not do any pre-planning, sketching, measurements, or computer-aided design prior to beginning this model.
Building it Sean started the prototype by building Homer's eyes, and then building his face outwards from there. He created 75% of his head before he realized that the model was not coming out to his liking. So, putting this first attempt aside, he started construction on a second face, comparing the two as he went, working to get a better result. Once his head was done, Sean began working downward, creating the collar, bust, belly, legs, and feet. Building downwards can be problematic... Often, as the outer shell approached a part of the superstructure, Sean would have to pry pieces into the center of the model, which caused creaking and bending that had to be corrected later.
Technique In some ways, Homer is similar to smaller models like Sean's 1:20 scale VW beetle, because of the visualization needed for some of the complex curves. In many other ways, however, it proved very different. Most importantly, when working on a model of this size, a internal support is very important. In Homer's case, a sturdy column runs vertically along the full length of his body, from the base of his neck all the way down his center to between his feet. This allows his head to rest on a sturdy platform, and branches off to several cross-braces at his hips and arms.
Just a big cupholder Since Homer's open hand was to be used as a cup-holder for a real beer can, his hand has to support a lot of weight, even though it doesn't have any direct support underneath. After a little experimentation, a sturdy truss along the bottom inside of Homer's arm that now leads from his wrist back to his elbow, and then bends into his body and connects with the main superstructure. An additional smaller truss spans the base of the cup holder and connects with his wrist.
Public display Built in 2003, the model went on display in August 2005 in Arlington, Virginia, outside Washington DC. The model was mentioned in The Washington Post and was on the home page of Wired Magazine for two weeks.