Angel of the North

The Angel of the North in Gateshead was erected in 1998, the work of Antony Gormley. It has become one of the most iconic structures in the North of England, if not the UK, and one of the most-viewed pieces of artwork.

As with all LEGO commissions, a few key features of the structure were key to me: the colour, the curviness of the body, and the grid pattern on the wings. Representing these was essential to me, but there are always compromises. Whilst the 'reddish brown' colour is a pretty good match, LEGO do produce a dark orange colour that is even closer, but as fewer pieces come in that colour it wasn't possible at the time. Likewise, the grid patterning continues on the body, but including that along with the necessary curvature was not possible.

The scale should be very accurate, produced by printing an image of the Angel at the size I wanted to build the model, to use as a template.

The main challenge with this model was stability, and ensuring the wings were self-supporting. During an exhibition in 2017 it collapsed a couple of times! For a later display in 2018 I built a backdrop to which the wings were attached. Most recently, I've actually glued it, something I do very rarely. Whilst it in theory does stand freely, it was very fragile, and any movement or touching of the wings was enough to cause them to drop off!

In 2020 I designed a smaller version with instructions that can be purchased - see my BUILDABLE range of models for more information. This one is much more stable!

Facts and figures

  • Scale 1:72
  • Size 80 x 5 cm, x 30 cm height
  • Brick count 1,600
  • Time to build 4 weeks
  • Completed June 2016
  • Where is the model now? Brick This Studio