Brick Fanatics counts down to the new series of LEGO MASTERS by speaking to each of the Series 2 build pairs. Nathan and Tom had an unconventional route to building together on the show
With the return of LEGO MASTERS to television screens, eight new build pairs will be demonstrating their ability with the LEGO brick. Nathan and Tom did not know each other before applying to appear on LEGO MASTERS, but have certainly become acquainted since. Brick Fanatics speaks to the building buddies to find out more.
How do you know each other?
Nathan: We were put together by the LEGO gods.
Tom: The funny thing is, Nathan and I met because of the show, before that we had never crossed paths. Before meeting Nathan and the other LEGO MASTERS contestants, I had never met anybody else who was as passionate about LEGO as myself.
Are you both LEGO fans?
T: Yes, very much so! I’ve been a fan of Lego since I was four years of age. I remember standing in the kitchen and my parents gave me my first set, which was 7200 Final Duel 1 and because of that set, I was hooked. Ever since then, it’s always been my dream to one day become a LEGO designer.
N: I am, but I am new to game. I have been building for three years so I’m still learning the foundations of being an AFOL, a student if you will.
What kind of LEGO fans are you?
N: I collect a few sets here and there which really speak to me, but I much prefer to build my own stuff. Unlike Tom, it takes me ages to make anything half decent.
T: As a child, I used to buy a lot of sets and ask for them for Christmas and birthdays because I was fascinated by the set designs and play functions that they had to offer. Then as I grew older, every time I bought a set I would build it and put it on display, but find myself picking away at it because I needed the parts for my own creations which is what I do now.
What are your favourite things to build from LEGO?
T: Because I have been building and creating things with LEGO bricks for a long time now, I have had the chance to experiment with pretty much everything whether that be mechs, castles, houses or creatures. My favourite things to build and the things I always go back to are vehicles and robots. The vehicles I design are always designed to be very sturdy and playable and my robots must have as much articulation as I can fit in.
N: I like a bit of everything really. A lot of my builds tend to start off as something else and end up being completely different to the spark of inspiration that made me start pulling out bags and bags in the first place. Minifigures can give me inspiration too… I don’t mean they actually talk to me and give me tips, that happened once and I don’t want to talk about it.
Do you have any other creative hobbies?
T: Other than LEGO, painting, drawing, I play the piano and I’m also a photographer, which I really enjoy doing.
N: I love to write and make short films. It is hard to find the time to really do it now that LEGO has taken over my heart, but I have always wanted to make films. if I’m not building I’m writing.
What made you apply to LEGO MASTERS?
N: I had seen all of the Channel 4 documentaries on LEGO and saw the application announcement during the credits of the last one. I was three years into my new LEGO life and thought it would be great fun. I felt I was getting better at building and really wanted to push myself.
T: My initial intention was to just try to get to the audition stage to talk to an actual LEGO designer judge, but then I got past that stage, and then the next and the next, so then I thought I would just see how far I could get.
Did you do any preparation for the auditions?
T: To be honest, I didn’t do as much planning as I could have, only because I prefer to experiment and improvise.
N: I had a plan of action for the auditions which involved drawings and different ideas to add to the build if I had time, but it went out of the window once time started to run low.
How did you feel attending the auditions? Did you expect to succeed?
N: I was certainly nervous, I knew the level of the other builders in the audition from auditioning the previous year so I was prepared to be up against some seriously talented people. I never ever thought I would get through it all. Looking around at the end was inspiring and intimidating in equal measure but I had a great time and was glad I auditioned.
T: As I mentioned, getting past the auditions never entered my brain, I just felt so lucky and I didn’t want to stop.
To see Nathan and Tom in action, tune into LEGO MASTERS from November 6 on Channel 4.