Tex, but smaller

10th September 2019

When it comes to LEGO, Sam Butcher is a bit of a master.

That made Sam, from Christchurch, an obvious choice when the idea to feature a miniature Texaco tanker in the Bill Richardson Transport World’s LEGO room was floated.

The model Texaco tanker is a centrepiece in the LEGO room here at Bill Richardson Transport World, and attracts admiring glances from children and adult visitors alike.

Sam, from Christchurch, was in his early twenties when he was commissioned to build the LEGO model of the 1940 Dodge Airflow tanker – Bill Richardson’s pride and joy – back in 2015, when Bill Richardson Transport World was developed.

While the LEGO Texaco tanker is an ‘artistic interpretation’ of the vehicle that sits pride of place in Bill’s Shed, Sam worked diligently to get the miniature version as close to the real deal as possible.

“I worked on it over about seven months. It was quite a process because certain parts of it had to initially be built digitally using LEGO computer programmes to be sure certain techniques would look right on the final model. It was a really unique shape and obviously, with LEGO bricks typically being blocky, it was a really difficult shape to get right,” he says.

“It was quite a challenging vehicle to try and replicate, especially the curves of the bonnet, and that meant some of the pieces needed were really unusual and uncommon. Some parts needed to be imported from Europe. It was a pretty time-consuming process, but it was an exciting challenge.”

The shape was not the only difficult aspect of the build: the sheer size of the model also made life a little bit tricky. For Sam to be able to work on the LEGO Texaco tanker, the vehicle had to be built in three individual sections that were then fitted together.

“I had to be able to move it around as I worked on it, and trying to do that with one large model would have just been too difficult.”

But the brains behind the build is yet to head south to see his handiwork in person.

“I’ve been meaning to for ages!”

Sam has certainly been busy. His love of LEGO – he reckons he started building with it about the age of four – remains a lifelong passion.

Sam is now the Managing Director of ‘Imagination Station’ in the Garden City: a charitable organisation that mixes LEGO education and recreation for children. He was involved in setting Imagination Station up around the same time as his Texaco build.

“It’s a really cool opportunity to encourage other kids to engage and learn using the medium of LEGO. I think what I like so much about it is the endless possibilities available to you. You have a very finite medium with infinite opportunities, and it’s a cool challenge and process getting every detail worked out,” he says.