Chris McRae’s Lego Lighthouse reproduction stuns audiences at Augusta young and old alike

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Lighthouse keeper Paul Sofilas with his mini me.
Camera IconLighthouse keeper Paul Sofilas with his mini me. Credit: Supplied

Ex-Bunbury Lego enthusiast Chris McRae’s reproduction of the Leeuwin Lighthouse – including a tiny replica of its famed custodian Paul Sofilas – is wowing younger crowds visiting the precinct this summer.

The keen amateur Lego artist who goes by the handle mcbricks04 on Instagram told the Times he was keen to reproduce the popular historic precinct in plastic bricks because of his love of lighthouses.

The whole project, now on display in Augusta, took 12 months to plan, which included collecting just the right pieces as well as building the artwork.

It was unveiled last month to adoring crowds, which included a significant number of older Lego fans.

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“I wanted to build something iconic, recognisable and something locals would love,” Mr McRae told the Times.

“The stories and history of lighthouses and their keepers have always fascinated me.”

The project also celebrated major restoration works at the Leeuwin Lighthouse, with the Lego reproduction now featuring in the precinct’s guided tours.

The display will also be on hand during next month’s Augusta River Festival.

Seeing himself immortalised in plastic, lighthouse keeper Mr Sofilas said he loved the project and saw his own facsimile as a compliment.

“I was also a Lego enthusiast as a kid, so that’s also given me an appreciation of Chris’s achievement,” he said.

“What a wonderful result that appeals to so many people regardless of age or where they visit from.”

During its unveiling at a special family day at the lighthouse last month, Mr Sofilas noted it wasn’t just youngsters fascinated by the painstaking reproduction.

“When we had the model brought down, and a Lego building workshop for the younger crew, it was a joy to see the look of anticipation and delight on the faces of the children coming through that day,” he said.

“We just had a major restoration project undertaken on the lighthouse (involving) some committed and talented tradespeople on the job.

“I wonder how many of them were inspired by Lego to get into construction/restoration?”

The keeper got an early sneak peek at the model during Bricktober in Perth in October last year when Mr McRae first revealed his project to the public.

He told the Times he was very pleased and appreciative to have the work and importance of the precinct acknowledged in such a fun way.

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