May the bricks be with you!

Stuart Burnham with 12-year-old Andrew Impey and his mum, Kirstine Burnham   Picture: Habibur Rahman

Autistic Portsmouth lad lives the high life during VIP QA trip

David Tabner thinks Lego is out of this world.

This remarkable model of an X-Wing fighter from Star Wars is the latest creation by a man for whom the humble coloured block is much more than just another brick in the wall.

One of his larger models used 50,000 bricks, snapped together to make a replica of East Finchley Underground station in north London which David has renamed East Brickley.

All the trains work and the arches are constructed of plastic bricks which mimic the exact colours of those used on the real Northern Line station.

David, a 27-year-old Portsmouth University student, of London Road, North End, Portsmouth, admits he has hardly ever stopped playing with Lego.

He said: 'I played with it as a child, but my interest did fall away a bit when I was in my teens.

'Then I discovered that things had moved on and there were some fantastic adult kits available.

'I am quite gifted at design and it was a natural progression to move on from the kits to making large-scale models of my own.'

But why East Finchley? 'I just really like the architecture of that station and now Lego makes pieces with a large colour palette I was able to get just the right shades for the walls and the arches,' said David, who is studying mechanical engineering.

David confesses that he finds building with Lego therapeutic.

He added: 'I have dyspraxia which means I can't do things like play sport or paint so I'm very limited in what I can do for a hobby.

'But with Lego I can have the television on in the background or watch a film and build something at the same time.'

Six years ago he joined the Brickish Association – an online community of adult Lego fans who swap tips and seek advice from other about current projects.

David said: 'It really opened my eyes to what could be done with modern Lego and made me realise that no longer was it just a toy.'