Friends Brynjar Karl Birgisson and Mikael Þór Arnarsson are building a 2m [6 ft] LEGO replica of an Icelandair Boeing MAX 9, a project that they’ve been working on since summer 2021. RÚV reports that the pair is completing the model over the weekend at the Smáralind shopping mall and will place the final brick on Sunday.
This is not the first time Brynjar Karl, who has autism, has made headlines for a monumental LEGO project. In 2018, he completed an 8 m [26 ft] LEGO replica of the Titanic, using actual blueprints of the ill-fated ocean liner. It took Brynjar Karl, then 15, over 700 hours and 65,000 LEGOs to build. The replica is the largest LEGO model of the Titanic in the world and currently on display in the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN. At the time Brynjar Karl credited the project with helping him “out of my autistic fog,” saying, “I was totally unable to communicate when I started the project. Now I’m standing on stage and giving interviews.” Ever since, he’s used his Titanic-building experience and LEGO construction endeavors as a means of building awareness around autism; he gave a TED Talk in 2016 called “My Autistic X Factor,” and a documentary, “How the Titanic Became My Lifeboat,” was made about his experience.
While still very proud of his Titanic project, Brynjar Karl is even more excited about the Icelandair model. The pair have put a great deal of effort into making the model as precise and accurate as possible.
“From my perspective, even though I made the Titanic, this here is the coolest [model] I’ve made because of how it looks and also because I’m working with as brilliant a builder as my friend Mikael,” he said.
Brynjar Karl and Mikael will complete the model at Smáralind mall on Sunday. Check Brynjar Karl’s Facebook page for livestream videos and updates; or his website (in English) for more information about his autism advocacy work.