A MODEL student spent thousands of hours painstakingly recreating a miniature version of an unusual building in York.

Ella Bennett used the project to keep occupied and work towards her dream job in lockdown, resulting in a small recreation of the National STEM Learning Centre (NSLC).

The outcome was Ella's final project for her BA Model Design & Effects course, helping her secure a first class honours degree.

The model is now proudly on display at the centre, which is on the University of York campus.

Ella used Google Maps as her guide and inspiration, unable to visit the centre itself.

It was only when she had finished, and Covid restrictions were lifted, that she was able to make the trip from her home in Hertfordshire with her dad Phil and sister Alice to see it in person.

She said: “I don’t know the exact number of hours I worked on it, but it’s definitely into the thousands. With my perfectionism and other setbacks, it took way longer than expected.

“I could have carried on with it forever trying to make it perfect. It was completed 15 months after I started it, but I did have lots of interruptions throughout, mainly due to Covid.

“For most of the time it was kept at uni, but once uni finished, it was kept in a back room away from as many people as possible.

“When I finally saw the NSLC in person, I was shocked at how big it was. Then I started seeing things in the building that I’d not seen on photos, and began being self-critical.

“The shapes did make it harder to figure out, but it was a nice challenge. Lots of features when scaled down needed to be simplified as some details were impossible to recreate at that scale. The most difficult part was choosing what details to put in and what to simplify; as a model maker you will always want to do more than is possible.

“I was proud of how it turned out and proud that I managed to make such a complex model.”

Ella, who is now a full-time operational model maker at Dyson, used acrylic, chemiwood, SLA (3D printing) MDF and grass flock.

STEM learning project officer Jenny Toft-Eriksen said: “It’s a stunningly detailed and intricate 1:200 scale model, the resemblance is incredible.

“It’s now on display in our resource centre for everyone to admire.

“Ella is so talented and she’s a great example of how STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) skills are transferable to many sectors. As a model maker, you could have a very rewarding career in architecture or product design, but it also opens lots of other doors too, including film, television, advertising, medicine, construction, gaming and many more.”