Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cafe Corner-style Gingerbread House

Name of Model: Gingerbread House
Created by: Parks and Wrecked Creations
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/legoland-bill/15849719540/in/photostream/ , https://www.flickr.com/photos/legoland-bill/15850940389/in/photostream/ , and https://www.flickr.com/photos/legoland-bill/16036296492/in/photostream/
Details: This beautiful gingerbread house is chock-full of an overwhelming amount of candy-coated details. It looks like the house is dark orange underneath the thick coat of candy, but that almost doesn't matter with all the other goodies packed in here. There's only three photos here, but they're clear enough to zoom in and get a good look. Some of the highlights: a mix of 1 x 1 and 1 x 2 plates with teeth to create icing-style cornice work, 2 x 2 tiles as Necco wafer-style roofing (I suppose they could be intended as a different candy, but it's definitely a great roof), swirl signal paddles on 1 x 1 round bricks and 1 x 1 round plates with open studs to decorate the railing posts, stacked 1 x 1 round bricks to make candy-cane lesenes, curved slopes for the icing snowbank, the standard 1 x 1 round plates as small candy trick, various reddish brown and dark brown tiles to make the chocolate bar door, and hypno disks and another printed 4 x 4 dish to represent swirl candies. Perhaps the best technique, though, is using trans-yellow bricks behind the windows to give the glass a sugary look when the building is lit up from the inside (visible in the second photo).

There are even a few details here that are not immediately obvious in how they were built. Note how several flowers are sunken into the model so their stems don't pop out at you - these must be attached to something deeper inside the model. Then there are the 2 x 2 plates seemingly attached to fences - presumably there's a Technic axle behind those 1 x 1 plates connecting the 2 x 2 plates to something behind the fence.

Also perfect: the inclusion of Gingerbread Man collectible minifigures and Mrs. Claus from the Santa's Workshop set.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Green Gables Stadium - a Giant, Gorgeous, Minifig-Scale Stadium

Name of Model: Green Gables Stadium
Created by: Pete Strege
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/redcokid/sets/72157630697303666#
Details: Pete Strege recently uploaded new photos of his spectacular Green Gables Stadium. Sure, you've seen this before in our Brickworld 2014 coverage, and it also was a highlight of Brickworld 2013 - but it's enough of a stunner to deserve a post of its own. There are many details to love here - the 24-sided architecture covering a 30-inch square (4 of the big grey baseplates) steals your eye at first, but there's also the removable (and well-angled) dome roof, the large minifig heads wearing hats, the dark green lettering in the front, the stunning use of color (sand green, dark green, medium dark flesh, and dark orange cover most of the model), and even a full interior (customizable for a few different sports, although the hat outside makes me think of this as a baseball stadium).

Don't take my word for it - check out all 56 photos in the Flickr album, including pictures of the interior, work-in-progress pictures, and LEGO Digital Designer screenshots showing how the model was designed. The whole thing is beautiful, but I suspect we'll be studying that dome for years.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Microscale Pirate Ship

Name of Model: IMG_9532
Created by: Dan (yours truly)
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dp3/15424910239/in/set-72157627265274741
Details: Here's a quick look at one of my own recent builds - a microscale Pirate ship (or more accurately, an imperial galleon for the pirates to attack). The original idea was to create a ship that looked good, but was small enough to animate for Mini LEGO Con. That didn't work out so well, but the finished model was nice enough to add a stand (with water). At 8 x 16 studs, it fits into a Mini Con display, but is slightly larger than one of the BrickFair-styled tables.

This was actually a very humbling model, since I ended up using quite a few pieces that I dismissed as unnecessary when they first came out. The base of the ship is a Bionicle Visorak foot - an "action figure part" you'll never use in-system, right? Two of the sails use a 1 x 2 plate with 2 clips (you'd think 2 1 x 1 plates with clips would do the trick, but this is actually sturdier). One of the sails uses a 2 x 2 tile with one stud in the center, which I remember saying was the equivalent of 3 jumper plates, but a plate shorter. Finally, a 1 x 1 round plate with hole (a part once exclusive to LEGOLAND for metal bracing and wiring) connects the tallest mast to the 1 x 1 round brick below it.

Kids, don't try this at home. You would not believe how difficult it is to connect a plate clip into the bottom of a 2 x 3 plate that already has two 1 x 2 tiles wedged into it. At least it looks good, but LEGO rightly considers that to be an illegal connection.

Baymax from Big Hero 6

Name of Model: Baymax
Created by: lisqr
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/43699326@N00/15801224498/
Details: lisqr recently built Baymax as he appears in Disney's adaptation of Big Hero 6. The studs-out technique for building sculptures has gotten more popular lately - I still usually associate it with Schfio, one of the best builders currently working in that style, but it seems like everyone is trying their hand at it now that you can get travis bricks on the Pick-A-Brick wall at LEGO stores (and LEGO seems to be putting out more exciting studs-not-on-top elements in sets as well). Bruce Lowell is also rather famous for this style of building, and the head on this model is an obvious riff on his classic Lowell sphere (have I really not written about any of Bruce's models since 2007? Time flies).

The arms here are actually made from a great use of a different sculpture technique - loosely matching up various sizes of slopes and wedges. I believe I spy (please correct me if you think I'm wrong) a 2 x 1 curved slope, a 1 x 2 tile, and a 10 x 1 curved slope on each front edge, with a pair of 12 x 3 wedge slopes making the top and bottom of each arm. Even with all those slopes, it looks like the front and back edges are angled in further to get it to look just right.

...and I didn't even mention the great use of string on the robot's face yet.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Loftbot

Name of Model: BCBS Round One: LoftBot
Created by: Lego Obsessionist
Found at: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/323135
Details: Here's an oldie but a goodie from another contributor of ours here at LMOTD (someone needs to get more comfortable with blogging their own work...). Longtime readers will know I'm a sucker for anything combining themes in an unexpected way - the more themes and the less popular the themes are, the better. Here, we have a wonderful mix of DUPLO Bob the Builder parts with Bionicle and Technic elements. You know I love that. The head/cabin part from Lofty makes the head of the mech. The body is actually an expanding scissor lift, creating a great play feature beyond the decorative details. Clever parts usage such as the Toa torsos for legs are one thing, but this model also has an element of the old ship-in-a-bottle trick. Note how the interior of Lofty's head is filled in with Technic elements (it's more noticeable from the side).

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Girl and Her Pet (from set 31021)

Name of Model: LEGO 31021 Alternate design
Created by: amaman_12
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/128971756@N05/sets/72157646800018133
Details: Here's another clever alternate build, this one using set 31021: Furry Creatures. Normally, you'd expect such an alternate model to have more in common with the main model from the set - in particular, I think most of us would be tempted to use the large eyes (printed on 2x2 round tiles) as the eyes for the doll. This time, though, we see a few 1x1 plates for the eyes and the bright pink 2-wide cheese slope used for the mouth - a simpler but adorable solution for building a character's face. I'm also loving the uses of a wedge slope for her dress and the tail element for a bit of hair out of place.

Her pet is also a fun little build - a rare example of the bar-and-clip technique being used simply to reverse studs.

As an added bonus, the builder posted building instructions for the girl and her dog in this model's Flickr set.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Office Status Marker Magnets

Name of Model: Status markers for work.
Created by: Bret (starbeanie)
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/starbeanie/15605055865/
Details: This might seem a little quick and simple, but I like it. These use the older minifig-holding magnets (from when LEGO sold minifigure magnet sets where the minifigure was not glued to the magnet), and use tiles and minifigures to indicate different locations - specifically, places that Bret might be when he's not at his desk. It's a good excuse to bring some LEGO into a decidedly non-LEGO environment, and we never have enough good reasons to do that. It's different. It's clever. It's practical. It's functional. It's something I wish I had thought of first.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

LEGO Fan Weekend (Skærbæk) Round-Up

Name of Event: LEGO Fan Weekend 2014
Found at: http://www.fanweekend.dk/
Details: This year's LEGO Fan weekend event in Skærbæk, Denmark was announced to be the last, just weeks before the event. Being both a fairly official event and the last event of its kind, the usual issues of precedent and favoring one event above others didn't apply - so LEGO bigwigs Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and Jorgen Vig Knudstorp were able to meet with some of the 350 exhibitors (from 24 different countries) and 2300+ public visitors. As an added bonus, the participating exhibitors also received an exclusive run of this year's Inside Tour set.

Word is that the event will actually happen again next year, but as a fan-run event instead of an event LEGO runs for the fans. It should be interesting to see what that means for the future of the event, since it appears that most of the seminars for exhibitors at this year's event were run by LEGO employees.

Now that we're back to rounding up events that none of our contributors personally attended, we've got coverage of this event:
Mr. Tomato Bread's Flickr photos
Community Team Blog: The Last LEGO Fan Weekend (event coverage)
Community Team Blog: The Last LEGO Fan Weekend (announcement)
Bill Ward has both uploaded photos to Flickr and blogged about the event.
Cassiebsg's Brickshelf Gallery
Gianni Bassini's Flickr photos

The photo used above was taken by Bill Ward and shows a recurring miniland-scale layout by Stephan Sander.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Statler and Waldorf of the Muppets

Name of Model: Waldorf And Statler
Created by: grubaluk
Found at: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=549471
Details: Once again, the newer eye elements LEGO has been making lately make it easier to build iconic characters. This time, it's Statler and Waldorf of The Muppets, seen here in their famous perch at the Muppet Theatre. In this case, the design isn't entirely obvious - while the eyes are important, it's the clever use of curved slopes and cheese slopes that makes these the distinctive characters.

The balcony is also a pretty clever build - the curtains look like alternative rows of red bricks and dark red plates, while the body of the balcony is made of dark orange 1x2 bricks curved using plate hinges. The pearl-gold-colored decorative flourish on the front is even more clever - note the clever use of Sensei Wu's hat, as well as a pair of bars with side studs connected to a pair of elephant tails.

Friday, November 7, 2014

ComicBricks Art Show at DesignerCon 2014

Name of Model: Star Wars #1
Created by: Tommy Williamson
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/geekytom/15544292118
Details: At this year's DesignerCon, there will be a Comic Bricks art show. The whole Comic Bricks Flickr Pool is worth checking out, but my personal favorite is this Star Wars cover. I always prefer a mosaic background when one can be done, and it's particularly effective in this case, allowing brick-built lettering to pop and the fiery effect around the Death Star to show up properly. Having the round sections of the Death Star itself be one stud out from the background makes it possible to use actual curved elements too, which really makes the roundness more obvious in a situation like this where parts of the "circle" are obscured. Then there are the characters - Luke's outfit comes across perfectly and there's no mistaking the plate hinge making an appearance as his nose.

As a sidenote, the builder of this particular model is Tommy Williamson of BrickNerd fame. Word on the street is that he's doing this model-blogging thing better than we are these days, but please, don't leave us, we still love you! It's alright - most of us LEGO bloggers actually get along in person (I'd show photos of our secretive cabal's last meeting, but what happens at BrickCon stays at BrickCon, and besides, no one looks good in photos of secretive cabals meeting in a basement under the cover of darkness), and longtime readers will remember I've raved about his builds before.

DesignerCon is at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California (USA) this Saturday, November 8th, from 9 AM to 6 PM, and Sunday, November 9th, from 10 AM to 5 PM. Tickets are $7 per day at the door.