Wednesday, April 16, 2014

LEGO and Open Source

Name of Model: LEGO and Open Source
Created by: yours truly
Found at: http://danny316p.github.io/LEGO_and_Open_Source/s5/s5-lego_and_open_source.html
Details: Last year at BrickFair VA, I hosted a seminar on the relationship between the LEGO fan community and the open source software community. Presumably most people who read this blog are already familiar with LEGO, but I think most LEGO fans don't really think about how our community resources and favorite software tools came about, or what makes a particular program likely to be maintained for the LEGO community once the program's creator has moved on.

The bulk of the seminar was a slideshow hosted on GitHub. Although this is a topic I had wanted to address for years (originally the plan was to debut the slides at NCSU's annual FOSS Fair event, however I have not been able to attend since putting the slides together), I was surprised when I focused in on it just how broad the topic really is. The version presented at BrickFair still felt rushed together (to me, anyway), and I've continued to make improvements to it since. There's still plenty of room to improve the slides yet, but I like to think they're a useful resource and a good starting point that anyone can use to talk about LEGO at an open source event or about open source at a LEGO event. In the spirit of open source and community-building, the slides themselves are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License and the source is available for contributions on GitHub.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

GFLUG Moonbase at MegaCon 2014

Name of Model: MegaCon 2014 Moonbase
Created by: GFLUG and "Orange LUG"
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/moctagon/sets/72157638835134784 (and more - see roundup below)
Details: Last weekend, I was out at MegaCon 2014 with GFLUG, "Orange LUG", and the Bonahooms (of BrickWorld fame, there promoting the upcoming BrickWorld Tampa event). The main group build was a Moonbase-themed display, although it ended up being more "moon" than proper, standard-meeting Moonbase. In spite of my post here about the moonbase standard being the top Google result for "Moonbase Standard", I had actually never built a moonbase module before - something I rectified with an Alien Conquest-themed build (not itself worth featuring here, although I'm happy with how the corridors came out). There were other MOCs on display as well - many small things, a large train display, a LEGO-movie themed section, a fantastic twist on the Great Ball Contraption concept, and many MOCs based on various movies and television shows. You can see all of those in the coverage roundup below.

...but you probably shouldn't. You should go build some moonbase modules, right now. Moonbase isn't dead! Moonbase is easy! Moonbase is fun! You should build moonbase! Go, now, stop reading this and build some moonbase!

Coverage Roundup (trying to focus on LEGO-oriented coverage - there are some "interesting" cosplayers at this event, be warned that you're likely to see something Not Safe For Work in the background if you dig too far):
Moctagon Jones' Flickr photos
my (danny316p's) Flickr photos
Orlando Weekly slideshow

As always, if you know of photos or other coverage I should have here and don't, you can leave a note in the comments or e-mail us at legomodeloftheday@gmail.com

Saturday, March 15, 2014

About that Beyond the Brick Merger...

If you're reading this, you've probably realized that this post is at LMOTD and not at the snazzy new Beyond the Brick website. It's hard to believe that it was back in July of 2012 - fully 20 months ago - when I first announced that we were looking to change things out and relaunch this blog with a different format. Shortly after that, things were set in motion to merge with Beyond the Brick, with the intention of launching the new site in December of 2012. As I mentioned last March, that deadline became impossible due to numerous health and relocation issues. Fortunately, this time around, I don't have any problems of that sort to report - but unfortunately, progress on the site is moving very slowly.

In light of the extreme delays that the Beyond the Brick website has faced, I've decided to start blogging here again. Originally, the plan was for me to not do any further blogging until the Beyond the Brick website was officially launched, but that no longer seems like a reasonable plan. It's not clear when some of the issues delaying BTB might be cleared up. Being known in the Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL) community primarily as a a blogger gets a little more complicated when you haven't been blogging in a while, and don't know when you might get back to it.

I'd still like to see LMOTD become part of a BTB website in the future - we're all on good terms, although I think we're all frustrated with the delays we've seen so far. For now, however, I feel it is important to maintain a voice in the community, fill my readers in on things they should know about, and blog some worthy MOCs and photo sets (in spite of not having an outlet in quite some time, I have continued to browse as many MOCs as I did back in the day). I'll be blogging here again for a bit, primarily focusing on my own projects that haven't been covered elsewhere. The Beyond the Brick videos on YouTube can still be found at brickpodcast.com - and you should plan on seeing more of all of us at various shows and conventions.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Galloping Horses in a Zoetrope

Name of Model: Lego Zoetrope #3 - Horses
Created by: ChadMealey / Lego Tron
Found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TR9Nvv3ul5A and http://www.flickr.com/photos/legotron/sets/72157629668225249/with/7015942181/
Details: In the early days of motion pictures, they didn't have film reels or real video technology. Early on, moving pictures were created by using series of still frames in a circle, with slits between each one. Looking through the slits at the image on the other side while the circle was spinning would make it look like the image was moving.

If you remember what blog you're reading, this next part shouldn't surprise you - here's a an example of a zoetrope that works in this manner made out of LEGO. Much like the first example of this (based on a series of photographs taken by Eadweard Muybridge), this particular ones animates a horse's gallop.

SciBricks has posted a little more detail about this model.

Eadweard Muybridge would have turned 183 years old today.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Site Status


While we have no intention of becoming one of those blogs that always talks about how we should be updating more, I think it is fair to say that we owe you an explanation regarding the recent silence here. First, the big news: we are merging with Beyond the Brick. You may have seen their videos or podcasts in the past, and if not, you should check them out. We were trying to avoid announcing much about this until we were far enough along with the new site to be able to share some details, however, the deadlines we set for ourselves passed some time ago and left everything up in the air.

There are a number of reasons for the delay, most of which we won't bore you with. In short, we've seen multiple LMOTD contributors relocate in the past few months, we've suffered a few technical setbacks, and I've had some disruptive health issues (when our December "deadline" passed, my hand was in a cast and I couldn't type). I am sorry about this, but there is only so much we can do. Ultimately, it would have been detrimental to all of us to prioritize LMOTD in light of the personal things going on these past few months. We are hoping to get back to this soon and when the new site is ready, we will announce it here. While the exact details still need to be settled, we can promise that we'll be featuring more models, reviewing more books, and interviewing more builders in the years to come.

In other news, I'll be around as a visitor at Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire tomorrow. Find me milling about (I'll be wearing a LEGO brick name badge mentioning the site [update: apparently my LMOTD badge brick is still packed. I'll probably be the only person there with a giant brick-built name badge, so I should still be easy to find]) and you can score some of our LMOTD printed tiles. We'll be making these more easily available at various LEGO fan events and Maker events over the next several months (we'll be announcing most of those opportunities here as well).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday

10% OFF + FREE Shipping + Exclusive Holiday Set. Valid 11.23.12 - 11.26.12
LEGO Shop at Home's Black Friday sale starts in a matter of minutes and lasts through Monday the 26th. The promotion is similar to last year's:
  • 10% off all orders of $149 or more
  • Free Limited Edition Holiday set with orders of $99 or more.
  • FREE Shipping on all orders of $49 or more.
  • offers Valid: Nov 23rd - 26th
  • Offers are Combinable (No Codes Required)

Additionally, the following sets will be marked down:

Product #

Product Name

Discount

8831

LEGO® Minifigures, Series 7

50%

8833

LEGO® Minifigures, Series 8

50%

9509

LEGO® Star Wars¿ Advent Calender

50%

850423

Minifigure Presentation Box

50%

5000215

Harry Potter: Building the Magical World

50%

10230

Mini Modulars

20%

2734

Straight Rails

20%

2735

Curved Rails

20%

3677

Red Cargo Train

20%

3841

Minotaurus

20%

3857

Heroica Draida Bay

20%

5609

LEGO® DUPLO Deluxe Train Set

20%

5945

LEGO® DUPLO Winnie the Pooh's Picnic

20%

5946

LEGO® DUPLO Tigger's Expedition

20%

7286

Prisoner Transport

20%

7346

Summer House

20%

7930

Bounty Hunter¿ Assault Gunship

20%

7962

Anakin's & Sebulba's Podracers

20%

9094

Star Striker

20%

5828

LEGO® DUPLO Big Bentley

15%

5885

Triceratops Trapper

15%

6869

Quinjet Aerial Battle

10%

9473

The Mines of Moria¿

5%

850506

Card Making Kit

20%

853091

Keychain Police Man

20%

853195

Brick Calendar

20%

853393

LEGO® Friends Picture Frame

20%

853414

LEGO® Star Wars¿ Magnet Set - Jar Jar Binks

20%

853421

LEGO® Star Wars¿ Magnet Set - Clone Wars

20%

2850828

Darth Vader Kids Watch

20%

2853508

LEGO® Star Wars¿ : The Visual Dictionary

20%

2856081

Darth Vader Minifigure Clock

20%

2856195

LEGO Minifigure Ultimate Sticker Collection

20%

5000143

LEGO® Star Wars¿ Boba Fett Watch

20%

5000249

LEGO® Star Wars¿ Boba Fett Minifigure Clock

20%

5000668

LEGO City Sticker Collection

20%

5000671

LEGO Star Wars Sticker Collection

20%

5001050

Star Wars ZipBin Large Millennium Falcon Messenger Bag

20%

5001097

Star Wars ZipBin Toy Box and Playmat

20%

5001159

Darth Vader Light Keychain

20%

5001160

Stormtoorper Light Keychain

20%

5001252

2013 LEGO Calendar

20%

5001310

Yoda Light Keychain

20%

5001311

Darth Maul Light Keychain

20%

5001313

Darth Vader Light Torch

20%

5001314

Stormtrooper Light Torch
20%

5001352

Monster Fighters Mummy Clock

20%

5001353

Monster Fighters Lord Vampyre Clock

20%

5001354

Monster Fighters Mummy Watch

20%

5001355

Ninjago Kai ZX Clock

20%

5001356

Ninjago Kai ZX Watch

20%

5001357

Ninjago Cole Watch

20%

5001358

Ninjago Lasha Watch

20%

5001366

Ninjago Loyd ZX Clock

20%

5001375

Monster Fighters Lord Vampyre Watch

20%

5001376

Lunch Box Blue

20%

5001377

Lunch Box Pink

20%

5001378

Lunch Box Red

20%

5001383

Storage Brick- 4 Blue

20%

5001384

Storage Brick- 4 Dark Green

20%

5001386

Storage Brick- 8 Blue

20%

5001387

Storage Brick- 8 Dark Green

20%

5001388

Storage Brick- 8 Red

20%

Most of these offers are also good at the LEGO store - if the item you want is out of stock online, you can try for the same pricing at the store. In the unlikely event that that doesn't satisfy your Black Friday weekend LEGO needs, you can also try the full round-up of promotions from other stores over at FBTB.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Amazing Forced Perspective Jousting

Name of Model: M.O. Round 3 - George G. vs P. Voranc
Created by: George G.
Found at: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/344290
Details: This is the most effective and complex use of forced perspective I've seen to date. I can't even imagine trying to get so many scales straight, much less arrange them a natural-looking scene. Note the assortment of scales used on the foremost horse alone- very impressive. He could have built the jousters and left it at that, but the surroundings that appear as just a blur in the main picture are equally impressive. Be sure to check out all the pictures to appreciate all of the fantastic details and part usage, as well as microscale scenes that could be MOCs of their own merit!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Todai-ji and Daibutsu

Name of Model: LEGO Pop-up Todai-ji + Daibutsu (Buddhism) レゴで飛び出る東大寺
Created by: talapz
Found at:
Details: You may remember the spectacular pop-up model of Kinkaku-ji (the Temple of the Golden Pavilion) from a few years back. More recently, the builder has made another excellent pop-up temple - Nara, Japan's Todai-ji. This one also includes the Daibutsu inside the temple. Around the 1:52 mark, the video switches from a demonstration to CAD-based building instructions, complete with part counts for each step. All 8,816 pieces are accounted for, and there's a complete parts list with BrickLink part numbers at the end.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Small engine workshed and Signal House

Name of Model: Small engine workshed and Signal House
Created by: michaelozzie1
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/54395270@N08/tags/shed/
Details: Here's the start of a nice minifig-scale train layout - a shed and a signal house. I love the shed here - it's a very effective use of the "brick" brick element. This is a very classic use of the bricks and it works quite well. The simple ballast for the tracks is surprisingly convincing. I can't wait to see how the rest of the layout looks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

National Toy Train Museum Display

Name of Model: National Toy Train Museum WamaLTC Display
Created by: Cale Leiphart, WamaLTC
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/steampoweredbricks/sets/72157631931333354/
Details: There is a small LEGO train display at the National Toy Train Museum in Strasburg, PA. It recently got "refreshed", although I don't really know what it looked like before. It's a nice little layout - the buildings have that classic brightly-colored look, and it has a surprising amount of action for its size. Some of the trains are from kits, but more of them are original models. My favorite part is probably the subway tucked away underneath the street scene on the left side of the display.