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.

Monday, November 3, 2014

San Diego Comic Con 2014 Round-Up

Name of Event: San Diego Comic Con International
Found at: http://www.comic-con.org/
Details: It's been a little too long since I've rounded up an event I didn't personally attend. July's San Diego Comic Con International is an enormous event that attracts an unreasonable amount of media attention, so rather than try to find everything, I'll focus on grabbing the LEGO-related coverage. While there's still plenty of that out there, my understanding is that the event itself isn't conducive to the sort of in-depth LEGO photos I like to see. If you've got a highlight we missed, let us know in the comments or by sending us an e-mail.

IdleHandsBlog's Flickr photos (somehow, the blog these photos are tied to doesn't seem to have a dedicated post for LEGO coverage).
StarWars.com: MASSIVE LEGO STAR WARS 15TH ANNIVERSARY MINIFIGURE CASE – SPECIAL PREVIEW!

FBTB:
LEGO Connect App
LEGO Systems Unveils New Products, Experiences and Exclusives at San Diego Comic-Con
MTV Reveals 75084 Wookie Gunship, Rebels’ Chopper Statue
LEGO Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Statue to Debut at Comic Con
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man On Display
More Pictures of 79018 The Lonely Mountain Set
LEGO Smaug Statue Details
The Statues of The LEGO Booth
The LEGO Star Wars Minifigure Gallery
LEGO Batcycle Sculpture

Allen "Tormentalous" Tran at The Brick Fan was in attendance and covered the event (and the announcements leading up to it) rather thoroughly in real time. Here are some of the highlights:
POP! The Art of the Geek Exhibit at San Diego Comic Con 2014
San Diego Comic Con 2014 LEGO DC Comic Book Image
Full LEGO Booth Details at San Diego Comic Con 2014
The LEGO Movie Unikitty SDCC 2014 Exclusive Minifigure
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Panel at SDCC 2014
A Look at Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary Panel at SDCC 2014 (Note: this is about the documentary film and not related to our favorite YouTube channel)
The LEGO Movie Panel at SDCC 2014
San Diego Comic Con 2014 LEGO Recap
He also took the photo shown above and about 200 more great photos (on Flickr), including close-ups of the four exclusive minifigures he was able to acquire.

Rather impressively, LEGO and CREATACOR have put out official coverage of their presence at SDCC this year as well:
CREATACOR's Flickr photos
More of CREATACOR's Flickr photos
CREATACOR blog post
LEGO Press Release

We've previously rounded up coverage of LEGO events at SDCC in 2010.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Brickworld Tampa

Name of Event: Brickworld Tampa
Found at: http://www.brickworld.us/tampa/
Details: You know that awkward feeling you get when you haven't recovered from your last LEGO convention yet and you already need to get ready for the next LEGO show? That's where I am now. I'm still recovering from my trip to BrickCon and trying to repair models that broke in transit on the way to/from various BrickFairs. Presumably this is much easier for people who aren't constantly travelling to LEGO conventions. If you're unlucky enough to be suffering through Florida weather this weekend, don't miss Brickworld Tampa this Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM. I (Dan) will be there, manning the Mini Con and Robot Band layouts, as well as a table of sculptures and more traditional creations. Matthew will be there too, although I'm not sure in what capacity yet. We should have LMOTD tiles to give out to anyone interested.

Although this is technically an "expo" and not a real convention, it's actually shaping up to be an interesting event because of some of the guests being brought in to display their models. The picture above, for example, is by Nannan Zhang, and appears to be a teaser for a new collaboration with Tyler Clites. You may remember their Containment layout from a few years back.

Look for coverage of the event to start appearing in this post sometime next week.
my (Dan's) Flickr photos
Brickapolis (Matthew)'s Flickr photos
legoriki's Flickr photos
Moctagon Jones's Flickr photos
thumat2002's Flickr photos

Sunday, October 12, 2014

CharacterCentral Takes on LEGOLAND Billund

Photos by: PeterPanFan and Disney Dan from Character Central
Found at: http://www.charactercentral.net/B3666_LEGOLANDTripReportBillundTheTownthatLEGOBuilt.aspx and on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterpanfan1953/tags/LEGOLAND%20Billund%20Resort/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/theverynk/sets/72157646618885782
Details: Recently, PeterPanFan and Disney Dan from Character Central made the trip out to Billund to take in the original LEGOLAND park and surrounding area. Being seasoned Disney theme park reporters (seriously, their site has more information about the various Disney attractions than I could ever make myself read), they had a bit of an advantage in knowing how to take decent photos of the displays - usually I end up highlighting features from Miniland when I blog about park photos, but these guys knew to get photos of the sign at the LEGOLAND Hotel, ceilings, detailed mice on rides, a Pick-A-Brick wall, themed characters, corporate-sponsored buildings, shopping and displays at the airport, the promo area for the LEGO house, the viking dragon, the dragon in the hotel lobby (every hotel needs one), the hotel bathroom, the Friends minidoll-scaled display, the train as it drives behind miniland, the wildlife, an arctic helicopter sculpture, DUPLO sculptures, external signage, and of course, Miniland. This isn't quite a full guided tour, but it's probably the closest thing we've seen to it. Now if only they could take more close-ups of Miniland...

Oh, they did get a few of those too. Here's a wampa from Hoth in Miniland Star Wars, some rock climbers, a Coke truck, the Acropolis (Wikipedia), an interesting angle of Kennedy Space Center's rocket garden (Wikipedia), Neuschwanstein Castle (Wikipedia), Osaka Castle (Wikipedia), Nyhavn (Wikipedia), Amalienborg (Wikipedia), and even a LEGO Truck Show from the late 90's.

I could probably comb through these photos even more thoroughly and find even more highlights, but I'm a bit short on time to keep researching this. These may be the most complete current look at the Billund park we've seen yet.

Disney Dan has 529 photos on Flickr. PeterPanFan looks to have a few hundred photos on Flickr, but I don't have an exact count since they're organized by tag instead of by album/set.

The photo featured above is this one by Disney Dan.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sign of the Times: Failure of the Fourth Estate

Name of Model: Sign of the Times: Failure of the Fourth Estate
Created by: Mike Doyle
Found at: http://mikedoylesnap.blogspot.com/2014/10/sign-of-times-failure-of-fourth-estate.html
Details: Mike Doyle has created another one of his signature artistic photos of an incredibly textured brick-built scene. This time, it's a poignant political statement about the state of mass media. Normally I'd be a bit hesitant to blog a political model here, but sadly, if you have even a passing knowledge of the LEGO world, you know that many media outlets find it extremely difficult to get even simple details right, like proper use of the name "LEGO" or terms like "LEGO bricks". It's a wonder that we trust the same outlets that very clearly can't cover simple matters fairly or accurately to give us the information we need about local, national, and world events.

That's before we get into the techniques used here - although Mike Doyle's models are only designed to be viewed from one angle, the craftsmanship involved is always top-notch. The backlit fire and smoke features some fascinating angles, most of which seem to be supported with plates with clip lights - which is not the sturdiest connection, so presumably something clever is used in the background to keep the smoke from falling over. Round plates (both 1x1 and 2x2) seem to handle most of the billowing smoke. The included part of the Times logo is a spot-on mix of various slope elements that works without any of the standard mosaic techniques. A visible piece of netting and some bar-and-clip elements hints at additional support for the smoke. The building itself looks a bit simple, but is very effective, making use of the undersides of plates, repetitive parts, and the 2:5 ratio (2 studs wide is the same distance as 5 plates tall - seen here in the window frames) to capture architectural details.

The use of color for the fire and windows may actually be the most noteworthy feature here - Mike Doyle has cultivated a very unique aesthetic based on heavy use of black and white, which makes the color here pop more than it usually would - and makes it all the more impressive that he already seems to have mastered mixing different translucent colors to get the fiery effect seen here.

In addition to reading about this model here and on Mike Doyle's blog, you can also see it on MOCpages and Flickr.

LMOTD previously covered Mike Doyle's Three Story Victorian with Tree, blog (update) and Two Story with Basement. We seem to have skipped his two books and other MOCs.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BrickCon 2014

Name of Event: BrickCon 2014
Found at: http://brickcon.org/
Details: BrickCon is this weekend! I (Dan) have all of 14 hours to finish packing before I leave for the airport! Who needs sleep? There are more MOCs to build!

This year's theme is "Invasion", and that's why it's finally time for LMOTD to "invade" by making an appearance there this year. Although I actually used to live within driving distance of this convention, I never attended because I was in my teens at the time and BrickCon didn't allow anyone under 18 to participate in the full convention. Seriously, I still have the flyer from when they tried to advertise at a free event LEGO was running. Although BrickCon is still a needlessly exclusive event (seriously, why does anyone think LEGO events should exclude the people who have the most time to spend with the brick?), I've since aged to the point where I'd be allowed to attend - and more importantly, I've been convinced to go so I can see the birthplace of Mini LEGO Con. In spite of this being a smaller event (roughly 500 attendees, compared with nearly 1,000 at BrickFair Virginia or Brickworld Chicago), there are actually quite a few noteworthy builders attending, so it sounds like a promising show.

Public hours are from 10-4 on Saturday, October 4th, and 9-3 on Sunday, October 5th.

Find me there and you can get your hands on one of our 2x2 LMOTD tiles.

I'll add our usual round up of coverage of the event to this post after the event has passed. This was a great event - in spite of the smaller size, BrickCon has roughly the same concentration of talent as some of the larger conventions, so there's still plenty of great LEGO creations to take in and exciting people to meet.

Here's our round-up, still in the early phases as of this writing (10/10/2014):
My (Dan's) photos are on Flickr.
pasukaru76 highlighted Star Vikings at BrickCon 2014 (on Flickr).
pasukaru76's general BrickCon 2014 photos on Flickr
Lino's Flickr photos
The Brothers Brick wrap-up
Nannan's Flickr photos
brickstuff's Flickr photos
BrickCon Flickr pool
Proudlove's Flickr photos
legotanks' Flickr photos
Lonnon Foster's Flickr photos
Bill Ward's Brickpile's Flickr photos and blog post
Sean Edmison's Flickr photos

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cookie Monster

Name of Model: More Cookies.
Created by: Paul "polywen" Lee
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/artpoly/15322575786/
Details: To commemorate Jim Henson's 78th birthday yesterday, Paul Lee posted this build of Cookie Monster eating a cookie and thinking of yet more cookies. Once you see it, using those Mixel eyes (printed on the ball part of a ball-and-socket joint) to build muppets seems really obvious, but I don't believe I've seen that part used that way before. I'm also loving the shape of Cookie Monster's face here - the lower cheese slopes are sideways and secured by a 1x1 plate connected to a headlight brick. The background and thought cloud (a clever if common use for curved slopes) sell the idea here - personally, I would have added reddish brown 1x1 round plates for chocolate chips, but the tan 2x2 round plates work perfectly to show Cookie Monster thinking of more cookies.

My only quibble is the proportions of the milk glass. It looks a little off to me, but I'm not sure that 2x2 round bricks (or plates) would actually look any better. That's the problem with picking one part (likely the eyes in this case) and then trying to build the rest of a scene around it - sometimes LEGO just can't quite get you the size you need, and something has to be a little out-of-scale. Fortunately, the rest of this is perfect.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An Index of Brickset Bricklists of LEGO sets by specific designers

If you're anything like me, you like to keep track of who designed various LEGO sets. LEGO designers are our rock stars. LEGO set database Brickset has long been the go-to resource for information on LEGO sets, so it's only natural that their bricklists feature has become a useful tool for keeping track of which sets were designed by some of our favorite LEGO set designers. Here's a quick round-up of some designer-based bricklists that I've found - as always, you can let us know of any that I've missed by shooting an e-mail to legomodeloftheday@gmail.com

Bricklists made/maintained by LEGO set designers themselves:
Sets by Mark Stafford.
Sets by Adam.
LEGO designs by Pierre Normandin
Sets designed by Mike Psiaki

Bricklists made by LEGO fans about LEGO set designers:
Sets designed by Marcos Bessa
Sets by Jamie Berard

These are, by their nature, difficult to complete - since a finished LEGO set is the work of several different teams and departments at LEGO, it's frequently not easy to say that any particular person should have credit for a particular part of a specific LEGO set. There are also many LEGO set designers who aren't connected enough to the fan community to realize that there's a real interest in hearing about these details of their work.