Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's Inauguration in Miniland form

LEGOLAND California is commemorating today's inauguration ceremony with a long-running miniland display. LEGOLAND's existing miniland DC attraction now includes many of the famous guests of the inauguration and throngs of additional visitors.

Since we all know about LEGOLAND and the master builders that work there, I'm going to focus instead on trying to gather up as many photos and videos of this display as possible. I'm expecting a mix of professional photos and amateur photos to appear over time over the next few months, since this display will be up through late May 2009. I will update this post as more photos and videos come to my attention.

For a quick hit of photos, the MinilandBricks blog is the best: http://minilandbricks.blogspot.com/2009/01/inauguration-day.html
The BBC has video coverage: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7834823.stm
LEGOLAND Model Builder, Kristi Klein over has posted photos on her blog, BRICK STAR: http://brickstarsearch.blogspot.com/2009/01/more-lego-obama-inaugural-photos-from.html
LUGNET has a MediaWatch thread for following news coverage: http://news.lugnet.com/mediawatch/?n=2532&t=i&v=a
Christopher Victorio took some photos for SFWeekly - in the interest of linking to a site that will probably host the photos longer, here's a mirror of his photos on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/weichao/
The LEGOLAND website has a press release (in .doc format)
The same site also has an announcement on What's New page
More photos found on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23381789@N07/3212640336/

CNN had a great video (seems to be unavailable now): http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2009/01/15/hamel.ca.legoland.inauguration.xetv?iref=videosearch

Friday, January 16, 2009

No Posts For A While

I am really sorry about doing this - I just sat down to catch up on the past two days of posts and event announcements, and now I'm finding that my laptop's CD drive is out of commission. Normally, I'd say that the CD drive isn't needed for blogging and try to keep updating this blog anyway, but the CD drive's problem is that the drive won't go back into the PC properly. I will need to bring this PC in for service.

I have access to some other machines and I will try to post a few updates while this computer is out-of-commission, but I expect things to be choppy for the next few weeks. This is a very busy time for me anyway, so perhaps the break will be a good thing.

Sorry for the gap and thanks for reading.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

LEGO Toby Jugs

Name of Model: LEGO Toby Jugs
Created by the Australian LEGO Model Team
Found at: http://danstoymuseum.blogspot.com/2009/01/one-of-kind-collection.html
This is a nice set of sculptures recently acquired by the Bellaire Historic Society and Toy and Plastic Brick Museum. This is one of many rare items that they've been able to showcase - the odds are pretty good that if you've found a bizarre LEGO display piece, you can track down info about it through this museum. I haven't seen too much info about these particular sculptures, but there are several more photos currently on flickr at the top of one photostream. Enough photos that you could copy the techniques, anyway - I'm sure I'm not the only one who does that...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

CAD Resources

from 1000steine.de (translated), a list of CAD resources for automatic sculpture plan generation:

There is one more option listed in that 1000steine post I linked to above, but I'd prefer not to recommend expensive software sold on a license basis (all of the options I've listed above are free).
(yes, this is in place of a model today - just thought I'd change things up a little)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Taking the Week Off

Sorry for taking so long to decide this, but I will be taking a break from blogging here this week. I'll be back this upcoming Monday.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Peeron New Years' Update

This was my first new year with Peeron's recent updates RSS feed in my feed reader, so it was my first time to see a full year's worth of sets' instructions added to the site. If you're not familiar with Peeron, you really should become familiar with it - it is an excellent resource for set inventories, building instructions, catalog scans, and other LEGO-related data. Set inventories are added as soon as possible, but the general rule for scans of building instructions is that they shouldn't be posted until a set has been out for three years (this was decided long ago, but it remains standard practice). 169 new instruction scans were added today, covering about half of the kits released in 2005.

New for 2009

I might put together a proper "model of the day" post today yet, but for now, I'd like to point out a few of the new-for-2009 items just released by LEGO and now available from the official LEGO Shop-at-Home site

I've previous blogged about the new Medieval Market Village - this beauty is out now:


The newly revived Pirates line has some great kits. They look a little pricey in terms of average price per part, but trust me - the new parts are fairly high-quality with lots of new elements, improved versions of printed parts,, and even extremely detailed new minifigs with printed hats. These cost a bit more because these parts are actually more expensive for LEGO to manufacture - the new parts are so well-made to justify the "high" price.

I've taken a liking to this particular set, which cleverly uses click hinges to hold up the parts of the shipwreck - so you can actually pose the wreckage to make it look like it's in varying states of decay without actually taking it apart:


Also of note is the new Construction theme for town. Some great parts are being revived for this line. Have a look at this set, which features the treads from the all-too-short lived 8275 Bulldozer kit AND the older style of Technic turntable:


Those sets also include windows and other useful elements for rounding out a construction scene.

There are also more licensed lines - small new sets for Star Wars and a few updated versions of Spongebob Squarepants scenes. The new Indiana Jones Shanghai Chase set has some neat cars, though:


Also new is a brightly-colored line similar to the Rock Raiders line from 1999. The rock monsters this time are pretty exciting, with marbled translucent sections on the part. I'm also a big fan of the new wheel element in a few sets like this one:


There's much more to see, of course - these are just a few highlights I liked. What are you looking forward to this year?