Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Super Soldier

Name of Model: Super Soldier
Created by: legoloverman (Pete Reid)
Found at: NeoClassicSpace & Flickr
Details: Legoloverman created this awesome bit of science fiction for NeoClassicSpace.com's month-long celebration of the 30th anniversary of the classic space sets from LEGO. The idea of the celebration has been to make "classic space" style creations using modern fan techniques, and they have posted 1 or 2 a day all month for March.

I'm usually a sucker for a really good mech or, in this case, mech-type creation. NeoClassicSpace described him as a "Space Marine Cyborg."

I love the use of lots of little tiny parts to create the whole look. You get the idea that this cyborg is in minifig scale (i.e. he's supposed to fit in with a world that is inhabited by minifigs) -- it's just that all his robotic enhancements mean he's about 9 feet tall, in 'fig feet. :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Calamari Calamity!

Name of Model: Calamari Calamity!
Created by: 2 Much Caffeine
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24681250@N07/3379751668

2 Much Caffeine has so many things here that are working well that at first its easy to overlook the fact that this is a LEGO creation.

The scene is laid out well and the humor (or is it horror? ;D) is immediately evident.

The squid's eye stands out as a well done technique along with the whole scale of the tentacled beast. I like the minifig legs sticking up out of the water as well as the guys hanging on to the boat for dear life! 2 Much Caffeine has a nice use of white and green tiles to represent where the ripples are. Another technique that he's handled well here is angling the chest and box to get across the idea that these things are bobbing around in the ocean.

One last thing to note: it's not visible in this picture, but if you check out his other pics you'll see good use of a technique for finishing off the bottom of what is otherwise a flat boat. Very nice indeed!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

LEGOLAND California 10 Years Birthday Cake

Name of Model: LEGOLAND 10th Birthday Cake
Created by LEGOLAND Master Builders
Found at: http://brickstarsearch.blogspot.com/2009/03/big-cake-pic.html and http://brickstarsearch.blogspot.com/2009/03/legoland-10th-birthday-cake.html
I hope the video of this cake's unveiling is visible for everyone, but if it doesn't work, you can still use the links above to get to photos.

I still remember when I first heard about LEGOLAND California's 1999 opening, and it's hard to believe it's been 10 years already. This cake is an excellent tribute to the park - various layers show various attractions and popular themes from the past ten years. The bottom even has spinning hypno-discs (which are, in the LEGO world, what make time travel possible)! It's hard to pick a favorite part of this masterpiece - there's just too much going on.

This fantastic animatronic cake sculpture commemorates 10 years of LEGOLAND California and will be on display this weekend at BrickFest in Portland, Oregon, USA. BrickFest is a convention for Adult Fans Of LEGO (or AFOL's), and there is an "expo" day open to the public on Sunday, March 29th, 2009 from 11am – 4pm ($7 per person - $25 max per family). If you do make it out there, send us a link to your photos - we'd love to see what's going on there, or even just more photos of the cake!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Steam Battle

Name of Model: Steam Battle
Created by: SlyOwl
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/27444109@N04/3317519426/
Details: SlyOwl is a a fairly prolific builder who gets blogged a lot and for good reason. Here's one he posted at the end of February that I didn't see mentioned elsewhere—much to my surprise! Steam Battle is a good dose of LEGO steampunk with a lot going on without overdoing it, and a variety of excellent modern building techniques.

Here are three of my favorites in this MOC:

The Splashes
You've got that boiler unit hitting the water front and center of the MOC and a gigantic clear cylinder dish representing the splash. A bit to the left is a smaller splash but a really cool "freeze-frame" effect like you often see in a photo of a drop of water taken at a very high speed.

This is better visible from a slightly different angle, but you can see some of it here behind the smaller splash. The boat is moving in toward the dock at a decent clip, demonstrated by the use of white, light blue, and light bley built into the SNOT (Studs-Not-On-Top) base. You can also see SlyOwl's use of 1x1 clear cylinders here as bubbles.

The Floating Rock
I've noticed a number of builders recently using this concept (e.g. Reejoc on his amazing interpretation of the Queen of Hearts' Castle from Alice in Wonderland). Let alone the excellent building techniques, I'm intrigued by the idea of a chunk of dirt or rock that defies gravity and is its own island in the sky, as it were.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Duckingham Drops In

Hello fellow FLMOTD readers!

When Dan sent out his plea for help I was eager to volunteer. I am a 30-something life-long lover of LEGO and have recently begun making an extended effort to get involved in the online LEGO community. I have a beautiful, supporting wife and 4 kids ages 1–7, who each have a particular fascination with the plastic brick (okay, so my 1-year old just likes sticking them in her mouth ;D )

I've been developing a side business as a LEGO freelance artist as evidenced by my creations on my personal site Duckingham Design, but my day job is as a webmaster. I like to think of both jobs as excuses to play. :)

I love to look at, learn from, and comment on what other people are building, and have been looking for an outlet to do so without creating confusion on my own site by mixing my stuff with everyone else's. I appreciate Dan for giving me the opportunity to help keep FLMOTD continue to be that daily dose we've all come to love and appreciate!

For the curious, here's a taste of some of my personal projects:

LEGO Darth Maul Portrait Mosaic by Duckingham Design
LEGO Green Eggs and Ham Sculpture by Duckingham Design
A Wicked Smile LEGO Mosaic by Duckingham Design
A LEGO Chocolate Chip Cookie Sculpture by Duckingham Design

New Free Sample Chapter from Unofficial LEGO Builders' Guide

Some quick news via MicroBricks: a chapter from Allen Bedford's The Unofficial LEGO Builder's Guide covering building in microscale is now available free (and of course, legally) online. The chapter is "Chapter 6: Microscale Building: More Than Meets the Eye" and you can download it in PDF format at http://nostarch.com/download/ulbgch6.pdf

Additionally, the ULBG has a website and a blog that I have enjoyed reading. All of these are great resources for beginners - if you're one of those parents who has asked about other good resources for kids to build with, Allen Bedford's book, blog, and website are what you're looking for.

AFOL Writers Wanted

I've come to the point where I realize I need to bring in more people to help write this blog. If you're interested in helping out here for a bit on a trial basis, let me know at legomodeloftheday@gmail.com

For the rest of you, I am hoping to get more models on here this week - the issue is finding the time to properly write about models right now. I want to make sure this keeps going, but my personal situation requires me to be more focused on non-LEGO things at the moment.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Galidorian Businessman

Name of Model: Galidorian Businessman
Created by: fallentomato
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/27917559@N05/3356682727/in/pool-44124304756@N01
This is awesome in so many ways. So many unusual and disparate elements - I would never have tried to use a Town suitcase, a Star Wars Boga body, a Galidor head, and early-90's Castle dragon arms together, for example. Trust me, this is actually funnier if you know where all the elements come from. This also "wins" for great use of dinosaur body parts (yes, I know this body is from the Star Wars Boga character, but they were out in LEGO Dinosaur sets first) and possibly best-ever use of that Galidor head. Of all the Galidor pieces to try working into "normal" creations, the heads are probably the most difficult.

Then again, is any part of this magnificent beast really all that "normal"? Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kyoto Oxide

Name of Model: Kyoto Oxide
Created by: Nannan Z.
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7414716@N06/3349472729/
Details: I'm suprised that Nannan hasn't promoted this himself. It's a lovely creation with a nice mix of complex construction and a simple appearance. The "car" is propelled fowards by a means of magentic traction (well, not really, but you have to admit it makes for a sweet concept-car model.)

Nannan has also managed to fit a non-production Lego Star Wars helmet into this creation. What more could he do to appeal to my nerdy need to find great uses for rare parts?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Robotics Monday: Sudoku Solver

Name of Model: SudokuKiller
Created by: frummels
Found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReRSCSrtr58
A webcam. A LEGO robot. A Sudoku-solving algorithm. That's really all I know is here - I'm still trying to figure out the details as to how the programming works. The NXT-to-Power Functions construction techniques in the robot are something I've mentioned on here a few times recently, but in terms of raw programming might, this 'bot is a bit more advanced than some of the others I've featured. I, for one, can't wait to hear more about how this was done - what programming language, what webcam, what algorithm, etc were used.
Oops - looks like something went wrong with the scheduled post publishing today - believe it or not, this post was ready last night...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

SSRN Seaview (from 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea'

Name of Model: SSRN Seaview
Created by: rh1985moc
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rh1985/sets/72157615066124872/
This is a model of the fictional glass nosed submarine from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. I'm not familiar with the series, but this microscale model looks great. The photography is spectacular too, with the custom LED 9V LEGO lighting on even as the sub floats in the bath tub (Kids: do NOT try this at home - water and electricity do NOT mix). I have to wonder what sort of water-proofing was done to allow the lights to run while the sub is near water. It's actually always a bit of a risk to put LEGO parts in water - if you don't dry the inside of the bricks well, mold can grow.

Edit: there's a surprising update on this in the comments. Normally I'd highlight it here, but since I'd prefer not to encourage a technique that may be dangerous (even if it did work in this case), I'll let you decide instead whether or not you want to view it.
This is Thursday's model of the day

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rock Monsters

Name of Model: Not a rock lobster.
Created by: Karf Oolhu
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragon55/3311412802/
Some people think that Power Miners rock monsters aren't too useful - that they're "too cute" to be bad monsters. Those people have not seen this yet. I, for one, didn't realize before that you could connect multiple rock monsters this way to build bigger, scarier rock monsters.
This is Wednesday's model of the day

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Power Functions Redux of Classic Technic Set #8830

Name of Model: Supersized version of Lego Technic set 8830, with Power Functions
Created by:Aliencat
Found at: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=369740

Details: Aliencat has been known to build large Town and Castle creations, but this has entered a completely different universe. Neo-Classic space may be the new trend, but this makes the case for neo-classic Technic. The two Power Functions motors provide 4-wheel steering and 4-wheel drive.   

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Castle... Evolves

Name of Model: Castle Evolution Project
Created by: danielz "DNL"
Found at: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=370290
Details: A very interesting model and a great concept. Daniel Z (danielz, on Brickshelf) has shown how a castle grows through the years becoming more and more crowded and complex, but still retaining elements from the past. This is an awesome creation; and I am curious to see what the fate of the castle will be.

This is Tuesday's model of the day
Via: Brickapolis

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What A Concept round-up

Created by various builders in the LUGNuts flickr group
Found at: http://lugnuts-cars.blogspot.com/2009/03/what-concept-round-up.html
Every month, the LEGO car enthusiasts in the LUGNuts flickr group have a new building challenge. This past month, the theme was "What A Concept" - the idea was for members of the group to build various concept cars. In all of these challenges, there are a few different scales and a few people who interpret the challenge in a clever and unusual way, but this one might just take the cake on those fronts.

There's a bit more here than I usually post in one day, so consider this your "daily fix" for today and the upcoming weekend.

Sulfurix Jones

Name of Model: Sulfurix Jones
Created by: pitrek02
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31972744@N02/3319222382/in/pool-44124304756@N01
This awesome vignette combines Indiana Jones and the Power Miners monster named Sulfurix. That about sums it up. This is brilliant and hilarious, and I'm afraid that trying to explain it further would just subtract from how great this is.
This is Wednesday's model of the day

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Casino de Montréal in Lego Form

Name of Model: Casino
Created by:luclego (89582)
Found at: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=369994
Details: Casino with angled wallsThis very modern-looking casino gives a good example of how to use hinges to tilt walls in every direction. The heavy use of tiles and slopes gives it a very unique effect (and certainly makes it a very distinct casino).

EDIT March 6th, 2009: The builder has explained in the comments that this model is based on the Casino de Montréal.

This is Tuesday's model of the day - and I have no idea why it wasn't up before now (10:56 PM EST on Wednesday). Something seems to be messing up when I try to publish posts today. With any luck this won't drag down the next few days.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Robotics Monday: Black NXT Programmable Brick

iconNot really featuring this as a proper model, but I thought I'd share the news about the new Black NXT Programmable Brickicon. A limited edition of 1,998 of these has been made to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the LEGO Mindstorms series. Although programmable bricks existed before that, they were very hard to obtain and primarily sold to schools. The RCX was released in 1998, and the now ubiquitous NXT system emerged in 2006. The black NXT is a very interesting product - priced Apple-style (a "cooler" color will cost you more - in fairness, though, it's very unusual for LEGO to make such a small production run of a part/color combination and it does cost the company more in this case), you get only the programmable brick in the new color (as compared to a black version of the whole kit) - you still have to work around the motors.

Or maybe not. Check out this video of a tank built with the NXT, a HiTechnic (HiTechnic is a licensed third-party LEGO-compatible electronics vendor) IR link for NXT, and a variety of LEGO Power Functions parts. Granted, generally when you use an NXT, you want a certain level of precision and can't just crank up some Power Functions motors. When you're building a simple but fun tank? It's the way to go. Especially when you don't want it to be white.

Yep, running late again - this is what I get for trying to squeeze in multiple difficult posts in one day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Green Eggs and Ham Sculpture (Dr Seuss' 105th Brithday)

Name of Model: Green Eggs and Ham … a LEGO sculpture
Created by: Chris at Duckingham Design
Found at: http://www.duckingham.com/lego-sculptures/green-eggs-and-ham-a-lego-sculpture/

Today is Theodor Geisel (also known as Dr Seuss)'s 105th birthday - in celebration of that, Chris at Duckingham Design built this sculpture of green eggs and ham. For those of you unfamiliar with the classic children's book, it's all about a guy named Sam who tries to talk someone into eating the unusual breakfast by suggesting various bizarre situations that it could be eaten in (with a mouse, in a house, with a fox, in a box...)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

NeoClassicSpace.com Celebrates 30 Years of LEGO Space with 30 Models in 30 Days

Name of Model: http://www.neoclassicspace.com/
Created by a variety of established builders.
Found at: http://www.neoclassicspace.com/

This press release was forwarded to me earlier today from Dr. Sinister, the (surprisingly cordial) evil overlord of Tabletown.

March 2009 sees the 30th anniversary of the original Classic Space sets from LEGO. Now, three decades on, it’s time for a celebration of spacey goodness atwww.neoclassicspace.com.

Neo-Classic Space is a reimagining of the LEGO Classic Space range, using modern building techniques and parts. More than just inspired by the Classic Space sets, Neo-Classic Space is an extrapolation of the line into the 21st century and beyond. We aim to follow a carefully thought standard, which we feel is in keeping with the original designs.

The culmination of a top-secret project planned over many months, www.neoclassicspace.com will present a new model every day throughout March, many from builders you already know and love, some from new talent you may not have discovered.

This is only the beginning. It is time to retake space. We hope you'll come along for the ride!

While I'm not too into the use of "fleshie" minifigs from the licensed lines or the modifying of LEGO parts to make them into different colors, they seem to be necessary evils in making newer parts work well with the classic space theme (or at least the theme as it would appear 30 years into the future). Although I have featured this theme before, it's been a while and I feel bad about not featuring it more often. Even though I haven't been able to blog all of them, I am really excited about most of the ships and buildings I've seen built in this theme so far. They're off to a great start with this 30 models in 30 days project - here's the first model in the series (built by Nnenn):

There's an RSS feed for http://www.neoclassicspace.com/ - so if you can afford a little more LEGO in your daily reading, you can subscribe for the spacey goodness.