Sunday, February 28, 2010

Futuristic Art Museum

Name of Model: LIU - Napu Art Museum
Created by: Emperor Ludgonious
Found at:
There are quite a few interesting challenges one can take when constructing a large building out of LEGO parts. You could try making it in Space with unusual size, with certain types of artwork or architectural details...the possibilities are endless. In this case, we have a large, well-designed art museum in Space. Naturally, there are plenty of interior photos showing the various pieces of "artwork" that have been carefully constructed with little LEGO pieces. You can guess from the photos how to assemble the various works, but most of them aren't terribly sturdy - they're just laid into place to get the right image to appear. There are some other interesting techniques to pick up here as well - get a look at the front railings, the picture lights, the sideways floors (in most of the photos you can see smooth floors that are actually the sides of bricks) with benches built into them, and the zany sculptures.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Candy Machines

Name of Models: quarter machines and Choices, Choices
Created by: brian.schlosser and Armothe
Found at: and
Minifig-scale furnishings can be difficult to create, so it's not unusual to see ideas recycled from one builder to the next. These candy machines were first built with zanier parts that provided specific varieties (such as the gumball machine - that "dome" is originally from a Spongebob astronaut set) [see image on lower right], and later they were built with more common parts (except for the candies themselves, which are the hard-to-find cherry part) and techniques that would still fit nicely but be a bit easier to build with parts on hand [top left image]. I would never have thought of putting loose smaller pieces inside of a clear 1x2 brick to make the front of a machine, but it works perfectly here. All of these candy machines are great examples of how to build candy machines at this scale, but I wanted to show both at once to highlight how we improvise while borrowing ideas and techniques. While I try to avoid sticking too closely to AFOL (Adult Fan Of LEGO) specific ideas, I think this idea is important at all ages (and even with small collections of parts). There has been a bit of controversy within the LEGO hobby about how much credit should be given for simple but noteworthy techniques like the ones shown here. If you're up for reading an adult-oriented discussion on the topic, you should read the recent editorials and comments over at TBB.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Third Blogiversary

I've generally tried to avoid posting about the history of this blog, for the obvious reason that we're called "LEGO Model of the Day" but haven't been truly daily in any consistent manner until fairly recently. From time to time (especially at LEGO events, which I've been increasingly active at since starting this blog), I've been asked about how long LMOTD has been around. As of right now (I've scheduled this post in advance to be live exactly 3 years after my first model post), LMOTD is three years old.

It's been an exciting couple years. At first, I wasn't really sure if I could truly add something insightful to another LEGO model every single day. I've brought in help to keep the blog going, I've experimented with the format a bit, but in the end what made the magic happen was some changes in my personal life (I was a college student and a "LEGO community outsider" when I started LMOTD, now I'm a cubicle dweller and regular AFOL). The looser formats I've experimented with kept this blog going in leaner times, and I'm happy to say that 2010 is the first year that we're on track to truly deliver a fresh post about a LEGO model every day.

LMOTD hasn't been a runaway success story. I'm happy to have roughly 500 visitors per day (even if most of them are search engine hits), and I do feel like I've created something of value to LEGO fans. If nothing else, LMOTD has created a library of easily searchable models and techniques that is appropriate for all ages. It's thrilling to try looking up a technique, and then find that this blog is the only place where it was described well enough to turn up in a search result (although most of the pictures are hosted elsewhere and other people discuss many of these models, few people write in as much depth as I do here). I had originally hoped to be more than that, but as other LEGO blogs grew, disappeared, came into being and otherwise changed over the years, I've found that all the voids I wanted filled have been filled.

Thank you for a fun three years - let's hope there are many more to come!

Convertible "Supercar" with Low Transmission

Name of Model: Convertible old supercar, inspired by 250GTO, miura, 2000GT. Engine and gearbox placed side by side in the front of car. It s enable to have HOG axle in the center of frame, with no by pass. RWD, V10, Gearbox, steering wheel and convertible
Created by: nico71
Found at:
While there are many great "supercar" themed models out there, I thought this one was worth featuring because of a few of its fairly unique features. For one thing, this car is a convertible - you can see several shots of the linkages in motion. There's also an animated version of the action, which works flawlessly. Secondly, this car uses an interesting trick to control the transmission from underneath the specialized transmission gear components - allowing the vehicle to have the stick shift in an unusually low spot (which in turns allows the rest of the cabin to be fairly low to the ground). You can see in the undercarriage where the small liftarms connect to both the stick shift and the transmission. It's not a particularly complex technique, but I hadn't seen it before and it looks like a great idea.

Oh, and did I mention that this was a snazzy looking car with realistic opening doors (no gull-wing goofiness here!), front wheel steering, four wheel independent suspension, powered rear wheels, steering geared to the steering wheel and a separate knob, a V-10 motor, headlights, and studless body work? There's a reason we call these models "supercars" (and it's not entirely due to the legacy of set 8880).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hello Kitty Sculpture

Name of Model: hellokitty
Created by: car_mp
Found at:
While most of us are used to seeing sculptures built out of LEGO bricks in a straightforward manner, I think it takes a bit more effort to build with the studs facing in every direction. This technique gets much better resolution, allowing for round shapes to look rounder. It also is very effective on smaller creations - after all, the idea is to capture the likeness of something, not to show off how many pieces you have. This model of Hello Kitty perfectly captures the character. The studs-out-in-all-directions technique is difficult enough (and used to great effect here), but what really makes this Hello Kitty is the way other parts were used for details. Levers make perfect whiskers, and the 1x1 "cheese" slopes make the frill of the dress. Elsewhere, curved slopes round ears, arms, and even legs. Even the angled 2x2 corner plates and round 2x2 plate that make up the bow stand out as a great use of a technique.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

H.M.S Imperial Shark

Name of Model: H.M.S Imperial Shark
Created by: mattbliss83
Found at:
Building ships can pose a bit of a challenge - building hulls from scratch can quickly get parts intensive (and thus expensive), but using the large hull elements from the various boat kits makes it difficult to expand the size of the boat. Sure, you could just buy more copies of the kit to make the boat longer, but eventually the proportions just get a bit too out of whack (and realistically, buying multiples of the same Pirate ship just for hull mid-sections can quickly get very expensive). This model strikes an interest balance - there's definitely hull sections from more than one kit, but extra height keeps the proportions in check. The front section shows an excellent use of slopes and sideways plates to expand the shape of the ship. Extravagant detail work makes the ship look elegant enough to be an important part of the imperial fleet.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots

Name of Model: Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots
Created by: jasoncorlett84
Found at:
The Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots game involves moving mechanical switches to make "robots" punch each other. You know you've won when the other player finds that you've "knocked their block off". It belongs squarely in the world of fantasy violence that we've all decided is fine for kids to play with. Naturally, it gets that much more exciting when you build it out of LEGO parts. There is a slightly reduced range of motion here (you can't rotate the bots), but that's made up for by the ability to see more of the mechanical goodness going on. The heads are cleverly assembled by using a rubber band to hold plates onto Cyberslam missiles so that they actually pop off properly (and easily snap right back into place for the next game - just like the "real" thing!)

Don't forget that you can use the "All Sizes" button on flickr to zoom-in - it's a must if you want to get a good look at the linkages that make the arms work just right.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Robotics Monday: Set 8258 NXT-ified

Name of Model: LEGO Crane Truck 8258 NXTfied
Created by: Ramacco
Found at:
We've seen attempts at automating current Technic sets with an NXT before, but that's never the first challenge when it comes to adding an NXT to a set. Before you can start experimenting with sensor input and automation, you need to actually build in the motors and test out the functions. Here's an example of that part of the process based on set 8258 Crane Truckicon. A combination of NXT and Power Functions motors are used, along with the third-party NXT-IR adapter to let the NXT control the Power Functions motors. Of course, while IR doesn't work natively with the NXT, bluetooth does! A bluetooth connection to a cell phone allows the builder to control the vehicle remotely.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

News Roundup

LEGOWORLD is currently underway right now in Denmark. Naturally, photos are slowly starting to find their way on to these "intarwebs" of ours. There are plenty of exciting original creations from LEGO fans on display, and the LEGO company brought back a few of their own popular displays as well (The giant version of 8880 Supercar is back out on display!)
Photos from LEGOWORLD 2010 (I'll be updating this post as I find out about more):
Ken_1974's flickr photo set
Coverage from TheNXTStep
marcus-e's flickr photo set
gerth6000's flickr photo set

On another note, some of the LEGO parts and creations stolen from BAYLUG President Mark Benz have been found and returned. While about a third of the models have not been recovered (and many of them were disassembled), at least this makes up for some of the monetary loss. Unfortunately, because they were recovered from an unattended vehicle, the thieves still haven't been caught.

Photos from Toy Fair NY are still surfacing. ASMZine has some great photos

Finally, some housekeeping: The book review post of I LEGO NY was supposed to appear on Saturday morning, but was inadvertently published early. I've decided to leave it where it is, but that's why there was no model featured yesterday.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Name of Book: I LEGO N.Y.
Created by: Christoph Niemann
Available at: Amazon (Disclosure: LMOTD received a review copy)
You may recall that about a year ago, a New York Times blog post featuring sketches in LEGO form of various things (focused on New York city) became something of a viral phenomenon. That post is now coming out in book form, with 13 new illustrations added to the 17 included in the original article. I recently received a review copy and was surprised to find that the book is printed as a small board book - perfect for withstanding use by kids. While none of the sketches are particularly exciting from a technical standpoint, many of them are surprisingly effective at matching the captions. Scale is treated as a non-object, with some pages intentionally referring to things as being at very different scales for comedic effect. Beyond the zen-like simplicity of the illustrations, I think that this book could serve a purpose as a kid-friendly idea book. LEGO hasn't published an official idea book in years (the life cycle of a LEGO set is too short now for that to make any sense - it's no longer safe to assume that a special part will still be available in 6 months, never mind a few years later). While there are many ideas and model photographs online in various venues, I haven't seen anything else that attempts to take very basic (and common) parts and challenges you to see them as everyday objects, people, and places at various scales. Parents who aren't comfortable letting their kids loose online but still want to give their kids LEGO-related ideas will love this (I'm sure it will also help that you could build your own version of anything in the book without more than a handful of parts). While the book is fairly New York-centric, only 6 of the pictures are specific enough to be confusing for non-New Yorkers.

While I'd generally point people interested in LEGO and New York towards more advanced models like Sean Kenney's creations, this book might be a bit more appropriate for youngsters (and parents) trying to figure out how to make something evocative with very few parts.

I LEGO NY officially comes out on March 1st but Amazon appears to be selling it now.

Dollhouse Furniture

Name of Model: bedroom
Created by: brn2stndout
Found at:
Yes, I know what you're thinking. "That's not LEGO!" OK, some of it isn't LEGO, but the use of LEGO bricks, tiles, plates, and a few other parts here is pretty clever. The back of the bed shows off an entirely new use for windows (especially of the sort you can't find the little glass panes for). The shelves are surprisingly effective, even though they're a very simple build. You could be forgiven for thinking that the coffee table is real. While the dresser appears to use non-LEGO legs, even the combination comes off well. The lamp uses angled 1x1 bricks to great effect on top of a more traditional table. Everything is built to look studless, with tiles on top of all the bricks. Sometimes I wonder if it's really worth the effort to hide the fact that you're building with LEGO - to me part of the appeal of building with LEGO bricks is that the end result does look like it belongs in a little LEGO world. In this case, however, I think it's clear that the tiles were the right move - and that the less "purist" combination of LEGO with more traditional dollhouse furnishings and accessories is definitely a good idea.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dutch farm

Name of Model: Nederlandse Boerderij
Created by: Neverrroads and McBricker
Found at:
This model of a Dutch farm is part of a display for an event hosted by the The Dutch Water Museum. They have a LEGO exhibit running through the end of the month. The photos above on flickr aren't from the builder of the windmill (Neverroads, whose windmill can be seen on Brickshelf), but they do show some more views of the layout (and to the best of my knowledge, McBricker created the rest of this layout). It's a great layout overall, but there are a few specific highlights I'd like to point out. Carefully positioned flex tubing gives this farm a trellis and water pump near a trough, staggered small elements give a very realistic texture to walls and roofs (those pigs in that photo are new for this year, and the tan fences are made from more flex tubing - placed in 1x1 Technic bricks), and the trees and landscaping came out looking fantastic.

You can get a better look at McBricker's tractor on Brickshelf.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Olympics Mascot Ilanaaq the Inukshuk

Name of Model: VancouverGamesInuksuk2010
Created by: Janey Red Brick / Janey Gunning
Found at:
The Winter Olympics are back again this year, and this time they're being hosted by Vancouver, BC, Canada. Although Olympic logos are a rather inconsistent affair, Canada wisely chose to highlight an unusual part of their culture in their logo. Specifically, this logo is a colorized version of an inukshuk, which is a stone landmark built by humans (frequently by native tribes found in various regions of Canada). The logo is based on a very specific inukshuk found on Whistler Mountain. Being as topical as we are, it was just a matter of time before one of us LEGO addicts found a way to build the brightly-colored logo in LEGO form. The colors of the Olympic logo are even fairly close to the red, yellow, green, blue, and medium blue manufactured by LEGO. Janey Red Brick built this as a rather straightforward sculpture/mosaic (I think it fits in both categories) with the exception of the "head", which is built upside-down.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Alternate Models for set 4100 Maximum Wheels

Name of Model: Cars created out of the 4100 MaxiWheels designer set
Created by: industrialdesigner
Found at:
Set 4100 Maximum Wheels came out in 2003 as part of the Designer line. The Designer line was the predecessor to today's Creator line - you get a decent amount of parts for a below-average price, and instructions for a few models. This particular kit was, as I'm sure you've guessed, focused on wheels and vehicles. The models that the instructions recommend aren't bad, but there are a few more exciting models that can be made out of the same parts. I'm told that Nathanael Kuipers (AKA industrialdesigner on Brickshelf) has been brought on by the LEGO company to design sets.

Monday, February 15, 2010

CubeStormer Can Solve Any 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube in less than 12 seconds

Name of Model: CubeStormer
Created by: Mike Dobson / RoboticSolutions
Found at:
We've seen Rubik's cube solvers before. It's been a while, though, since we've seen one that used the Vision Command system. The 9731 Vision Command set was a standard Logitech Quickcam web inside, but thanks to the included software and the API that was available online at the time, they could be used with a PC to control a LEGO Mindstorms RCX. While LEGO and Logitech have both stopped supporting this product, it can still be useful in the right hands - such as those of the builder of today's model.

The program comes up with a solution for the cube - any 3x3x3 Rubik's cube - solves it, and tells the RCX (which in turn powers the lights and motors, which in turn (through mechanisms not entirely clear from the video) manipulate the cube) what moves to make to leave the puzzle in a solved state. All of that happens in less than 12 seconds, regardless of how scrambled the cube is. That alone would be an exceptional feat, but it's kicked up a notch in retro-LEGO-chic with 9V lights and a perfect Cyber Slam (the "Cyber Slam" theme was known as "Competition" outside of the US) color scheme. The use of that LEGO-branded webcam makes this project "purist" in a stricter sense than most Technic/Mindstorms people care about (still worth extra points in my book, though).

While I'd love to write more about what's going on here, how it was programmed, what mechanisms were used, etc, I don't have any more details to share. Maybe if the builder could post a second video that looks behind-the-scenes...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

1º Tomar Lego (2008)

Name of Event: 1º Tomar Lego
Created by: Comunidade 0937
Found at:
Details: There is an annual show in Portugal that the 0937 Community (a LEGO Users Group in Portugal) puts on. The first year of the show was in 2008, and this June 9th-13th will be the third such show. Details in English are a bit scarce, but even with the language barrier we can spot some interesting models, layouts, and set displays. The photos featured today are from the 2008 event.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day (Warning: Shameless Advertising Content)

In lieu of a proper model for the day, here's are the seasonal models that LEGO is trying to sell this Valentine's season. A straightforward hearticon is available (and probably easy to build with parts you have on hand). The roseicon, in particular, is a fairly nice design using fairly normal part (the company sells it pre-gluedicon), but we've covered nicer before. Finally, there's the LEGO Shop-at-Home Valentine's Day Gift Shopicon - which looks like it just features ordinary sets. I'm guessing it's a bit late for the Valentine's items to keep selling, but if you're interested, it's not too late, and there's always gift cardsicon. If the heart and rose are still in stock a bit after the holiday tomorrow, they will likely show up in Sales and Dealsicon.

Too bad that rose isn't available unglued - it's a really nice design and I think most of us could use more 1x2x2 slopes in red.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Three-Legged Mecha

Name of Model: Watain
Created by: SerratedSyringe
Found at:
There are plenty of interesting mecha built out of LEGO out there, but nothing else quite like this. For one thing, there are three legs. For another, this thing is a few feet tall, with lots of clever Technic bits making it a surprisingly sturdy but still movable structure. Well-placed worm gear assemblies and turntables hold the whole thing up, and the gears can be adjusted to change the pose. Adjustable vertebrae in the torso add even more stability and pose-ability (not to mention more menacing looks). Other Technic trickery is used to great effect as well - check out the way these 12-tooth bevel gears have been meshed with a 40 tooth gear and the way one worm gear assembly secures one of the knee joints. Then there are the details - note the minifig-hand teeth and the various Knight's Kingdom and Bionicle pieces that are used here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

LEGO News Roundup

There's been a deluge of interesting LEGO-related news lately. Here's a round-up of what's going on out there in the past week or so:
  • The LEGO Universe massive multiplayer online role-playing game has opened for beta signups.
  • A third LEGO Star Wars video game title has been announced. LEGO Star Wars III will follow the Clone Wars saga.
  • LEGOLAND California Master Model Designer Gary McIntire was recently featured in a two part interview on the Brothers Brick. While some of the information about LEGO parts being used as raw material at the park may be a bit difficult to handle, the interview provides some insight into the process used at the theme parks.
  • The BBC recently featured an article and video on the adult LEGO hobby, the Brickish Association, and the use of CAD software within the hobby. It should all sound familiar to my regular readers, but it's a welcome bit of mainstream recognition for the hobby.
  • Tragedy has hit BAYLUG recently - a priceless collection of landmark models has been taken from BAYLUG President Mark Benz in an enormous burglary. The Brothers Brick has the story, and The Oakland Tribune is reporting that broken pieces were found in the street. There is no place for this sort of thievery - if you have any tips that could lead to the criminals behind the heist being put behind bars, please contact Detective Bill Veteran of the Fremont Police Department at 1-510-790-6800.
  • has a rundown of new Star Wars toys which includes information about (and decent photos of) two new LEGO sets.
  • CTV tech reporter Kris Abel has posted photos from the Canadian Toy and Hobby Fair. This is apparently the first camera-friendly venue that most of the late 2010 sets have been shown in. Additional goodies that were shown at other events, such as the collectible minifigure line and the new Harry Potter sets and video game, were not displayed by the company at this event.
  • A popular New York Times blog post from last year is being turned into a book. Entitled I LEGO N.Y., the book by Christoph Niemann will be available starting March 1st, 2010. While we passed over these photos when they first became an online hit (it's a series of sketches and not a real model, so it's not eligible to be the "model of the day"), I think it's clear that the concept has potential in book form and I know that many of our readers enjoyed the original post. Word is that I may receive a review copy - I'll let you know how that goes.
...and as always, don't forget to check the BrickJournal Shared Calendars to see if any new events are coming to your area.

A Non-Movie Star Wars Landspeeder

Name of Model: X-34 landspeeder
Created by: Garbageman13
Found at:
Let's face it - it's an incredibly difficult to build a true MOC (My Own Creation) in the Star Wars theme. Everything tends to be a minor modification to make things "more like the real one" even though the "real one" is part of a fictitious movie universe. To the extent that we see "civilian" characters in a Star Wars set-up, it's because the diorama that shows off the realistic true-to-the-movie vehicles, creatures, and other elements is so large and full of landscaping that it needs filler. Many an impressive Star Wars themed diorama is actually just a display setting for sets (not that there's anything wrong with your giant layout of Hoth or Endor - but you could certainly put those snow and forest building skills to more creative uses). What we have here today, though, is that rare model that exists in the Star Wars universe but doesn't try to tether itself to a specific movie/comic/video game idea or claim to merely be "inspired by" something. This is a nice-looking landspeeder in a rare color showing off some original greeble-work. Sure, at some level it's similar to the Luke's Landspeeder kit. It's not Luke's, or any other major characters', though - it's somebody else's. It's not easy to try to parallel a kit but still come up with a unique creation (using whatever parts you have on hand in a rare color makes it even more of a challenge), but this model succeeds on that front.

Normally, I'd delve into techniques here a bit, but this model's actually not a difficult build (again, if you actually have the parts). Well-placed jumper plates, 1x4-1x2 brackets, and 1x1 bricks with Technic holes are really all it took. In spite of all the time I spend talking about crazy techniques, sometimes a model can turn out well even if it is fairly simple to construct.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Name of Model: Shannonia
Created by: Shannon Young
Found at:
Microscale cities these days tend to be of the micropolis variety. It makes sense, really - it's a large, easy to manage standard that is great for building city blocks, and it's the only way I've seen to manage a collaborative microscale layout. Before micropolis, though, there were still plenty of people building microscale cities. One that attracted a bit of attention was Shannonia, a sprawling resort town. Since there are a large amount of photos available of the various incarnations of Shannonia available at the links above, I will leave it at that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Small Rhombicosidodecahedron

Name of Model: ZPD Ball
Created by: 1brick
Found at:
LEGO geometry is deceptive. So many people assume that the LEGO world is boxy, a sort of 3-D pixelated reality. Of course, we can easily break out of that by using specialized elements or hinges, and LEGO proportions aren't actually square (a standard 1x1 brick actually has a 5:6 ratio of width to height) - but this post isn't about the geometry of LEGO parts. Sometimes you just want to use LEGO to show off other geometric shapes (you never know when an unusual shape will come in handy, but there's no need to have a model in mind when experimenting). I've previously blogged about some simple LEGO polyhedra before, but never anything as complex as today's model - today's pick is one that you've probably never heard about (and are unlikely to hear about in the future) in a school geometry class. This is a perfect small rhombicosidodecahedron. The technique is similar to the one used for simpler shapes - which means that this polyhedron is actually easier to build than to pronounce.

Lest you think this is easy, check out the full Wolfram Alpha list of 62-faced polyhedra. Leave it to irregular polyhedra to make it difficult to blog about LEGO.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Steerable Hexapod Walker

Name of Model: Hexapod Walker
Created by:
gus.jansson (who is on both YouTube and flickr)
Found at: and
I've previously expressed my love for pneumatic walkers, but they have a few limitations. Pneumatic walkers can't steer, and they can't be controlled by sensors or programmable bricks. This walker used an NXT and three motors to make a walking robot that can be steered in either direction, respond to light, and sense distance. Construction details are pretty clear in the video above, but there's also a flickr set from the builder showing still photos of the walker.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Colossal Castle Contest VII - Winning Entries

I've featured my fair share of Castles (and even other entries from previous Colossal Castle Contests), but I barely touch most of the excellent castles out there. The latest Colossal Castle Contest brought some of the best castles I've seen yet. The categories are listed on that website, along with builders' credits and links to additional photos. This would easily be over a week's worth of "of the day" models here, but in the interest of not just establishing a backlog of phenomenal medieval creations, I'm featuring the winners as a group for today's Sunday edition.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Set: 10211 Grand Emporium

Official information about the new Grand Emporium kit (which had briefly appeared on the Shop at Home website without any real announcement last week) has been scarce. International prices are still hard to pin down, and we still have no idea when the official release dates are. Strangely, though, in spite of the lack of information or fanfare (don't they know how excited we are about this kit?) the kit has surfaced for sale at LEGO Brand Retail locations in the UK. Brick Street over at Brick Town Talk was able to buy the kit at the Milton Keynes location for £139.99. He's been building the kit and reviewing it online as he builds it. There are tons of interesting details just in the box art he posted, and the pictures of the set's insides are even better! My search for 10211 (the Grand Emporium's set number) seems to be the best way to pull up all of the review posts at once.

I can't wait to get my hands on this one for myself - it looks like a fitting replacement for the original Cafe Corner kit (this is now the only corner building available from LEGO in this scale). The few official photos that were available briefly earlier this week can now be found at Brickset. With any luck, LEGO will give this the official big announcement it deserves soon.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Miniland Figures Go Fishing

Name of Model: Gone Fishing
Created by: Mariann Asanuma
Found at:
Some LEGO elements are seemingly overly specialized, but actually are still able to be used at a variety of scales. For example, the fish element that came out last year in a variety of kits is a large fish when used with minifigures, but next to Belville, Scala, or Miniland people, it suddenly appears to be more proportionally correct or even small. The technique that really makes this model also will work at any of those scales - a very small piece of flex tubing has LEGO string tied around it (Oddly enough, regardless of context, I generally use fishing line instead of proper LEGO string most of the time anyway - it's much sturdier and harder to accidentally break) to make it look like the fish has been hooked at the end of the fishing rod. Another technique worth noting here is the use of 1x1 round bricks in tan with brown light saber blades (LEGO can call it a "Bar, 4L" all they want, we all know what it really is) to build typha (also known as "cat tails"). The plant life helps to make the model look more realistic (not that any of former LEGOLAND Master Builder Mariann Asanuma's work needed the help in that department...)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Schirra Colony, Mars

Name of Model: Schirra Colony, Mars
Created by: -Mainman-
Found at:
Did you catch that the new Buzz Lightyear kit (7592 Construct-a-Buzz) comes with a new, rounder clear dome element? It turns out that this new element makes a pretty nice biosphere, handy for all your 8-stud by 9-stud microscale space colony needs (two of the outer section, anyway - the inner section isn't used here and is designed to move upward in the set). That trick, a few nifty buildings, some gorgeous landscaping in dark orange, and a clever 12-tooth-gear-on-levers satellite dish are all it takes to make a surprisingly powerful Martian scene. I've previously enjoyed this builder's work even though I have not featured him before - you can see additional spectacular microscale space creations under the same flickr tag.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Louis Vuitton Style Purses

Name of Model: LV pattern like stuff, created by Chiukeung
Created by: Chiukeung
Found at:
This one's for everyone who thinks you can't build a "girly" creation without pink. These purses modeled after Louis Vuitton designs are very mature and effective, and yet still decidedly feminine. You might recognize the large quantities of dark tan 2x2 tiles and pearl gold elements as parts we saw come out in the Indiana Jones sets. The dark orange ribbed hose used here as a handle only came in one Bionicle kit. See? You can make something clever, creative, and "girly" even with all of those instruction-based, adventure-(You Control the Action!)-packed "boy" kits.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monroe County Courthouse from To Kill A Mockingbird

Name of Model: Monroe County Courthouse, Alabama - To Kill A Mockingbird
Created by: Wesley Higgins
Found at:
In the book and movie of To Kill A Mockingbird, most of the action takes place inside of the Monroe Country Courthouse. Here it is, rendered in LEGO form, roughly Cafe Corner scale with an open back corner so we can look inside. The gothic structure includes an interesting rotunda and dome on the roof. Don't miss the angle work either. A clever design (built on commission) coincidentally perfectly timed for Black History Month here in the USA.

Monday, February 1, 2010

NXT-Powered Arctic Tracker Snow Crawler

Name of Model: Snow Crawler
Created by: bazmarc
Found at:
Details: If you have the 8263 Snow Groomer kit (which I highly recommend - I only own three of them and I find that's not enough), you've probably seen the alternate model that The LEGO Group calls the "Arctic Tracker". Like most alternate models in the Technic line these past few years, you'll have to download the instructions online if you want to build the Arctic Tracker (although they're hosted on the official LEGO website, it's more convenient to search Brickset and find directions through their cross-reference). Why stop there, though? This builder has gone a step further, adding an NXT to power the treads and steer the vehicle around. It travels decently in the snow, but properly sensing obstacles in the snow seems to be an unsolved challenge for us Mindstorms fans - light sensors have to deal with glare from the snow, and snow absorbs the signals sent out by the ultrasonic rangefinder.
Via TheNXTStep