Saturday, September 29, 2007

Posts Resume Monday

New models of the day will be posted daily again starting this upcoming Monday. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

No Models This Week

I will not be posting any models this week. Sorry for the inconvenience - this is an extremely busy week for me and I have taken ill as well.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Modern Town Plan Display

Name of Model: Ultimate-Lego-Town-Plan
Created by: Gistok
Found at:
For those of you who don't remember the 50s, Town Plan was the first theme ever developed by the LEGO company. Bright colors and vintage window elements were the norm, as were some types of trees that would cost you a bit of money today. This series of models is very much in the vein of the original line, but makes use of some newer parts for good effect. I love the way fences are used in this shot. I tend to keep my "vintage" LEGO® parts aside as collectibles, but if you do mix those early bricks with newer elements, this is a great way to do it.

Tile Mosaic

Name of Model: Girl
Created by: Eric Harshbarger
Found at:
What do you do with specialized printed tiles when you are a sculptures-only LEGO® builder? Find a way to make a mosaic, of course! The write-up featured at the link above gives some details that explain how this sort of thing can be done.
This Saturday's model of the day.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Shiny Motorbike

Name of Model: Gold Bike
Created by: Moko
Found at:
Moko has been surprising me with his series of models made with chrome LEGO® pieces. I have no idea how he managed to get such a stockpile of these. I do know, though, that this is one awesome bike. I'm not sure quite what type of wheels are being used here, but I love the way they're attached. The windshield and lights look great too - the lights look like those small newer slopes in transparent colors to me. I'm a bit jealous - I don't have any of those. If you want to try making something like this, make sure to check out the shot that explains the studs-not-on-top part placement.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"Lego Towers" Archetecture Proposal

Name of Model: "Lego Towers"
Created by: Bjarke Ingels Group
Found at:
Longtime readers of the blog won't be surprised to hear that many professionals use LEGO® as a modeling medium. This one is unusual, though, because of the way that both the landscaping and the towers themselves are designed in a boxy fashion. Further, most of the towers themselves are clear, and the whole things lights up! Of course, the scale of this thing is what allows it to spread so quickly on the blog-o-tubes - everybody loves enormous minifig-scale models. Rather than direct you to the obnoxious flash thing on the firm's official site, I'm linking you to another LEGO® themed blog that has a bit more patience when it comes to wading through models that go all over "teh intarwebs" - they have some fairly thorough coverage of the model, and links to a few other places where this one's being discussed.

World Trade Center Vignette

Name of Model: World Trade Center
Created by: Todd Webb
Found at:
Generally I try to avoid posting models that could be deemed offensive, but this one is timely and I bet that most people already know what's being depicted in this model. Things to note in this model are the use of scale, the way that the smoke was created using a mottled design of various dark colos, and the great use of half-stud spaces in the facade of the buildings. That fountain looks great too.
This is Wednesday's model of the day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Scaled-Up Chef Minifig and Bricks

Name of Model: Giant Lego parts created at exactly 10 to 1 scale
Created by: ncorea
Found at:
You may have seen some of these oversized bricks in some of the LEGO company's official displays and parks. They've also become fairly popular for amateur builders to attempt. At one point the LEGO company actually offered a generic scaled-up minifig for sale, but most of the builders who have tried similar things have gone with different scales for their scaled-up bricks and minifigs. This particular set is ten times regular size. The chef in particular features some great details and appears to be jointed! The use of slopes to help get some of the finer details might be a bit odd for a sculpture, but it works perfectly here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Robotics Monday: Rowing 'Bot

Name of Model: Rowbot
Created by: JP Brown (older site)
Found at:
Last time we featured JP Brown's work, we saw his Rubik's Cube Solver, which was conveniently hosted on his own site. This time though, LEGO® MINDSTORMS NXT-themed blog TheNXTStep brings us his new aquatic robot. This robot has some non-LEGO parts that float (I don't know what they are, exactly, but I am pretty sure it's technically "cheating" some astute commenters filled me in - these are zeppelin parts from the Adventures line (which was out about 8 years ago)), but and the programming and the moving parts are all done with MINDSTORMS parts. You can even see it steer itself with different rowing patterns in the YouTube video:

This is controlled remotely via bluetooth with a .NET program - which means that this isn't completely autonomous, but I suspect that the programming has simplified it to the point where not much is done manually either.

Oh, and DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME KIDS, it's NOT SAFE to risk your NXT by putting it too close to the water. If you are going to try to create something like this yourself, make sure that you can test the non-electronic parts first in a smaller body of water (maybe a full sink or tub) so that you can make sure that the expensive electronic parts will be safe and dry.

Gated Castle

Name of Model: castle with gate
Created by: stuifzand
Found at:
Here's a great castle. There are some nice details, cleverly-designed chickens, amazing trees, a great entrance way made with several arc pieces - but the one that takes the cake is the way that a large amount of 1x2 bricks make up the walls. It probably hurts the stability of the model a bit, but it makes the wall look more like it was made out of regular-size bricks like real castles.
This is Sunday's model of the day.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Microscale Spaceship

Name of Model: Iocus - ramming frigate, upgraded
Created by: xulm
Found at:
In general, its not that difficult to build something small that looks like a spaceship. Technique is key in making a small ship stand out. This particular ship makes extensive use of a wide variety of TECHNIC components. A handful of bricks forms the top of the ship, but the rest of this is a delicious mix of unusual uses of parts - we have propellers stacked up with an unusual studless gearbox with a non-spinning gear configuration at one end, pneumatic splitters combine with Life On Mars arms to create a netted effect on the the front, the sides make great use of hollow tubing, and there are even goofy half-stud tricks used on the axles to give the impression of different inner sections of a spaceship.
This is Saturday's model of the day.

Working Harpsichord

Name of Model: Harpsichord
Created by: Henry Lim
Found at:
Here's another fun twist on LEGO® sculpture - this one makes use of some wire strings (mild cheating) and TECHNIC elements to provide complete functionality. It's a great-looking sculpture too, but the details of how it works just like any other harpsichord are amazing. Here are some details rom the link above about using unusual parts:
Some of the more whimsical LEGO elements were integrated as well: arches (and inverse arches) for the soundhole, roof slopes for the "curvature" of the internal frame and leg decorations, rubber tires to reduce the "clack" of the keys and jacks, and cloth capes (as worn by the likes of the Hermione Granger minifig) for the dampers.
This is Friday's model of the day.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Microscale Ferry

Name of Model: StarFerryPier
Created by: chiukeung
Found at:
This model is a microscale reproduction of Star Ferry and one of its piers. There are some clever studs-not-on-top bits in here - and enough photos to give away most of it too. Good luck, though, finding enough tiles and clock faces for something like this - these models with almost no studs showing on the outside are not easy to make. (Thanks to the Brothers Brick for this one - they also dug up the link to the original Star Ferry)
This is Thursday's model of the day.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fancy Pizza Parlor

Name of Model: CC Style Pizza restaurant
Created by: Brickmann
Found at:
Here's another brilliant town building modeled after the Cafe Corner set. This one is a bit different though - it's a sort of avant-garde pizza shop in an old building with realistic colors. It can be tempting sometimes to make all houses out of brightly colored bricks - especially when the grey shades can be hard to find and properly match. The color of the walls wasn't actually the biggest hurdle for this model though - that would be the large amount of smooth tiles used on all of the floors and stairs. It's too bad, though, that this type of thing requires so many different specialized parts from different eras of the LEGO company - classic space computer panels are mixed in with newer dark green tiles and that's all on top of the old gray bricks. This is a beautiful model, and for the reasons mentioned above, it's probably one of the most ambitious layout-sized city models you'll ever see.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Skeleton Crab

Name of Model: Skeleton Crab
Created by: Count Blockula
Found at:
With the slew of new parts coming out seemingly every season, there are truly never-ending possibilities if you keep your collection up-to-date. This model is one example of what you can do by coming up with another way of seeing the newest parts - the claws for this unusual crab are made out of those new skeleton-horse parts. There's only one picture of this one (making it a bit hard to figure out just how everything is connected), but there's a write-up that's very useful. See, if you look closely you can spot one 1x1 studs-not-on-top brick on the lower end of each horse - those 2 bricks are connected by a 1x6 smooth tile plate underneath. I'm not sure how sturdy this thing is, but this is one clever little model. Clever and scary - it is a skeleton crab, after all!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Robotics Monday: NXT Remote

Name of Model: NXT Remote
Created by: Anders
Found at:
So far I've mostly focused on hardware for Robotics Monday, but good LEGO® software is important too. The LEGO Group has been great about making drivers and such available so that programmers can easily create custom mindstorms based programs. This particular example is similar to the "Remote Control" that was released for the RCX a few years back, but this one makes use of LEGO® MINDSTORMS NXT's bluetooth capabilities to provide a bit more functionality and reliability. The link above has files you can download to add this functionality to your bluetooth-enabled device and even includes source code if you want to "build" your own.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

World Countries Vignettes

Name of Model: Vignettes
Created by: MALUG
Found at:
This series of detailed vignettes is a take-off on Disney's small world thing (whatever they call it at "Epcot"). What makes these great, though, is the way that microscale buildings and mosaic backgrounds are used to back up the international minifigs. There aren't too many pictures here, but they're all worth a close look.

Village Joust

Name of Model: a village jousting center, includes interiors for the three towers, and can be taken apart by section, more pics will be added soon
Created by: Dan82
Found at:
This detailed village model is a diorama of sorts showing a joust that might take place in medieval times. One nice feature that might not stick out at first is the way that this has been done on an extra large baseplate (15" x 15", for the Americans out there) - the gray color has been almost entirely covered with dozens of green bricks, which give the model a solid but grassy look in between the buildings. The buildings themselves are classy too - I love the way that arches have been used as window awnings here. The spectators here look a little squished, but otherwise this is an effective example of how to fit a large scene on a single baseplate.