Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Brickcon 2009

Judging by the copious amounts of fun that was had in 2008, 2009 is looking to be even better.

I'm eagerly awaiting photographs from the convention to see what kind of fun/craziness is taking place. And Brickcon always seems to have alot of that.

And yes, Steve Witt will be there in all of his Nerf gun wielding glory. He was in Atlanta catching a flight to Seattle earlier today.

Sadly, I have to report that Nannan will not be at Brickcon this year. Something to do with DNA and splitting I'm told.

On another note, I'm wondering if we will see a set revealed to the world for the first time, as was done at the convention in 2008.

So here's to everyone enjoying themselves at this year's Brickcon. Held, as always, in the Emerald City.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Microscale Eiffel Tower

Name of Model: Eiffel Tower
Created by: Legostein
Found at:
The Eiffel Tower is something of a classic project at this point - sooner or later, we all try to build one and see what happens. Large sculptures like Eric Harshbarger's 12-foot tall tower usually grab the most attention, since you can get more detail in at larger scales. There's also an official kit out that re-creates the tower at a scale of 1:300. This one, however, does the job well with half-width Technic beams, allowing the model to look quite realistic even in a fairly small scale.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Brown Town House

Name of Model: Brown Town House
Created by: Nick D.M
Found at: Flickr
Details: Wonderfully detailed interior. Coherent exterior. Details in all the right places.

What more could you want?

Wonderful job, "DarthNick".

This is a masterpiece.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Name of Model: (various)
Created by: Librarian-Bot
Found at: and
One impressive but seldom attempted appropriately topic to try building is Transformers. See, before "Transformers" became a big movie franchise, they used to actually be cool toys that had to conform to the laws of physics when they transformed. Sure, they weren't actually functional as vehicles, but they looked great as mecha and as vehicles, and they could transform without anything needing to be added or removed. As LEGO hinges, Bionicle joints, and tiles become easier to find, we're seeing more and more people give building transforming models a shot. The builder we're featuring today has created a series of original creations and established characters that are simply excellent.

PC Out Of Commission

It seems like every time we hit a fresh wind here at LMOTD, something comes up to throw off that daily schedule. This time, it's my laptop suddenly being unable to charge. It's still under warranty, but it could take a week or two for it to be back in here and in running order. In the meantime, expect posts here to be a bit choppy and off-schedule. Brickapolis and I are still trying to fit them in when we can, but neither of us currently expects to keep up the pace here.

The LMOTD team apologizes for the inconvenience and we will blog as much as possible even without putting in the regular amount of time to seek out new models to feature.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Impostors they are, indeed. I've seen several photos of a new brand of building bricks called "Ligao". Folks, this isn't just another MegaBloks or Tyco brand. This "Liagao" has produced sets that are virtual recreations of past Lego ones. The photo of the set to the right here is a mirror image of set #4954. And the set seen below is strikingly similar to set #4837. Go and check the photos out for yourself, see what you think.

Even with my poor understanding of the law, I'm thinking Lego may have a lawsuit on its hands.

Event in Switzerland

Browsing through Brickshelf today, I found some photographs of an event that took place in Switzerland. While I really don't have much to say about this at all, I do suggest you take a look at some of the other photos from this event.

They've [people who put this show on] got some great ideas that could add to any persons layout or creation.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When DUPLO and BIONICLE Combine...

Name of Model: The Mighty Doop-Los
Created by: optimus-convoy
Found at:
I like to think I've seen plenty of great techniques for working DUPLO parts into LEGO models - and I've similarly been on the lookout for new BIONICLE techniques. I have no idea how I never knew about all of the exciting techniques I'm seeing here, though. Apparently Bionicle sockets fit at a angle into the corners of DUPLO bricks (note the arms here). A similar technique for other Technic and Bionicle parts allows other DUPLO bricks to stick on at various angles. You can also create a sturdy connection with the inside of the tops of DUPLO studs and the small 1x1 "tap" element (note how the legs are assembled). Finally, the age-old technique that LEGO used to promote heavily in their own official advertisements - standard LEGO bricks in many sizes fit directly on top of DUPLO bricks. While this is a technical tour-de-force, it's also a pretty interesting looking model in its own right - it's a stunning design and a spectacular use of these yellow parts.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Power Miners Impulse Sets at Target(s) in the US

Here's a treat (pun intended) for any Lego fan, young or old. Target has begun to carry the Power Miners impulse sets (there are two of them currently) in their (seasonal) Halloween section.
At $3 a piece, it would be quite expensive to fill every kids candy bag in your neighborhood with one of these sets. However, the price is very reasonable once you consider what you are getting with these sets.

Target has been known to do this before, that is carry small impulse sets around holidays. For example, during Easter this year they carried the V-19 Torrent among other small Lego sets as basket stufers.

So, head out to you're local Target (if you have one nearby, and if you're in the US) and check out the seasonal section to see if they are carrying any of the Power Miners impulse sets.

Happy Halloween to all of you! (It is a bit early for that though.)

End of the Road

Name of Model: End of the Road
Created by: legoadam
Found at: Flickr
"Legoadam" has created a lovely train scene, depicting a rural railhead.

This creation has many aspects that are appealing to me, but the part of this creation that draws me the most is the angled track that has been tiled over in places with light/dark bley 1x1 plates placed around it to mimic ballast.

The structure seen here is exceptional in its own right. It has been constructed by stacking brown plates -- yes, plates. That's devotion, if you ask me. The half stud offsets and use of the new style of doors just adds even more to this structure, still. Another area of the structure that demands a closer inspection is the roof. It appears to be made out of plates and tiles. The roof rests (it may be further secured, hard to tell) at an angle on the walls of the structure, gaps are not present due to the use of the every useful cheese slope.

The landscaping seen here is also commendable, as is the figure placement.

A well put together creation, with a clean, coherent appearance.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Micropolis Central Station

Name of Model: Micropolis Central Station
Created by: Erik Smit
Found at: .eti's Photostream
Erik Smit just can't seem to stop building amazing creations. Over that past couple of weeks everything that he has churned out has been exceptional. His most recent creation built in the "micropolis standard" is no exception.

I was really taken aback with this model. You look at it the first time, notice a lot of things. Look at it a second time, notice some more minor details. Then you look at it a third time, and you notice things that make you (or me at least) say "oh wow" out loud.

One of the great things about Erik's creations is that they all incorporate a mixture of very new parts and older parts. This is evident with his use of cheese slopes, a part which first appeared in 2004, and trans clear macaroni bricks, which first appeared in the 1950's.

Another aspect of the creation that I really enjoy is the fact that the trains submerge after leaving the station. This is great seeing that with a micropolis layout being collaborative, this "module" can hold its own and does not require other modules to have track to achieve an overall coherent appearance.

Just a wonderful, wonderful piece of work. I've been inspired.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Get them While they're Cheap

Back issues of Brickjournal have all been marked down 50%. This is truly a golden opportunity to fill any gaps in your collection. If I were you, I'd start placing your order now.

Hurry though, offer ends soon.

(Brickjournal is, of course, the AFOL community's only to-print magazine with Joe Meno functioning as the creator/editor in chief/promoter/writer/coordinator/etc.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Custom Minifigure - with desk and wheelchair

Name of Model: Sigfig/Wheelchair Instructions
Created by: Bladewood
Found at:
A long-lasting craze among LEGO fans is trying to create yourself as a minifig. Known as a "sigfig", these characters often litter flickr to the point where it can be hard to find actual models alongside all of the lightly customized minifigs. It's pretty unusual for a sigfig to actually feature clever building techniques on its own, but this particular one does. As you can see in the vignette pictured to the left, Bladewood has designed a perfect minifig-scale wheelchair.

Yes, I know we just featured the Bionicle wheelchair a few weeks back, but trust me, this is spectacular in a completely different way. Check out the wheelchair's building instructions to see the exact parts and techniques used - it's a really clever design.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beatles Mosaics

Name of Model: The Beatles in legos
Photo by: Tracy Lee
Found at:
I've featured a Beatles mosaic before, but since today (9/9/9 - the last time in our lifetimes we'll be able to write the date with only single digit numbers) is apparently Beatles day (Number 9...Number 9...Number 9 - trust me, it makes sense if you've heard the "White Album"), there's a need to feature another Beatles creation. Much like the last Beatles mosaic I featured here, this one uses dithering to get the LEGO colors to more closely resemble photo colors. That's where the comparisons stop, though - rather than trying to track down rarer colors, the builder of this one focused on using the 6 basic colors that have been widely available since the late 1990's - red, yellow, green, blue, black, and white. Rather than trying to track down plates for the studs-up approach, a studs-out approach was used (that is to say, the bricks are arranged flat on a baseplate instead of built into a large wall). For a really good look, check out the original size image of the mosaics - it's clear enough to count as building instructions.

Regrettably, I didn't prepare this far enough in advance to get proper information on the builder, methods or inspiration photographs. Based on comments on other LEGO mosaic photos from the same photographer on flickr, I believe that this was built by the photographer's husband.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bad Days For Micropolis

Name of Contest: Bad Day For Micropolis
Created by various contest entrants
Found at:

One of the more interesting contests to have gone by recently was Reasonably Clever's "Bad Day For Micropolis". Based on the Micropolis Micro City Standard developed by TwinLUG (the LEGO Users Group for the Minneapolis / St. Paul region), the idea of the contest was to build a Micropolis module that was being destroyed in some way. The micropolis standard is already fun on it's own - it's a pretty straightforward standard, that's small enough to allow people with even fairly small collections to build interesting modules (the base is only 16 studs square). Many of the modules entered into the contest are exciting even without the "bad day" element - but add in a few alien attacks, construction fiascos, and natural disasters, and suddenly things go from adorably clever to fiendishly exciting.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another Blog You Should Read: TechnicBricks

Continuing my series on other spectacular all-ages blogs by LEGO fans for LEGO fans, today I am spotlighting TechnicBricks. TechnicBricks is an excellent source for Technic-related news and reviews, and often features interesting features on MOCs and building techniques as well. Currently, they have up an interesting two part interview with LEGO set designer Uwe Wabra, the man behind the flagship of the current LEGO Technic line (the 8258 Crane Truck).

While this isn't truly robot-related (I generally try to do a robotics-related post on Mondays), I would highly recommend TechnicBricks to all of the NXT fans out there - the building techniques and parts discussed on the site can be extremely useful for all sorts of motorized creations.

Alpine Village

Name of Model: Alpine Village
Created by the Schubert family (I don't believe they have other original creations online)
Photos found at: Summary found at:
Here's another gem from this year's BrickFair: a complete village with a train going around it and a gorgeous mosaic backdrop. This is one MOC (My Own Creation) which really needs to be seen to be believed - there are so many small details here that it's nearly impossible to get photos of all of them (and upon reading the builders' commentary on this one, I'm now aware that there were actually additional details added after I finished taking photos of it - I never had a chance to see this with vehicles and minifigs included. The BrickShelf gallery I've linked to here covers many of the architectural details on the buildings - enough to steal a few ideas from, anyway, even if it doesn't fully capture the effect of walking up to this model on this display.
This is Sunday's model of the day - sorry for the delay, but sometimes we need to build things for ourselves instead!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Penguin Sculpture

Name of Model: LEGO Penguin
Created by: Robert VH
Found at:
This adorable and slightly cartoonish penguin looks like something straight out of a Disney movie (I'm half-expecting someone to tell me it is actually from a Disney movie about an hour after this post shows up on the web). At 34 cm (13.4 inches) tall, this is a little short for a penguin, but a believable height nonetheless. The anthropomorphized features work exceptionally well - especially the suitcase. In an interesting twist (from a builder's perspective, anyway), this model is a odd number of studs wide. While most bird-builders decide to use bills that overly wide or use offset plates (those little 1x2 pieces with one stud centered on top) to make the bill fit, this builder decided to do the entire model in such a way that the face can be thin without changing the width at an offset (coincidentally, this also solved the tail problem). This makes construction much more difficult, since ordinary symmetrical building would leave gaps in the body - it's completely doable, but extra effort is required to make something sturdy when building this way. As if that didn't show enough dedication to the craft, he went ahead and made the head swivel as well, making it hard to even spot the unusual construction if you're not looking for it.

Update September 7th, 2009: It turns out that this character is based on the penguins in the movie Madagascar.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Live Blogging a Fire Brigade Build

Richard at Brick Town Talk recently got his hands on the new Fire Brigade kit (so have I, but I didn't say much about it) - and he is live blogging the experience. The first four installments are already online. He's finished the "1" bags already and will be finishing this model tomorrow morning (in the UK). Of course, you're already following Brick Town Talk, right? BTT is the best source for Cafe Corner inspired MOCs and the latest news on this series of modular buildings designed by Jamie Berard.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Update on James May's House

Found at:
I've previously mentioned James May's attempt to build a house out of LEGO bricks. As you can see from this photo, the house is starting to shape up. As you can also see, there's a wooden structure that the bricks are going around. My guess? There was probably some building safety laws on the books preventing this from being a pure attempt at building a life-size house out of LEGO elements. There are 11 more photos to check out in the flickr set mentioned above, and they reveal this to be a fairly strange multi-colored creation with more than a few elements that reek of "cheating". I think it's clear now that there will have to be another attempt at building a full-size house in order to determine if it truly is possible to do it without using other materials.

For a look at the front door and a similar opinion (I'm not crazy to feel let down about the wooden structure!), check out the update posted on Mariann Asanuma's blog earlier this week.

Phenomenal BrickFilm Music Video

Name of Model: 8-bit trip
Created by: rymdreglage
Artist's website:
To promote their song "8-bit trip", the Swedish band rymdreglage decided to put together a BrickFilm as the music video for the song. It wound up being a pretty spectacular BrickFilm, very craftsmenlike in it's use of bricks and plates to create something of high-resolution look. One moment we're seeing a large sculpture build itself, the next we're seeing flawless mosaics animate a scene (or render various classic video game characters). Technically proficient and animated in a more professional manner than most BrickFilms I've seen, this one's a winner just on the merits as a LEGO creation, before you factor in how well the video game references work.

The only thing to critique about this viral video's run around the Internet? The BrickFilm is so good that it seems to be distracting us from the song it's supposed to promote.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Men In Blacktron

Name of Model: MIB (Men in Blacktron)
Created by: OptimalControl
Found at:
As a general rule, you've qualified to be featured here as a "fascinating" model of the day as soon as you've built a giant minifig. Building one with a pattern on the torso takes things up a notch, but building one with a perfect and highly-detailed mosaic (with studs facing in all directions) of a classic Blacktron torso on it takes things to a whole 'nother level. That's not even the full extent of this model, though: a side view reveals a perfectly scaled airtank, visor hinge, and implement (All of which I'm pretty sure we haven't seen scaled up 6 times previously). Did I mention that the face opens up to reveal that this is a giant mecha driven by classic Blacktron minifigs? It looks like somebody is ready to terrorize some Futuron planets - at least until someone builds a giant Space Police I mecha/sculpture to fight this guy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Wheelchair for Mobility-Impaired Bionicle characters

Name of Model: Full Access
Created by: the BCth
Found at:
Looking at the Bionicle universe, it's hard not to notice that LEGO has chosen not to release many civilian characters. It's a world of heroes and villians, Toa, masks and whatever came after the Toa (I lost track of the plot fairly early on, and started deriding it openly after they announced that the planet of Mata Nui is itself a giant Toa that would star in the 2009 line). Wounded Toa are something that LEGO simply hasn't accounted for. Part of this might be expense - the sheer size of some of these Bionicle characters means that properly scaled vehicles and buildings are generally too expensive to build or for the company to sell (to their credit, though, LEGO has created a few Technic-based vehicles that seem to be roughly to-scale).

On to this model, now - this is a builder after my own heart, clearly trying to mesh disparate parts from a wide variety of LEGO themes. "Arctic" treads and "X-Pod" lids (two parts largely ignored as "useless") take on a whole new context when used together and combined with Star Wars droid arms and Explorien octagonal elements to form wheels. The studs of log bricks have been connected directly into studless Technic beams (a simple but surprisingly underused technique) to create a comfortable looking back for the chair. Bionicle elements are used both in the chair's structure and as accents. Triangular Technic propellers (sparsely used now but widely available in the '90s) hold the footrest at just the right angle - and of course, the footrest can be retracted using the Bionicle ball joints. Finally, there's the spectacular color scheme - dark blue and yellow. I had no idea that some of these parts were even made in these colors before.