Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Minifig Scale Space-Age Floating Rock

Name of Model: Suncrest
Created by: Nathaniel Shields
Found at: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/225850
Details: This one apparently slipped under our radar while we were LEGO'd out at BrickFair earlier this year. It caught some attention there, though, bringing home the Best Large Space Craft trophy. Most obviously, there's a great balancing act here - most of the weight is on the small part that is supported, and it stays up because the center of gravity is in the right spot. As if that were too simple, most of the visible rocky section is actually built upside down - those are BURPs (big ugly rock pieces) almost the whole way around! That's before we get into the vehicles, the landscaping, and the building itself - while we've seen all the techniques before, they're masterfully applied here. Make sure to check out all the close-up shots.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Robotics Monday: Sniepir

Name of Model: Sniepir
Created by: Shep (Tinkernology)
Found at: http://tinkernology.blogspot.com/2010/11/sniepir_06.html
Details: I've wondered for a while if it would be possible to control a Nerf gun with an NXT. After following the Make Magazine blog's arduino-based attempt (that's not even all the links, but you get the idea), I was relatively well convinced that it was too complicated, since it might require dismantling the Nerf gun itself. Not so! Today's model solves this problem with a simple cam assembly. That's before we mention the gargantuan - and yet still motorized - base, or the way this can be controlled by either a remote or NXT (done through Power Functions motors - a person can use the Power Functions IR remote, or the NXT will use a third-party IR component to control them). The video and links above fill in a few more interesting details. No word yet, though, on how you can get it to load more ammo.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fanwelt 2010 Round-Up

Name of Event: Fanwelt
Found at: http://www.legofanwelt.de/home/index_e.php
Details: This weekend of November 18-21 brought Fanwelt to Cologne, Germany. It was a massively popular event, featuring the creations of Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOL's) from across Europe. Naturally, many of them took photos - here are more of them than you could possibly see even if you spent all day browsing through them:
mockingbird's Brickshelf gallery
monorail's Brickshelf gallery
V2's Brickshelf gallery
Vincent Kessels' flickr photos
Flickr group pool
Américo Verde's flickr photos
Bastings's Brickshelf gallery
lbaixinho's flickr photos
Dino2's Brickshelf gallery
Aliencat's Brickshelf gallery
danielz's Brickshelf gallery (Castle layout only)
SvL's Brickshelf gallery (Star Wars / Endor layout only)
eiker86's Brickshelf gallery

For the sake of our sanity, I've skipped sharing links that have fewer than 20 photos. If you know of event coverage that I've missed, you can send it in to legomodeloftheday@gmail.com

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Starships from Star Trek: The Original Series

Name of Models: Star Trek: The Original Series
Created by: icgetaway (Brandon Griffith)
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandongriffith/sets/72157625332752407/with/5203841964/
Details: For once, I've decided to go with multiple models on a Saturday (because it's a long weekend for many of us in the US - yeah, that's the ticket!) instead of waiting for a Sunday to open up. Follow the links above for 40 great photos of microscale starships from Star Trek: The Original Series, including the classic Enterprise NCC-1701 (shown above), the Romulan Warbird and the Klingon Bird of Prey. Some interesting, upside-down, wedge-based mosaic techniques were used for the bottom of the Romulan Warbird. The angles and stands here look great - these are all great example of how much easier it is to get these distinctive shapes with the various hinges we've seen pop up everywhere in the past decade or so (why yes, I'm still bitter that it was nearly impossible to build decent spaceships when I was little. Why do you ask?)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday 2010

Name of Model: Unholy Trio of Christmas Presents
Created by: Peter Aoun
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/graznador2/5200195519/in/pool-44124304756@N01/
Details: Today's model of the day is an example of what happens when you don't pick presents carefully. We've all been there, poor minifig kid.

This is something of a lean Black Friday - in previous years, we've recommended running off to various stores for discounts of as much as 50% off of LEGO kits, but this year there are no deals that good to be had.

The best deals seem to be from our friends at LEGO Shop at Home. They've added a variety of newly discounted sets to their Sales and Deals page, and will be adding a fresh selection of newly discounted sets on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday as well. Also for these four days, they are offering free shipping on all orders over $49 and 10% off on all orders over $149.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Name of Model: Turkey
Created by: powerpig set-ups (Chris McVeigh)
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/powerpigsetups/5151442862/
Details: Since there is apparently some sort of turkey-related holiday today, here is a roast turkey. The use of dark green tree leaves as garnish is a nice touch.

Technic Elephant (An Alternate Model for set 8271)

Name of Model: My 26th alternative model of 8271 LEGO Technic set. The elephant leans and moves its head. grohld@centrum.cz
Created by: grohl666
Found at: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=452337
Details: I've thought for a while now that the field of alternate models should be more popular. Way too few LEGO hobbyists seem interested in building something small that anyone could build, and instead you see things head the other way - towards giant behemoths full of expensive parts, which often say more about how much you're willing to spend on LEGO than about how skilled you are as a builder. Coming up with alternate models for an official kit serves as a bit of an equalizer: it's all about what you can do with a reasonable set of constraints, and not about what you can afford. That said, even when people do experiment with building alternate models, they usually only try out a few simple designs. Not today's builder. If you look at his Brickshelf gallery, you'll find no fewer than 26 designs that are made entirely out of the parts in set 8271 - a small kit that only cost $20 and has exactly 200 pieces. While the part selection isn't that bad, I don't think anyone would have expected that so many decent models could be built without any additional parts.

...which brings us to today's model. It's an evocative design that is very clearly an elephant. Some simple gearing allows the head to sway from side to side when a knob is turned, and a lever in the back can move the head up and down.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Name of Model: VAYU
Created by: Masahiro Yanagi
Found at: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=452548
Details: This is a model of a Japanese ferry boat. You might not be able to tell from the thumbnail here, but the real boat's in the background of that photo. The ship is in minifig scale and features some nice on-deck detailing. The back has some open sections so you can see the cars it is carrying inside.

It looks like there's some more info on this graphic, but I can't read Japanese (my ability to pretend to speak all languages on the internet depends on text not being part of a graphic).

EDIT 12/1/2010: an additional Brickshelf gallery now has "making of" photos.

EDIT 3/1/2010: Another update to the gallery shows more photos of the exterior.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NXT-Based 3D Laser Scanner Creates LDRAW Parts

Name of Model: 3D Laser Scanner
Created by: Phillipe "Philo" Hurbain
Found at: http://www.philohome.com/scan3dlaser/scan3dlaser.htm
Details: Every once in a while, someone builds something that actually breaks new ground in the field of what can be done with LEGO parts. This machine is one of those revolutionary moments. For as long as we've had CAD programs that could be used to create virtual LEGO models, we've had problems with parts not being available. Sure, you can make do (especially if you're a robot that doesn't have those parts either), but it seems inevitable that you'll eventually come up with something that just cannot be modeled on the computer. Parts repositories for LDRAW are filled with elements created from primitive shapes by volunteers, so it's not all that surprising that difficult, more organic shapes that LEGO makes are often unaccounted for. That is, until now. This setup is capable of generating LDRAW parts from scratch, using nothing but an NXT kit, a small amount of other LEGO parts, a laser component, a webcam, and some software. While the process is not entirely automated, it's a huge step forward in making part creation for complex parts simpler, which in turn will allow the rest of us to design in LDRAW with a wider variety of parts.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Festival of the Masters 2010

Name of Event: Festival of the Masters
Found at: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/downtown-disney/special-events/festival-of-the-masters/ (already updated for 2011)
Details: Walt Disney World's annual Festival of the Masters event is usually LEGO-heavy, with GFLUG well-represented and a build event at their LEGO Imagination Center. This year's event this past weekend was no exception.

Mike Huffman at the BrickBuildr blog has already gone ahead and started a roundup for us. Here's what he missed/what has been posted since:
Screaming Banshees of Doom's flickr photos
robstormer's flickr photos

Miniland Ballerina Christmas Ornament

Name of Model: Miniland Ballerina Christmas Ornament
Created by: Model Gal(Mariann Asanuma)
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/model_gal/tags/ballerina/
Details: Minifig neck brackets are clearly the best way to attach ballet slippers (plates with a tooth) to your ballerina ornament. I like the head technique even better - that's a black 1x2 Technic brick, connected to a Technic half pin, which is connected to the middle of a black round 2x2 plate. A few round 1x1 plates complete the look. The use of headlight bricks with 1x1 tiles to give her kneecaps is also pretty convincing.

As recently announced on her blog, her ornaments are for sale on Etsy. She has since built even more great ornaments.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Miniland-scale Maersk Truck

Name of Model: DAF XF105
Created by: Mad physicist
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/madphysicist/tags/xf105/
Details: It's hardly news now that Ralph "Mad physicist" has built something awesome. Some of us only build occasionally, or stick primarily to easy things, but he's one of those people who can churn out great, all-original creations on a regular basis. Here, he brings us several great mosaics a container truck with tons of details. The Maersk lettering and other mosaic-style work steals the show, but there are many more subtle tricks as well. Highlights include the wheel wells (which use multiple hinge bricks), cheese slopes facing different directions to get the curves at the front edges of the cab right, and the fractional stud offsets on the top of the cab.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Studs-Up Mona Lisa Mosaic

Name of Model: Mona Lisa, redux
Created by: Eric Harshbarger
Found at: http://www.ericharshbarger.org/lego/mona_lisa_2.html
Details: I've previously blogged a mosaic by Eric Harshbarger depicting the Mona Lisa. This particular one focuses on the face (this simplifying the image a little bit) but also brings out more detail by using a wider color palette (10 colors instead of the classic 6) and the more high-resolution studs-up technique. LEGO mosaics can be built studs-out (with the LEGO logo on the top of the parts facing you when you view the image) or studs-up (with bricks and plates stacked on top of each other so you see the side of the parts when you view the image), and the two approaches result in very different images. The studs-out approach allows you to treat LEGO parts as if they were square, making a 1x1 brick pretty similar to a pixel on your computer screen. The studs-up approach forces the builder (or computer program, more often than not) to account for the 5:6 ratio in LEGO brick width to brick height, or a 5:2 ratio in plate width to plate height. A studs-up mosaic using plates can get a resolution 2.5 times better in one direction than a studs-out mosaic can - but in the other direction, you're still limited to the width of 1 LEGO stud as the smallest measurement you can show. The end result is that this is almost as close as you can get to photo-realism in LEGO bricks (you could still get slightly more precise by combining this technique with studs-not-on-top techniques to change the direction of the plates, and thus change which direction has higher resolution - but that will drive all but the most seasoned LEGO professionals insane).

Specimen 082 in his Bionicle Chamber

Name of Model: Specimen 082
Created by: -Disty-
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46117735@N08/tags/space/
Details: One thing that LEGO hobbyists have learned over the years is that any piece is more useful if you have a large amount of it. This model is a great example of that - small bits that don't seem terribly useful provide a surprising amount of texture when repeated the way they are here. The builder of this model doesn't seem to be completely happy with the seams - sometimes it's not possible to make a large clear section look perfect with LEGO parts - but I think that the overall effect comes across anyway, and is pretty striking from a distance. Technic brackets create the "round" shape, but once you get past the few Technic support elements, this is largely made of Bionicle goodness. With so many of them going around this chamber, "useless" parts like teeth, plates with Technic holes attached parallel to them, leg armor, sphere launchers, and hoses suddenly become something much more exciting. That's before we get into how great the trans-light-blue panels and 1x1 round bricks look here as the "glass" for this chamber, or how well the top was handled...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Minifig-Scale Classic Space / DUPLO / Bionicle / Technic trike

Name of Model: Moontrike
Created by: Pat Bunn
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30591566@N02/tags/moclegoscifimecha/
Details: If there's such a thing as "LMOTD bait", this is it. Why yes, that is a variation on a Classic Space color scheme. Those really are X-Pod lids used as wheels in the front. That really IS a pair of Bionicle weapons on either side of a large wheel made out of DUPLO tubes. Did I mention the front wheels can be steered by an axle in the middle of the vehicle that is geared to a knob behind the antennae? Yes, it's a minifig-scale Classic space / DUPLO / Bionicle / Technic trike, with working steering, great greebling, and decent construction techniques. This is the good stuff.

That DUPLO tube wheel is mounted on a few tires (which can hold quite a bit with friction, surprisingly), which in turn are connected to the Technic bits and Bionicle weapon. Little more than an inch away from that, we see the Technic structure used as a double-sided element to flip the blue plates (well, this piece) over (yes, this technique's been available for years. You'd be surprised how many seasoned LEGO fans don't know this and continue to whine about how LEGO doesn't make double-sided parts). A few sideways-mounted sarcophagi give us the base of the greebling, and - yes, more places where the studs face a different direction. Many people would think to try something like mounting windshield elements sideways to create a cockpit, but few can build a craft this great all around.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NXT-based Roomba Replacement

Name of Model: Pulito – Featuring DFlex
Created by: Dave Astolfo at plastibots.com
Found at: http://www.plastibots.com/?p=1594
Details: Today's obligatory "cool LEGO robot everyone is talking about on the internet" is this NXT-based Roomba replacement. Although a good deal of custom electronics were involved to make it happen, I believe this is the first NXT-based robot capable of connecting itself to a recharging station (if you're unaware: only the education edition NXT kits come with the rechargeable battery by default, but you can buy the battery and charger separately through Shop at Home). A top-mounted dFlex sensor determines when it is as far as it can safely go under furniture. The expected differential drive and touch sensors are there too - for once I can actually say that the robot is very well documented by it's builder, so if you are interested in this (or want to build your own), please follow the links above to learn more.

The video I've featured above is just of the recharging action. A video of the "swiffering" can be seen on the site listed above.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

King of Diamonds 3D Mosaic

Name of Model: King of Diamonds
Created by: Marin Stipkovic
Found at: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/236062
This may be the most unique mosaic we've seen in quite some time. Coming in at around 3 studs thick, this is full of details and unusual techniques. Red clip plates hold flex-tube casings (which have been used as thin rigid hoses in a variety of sets more recently) which form the letter K as connected by minifig hands here. Using a variety of small parts, more hoses, and a generous amount of hinge plates makes the body look particularly impressive. I particularly like the way arch pieces are attached on an angle to make the blade of the King's weapons. This piece has since been sold to LEGO's Community Operations Manager, Jan Beyer, who decided he wanted it for his office after he saw it at Kockice Expo 2010.

We never did end up rounding up Kockice Expo 2010, due to lack of links - since we're discussing the event again now, though, it's probably time to bring out the few we did find. Here are the links we've had stashed from that event:
Matija Grguric's flickr photos of his contribution
Brick Town Talk article on Matija Grguric's models
We're going to go ahead and call this Saturday AND Sunday's model of the day. It's about time we stopped falling behind, and the Kockice 2010 photos are certainly worth counting as a second day (even though there are "only" a few hundred of them)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another Tower Bridge

Created by employees of the LEGO company, rediscovered by 62 Bricks
Found at: http://62bricks.com/lego-revisits-the-tower-bridge/
Long before LEGO announced the official Tower Bridge kit, they'd actually already designed a LEGO version of the tower bridge that could be built by anyone. Featured in an idea book in 1964, this actually pre-dates the LEGOLAND parks (which feature landmarks in a "miniland" scale, compared to the microscale of this design or the current kit). Sure, the color palette wasn't as broad in 1964, but the old design is larger and is surprisingly convincing considering that it only uses basic parts.
This is Friday's moment of the day

Friday, November 12, 2010

57 Chevrolet Bel Air

Name of Model: Chevrolet Now we are talking pure fifties - grab Yourself your Elvis CD and enjoy - This here is a 57 Chevrolet Bel Air
Created by: misterzumbi
Found at: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=179848
Details: If you've poked around a LEGO store or LEGO Shop-at-Home recently, you may have seen the 2011 calendar they currently have for sale. To a seasoned LEGO fan, most of the images on the front of the calendar look familiar - they're largely recent kits, recent promotional items, and recent collectible minifigures. There's also a spiffy-looking red car with more chrome elements than we've seen in a set in the past few years. Where did that car come from?

The answer is that it's based on this earlier model by misterzumbi. Occasionally, when a builder from the AFOL (Adult Fan Of LEGO) community is hired by the LEGO company to design kits, you'll see some of their older models reflected in the projects they work on for the LEGO company. This is clearly one such case. The design appears to have been simplified for the calendar - perhaps to reduce the amount of connections that the LEGO company does not consider to be firm enough to use, or to make it easier for kids to build. Yes, I am absolutely trying to start rumors about them trying to make this a kit, because I know I'd buy (at least) one. It's difficult to get details in a car this size that make it clearly a particular make or model, and this one is an astounding success, using offsets of various fractions of a stud alongside studs-not-on-top trickery. Even the updated version looks great, even if it is a bit dialed back.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Name of Model: Wyvern (An organic building study - www.brickstud.com)
Created by: Jordan Schwartz
Found at: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=451244 and at http://mocpages.com/moc.php/235476
Details: Before we start: this creature is called a wyvern - it is not a dragon, but it's very similar to a dragon without arms. It's supposed to look that way and the lack of arms is completely correct for the subject matter. Now, with that out of the way...

This is the first time I've seen the tauntaun horn elements put to good use. Tan cheese slopes (currently exclusive to the Tower Bridge kit) make up most of the body, as well as the feet. Inspired by the many dragons (such as the Hideous Zippleback we featured recently) that use many articulated sections to make poseable necks, Jordan (also known as Sir Nadroj) tried to make the whole body using a similar technique by using a long tube as a spine and then using various clip parts to connect the rest of the body. The result is a surprisingly successful "organic building study". Heck, even the mix of the colors on the ground stands out.
This is Wednesday's model of the day

Bionicle Batman

Name of Model: Lego Batman
Created by: uhank
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uhank/tags/batman/
Details: Plenty of people try to capture popular characters in Bionicle form, but few attempts are quite as successful as this one. From the helmet to the cape, the whole body looks solid and believable. As with many of the greatest Bionicle models, this Batman figure relies heavily on more traditional Technic elements to get that solid look while using parts that don't mesh together as solidly as standard bricks. Among there 13 photos of this model, there are close-ups of many smaller sections, a breakdown of the head, and a few shots without the cape. In traditional Bionicle style, the limbs are fully pose-able - even the hands have a few working joints.
This is Tuesday's model of the day

Robotics Monday: Model Factory

Name of Model: Lego factory project v2.0 - Demonstration at LegoWorld 2010 (Zwolle, The Netherlands)
Created by: DrywFiltiarn (Martijn Bosgraaf)
Found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgj9cZtW2Fs
Details: It seems like just a few weeks ago that we were talking about an NXT robot that could print LDRAW designs. We've also seen an NXT-based warehouse for gathering parts, based on the LEGO company's own warehouse. Now, we see a bizarre combination of the two - a 5-NXT factory (staffed with minifigures to "drive" the various motorized parts) that gets parts out of a warehouse and then builds with them using designs generated from LEGO Digital Designer files. The choice of LDD instead of LDraw (like in the previous model-building 'bot) does limit things in a way, but any loss there is made up for by the ability to handle a large and easily changed set of parts. The warehouse contains 95 different types of bricks - over 1500 pieces total to build with. Most impressively, this entire thing was built and programmed in less than 5 months - it was only started in June of 2010. To see some work-in-progress and behind-the-scenes footage, look at the builder's other YouTube uploads.

Here's what the whole LEGOWORLD set-up of this factory looked like (click to "enbiggen"):

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Creations for Charity

Name of Model: Creations for Charity
Created by various builders
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1541893@N21/pool/with/5149859218/
Details: Creations for Charity is an annual tradition where a variety of hobbyists in the online LEGO community donate models they have built to raise money for charity. The money raised is used to buy LEGO sets for Toys for Tots. You can buy the models from Nannan's BrickLink store. There are some great models here, but they're selling quickly - fortunately, you can still see at least one photo of each on in the flickr pool linked above.
This is Sunday's model of the day

Snowflake Ornaments

Name of Model: Snowflake ornaments
Created by: Model Gal(Mariann Asanuma)
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/model_gal/tags/snowflake/
Details: Although it's easy to fall into thinking that LEGO parts can only be connected in something of a rectangular grid, it's actually quite easy to attach them at angles to create more unusual shapes. Here, we see small white and blue pieces (primarily blue 1x3 plates) used to create 6-sides snowflakes. Most of these are about as "high" as one brick, but are meant to be displayed sideways. These are actually sturdier than you'd expect, but I'm sure it doesn't hurt that these were glued to be used as seasonal ornaments.

As recently announced on her blog, these are now available on Etsy.
This is Saturday's model of the day

Miniland-Scale Bench

Name of Model: LEGO Park Bench / LEGO Family on Bench
Created by: michelle6box (Michelle Allison)
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/53312390@N05/tags/miniland/
Details: Miniland scale (the large scale used by LEGOLAND model builders for the miniland parts of the parks) can be a bit difficult to build in, due to the sheer size of buildings large enough to fit people. Not surprisingly, this leads miniland fans to focus on people, characters, vehicles, and other smaller objects. If a design is good, it doesn't matter what it depicts or how large the scene it's in is. Most of the parts in this bench have been available in Pick-A-Brick over the past few years, but that's still enough to support a classy reddish brown and dark red color scheme with trans-red accents. Even though the studs-not-on-top work is relatively straightforward, it fits perfectly and gives the bench a great look - all while stretching those dark red 1x4 tiles (to this day the most inexpensive way to cover a surface in dark red). Like this? The same builder also made a small family to sit on the bench (also visible from at the links above).
This is Friday's model of the day

House at Bron-Y-Aur Stomps on other Minifig-scale Castles

Name of Model: Bron-Y-Aur
Created by: - Derfel Cadarn - (Luke Watkins Hutchinson)
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45244184@N04/sets/72157625305704700/with/5140835613/
Details: Although this spectacular minifig-scale cottage isn't really based on the famous cottage of the same name used by Led Zeppelin in 1970 (sorry, Friends, but That's the Way it's gotta be), I'm going to assume that the name was meant as a nod anyway. Both the landscaping and the architecture here are striking in detail, design, and technique. The subtle use of dark brown, bright green, and dark green works surprisingly well. The tudor style comes off particularly strong, and no small 1x1 element was spared in making the textures on the fence, chimney, or the walls. There are only three photos here, but they're all fantastic and full of life-like details.

This is Thursday's model of the day

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Technic Sedan with Brick-Built Details

Name of Model: RedSedanI (Brickshelf gallery lists the longer description: 4 Door, V8, four speed, parking brake, 4 Wheel Suspension, Rear Torsion bar, Tilt steering, 6 way adjustable front seats -thank you pixsrv-, front center armrest, rear flow through armrest, full size spare, adjustable sunroof, thirdwig@yahoo, up for more)
Created by: thirdwigg, also on flickr as thirdwig.
Found at: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=224200 and http://www.flickr.com/photos/thirdwig/sets/72157623097758397/with/5102762865/
Details: As a genre to attempt building in, the massive vehicle with brick-built details and working features made out of Technic elements seems like an intuitive idea to try. The reality of building such a thing is considerably more difficult - even though many of us know how to use Technic pieces to build cars that can drive around and reliable suspension systems, all those great working features can easily become nearly useless just by adding extra weight onto a vehicle. There are few things more depressing than building a great car, only to find out that the wheels won't rotate because they're now brushing against the top of that true-to-life wheel well that took an hour to get just right. Sadly, this means we get very few "best of both worlds" models, and we see an ever-growing schism between people who build models with realistic functionality and people who build models with realistic looks.

The builder of this car, though, took on this challenge and excelled. This Porsche has a full body and interior, steering, suspension, and even the hallmark of a truly thought out car in this genre - adjustable seats. You haven't truly made a LEGO car that attempts to match real cars in looks and functionality unless you've included at least one feature that's only of use to the tiny passengers.
This is Wednesday's model of the day

Saturday, November 6, 2010

World's First Interplanetary Trans-Aether Steam Rocket

Name of Model: Aether traveler
Created by: captainsmog
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/captainsmog/4542571453/in/set-72157623908933430/
Details: It was probably inevitable that we'd see Space and steampunk combined eventually. Perhaps the ultimate in retrofuturism, the style of this minifig-scale spacecraft brings to mind a few different eras of sci-fi all while keeping the greebling realistic. The use of color here is surprisingly effective - particularly on the Martian surface. Don't miss the little black ladder either.
This is Tuesday's model of the day

Friday, November 5, 2010

3 NXT Wall-E

Name of Model: zWall-E4 (NEW Wall-E made for Zwolle!)
Created by: Marc-Andre Bazergui (bazmarc), blogger for The NXT STEP - LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Blog
Found at: http://thenxtstep.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-wall-e-made-for-zwolle.html
More photos at: http://picasaweb.google.com/bazmati/ZwallE4uWIP#
Details: As seen in Zwolle recently, there is a new LEGO Mindstorms NXT-based version of Wall-E. This version tries to be strictly purist and true to the NXT system - not only does this not use any third-party robotics components, but this doesn't even use Power Functions motors (unlike the first great Wall-E we covered)! 8 NXT motors and 3 NXT programmable bricks were crammed in here to get this realistic and surprisingly expressive range of motion. While it doesn't transform, it seems to have every other Wall-E behavior down. Color sensors were even used to allow his eyes to light up in different colors. Don't miss the second link above, which has some photos of the internal mechanisms.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

LEGOLAND Halloween

Name of Photo Set: Legoland 2009
Photos by: Ayleen Gaspar
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spookyamd/sets/72157622705258056/with/4061849229/
Details: Halloween at LEGOLAND means time for Brick-or-Treat and Halloween-themed displays. Since we're running late, we'll keep this small - here's 38 photos (and one video) from the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Scratch that: one more quick link (11 photos by laura*b): http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurabloom/sets/72157622684895136/with/4054307270/
This is Sunday's model of the day

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Minifig-Scale Haunted House

Name of Model: Haunted House
Created by: Legohaulic (Tyler Clites)
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/legohaulic/tags/haunted/ and http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=449848
Details: This gorgeous haunted house is perfect for Halloween. I think this is the first time I've seen someone use dry ice to get a smoky effect in their spooky photos. There are, of course, surprising building techniques too: check out the slanted bit of siding (all of which is tiles attached sideways, with a mix of old and new grey that achieves a perfect aged effect), and the windows that use tiles wedged between studs to create smaller panes. Then there are those roof lines, made with plates and wing elements on hinges. The use of claws and skeleton legs to make the various railings is another great touch. It's a masterpiece just in time for Halloween.
This is Saturday's model of the day

Minifig-Scale Couch

Name of Model: Couch
Created by: NIRDIAN
Found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nirdian/5115705554/
Details: Here's a very simple, minifig-ready design that uses very easy-to-find parts (particularly if you live near a LEGO store - some of us have been looking for good uses of the red 2x2 tiles that have been available in bulk in Pick-A-Brick for the past year or so). With a footprint of 4 studs by 8 studs, it's ready to go in a house. Using only one hinge for the back works surprisingly well to give this a realistic modern look.
This is Friday's model of the day