Monday, February 21, 2011

Site Spotlight: Brick It Good

Name of Website: BRICKITGOOD
Created by: Mr. Corey Sanders
Found at:
Here's a new feature I'd like to get started on right away (mostly because I just found out about this great website): a spotlight on useful resources within the LEGO community. BRICKITGOOD is the work of Mr. Corey Sanders, a schoolteacher from Nevada who runs (and personally funds) an after-school LEGO program for elementary-school aged students. The site features a wide variety of models, with plenty of photos for each one. Most of the models also include instructions - some of which are in LEGO Digital Designer format so you can easily buy the parts needed to build them. An advantage (for teachers especially) of creating building instructions is that you can save designs while taking the models apart - which is particularly important when you need to make the parts available again for other students. In addition to creating instructions for his own designs, he has also created instructions for a number of popular models that haven't been available to the public (such as promotional items that were only given away as glued models). These models are a great starting place for your original creations - or you could try rebuilding some of the designs as shown. The events section covers student creations, regional events, and the 2004 Master Model Builder search (yes, when you build lifelike sculptures this well, LEGO takes notice).

The photos below show examples of the variety of material available on the BRICKITGOOD website, and each one is a link that takes you to the appropriate section of the site.
Grayscale mosaicsColor mosaicsOther mosaicsSculptures


Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's Been Going On

Since we've clearly been failing at trying to catch up lately, I think it's time to fill you in on what's been going on behind the scenes.

First, we need to make our accidental February hiatus official - there's just no way we can reasonably make up the time now. We'll return to the of-the-day format in March, and actually be on time for a while.

Seeing that events in my personal life can still interrupt the blog a bit, I think it's time we look again into bringing new contributors to this blog. Let me know if you'd be interested in doing something here. While I'd like to pick off a few writers from other LEGO blogs out there (it seems there's a new one every day lately), we're open to trying out new ideas as well - if you have any suggestions, feel free to send them in to

We're actually already looking into some new features, but you know how us LEGO fans are - we like to stop writing and actually build something once in a while. It's better to have a few more people involved and more ideas in the pipeline.

I prefer not to bore my readers with my personal life, but here's a quick rundown for the interested: about a week after my hand got better, I came down with a really nasty sinus infection. Somewhere in the middle of that, my main laptop died. After warranty-covered repairs were done, it came back without an operating system - I've been trying to get my regular tasks going in Ubuntu over this past week.

Oh, and did you know I build? I'm planning on debuting a sculpture and some new Cafe Corner style town models at this year's LEGOPalooza - where I'm also coordinating a town/train layout. If you're near Chapel Hill, NC, USA on March 5th or 6th, you might want to check it out.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Automated Shirt Folder

Name of Model: Faster Lego Mindstorms NXT T-Shirt Folding Machine
Created by: changyunhsu
Found at:
Details: Folding shirts takes time. Building and programming this robot to do it for you doesn't take that much time. The obvious next improvement is to make it grab the shirts itself so it doesn't need to be loaded with each shirt. This definitely speeds things up, though. The use of a cardboard box alongside standard NXT parts is pretty clever. In the interest of showing something you probably haven't seen before, the video above is of the second (faster) version of this machine.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

LUGNUTs - By Random Appointment Roundup

Name of Model: 1937 Bugatti tipo Cinquantesette Atalante
Created by: r a p h y
Round up found at:
Details: For December's LUGNUTS challenge - "By Random Appointment" - members of this elite club of LEGO car builders randomly swapped assignments to build specific vehicles. While you can always count on LUGNUTS to collectively come up with some great designs, this particularly challenge required people to commit to participating before they were assigned a car to build - which brought out some different approaches than we've seen in the past. Case in point: the model I've pictured here, built by someone who generally builds in the 4-wide "Tiny Turbo" scale. That the jump to minifig scale worked at all is impressive, but this is actually a classy-looking 1937 Bugatti that'd fit well in any minifig-scale town. Elsewhere, we can see some more welcome improvements in the variety of models showcased - while "Model Team" style models are common in the group, it looks like Technic builders are finally starting to make serious inroads into LUGNUTS. You should, of course, check out all the models you can from the links above.

A Look at the Upcoming LEGOLAND Park in Malaysia

Found at:
Details: Since we're still behind (I swear I can't remember being this one-thing-after-another sick since I was little), for this post (last Saturday's - ugh) we're foregoing the usual model in favor of highlighting this brief look at what's going on with the construction of the new LEGOLAND Park in Malaysia. It looks like the park itself has a ways to go, but the model shop is clearly fully operational and the master builders seem to already be used to working with the press. For those of you in Malaysia, they're still looking for model builders. The job description can be found at the link featured above.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sunset on a Dirigible

Name of Model: Sunset-on-a-dirigible
Created by: Balamorgineas
Found at:
Details: Every once in a while, you come across a model that rewards close inspection but can't be photographed well from a distance. Trust me - this model is one of them. This airship (in a loosely "steampunk" tradition) features some spectacular techniques and part usages. One thing you can see in many of the photos is a choppy, water-ish texture (perhaps it's supposed to be a cloud) created by dozens of minifig legs. The balloon-shaped bit hear the top is made entirely out of 2x2 round plates - and that's attached cleverly with hooks, chains, and skis! The front hull is a pair of sideways staircases, with click hinge sections attached. That hinge element reappears in quite a few other places, somehow feeling like an intentional motif instead of an overly-available part. Minifig telescopes make nice railings on the sides, and an unusual open cabin rounds things out - with the fins in the back being an entertaining nod to proper ship steering.