Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday

10% OFF + FREE Shipping + Exclusive Holiday Set. Valid 11.23.12 - 11.26.12
LEGO Shop at Home's Black Friday sale starts in a matter of minutes and lasts through Monday the 26th. The promotion is similar to last year's:
  • 10% off all orders of $149 or more
  • Free Limited Edition Holiday set with orders of $99 or more.
  • FREE Shipping on all orders of $49 or more.
  • offers Valid: Nov 23rd - 26th
  • Offers are Combinable (No Codes Required)

Additionally, the following sets will be marked down:

Product #

Product Name



LEGO® Minifigures, Series 7



LEGO® Minifigures, Series 8



LEGO® Star Wars¿ Advent Calender



Minifigure Presentation Box



Harry Potter: Building the Magical World



Mini Modulars



Straight Rails



Curved Rails



Red Cargo Train






Heroica Draida Bay



LEGO® DUPLO Deluxe Train Set



LEGO® DUPLO Winnie the Pooh's Picnic



LEGO® DUPLO Tigger's Expedition



Prisoner Transport



Summer House



Bounty Hunter¿ Assault Gunship



Anakin's & Sebulba's Podracers



Star Striker



LEGO® DUPLO Big Bentley



Triceratops Trapper



Quinjet Aerial Battle



The Mines of Moria¿



Card Making Kit



Keychain Police Man



Brick Calendar



LEGO® Friends Picture Frame



LEGO® Star Wars¿ Magnet Set - Jar Jar Binks



LEGO® Star Wars¿ Magnet Set - Clone Wars



Darth Vader Kids Watch



LEGO® Star Wars¿ : The Visual Dictionary



Darth Vader Minifigure Clock



LEGO Minifigure Ultimate Sticker Collection



LEGO® Star Wars¿ Boba Fett Watch



LEGO® Star Wars¿ Boba Fett Minifigure Clock



LEGO City Sticker Collection



LEGO Star Wars Sticker Collection



Star Wars ZipBin Large Millennium Falcon Messenger Bag



Star Wars ZipBin Toy Box and Playmat



Darth Vader Light Keychain



Stormtoorper Light Keychain



2013 LEGO Calendar



Yoda Light Keychain



Darth Maul Light Keychain



Darth Vader Light Torch



Stormtrooper Light Torch


Monster Fighters Mummy Clock



Monster Fighters Lord Vampyre Clock



Monster Fighters Mummy Watch



Ninjago Kai ZX Clock



Ninjago Kai ZX Watch



Ninjago Cole Watch



Ninjago Lasha Watch



Ninjago Loyd ZX Clock



Monster Fighters Lord Vampyre Watch



Lunch Box Blue



Lunch Box Pink



Lunch Box Red



Storage Brick- 4 Blue



Storage Brick- 4 Dark Green



Storage Brick- 8 Blue



Storage Brick- 8 Dark Green



Storage Brick- 8 Red


Most of these offers are also good at the LEGO store - if the item you want is out of stock online, you can try for the same pricing at the store. In the unlikely event that that doesn't satisfy your Black Friday weekend LEGO needs, you can also try the full round-up of promotions from other stores over at FBTB.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Amazing Forced Perspective Jousting

Name of Model: M.O. Round 3 - George G. vs P. Voranc
Created by: George G.
Found at:
Details: This is the most effective and complex use of forced perspective I've seen to date. I can't even imagine trying to get so many scales straight, much less arrange them a natural-looking scene. Note the assortment of scales used on the foremost horse alone- very impressive. He could have built the jousters and left it at that, but the surroundings that appear as just a blur in the main picture are equally impressive. Be sure to check out all the pictures to appreciate all of the fantastic details and part usage, as well as microscale scenes that could be MOCs of their own merit!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Todai-ji and Daibutsu

Name of Model: LEGO Pop-up Todai-ji + Daibutsu (Buddhism) レゴで飛び出る東大寺
Created by: talapz
Found at:
Details: You may remember the spectacular pop-up model of Kinkaku-ji (the Temple of the Golden Pavilion) from a few years back. More recently, the builder has made another excellent pop-up temple - Nara, Japan's Todai-ji. This one also includes the Daibutsu inside the temple. Around the 1:52 mark, the video switches from a demonstration to CAD-based building instructions, complete with part counts for each step. All 8,816 pieces are accounted for, and there's a complete parts list with BrickLink part numbers at the end.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Small engine workshed and Signal House

Name of Model: Small engine workshed and Signal House
Created by: michaelozzie1
Found at:
Details: Here's the start of a nice minifig-scale train layout - a shed and a signal house. I love the shed here - it's a very effective use of the "brick" brick element. This is a very classic use of the bricks and it works quite well. The simple ballast for the tracks is surprisingly convincing. I can't wait to see how the rest of the layout looks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

National Toy Train Museum Display

Name of Model: National Toy Train Museum WamaLTC Display
Created by: Cale Leiphart, WamaLTC
Found at:
Details: There is a small LEGO train display at the National Toy Train Museum in Strasburg, PA. It recently got "refreshed", although I don't really know what it looked like before. It's a nice little layout - the buildings have that classic brightly-colored look, and it has a surprising amount of action for its size. Some of the trains are from kits, but more of them are original models. My favorite part is probably the subway tucked away underneath the street scene on the left side of the display.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The LEGO Adventure Book

Name of Book: The LEGO Adventure Book
Created by: Megs(Megan Rothrock)
Available at: Amazon and wherever books are sold. (Disclosure: LMOTD received a review copy)
Details: LEGO idea books turn out to be a surprisingly difficult concept today. Sure, there are many classics, going back to the 60's, but there hasn't been a new one since 1997. After all, since 1995, most LEGO lines have been short-lived play themes - it doesn't make sense for LEGO to publish great ideas for using parts that aren't likely to be easy for kids to find just a year or two later. That 1997 idea book was largely out of date by 1999. The rise of the internet hasn't helped either - usually an adult fan will post photos of great uses for new parts almost as soon as the kits come out.

The LEGO Adventure Book, written by former LEGO designer Megan Rothrock, was pitched to Brickset as something of a sequal to the classic 6000-1 Idea Book. While the Adventure Book does have some things in common with the official idea books, it really doesn't feel much like one. This isn't a small book on magazine-grade paper - it's a solid, 200 page hardcover tome. The brightly colored photos are accompanied by English-language text, which continues an adventure story through the whole book. Of somewhat more interest to LMOTD readers, though, is the 14 sections dedicated to specific builders besides the author. Real names, screen names, professions, nationalities, and URLs are given for each builder before a grouping of their models are showcased. The list of builders featured (they have an index on the last page) should sound pretty familiar: Craig Mandeville, Are J. Heiseldal, Moritz Nolting, Jon Hall, Pete Reid, Peter Morris, Mark Stafford, Aaron Andrews, Mike Psiaki, Katie Walker, Carl Greatrix, Sylvain Amacher, and Daniel August Krentz.

Page 8 introduces us to "Megs", the book's main character, and the next 8 pages show us how to build her "Idea Lab". From there we follow her through a number of "worlds" in her "Transport-o-lux". Megs is a minifigure version of the author, and all of the other builders introduced in the book are also shown as minifigures.

It's hard to say how well the LEGO Adventure Book will stand the test of time - the biggest drawback with idea books. It does make use of parts and colors that may turn out to be short-lived. Right from the beginning, we see parts used that are new for 2012 and unlikely to be readily available to kids in any meaningful quantity. Many of the themes represented will clearly appeal to certain age groups (there are two sections that touch on the Yellow Castle, one classic Space-inspired section, and sections for both Power Miners and Friends). Page 15 shows a great bookshelf technique, but the ends of the shelf are a part that's already been discontinued. In some cases (like the zoo scene), hard-to-find and long-discontinued parts are a major part of a scene that can't easily be worked around. The concept behind idea books has always been to inspire kids to build with parts they already have, and it's likely that this book will have no problem inspiring builders in the future. Some of these models will be out of reach for anyone whose collection doesn't span a few decades, but most of the designs are workable or at least easy to modify to whatever parts are available.

While featuring a variety of fan creations makes it easy to showcase great ideas and tie in with additional material online, it also increases the complexity of the models and the odds that kids won't be able to find the parts (or even be familiar with what sort of parts they're looking at). The various sections highlighting hobbyists and their MOCs are more like the official idea books, in that they largely show completed models that fit a particular theme (along with high-level instructions for a few of the models). While these sections are similar to what many LEGO blogs online already cover (ahem), they look great and serve to canonize a few models in a more concrete way than we can on the internet. However, the URLs are susceptible to the same time-sensitive issues as LEGO part selection - if any of these builders' flickr accounts cease to be accessible in the future, it won't be possible to view their other creations any more (of course, that's also the strongest argument for putting highlights of the hobby community into books like this one in the first place).

I was impressed with the variety of themes represented. The official idea books were always somewhat limited in that they stuck with common themes that LEGO sold sets in, but here, unofficial themes fit in nicely next to the "real" ones. Steampunk and mecha have been staples of LEGO conventions for years, and it was about time someone showed them and explained them in a straight-forward, kid-friendly manner that could be perused away from the convention crowds.

The techniques don't disappoint here either. A number of obscure and seemingly useless parts show up in clever places, all across the book. A "rock dragon" in the Power Miners section is a perfect excuse to show Hero Factory parts in a useful context, and probably my personal pick for the most clever model here. The written advice helps as well - concepts like "mirroring" sections of a model or cutting stickers for details can be explained quickly (as compared with in LEGO instruction books, where complete assemblies are pictures multiple times when they're largely the same).

The LEGO Adventure Book is both a welcome addition to the "idea book" genre and easy to appreciate as a hard-copy document of some of the online LEGO community's best work. The story's ending is a surprising and satisfying twist, although I'm not sure kids will appreciate it as much as seasoned fans (I suppose that's what they generally call "fun for the whole family"). We are (admittedly) biased towards this book due to having covered much of the same ground here, but I was surprised by how strong the book is - after all, idea books are rocky territory.

The LEGO Adventure Book is available starting today from No Starch Press. We've previously featured some of author Megan Rothrock's work. She was kind enough to join us at BrickMagic 2010, while she was still working for The LEGO Group.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Queen Playing Card Mosaic

Name of Model: Queen playing card
Created by: Sean Kenney
Found at:
Details: While there's no end to the amount of colors and techniques that can go into a LEGO-based mosaic these days, there's something to be said for the classic studs-up approach and the bright color pallette that's been available for decades. The design (drawn up by hand) looks completely convincing, and the pixelated effect removes nothing from the queen's likeness. While there's no end to the amount of colors and techniques that can go into a LEGO-based mosaic these days, there's something to be said for the classic studs-up approach and the bright color pallette that's been available for decades. The design (drawn up by hand) looks completely convincing, and the pixelated effect removes nothing from the queen's likeness.

This mosaic was built for Sean's recent children's book, Amazing ABC.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Small Pumpkins

Name of Model: Lego Pumpkin Halloween
Created by: customBRICKS Kristi "McWii"
Found at:
Details: Here's a clever and surprisingly effective way to churn out some Halloween pumpkins. I hadn't even realized that curved piece was out in orange, but apparently it's in a few current sets. The use of that tooth/horn element as the stem is similarly inspired.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

UCS B-Wing Starfighter

Name of Model: B-Wing Starfighter™
Created by the LEGO company
Found at:
We've fallen somewhat behind in covering headline-grabbing new kits recently, but LEGO is still churning them out. One of the ones we missed was the latest Ultimate Collector Series Star Wars kit - the B-Wing Starfighter. From the October 1st release date to December 31st (or while supplies last), LEGO is including an exclusive TC-14 minifigure with the purchase of the 10227 B-Wing Starfighter. Like the last few UCS kits, this one is nicely in minifig scale (as compared to the regular kits, which usually have strange proportions in order to fit minifigures). Both Jedi News and FBTB have reviewed the kit, which looks like an interesting build.

Here's the official announcement:
10227 B-Wing Starfighter™

Ages 16+. 1,486 pieces.

US $199.99 CA $249.99 DE 199.99€ UK 169.99£ DK 1699 DKK

Take on the Empire in the Ultimate Collector Series B-wing Starfighter!
Now you can experience the ultimate B-wing Starfighter from the Star Wars galaxy like never before. This fantastic model features everything you would expect from our premium collector range, including rotating, self-levelling cockpit and realistic wing configurations for landing and flight. And when you’re finished battling in the skies above Endor or helping to restore freedom in the galaxy, place this highly detailed B-wing Starfighter on its own dedicated display stand and fact plaque. Measures 26” (66 cm) wide and 15” (38 cm) high in flight configuration, and 17” (43 cm) high on display stand.

• A highly detailed Ultimate Collector Series B-wing Starfighter model
• Features rotating, self-levelling cockpit
• Features realistic wing configurations for landing and flight
• Includes display stand and fact plaque
• Model can be detached from display stand
• Measures 26” (66cm) wide and 15” (38cm) high in flight configuration, and 17” (43cm) high when mounted on display stand

Available for sale directly through LEGO® beginning October 2012 via, LEGO® Stores or via phone.

Current LEGO Shop-at-Home Promotions

FREE Shipping on all orders of $99 or more. Valid 10.15.12 - 10.31.12

Our friends at LEGO want us to remind you of their current promotions. From now through October 31st, you can get double VIP points on purchases from LEGO Shop at Home. Additionally, orders over $99 between now and December 18th get free shipping. Now's the time to grab those kits you've been putting off getting, and to get an early start on Christmas gifts!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Turing Machine

Name of Model: A Turing Machine built using LEGO
Created by: Jeroen van den Bos and Davy Landman (full credits are at the site listed below)
Found at:
Details: To celebrate what would have been Alan Turing's 100th birthday, the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam ran an exhibition of his work and influence through October 6th, 2012. One of the more abstract ideas, the Turing Machine, was brought to life through LEGO Mindstorms for this exhibit.

If you want to build your own (perhaps with a longer tape), there aren't building instructions (although you can probably figure much of it out from the photos and video), but the full source code is on GitHub.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Wandering Hill / Blue-Shell Turtle

Name of Model: The Wandering Hill / Blue-Shell Turtle
Created by: M.R. Yoder
Found at: and

Here's a solid take on the ancient myth that the world is carried on the back of a turtle. Somehow it works well both with and without the foliage applied. The juxtaposition of the shell sculpted with ordinary bricks and the tan limbs that make great use of slopes is very effective. I never get far trying to make slopes look like natural shapes, but the head on this turtle uses that technique perfectly. I'm both jealous of the realistic form and curious as to whether or not there are actually any pupils in the turtle's eyes. You could spend all day staring closely at this to determine whether or not that's just a perfectly planned shadow.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

LEGO's Booth at New York Comic Con

Name of Model: LEGO Systems, Inc. - New York Comic Con 2012
Created by: Creatacor, LEGO
Found at:
Details: Today's featured model is actually the LEGO company's booth at last weekend's Comic Con, in New York City. Creatacor has photos of both setup and the completed booth. This is the first year that LEGO has had an official presence at this event - in the past they've stuck with the larger Comic Con in San Diego. LEGO was there to announce next year's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series - you'll notice the turtles and a large TMNT mosaic in many of the photos.

Here's a round-up of NYCC photos I've come by that include the LEGO displays. Most of these photosets are of the event in general (I haven't done my usual check for all-ages appropriateness but I doubt there's anything worse than your average superhero costumes).

FBTB's official coverage
dreyesceron's flickr photos
EJP Photo's flickr photos
sonicstarlight's flickr photos (focusing on the I LUG NY fan display)
Official LEGO Press Release on LUGNET
merhawk's flickr photos
ericdecker's flickr photos
cloudcity's flickr photos
saebaryo's flickr photos
marchawkins' flickr photos
Rad_TV's flickr photos
halloween jack

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Microscale NASA Space Shuttle

Name of Model: Micro Nasa Shuttle
Created by: Siercon and Coral (Sean and Steph Mayo)
Found at:
Details: Sean and Steph Mayo are rapidly becoming the most talked about couple in the AFOL (Adult Fan Of LEGO) community. We could do an entire round-up of just the recent models from these prolific builders. When they're not winning awards at LEGO conventions for our favorite models, they're busy making goofy inverted models (and then inverting them, they're stacking parts sideways instead of connecting them, and they're experimenting with MegaBloks for just long enough to see how well they burn. To continue showing up the rest of us, they're now making great desktop models for friends and coworkers. This one was for a friend who got a job at NASA. As usual, there are some stunning uses of unexpected parts: a knight's helmet for the top of the fuel tank, a support beam for the launch tower, minifig hands to get the shape of the wings, and round plates for tufts of smoke. It's a stunning amount of detail in just a 4 stud by 6 stud footprint.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Support Beam Technique

Name of Model: Support Beam Technique
Created by: Stefan F. (vdubguy67')
Found at: and
Stefan F. brings us this clever design for a support beam that uses a trapping technique to hold angled sections in. The secret sauce is a few 1x8 plates with door rails, cheese slopes connected by Technic half-pins to 1 x 1 bricks, and a few 1 x 1 bricks with studs on two sides to hold it all together. It seems simple once you see the finished result, but it's a clever way to add a more realistic texture at this small scale without having to resort to overly specialized parts. It's not that LEGO hasn't made plenty of parts that will do this, but sometimes it's the principle of the thing, sometimes you don't have that part, and sometimes you just need that look to fit a certain space that the official parts can't.

You can see it in use in this nice MOC:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seven Nation Army

Name of Model: M.O. Round 1: Seven Nation Army
Created by: Legofreak2444 ~
Found at:
Details: The MocOlympics just started, and there are already many amazing entries. This one stood out for me, though, because of the composition. There were many large, impressive dios based on the "Seven Nation Army" theme, but Legofreak2444 took his in a different direction. Of course, mecha look cool, and this is a particularly good one. But it's the contrast between it and the desolate (and wonderfully textured) landscape that inspires a feeling of hope, but at the same time implies a difficult and epic past. I definitely think that the composition of the build is just as, if not more, important than the quality of the MOC. This is a good example- each component is wonderful, by itself, but not terribly unique. Together, though, they make an amazing final product.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pancake Bot is Coming to Maker Faire New York

Name of Model: Pancake Bot
Created by: Miguel Valenzuela
Found at: and
Details: Yes, I've blogged this model before. Now, though, we can announce that you can come see it in action at this year's Maker Faire New York, coming up September 29th and 30th. There's more related news as well - the robot itself has been refined and now features a simpler, zebra-striped design (there's a new page on the builder's web site discussing the changes). Last - but certainly not least - the official Make magazine blog now has an interview with this model's creator. It's great to see a clever design improved upon, and even better to see it reach a broader audience.

Maker Faire NY is also known as "World Maker Faire" - it's intended to be the biggest and best DIY event in the world, which is how it can attract LEGO fans from Norway. Tickets for Maker Faire NY are available online. A few of our friends from New York's LEGO Users Group, I LUG NY, will also be there with a LEGO display. Searching for "LEGO" on the MFNY2012 list of Makers turns up a total of 12 LEGO-related exhibits at this year's event.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Classic Robot

Name of Model: "MUMMY!"
Created by: MortalSwordsman .
Found at:
Details: This is a relatively simple model, but the cute and effective details made me smile. The ribbed tubing is used excellently on the head, and the mouth piece is perfect. The printed tiles look great, particularly on the back. It just goes to show that even simple MOCs can be great.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Slices of Life in Billund's Miniland

Photos by: larswelin
Found at:
Details: It's time for another look inside LEGOLAND - this time the park in Billund, Denmark. There are only 38 photos here, but there are some nice angles we don't see too often. I'm partial to the open-air food market shown here, which makes great use of several of the large food elements originally made for the Belville line (LEGO sometimes uses these in sets with minifigs, but they usually stick out for being oversized because they were originally made for the larger dolls). There's also this great street level scene that feels like it could be a photo of a city early in the morning. There's also a look at a working canal, several well-textured houses, a mural built as a mosaic into the side of a building, a car with a broken headlight (I wonder if that's supposed to be that way or if it fell off), grand columns, skyscrapers, a harbor, a hotel, a train freight yard, row houses, an excellent phone booth, and even a jumbo jet.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Black Temple

Name of Model: Black Temple
Created by: badjoy
Found at: and
Details: You can't actually connect cheese slopes directly to Technic chain links. Yet, two carefully placed cheese slopes sitting on top of a loop of six chain links makes a surprisingly convincing temple. This small but stunning scene makes great use of that grouping and some simple but effective stony landscaping.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Home Again, at a Castle-Era House Near the Woods

Name of Model: Home again.
Created by: Brother Steven
Found at:
Details: This serene edge-of-the-woods scene is so realistic that it's easy to miss the story hinted at in the title (hint: look at what the excited minifigure is looking at). The variety of dense shrubbery and trees looks spot on, only outdone by the stone walls and bridge. There are a surprising amount of interesting angles in this model, although it's hard to tell what technique is holding some of the parts together (in the case of the water, you can see that the parts are loose). The house, the bridge, the horse, and the waterfall are all angled nicely. The fairly simple trees use angles the best, though - a few angled headlight bricks and carefully placed bars allow the leaves to have a realistic droop.

The house itself has fairly simple tudor-style architecture, but makes great use of translucent 1x2 bricks for the smoke in the chimney and plates with flower edges for the cornice.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Simply Frabjous

Name of Model: 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves...
Created by: Hans Dendauw NPD
Found at:
Details: This creation pays tribute to Lewis Carroll's classic poem with a brilliant MOC based on Tim Burton's Jabberwock. Not only does it capture the source material extremely well, it also uses fantastic parts usage and shaping to make a surprisingly complex MOC look sleek and whimsical. I highly suggest checking out the MOCpages page to fully appreciate the great design. This was made as part of a VirtuaLUG layout at Brickworld. It is also the most maxome creation I think I've ever seen.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Curiosity Rover hits 10,000 Votes on LEGO Cuusoo

Name of Model: Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover
Created by: Apojove Stephen Pakbaz
Found at: (flickr) and (cuusoo)
Details: One of the biggest news events of the past few weeks was the successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover on Mars. Naturally, it was a matter of time before a decent LEGO version found its way into the world - fortunately, it was before the actual landing, with plenty of time to be displayed at BrickFair (a kit of this model was donated to the convention's charity auction). This model also features realistic working suspension.

Perhaps more noteworthy is the fact that this model has met the 10,000 vote threshold on LEGO Cuusoo. Cuusoo is a recent project by LEGO that allow anyone to send in a design for a future set. Designs that hit 10,000 votes get reviewed to become an official kit. Many of the popular projects have involved elusive movie licenses or unusually high price points, which have made it difficult for most of them to be made into kits. In this case, it's quite likely that this will actually be offered by LEGO in the future, since they've had success with similar NASA-licensed toys in the past.

The builder has a full write-up of this model on the Cuusoo site.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Not Your Usual Plastic Guns

LEGO Heavy Weapons: Build Working Replicas of Four of the World's Most Impressive Gunsby Jack Streat. No Starch Press; 368 pages; $24.95 and £16.02

It's no secret that Americans love guns. With the National Rifle Association boasting a staggering 4.3 million members, there are certainly more than a few gun enthusiasts scattered throughout the country. Whether it's hunting, personal protection, competition, or something else – nearly every gun owner has some sort of justification to “pack heat”. However, real guns are often quite difficult to come by (especially outside of the United States). Whether it be their cost or legality, it is often prohibitively difficult to get your hands on a real life bullet spewing hunk of metal. A weekend at the shooting range to actually use your beloved gun of choice, you ask? As anyone who's watched the movie Donnie Brasco would say - "forget about it"!

LEGO, on the other hand, seems to be more and more widely available with every passing day. It's certainly America's favorite building toy, most likely the world’s too. It's everywhere. Found in most corner pharmacies, at the toy store down the street, and no doubt filling multiple shelves and more often than not boasting its own dedicated isle at the local big-box mart – LEGO is omnipresent. Everyone's favorite Danish building block has no doubt won over the hearts and wallets of many with its vivid coloring, robust geometry, and ability to provide endless hours of entertainment. If you're reading this right now, there's a good chance that you have more than a few of the special little blocks in your house too. Tired of building skyscrapers and spaceships? Lost your enthusiasm for finishing that burgeoning train layout? Looking to build something that actually moves or shoots something for a change? LEGO Heavy Weapons by Jack Streat might just be the answer that you've been looking for.

In Mr. Streat's inaugural effort, (which is understandable since he was but a mere 17 years of age when it was published) readers are treated to the complete instructions necessary to construct four replicas of the "world’s most impressive guns". Included in the book are instructions to build a Desert Eagle handgun, a AKS-74U assault rifle, a Lee Enfield sniper rifle, and an SPAS combat shotgun. In addition to being given instructions to construct each gun, one will also be pleased to find a parts listing for each gun that lays out graphically all of the LEGO bricks necessary to construct the weapon in question. If your collection is anything like mine, you’ll likely be able to construct a large portion of any weapon with parts on hand – the only parts I found myself lacking sufficient quantity of were the odd Technic piece here and there. A quick trip to (click here to download an XML BrickLink parts list) or LEGO’s online PAB, a couple of days wait, and the solution to your woes and the necessary pieces to complete a LEGO weapon of your own a la Mr. Streat should be sitting pleasantly in your mailbox or at your front door.

LEGO guns are an oddity, a rare sight in the world of LEGO. Perhaps it’s the difficulty involved in designing and constructing one out of LEGO. Sure it's easy to build a LEGO "gun"... but, designing a LEGO gun that actually works is a different story. Designing and building a gun that actually projects objects at an accelerated rate of speed towards a target, that’s really quite a feat. While there might not be as many LEGO gun fans as there are regular ones, LEGO Heavy Weapons is doing its part to change this. This isn’t just another book to put on your shelf and never look at again. This is an instruction manual, something to be pored over until every direction contained within its pages has manifested itself into something that you can physically handle. With all the directions needed to build four marvelous LEGO weapons, it’s likely that the pages of this book will be left open for many a day. LEGO Heavy Weapons is more than just a good read, it’s a good build.

More information about the models in this book are available from the author at the MOCPages page for LEGO Heavy Weapons.

No Starch Press provided LMOTD with a copy of LEGO Heavy Weapons for this review.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Name of Model: Baltharus
Created by: Lando L. Jackson
Found at:
Details: There are a lot of different strategies for making a base for your castle MOC. Many go with a simple square baseplate, while others create a base fitting the shape of their castle or scene pretty closely. I love what Lando did here, though. The elongated shape captures a slice of what the watchmen are watching, and implies a vast environment around the MOC with perhaps even more finesse that building the environment would have. The thin yet tall tower adds to the effect. I, for one, find the clean, unorthodox shape appealing in and of itself, particularly when it contains such a beautiful shoreline. Oh, and I suppose the fantastic tower deserves a mention too- be sure to check out the great arches and other stonework.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Miniature Diesel Locomotives

Name of Model: LEGO MINI Unstoppable Diesels
Created by: Commander LEGOman
Found at:
Details: The LEGO train community spends a considerable amount of time arguing about what the "correct" scale is for LEGO trains. Usually, 6-wide and 8-wide are the most popular options. The 6-wide crowd can point to most of the official LEGO train sets aimed at kids 6 and up, and the 8-wide crowd can (but rarely does) point to the DUPLO train sets. Here, we have evidence that you can capture the correct level of detail in trains that are only 2 studs wide. The realistic liveries and shapes come across nicely, and the small scale almost seems more forgiving (since nobody's going to complain about a misplaced air vent at this scale). The obvious question is when the rest of the trains will show up, but it looks like there's already a good start.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Relaunch Planning - Consider the Suggestion Box Open

As you may have seen us previously mention, we're hoping to make a real effort to fix the various problems this blog has seen recently. One element of this is that we're rethinking pretty much everything. We're not sure how much we'll change, but at the moment everything is on the table. That means it's the perfect time for you to let us know what's on your mind concerning the site - our "suggestion box" is open. What could we do better? What could we add to the site? What would you like to see? Let us know in the comments or via e-mail to

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Life-Sized Tools

Name of Model: "My Tools of the Trade"
Created by: The Timinater !
Found at:
Details: These tools immediately remind me of the work of Bruceywan. However, whereas Bruce puts more weight on studlessness and recognizability, and used whatever scale needed to achieve those, The Timinator has gone for perfectly life-sized, exact replicas of specific, real tools. (Both styles have their merits, one being that the former may tend to be more impressive on the 'web and the latter may tend to be more impressive in real life, but that's a discussion for another day.) The Timinator has done an stupendous job matching the complex shapes and angles of real tools, and uses all sorts of impressive techniques. I highly recommend clicking the link to browse close-ups and comparisons to the real tools he based them off of.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Big Bionicle

Name of Model: 5:1 Scale Tahu's Fire Sword
Created by: Lego Obsessionist
Found at:
Details: Is it wrong to blog my own creation? Either way, this is scaled-up version of this piece. I focused on making it sturdy, and it's certainly a joy to swing around at imaginary Bohrok. This is another entry to BBCC #63 in BZPower. See in on BZPower and MOCpages.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wandering Flame

Name of Model: Wandering Flame
Created by: Lork Oblivion
Found at:
Details: BZPower is currently hosting its 63rd Bionicle-Based Creation Contest. BBCCs generally result in some above-par Bionicle creations, and this one is no different. Over the next few day's I'll highlight a few particularly interesting ones. Although there are always too many humanoid entries, Lord Oblivion makes his interesting, with a smooth look and a fantastic take on the "fire" theme. He makes Hero Facory, Bionicle and Hockey parts flow together into airtight-looking armor. Check it out on MOCpages, BZPower and Flickr.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mega-M00D Scale Clone Trooper

Name of Model: Clone Trooper (Mega-MOOD Scale)
Created by: M00DSWIM
Found at:
Details: M00dswim upsized his already-impressive M00dland scale for more detail in this creation. The torso in particular is brilliantly done.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Name of Model: Vaan
Created by: ArkØv
Found at:
Details: My apologies for the lateness of this post, I've been meaning to post this for a while- and it certainly deserves it. This is a simply fantastic combination of Bionicle and Hero Factory parts. ArkØv managed to create a brilliant character design with excellent proportions- and a type of character design not usually seen in Bionicle creations, too. Part uses to note include the Gadunka heads for the skirt and the new Hero Factory "cladding" in the forearms. This, my good sirs and madams, is how Bionicle style parts should be used.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Current Status

I can appreciate the frustration some of our readers have expressed at our lackluster output as of late. The lack of regular posts is the result of multiple difficulties piling up: some time-related, some team-based, some technical. I'll be trying to get this blog back up to par, but the real effort won't be put in until July. I apologize for the inconvenience, and I'd like to assure all of you who have written in that we have seen your e-mails and will be featuring some of your creations soon.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter 2012

Name of Model: HAPPY EASTER DAY 2012
Created by: Schfio
Found at:
Details: The reigning champion of cutesy Easter models is back to one-up last year's impressive model. I do wish we could see a different angle of this bunny's face - the minifig helmets used for eyes look pretty good from this photo, but I'd love to see how it looks from the side. The egg cart is priceless, continuing the studs-out approach and even including wheels built out of plates instead of using regular wheel and tire parts. The best detail may be the necktie, though, making use of two red plates with clips attached sideways to get the double-sided plate effect - it's not a difficult technique, but most people wouldn't think to have made the middle of the bowtie sideways facing outward so that could work.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nerf Maverick

Name of Model: Nerf_01
Created by: Arkøv.
Found at:
Details: Somewhere along the way, I started collecting Nerf Mavericks when I could find them on the cheap - used, I could find them for very little at some of the same places I was buying used LEGO. A coworker had started bringing some into the office, and I felt a need to have at least one of my own so I could shoot the dart back. The Maverick seems like the ideal model in my mind - it's a simple 6-shooter, fast enough for goofing off but not so fast that you're likely to end up with a giant pile of darts on the floor afterwards (admittedly, this is my own idealism, and another coworker has since proven just how quickly a mess can be made with a Maverick and a few hundred darts.

There are apparently quite a few people who have gotten into both LEGO and Nerf. Obviously, we've covered a NXT/Nerf robotic tank before, and there's at least one famous photo of a Nerf gun fight kick-off at a LEGO convention. It seems to go deeper than that - it's very common to see people asking on flickr what they should buy first - a Nerf gun or a particular LEGO set (spoiler: the correct answer is always the LEGO set).

Here, though, we see the logical conclusion of this convergence of crazes, the coupling of these commonly collected cool curios - a photorealistic LEGO version of the Nerf Maverick. The slide and barrel move just like the real thing, although it wasn't possible to have this much realism and make the internal mechanisms work at the same time (not that you'd get the correct effect from an official LEGO spring anyway). A few stickers had to be used, but it's hard to argue with that when this look is this exact. The size, complexity, and accuracy of this model sets a new standard for hyper-realistic life-size replicas of ordinary objects.

Luncheon at the Royal Pavilion

Name of Model: Luncheon at the Royal Pavilion
Created by: eilonwy77 (Katie Walker)
Found at:
Details: For the 2012 MocAthalon's "Will it Blend?" (read: theme mash up) category, this model combines Castle and Friends. That's right, it's a celebration put on by Princess Mia. The gorgeous landscaping and intricately patterned flooring steal the show, but there are a number of great details in the scene as well. Dishes of food appear in front of each of the Friends characters. Even the stairs are built sideways to allow for more detail (note the small medium blue lines). All of the girls' pets have meals. Even between the flooring and the columns, there are more carefully placed plants.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mindstorms Robots Create Artificial Bone Samples

Created by: Scientists from Cambridge University
Found at:
Details: Building artificial bones is a very time-consuming, tedious process. As explained in the video here, it requires dipping a sample into a mix of calcium and protein, rinsing it, and then dipping it into a mix of phosphate and protein. This process has to be done over and over again. Needing a quick way to automate the process, they turned to the education edition of the LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit. In something of a rare occurrence, the comments at the YouTube link above are actually helpful and explain more about how these robots were made. Most surprisingly, they were able to get the correct amount of precision out of the robots using the graphical language (NXT-G) that LEGO ships with the kit. Also explained in the comments: why there are three motors on robots that only have two degrees of motion (arm back/forth and winch up/down). Most impressively, one of the builders mentions that it was their first time using Mindstorms!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Portfolio of a Former LEGOLAND Model Designer

Created by: William Webb
Found at (different photos at each of these links:
Details: Shown here: a Titanic model built for LEGO Mexico to tie in with the movie of the same name. This is one of many models built by William Webb, who recently has been documenting some of his work for the LEGO company (which dates from 1997 to 2005). To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's voyage, he's offering to sell simplified versions of this particular model. His other work is well worth checking out, and covers the full range of LEGOLAND models.

You'll want to look at all three of the links above, as each one of them has some photos that the others don't.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Now THIS is Pest Control

Name of Model: Building a Better Mouse Trap
Created by: True Dimensions
Found at:
Details: I love it when people use Lego to solve real-world problems, and this is a brilliant example. It works and didn't cost True Dimensions a penny. The mechanics and clever use of magnets to keep the door closed make it that much cooler.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Collapsible Building

Name of Model: Collapsible Building
Created by: Duane Hess (Legozilla)
Found at:
Details: Ever feel like it takes up too much space to store and transport your large town buildings? There's now a solution for that - collapsible buildings. This model looks great on it's own, but it's also a nice proof-of-concept for bigger and more complicated things. Now that hinge bricks (in white) are a common Pick-A-Brick part, it's pretty affordable to handle modularity this way. There's nothing stopping us from dropping floors into a design like this - and those floors could be taken out at shows without dismantling the whole building. For the first time, I think we have a real challenger to the Cafe Corner standard for town creations - and there's nothing stopping anyone from making a building like this also conform to the CC standard.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Minifig Scale AT-AT

Name of Model: AT-AT
Created by: 2x4
Found at:
Details: Many LEGO AT-ATs have been made, including an official LEGO set, but this takes the cake. As I understand, this is an incredibly detailed minifig-scale model. Although I'm not a Star Wars fan (and actually have yet to see the movies) I can still appreciate the skill needed to pull off such a large and accurate model. By adding a snowy base and the Luke minifig, 2x4 adds some extra realism and scale to the presentation.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Toy Fair 2012

Name of Model: Toy Fair 2012
Found at:
Details: There's really only one thing to talk about today in LEGO news: Toy Fair 2012. This is the first time we've gotten a clear look at many upcoming sets.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Canadian Parliamentary Buildings

Name of Model: LEGO parliament buildings
Created by: Sara DeFehr
Found at:
Details: Sara DeFehr is one of the many great builders who is sorely under-represented online because she passed away before the Adult Fan Of LEGO (AFOL) community really took off. For a number of reasons, it was a very different time - LEGO wasn't marketed towards adults as much as it is today, and the selection of available parts and colors was much smaller.

Specializing in scale models of Canadian Parliamentary buildings, she earned some notoriety and was filmed for the clip above. The models featured in the clip are the Manitoba Legislature Building, New Brunswick Legislature Building, Winnipeg Old City Hall, and a version of Gruenfeld, Ukraine.

Info on her work is scarce, but what's survived of her creations has found its way to the Toy and Plastic Brick Museum, where several 0f her models have been (or are in the process of being) dusted off, repaired, and put on display.