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.