Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Got Milk?

Name of Model: A Box of Milk
Created by: Kosmas Santosa
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kosmassantosa/15857546889/in/photostream/
Details: As part of the FOODcember 2014 building challenge, Kosmas Santosa built this very realistic bottle of milk...and mini chocolate cake, a chocolate cake with cherry and cream on top, a martini, fried chicken and french fries, and a kitchen to establish the theme for the month. That's not even all of his builds for this challenge, and it's only small taste of the delicious models in the FOODcember Flickr pool.

This model isn't terribly complex from a technical standpoint, but it features great uses of lettering, hinges, and studs-not-on-top building (check out the boxes shown on the side). Then, of course, there's the use of a 1 x 1 round tile and 2 x 2 round tile to represent some milk that has spilled.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cafe Corner-style Gingerbread House

Name of Model: Gingerbread House
Created by: Parks and Wrecked Creations
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/legoland-bill/15849719540/in/photostream/ , https://www.flickr.com/photos/legoland-bill/15850940389/in/photostream/ , and https://www.flickr.com/photos/legoland-bill/16036296492/in/photostream/
Details: This beautiful gingerbread house is chock-full of an overwhelming amount of candy-coated details. It looks like the house is dark orange underneath the thick coat of candy, but that almost doesn't matter with all the other goodies packed in here. There's only three photos here, but they're clear enough to zoom in and get a good look. Some of the highlights: a mix of 1 x 1 and 1 x 2 plates with teeth to create icing-style cornice work, 2 x 2 tiles as Necco wafer-style roofing (I suppose they could be intended as a different candy, but it's definitely a great roof), swirl signal paddles on 1 x 1 round bricks and 1 x 1 round plates with open studs to decorate the railing posts, stacked 1 x 1 round bricks to make candy-cane lesenes, curved slopes for the icing snowbank, the standard 1 x 1 round plates as small candy trick, various reddish brown and dark brown tiles to make the chocolate bar door, and hypno disks and another printed 4 x 4 dish to represent swirl candies. Perhaps the best technique, though, is using trans-yellow bricks behind the windows to give the glass a sugary look when the building is lit up from the inside (visible in the second photo).

There are even a few details here that are not immediately obvious in how they were built. Note how several flowers are sunken into the model so their stems don't pop out at you - these must be attached to something deeper inside the model. Then there are the 2 x 2 plates seemingly attached to fences - presumably there's a Technic axle behind those 1 x 1 plates connecting the 2 x 2 plates to something behind the fence.

Also perfect: the inclusion of Gingerbread Man collectible minifigures and Mrs. Claus from the Santa's Workshop set.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Green Gables Stadium - a Giant, Gorgeous, Minifig-Scale Stadium

Name of Model: Green Gables Stadium
Created by: Pete Strege
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/redcokid/sets/72157630697303666#
Details: Pete Strege recently uploaded new photos of his spectacular Green Gables Stadium. Sure, you've seen this before in our Brickworld 2014 coverage, and it also was a highlight of Brickworld 2013 - but it's enough of a stunner to deserve a post of its own. There are many details to love here - the 24-sided architecture covering a 30-inch square (4 of the big grey baseplates) steals your eye at first, but there's also the removable (and well-angled) dome roof, the large minifig heads wearing hats, the dark green lettering in the front, the stunning use of color (sand green, dark green, medium dark flesh, and dark orange cover most of the model), and even a full interior (customizable for a few different sports, although the hat outside makes me think of this as a baseball stadium).

Don't take my word for it - check out all 56 photos in the Flickr album, including pictures of the interior, work-in-progress pictures, and LEGO Digital Designer screenshots showing how the model was designed. The whole thing is beautiful, but I suspect we'll be studying that dome for years.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Microscale Pirate Ship

Name of Model: IMG_9532
Created by: Dan (yours truly)
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dp3/15424910239/in/set-72157627265274741
Details: Here's a quick look at one of my own recent builds - a microscale Pirate ship (or more accurately, an imperial galleon for the pirates to attack). The original idea was to create a ship that looked good, but was small enough to animate for Mini LEGO Con. That didn't work out so well, but the finished model was nice enough to add a stand (with water). At 8 x 16 studs, it fits into a Mini Con display, but is slightly larger than one of the BrickFair-styled tables.

This was actually a very humbling model, since I ended up using quite a few pieces that I dismissed as unnecessary when they first came out. The base of the ship is a Bionicle Visorak foot - an "action figure part" you'll never use in-system, right? Two of the sails use a 1 x 2 plate with 2 clips (you'd think 2 1 x 1 plates with clips would do the trick, but this is actually sturdier). One of the sails uses a 2 x 2 tile with one stud in the center, which I remember saying was the equivalent of 3 jumper plates, but a plate shorter. Finally, a 1 x 1 round plate with hole (a part once exclusive to LEGOLAND for metal bracing and wiring) connects the tallest mast to the 1 x 1 round brick below it.

Kids, don't try this at home. You would not believe how difficult it is to connect a plate clip into the bottom of a 2 x 3 plate that already has two 1 x 2 tiles wedged into it. At least it looks good, but LEGO rightly considers that to be an illegal connection.

Baymax from Big Hero 6

Name of Model: Baymax
Created by: lisqr
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/43699326@N00/15801224498/
Details: lisqr recently built Baymax as he appears in Disney's adaptation of Big Hero 6. The studs-out technique for building sculptures has gotten more popular lately - I still usually associate it with Schfio, one of the best builders currently working in that style, but it seems like everyone is trying their hand at it now that you can get travis bricks on the Pick-A-Brick wall at LEGO stores (and LEGO seems to be putting out more exciting studs-not-on-top elements in sets as well). Bruce Lowell is also rather famous for this style of building, and the head on this model is an obvious riff on his classic Lowell sphere (have I really not written about any of Bruce's models since 2007? Time flies).

The arms here are actually made from a great use of a different sculpture technique - loosely matching up various sizes of slopes and wedges. I believe I spy (please correct me if you think I'm wrong) a 2 x 1 curved slope, a 1 x 2 tile, and a 10 x 1 curved slope on each front edge, with a pair of 12 x 3 wedge slopes making the top and bottom of each arm. Even with all those slopes, it looks like the front and back edges are angled in further to get it to look just right.

...and I didn't even mention the great use of string on the robot's face yet.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Name of Model: BCBS Round One: LoftBot
Created by: Lego Obsessionist
Found at: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/323135
Details: Here's an oldie but a goodie from another contributor of ours here at LMOTD (someone needs to get more comfortable with blogging their own work...). Longtime readers will know I'm a sucker for anything combining themes in an unexpected way - the more themes and the less popular the themes are, the better. Here, we have a wonderful mix of DUPLO Bob the Builder parts with Bionicle and Technic elements. You know I love that. The head/cabin part from Lofty makes the head of the mech. The body is actually an expanding scissor lift, creating a great play feature beyond the decorative details. Clever parts usage such as the Toa torsos for legs are one thing, but this model also has an element of the old ship-in-a-bottle trick. Note how the interior of Lofty's head is filled in with Technic elements (it's more noticeable from the side).

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Girl and Her Pet (from set 31021)

Name of Model: LEGO 31021 Alternate design
Created by: amaman_12
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/128971756@N05/sets/72157646800018133
Details: Here's another clever alternate build, this one using set 31021: Furry Creatures. Normally, you'd expect such an alternate model to have more in common with the main model from the set - in particular, I think most of us would be tempted to use the large eyes (printed on 2x2 round tiles) as the eyes for the doll. This time, though, we see a few 1x1 plates for the eyes and the bright pink 2-wide cheese slope used for the mouth - a simpler but adorable solution for building a character's face. I'm also loving the uses of a wedge slope for her dress and the tail element for a bit of hair out of place.

Her pet is also a fun little build - a rare example of the bar-and-clip technique being used simply to reverse studs.

As an added bonus, the builder posted building instructions for the girl and her dog in this model's Flickr set.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Office Status Marker Magnets

Name of Model: Status markers for work.
Created by: Bret (starbeanie)
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/starbeanie/15605055865/
Details: This might seem a little quick and simple, but I like it. These use the older minifig-holding magnets (from when LEGO sold minifigure magnet sets where the minifigure was not glued to the magnet), and use tiles and minifigures to indicate different locations - specifically, places that Bret might be when he's not at his desk. It's a good excuse to bring some LEGO into a decidedly non-LEGO environment, and we never have enough good reasons to do that. It's different. It's clever. It's practical. It's functional. It's something I wish I had thought of first.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

LEGO Fan Weekend (Skærbæk) Round-Up

Name of Event: LEGO Fan Weekend 2014
Found at: http://www.fanweekend.dk/
Details: This year's LEGO Fan weekend event in Skærbæk, Denmark was announced to be the last, just weeks before the event. Being both a fairly official event and the last event of its kind, the usual issues of precedent and favoring one event above others didn't apply - so LEGO bigwigs Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and Jorgen Vig Knudstorp were able to meet with some of the 350 exhibitors (from 24 different countries) and 2300+ public visitors. As an added bonus, the participating exhibitors also received an exclusive run of this year's Inside Tour set.

Word is that the event will actually happen again next year, but as a fan-run event instead of an event LEGO runs for the fans. It should be interesting to see what that means for the future of the event, since it appears that most of the seminars for exhibitors at this year's event were run by LEGO employees.

Now that we're back to rounding up events that none of our contributors personally attended, we've got coverage of this event:
Mr. Tomato Bread's Flickr photos
Community Team Blog: The Last LEGO Fan Weekend (event coverage)
Community Team Blog: The Last LEGO Fan Weekend (announcement)
Bill Ward has both uploaded photos to Flickr and blogged about the event.
Cassiebsg's Brickshelf Gallery
Gianni Bassini's Flickr photos

The photo used above was taken by Bill Ward and shows a recurring miniland-scale layout by Stephan Sander.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Statler and Waldorf of the Muppets

Name of Model: Waldorf And Statler
Created by: grubaluk
Found at: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=549471
Details: Once again, the newer eye elements LEGO has been making lately make it easier to build iconic characters. This time, it's Statler and Waldorf of The Muppets, seen here in their famous perch at the Muppet Theatre. In this case, the design isn't entirely obvious - while the eyes are important, it's the clever use of curved slopes and cheese slopes that makes these the distinctive characters.

The balcony is also a pretty clever build - the curtains look like alternative rows of red bricks and dark red plates, while the body of the balcony is made of dark orange 1x2 bricks curved using plate hinges. The pearl-gold-colored decorative flourish on the front is even more clever - note the clever use of Sensei Wu's hat, as well as a pair of bars with side studs connected to a pair of elephant tails.

Friday, November 7, 2014

ComicBricks Art Show at DesignerCon 2014

Name of Model: Star Wars #1
Created by: Tommy Williamson
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/geekytom/15544292118
Details: At this year's DesignerCon, there will be a Comic Bricks art show. The whole Comic Bricks Flickr Pool is worth checking out, but my personal favorite is this Star Wars cover. I always prefer a mosaic background when one can be done, and it's particularly effective in this case, allowing brick-built lettering to pop and the fiery effect around the Death Star to show up properly. Having the round sections of the Death Star itself be one stud out from the background makes it possible to use actual curved elements too, which really makes the roundness more obvious in a situation like this where parts of the "circle" are obscured. Then there are the characters - Luke's outfit comes across perfectly and there's no mistaking the plate hinge making an appearance as his nose.

As a sidenote, the builder of this particular model is Tommy Williamson of BrickNerd fame. Word on the street is that he's doing this model-blogging thing better than we are these days, but please, don't leave us, we still love you! It's alright - most of us LEGO bloggers actually get along in person (I'd show photos of our secretive cabal's last meeting, but what happens at BrickCon stays at BrickCon, and besides, no one looks good in photos of secretive cabals meeting in a basement under the cover of darkness), and longtime readers will remember I've raved about his builds before.

DesignerCon is at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California (USA) this Saturday, November 8th, from 9 AM to 6 PM, and Sunday, November 9th, from 10 AM to 5 PM. Tickets are $7 per day at the door.

Monday, November 3, 2014

San Diego Comic Con 2014 Round-Up

Name of Event: San Diego Comic Con International
Found at: http://www.comic-con.org/
Details: It's been a little too long since I've rounded up an event I didn't personally attend. July's San Diego Comic Con International is an enormous event that attracts an unreasonable amount of media attention, so rather than try to find everything, I'll focus on grabbing the LEGO-related coverage. While there's still plenty of that out there, my understanding is that the event itself isn't conducive to the sort of in-depth LEGO photos I like to see. If you've got a highlight we missed, let us know in the comments or by sending us an e-mail.

IdleHandsBlog's Flickr photos (somehow, the blog these photos are tied to doesn't seem to have a dedicated post for LEGO coverage).

LEGO Connect App
LEGO Systems Unveils New Products, Experiences and Exclusives at San Diego Comic-Con
MTV Reveals 75084 Wookie Gunship, Rebels’ Chopper Statue
LEGO Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Statue to Debut at Comic Con
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man On Display
More Pictures of 79018 The Lonely Mountain Set
LEGO Smaug Statue Details
The Statues of The LEGO Booth
The LEGO Star Wars Minifigure Gallery
LEGO Batcycle Sculpture

Allen "Tormentalous" Tran at The Brick Fan was in attendance and covered the event (and the announcements leading up to it) rather thoroughly in real time. Here are some of the highlights:
POP! The Art of the Geek Exhibit at San Diego Comic Con 2014
San Diego Comic Con 2014 LEGO DC Comic Book Image
Full LEGO Booth Details at San Diego Comic Con 2014
The LEGO Movie Unikitty SDCC 2014 Exclusive Minifigure
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Panel at SDCC 2014
A Look at Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary Panel at SDCC 2014 (Note: this is about the documentary film and not related to our favorite YouTube channel)
The LEGO Movie Panel at SDCC 2014
San Diego Comic Con 2014 LEGO Recap
He also took the photo shown above and about 200 more great photos (on Flickr), including close-ups of the four exclusive minifigures he was able to acquire.

Rather impressively, LEGO and CREATACOR have put out official coverage of their presence at SDCC this year as well:
CREATACOR's Flickr photos
More of CREATACOR's Flickr photos
CREATACOR blog post
LEGO Press Release

We've previously rounded up coverage of LEGO events at SDCC in 2010.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Brickworld Tampa

Name of Event: Brickworld Tampa
Found at: http://www.brickworld.us/tampa/
Details: You know that awkward feeling you get when you haven't recovered from your last LEGO convention yet and you already need to get ready for the next LEGO show? That's where I am now. I'm still recovering from my trip to BrickCon and trying to repair models that broke in transit on the way to/from various BrickFairs. Presumably this is much easier for people who aren't constantly travelling to LEGO conventions. If you're unlucky enough to be suffering through Florida weather this weekend, don't miss Brickworld Tampa this Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM. I (Dan) will be there, manning the Mini Con and Robot Band layouts, as well as a table of sculptures and more traditional creations. Matthew will be there too, although I'm not sure in what capacity yet. We should have LMOTD tiles to give out to anyone interested.

Although this is technically an "expo" and not a real convention, it's actually shaping up to be an interesting event because of some of the guests being brought in to display their models. The picture above, for example, is by Nannan Zhang, and appears to be a teaser for a new collaboration with Tyler Clites. You may remember their Containment layout from a few years back.

Look for coverage of the event to start appearing in this post sometime next week.
my (Dan's) Flickr photos
Brickapolis (Matthew)'s Flickr photos
legoriki's Flickr photos
Moctagon Jones's Flickr photos
thumat2002's Flickr photos

Sunday, October 12, 2014

CharacterCentral Takes on LEGOLAND Billund

Photos by: PeterPanFan and Disney Dan from Character Central
Found at: http://www.charactercentral.net/B3666_LEGOLANDTripReportBillundTheTownthatLEGOBuilt.aspx and on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterpanfan1953/tags/LEGOLAND%20Billund%20Resort/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/theverynk/sets/72157646618885782
Details: Recently, PeterPanFan and Disney Dan from Character Central made the trip out to Billund to take in the original LEGOLAND park and surrounding area. Being seasoned Disney theme park reporters (seriously, their site has more information about the various Disney attractions than I could ever make myself read), they had a bit of an advantage in knowing how to take decent photos of the displays - usually I end up highlighting features from Miniland when I blog about park photos, but these guys knew to get photos of the sign at the LEGOLAND Hotel, ceilings, detailed mice on rides, a Pick-A-Brick wall, themed characters, corporate-sponsored buildings, shopping and displays at the airport, the promo area for the LEGO house, the viking dragon, the dragon in the hotel lobby (every hotel needs one), the hotel bathroom, the Friends minidoll-scaled display, the train as it drives behind miniland, the wildlife, an arctic helicopter sculpture, DUPLO sculptures, external signage, and of course, Miniland. This isn't quite a full guided tour, but it's probably the closest thing we've seen to it. Now if only they could take more close-ups of Miniland...

Oh, they did get a few of those too. Here's a wampa from Hoth in Miniland Star Wars, some rock climbers, a Coke truck, the Acropolis (Wikipedia), an interesting angle of Kennedy Space Center's rocket garden (Wikipedia), Neuschwanstein Castle (Wikipedia), Osaka Castle (Wikipedia), Nyhavn (Wikipedia), Amalienborg (Wikipedia), and even a LEGO Truck Show from the late 90's.

I could probably comb through these photos even more thoroughly and find even more highlights, but I'm a bit short on time to keep researching this. These may be the most complete current look at the Billund park we've seen yet.

Disney Dan has 529 photos on Flickr. PeterPanFan looks to have a few hundred photos on Flickr, but I don't have an exact count since they're organized by tag instead of by album/set.

The photo featured above is this one by Disney Dan.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sign of the Times: Failure of the Fourth Estate

Name of Model: Sign of the Times: Failure of the Fourth Estate
Created by: Mike Doyle
Found at: http://mikedoylesnap.blogspot.com/2014/10/sign-of-times-failure-of-fourth-estate.html
Details: Mike Doyle has created another one of his signature artistic photos of an incredibly textured brick-built scene. This time, it's a poignant political statement about the state of mass media. Normally I'd be a bit hesitant to blog a political model here, but sadly, if you have even a passing knowledge of the LEGO world, you know that many media outlets find it extremely difficult to get even simple details right, like proper use of the name "LEGO" or terms like "LEGO bricks". It's a wonder that we trust the same outlets that very clearly can't cover simple matters fairly or accurately to give us the information we need about local, national, and world events.

That's before we get into the techniques used here - although Mike Doyle's models are only designed to be viewed from one angle, the craftsmanship involved is always top-notch. The backlit fire and smoke features some fascinating angles, most of which seem to be supported with plates with clip lights - which is not the sturdiest connection, so presumably something clever is used in the background to keep the smoke from falling over. Round plates (both 1x1 and 2x2) seem to handle most of the billowing smoke. The included part of the Times logo is a spot-on mix of various slope elements that works without any of the standard mosaic techniques. A visible piece of netting and some bar-and-clip elements hints at additional support for the smoke. The building itself looks a bit simple, but is very effective, making use of the undersides of plates, repetitive parts, and the 2:5 ratio (2 studs wide is the same distance as 5 plates tall - seen here in the window frames) to capture architectural details.

The use of color for the fire and windows may actually be the most noteworthy feature here - Mike Doyle has cultivated a very unique aesthetic based on heavy use of black and white, which makes the color here pop more than it usually would - and makes it all the more impressive that he already seems to have mastered mixing different translucent colors to get the fiery effect seen here.

In addition to reading about this model here and on Mike Doyle's blog, you can also see it on MOCpages and Flickr.

LMOTD previously covered Mike Doyle's Three Story Victorian with Tree, blog (update) and Two Story with Basement. We seem to have skipped his two books and other MOCs.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BrickCon 2014

Name of Event: BrickCon 2014
Found at: http://brickcon.org/
Details: BrickCon is this weekend! I (Dan) have all of 14 hours to finish packing before I leave for the airport! Who needs sleep? There are more MOCs to build!

This year's theme is "Invasion", and that's why it's finally time for LMOTD to "invade" by making an appearance there this year. Although I actually used to live within driving distance of this convention, I never attended because I was in my teens at the time and BrickCon didn't allow anyone under 18 to participate in the full convention. Seriously, I still have the flyer from when they tried to advertise at a free event LEGO was running. Although BrickCon is still a needlessly exclusive event (seriously, why does anyone think LEGO events should exclude the people who have the most time to spend with the brick?), I've since aged to the point where I'd be allowed to attend - and more importantly, I've been convinced to go so I can see the birthplace of Mini LEGO Con. In spite of this being a smaller event (roughly 500 attendees, compared with nearly 1,000 at BrickFair Virginia or Brickworld Chicago), there are actually quite a few noteworthy builders attending, so it sounds like a promising show.

Public hours are from 10-4 on Saturday, October 4th, and 9-3 on Sunday, October 5th.

Find me there and you can get your hands on one of our 2x2 LMOTD tiles.

I'll add our usual round up of coverage of the event to this post after the event has passed. This was a great event - in spite of the smaller size, BrickCon has roughly the same concentration of talent as some of the larger conventions, so there's still plenty of great LEGO creations to take in and exciting people to meet.

Here's our round-up, still in the early phases as of this writing (10/10/2014):
My (Dan's) photos are on Flickr.
pasukaru76 highlighted Star Vikings at BrickCon 2014 (on Flickr).
pasukaru76's general BrickCon 2014 photos on Flickr
Lino's Flickr photos
The Brothers Brick wrap-up
Nannan's Flickr photos
brickstuff's Flickr photos
BrickCon Flickr pool
Proudlove's Flickr photos
legotanks' Flickr photos
Lonnon Foster's Flickr photos
Bill Ward's Brickpile's Flickr photos and blog post
Sean Edmison's Flickr photos

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cookie Monster

Name of Model: More Cookies.
Created by: Paul "polywen" Lee
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/artpoly/15322575786/
Details: To commemorate Jim Henson's 78th birthday yesterday, Paul Lee posted this build of Cookie Monster eating a cookie and thinking of yet more cookies. Once you see it, using those Mixel eyes (printed on the ball part of a ball-and-socket joint) to build muppets seems really obvious, but I don't believe I've seen that part used that way before. I'm also loving the shape of Cookie Monster's face here - the lower cheese slopes are sideways and secured by a 1x1 plate connected to a headlight brick. The background and thought cloud (a clever if common use for curved slopes) sell the idea here - personally, I would have added reddish brown 1x1 round plates for chocolate chips, but the tan 2x2 round plates work perfectly to show Cookie Monster thinking of more cookies.

My only quibble is the proportions of the milk glass. It looks a little off to me, but I'm not sure that 2x2 round bricks (or plates) would actually look any better. That's the problem with picking one part (likely the eyes in this case) and then trying to build the rest of a scene around it - sometimes LEGO just can't quite get you the size you need, and something has to be a little out-of-scale. Fortunately, the rest of this is perfect.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An Index of Brickset Bricklists of LEGO sets by specific designers

If you're anything like me, you like to keep track of who designed various LEGO sets. LEGO designers are our rock stars. LEGO set database Brickset has long been the go-to resource for information on LEGO sets, so it's only natural that their bricklists feature has become a useful tool for keeping track of which sets were designed by some of our favorite LEGO set designers. Here's a quick round-up of some designer-based bricklists that I've found - as always, you can let us know of any that I've missed by shooting an e-mail to legomodeloftheday@gmail.com

Bricklists made/maintained by LEGO set designers themselves:
Sets by Mark Stafford.
Sets by Adam.
LEGO designs by Pierre Normandin
Sets designed by Mike Psiaki

Bricklists made by LEGO fans about LEGO set designers:
Sets designed by Marcos Bessa
Sets by Jamie Berard

These are, by their nature, difficult to complete - since a finished LEGO set is the work of several different teams and departments at LEGO, it's frequently not easy to say that any particular person should have credit for a particular part of a specific LEGO set. There are also many LEGO set designers who aren't connected enough to the fan community to realize that there's a real interest in hearing about these details of their work.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Some FAQs about the LUG

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I haven't explained very well the recent news that I'm starting a LUG. Here's something of an explanation, in hopes of answering some of the questions people have brought to me so far. Feel free to send in any additional questions you may have - for now I am coordinating this from the blog's current e-mail address: legomodeloftheday@gmail.com

Why start an online LUG?

Because location-based LUGs don't cut it for an alarming amount of people. There are many reasons for this - maybe your nearest LUG is quite some time away, or has few members and never really got off the ground. Perhaps you've left a LUG because of some disagreement with other members of that LUG. Maybe someone or something in a LUG has scared you off. Maybe you're too young to meet an AFOL cut-off, or you prefer to build in themes that people near you are not supportive of. Maybe you just want to be more involved in "big things" at conventions and your LUG isn't interested in collaborative convention displays. The fact of the matter is that there wasn't a catch-all LUG that could cover everyone who feels left out of traditional LUGs, and there needed to be one.

One online LUG that has been successful is BioniLUG, which is part of BZPower. I joined that LUG some time ago and have found it to be very well-run, and an excellent way to connect fans across the world for the purposes of participating in group builds, coordinating convention activities, and the support of a LUG. The only "problem" is that it's very much a part of the Bionicle community, which unfortunately does not include all that much of the general LEGO fan community. At some level, that's a strength, but it means that BioniLUG can't be the catch-all LUG that everyone without a LUG should join (although if you do build with Bionicle elements, I highly recommend joining both BZPower and BioniLUG).

Why now?

Truthfully, this is a really bad time for me. I probably shouldn't be doing this now, when my personal life seems to be bottoming out and my main LEGO-related blogging outlet is in disrepair. This sort of LUG is something that the LEGO fan community desperately needs, and I'm very passionate about making it happen. Additionally, the community team at LEGO is in the process of rolling out improved guidelines for becoming a registered LUG. Under the new system, a LUG must be around for a full year before LEGO will recognize it and consider providing any support to the LUG. That was a major incentive for starting sooner rather than later, even if it does mean a bit of disorganization upfront.

So what's this LUG called?

That's our first order of business - figuring out an appropriate name that gets the point across without being antagonistic towards traditional LUGs. Sure, I'm launching it from LMOTD, but I'm not vain enough to make this about me (DanLUG?) or this blog (LMOTDLUG?). Other suggested names include USA LUG (too national) and ANTI-LUG (too antagonistic), but I'd like to see us settle on something a bit more neutral.

Do you have a mailing list? Yahoo! Group? Google Group? Facebook group? Some other kind of group?

That's our second order of business - deciding what to use for internal communication. I am certain it will not be a Facebook group, because many people (including myself) have very firm negative beliefs about that company's behavior and approach to the web. Beyond that, I'm not sure what we'll settle on - it'll be something accessible and easy to browse the archives of.

So how do I get involved with this nameless LUG without an internal group yet?

For now, make sure I have your e-mail address. I'll keep you in the loop as things move along. So far, you haven't heard much because things have not moved along much. You can probably help push things along by shooting me an e-mail with your opinions and advice on the name and what to use for internal communication. Until the LUG has a proper website of its own, I'll keep posting any announcements about it here at LMOTD.

Seriously, though, how will the LUG work?

There will be some form of internal communication, and some sort of collaborative build for large events (which will probably be just US LEGO fan conventions at first). There will be dues - likely $10 the first year and $5 per year after that (we're still copying ideas from BioniLUG), which will primarily cover the costs of mailing things to LUG members. That higher price in the first year will cover the cost of a pretty engraved or printed brick with the LUG name (or logo) for your name badge.

Since I'm mostly planning this as a service to the general AFOL community, expect group builds to lean (at least initially) towards existing collaborations - Great Ball Contraption, Micropolis, Moonbase, Mini Con, Cafe Corner-standard town, etc. We'll likely pick one theme per year, and then try to transport as many modules as possible to various conventions. This does mean that LUG members will need to focus on building things to be sturdy and easy to set up, but that should be manageable.

Meetings will take place whenever it makes sense to do so (maybe you'll luck out and meet other dedicated LEGO fans who are local to you), but will primarily happen at/around existing conventions.

Some sort of opt-in exchange program will be arranged to transport original models to smaller shows, to better allow individuals without the support of a local LUG to run LEGO displays (say, at their local library or a Mini Maker Faire). This will allow Joe AFOL in the middle of no where to run larger displays (augmenting his own creations with models on loan) and to advertise his/her displays as the work of a LUG instead of just being "Joe AFOL". Should a solid local group emerge from such events, members will be encouraged to start traditional regional LUGs (either instead of or in addition to being part of this catch-all LUG).

Materials given to the LUG will be distributed in as fair a manner as possible (with the exception that priority will be given to members involved with displays) - think raffles for sets and "everyone gets a bag" for loose brick. This will be handled in a transparent and democratic manner on the group's internal forum. Items will be distributed at conventions when possible, and will be mailed in other cases.

Some additional benefits for members will be arranged for but not announced outside of the group. This is partly because LEGO does not allow information about any pilot programs to be shared with the general public, and partly because offers made to a LUG are intended to support the LUG and LUG displays (and not be used for personal enrichment).

Are there any ground rules?

Not really, because we want this to be as open as possible. I guess "void where prohibited" - for instance, in the US, there are privacy laws against collecting personal info from people under the age of 13. We want this to be fun and open to as many people as possible, though, so if you're too young, ask a parent to get involved on your behalf. If there's another obstacle you know of, let me know and I'll see what I can do to help. To the extent that rules are needed, we'll firm them up as we go along. Any idea is a good idea, except for the not happy ones, right Unikitty?

We will encourage members to be active in the LUG's internal communications and strongly encourage members to get involved with displaying original LEGO creations in public settings. Understandably, not everyone is comfortable with displaying their models publicly, but running LEGO displays is the most important thing a LUG does to grow the hobby.

For the sake of tracking LUG activity, promoting events, and preventing abuse of the LUG's name, any display run in the LUG's name will need to be announced internally to members of the LUG. We'll also expect that all members will abide by the inclusive spirit of the LUG - we want to unite all LEGO fans who are not already in a LUG, and encourage everyone to get more involved with the larger LEGO fan community.

What's a LUG, anyway?

It stands for LEGO Users' Group, and if you didn't know that, you might not be ready for one. The standards for what makes a LUG are fairly loose, but generally it's a group of LEGO fans who do LEGO-related things together. Common activities include running LEGO shows, assembling group builds, and drafting out sets. LUGs often also run collaborative layouts at conventions, support individual efforts among their members, and participate in other activities to grow both the LUG and the larger LEGO fan community.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Maker Faire Orlando 2014

Name of Event: Maker Faire Orlando 2014
Found at: http://www.makerfaireorlando.com/
Details: I'm writing this from Maker Faire Orlando 2014. I'm kicking myself for not having properly announced the event in advance here - we're only open for another 2 hours or so. I figure I need to have something about it here, though, since I've actually given out quite a few LMOTD tiles today.

I'm actually scattered across two floors with a mix of old and new creations. The display I've been manning most of the weekend is my NXT Robot Band (which I am yet to properly document online). Visit the Orlando Robotics and Makers Club booth to see (and play with) my single-kit pneumatic walker. Over at the Greater Florida LEGO User Group's tables, you can see my recent Great Ball Contraption modules and even a Maker Faire-flavored version of Mini LEGO Con.

I've posted some of my photos (from Friday night setup only, as of this writing) on Flickr.

I'll update this post rounding up various coverage after the event.

There's some non-LEGO coverage on the Make website
GFLUG recapped their contributions on their website.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Chris, a Life-Size, Humanized Bust of a Collectible Minifigure

Name of Model: Chris
Created by: Anthony "legonizer" Forsberg
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/legonizer/tags/LEGO_Bust/
Details: This fantastic bust made its public debut this year at Bricks By the Bay. The character (OK, the hat and colors, mostly) is based on the Baseball Player Series 3 Collectible Minifigure. The team is the Clutchers, because LEGO pieces clutch together (see what they did there?) - but the hat itself is actually a really neat build, featuring cheese slopes at the edge of the brim to round it out into the more traditionally sculpted top. The incorporation of brick-built lettering on a sculpted surface is spot-on. Don't miss the details of the face: in addition to the standard bars-in-headlight-bricks-for-the-whites-of-the-eyes trick, there's also some fantastic studs-not-on-top tricks and clever uses of slopes to get great curvature in the cheekbones and nose.

A mini version of this MOC also appeared at the Bricks By the Bay Mini Con layout.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Return to the Ice Planet

Name of Model: Exo Suit IP-09
Created by: Deus Otiosus
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/deus-otiosus/14991388075/, https://www.flickr.com/photos/deus-otiosus/14804786388/, https://www.flickr.com/photos/deus-otiosus/14804699339/, https://www.flickr.com/photos/deus-otiosus/14968394536/, https://www.flickr.com/photos/deus-otiosus/14991019332/, and https://www.flickr.com/photos/deus-otiosus/14804687509/
Ice Planet 2002 is one of LEGO's greatest space themes. Kids these days call it "classic", although it isn't quite the same as the light grey/blue/trans-yellow classic space years. I've been saying for years (probably since 1993) that I'm going to build more in the blue/white/trans-neon-orange color scheme of the classic Ice Planet sets, but I've never gotten too far with it. Other popular space themes have had some level of revival at LEGO fan events in recent years, but it never seems to come together for Ice Planet fans. Fortunately, we seem to be at the beginning of an Ice Planet renaissance now, with several fantastic creations having been published online in just the past few months. There's even a Flickr group for Ice Planet models now. One of these days, we'll have enough of us building neo-Ice Planet models to actually do a collaborative layout.

First up, we have a fresh take on the Exo Suit concept that mixes the grey mechanical look with the Ice Planet color scheme. Although inspired by Peter Reid's LEGO Ideas set, this one actually is an entirely new build and not a modified version of the set. Perhaps my favorite bit (although not particularly visible in this photo) is the giant trans-neon-orange chainsaw. It's very difficult to build in trans-neon-orange because so few parts have been made in that color. This particular build relies on the headlight brick, which was only available in trans-neon-orange in 5 sets between 1995 and 2000. The non-functional use of pneumatic tubing is also very effective, and the inclusion of icebergs and a new "turtle" build is a nice touch. Even the printed pieces thrown in work - the "60" tile used as a house number in the 80's makes a neat "09" here.

Name of Model: Ice planet apartment complex
Created by: Cecilie Fritzvold
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cecilihf/sets/72157644454538754
Next up is the Ice Planet apartment complex by Cecilie Fritzvold. Built for the Eurobricks "Home Sweet Home" contest, this model is heavy on landscaping but captures the feel of the surrounding artwork from the Ice Planet theme in the brick. The tracks in the snow behind the vehicle really sell the model, and the placement of trans-neon-orange windows is perfect. Make sure you check out all the photos - you don't want to miss the interior.

Name of Model: Ice Inspector
Created by: Chris Perron
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebrickbin/sets/72157642419723285
Finally, the last model that is too good not to blog (even though you've likely seen it elsewhere - normally most of us LEGO bloggers try to avoid covering things everyone else has already covered, but some things are too good to skip): Chris Perron's Ice Inspector. Borrowing the shape of 6989 Mega Core Magnetizer, it's the giant Ice Planet vehicle we all wish we could have had the whole time. The main reason that few people try to build something like this is that LEGO didn't make that style of wheels in that many size/color combinations. Here, that problem is solved by simply building new wheels out of a massive quantity of wedge and slope pieces. The rest of the model actually keeps up that same level of brick-built detail. It's hard to grasp the sheer scale of this model - the trans-neon-orange cockpit uses the same panels as the large base in the series and the top of the apartment complex.

Friday, August 15, 2014

BrickFair Virginia 2014 Round-Up

Name of Event: BrickFair Virginia 2014
Found at: http://www.brickfair.com/
This was an absolutely fantastic event this year - as always - and I'm going to probably write much more about it over the next few months. I'm still recovering from what was an amazing and exhausting 7 days (yes, 7) at BrickFair Virginia. It could take weeks for me to process everything that happened there, and I could write pages of thank yous to everyone involved who helped to make it a magical experience.

I recently finished uploading my photos to Flickr. There are fewer than 4,000 this year, which we should all consider a scandalous disappointment. Personally, I love this event too much - between the giant exact-map Mini Con layout and the 4 games/seminars I was in charge of, I spent most of the event running around setting things up. I didn't have time to photograph everything, and I actually never properly worked out where I needed to add an additional magnet to my badge (I ended up not wearing it much because I needed to make sure it didn't fall off).

The photo to the left is from Joe "Unhalfbricking" Miserendino of this year's Micropolis collaboration, after the invasion of some Exo-Suit sets. Micropolis is always a large fixture at BrickFair Virginia, but the decreasing popularity of the micropolis standard at other events means that BrickFair Virginia now represents the largest ongoing Micropolis display at a convention.

As always, if you have or know of photos or other coverage of BrickFair Virginia 2014 that I don't have here (I'm sure there's something I'm missing - I'm starting with fewer links than usual in the interest of not putting this off any longer), feel free to mention it in the comments or send an e-mail to legomodeloftheday@gmail.com so that we can add it here.

my (Dan's) Flickr photos
JustJon's Flickr photos
Black Six's Flickr photos
Kreativ Snail's Flickr photos
Bob Hayes' Flickr photos
ajfeist's Flickr photos
TJJohn12's Flickr photos
DJ Quest's Flickr photos and videos
Official BrickFair Flickr group (goes back to 2008)
AgeOwns.com's Flickr photos
ajfeist's Flickr photos
BrickFair 2014 Flickr Group (130 photos as 9/1/2014)
ToaMeiko's Flickr photos
Brickset posted about the event shortly beforehand.
ExclusivelyPlastic (Caleb L.)'s Flickr photos
Bosta's Flickr photos
bhrome's Flickr photos and videos
Rob Bender
Cale Leiphart's Flickr photos

Beyond the Brick's Joshua Hanlon finally made it out to BFVA and BTB actually have published their own playlist of videos by made Beyond the Brick at BrickFair VA 2014 - but before they went, Josh and Matthew interviewed the event organizer (Todd Webb) and a frequent volunteer who plays a role in coordinating some collaborations (John Rudy).
Interview with Todd Webb
Interview with John Rudy
Beyond the Brick Guided Tour (2.5 hrs)
playlist of shorter on-site videos (including 12 more that I haven't singled out here)
Beyond the Brick's Flickr photos

EDWW day_dae (esteemedhelga)™'s Flickr photos are split into multiple sets this year:

The Fox 5 videos seem to be a bit better this year, although their anchors still keep trying to put an 'S' at the end of LEGO and pretend that's a real word. My understanding is that there were four segments aired live Sunday morning, although only two appear to be online:
7:20 AM: Mini Con interview with Mariann Asanuma and Daniel Pikora (hey, we know those two!)
8:40 AM: Charity minifigures interview with Ben Spector
6:24 PM: Evening recap

Fox 5's Kellee Azar also gave BrickFair some positive coverage on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KelleeAzarFox5/status/496374700570705920

We also rounded up coverage of BrickFair Virginia in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. I'm not sure why 2012 was skipped - I still intend to catch up on BrickFair 2013.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Brickworld Chicago 2014 Round-Up

Name of Event: Brickworld Chicago 2014
Found at: http://www.brickworld.us/
Details: For the second year in a row, LMOTD made it out to Brickworld Chicago. Technically speaking, back in 2013 we were still trying to merge with Beyond the Brick, so we skipped rounding up coverage last year in favor of video work (Matthew) and behind-the-scenes efforts for the aborted site (Dan). I may try to do a proper round-up of BW13 at some point, but for now I'm focusing on 2014.

In the interest of being competitive, I did not take enough photos to beat my record from last year, but I did seem to take more than any other individual. I don't know if that counts as winning, but it's a start. It's weirdly satisfying knowing that I ended up missing a few of the MOCs because I was too busy enjoying rare opportunities to catch up with friends from previous events. Another nice thing for many of us is that the amount of high-profile people who showed up this time around and don't always make it (the west-coasters in particular had a huge presence this time) turned this into more of a networking event than in prior years - it was great getting to meet many of you that I previously only knew from online.

Pictured to the left: the spectacular Micro-GARC Brickworld Grand Prix was not just a highlight of the event, but perhaps the most successful online community collaboration ever, with dozens of excellent models being put in a side area because of overwhelming participation. Usually you see group layouts find creative ways to work around low participation - this was the first time I've ever seen extra space required to fit excess models. This photo of part of the layout is by Cale Leiphart.

As always, if you have or know of photos or other coverage of Brickworld 2014 that I don't have here (I'm sure there's something I'm missing), feel free to mention it in the comments or send an e-mail to legomodeloftheday@gmail.com so that we can add it here.

My (Dan's) Flickr photos
Brickapolis (Matthew)'s Flickr photos
Beyond the Brick's Flickr photos (most descriptions have links to their videos on YouTube, including the keynote address and a tour, as well as interviews - which they're actually still editing and uploading)
Nick Brick's Flickr photos: day 1, day 2, World of Lights, day 3, & day 4.
Kevin Hinkle's Flickr photos
CEE Team Blog Event Recap
RedCoKid's Flickr photos
Cecilie Fritzvold Flickr photos
hinckley39's Flickr photos
Joe Meno's Flickr photos: setup, World of Lights, 1, 2
Bill Ward's Flickr photo album and (blog post)
Cale Leiphart's Flickr photos
The official Brickworld Flickr pool
SavaTheAggie's Flickr photos
blackpony72's Flickr photos

We also rounded up coverage of Brickworld Chicago in 2010 and 2011.

Some housekeeping sidenotes: Yes, we still intend to round up coverage of other events, in particular BrickFair Virginia 2013, BrickFair Alabama 2014, and BrickFair New England 2014, because I (Dan) loved all of those and continue to be active with BrickFair as an event volunteer (please join us in Virginia later this month!). Also, I've decided to back off of trying to keep track of the official Flickr jargon - from here on out, we'll just refer to a grouping of photos on Flickr as "Flickr photos" (rather than "photoset", "set", "collection", or "album", since these seem to change).

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gorilla Train Engine

Name of Model: Gorilla Train- Alternate build of 70008
Created by: MasonKH
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/61974423@N06/13537166385/ (there are 7 photos total: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7)
Details: MasonKH came up with this clever build using only parts from set 70008 Gorzan's Gorilla Striker. The uses of the large curved elements (even that really stylized vehicle mudguard element) get a surprisingly believable shape for a train locomotive. Some of the details weren't possible to do too well, but were still a valiant attempt (such as the simple running gear). I tend to avoid minifigures when making alternate builds, but the Gorilla driving the train is adorable. That's what Chima characters are supposed to be, right?

This was originally designed for the BE THE SPECIAL - THE LEGO® MOVIE REBRICK COMPETITION (which has since ended) hosted by LEGO's ReBrick. We haven't previously covered ReBrick, but it's an interesting service LEGO currently runs that can be thought of as "tumblr for LEGO fans". In recent months, they've taken to using fun activities like this to get more fans interested in the site. Considering my penchant for alternate builds (or really, anything that forces us to be clever instead of throwing a large LEGO collection at an idea), I'd expect to see more entries from this contest pop up here over time.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Miniature Husky Sculpture

Name of Model: Miniature Husky
Created by: Quy Chau
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nxtquy/sets/72157644934079871
Details: This is one of those rare models that is technically interesting, aesthetically pleasing, and documented in freely available instructions. While the availability of specific small pieces and studs-not-on-top elements has meant that most people can't easily attempt this style of building, the reality is that it can be quite tricky to get the geometry to work out just right - it isn't easy even with all the right pieces handy. Having instructions (for something more complex than a Lowell sphere) is a great place to start, and should get more people trying this out (even if only to build other dog breeds).

There are some other nice details in the model as well. Note the use of 1x1 plates with teeth as claws and Bionicle ball joints as eyes. The "SNIR" (Studs-Not-In-a-Row) approach to the eyebrows is a clever way of filling in a gap that requires getting away from 90 degree angles, and a similar problem with the ears is solved by having them attached to Technic half-pins (which have a stud on one side and will allow anything attached to that stud to swing loosely). While a bit simpler, I'm a fan of the collar as well - it's a detail that makes the finished result more believable, and the studs-not-on-top geometry makes the cheese slopes look perfectly believable as a round surface.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

More Site News

We have some more news to share:
  • We (Dan and Matthew) made it out to BrickWorld Chicago this year. I'd like to put together a proper photo roundup at some point, but for now, you can watch the photos I'm still uploading to Flickr. Some of you who saw us may have gotten your hands on some of our promo tiles we've been giving away, if not, you can try to catch us at BrickFair Virginia in a few weeks. I (Dan) will be there co-leading the Mini Con layout - if you're a registered attendee bringing MOCs to display, bring a miniland-scale version of yourself and a mini version of your MOC to display. Matthew and Seth should also be around for some of the event, but can't keep the sort of crazy hours I tend to keep at LEGO conventions.
  • We are starting a LUG! Most of the details are still To-Be-Announced, but the idea is to provide a stopgap for people who want to be involved in the LEGO fan community but aren't already involved in another LUG (this will be primarily an online LUG with meetups at conventions). If you want to be involved with this, you can shoot me an e-mail at legomodeloftheday@gmail.com
  • Our first set giveaway will be starting soon! Our friends on LEGO's Community Engagement & Events team have very generously given me a few goodies that we will give you a chance to win in the near future.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mini LEGO Con

Name of Model: Mini LEGO Con
Created by various people, see below
Found at (semi-official Flickr group): https://www.flickr.com/groups/2318936@N22/
Details: As I hinted at earlier, there's a big project I've been involved with for a while now that I am really excited to share with everyone. That project is Mini LEGO Con - in short, a miniland scale model of a LEGO convention. This is a massive group layout that you can expect to see at many LEGO conventions (and other conventions, too!) in the years to come.

Mini LEGO Con was first displayed at BrickCon 2012 by Steve Oakes (BrickCon Microscale coordinator) and Mariann Asanuma (former LEGOLAND Master Model Builder). Mariann brought Mini Con to other events throughout 2013 (BricksCascade, Emerald City Comic Con, BrickWorld, BrickFair VA, Bricks by the Bay, BrickCon). After BrickFair VA, BrickFair coordinator Todd Webb decided to make Mini Con a part of BrickFair going forward, and purchased the parts required to assemble the layout at future conventions. Most notably, Todd decided to change the layout from being a caricature of a convention to being an exact match - at BrickFair, the baseplates and tables are set up in the same layout as the convention itself.

Back at BrickFair Alabama 2014, I (Dan) assembled the miniland-scale (roughly 1:20) tables, chairs, and stanchions for use at BrickFair events, the next of which will be in Manchester, New Hampshire, this upcoming weekend (public hours are May 10th & May 11th, 2014, 11:00am - 4:00pm, we'd love to see you there!). If you've registered to participate, you should make sure to bring a miniland-scale version of yourself and microscale versions of the models you're bringing (BrickFair provides the bare bones of the layout, so you shouldn't need to pack your own mini tables and mini stanchions). If you're attending as public, you're in for a real treat, as this enormous layout will completely match the map of the convention (and should be filled in even more than the layout in Alabama earlier this year).

Can't make it to New Hampshire next weekend? BrickFair will also be in Virginia (July 30th-August 3rd) and New Jersey (October 30th-November 2nd), and similar, smaller layouts (without BrickFair's backing) should be appearing at BrickWorld Chicago (June 11th-15th) and BrickCon (October 2nd-5th). We're hoping this catches on more generally as a theme and a building standard for group layouts at LEGO events (like moonbase or the Cafe Corner standard).

I've started a Flickr group to make it easier to find ideas, inspiration, and displays related to this theme. For blogging purposes here, we're mostly talking about LEGO conventions, but these displays are also a hit at Comic and Sci-Fi conventions (think: minilanders in costume as their favorite characters) and I intend to expand to Maker Faires this year as well. The Flickr group discussions include an attempt at a list of all Mini Con events.

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Name of Model: Banjo and Kazooie
Created by: Sir Nadroj
Found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sirnadroj/13911243670/
Details: I regret that we don't see as much from Sir Nadroj as we used to, but whatever he builds never fails to amaze. I'll admit to never playing the game(s), but I am familiar with the characters and they are captured perfectly here. Particularly amazing to me is the way Banjo's brow is handled, surrounding those ball socket eyes perfectly. Not an easy task with a part easier used in even goofier-looking creatures. The paws deserve a shout-out too; I didn't even know you could use that technique with the 2x2 slope pieces.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Another Blog You Should Read: the LEGO Community Team Blog

Name of Blog: Community Team Blog
Created by the LEGO company's Community Engagement & Events team
Found at: http://ceeteamblog.com/
Details: If you've been following our coverage of LEGO-related events over the years, you've probably come across some interesting examples of official visitors to these events and official support for these events from various parts of the LEGO company. This is something that has been in flux over the years as LEGO tries to determine how unofficial events can be of use to the LEGO company and how best to support unofficial events. Those constant changes can make it hard to keep track of what LEGO does and doesn't do for the fan community, but all of the official efforts are managed by LEGO's Community Engagement & Events (CEE) team, which (since November 2012) has a blog to help you stay in the loop. It won't tell you everything (because some community support programs are relatively secret pilot programs), but it's a great resource and will show you many fascinating aspects of the LEGO fan community and the LEGO company.

We really can't thank the CEE team enough - they're out there trying to keep track of every LEGO User Group in the world, listening to a ridiculous amount of concerns from LEGO fans, and constantly answering the same questions (even though most of the answers are as follows: "No, we can't confirm or deny anything about the future or upcoming products", monorail/old grey/Bionicle/9V trains are not coming back, LEGO does not have the license to make that, and no, we can't supply you with free LEGO pieces for your personal projects). I don't know how they do it, but they are fantastic and do an excellent job of being our voice inside of the company and representing the company to the larger community of LEGO hobbyists.

Full disclosure: Senior Community Coordinator for the Americas Kevin Hinkle is a "somewhat awesome" friend-of-the-blog who has previously featured my work on the CEE team blog (see screenshot above) and may or may not secretly be on our payroll. Those may be excellent ways to get my attention, but I'm still not above razzing Kevin for not making it to every LEGO convention in the world.

Further disclosure: We don't actually have a "payroll" and much of this blog's relationship with Kevin (and his team) is based on our previous relationship with Beyond the Brick. Beyond the Brick recently interviewed Kevin in his Enfield, Connecticut office and Kim Thomsen, Community Coordinator for the EU, blogged about that video.

I'll be disclosing more (about a project I've gotten involved with that has indirectly received support from LEGO) in the near future.