Thursday, October 23, 2014

Brickworld Tampa

Name of Event: Brickworld Tampa
Found at:
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: and on Flickr at and
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:
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:
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