Hi there! After five glorious years, I have decided to retire this blog.
Feel free to visit my Flickr or YouTube channels instead.
Or follow my latest blogging exploits over at the Brothers Brick.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Reducing your Baby Jesus footprint

Remember that wonderful old family tradition of the Advent calendar, with its tiny fiddly little paper doors, that were opened one-per-day during December, to reveal various Vatican-approved microscopic scenes from the Nativity?

How annoying was THAT?!

Its a scientific fact that the anticipation of Christmas induces a gravitational field in the brain of every child, causing time to slow down expotentially from December 1st through December 25th. Things like Advent calendars and Blue Peter merely served as additional forms of mental torture, culminating in the ultimate 'event horizon' of Midnight Mass. Aaaargh! But it was worth it for all that lovely, sweet new Lego on Christmas morning.

Also, the little doors wouldn't stay open properly.

And all that paper killed trees.

But now you don't have to kill trees. Or burn $60 on yet another Town-themed official Lego Advent calendar set. Because every year MisaQa (one of my favorite builders from Japan, the official home of all things Christmas, obviously) creates a virtual Lego advent calendar, featuring a new MOC every day, around a central theme. And I'll be featuring the 2009 collection as it unfolds, right at the top of my side bar, for your festive pleasure!


I also recommend looking at her prior Advent calendars...


♫ " Its starting to feel a lot like Christmas" ♫

Well, Thanksgiving is over and December is upon us, which means the Christmas stampede is officially underway. Oh joy of joys! A whole month of going out to get a pint of milk and toilet rolls at 3am, only to get caught up in manic nighttime shopping traffic. Erm, isn't this why they invented the Internet, people?

Sorry, I will try not to be a total Scrooge and bah-humbug my way through the entire month! I will also try not to overcompensate by posting a Christmas related Lego image every day until the 25th. Hopefully I'll land somewhere between those two extremes.

But to kick things off, here is a set of really clever Lego tree ornaments by my talented pal Tommy Williamson...




...yes, I know, I know, I'm thinking it too: "Do I have enough time to fabricate a set for my own tree, and will this result in grounds for divorce?" :D
 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Merry Thanksgivesmas

I won't pretend to understand these local holidays, but I'll happily partake in the general over-consumption of fermented vegetable products (since I'm still off the fried food, boo hoo).

I wish I could I'd be taking it easy like this chap by Tuomas Kukkamaa (aka InfamousQ), but I don't see that happening somehow...



Anyway, to those of you staying home for the holiday's, have a good one!

And for those of you foolish enough to join 50 million others in travelling half way across the continent on the same day, don't expect any sympathy from me...

It's your own fault for moving out of your parent's basement!
 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ba'hi Onui-Kual

Unlike many of you Bionicle haters out there, I have never said a single bad word about Bionicle. I think its amazing and cannot imagine Lego without it. Bionicle is about as near to perfection as you can get. My personal Bionicle collection contains every variety of Bollok-Kal and Snotta-Catarrh-Lu'gi ever manufactured. I even sprinkle squid ammo on my corn flakes, that's how completely dedicated I am to Bionicle.

So now we've established that, it is therefore not at all odd that I should love this Warrior Queen and her Royal Seer by Bundaling.



I'm not sure which one is which; they all look alike to me!

(Oh darn, looks like the gaff is up...)
 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"WIIIIIIIIL-MAAAAAA!!!!"

I'm always keen to see interesting creations by UFOLs (Underage Fans of Lego), but most of the time they are too busy assembling mini-fig clone armies to actually stick two bricks together. And no, I don't include Bionicle under the heading 'bricks'! :D

Not the case with the very festively named HollyBerry, who is aged 13 (ok, I know, that makes her a TFOL not an UFOL). She has put together this really nice miniland version of Wilma Flintstone...



In her own words: "I have always wanted to build a Miniland-scale person, and recently, Wilma popped into my head, and here you go. My favorite part about her is the bun on the back of her head, which is held in place between those red 2x2 round plates purely by friction..."

Great work - if you ask me, this wouldn't look at all out of place in a Legoland theme park. And I know a couple of Legoland builders who would probably agree with me!

Of course, I realize now that (a) I'd better clean up my act if there are going to be younger surfers visiting this blog, and (b) the Flintstones must still be running on some cable station somewhere out there.

Who knew?!
 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ice ice, baby

The scene from The Empire Strikes Back recreated here by Noddy really needs no introduction or explanation. It's a glycerine stilt bonanza...



But what makes it that bit more 'special' was that Noddy's son conceived and co-built it with him! There's nothing quite as satisfying as seeing your own progeny learning how to creating cool MOCs. It's a wonderful feeling!
 

So what *is* the national anthem of Lego, then?

It looks like the 2009 MOC Olympics winners are in!

GOLD: Dave Sterling
SILVER: Kevin Fedde
BRONZE: Steef de Prouw

And also very deservedly:

TIN: 2x4 (...one of my favorite builders currently, creator of this and this)

Congrats to the winners and to all the competitors. This contest is a hard slog. I know I could never manage it!
 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

End game!

So after 139 matches between 120 players, the 2009 MOC Olympics has finally boiled down to two finalists, Dave Sterling ("Dude where's my Xbox?") and Kevin Fedde ("Get you hands off her, bitch!").

The theme for the final match started out as "Cartoon shows of the 80s or early 90s", although this ended up being bent a little to include cartoons that people remembered from the 80s because they were still running or in production at that time.

At the time of writing, a winner has not yet been declared. But let's look at the finalists' entries...



Dave Sterling build characters from Rainbow Brite. Dave admits to this being one of his favorite 80s cartoons. Dave, why would you admit to that?!

Here is the heroine, surrounded by what appear to be stunted Teletubbies or something (I don't know, I was a bit too old for this show)...



But his renditions of the villains are my favorite, especially the Dark Princess with her folded arms, big hair do, and foxy outfit (hmmm, maybe I should rent this show)...





In contrast, Kevin Fedde decided to go seriously old school with Tom and Jerry. As memorable cartoon characters go, you really can't get more classic than that. He even managed to capture their signature violence! Ah, the good old days...







Best of luck to both builders. May the best MOC win!
 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What a load of old cobblers

Ok, I think its time to wrap up the "If you were British, how would you describe yourself?" poll. Of course, every British slang word has at least 3 possible meanings, which leaves you a lot of wiggle room...

8% of you chose "PLONKER"
My comiserations, you are either a fool or a penis. Or Gordon Ramsay. Your choice.

25% of you chose "TOSSER"
Why would anyone admit to this? You are either going to go blind if you don't stop doing that, or you simply one of those people that talks on their cell phone while driving past me through a red light.

25% of you chose "GEEZER"
You almost certainly have no teeth, either because you are extremely old, or because you are really hard and lost them in some pub brawl or other.

41% of you chose "GIT"
Ahh, clearly you know what the British admire in a person! Congratulations, you are...

Arnold Judas Rimmer!

Making hay

Many of us spend countless hours experimenting with devious ways to connect up the bizarrest of Lego components to create all kinds of clever effects. Then occasionally someone like Polish builder Liwnik comes along and reminds us what can be achieved with nothing more than a stack of humble 2x4's...




And he didn't even have to connect the bloody things together to do it!

Fiendishly clever.
 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Infectiously retrovirable

If you're not actually sick with the swine flu, then you are almost certainly sick OF the swine flu. Or rather, the media hysteria surrounding it. The identity-challenged Jojo felt the same way, and dug up this old MOC of a virus that was originally inspired by the same reaction over the bird flu a few years back.



Well, I thought I'd seen just about every kind of life form rendered in Lego, but a virus? That's a first! I particularly like the use of the ball joint for the nose. and the general mean-natured-ness of this guy. This is exactly how I imagine viruses to look (throughly pissed off and wielding tiny medieval weapons).

And why should birds and pigs get all the fun anyway? I wanna see some flus that might actually be worth catching. Like llama flu or chocolate flu or minor-indiscretion-at-the-office-party flu (...although I think that one usually goes by a variety of other names).

Or bring back the plague! Kids today don't know they're born...
 

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stand by for action!

Exactly 1 month ago I reported on some excellent microscale Thunderbirds by roguebantha_1138. Well, the fun continues with the addition of Thunderbird 3!


Swoooooooooooooosh! It is just me, or was T3 way under-utilized in the original series? They kept teasing us with it in the opening credits, but it just seemed to stay under that swimming pool most of the time.

Check out the entire set, which also includes a FABtastic rescue scene on a suspension bridge.

Meanwhile, I'll keep trying to forget that they tried to remake this a couple of years ago. Never happened.
 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A little something for the weekend, sir?

(...oh dear, managed to get an obsure English double entendre in there without meaning to; I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader, though)

Its been a long weekend, crammed with social events, including a great SEALUG meeting, followed by a school gathering where I consumed way too much sangria, cider and wine, and its taken me the whole of Sunday (plus some illegal MacDonalds food) to recover from that. But one thing I have learned: drinking with your kids' school teachers is way more fun than drinking with your own school teachers!

Soooo, all I can manage for you today is a glimpse at a long-forgotten work by my favorite mainstay Japanese 'cute themed' builder Sachiko Akinaga.

Thumbelina


...ahhh, so relaxing and theraputic to look at! Mmmmmm. Oh crap what's that frikking scary toad in the window, aargh! Run Thumbelina, run!
 

Lofty goals

If I didn't know any better, I'd say Yvonne Doyle has invented a magical camera that captures everything in Lego form. As evidenced by this progress report on the work to her attic...



This just makes we wanna go and build Lego replicas of all the rooms in my house. Instead of actually doing what needs to be done to all the rooms in my house. And I suspect that in reality, Yvonne is already suffering from the same problem!
 

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mmmmmm, brown

Cole Blaq may be entering his "Brown Period". This greeble-tastic mask just looks like its full of caramel goodness...


Ok, he's definitely on a sweetie tip, as evidenced by this equally chocolatey moniker that he created...



It's not enough that even if my diet allowed me to eat sweets any more, all I have to choose from is four varieties of the ever-toxic Hershey bar. Now Cole has to taunt me with the sweet memories and sweeter odors of such treasures as Milky Bar, Curly Wurly, and Finger of Fudge. Aaaargh!

(...no, I'm not shitting you, Finger of Fudge is the name of an actual candy bar back in the UK; yes, it sounds completely rude; but then, maybe that's the point - double entendres are the basis of our culture, and must be encouraged from an early age!)
 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Clash of the titans

If this year's MOC Olympics contest proves anything, it's that the mind of an artist is kind of like an orange: shiny and impenitrible, but if you apply enough pressure, wonderful things will squirt out! Just watch your eye, that's all.

A perfect example of this was the recent "battle" between Lego builders Kevin Fedde and Steef de Prouw. And by "battle" I mean "MOC build-off" and not a literal battle, which in the case of two AFOLs would simply translate to "un-entertaining slap fight".

So in the medium blue corner we have Kevin "Crimson Wolf" Fedde, who thinks college sucks (isn't that the point?), while in the transparent black corner we have Steef "Steef" de Prouw, who for no particular reason I am assuming loves tulips, Edam, clogs, windmills, rising sea levels, and the East India Company.

Kevin Fedde chose to recreate a picture of a Lotus flower using a Lego adaptation of the 'cracked glass' mosaic technique, which was both unexpected and pretty darned original...



Steef de Prouw on the other hand, stuck with a more familiar Lego mosaic technique, but chose to honor a masterpiece by his 'homey' Vermeer...



What's really cool about both these entries is that neither builder had any mosaic experience prior to this, yet in creating these mosaics, they both managed to artistically re-interpret the original material in a fresh and interesting way. Massive kudos to both of you guys!
 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Now THAT'S what I call a close encounter!

This scene by tbone_tbl perfectly captures in freeze-frame a moment from that crazy plane chase scene from the movie Independence Day. Of course, I really didn't even need to mention the name of movie there, since both of the aircraft below are instan... erm... crying neonatal blitzes! ;-)



This was such a good crowd movie: I was living in Houston when it came out, and actually saw this on July 4th. The theatre was completely packed, and it very hot in there too. At the part that goes "Let's nuke the bastards / Which city will be reached first / Houston, Texas" there was an almighty cheer from the audience!

Ah, Texans! Loveable fools. Loveable electable fools. Bless their funny hats, great taste in food, and total inability to understand a single word I said...
 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oh, bugger

Japanese builder wabisabi has created a nice "to scale" facsimile of a stag bettle...


Here it is in its specially constructed artifical enclosure. Be careful, little bug, you don't wanna fall off that log...


Ooooh! Too late! Poor little fellow landed on his back. Guess he's crowfood now!


And like any good wildlife photographer, the creator was of course unable (or unwilling) to interfere. Natural selection, and all.
 

Robo-sperm!

Watch out! Project your robo-ova! Ok, Peter Reid (legoloverman) actually describes it as a robot larva, but that's not what I'm seeing...



Either way, its pretty robo-creepy!
 

Monday, November 2, 2009

You know, for dwarves...

If like me you are a combination "Adult Fan of Lego" (AFOL) and "Adult Fan of All Things Fantasy And Related To Dungeons & Dragons" (A FAT FART DAD) then you might as well dig out the spare pyjamas right now, because what follows is an absolute wet dream...

William Costumers has created a massive yet intricately detailed microscale version of the map from J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit!


My son and I love this book and have read it together multiple times. As well as the nicely rendered changes in landscape, Tolkien-esque name tags, and sprawlingly organic Mirkwood, there are some really nice touches that anyone familiar with the tale will enjoy...

The Elven King's hall, complete with the barrels that Bilbo and company escape in downriver...


The Goblin Gate, where Bilbo escapes from Gollum, plus one ring and minus several shirt buttons...


The Lonely Mountain, complete with waterfall entrance (and Smaug, of course)...


Rivendell, featuring cool Elven architecture...


William, make you always make your saving throw!
 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Do pass "Go", do collect 200 posts!

Today saw my 200th post for The Living Brick! Yee-haw! Cue marching band and bicentennial fireworks...


(...courtesy of the artful sam(us))

Now let's roll out Gerald Ford for a rousing speech. Oh wait, he's dead. Can we get Zombie Gerald Ford? Oh, apparently he's booked on Kimmel tonight. Ok, erm, cue Miley Cyrus in a Lincoln hat? "Four score and like, whatever, minutes ago..."

200 posts in 276 days works out at about 5 posts every 7 days (phew!). Many thanks to OchreBot for covering for me during my summer vacation to keep the momentum going! May he rust in peace.

And I'd also like to take this opportunity to give a tip-of-the-hat to the Lego Widow and litte Lego Orphans that I assume reside somewhere in this building, although I have no idea of their names, grade levels, or exact whereabouts.

Oo, oo, I have website stats...


...I seriously have to resist doing a Sally Field speech here, as I gaze back out of the screen at all you very patient and charitable readers. "You tolerate me. You really, really tolerate me!" ;-)

Oo, oo, more stats...


So now I've offended both halves of the planet's internet-using population (including myself presumably, which makes it ok?), I shall bid you all good night...

But not before I give a HUGE shout out to all the talented and tireless Lego builders out there who's creations have actually made this blog possible, and perhaps made my insane ramblings just that *bit* more swallowable. THANKYOU, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!


OJ

These mushrooms are making me thirsty!

If Dave Sterling weren't already married, I'd probably want to be telling him "Dude, you need to get outta the f*cking house man, and maybe get a f*cking haircut or a girlfriend or something. And by the way, your Nintendo console is like, totally make out of Lego, for crying out loud..."



But it turns out this is actually a sweet MOCOlympics contest entry, so what I would actually want to say is "Woah, dude, this is the most awesome MOC ever, it looks so real, uh but why doesn't the screen change, I've been wailing on this thing for a full half hour and I'm still not past the start of Level 1 yet. Seriously dude, you need to build yourself an Xbox or something, because this system totally sucks. Lego Halo would *rock*! Is this thing even switched on?"

Then again, I don't actually know Dave, so I wouldn't dare say any of those things!


 

Brick-or-treat ...JINX!

It's the morning after. Rapidly dissolving Jack-o-Lanterns are shoveled unceremoniously onto the compost heap. Every gust of wind brings with it a plague of discarded candy wrappers. And men in black suits are talking into their hands while guys in hazmat suits hurredly bag the headless remains of zombies. Well, on my street at least.

So Larry Lars is probably going to jinx us all with a year's bad luck ("Final Destination" style, knowing my luck) by producing this exquisitely detailed and ingeniously executed creepy CubeDude scene a day late...



I don't know about you, but I'm staying away from household appliances and ferris wheels for a while, just to be sure...

Happy All-Saints Day!