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.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Green day

With Memorial Day around the corner, but no sign of any decent BBQ or beach weather in my area, I figured it might be interesting to look at some LEGO military hardware. But there are a thousand talented AFOLs out there specializing in that kind of thing, so I thought I'd focus on one specific genre that seems to be becoming something of a trend at the moment: Toy Story green army men!

Builders seem to be realizing that these wildly popular little dudes are woefully underequipped with just jeeps, and have begun arming them up a bit better.

Our celebation begins, rightly so, with an amazing green hoard created by La Griffe, of which this is just a sampling...

Truck and Half-track


A8 Coffee MkII tanks


Hovercraft


More tanks!


Field gun


In contrast, Mr palmtree decided to focus on troop support vehicles...

Truck


Ambulance


While Lego - LM went for a more Naaaaaaaaam angle with his greenery...

Chopper


Built-in camoflauge!


Finally, legofenris, who might just be the best macro-scale mini-fig photographer I have ever encountered (not that I'm into that sort of thing, you understand!), gives it a more psychological slant...

Minesweeper


Of course, we may never understand how LEGO rationalizes its policy of not doing sets based on modern military, but its ok if they are branded as toy soldiers, and simply ignoring the many gun-ridden sets they have made in the past. But green army men certainly appear to provide an interesting 'out' that is also a lotta fun.

Plus, you've gotta admire an entire building theme based around a single color! Eat that Primopoc and Sun Space!!
 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spongeworthy

By blinq

 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ring ring... Hellooo? Ring ring... Hellooo?

Being an 8-year-old girl, I'm a huge fan of Unicorns. I love 'em. Especially on toast. My theory is that they do actually exist, and the lack of eye witnesses is simply down to the irrestistable urge people get to run up and hug one when they see it. I mean, what's not to love about a large, powerful, skittish animal with a long sharpened stick coming straight out of its head?

Somehow au_riverhorse survived his Unicorn encounter long enough to recreate it in Lego...



Now apparently this particular specimen was noted for its total lack of goaty beard and unusual wish-granting abilities. So I checked the definitive reference on Unicornology to see if I could identify the species...



Due to the lack of fur coloration, I was able to immediately eliminate Unicornus Stultus Valdissimus (Excessively Stupid Unicorn), the white pelt being more indicative of Unicornus Renis Furtivus (Stolen Kidney-ed Unicorn). But the lack of scar tissue, un-placable accent or television set puts doubt on that classification too, leaving only one possible conclusion: what we have here is the extremely rare Unicornus Culus Arcorum (Butt Full of Rainbows Unicorn)!



According to my texts, the magical effects of this particular species are in fact (a) an inability to correctly spell the word Unicron, (b) an inexplicable urge to use Photoshop, and (c) an inability to distinguish discarded candy from discarded feces, with hilarious consequences probably.
 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"I've managed to save the universe ...and forty percent of your rectum!"

As we all eagerly anticipate the return of Futurama to our screens, and keep our fingers crossed that it won't suck as much as the recent spate of Futurama movies, Carlos Méndez continues his irregular journey into the Futurama universe with an almost lifesize Lego rendition of Nibbler. Or, as he is known in the Spanish version, Mordisquitos. We will never know Lord Nibbler's true name, for as he points out himself, "That name is for your sake. In the time it would take to pronounce one letter of my true name, a trillion cosmoses would flare into existence and sink into eternal night!". So if a Niblonian ever offers you money, under no circumstances should you accept a check!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tastes like chicken

Thank god, somebody finally created a tolerable Lego version of that ridiculous bird from the FF series. At least it wasn't based on the even more ridiculous 'chibi-esque' versions from the endless Chocobo themed spin-offs! Buckaw!

Chocobo by Carl Merriam

 

Friday, May 14, 2010

You know, FOR SPAAAARTAAAAA!

At their civilization's peak, the Greeks were pioneers of cool stuff like democracy, money, and the gyro. But right now they seem to be demonstrating about as much skill at running a country as Freddie Kruger dealing with an itchy crotch.

Fortunately au_riverhorse has crafted this highly Gerard-Butler-tastic cubedude of the King of Sparta, as seen in the movie "The 300"...


(...my son was particularly impressed by this, since he is currently studying ancient Greece at school, and talks of nothing else at the moment; we were even discussing possibly doing a miniland 300 display for BrickCon!)
 

Bricks of Character 2.0

Bricks of Character was a raging success at Bricks by the Bay last month. Tommy and I would like to thank everybody who contributed their adorable/hilarous/chest-bursting creations to our display!



In fact, we were so encouraged by BOC, that we have arranged to host this category a second time! The sequel will be at BrickCon 2010 in my home town of Seattle, at the beginning of October. BrickCon is one of the better Lego conventions out there. In fact, its the longest continuously running Lego convention in the USA. People fly from all over the planet to attend it.

To help us plan BOC 2.0, I have set up a Bricks of Character Flickr group, where anyone who plans to bring MOCs to display in this category should post pictures of their creations, exchange ideas, ridicule one another, hatch diabolical schemes, and so on. If you haven't already started building for this convention, get cracking right now!

Tommy and I will be coordinating the theme, and as with Bricks by the Bay, we will be awarding trophies for the best BOC creations. So its time to get your game on!

Click here to see photos of the BOC display at Bricks by the Bay, to get an idea of what to expect. Our motto is "If it has a face, then it's welcome at BOC, but no stinking minifigs!!".

Iain.
 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bitter Work

If you've been to the cinema recently you might have seen a trailer for the new Last Airbender movie, and wondered "What the bloody hell is that all about then?".

Short answer: Its a big budget movie adaptation of the beloved Emmy-award-winning anime TV series Avatar, The Last Airbender. The flick was directed by M. Knight Shamalamadingdong, so I expect there's probably a shocking twist at the end. Perhaps it will turn out they were in the present day all along, the main character was actually dead all along, and it was plants making everyone kill themselves all along.

Those of us die-hard fans of the original show are gritting our teeth in preparation for the inevitable 'redux' needed to cram the plot into one or two movies. But if it means getting another Avatar fix (that doesn't involve blue aliens) then we'll tough it out!

I did a series of Avatar models a while back, before I'd really 'figured stuff out', and was never happy with my rendition of Aang (its really dreadful). So when Bryan, one of the show's creators, asked me to knock something up for him, I figured it was time to have another go...



Ok, so I kinda dodged the bullet by not doing his face, but I'm very pleased with the overall humor and action of the piece. Click here for more pictures. And because I wasn't going to have this creation in my hands for very long, I decided to capture it in rotating 360-degree video-rama too!

Bryan seems mesmerized...



...but I think it may just be lingering fumes from the entire tube of superglue I used to make sure it would last forever!
 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bricks by the Bay

Wow, I can't believe its been a whole month since Bricks by the Bay happened, in deepest darkest Fremont. So I suppose I should get off my stupid fat arse and do a trip report, hey?!

Gary McIntire gets too close
to one of the models

The event was a great success, especially considering this was a completely new convention. Huge kudos must go to Bill Ward and his tireless crew for putting the whole shebang together and keeping it running smoothly!

I personally had a great time, even though I had to commute there from San Francisco every flipping day, since my family did not particularly want to do their sightseeing in Fremont (...fair enough, I guess an Indian buffet doesn't quite measure up to the Indian Island!).



Best pirate town evARRRRRGH!

Anyway, I got to meet a bunch of AFOLs, BayLUGgers and Legoland builders that I had somehow missed at BrickCon. And make them buy me food, or search through piles of unsorted pick-n-mix bricks for me, mwuhaha!

The LEGO company made a good showing, with displays of many sets, including the Toy Story 3 sets. Yes, old news now they're in the shops, but exciting at the time.

Hapless recruits at the LEGO
company sweat shop

In fact, the final prize giveaway was for all of their display models, and as the TS3 sets found excited new owners, Steve Witt was heard to cry out "You absolutely, positively cannot sell these on eBay, or I will lose my job!!".

LEGO also held a 20-something-storey high-rise Grand Emporium build, but way more exciting was a keynote speech by Mads Nipper, a LEGO executive from Billund, who gave some interesting insights into their whole product development and marketing strategies. And no-one heckled him about old brown vs new brown or possible reintroductions of the monorail system. Well, almost no-one (I'm look at you, Angus!). There was also a very interesting discussion about their prior failed attempts to market to girls.

Out of this world!

The 'Spacers' (a very loveable, hard-partying, "Bill and Ted" crowd including the likes of Andrew Lee, Fradel Gonzales, Paul Meissner and other RoninLUG members) put on a spectacular show, as Spacers usually do, including this collaborative display featuring a mountain base hidden behind a transparent waterfall.

Other highlights for me included the Yamato battleship, an expansive pirate town diorama,

Castle section goes classical

a whole Roman town (complete with Colloseum), an amusement park collaborative display, and a Ghostbusters scene in the town area (with excellent Staypuft Marshallow man by Bill Ward). The Art section included a huge miniland scale tug boat, Joel Baker's 1:1 sculpture of his puppy, and all of my favorite stuff by Bram Lambrecht.



Some local characters...

Tommy Williamson and I hosted a brand new category for this event called Bricks of Character, and we were totally blown away by the quality, quantity and variety of the contributions that showed up at our table. In the end we had over 100 models ...and that's counting Angus' cubedude display as a single model! It was quite a job getting everything to fit (especially for someone as obsessive-compulsive-anal-retentive as me!). We also got to give out a few trophies, which made us feel rather God-like, for about 5 seconds.

Who you gonna call?
 

I didn't attend any of the talks, games, or contests, except for a pretty decent sized draft of one of the Prince of Persia sets. This was only my 2nd draft, so a lot of the AFOL draft nerdery was still somewhat unfamiliar (bizarre rule variations, etc, etc). However, I did score a big old pile of what I am currently referring to at the moment as Iain's Lego Crak (1x1 brick with an extra stud on 1 side). I cannot get enough of those things.

Pick-n-mix madness!

I also peroused the expansive vendor sections, where I picked up some obligatory BrickArms weapons for my son and a pale blue moped, pigs and kittens for my daughter. But the coolest part of the vendor area was the guy selling loose bricks, $8 per pound, from a set of gigantic crates. He literally just put down some large sheets on the floor, and emptied it all out.

What ensued can only be described as a round-the-clock stud-imprints-in-the-knees fest as we all picked our way through the sea of bricks, tossing out the occasional MegaBlok or Perler bead in disgust. I have no idea where it all came from, and don't want to know! Sadly though, I did not want to haul too much extra baggage on the plane home, so I had to limit myself to just a couple of pounds. (...and Joel, thanks for throwing all those black 2x4's into my bag!)


BayLUG really, really like trains!

Local TV coverage of the event was strong (I counted 6 news crews), so turnout for the 6 hours of public exhibition time was great: about 2700 people came through the doors.

The only thing that marred the experience - and I have to mention this because for me the public event is kind of the point of the entire Con - was that we actually had to turn people away 2 hours before the end,

Angus materializes to pick up
one of his many awards

because we had a hard deadline to keep with the hotel, and the queue was around the building and up into the parking structure. So sadly, some folks who came a long way and had already queued for an hour or two (in continuous rain!) had to be turned away. But the many folks that did make it in seemed very entertained. And pointy. And damp.

For thorough photo coverage, check out Flickr photostreams from Bill Ward, Charles Esseltine, and Tommy Williamson.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

You gotta get your feet dirty

This excellent little diorama by -infomaniac- really tickles my fancy. It has all the right elements, in one compact package... Realistic scenery, decent photography, minifig-abusing humor, clever brick usage, and an either deliberate or completely inadvertent disregard for the difference between dark gray and dark bley!



I love the use of brown fig elements to show the commandos taking turns to camouflage themselves in swamp mud - brilliant! Now take out that bad guy, fellas!
 

Apparently there's this movie?

By now, you probably know about (or have seen) the Iron Man sequel. Unless you've live on Mars. Or are recovering from radical bowel surgery. Or just got back from vacation in Uzbekistan. Or have been brainwashed by some religous cult. Or some hilarious combination of the above. Or like me, you simply avoid all forms of mass media, on the grounds that it is only very slightly less toxic than a Thorium smoothie.


So apparently there's this movie. In which, as far as I can tell, a red robot has eaten Sherlock Holmes or Charlie Chaplain, apparently for the second time. And it flies around a bit.



...IM2 creation and images by Pete Corp

(Can you tell I'm not a comic book superhero fan?! I imagine if I walked into ComicCon it would rip a hole in the fabric of the universe. Well, fabric of my pants at least...)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Star Wars Day!



Or if you prefer something a bit more saucy, try this!
 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Around the world in 80 studs

Mel Caddick is onto something cool here with Around the World, a series of vignettes repesenting different countries of the world. I particularly like the brick-built skylines.





Looking forward to seeing if Mel adds further countries to the collection, preferably starting with her motherland, Australia (hint, hint!).