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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spirited away

The original Arizonan Fan of Lego Dave Shaddix has produced this charming set of Kachinas for a display at the Tempe History Museum. A fitting place for such work, although I'm sure they'd look even better on my mantlepiece ;-)

Angwusnasomtaka, Talavai and Palavitkuna

...hmmm, the evil stare on Palavitkuna is freaking me out a bit!

Each one is definitely worth a closer look, as Dave has used all kinds of mad SNOT and plate/grill/tile techniques to recreate the varied textures of the materials and fabrics you'd find on the real things. And his love for Southwestern native culture definitely comes out in this work.

Hey Dave, I think this just leaves two obvious follow-up tasks: (a) build Lego versions of the other 396 known Kachinas, and (b) mass produce miniatures ones for souvenir shop (ka-ching-a!).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bricks of Character + BrickCon 2010 = Win!

Action stations readers, BrickCon 2010 is just over one month away! Time to build like you've never built before. And don't forget to register immediately, if not sooner, to secure your engraved brick badges. And if you're not sure what category to build for, why not consider...

Yes, after a successful debut at Bricks by the Bay in April, the BOC category will be making it's sophomore appearance at BrickCon, in my home town of Seattle.

But Iain, what is "Bricks of Character" exactly? Some kind of fancy masonry company? Celebrity bowel movement innuendo?

...good question! Bricks of Character is a Lego building theme featuring brick-built models of well known characters from film, television, literature, history, politics, or even just your imagination. Anything so long as it has personality, and isn't just posed mini-figs.

Once you're registered for the convention, make sure to enter MOC cards for all the creations you'll be showing, making sure to select "Bricks of Character" as the theme, for any MOCs that fit the bill.

You should also check out the BOC Flickr group where you can add photos of your BOC submissions, look at examples of other BOC MOCs, or talk trash with fellow BOC contributors. As the BOC theme coordinator (aka "Char Tsar"!), I'll be using this group as a central rallying point, and your MOC cards and photos will help a lot in planning the display and making sure enough table space is allocated. So check the group out regularly to stay in touch, plus my email door is always open.

But wait, there's more!

The first 30 people to contribute a MOC to the BOC table (during exhibition setup, starting September 30th) will recieve a free, unique, collectible, one-of-a-kind BOC badge brick to add to your convention brick badges. This year, they are in the gorgeous new Medium Dark Flesh color seen in the Prince of Persia sets...

But wait some more. Because there's even more!

As with any collaborative theme at a Lego convention, there will be judging of the best creations (or largest bribes), and suitably cool and unique brick-built trophies will be awarded to the winners. And for BrickCon 2010, the award categories for BOC will be (drum roll, drrrrrrrrrrr)...

So now you have TWO material incentives to bring someting to the BOC table! As if the admiration of your fellow AFOLs or 10,000 members of the Lego-loving public wasn't already enough.

And finally, a BIG SHOUT OUT to my BOC compadre and all round multi-talented dude Tommy Williamson for coming up with both the name and the logo for BOC. Sadly Tommy won't be able to make it to BrickCon this year, due to some career-related globe-trotting. But he will definitely be there in spirit. If by "spirit" you mean "hard cider"!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Serieus business

Unless you've been living on Mars for the past year, you'll almost certainly have heard about, waited in line for hours to get, or traded your grandmother for, the new Lego collectible minifigs. If so, then we need to talk. If not, then can I come live on Mars with you please?

As if I didn't already find the attraction of mini-figs somewhat mystifying, the whole furor over these new collectible ones leaves me cold. I'd say it was like watching paint dry, except that would probably be an insult to paint. But that's just me. Good old opinionated-but-always-completely-and-inarguably-right little me. ;-)

So imagine my glad suprise to discover that Jonathan Gilbert (aka Shmails) has decided to do something worthwhile (= requiring some thought, talent, effort and bricks) with these trumped-up Happy Meal toys, by wrapping a humorous scene around each one...

It's Magic!

Caveman Institute of Technology

The Dummies Revenge

Forbidden LoveNever Lose FocusRobin Hood

Of course, with further series of these things on the way, I just hope Jonathan has the stamina to keep up and complete his grand opus, before Lego inevitably laps itself and starts re-issuing these things with slightly different colored hair or more collectible packaging...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Got game?

Tsang Yiu Keung (aka chiukeung) put together these beautiful Lego versions of some classic oriential games, for a display at the Hong Kong "Ani-com" (...which you can think of as like San Diego's Comic-Con, but without all that unecessary celebrity worship and cosplay!).





Turn off your spam filter for a minute...

Otherwise you might not be able to enjoy this delicious creation by Dave Kaleta, complete with brick-built can, silverware, place mat and a nice glass of Chianti...

Of course, Dave has made one major error here. Can you spot it? That's right, any fool knows that Spam is best enjoyed with Pinot Noir. Tsk, I bet he even washes down his twinkies with a Chardonnay, the Philistine! :D

Friday, August 13, 2010

These men of steel

In the dark nether-regions of the AFOL sub-culture, lie many Masonic nerd-munities wholly devoted to the worship of The Brick. Count among these, the Builders Lounge, within whose shadowy walls, the illuminati of the Cult of Lego amuse themselves in glorious battle, Fight Club style, to determine who is the Kinggge. I assume.

This time around, two AFOL compadres of mine were locked head to head, brick separator to brick separator, to see who could create the most awesomest things using large white slopey bricks. It was a bit impossible for me to take sides, so instead I just mocked them both from the side lines.

...two builders enter, but only one emerges, with his dignity intact!

Check out the full story to see what the combatants Guy Himber (aka V&A Steamworks) and Lino Martins (aka The Kilted One) produced during this match, including a closer look at pictures of their creations, much peurile name calling and prankery, and even a video!

If there's one thing this blog has taught me about AFOLs, it's that friendly competition (whether it's Iron Builder, MOC-Olmypics, or the MOC-Athalon) nearly always results in some of the best Lego creations you'll ever see. Which is a complete mystery to me, since I have all the competitive spirit of roadkill at a Filet Mignon convention...

Full of meaty goodness

Ed Diment (aka Lego Monster) has put together this excellent miniland scale Mesopotamian ox cart complete with oxen, rider, dodgy wheels, and cargo of weed...

I particularly like Ed's ox design, which also 'tips' very nicely...

...because you just know this pass time has been around for at least 5000 years! After all, what did teenagers do before the internet? Or television? Or dating? Or child labor?


Ed is clearly on a roll, judging by this Hittite chariot that he also just produced! I think the horsies are even cuter than the oxen. Of course, I don't expect to see these in a scene with the Mesopotamians, otherwise a mob of angry archaeologists will probably torch Ed's house! A nice diorama featuring some cave men battling a Triceratops would be more advisable.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Build, or build not. There is no try.

The Eurobricks "Star Wars epic scenes" contest recently ended, with various winners in various categories, all of them suitably full of epic win (...did I say that correctly?). But my personal fave was the 2nd place winner in the 'small' (16 x 16 footprint) category...

The Crystal Caves of Ilum by Fat Tony

This is from one of the most memorable episodes of the original Clone Wars animated series (which consisted entirely of manic 5-minute episodes, some completely lacking any dialogue whatsoever!). Mr Tony uses blacklight to great effect to capture the original feel of that episode. A technique he uses in some of his other larger contest entries too.

Most people will remember this episode for the excellent battle scene where Yoda single handedly takes out an entire squad of these robots. But the part that my family always recalls (and ridicules) is the hilarious stoner 'Jedi babble' that is almost worthy of the master or poorly conceived dialog himself, George Lucas...

"The crystal is the heart of the blade. The heart is the crystal of the Jedi. The Jedi is the crystal of the Force. The Force is the blade of the heart."

The beauty of this verse being that you can apply the same technique to any subject, and it's almost as entertaining as filling every space in a Mad Libs with the word 'poo'. For example...

"The teapot is the heart of the pumpkin. The heart is the liver of the teapot. The liver is the teapot of the dolphin."

...brilliant. I can almost feel a sense of total teapot/dolphin related enlightenment coming on, while in the far distance, I can almost make out the faint sound of some Buddhist's skull popping.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Here comes the son

I've never watched Dragon Balls (whoops!), but then I've never dropped a hammer on my foot, been audited by the IRS, or acquired a tapeworm. It's basically just a question of being careful to never let these things happen.

But that doesn't stop me from saying what nice work Louis K did with this rendition of Son Goku...

Now, I don't recall, is his sidekick Pikachu or Pegasus?

Grunts. In. Spaaaaaace!

I don't care that a certain amount of customization (mainly painting and decals) were employed to create the effect, but Jarek has really nailed the look of a Warhammer 40K Space Marine here, at an adorable scale...

And the good news for all WH40K fans is that he's planning to put a final design of this model into production, with Chapter icons and all!

Of course, as an old timer, every time I see something like this (or my son drags me into a Games Workshop retail store), I start pining for the glory days when GW was all about Dungeons and Dragons, Runequest, Traveller and Citadel miniatures. And the days when White Dwarf magazine was actually about something, rather than being a mere vehicle for GW products...

Good dog, woof woof, sit! No, SIT, with an S not an SH goddamit!

Once again, really sorry for not posting anything for a while, folks. To quote the Professor in this week's episode of Futurama, "These sinister devices aren't going to build themselves, you know!"

So just to prove this blog does still have a pulse, I'll leave you with this cute little creation by Fradel Gonzales, aka Slice151 (...who btw is also guilty of this recent piece of awesomeness!).

Fradel very touchingly created this for a friend who's border collie ran away recently. Now, my first dog was a border collie, and I can tell you, these dogs are loveable but bat-shit crazy and their heads are liable to go 'pop' if they don't get to chase sheep for at least 4 hours every day. Mine used to compulsively dig tunnels that a person could crawl inside. They are also very bright and can be taught to respond to like, 30 different commands. Or in other words, 26 more commands than my children respond to.

No such luck with our current mutt, though! Hence the title of this post. ;-)