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, February 26, 2012

Biggerer is betterer

"Jason Allemann was a Canadian mammalian,
and to folks further south that made him an alien.
Yet his skill with the bricks left them quite unprepared
for his microscale tractors, and beavers, and bears
and collection of flags that was beyond compare,
not to mention his puzzles and company logos.
But then Jason's lady friend got hold of his Lego,
and said "I have this desire to build Once-ler's house,
and you can't stop me doing it, as you're not yet my spouse!"
Well, he showed her the ropes (but hid his dark bley)
and helped her connect pieces in the very best way.
Then when it was done they thought it looked groovy.
So imagine their surprise when they learned of the movie!"


Friday, February 24, 2012

Therefore, amatic!

We've seen our fair share of famous album covers done in Lego over the years. And some of them weren't great. Mainly the ones that just used minifigs. But Olivier (aka LegoManiac) shows us what can be done when you deliberately pick a relatively obscure album with a really difficult cover, and still do a great job of it...

Here's the actual album art...

If only the original Korg Doncamatic had been as exciting-looking as this contraption, electronic music might have evolved along a very different path! Probably one dominated by clowns.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Arrietty the Borrower

The Studio Ghibli movie Arrietty finally opened in the US this weekend. But since I rarely get out to the cinema, I decided to finally crack open my UK edition DVD. And yes, it's actually dubbed with British accents instead of American accents!

Not surprisingly, being the rabid Ghibli/Miyazaki fanatic that I am, the movie inspired me to spend my entire day off rendering the main character in Lego...

I can heartily recommend this movie to any Ghibli/Miyazaki/Japanime fan! It's not a Miyazaki movie in the normal sense; Miyazaki's involvement was a little more perfunctory on this occasion. Nevertheless, in the grand Miyazaki tradition, Arrietty is 80 minutes of meticulously detailed, pollen-drenched, hazy sceneporn - with a delightfully simple story and touching characters, totally bereft of any of the formulaic elements of a Hollywood movie. So I expect American audiences will hate it! The only thing I did not like about the movie was the lack of a Joe Hisaishi soundtrack (like eating fries without salt!).

About the model: Too often I end up just building a character and photographing it on a plain background. But I felt this Lego character deserved a proper Lego setting. The hand is a fully three-dimensional 2X Lego recreation of my own hand, the palm rising several inches above table level and the wrist arching back at 45 degrees. The ivy leaf is based on one I plucked from the wall outside my Lego room. The background was shopped in, since we had very poor weather and light in Seattle today. It all looks much more impressive "in the flesh"!

And to understand the signifiance of what Arrietty is holding, go see the movie!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

You know, for really tiny hippies...

SouKoyamada appears to be a relative newcomer to the game, but is clearly a classic car nut, and has developed quite a knack for small-scale vehicle construction.

...and is also a total clever-clogs for coming up with this groovy little design for a 60's VW van! I'm guessing it's similarity to LEGO's larger VW van set is more homage than coincidence. WANT.

And how could I ignore this vignette of the car chase from the 'lost' Miyazaki movie Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. I particularly like the use of minifigs with no faces. Classy!

Hmmm, now why do Miyazaki and small versions of things seem to be in my thoughts this week? Guess you'll have to wait and see...

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Unless you've literally been living inside some kind of cubist virtual world for the past few months, you'll know that The Lego Company has been working on a Minecraft set, ever since this became the first idea to gain the required 10,000 votes on Lego's experimental AFOL IDOL website (...beautifully gamed by Minecraft creators Mojang, btw)

Today, images of this new set were finally unveiled. Cue inevitable flurry of polar reactions and heated discussions of the result.

But if it had been up to me, I'd have put TUNIK J on the job...

I am personally offering to fax a hug to the first person that comes up with a convincing Enderman at the scale of this new Lego set. I'll permit use of stickers or ink for the eyes. Here's TUNIK's version...


Monday, February 13, 2012


As a child I was very keen entomologist. No, that isn't the scientific word for someone who eat's their own poo. It means I was into bugs. So I only had to see the thumbnail of this model by Bartosz Kacprzyk (aka "the man whose name can never be used as an anagram") to recognize it as Musca Domestica, the common housefly. Bzzzzzzzzzzzz!

And here is the almost obligatory "bug stuck upside down" view that The Living Brick regards to be the hallmark of any good bug creation...

At one time I could probably diagram this species, label about 20 of it's body parts, and all 5 dieseases that it can carry. But nowadays I am content to just find insects to be generally a bit icky! Another example of how your tastes change as you get older. And by "tastes", I mean "view of reality". And by "change", I mean "start making sense". And by "older" I mean, "past caring".

Monday, February 6, 2012

You just can't get the staff these days

As part of the ongoing "Pirate Parts Plunder" build-off over at forbiddencove.com, Jalkow sails into the uncharted waters of miniland scale building to imagine his perfect pirate crew.

The first mate looks like a solid fellow...

But I have my doubts about his crewmates!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

You know, for emos...

I've been watching the AFOL community's adoption of LEGO's new line of "Friends" ladyfigs (minidolls?) with great interest. Customizations started to show up right away, including some amazing work by the likes of Mike Yoder, Victor Fernandez and Brandon Bannerman. But my favorite so far has to be this apocalyptic goth girl by Tyler Thompson...

Some might say these new Friends sets created quite a controversy when they came out earlier in the year. Which of course is bullshit - this is a toy company, not the Catholic church.

Personally, while they don't really change my general stance on minifigs, I'm really glad to think I might not have to put up with those bloated, beady-eyed, jaundiced monstrosities forever, assuming LEGO would ever have the balls to take the core Friends template and start adapting it to other themes.