Epic Rap Battles of History embraces the brick for divine face-off

For its Season 4 bout between the Greek god Zeus and the Norse god Thor, the hugely popular YouTube channel Epic Rap Battles of History turned to Forrest Whaley and his team of stop-motion animators to give it the LEGO treatment. And the result is hilarious! Make sure to check out the entertaining behind the scenes video too.

[WARNING: Some profanity]

Awesome Star Trek NCC-1701 Enterprise model made of LEGO

To boldly go to space – the final frontier – and prosper, my friend.

My mangled Star Trek quotes aside, this magnificent Enterprise model comes to us from Chris Melby. Chris has done a fantastic job with the circular disk of this iconic ship, managing to make it entirely studless. Don’t be deceived, though, this is actually a huge model at over 5 feet in length.

LEGO Starship Enterprise
LEGO Starship Enterprise

Sexy Italian spider

We tend to focus on LEGO system on this blog, in part because most of us are not really into the aesthetics of Technic models. However, as the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider by Jeroen Ottens shows, sometimes a clever combination of curved Technic panels and soft axles can be a really effective way of capturing the shape of a voluptuous car body.

AR4C 008_

The Italian tricolore striping also adds to the model’s visual appeal.

Figuring it all out

The printed micro-figs introduced with LEGO’s new SHIELD Helicarrier set seem to be generally well received by fans. Our Facebook poll suggests 2 out of 3 of you are in favor of them! So I expect before too long we’ll see people customizing them. Customization of classic mini-figs is nothing new, but customization of the newer Friends mini-dolls is way less common….

And that’s a shame, because I for one find them more aesthetically pleasing. If LEGO could just fix their rather limited range of motion, I think it’d be great to see them used in future Movie or TV based LEGO themes. Flickr user JustJon obviously agrees, and has been repainting one Friends fig every week along those very lines:

 
 
 

Pictured above, as if they needed any introduction: Luke Skywalker; Sailor Moon; Ghostbuster; Deadpool; Catniss Everdeen; Red Sonja.

UPDATE: The creator just pointed out that he previously created an entire set of superhero Friends customs, which are equally awesome and can be seen here.

To snare a wolf

A lot of people start their builds by fiddling around with a few pieces until they find an interesting-looking combination. This then becomes the starting point for a cool new mecha or spaceship. That’s not how I do things. For most of my models, I start by planning, followed by a lot of procrastination and getting side-tracked into building other (easier) things and then some more planning, lather, rinse, repeat. Once I start putting parts together things move quickly, but the planning process can take several weeks or, in the case of Airwolf, as long as two years.

Airwolf

In the eighties, starting with Knight Rider, there were several shows that featured some sort of hi-tech vehicle as a central plot device or even as a character. Both Blue Thunder and Airwolf featured helicopters, but Airwolf was definitely the better show. It had one of the best theme-tunes in the history of television and, though they now appear terribly dated, the plots were a bit darker and more interesting than in most of the other shows, often dealing with espionage and the Cold War. Furthermore, the helicopter itself was based on the super-sleek Bell 222 and was armed to the teeth, with retractable guns and a ventral missile launcher.
The reason why the process took so long is that I don’t start building until I have convinced myself that I can build the model to a suitably high standard, which in this case meant building that sleek shape and those cool retractable weapons. What finally sealed the deal was finishing Blue Thunder, the realisation that I could replicate the shape using various new curved parts and by hinging the cockpit windows, as well as a video I saw of the missile launcher retracting on an RC model.

LEGO Avengers Helicarrier Announced! [News]

Fans have long speculated that a LEGO Avengers Helicarrier was in the works, and today LEGO officially confirmed those rumors. The new set, 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier, is a gigantic microscale ship which rings in just shy of 3 feet in length. This is the first time LEGO has used tiny microscale figures (originally designed to be trophies) as characters in a playset. The set also comes with 5 regularly-sized minifigures, and can be motorized using LEGO Power Functions (not included). It will be available from LEGO Shop@Home in March.

76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier
76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier

You can see all of the photos of the Helicarrier on the official Brothers-Brick flickr account. Here’s the press release from LEGO, along with the designer video:

76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier


Ages 16+
2,996 pieces.

US $349.99
CA $399.99
DE 349.99€
UK £269.99
DK 2999.00 DKK

*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.

Build and display the huge SHIELD Helicarrier!
Take on the challenge of building this awesome LEGO® model of The SHIELD Helicarrier. Construct the flying aircraft carrier with 2 runways, microscale Quinjets, fighter jets and ground support vehicles. The set also comes with many of your favorite LEGO Marvel Super Heroes minifigures, plus 12 microfigures to display on deck and within the highly detailed interior. Includes 5 minifigures: Nick Fury, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye and Maria Hill.

• Includes 5 minifigures: Nick Fury, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye and Maria Hill, plus an iconic SHIELD eagle stand to display them on
• Features 3 microscale Quinjets, 3 fighter jets, a gasoline truck, 2 forklift trucks, 2 runways, 4 road blockades, armored exterior with translucent elements, detailed interior, plus 12 microfigures (Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man and 8 SHIELD agents)
• Also includes a detailed runway
• Weapons include Hawkeye’s bow, Black Widow’s gun and Captain America’s shield
• SHIELD Agent Maria Hill minifigure is new for spring 2015!
• Includes a plaque with facts about The SHIELD Helicarrier
• Add lights and spinning rotors to the Helicarrier with the 88000, 8883 and 8870 LEGO® Power Functions sets (sold separately)
• Rotors can also be turned manually
• Includes a display stand
• Helicarrier measures over 11” (29cm) high, 31” (80cm) long and 17” (45cm) wide
• Each Quinjet measures over 1” (3cm) high, 2” (7cm) long and 2” (7cm) wide
• Minifigure stand measures over 4” (12cm) high, and 2” (6cm deep) and 6” (16cm wide)

76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier
76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier

Child’s play

As the current Iron Builder contest nears its conclusion, both teams continue to churn out amazing builds. But after many rounds of being cut to length for one purpose or another, the ribbed flex-tube seed parts seem to be getting progressively shorter and shorter. That doesn’t seem to be hampering their efforts though, judging by these two wonderful scenes by Tyler Clites:

 

Long-in-the-tooth readers might even notice that the old lady in the scene above is actually a reprise of a character that Tyler built for a previous Iron Builder contest – right down to the use of the blue seed part from that round!

Me Grimlock not stupid

Considering all the rubbish TV shows I used to love as a child, I was undoubtedly very good at suspending my disbelief. However, even as a child I knew Dinobots make no sense whatsoever.

Grimlock: Dino and robot mode

I can understand that, for a robot of alien origin on Earth, the ability to turn yourself into a car and blend into a crowd might make some sort of sense. However, disguising yourself as a 15 ft. tall metallic dinosaur does not strike me as a particularly sensible way to become inconspicuous. I am also sure that their personalities irked me.

Sludge: Dino and Robot mode

Still, that does not mean Dinobots cannot be exceedingly cool as LEGO models, as shown by the tiny but fully transformable versions of Grimlock and Sludge built by Chief Supreme. I like the use of minifig headgear for the robots’ heads in particular. Dinobots may be stupid, but these are definitely clever.

Life’s a beach

When a certain young naturalist by the name of Charles Darwin joined the HMS Beagle on it’s historic 2nd voyage in 1831, camera photography was still something of an experimental science. So capturing a visual record of the trip was the responsibility of a ship’s artist, like Conrad Martens.

Historical LEGO scene builder James Pegrum has recreated one of Martens’ more unusual sketches from the trip, showing the Beagle beached for repairs at a spot near the mouth of the Rio Santa Cruz (Argentina).

Yes, everything in the picture – including the distant cliffs – is LEGO. James manages to combine his particular building and photographic skills to create a very life-like scene. If the trip had taken place 175 or so years later, I’m sure Martens would have tweeted an image just like this!

Micro Choo-choo Train

I’m not the train expert here on TBB, but I do know a few things about micro and setting up small scale micro dioramas, and this build by Galaktek is simply divine:

Blue Train

I love the use of the raised track and the nice 45 degree angle. But what really steals the show for me is the amazing train. The engine is what microscale is all about – using existing pieces in completely different fashion. In this case using the familiar spring loaded cannon base for the little blue engine that could.