LEGO Elves 41076 Farran and the Crystal Hollow [Review]

Last week I reviewed the littlest Elves set. Today, I’ve got 41076 Farran and the Crystal Hollow. I picked them up at Toys R Us; I’m happy to report it is now available on the LEGO Shop online. This set has 175 pieces for $14.99.

41076 Farran and the Crystal Hollow

I admittedly wasn’t sure how I felt about this one at first, since it’s fairly simplistic. From the box, it looked like a tree with some trans green and trans blue pieces. I found that once I was done, I really quite liked it. Shocking, I know.

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Young LEGO Fan shows incredible generosity [News]

The Brothers Brick alumni Paul Lee shares with us the following heartwarming story:

Like most boys his age, Zachary Rogers, age 9, is a huge LEGO fan and a huge Minecraft fan. So when LEGO started a Minecraft line, you can be certain he was excited. According to his mom, Jill, he had been saving up for some time to buy the largest set in the Minecraft line, 21118 The Mine. He had saved $120 in total, which would have been more than enough.

But then, earlier this week, the school held an assembly for Pennies for Patients (http://www.penniesforpatients.org/). Pennies for Patients is a youth program from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in which students are encouraged to collect spare change to help their mission to ”cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”

This hit particularly close to home because, in the last year, his friend, Jordan Williams, a fellow LEGO mega fan, lost his life to leukemia. So, on his own, in an incredible act of generosity for a 9 year old, Zack donated the entire $120 he saved to Pennies for Patients. His mom says, “I love that he decided to help kids instead of spending money on himself.”

It’s good to know there are really amazing kids with good hearts out there like Zack. If you want to help, you too can donate to Pennies for Patients.

Oh, and what about little Zachary and his dream of a LEGO Minecraft set? Our friends at Bricknerd will have a special review from him. Though Tommy is tight lipped on what set he’ll review…

Joe’s prancing stallion looks ready to gallop

It is probably due to my own bias, but I know Joe Perez (Mortalsworsman) as a car guy. Looking at the various models of his that we’ve blogged over the years, however, a rather different theme emerges: poseable figures.

Black Stallion by Joe Perez

Latest in line is this beautiful and very lifelike black stallion.

Bricktrix will make you jump, jump

The history of aviation is littered with failed attempts at building an aircraft that can fly like a jet but take-off and land like a helicopter. One of the few successful exceptions is the British Harrier ‘jump jet’, recreated by Carl Greatrix (Bricktrix)

GR9 Harrier ii

Key to the jet’s ability to take-off vertically is that its thrust can be vectored by rotating the four engine exhaust nozzles vertically down. These are present on the model, of course, and it is finished in Carl’s typical style, with finely crafted lines, a few custom working lighting elements and expert sticker work to recreate the camouflage pattern. The only thing missing, really, is that it can’t actually fly.

You can’t go home again – Homeworld in Lego

One of the biggest inspirations in the Lego space community has been Homeworld, the pair of fleet-building space RTS games from 1999 and 2003. With the gorgeous remastered editions released this past Wednesday, I don’t think there will be a better moment for a quick retrospective on how this incredible franchise has influenced builders over the past decade.

Danny Rice’s Porphyrion wasn’t the first Homeworld inspired build to be posted, but 9 years later it remains one of my all-time favorite MOCs. This masterpiece introduced a number of techniques that changed how SHIPs are built (particularly the use of paneling to create large angled hulls), and remains one of the best spaceships ever made out of Lego.

Porphyrion Assault Frigate

Many of Rob M’s builds are based around a combination of Homeworld and Japanese model-building, resulting in a glorious fusion of clean hard angles and bright splashes of color. This reimagining of a Taiidan gunship is one of my favorites from him.

Taiidan Gunship, slight return

Adrian Florea built this fantastically detailed recreation of a Vaygr bomber, using a wide variety of stickers and printed tiles to build what is perhaps one of the most faithful models ever made out of Lego.

Vaygr bomber 2

These are only a small sampling of my favorites; be sure to check out the Homeworld Lego pool to see more examples.

Finally, a Lego Ideas project was just launched to have official sets produced from the Homeworld franchise, and I’d encourage everyone to support it – it’s a gorgeous game, and it’s directly responsible for pushing the frontier of space building.

TBB cover photo: March 2015

This month’s winner of our informal TBB cover photo contest is Tim Schwalf, with this delightful scene entitled “When Life Throws You A Curveball“. There’s lots of great details and techniques throughout this build, but the cleverest bit has to be the use of a brick separator as a baseball cap.

Remember, you can keep up with the Brothers Brick by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter. And for occasional extra goodies, you can also follow us on Flickr or subscribe to us on YouTube. And keep those cover photo submissions coming!

Keep inspiring

It’s probably fair to say that the “higgledy-piggledy” castle style – featuring crumbly textured walls, sagging Tudor woodwork and an obligatory splash of color – has become a popular trope amongst castle builders over the past couple of years. So it’s always nice when one of the progenitors of this style produces something that lifts it to a higher level (literally)…

Behold, All Hallows Keep by Luke Watkins Hutchinson (aka Derfel Cadarn):

The Aurora Australis icebreaker chugs to Antarctica

We know and love Australian builder Shannon Sproule here on TBB for his many realistic and retro-futuristic space creations, but he also demonstrates once again (following his amazing Sulaco) that he’s quite an accomplished microscale builder. The Aurora Australis is an icebreaker frequently used by the Australian Antarctic Division for research.

Aurora Australis icebreaker

Shannon uses quite a few interesting parts in his build, particularly the car doors on the bow. My eye was immediately drawn to the little orange piece with holes in it, which makes a perfect lifeboat, but Shannon informs me that it’s a Kre-O piece from a Transformers kit — making this a “mixed media” model.