Space news typically makes me giddy. When LEGO is in the mix, it’s all the better. On September 2 the Russian Soyuz rocket launched a new crew to the International Space Station for Expedition 44. This new crew will join astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, who are spending one full year on-board the ISS as we study the effects of long-term space travel in preparation for future deep-space missions.
Image courtesy of the European Space Agency and CollectSpace
Expedition 44 includes veteran cosmonaut Sergei Volkov (Russia), Aidyn Aimbetov (National Space Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan), and Andreas Mogensen (European Space Agency). Why are we telling you all of this? Andres Mogensen is Denmark’s first ever astronaut and has brought LEGO with him aboard the ISS to mark the occasion. Along with the crew and supplies for their mission, 20 minifigures flew aboard.
Image courtesy of the European Space Agency and CollectSpace
According to Mogensen, “ESA and LEGO Education have partnered together for this mission, and among other things, we are running a competition for Danish schoolchildren to tell a story about my mission using Legos.” Mogensen recently completed a fantastic AMA on Reddit, if you wish to read more.
For more information on the mission and Expedition 44, check out Collect Space, the European Space Agency, NASA, and follow Andreas Mogensen on Twitter.
As the grandson of an American World War II veteran who was born and raised in Japan, I have a rather complicated relationship with the Pacific War in World War II. From Nanjing to Bataan, there’s no denying the atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese military against both the peoples of fellow Asian nations as well as Allied prisoners of war, and yet I feel deep sympathy for the genuine suffering that the people of Japan experienced themselves — from the firebombing of my hometown Tokyo to burning Okinawan civilians alive as they hid in caves. The end of World War II could not come soon enough, and Japan’s surrender ensured that my GI grandfather did did not get shipped from Hawaii across the Pacific to participate in the invasion of the Japanese home islands.
To commemorate this important event 70 years ago today, Dan Siskind has built the American battleship USS Missouri, which was the venue in Tokyo Harbor for Japan’s surrender. At 26 feet long, Dan’s “Mighty Mo” is the largest LEGO warship ever made (four feet longer than Jumpei Mitsui’s Yamato).
This giant LEGO battleship dwarfs the room it’s currently housed in at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
You can see more photos, including lots of work-in-progress shots, in Dan’s “USS Missouri Project” photoset on Flickr.
August has ended, and that means the latest bout of Iron Builder is now in the hands of the judges. We saw an exciting month long build-off between American title holder Matt De Lanoy and young Canadian challenger Tim Schwalfenberg. The fight produced some epic creations, many of which we’ve been covering along the way. So while we wait to see who emerges victorious, let’s enjoy some more of the entries, starting in this post with Matt’s…
The much anticipated movie Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice is still 7 months away, but Tommy Williamson and his crew at BrickNerd Studios (the team that did the animation for the recent LEGO Brickumentary) have wasted no time in producing a follow-up to their earlier LEGO Batman vs Superman brickfilm. So without further ado, here is…
Now animation of this quality requires time and money to make. To that end, they have just started a pledge drive to fund future BrickNerd projects and activities. And as a token of their appreciation, lucky pledgers will be eligible to receive one-of-a-kind LEGO trinkets from BrickNerd Studios …including the batmobile featured in both films!
Last month’s TBB header photo winner Andrea Lattanzio has been posting images of awesome LEGO models in awesome LEGO garages for a while, and his latest is a beautiful 1932 Ford roadster with a really excellent engine hoist. Andrea has used this backdrop before, but if you haven’t spent time yet poring over all the accessories and other details, you owe it to yourself to do so now.
It’s “back to school” season across the US. My two trudged back there today. So this little scene by delayice seemed appropriate. But hey, where are all the SmartBoards and laptops and phones?!
The kids are back in school, and the weather in some parts is changing. Yes, I guess Summer is slowly on the way out! So in a desperate act of defiance, this month’s chosen cover photo is a model of the pier at Brighton (a traditional British seaside resort) built by Greg Dlx:
Wanna see your creation featured across TBB social medial for a month? Then submit a photo of it today! Just make sure to read the rules first – we’re getting tired of submissions that won’t work as cover photos.
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.
The epic poetry of Homer’s Iliad seems ripe for LEGO inspiration, but we don’t see a lot of Homeric LEGO. Simon Schweyer corrects this with a triptych of scenes from this great work of Classical literature.
First, Paris seduces and abducts Helen of Troy, setting in motion the vengeful war led by Helen’s husband Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon. A beautiful Spartan temple dominates the scene, complete with gilded statuary in the pediment.
Next, Simon depicts the 10-year siege of Troy itself, with a disconcerted Helen atop a surprisingly detailed white wall. My favorite detail is the rubble-filled interior section of the wall.
Finally, the Greeks send the Trojans a gift horse, into whose mouth they really should have looked. Again, my eye was drawn past the wooden horse in the foreground to the temple’s pediment, with some excellent red, gold, and white mosaic work.
I’m not sure what’s going on this year, but we’re certainly seeing a lot of very large LEGO SHIPs in August (SHIPgust? Augtember?). Tim Schwalfenberg takes his inspiration from the venerable Homeworld PC game, with a super-detailed battlecruiser that’s easily one of my favorite SHIPs in several years. And at 140 studs long, Tim didn’t spare any length to achieve the shape and color blocking needed to achieve the distinctive look of the source material.
I’m always a fan of the multi-view graphic: