Piazza Maria makes me long for Italy and ice cream

I don’t know whether it’s the scene, the yellow background or the combination of the two, but Piazza Maria by Andrew Tate has a distinctly Southern-European flair.

Piazza Maria

In fact, I’ll be a bit more specific. The model wasn’t specifically intended to be Italian, despite the name, but the colours on the buildings are spot-on and the gelateria really do remind me of a square in Udine, where, on a work trip to Italy, I had some wonderful ice cream a fair few years ago. I don’t remember a living statue there, but I don’t mind. It could easily have been there.

In this robbery, your money is safe

Admittedly most of my knowledge about the Toy Story movies is from the LEGO sets, but you don’t have to be a fan to recognise the Train Chase, by Jared Chan, as a neat little model.

Toy Story - Money Train Chase Coin Bank (2015)

The train is simply adorable and it hides a neat feature: it also serves as a piggy bank. I do have some doubts whether it can actually keep your money safe, however, no matter how strong the clutch between LEGO elements may be.

The cars are the stars -the sequel

Somewhat to my shame, in my time as a contributor to this blog, I have not been a particularly prolific writer. This was particularly true at times when I was also busy writing things for work or dealing with a lot of deadlines, as I have been for a while now. I think all of us at TBB have been struggling with similar issues lately, as you may have gathered from the reduced frequency of posts. Even our lemur isn’t safe, although, to his credit, the kitchen tiles in the compound are now shinier than ever. Since for me stress-relief is a big reason for building, perhaps surprisingly, the upshot of being busy at work is that I do build lots of new models. This is far easier and also more relaxing than writing.

Movie/ TV vehicles May 2015

I’ve been working on a collection of famous vehicles from movies and TV series for about two years now, but by October last year I felt I was about done. However, enthusiastic reactions and suggestions for new ones that I got when I displayed them at the Great Western LEGO show in Swindon (UK) made me decide to continue and to diversify a bit more, by including helicopters. The vehicles in the picture are most of the ones I built since. I already wrote about Blue Thunder and Airwolf, in the back row, but you may not have seen any of the others. The third helicopter is the UH-1H “Huey” that serves as the personal transport for the surf-obsessed and completely insane Lt.Col. Kilgore, from Apocalypse Now. The other vehicles are Korben Dallas’ flying taxy from The 5th Element, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Capt. Nemo’s car from The League of extraordinary gentlemen, the Munster Koach from The Munsters, the GM Ultralite police car from Demolition Man, the AMC Pacer from Wayne’s world and, last but not least, the motorcycle with sidecar from Indiana Jones: the last crusade, all built to the same scale.

To be continued…

Registration now open for BrickCon 2015 [News]

It’s time! Registration is now open for BrickCon 2015. The convention is set for Oct. 1 – Oct. 4, 2015, in Seattle, Washington at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. This year’s theme is MOCking History.

Cost to register depends on how early you do it:

1. Early Bird Registration is $60, and is available until Aug. 1.
2. Regular Registration is $75, available Aug. 1 – Sep. 18.
3. Late Registration is $100, after Sept. 18.
4. Door Registration is $120, during the event.

For those of you who wish to sign up for Games, you can now do so during the registration process.

137 days in counting!

Classic Space Outpost

Let’s take a walking tour of this gorgeous spaceport, built by Stephan Niehoff. Stephan estimates it took 6 months to build. In terms of parts, he stopped counting after 9,000. Hats off to you, Stephan, because I’m quite sure I would have stopped counting parts at 10.

On to our tour.

ClassicSpaceOutpost

You’re going to have to sit down with this and just oogle the gorgeous details, but let’s cover a few of them to get you started:

The Craters: The building style gives some great angles and very smooth lines for the entire display.

Communication Tower: With the dish set to receive signals, the tower is sturdy, industrial, and excellent situated with everything anyone could need.

Landing Pad: I absolutely love the textures from using the up-side-down plates here. It’s a great way to seperate it from the smooth lines of the studs-not-on-top design of the rest of the diorama.

I am particularly delighted by the rocket and launch tower, with all of the access points and the rocket itself.

So! What’s your favorite detail from the Outpost?

Hello, Gipsy Danger.

We’ve featured a few Pacific Rim creations here, including a kaiju and a couple of Jaegers. Regardless if you loved or hated the movie, you’ve got to admit there’s something completely awesome about the massive robots.

Today, I present to you Gipsy Danger, built by JAN LEGO – complete with cargo ship.

JAN LEGO ROBOT MECHA CAR

And if you’d like more robot goodness from this builder, I HIGHLY suggest taking a peak at the rest of their flickr stream.

Larry’s hot rod is a perfect combo of old and new

One of the many wonderful things about LEGO is how almost all of the parts produced over multiple decades are compatible. Several years ago, when building a fish & chips shop, I was able to use a parasol, 25 years after I got it as a part of a set that was a gift for my 8th birthday. Another great example is visible on the hot rod built by Larry Lars.

Red Hot Lego Vehicle

Builders of real-world hot rods often combine an old body with a shiny new engine. Similarly, Larry uses mudguards and brand new wheels from the speed champions sets and recently introduced curved parts with a part that is even older than my parasol: the roof from a Fabuland car. It is a perfect combination.

Build a LEGO Racecar and win a trip to McLaren [News]

LEGO ReBrick has partnered with McLaren to put together what is really quite a sweet contest. I’m not easily wooed by contests, but I am a sucker for supercars, and the prize on this contest is a paid visit to a UK racetrack with McLaren. Below is the official press release, and here’s the official contest site. Good luck to all our readers, and may the best car win!

Do you dream of designing your own luxury Supercar? Well, now is your chance to live out that dream: In collaboration with McLaren Automotive, ReBrick and LEGO® Speed Champions ask you to build the McLaren road Supercar of the future.

What supercars will be accelerating on the country roads and autobahns in the future? Help McLaren build the future of Supercars in LEGO version and get your LEGO Supercar displayed on the McLaren Automotive stand at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed in United Kingdom plus win LEGO® Speed Champions prices. The winner and a guest will be flown to United Kingdom and get VIP entry tickets to the Goodwood Festival of Speed as McLaren Automotive guests on Sunday 28th June 2015.

In 2013, McLaren Automotive launched the groundbreaking McLaren P1™ to critical acclaim. The aerodynamic shape was penned by the renowned McLaren Automotive Design Director, Frank Stephenson, who explained that:

“Our main objective with the McLaren P1™ was to design the best drivers’ car in the world, on road and track. Managing airflow in and around the car’s bodywork and optimizing aerodynamics was key in achieving this goal. This design philosophy crafted the highly unique and emotive shape of the car”.

To learn more about the McLaren Automotive supercar range, please visit: cars.mclaren.com

LEGO_McLaren

A true Legoland Theme Park: 100% LEGO

Pro building team Olive Seon are back it with another magnificent brick-built beauty; this time a theme park. The awesome high-flying roller coaster really ties the model together, and also gives you a sense of scale for just how small most LEGO dioramas really are. As per usual with these builders, there is a lot to look at and loads of fun little details to spy. My favorites are the LEGO Architecture line buildings used for a miniland within the park.