Monthly Archives: June 2009

Interview with an Admin: Classic Castle

LEGO Classic-Castle Medieval Forum

We continue our series of Admin interviews by talking to Ben Ellermann of Classic Castle.

TBB: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? What are you known for other than an Admin at CC?

Ben: My name is Ben Ellermann and I am a huge LEGO Castle fan! On I work on contests, interviews, various articles, and the sets archives. Offline I am involved with my local lug in the Saint Louis area, GatewayLug. I also have been a theme coordinator and/or presented at North American Lego fan festivals (BrickFest, BrickWorld, and BrickFair). From 2006 to 2008, I served as a Lego Ambassador giving fan feedback to TLG. Other than designing castle mocs, I also enjoy building in the Western, Pirate, and sculpture themes. Occasionally I dabble in Town and Space as well. This year I also teamed up with several fans to found a new Pirate fan site:

TBB: How long has Classic Castle been in existence? Can you give a brief history?

Ben: has been a part of the online fan community since September 2003. A small group of like-minded Castle fans felt that was not meeting all of the castle communities needs. The active early administrators were Troy Cefaratti, Anthony Sava, Lenny Hoffman, Kevin Blocksidge, and myself.

TBB: What is purpose of CC?

Ben: Our mission is to meet the needs of LEGO Castle fans. We try to do this by providing castle articles, set reviews, building tips, preview pictures of new sets, contests, highlighted mocs, designer interviews, a chatroom, and a friendly organized forum.

TBB The site is called Classic Castle. What does that mean? Do you exclude things that aren’t “classic”?

Ben: When Classic-Castle was founded in 2003, the retail Lego Castle theme was not in production. Castle fans were looking for a well-designed Classic-Castle line of products similar to lines of the 1980’s and 1990’s.

We accept all castle fans, including those who love Knights Kingdom 2. Many fans have a favorite castle sub-theme from when they were children. We have a General Lego forum for discussion of other Lego themes in which are fans are interested, such as Space, Pirates, and Steampunk just to name a few.

TBB What is your vision for the future of CC?

Ben: My vision is that Classic-Castle will remain relevant by continuing to meet the needs of our community. Fan sites must be able to adapt and grow over time in order to survive. To do this we must always listen to the fans and incorporate their suggestions into the site.

TBB What issues are you dealing with as CC grows?

Ben: Real life is an issue that most Lego fan sites have to deal with. Members, moderators, and administrators often move on from our community due to real life circumstances. Fortunately we are always gaining new members, excellent moderators, and talented admins. Classic-Castle has always been a team effort. This prevents our site from ceasing to exist if one person tires of running it.

TBB Why should someone join CC?

Ben: If you are a Lego fan who loves castle, please check out our site and forum. We are the source for all your Lego Castle needs.

Classic-Castle also recently completed a forum upgrade and it’s looking good. Go join now to immerse yourself in all things medieval!

Crime and Punishment

Seems appropriate to feature these two creations in the same post, since they capture very different sides of the same coin, but I found them within 24 hours of each other.

The first is a great detail-rich street scene by SlyOwl capturing a scene inspired by the film “Die Welle.” It’s apparently based on the American book “The Third Wave” by Ron Jones, and after-school special “The Wave” about a teacher trying to illustrate to his students how autocracy can take root anywhere and doing a bit too good a job of it. Definitely worth checking out the other angles and detailed deeplinks that SlyOwl has included.

SlyOwl Die Welle

This second creation, by Igor Makarov (Zeek), called Precinct 56 is a great take on the traditional LEGO police station sets, which have always struck me as too small. This is more fitting of a big city police headquarters and sure looks lite it’ll fit more than one cubicle, parking space and holding cell.

Zeek Police HQ

LEGO pirates ply the crystal-clear waters of Portugal

Portuguese LEGO fan group 0937 hosted the 2nd TomarLEGO between June 11 and 14 in Tomar.

One of the centerpieces of the event was an enormous, custom-built tank full of water, plied by a fleet of LEGO Pirates.

LEGO Pirates

See lots more photos from this event in Rupi’s Brickshelf gallery.

UPDATE: Biczzz has a full roundup of all the photo galleries from attendees, along with a few videos like this one below.

BrickWorld 2009, Saturday and Sunday

My apologies for slacking off on the last two days of our 2009 BrickWorld coverage (unless you’d rather read what I write at past 3 a.m. for both nights). Now that the event is over and I’m back with a nightmare of bricks to sort, I’ll wrap things up with a few concluding words. This year’s BrickWorld set records in every way. With over 550 attendees, 25,000 square feet of LEGO, special guests from LEGO execs and more, we’re left to wonder how this year’s even can ever be topped.

Planning for BrickWorld 2010 has already begun, and this time the coordinators have booked the entire Westin hotel just for us LEGO fanatics.

See more pictures of BrickWorld on Flickr.