Monthly Archives: January 2011

Brickvention 2011 roundup


As I mentioned in my last post I spent last weekend (14th to 16th) enjoying myself at Brickvention 2011. This year is was significantly larger than last year with 140 AFOLs attended and 8000 people through the door on public day. In order to deal with an increasing number of attendees (last year there were 3000 through the door) the event had moved to a bigger venue but with a three-fold increase in attendance it simply wasn’t enough. Sadly many people had to wait two hours to get in and some were turned away at the end of the day. The event seems to be approaching the size of some of the smaller European and US fests.

But I suspect our readers aren’t too interested in statistics compared to pictures. After giving attendees a weekend to get their pictures up there are now a bunch of photos up on flickr (check the BV pool and BV 2011 pool or appropriate tags).

My absolute favourites were the steampunk ship Hyperion (top) by Darren Reid and the Sydney club’s Western display (bottom). Much to my chagrin I spent most of the public days building and didn’t get to see many of the smaller models but I did get a quick moment to wander around and check out the bigger models so can also recommend Ross Crawford‘s crane (right), Kevin Hall‘s Drachenberg castle, Ryan McNaught‘s The Love Boat (left) and Hogwart’s school (left) by David Scalone. But there was numerous other great models around the place.


I certainly look forward to Brickvention 2012 whenever and wherever it may be. If you’re in the region this event just gets bigger and better each year so do come along. And many, many, many thanks to the organisers. They put in a lot of effort and ran a very tight ship.

David Cook has posted timelapse photos of the start of public day

“Calamity Jane” Privateer Gunship

Mike Yoder recently completed this beautiful gunship called the Calamity Jane. The name is not a new one, as Mike has built the first version of the ship in 2008. The new version is significantly larger and has more prominent color blocking including a black thruster section, yellow container modules, and an intriguing dark red stripe.

Registration for Brickworld 2011 now open [News]

Registration is now open for Brickworld 2011! As usual, Brickworld will take place in the third weekend of June in Chicago. It is a four and a half day event featuring a private convention and public expo at the Westin Chicago North Shore. Because of the continuous swelling of participants and visitors each year, Brickworld will now start on Wednesday night, making it one of the most-attended and longest and Lego conventions all around.

The metaphor I use to describe Brickworld is a powerhouse. It’s a very dynamic convention with so much to take in at once. With four display rooms, seeing all the creations in detail is between difficult and impossible. Likewise, we’re closing in on 1,000 registered attendees, so there’s always many new people to meet and old friends to catch up with if you’re returning. Meanwhile, don’t forget that you still have until the end of January to design this year’s event kit.

The Great Emancipator

With my latest creation in the Iron Mountain Legion theme, I wanted to add some levity. It’s a post apocalyptic military force, but I imagine their grip on historical record might be a bit lacking.

Linear Neuralnet Cyborg unit 1 (LNC-1)  04

I imagine them recovering a prewar robot, and deciding to turn it into an inspirational tool, as well as a weapon. I also just thought that the idea of a robot Lincoln was hilarious, and once I thought of it, I had to build it. The name, of course, adds to the joke, Linear Neuralnet Cyborg 1 (LNC-1).

LEGO Ararat in 1972

I’ve just returned from Brickvention 2011 where I had an absolutely awesome time. I’m waiting for more photographs to appear on flickr before I give a proper roundup but there were some excellent LEGO models there.

LEGO Ararat 1972

In the interim I’ll write something about what Mike Pianta (scruffulous) and I displayed: a diorama based on the (presently flooded in) town of Ararat in Victoria, Australia as it was in the year 1972.

Mike and I started planning this about three months before the event. Our goals were ‘simple’: keep the level of accuracy and detail high, include a large curved track, and work off the grid as much as possible. Not the easiest set of goals but not impossible. I feel like we did manage to achieve them.

However we had one further problem: Mike lives in Melbourne (where the exhibition is) and I live 1800km away in Brisbane. Which meant my contributions also had to be modular enough to survive a plane trip. This was OK until, just days before I was due to go, my city was flooded leaving me wondering if I’d ever make it out.

To cut a long story short I did make it and I got very lucky with the baggage handlers who helped my models survive largely intact. Phew! Anyway, that’s probably all you want to hear about it here. If you have any further questions ask here or on flickr.

And as for the floods: my friends and family are all fine, my girlfriend got stuck on holidays for an extra three days by a flooded road and the city is a mess. Luckily the loss of life in Brisbane was very low but some nearby towns were destroyed by an ‘inland tsunami’ which killed many. Still, compared to those in Rio state we got off lightly.

EDIT: Mike now has videos.