Monthly Archives: October 2011

Between home and the war’s desolation

After I posted my little fleet of microscale spaceships in September, I kept tinkering with the design of the ships, and when I got bored, built new ones. By BrickCon, I had added a new cruiser and hospital ship.

U.E.F. Expeditionary Strike Group - V2

The cruiser is based on the same keel as the carrier, but the most notable improvements overall are the little bits of light gray, red, and yellow, plus the decals. Exo-Force sets provide a remarkable diversity of military/industrial designs on clear sticker sheets that add cool details to a finished model.

Since I had all that gray greebly LEGO lying around, I tried building a Silverback from Gears of War 3, but it got considerably bigger than I intended — though I like the ultimate design — so I’m calling this little battlemech “Sasquatch”:

C.O.G. "Sasquatch" battlemech (1)

For the minifigs, I’m trying out the new Gears-inspired armor and weapons from BrickWarriors. Their lineup doesn’t currently include a non-retro Lancer rifle or Gnasher shotgun, so I’m using the old Amazing Armory versions.

(I’m also experimenting with a new indoor photo setup and post-processing, which explains the difference in the same light bluish gray between the two photos.)

Dinosaurs return to LEGO with 2012 LEGO Dino sets [News]

I’m not sure where Brickshelfer grogall has gotten all the official photos of 2012 LEGO sets, but I keep finding more high-res photos of upcoming sets. The latest is the “Dino” line, reminiscent of the Dino Attack/Dino 2010 sets from a few years ago.

5885 Triceratops Trapper includes a tan triceratops with a bulky 4×4 vehicle:

LEGO 2012 Dino 5885 set

The new dinosaurs reflect the improvements to animal molds and printing we’ve seen recently in other themes. The Tyrannosaurus rex in 5886 T-Rex Hunter looks simultaneously more LEGO-like and realistic (at least compared to the LEGO dinosaurs from the Dino Attack sets).

I’ll withhold judgment on the vehicle designs until I see them in person (presumably in January), but I really like what I’m seeing of the creatures.

LEGO vampire Jack-o’-Lantern

LEGO’s North American Community Coordinator Kevin Hinkle participated in a recent Halloween contest at work. The pumpkin-decorating contest required participants to include at least five LEGO elements. Kevin’s pumpkin uses the design from the recent Collectible Minifigure vampire.

LSI- Pumpkin Decorating Contest 2011

I like how Kevin left the edges “rough,” as though the vampire painter minifig actually painted it.

The Lady Guinevere

I may or may have mentioned it before, but I’m a bit of a sucker for a pretty ship. You can take the girl away from the sea, but you can’t take the sea away from the girl. (And, coincidentally, yesterday was the USS Constitution’s 214th birthday!)

But I digress. Luke Hutchinson‘s newly posted ship is just stunning. I love the lines of the hull, and the details. It’s always in the details.

That’s a Big Caterpillar

This smart-looking piece of equipment was made by Marek Markiewicz (aka M_longer), and is actually in minifig scale. The real Caterpillar 24M stretches over 46 feet long, and has a 24 foot wide blade! Marek’s Lego version is equally impressive, though, featuring a pneumatically operated blade and rear ripper, and functioning steering and articulation. Marek has even made a cool video to showcase the moving parts in action.

RAILBRICKS Issue 10 is out


RAILBRICKS issue 10 is just out. Chock full of the usual trainy goodness with a focus on recent events. And it’s happy editor birthday to Elroy Davis who marks one year in charge of RAILBRICKS.

RAILBRICKS Issue 10 is now available for download. The new issue features stories covering some fan events from the past summer, as well as tips and building instructions.

MAKE interviews BrickForge’s Kyle “Armothe” Peterson

Surrender the BootyOne of the things I love about BrickForge is that they seem to be just ahead of what LEGO ends up producing — from cows, pigs, and crowbars a few years ago to 1×1 round tiles and park ranger hats in the upcoming 2012 LEGO City sets. Does The LEGO Group have a spy in BrickForge world headquarters?!

Anyway, I always like to learn more about the LEGO vendors and custom accessory makes who populate the brick “ecosystem,” so it was great to run across an interview with Kyle Peterson on one of my favorite non-LEGO blogs, MAKE.

I hear some 3rd party manufacturers of Lego accessories recycle old bricks in their ABS, grinding them up and adding them to the molten plastic. Can you talk a little about this?

Obviously the ABS has to come from somewhere. BrickForge deals with very large production runs – thus we use specifically dyed ABS pellets during the self-contained, automated injection process. Other vendors may use a smaller, lightweight injection press for smaller production runs. This requires a manual feed of plastic into the hopper. Either the artisan has to purchase pre-mixed pellets (that match the LEGO color palette) or simply grind up and smelt existing LEGO brick. The first option is expensive, the second option is time consuming (not to mention having to deal with toxic fumes).

Read the complete interview on the MAKE Blog.

Elegant Antique Car: The Alvis TA-28

Marcos Bessa (aka Marcosbessa) may have invented the Alvis TA-28 solely to express its stylishness in Lego form, but you’d never know it. This classy car perfectly embodies the panache of the roadsters from the first half of the twentieth century. I love the smooth curves Marcos has achieved on the hood and fenders, and he could not have chosen a more fitting color-scheme.