Monthly Archives: June 2012

One small contest for man...

Tim previously announced the contest that Stijn (Red Spacecat) and I are running over at the Starfighters Group on flickr. Figured since it was the half way point of the contest, I would take the opportunity to spread the word a little more.

This whole contest was a total last minute whim on my part, and it was only when Stijn graciously arranged the prize sponsorship with Morebricks that it became a legitimate endeavour. So far the participation has been outstanding, with 23 entries of all shapes and sizes. I don’t want to give away my favourites quite yet, but be sure to check them all out. Personally I still haven’t built a ship for it, but my man Stijn has totally shown me how it is done with his EADS TWDS ‘LONGBOW’. As usual his presentation is rather fantastic!

EADS TWDS 'LONGBOW'

So all you space-boys and space-gilrs out there…get your bricks out and start getting creative. Lets see if we can’t get 50+ entries. You have until August 1st.

Oh yeah, one last bit of incentive…behold this swanky 1st place trophy!!!!

Real World Starfighter Contest Trophy

Smolny Cathedral

Heath Flor builds a replica of Smolny Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia. It took Heath almost a year to plan and build it, and he used between 20 and 30 thousand bricks to complete it. This is his largest project so far, and I must say it was truly worth the effort! It is simply amazing. With large projects like this, it is not only the beauty of the model we need to admire, but also all the time, effort and patience needed to complete it.

Mass Effect’s UT-47 Kodiak Drop Shuttle

Any fan of Mass Effect will no doubt recognize N-11 Ordo‘s rendition of the UT-47 Kodiak Drop Shuttle from the games. By striving for a studless build and using custom stickers, the builder was able to create a high degree of accuracy, albeit at a sacrifice of the model’s sturdiness.

UT-47 Kodiak Drop Shuttle

Dregant’s USCSS Prometheus costs much less than a trillion dollars

It’s great to be corrected when the correction reveals that I’ve missed something awesome. I said in my last post about Si-MOCs’ microsocale Prometheus) that I hadn’t found another LEGO version of this great ship, but Niki Dregant has in fact built a much-larger version:

LEGO Prometheus

At this scale, a whole lot more detail is possible, including lots of mechanical detail on the engines. Like the micro version, Niki’s larger version can land on its rotating nacelles. Since this is still somewhere around mini/midi-scale, my challenge to build a full minifig-scale version still stands.

Thanks for the tip, Fredo!

Microscale Prometheus lands on tiny LV-223

USCSS Prometheus schematicI saw Ridley Scott’s Prometheus a couple weeks ago, and I’m still a bit ambivalent about it. I appreciate the cosmic scope that makes the Alien trilogy (yes, I said trilogy) seem decidedly minuscule, but it left me more frustrated than anything else. I don’t necessarily need all my questions answered by a movie, but I hate being jerked around.

Nevertheless, I fell in love with the ship herself the moment I saw USCSS Prometheus in the first trailer. With influences evident from Ron Cobb and Chris Foss, it harkens back to the great sci-fi ship designs of the 70′s and 80′s while taking us firmly into the future.

Catching up on LEGO, I’ve been surprised that nobody’s built a LEGO Prometheus yet, so I was pleased to find this great microscale version that Simon Liu (Si-MOCs) built and posted after he got back from BrickWorld:

Micro Prometheus - Landing on LV-223

Simon’s Prometheus is complete with rotating engines, and I like the LV-223 landscape in which he places the hovering ship.

Perhaps one of you out there is planning on building a minifig-scale Prometheus for BrickCon 2012. I’d definitely love to see that. Better get building!

LEGO Mindstorms NXT Turing Machine celebrates Alan Turing’s 100th birthday

Alan TuringToday is pioneering British computer scientist Alan Turing’s 100th birthday. Turing was instrumental in developing early computers, and worked during World War II to successfully crack the German Enigma machine. (Sadly, Turing was prosecuted for being gay in the early 1950s and committed suicide soon after, at age 41.)

One of Alan Turing’s key contributions to computer science is the concept behind his Turing machine, “a hypothetical device representing a computing machine” (according to Wikipedia).

Jeroen van den Bos & Davy Landman of CWI in the Netherlands write:

Abstract models are just that, an abstraction of something. In order to really show how simple the fundamental model of a computer is, we have developed a physical implementation of the Turing machine, using LEGO Mindstorms NXT.

LEGO Turing machine

Here’s a videos of the machine in action:

LEGO Turing Machine from ecalpemos on Vimeo.

Read more about the LEGO Turing machine on the team’s website.