Monthly Archives: June 2013

Truckin’ Through Poland

TBB travels to Poland, where apparently there are no lousy builders, as we continue our coverage of New Guy Saturday. Adam Glowacki (Jakeof_), has a fine stable of models waiting for you on Flickr, including this excellent DAF XF. TBB’s own Wreck-it-Ralph is a big fan of this model, calling the big-rig “amazingly accurate for its scale” and would surely have blogged it if not for my weekend campaign of terror on this once serene almost pastoral blog of blogs.

DAF XF105

The Spider and the Pretzel Thief

It is always a special occasion for me when I can bring you virginal content for TBB. As highly skilled and clever as they are, we know you get tired of seeing the same old builders dancing in the TBB spotlight as if they owned the joint. So on this Saturday, let us dispense with household names like Oolhu, Clites and Jones and make room for new blood. Making his inaugural appearance on our stage is an up and coming builder in the Castle genre who calls himself Masa of Kaliphlin. The giant looming spider takes me all the way back to 7th grade and Queen of the Demonweb Pits, so grab your polyhedral dice and a Mountain Dew while you peruse Unending Thirst

Unending Thirst

Please enjoy Masa’s Pretzel Thief at no extra charge, I think you will enjoy the bridge.

Pretzel Thief

Clone Wars Diorama

OliveSeon makes his second appearance on the Brother-Ship with a massive and yet to be titled Star Wars Diorama. The setting is some kind of Clone Wars military base / factory with many familiar vehicles in various states of readiness. The builder does a fine job of placing many of the elements on an angle; one of the keys to building an eye-catching diorama. Many builders have attempted large-scale Star Wars scenes over the years, but this one is a cut above, both for its ambition and faithfulness to the visual style of the cash-cow franchise.

Description

My favorite area is the front door and cutaway ramp, that’s some fine boilerplate.

Friday Night Fights (Round 11)

Welcome back fight fans, to Sin City Nevada for another rock ’em-sock ’em edition of Friday Night Fights! Tonight’s bout is a no holds barred cage-match for celestial supremacy. Let’s go to the tale of the tape:

Fighting out of the red corner, a southpaw from the Terror-Dome…[email protected], and his Huitzil.

Huitzil

And fighting out of the blue Corner, from somewhere beyond the heavens, Suboken LEGO Project and their Manta Wing.

Manta Wing 11

As usual, constant reader, you are tasked with deciding the outcome of this pugilistic endeavor by way of comment. On the last edition of Friday Night Fights, in the battle of the Iron Builder vs. the LEGO Pimp, it was the Aussie who delivered the 4-1 knock-out blow to even his FNF record at 1-1.

LEGO Microscope by Carl Merriam

LEGO certainly has some small elements, and Carl Merriam has really taken that idea to the next level with this fabulous microscope. I’m impressed with the build, and the presentation, and that’s what originally caught my eye. Then I read the description:

“A little more tinkering and I connected the focus to a magnifying glass and fiber optic light in the eyepiece, so adjusting the focus knobs would actually bring the writing on a LEGO stud in and out of focus.”

So in additon to be a beautifully presented, excellent build, it actually works.

Bravo, Carl. Bravo.

A Bear at the Fair: the Fighting Pits

Gideon_83 has made this fantastic cutaway vignette of a medieval middle-eastern fighting pit, wherein man and beast face each other in a barbaric clash.

His next most recent model—a more placid look at the toll the shifting desert sands take—strikes my fancy as well. It’s a beautiful use of a few colors and just a few simple pieces.

Cyberpocalypse Now

One of the most spectacular collaborations unveiled at Brickworld 2013 was a cyberpunk city full of tall buildings lit up with working lights. I had the privilege of providing a bit of input on the Japanese signage (a lot of which is very, very silly), and I was overjoyed by how wonderful the end result was.

First Draft

Cyberpocalypse 003

Like all great collaborations, the display involved many builders — Carter Baldwin, Chris Edwards, Nate Brill, Kyle Vreze, Forest King, Ignacio Bernaldez, Sam Wormuth, and Alex Valentino.

It’s beautiful in the dark, but you can see a lot more of the detail in the light.

Cyberpocalypse 006

Some of the signage is built from EL (electroluminescent) wire, though there’s plenty of brick-built lettering too. Carter saved my personal favorite for himself — a big building in the background that says “Foreign Girls” in giant red letters.

Cyberpocalypse at Brickworld 2013

Chris Edwards’ main photo has links to lots more photos.

Nova Wing

The Suboken LEGO Projects are something new that recently popped up on my radar. I assume the SLP are two builders based on the profile pic but any more info would be appreciated. Regardless, they are creating some cool-looking ships and their photo-editing puts them over the top. It looks like there is a complex backstory going here as well. I’ll be keeping an eye on this project. As for this ship, I love the menacing lines and the use of the giant wing pieces. Those are not easy to incorporate into a build. I would hate to see this on my six any time or anywhere!

03_Nova_Wing

00_Nova_Wing

LEGO Balloon from Wizard of Oz is full of hot air

Dave Kaleta (davekaleta) has been working on this beauty for quite some time in preparation for a collaborative display at BrickWorld. It is a very elegant piece of work. The sleekness of the balloon and the integration of the words into the structure of the envelope are both awesome. I want one of these hanging from the ceiling in my LEGO room!

Oz's Balloon

Chrome Block City review

Chrome Block City is a Bricklink store that specializes in selling a large selection of custom chromed Lego elements. This is our first time reviewing their products, which the owner has sent to me for sale in the Creations for Charity fundraiser later this year. Below is a video of the review along with a summary of pros and cons.

Chrome Block City


Pros:

  • Large selection of parts and colors.
  • Very limited quantities on most items, making them exclusive to the few owners.
  • Same clutch strength when used with regular Lego elements.
  • High quality of chrome paint on most items.


Cons:

  • Chrome parts are expensive due to their quality and cost of production.
  • Some parts with bar shapes have minor exposed areas that are not chromed. Contact the seller before buying if this is a concern to you.
  • Underlying printed patterns on the original elements may be visible. This can be cool if the pattern is appropriate but may be distracting if the pattern is out of context.

Overall, Chrome Block City’s large selection of chromed elements means there’s a good chance you’ll find something that appeals to you in an interesting shade of chrome. Many of their items are one-of-a-kind, which means you can take pride in being the owner of an exclusive chrome Lego piece. Despite the high quality of most elements, a few will have imperfections as mentioned above and in the video, but they are not significant enough to be recognized without a close inspection.