Monthly Archives: September 2013

Yes...it really is the start of another theme month

Well if SHIPtember has taught me anything, it’s that it will be one tough act to follow. Gargantuan spaceships of all shapes, sizes and colours have been created throughout the month. So what better way to segue in to Ma.Ktober than a Maschinen Krieger themed SHIP.

SAFS P-Boat Banana Hammock 'Tintin'

Now, I use the term ‘SHIP’ loosely here, because let’s be honest, it is basically a giant space barbell. But it did drain me of most of my 2×2 white tiles, curved slopes in both dark grey and white and did reach the 100 stud minimum length requirement. Also it swooshes like a dream, so I’ll give it a pass just this once.

But really I am not here to talk about my SHIP, I am here to tell you all to set aside your technic beams and large plates, pick up your curvy bits & bobs and get ready to make sweet sweet Maschinen Kriegery goodness. And not wanting to break with tradition my friend Victor Vercesi designed an absolutely amazing piece of work based on some of my Ma.K models. Again the design is available on Victor’s Society 6 Shop or his Redbubble Shop to buy on T-Shirts, Art Prints, phone cases, stickers etc.

Ma.Ktoberfest 2013

So if you aren’t played out from all the SHIPing, pop on over to the Ma.Ktoberfest 2013 Bierzelt and join in on the fun.

Tribull, The Mystic Shaman of Awesome

Nick V. (AKA Brickthing) has brought forth a tribal creation of such spectacular coolness that words fail me. Nick’s masterful use of color really makes this creation “pop”, not to mention that the combination of Duplo, Bionicle, Bellville, Hero Factory, rubber bands, Technic and System all come together to form something that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Tribull

City: 60025 Grand Prix Truck [Review]

60025 Grand Prix Truck

Octan is LEGO’s fictional energy company, and is replete with its own gas stations, rail lines, trucks, and plenty of racing sponsorships. I’ve loved Octan ever since I got 6594 Gas Transit for Christmas when I was a kid, so I’d been looking for an excuse to pick up the new Grand Prix Truck, which is a Formula 1 racecar and transport truck decked out in Octan colors.

60025 Grand Prix Truck has 315 pieces, and retails for USD $30. Inside the box are 4 numbered bags and 3 instruction booklets, which seems a little excessive for a set with only 300 pieces, but it’s really of little consequence. As usual, my sticker sheet was crumpled pretty badly, but I didn’t plan on applying them anyway. There were also two loose large plates in the box, which are the top and bottom of the trailer.

The first bag builds the crew, the racecar, and the toolbox. The car is a pretty simple yet effective build, and I did like the sideways double slopes to make the cockpit sides, which is both efficient and looks great. The kit also makes great use of the Formula 1 car nose and front wings piece from the Disney Cars line. The tool set included here is also new, having changed from the basic set of 6 tools on a sprue wheel that has been standard for almost 20 years to a new set of 9 tools. I’ll miss the old tools, but the new ones are super cool, too. The lug wrench, in particular, looks extremely useful, since it’s basically an X-shaped rod. Some of the tools are almost unchanged, but other tools have been redesigned to fit with LEGO dimensions in subtly different ways, and there are a few new additions, like the adjustable wrench.

The second bag contains the pieces for the truck. The truck is pretty standard, though I do wish it had 3 axles instead of only 2. There are several nice SNOT segments, such as the grill and the gas tanks on the sides. The front of the cab contains some good uses of lesser known SNOT pieces. LEGO designers have become much more receptive to using SNOT over the last decade, which is great. The complexity and accuracy of models is growing immensely, contrary to what my non-LEGO-fan coworkers and friends lament about frequently: “LEGOs were better when I was a kid; there weren’t all these special pieces that make it

too easy.” Take a look at that Gas Truck that I had as a kid; the cab is essentially the same sort of vehicle as the one in the Grand Prix Truck, but the difference between the two is enormous.

Finally, the last two bags build the trailer. The trailer is a really straightforward build, except that the bottom is a train base plate, and the wheel carriage actually attaches via Technic pins. There are two compartments in the trailer. The aft compartment is accessed by double doors on both sides of the trailer, and is a tool and cargo storage area. The main section of the trailer, however, is where the racecar goes. There’s a huge door that swings open on the left side of the trailer, allowing full access to the inside. The tailgate of the trailer folds down to create a ramp for the car. Unfortunately, the ramp is way too steep for the car to traverse; LEGO ought to have designed a hinged-ramp that can fold out to provide a shallower assent; as it is, driving the car into the trailer is pretty much a useless play feature, but if the ramp actually worked it would be great fun. The inside of the trailer is completely bare, but this would the perfect spot for lots of customization like adding tool racks and posters.

This is a solid set. The Octan colors are fun and interesting, and the vehicles feel weighty. The $30 price point feels justified here. There aren’t many unique pieces here, but for once I think that’s a boon. I can easily imagine someone having a lot of fun using the instructions to build a whole fleet of these cars and trucks in different team colors and having an epic race day.

Plum Noir

Feast your eyes on this purple ’71 Chevelle SS Wagon that clearly has an attitude problem from a builder who needs no introduction. If you’re going to be in Seattle Washington next weekend for BrickCon you can see it in person along with a table or two of magnificent vehicles and chat it up with the King of cars.

Plum Noir...1971 Chevelle SS Wagon

I’m also fortunate enough to be attending BrickCon this year, so stop by and say hello, or tell me what a jerk I am for hating Dr. Who….whatever. I’ll see the rest of you in two weeks, or longer depending on the hangover.

“Across the track blues”

It’s time to slow things down so put on some Duke Ellington, pour a glass of your favorite adult beverage and spend some time watching the trains go by. This weekend’s special comes from our good friend Falk (bricknerd) who brings his usual expert skill set along with some new tricks to the “Alco RSD-7 Demonstrator“. I’m going to sip my drink quietly while Falk talks about this brown beauty.

When Alco launched the RSD-7 back in the early ’50s, they built two demonstrator units to tour the RRs and prove it could compete with its primary rival, the FM H-24-66 Train Master. Here’s a picture of one of the two demonstrators, #601. #600, the second demonstrator unit, was equipped with additional Gyra Lights which I included on my model. The model is 7 studs wide and 46 long. Changes compared to the render include the yellow stripes on the noses and vents, and the trucks. Note that the uneven spacing between the axles of each truck is prototypical, caused by the arrangement of the traction motors.

Description

Duly noted Falk, what a gorgeous engine.

“”Then I have guessed your riddle. You are one of those miserable tub-thumping Lake Men!”

I’m probably in the minority of nerds who prefers the 1977 animated version of The Hobbit to the current overblown Peter Jackson spectacular, but I won’t let that stop me from posting great models based off the 7-part film series. This particular scene comes to us from Paul (Disco86), who uses some familiar but effective techniques to paint an immersive scene from the trailer of the latest installment of “The Hobbit“. The diorama is entitled “It is our fight” and it appeals to me in large part because there is nothing but Lego in the scene, no glaring white background, kitchen table or Photoshop weirdness, just 100% mainline ABS goodness. There is also a nice technique I haven’t seen before involving flower-petals and green string. I’m guessing that’s Legolas on the right, probably saying something incredibly clever like ““There is a fell voice on the air” or “A shadow and a threat has been growing in my mind”. Oh Legolas, won’t you ever lighten up?

"It is our fight"

BrisBricks 2013 Convention

For those of you in Brisbane, next weekend (Oct 5th-7th) will see the BrisBricks LEGO Convention out at Chandler. Details below.

OPENING TIMES:
Saturday 5th October 2013 – 9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday 6th October 2013 – 10:30am-5:00pm
Monday 7th October 2013 – 9:00am-4:00pm

Autism Community Session:
Sunday 6th October 2013 – 9:00am-10:30am

TICKET PRICES:
Adult: $10.00
Child (3-15yrs): $5.00
Under 3yrs FREE

Book tickets online:
To book tickets click here http://www.trybooking.com/DDJR

Tickets sold at door:
Limited tickets will be available at the door. (cash only)
Book online to avoid disappointment as sessions often reach capacity
Pre-paid tickets will take priority entry

A wyvern by any other name.

TBB fixture Mike Nieves (retinence) returns to the Brothership with a commissioned piece he calls “Ninjago Golden Dragon“. The model is a true fusion of Hero Factory, Bionicle, System and Technic parts that is amplified by a striking gold color scheme which the builder aptly describes as “tough to use”. Although this photo doesn’t provide the best angle to observe them, the details on the sides of the legs are amazing. Mike is one of those rare builders who combines talent, consistency and an ability to maintain an easily recognizable style of building without repeating himself. It’s nice to see builders like Mike and Tyler (just to name a few) getting commissioned work, there is nothing like getting paid to do something you you have a passion for.

Commission Ninjago Golden Dragon

It’s all in the mix.

Presenting the “LEGO DIGITAL MIXER X32” by LoctiteGirl. According to her reference material, the X32 is intuitive and powerful with 40 processing channels and 25 mix buses, all equipped with serious signal processing (dynamics, EQ and inserts), which can be configured quickly to meet the demands of virtually any gig, large or small.

LEGO DIGITAL MIXER X32

And if your wall outlet can’t handle the action, the builder has you covered with a power switch socket to go with it.

LEGO  power switch socket