About Andrew

Andrew Becraft has been building with LEGO for over 30 years, and blogging about LEGO since 2005. He's an active member of the online LEGO community, as well as his local LEGO users group, SEALUG. Andrew is also a regular attendee of BrickCon, where he organizes a collaborative display for readers of The Brothes Brick nearly every year. You can check out Andrew's own LEGO creations on Flickr. Read Andrew's non-LEGO writing on his personal blog, Andrew-Becraft.com. Andrew lives in Seattle with his wife and two dogs, and when he's not writing for The Brothers Brick, he works as, well, a writer.

Posts by Andrew

Win LEGO with the TBB Server Downtime Contest! [News]

Here at The Brothers Brick, we run the site in our spare time, funded by our loyal readers who support costs like our servers and bandwidth by clicking through from here when you make LEGO Shop and Amazon.com purchases. For months at a time, our servers just hum away happily, until something goes terribly, horribly awry. Since last Thursday, the site has gone down four times, with total downtime of nearly a day. Yikes!

Linus TorvaldsWe’re all a little sad about this here at the TBB Compound (especially that pesky Lemur, who gets particularly mopey), but you can help cheer us up by building or drawing something funny that illustrates TBB server problems.

By the way, that’s Linus Torvalds on the right. TBB runs on Linux, Apache, MySQL, and the rest of the usual Open Source stack. Linus invented Linux and named it after himself. I’m pretty sure our downtime isn’t his fault, but I’ll use this minifig of him to illustrate this post anyway.

To enter, submit your photos or artwork to the TBB Server Downtime Contest pool on Flickr. Questions? Ask away here or in the discussions on Flickr…

Here are the prize categories:

  • TBB is Down Again! Build or draw something showing what happens when Brothers-Brick.com goes down. What’s happening behind the scenes at the TBB Server Farm on the TBB Compound? What do you do yourself?
  • 404 Page Not Found Build or draw something illustrating the age-old website error.
  • A. Lemur did it! Build or draw something putting the blame squarely on A. Lemur. It’s probably his fault anyway…

Stern LemurUnlike most LEGO-related contests, we welcome brick-built creations, well-rendered virtual creations, and artwork — if you’ve spotted A. Lemur in the wild, we want to know!

We’ll run the contest through the end of the month, and the top prize will get a LEGO set in the $100 range, to make this worth your while (with more cool prizes for the other two winners).

Get building!

The Aurora Australis icebreaker chugs to Antarctica

We know and love Australian builder Shannon Sproule here on TBB for his many realistic and retro-futuristic space creations, but he also demonstrates once again (following his amazing Sulaco) that he’s quite an accomplished microscale builder. The Aurora Australis is an icebreaker frequently used by the Australian Antarctic Division for research.

Aurora Australis icebreaker

Shannon uses quite a few interesting parts in his build, particularly the car doors on the bow. My eye was immediately drawn to the little orange piece with holes in it, which makes a perfect lifeboat, but Shannon informs me that it’s a Kre-O piece from a Transformers kit — making this a “mixed media” model.

Behold the fancy mustachios of Ignatius Bartholomew Pompus XXXVII!

Tyler is on a roll this past week — I’ve bookmarked each of his last four builds to blog, only to be overtaken by an even better build (or one of our other bloggers). His latest LEGO model is a character called Ignatius Bartholomew Pompus XXXVII, who has a fantastic mustache he should be very proud of, but is apparently the Archduke of Arrogance. Tyler himself is one of the nicest, humblest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet, so I’ll take his word for it.

Ignatius Bartholomew  Pompus XXXVII: Archduke of Arrogance

While your eye is inevitably drawn to the many colorful details of Ignatius Bartholomew Pompus XXXVII himself, I especially enjoy Tyler’s presentation. Tyler has built Ignatius as a bust on a stand, and photographed him from slightly below “eye-level” to heighten the impression of arrogant disdain. Finally, Tyler Photoshopped Ignatius onto an antique-looking background. All in all, this is much more than just an interesting combination of bricks.

King Fuzzwuzzle III will see you now

All hail His Hirsute Majesty Fuzzwuzzle the Third, Sovereign of the Fuzzlands, Ruler of the Furrywoollies, Emperor of the Hairy Isles, Grand Duke of the Downy Downs and Viscount of the Velvet Valley! Bow beneath the majesty of his beard and mustachios.

King Fuzzwuzzle III

This amusing character brought to you by the ever-entertaining Djordje.

TBB’s most popular LEGO models of 2014

As we kick off 2015 and reflect back at 2014, let’s take a look at some of the great LEGO creations we’ve featured here. LEGO builders all over the world built thousands and thousands of models over the year, but here are the ten that were viewed most on The Brothers Brick.

Orc pit  - Main 1. Mayhem in the Mines by Grant Davis (right) gave us a view into the dramatic tension between goblins and Uruk-hai. Apparently, these two kinds of villainous creatures from The Lord of the Rings don’t get along particularly well.

Grant’s multi-tiered diorama features realistic rocks in the cave, lots of wooden structures, and little stories on each level.

I hadn’t encountered Grant’s work until we featured “Mayhem in the Mines,” but with the top LEGO model on The Brothers Brick in 2014, I’m very much looking forward to what he’ll share with all of us in 2015!

Ghostbusters HQ LDD File2. Build your own Ghostbusters HQ firehouse with instructions from Brent Waller. With the release of his LEGO Ideas Ecto 1 set, I’d say Brent had a pretty good year!

But if your personal Ghostbusters layout was missing anything, it was probably the firehouse that the crew used as a headquarters. Brent saves the day, though, by giving us all instructions to build his firehouse design.

3. They mostly come out at night — mostly…”. Back in May, Xenomorph designer H.R. Giger died at age 74. We rounded up some of the best LEGO models inspired by the Alien franchise from previous years, as well as some great new scenes from Aliens put together by “Missing Brick.”

Continue reading

The mysterious and precarious cottage of Malcumus Erlond

We’ve highlighted the stellar LEGO Castle creations of César Soares (three times already this month, in fact!), but each one stands out as beautiful and unique in its own right. César’s latest building stands not atop a mound of highly textured landscaping but an incredibly thin spire.

Malcumus Erlond Cottage

The builds themselves deserve the attention and praise we’ve given them, but César also presents each with an enigmatic story told with carefully placed minifigs going about their little minifig lives.

Mini LEGO Technic chainsaw looks ready to cut down fake plastic trees

František Hajdekr has built an adorable little Technic chainsaw with both a working chain and a piston that pumps up and down.

Lego Technic Chainsaw (MOC)

You can see the chainsaw in action in this video.

Even more adorable is this teeny tiny dump truck. Squeee!!!

Small Vintage Lego Lorry (My Own Creation)

If you haven’t checked out František’s photostream on Flickr, do so now — you won’t be disappointed, with everything from cute little vehicles to beefy motorcycles.

Playable Go board built from LEGO

As a small child back in Japan, I used Go pieces to create serpentine roads across tatami floors for my little Tomica cars, but my family left Japan before I ever played a proper game. I still get nostalgic whenever I see Go games. Joe Miller built this fully functional 9×9 Go set completely from LEGO, using some rather complicated techniques to place the black lines on the board.

9x9 Go Board

The lines themselves are the tops of 1×2 half-panels wedged into full (3-brick high) panels, combined with some serious sideways and upside-down (SNOT) construction.

9x9 Go Board Construction

Solar-powered greebles for darkest December nights

This time of year in the northern hemisphere can be a bit depressing, especially as far north as it is here at TBB headquarters (poor Lemur…). Peteris Strogis sheds some light on this dark time with this futuristic, solar-powered vehicle. Every greeble seems to have a purpose, and the rear tires built from track treads are inspired.

Solar Panel Driver