About Andrew

Andrew Becraft is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Brothers Brick. He's been building with LEGO for nearly 40 years, and blogging about LEGO here on TBB 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 dogs, and by day leads software design and planning teams.

Posts by Andrew

The attack of the Spiny Scallworm

As fantastical as many of the LEGO Castle creations we feature here on The Brothers Brick are, it’s actually not very often that we see a fantastical creature wreaking havoc among the people and structures that comprise most of these medieval scenes. Wookieewarrior remedies that situation with a monstrous worm emerging from the earth to rip through a round tower. The worm itself has lots of great details in black, but the yellow minifig hands stand out (literally) as wonderful spines. The tower includes lovely details as well, including reused LEGO sprues from three-leaved plants as vines. Potted flowers add a spot of color against the gray tower, and the rounded landscaping of the base is excellent as well.

Floggenbach - Spiny Scallworm

Be sure to click through to the photo and zoom in for more details, including the priceless expression on the hapless farmer’s face.

HMS Enterprise vs. the Continental privateer Oliver Cromwell

I love a good sea battle. This LEGO scene built by E J featuring two excellent sailing ships — the British HMS Enterprise and the American privateer Oliver Cromwell — I can almost feel the whipping wind, smell the salt spray, and hear the creak and strain of wood, the bellowed orders, and the thunder of the broadside.

HMS Enterprize vs. Oliver Cromwell

Both ships are fully rigged with custom sails and rigging, and worth a closer look.

See more of these great LEGO ships

Supersized LEGO Architecture 21028 New York City skyline

One of my favorite LEGO Architecture sets of the last few years have been the city skyline series, including 21028 New York City. LEGO architect Spencer_R specializes in 1/650 scale models of landmarks, including numerous skyscrapers. Spencer says he’d already built several of the buildings in the set, so he built the Flatiron building and Statue of Liberty, and then put all of them on a large black base. This much larger scale enables Spencer to include much more detail than the minuscule buildings in the official set, and the higher-resolution photo on Flickr — as well as Spencer’s photostream as a whole — is well worth a closer look.

LEGO Architecture New York City: Super Sized

Please pardon the dust as TBB migrates servers (and HELP WANTED)

As TBB readership continues to grow — we just crossed the 50,000 threshold for fans of our Facebook page — our poor old server is starting to crack at the seams. Rather than the hour or two every few months (which still works out to 99.9% uptime), we’ve had four or five separate downtime incidents over this past month alone, including about 7 hours earlier today. For those of us who want to give our readers the best possible experience, it’s incredibly frustrating, and we apologize for the inconvenience.

Chain Challenge 8: TBB Servers

Want to know how you can help?

Teemto Pagalies’ IPG-X1131 LongTail podracer as a UCS LEGO model

One of the highlights of Star Wars: Episode I: A Phantom Menace (yes, there are indeed highlights) was the “Boonta Eve Classic” podrace, populated by some great characters aboard interesting vehicles. One of my favorite podracers is the unique racer with the circular cockpit driven by Teemto Pagalies. Cecilie Fritzvold has created a LEGO version at UCS scale, with highly detailed engines as well as the signature cockpit.

Teemto Pagalies' Podracer

Cecilie calls the cockpit a “headache” to build, but it’s certainly gorgeous to behold.

Teemto Pagalies' Podracer

Hit the court at the Squash Centrum Maastricht

Reader Berthil van Beek tells us that he’s been playing squash for more than 30 years, the most recent 5 years at a squash gym in Maastricht, the Netherlands. After starting to build again with LEGO a few years ago, Berthil decided to recreate the the gym and the lovely building that it’s housed in. Built from 11,000 LEGO bricks, Berthil tells us that he spent about 400 hours designing and building this highly detailed LEGO model — a creation that celebrates the place full of “fun and wonderful people.”

Squash Centrum Maastricht

The LEGO version of the Squash Centrum includes all the details of the real thing, from solar panels and a little garden on the roof to men’s and women’s locker rooms (complete with sauna) and the glass-enclosed squash court itself. Whether you love squash or not, this is an incredibly detailed creation worth poring over for lots of fun little scenes.

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See more photos of this amazingly detailed building

The Brothers Brick now available via Apple News

TBB on Apple News (iPhone)One of the areas that we’ve struggled with here at The Brothers Brick in the last year or two is our technical infrastructure, including the responsive design of our site, which hasn’t worked particularly well on mobile devices. It’s something we’ll try to get fixed soon, but we do have some good news for our readers who are on an Apple device.

The Brothers Brick is now available from the Apple News app. If you’re reading this post on an iOS device (Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) right now, you can click here to open TBB’s feed in Apple News. The screenshot to the right shows what TBB posts look like on my iPhone.

You can also find us by searching for the “Lego” topic (we’re working on making sure people can find our channel by searching for “The Brothers Brick” as well).

Want to see the great LEGO photographs we post on a bigger screen? Apple News is available on your iPad as well, and here’s a screenshot of what that looks like.

TBB on Apple News (iPad)

This rusted-out Fiat 500 is heartbreakingly beautiful

Gabriele Zannotti is one of the most talented virtual LEGO builders creating non-physical LEGO models these days, using Mecabricks.com with Bluerender to create images essentially undistinguishable from the real thing. When I saw this gorgeous, rusty Fiat 500 wreck, I zoomed in as close as I could, trying to figure out if I just wasn’t aware of some of these bricks in the colors Gabriele used, and I was convinced by the sticker on the license plate as well as what I could swear are genuine pieces of dust on the bricks. But then I was heartbroken to see that Gabriele had included this image in his Lego renders album. From the composition to the lighting, along with the design of the vehicle itself, this is a stellar piece of LEGO art, even if there isn’t a single piece of physical LEGO in it.

Rusted FIAT 500

You can see a shiny new red version of the Fiat 500 in this other render.

Finally revealed!

The moon howls for no wolf

It’s hard to believe that dogs like pugs are descended from wolves, but DNA doesn’t lie. I love my little domesticated canines, but I deeply admire the wild ones that keep ecosystems healthy. legostrator follows up on his excellent LEGO elephants with this lonely wolf looking pensive in the moonlight. The wolf with its mix of LEGO colors and textures accurately captures the look of a wolf’s fur, but be sure to take a closer look at the excellent winter landscaping and denuded tree as well.

Wolf

Through the Siq to the hidden Nabatean city of Petra

As I wrote in introducing ArzLan’s LEGO Petra, I spent the summer of 1994 on an archaeological dig in Jordan, and visited Petra for one memorable weekend. Both Petra and Jordan as a whole remain one of the highlights of my life. Legranger Absurde has built a lovely microscale version of Al-Khazneh, the “Treasury” (actually an empty tomb), that greets each visitor to Petra as they emerge from the winding gorge called the Siq.

Petra

My one critique of this excellent LEGO model is that the sandstone geology of Petra is nearly as spectacular as the many structures carved into the rock face. Although building a detailed tomb using varying shades of tan and red might not have been achievable, plain brown LEGO for the surrounding rocks seems like a lost opportunity.

Al-Khazneh is, of course best known as the entrance to the fictional, trap-filled obstacle course leading to the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The facade is the most spectacular thing about the tomb — the interior is just an empty square chamber, though the acoustics are great for singing.

New LEGO Star Wars 75159 Death Star unveiled at LEGO Store in Maryland [News]


UPDATE: LEGO has now officially announced this set, and you can find the full press release with set details, pricing and photos right here on The Brothers Brick.

Our friends over at Brickset have just shared new photos of a previously rumored new Death Star, as LEGO Store employees in Arundel Mills, Maryland build the set in advance of displaying it in their store. We’ll share the usual high-res photos and press release once we have them from LEGO, but in the meantime, here are the first photos of 75159 Death Star.

75159 Death Star

Click through to see more photos of 75159 Death Star, including the minifigs

“This most beautiful SYSTEM” – Isaac Newton in LEGO

One of the wonderful things about the LEGO system is that you can build things at many different scales, in immeasurable combinations, much like the mind-blowing complexity of the universe itself. VAkkron has built this lifelike, instantly recognizable bust of the great physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, with his flowing hair and distinctive chin.

Isaac Newton

Click through to see a LEGO orrery and Newton’s life in microscale