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

Crusading through the Vaygr Reaches

The asymmetrical ships and bold colors of Homeworld continue to inspire LEGO builders year after year, and Tim Schwalfenberg is no exception. Tim is working on another large fleet for BrickWorld Chicago in a couple of weeks, but teased us with this Corvette from the Vaygr faction (duplicated on a cool deep space backdrop). While I certainly love seeing (and building) large fleets of microscale spaceships, it’s often easy to overlook the great building techniques that go into the smaller vessels, overshadowed as they often are by the large capital ship at the center of the fleet. Despite their relatively small size, the Corvette is packed full of detail, from the greebly sensors to the cannon.

Vaygr Corvette

Tim says he included a number of custom pieces that he 3D-printed himself. Can you spot them? What do you think about 3D printing pieces to include in LEGO creations?

Pop into the Top Slice Bakery for a delicious pastry

There’s a longstanding tradition — especially here on the West Coast of the U.S. — of novelty architecture that often reflects the specific purpose of the building, from teapots to root beer barrels. Andrew Tate has built a lovely bakery in the shape of a toaster, complete with slices of bread popping up. And the coffee stand next door is, naturally, in the shape of a coffee mug. Andrew makes great use of rounded bricks and slopes throughout his scene, which even includes a brick-built street.

Top Slice Bakery

Captain America & Red Skull race around on their speeders

What if Captain America and Red Skull were characters in Star Wars instead of the Marvel universe? Hey, it’s not inconceivable… And what vehicles would they ride? tankm answers these questions with a great pair of speeders. The Cap sits astride what would be more properly called a “swoop,” while Red Skull scoots around in an utterly fantastic retro-futuristic air speeder. As much as I love Captain America (or at least I did…), I’m rooting for Red Skull today due to the sheer awesomeness of his ride.

tkmCapA-Hydra-Speeder-1

Incidentally, our friends over at FBTB are hosting a Themed Speeder Bikes contest, which runs through the end of the day tomorrow. Given how small speeder bikes are, there’s still time to enter.

WW2 B-25J Mitchell gunship of the Air Apaches

Along with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-25 Mitchell with its iconic twin tail fins is one of my favorite World War II aircraft. As more and more LEGO elements have become available in dark green, nelsoma84 and Florida Shooter have been collaborating on a design for the venerable bomber.

Here’s nelsoma84’s Mitchell in its Pacific Theater gunship role with the “Air Apaches” of the 345th Bombardment Wing.

B-25J Mitchell - 345th BG, Air Apaches

The builder says that the eagle-head nose — here with its ferocious complement of .50 caliber machine guns (there were 18 total on the airplane!) — is modular, and can be swapped out for a clear nose.

IMG_5374

And here’s his collaborator’s version, the blue-nosed 499th Bomber Squadron version.

B25-J 499th Bomber Squadron 'Bats Outa Hell' - 01

Announcing “WW2 1949” at BrickCon 2016 in Seattle [News]

It’s just four months to BrickCon 2016 in Seattle, and TBB is gearing up for our hometown LEGO convention. For our annual collaboration this year, we’re going to be putting together a dieselpunk display called World War II 1949. With the aircraft, vehicles, and buildings you contribute, you’ll help answer the question, “What if WW2 had not ended in 1945, and technology had continued evolving rapidly through the end of the decade?”

As these fantastic creations by master LEGO dieselpunk builders Jon Hall, Fredo Houben, and Jeff Churill demonstrate, there’s a huge variety in the theme.

Skyhammer

Click through to learn more about WW2 1949 at BrickCon 2016

LEGO Shop sales & deals for June 2016 [News]

The LEGO Shop is also making room for the summer sets by discounting a number of great sets, with some cool promotions this month. VIP program members get free shipping on all orders over only $35 rather than the usual $75, with a cool LEGO City fountain on orders over $75

Lots of sets are on sale, though the highlight for many of our readers is probably the LEGO Ideas set The Big Bang Theory (in case you didn’t pick it up after our review last year).

If you haven’t joined the VIP program yet, you can earn an extra 100 points toward a future discount. Click the banner below to see all the details about this month’s promos.

FREE Exclusive Fountain with purchases of $75 or more, a $9.99 value!*

Enter to win the LEGO Star Wars Shuttle Tyderium from TBB [News]

Back in April, TBB gave away the Millennium Falcon to one lucky reader in Texas. We took a breather from our giveaways in May, but we’re diving back in now by giving away 75094 Imperial Shuttle Tydirium! It’s a lovely set with a great set of minifigs and some fantastic play features. Click here to enter!

LEGO Imperial Shuttle Tyderium

If you want to see more giveaways like this, you can support TBB by buying your LEGO after clicking through from Brothers-Brick.com.

Fine print: In order to make a global contest manageable, TBB uses the Contests app on Facebook. As a result, this contest is limited to TBB readers with Facebook accounts. Yes, we still love if you you’re on G+. For winners in locations that are very expensive to ship to, TBB reserves the right to substitute a monetary value equivalent to the cost of the set in your country. We’ll send you a cool TBB T-shirt either way.

20%+ off over 150 LEGO sets from Amazon [News]

Amazon.com has put more than a hundred and fifty LEGO sets on sale, starting at 20% off. Check out the sale page for the full list, but here are some highlights.

The LEGO City 60052 Cargo Train set is 38% or $76 off, at $123.99 (down from $200).

LEGO City 60052 Cargo Train on Amazon

Similarly, 60097 City Square is 36% or $67 off, at $122.42 (down from $190).

LEGO City 60097 City Square on Amazon

Although lots of City sets are on deep discount, it’s not the only theme getting some good discount love — Marvel, Technic, Creator, Friends, and even Architecture are on sale. Every purchase (not just LEGO) you make by clicking through from Brothers-Brick.com helps support the kinds of contests, giveaways, and event sponsorship that we do over the course of the year.

See more LEGO sales & deals

The Doctor visits a Victorian scrapyard

At LEGO World in Utrecht last autumn, Ruben Ras presented a large Doctor Who diorama titled “Daleks in the Bricktorian Era.” Ruben recently posted close-up pictures of some of the sections, including this excellent scrapyard with an enormous steam engine. The blue TARDIS and engine dominate the scene, but there are lots of great details, like the wooden details on the stone platform, the small crane, and the bird atop the tower.

Steam Engine - Dr Who Layout 2015

A special delivery for a wonderful human being

While many hardcore builders like me cringe when we have to wade through atrociously cute photos of stormtroopers in unlikely situations while trying to get our LEGO fix on Flickr, there are photographers who take what is essentially LEGO product photography — just minifigs or out-of-the-box sets — to a whole new level. Vesa Lehtimäki has been posting stunning photos of LEGO Star Wars figs and sets for a few years, and has even released a book, LEGO Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy published by DK.

One of my favorite scenes from the book features an off-screen moment in which Boba Fett delivers a carbonite-encased Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt. With just a few minifigs and stellar lighting, Vesa brings the scene to life.

Jabba's Prize

Udine, Italy’s Piazza San Giacomo in LEGO

Luca Di Lazzaro and the Italian LEGO club ItLUG have built a minifig-scale model of San Giacomo square in Udine, in northeastern Italy. Featuring over a dozen buildings surrounding the square and populated by numerous minifigs, the model even includes a row of Italian supercars for the minifigs to drive away in.

Lego San Giacomo Square

The model was on display in Udine at an event last month, where the mayor of Udine posed with Luca and the LEGO version of their home town.

25725674464_d5d1d887dd_o

Click to see more photos

LEGO Star Wars sales & deals for May the 4th 2016 [News]

The LEGO Shop online has just kicked off their annual “May the 4th” Star Wars celebration.

The Force Awakens poster
LEGO is offering the following deals and freebies:

  • Free shipping on all orders (not just over $75)
  • Double VIP points on all LEGO Star Wars purchases
  • Free First Order Stormtrooper minifig polybag
  • Free The Force Awakens poster (shown above) with all LEGO Star Wars purchases

LEGO sent me the stormtrooper and the poster last week, and both are lovely. The stormtrooper has a unique torso print (which you can see in the image below) with a bracket for the back, to which the printed 1×1 tile from the jetpack stormtrooper is attached (with an extra 1×1 tile in the polybag).

The new 75098 Assault on Hoth was released this week, and a bunch of LEGO Star Wars sets are also on sale, including the lovely 75094 Shuttle Tyderium and the 75140 Resistance Troop Transporter I reviewed before the movie came out.

As always, when you click through from Brothers-Brick.com, a portion of each sale goes to support The Brothers Brick (at no additional cost to you).

Celebrate LEGO Star Wars with Exclusive Offers and Free Shipping!îborder=