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

Fear not! The LEGO Exo Suit is not a limited run [News]

It’s been about a week since LEGO released the new Exo Suit, and there’s been quite a lot of rumor and conjecture circulating about how many will be available, and whether backorders placed after last Thursday night will be fulfilled. I had a conference call with LEGO staff in Enfield and Billund yesterday, and they all reassured me that the “limited run” rumors (especially the rumored number of “10,000”) are completely false.

If LEGO’s own word isn’t enough, here’s Oliver Twist the Pug to inspire confidence.

Oliver   Exo Suit   mini Mini Cooper = Win!

We’ll be closing down the LEGO Exo Suit raffle next Friday morning so that we can ship out the set in a timely manner, so head on over to that post and leave a comment if you want to win one.

But the important update here is that our raffle isn’t the only way for you to get an Exo Suit — go ahead and order your Exo Suits (and click through from The Brothers Brick if you’d like to support what we do), and LEGO will fulfill those orders once their supply chain catches up with this initial burst of demand. The LEGO Shop online currently lists the set as either “Temporarily Out of Stock” or “Sold Out”, but this is more of a website status issue than a predictor of future availability. Once they become available on each site, LEGO reassures me that you can go ahead and order them with confidence:

And since I’ve included a photo of my pug Ollie with my own Exo Suit that arrived last Thursday, let’s totally make pugs + Exo Suits a meme. Here’s a completely different pug who is also named Oliver (!!!) with an Exo Suit from Ilia. Post those pug + Exo Suit photos and share them here in the comments, on Facebook, and on Twitter! Bonus points if your pug is also named Oliver.

Oliver & Exo Suit by Combee on Flickr

Zaldrīzes rises

It’s time for some awesome Bionicle. Behold the great green dragon Zaldrīzes by Mitch (Gamma-Raay). He looks like he’s about to leap up into the air and swoop off with a roar.

Zaldrīzes 02

I like the rear shot above because it showcases the dragon’s white spine, the Ninjago sails, and the sawtoothed tail so well, but the front view of Zaldrīzes is no less formidable. The light blue fringe on the skull also ties in beautifully with the tip of the dragon’s tail.

Zaldrīzes

While we’re at it, Mitch also proves that you can build a pretty awesome spaceship from Bionicle, too! Annapurna is from last year’s SHIPtember (which I’m sure we’ll be hearing about quite a lot over the next couple of months).

Annapurna Space

Did you miss out on ordering an Exo Suit?

Last Thursday night, LEGO.com was so overloaded that many of us weren’t able to get through to order the new LEGO Ideas Exo Suit. My own order got stuck, but the good people at LEGO unstuck it without my even having to call them. Nice!

The experience was memorable enough for Rob D. (agaethon29) that he commemorated it with this little scene.

Ordering an Exo Suit Mk III

And in case you missed it, we really are giving away a copy of the set, lightly customized by our own talented Simon (your choice of his custom model or the set’s disassembled parts). Head on over and leave a comment to enter the raffle.

Announcing ChronoCon 10,000 BC for BrickCon 2014 in Seattle [News]

BrickCon 2014 is less than two months away — October 2nd through 5th in Seattle. Each year, starting with Zombie Apocafest 2008 and continuing through Big in Japan and Numereji 2421, The Brothers Brick sponsors a collaborative display for our readers. After five continuous years, we took a break last year, but we’re back this year with “ChronoCon 10,000 BC.”

Benjamin Franklin on a Triceratops

The basic idea of ChronoCon is that it’s a convention for time travelers and time travel enthusiasts. We were inspired last year by the release of the official Back to the Future DeLorean and the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, but the great thing about a convention for time travelers is that it can be held any time! So, you know, we’re not a year behind schedule after all…

Chaos and anarchy are built into the underlying theme, so please don’t expect a lot of guidelines from us — the whole point is to get creative. We do expect intersecting timelines, anachronisms, and paradoxes, so the parking lot outside the ChronoCon venue will likely have multiple DeLoreans and a variety of TARDISes (bonus points for not arriving in a DeLorean or TARDIS).

That said, we have three very broad guidelines that will help pull the overall display together:

  1. The overall scale is minifig-scale.
  2. The underlying baseplate color is Green. ChronoCon takes place in a primordial jungle.
  3. If you introduce a major paradox or anachronism (like a Roman army marching in to fight some velociraptors), create an appropriate time portal, vortex, or wormhole that explains it.

Here are the prize categories (subject to change, addition, and our whim):

  • Best Time Machine: After all, how did all the time travel enthusiasts arrive in 10,000 BC?
  • Most Amusing Anachronism: Mash up those timelines and get building!
  • Fiercest Fighting Dinosaur: Yes, there will be a dinosaur battle arena!
  • Best Convention Booth or Event: What’s a convention without T-shirts, celebrity signings, panels, and knick-knacks?

There’s a ChronoCon 10,000 BC group on Flickr, where you can see photos we’ve collected so far of LEGO models consistent with the general idea, as well as discussion threads.

If you haven’t registered yet for BrickCon, do it now. And then get building!

An evening with The Continental

Lino M. remains one of my favorite automobile builders, churning large-scale cars each month as part of LUGNuts challenges. For last month’s challenge, Lino built a Rolls-Royce Phantom II from the 1930s. The clean, elegant lines look like they’re ready to carry a Rockefeller or Carnegie to an evening at the Metropolitan Opera.

Rolls Royce Phantom II…Vanilla Flavor

The seedier side of Heartlake City

A good indication of a builder’s talent is that he or she attracts the attention of several of our contributors separately. When I first bookmarked this scene by Rickard and Helen, I hadn’t noticed yet that it was the same team that had built the despots and notables (posted by Carter), the South Park characters (posted by Ralph), or one of the top three BRICKNADO winners chosen by all of us.

It’s actually not unusual for a Town layout at a LEGO convention to have a trailer park on the edge (demonstrating that Town builders do, in fact, have a sense of humor), but it’s rare to see such a lovely trailer or range of amusing detail.

Trailer Park Friends 1

Renault Type AG-1 from 1910 – the Taxi de la Marne

Given the horrors of World War I, our last post deserves an adorable chaser from the same era. LegoEng normally builds military models himself, but he took a break to build this 1910 Renault AG-1.

1910 Renault AG1 by LegoEng on Flickr

Getting the proportions of minifig-scale vehicles right can be very challenging, and this builder has accomplished it by going with an odd width — the cab is five studs wide and the narrow hood is only one stud wide (with tiles attached for greater width). The whole thing looks held together with clips.

The Great War that should have ended all wars...

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Germany’s declaration of war against France, drawing two of Europe’s largest nations into what would later be known as World War I. The “Great War” introduced numerous new and deadly military technologies, from fighter planes to tanks.

Talented Polish builder Ciamosław Ciamek (PigletCiamek) has built a triptych of highly detailed dioramas depicting three phases of World War I.

The first diorama, titled “Enthusiasm,” shows French citizens volunteering as the patriotic population admires the soldiers marching off to the front in 1914.

11

The second scene, titled “Awe”, illustrates the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917, in which hundreds of thousands of men died.

35

Finally, Ciamek’s third diorama, titled “Glory”, shows the moment when German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen (the “Red Baron”) was shot down in his famous red tri-plane in 1918.

54

Off to a summer picnic in a VW Camper Van

One of the things I respect most in a LEGO builder is the ability to build well in multiple themes or genres. The Titanfall / World War II mashup we posted earlier this month couldn’t be more different from this tranquil scene that Kosmas Santosa posted today.

VW Camper - Front

I actually did a double-take when I saw this photo, since it so closely resembles the beautiful Volkswagen T1 Camper Van released a couple years ago, as well as the micro version available briefly as a freebie. But this one is perfectly scaled for minifigs. The chrome wheels and door handles really make the whole model pop.

Angus MacLane’s Wall-E achieves 10K supporters on LEGO Ideas [News]

Earlier today, Angus MacLane‘s LEGO Wall-E model achieved 10,000 supporters on LEGO Ideas.

LEGO WALL•E 3.0

I’ve commented before about how way too many projects on LEGO CUUSOO/Ideas aren’t based on ideas associated in any way with the person who initiated the project. This one’s different. As long-time readers will recall from our interview with Angus MacLane back in 2008, Angus works at Pixar and was the Lead Animator for Wall-E. Given Angus’s close association with Pixar and the source material, I’m very hopeful that this wonderful model will end up as a future LEGO set.

Good luck during the review process, Angus!