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

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.

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

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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.

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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!

A monument to the Age of Steam

Ordo is a multi-theme builder whom we haven’t featured nearly enough, I think. (Frankly, I suspect the broader LEGO builder community tends to overlook fellow builders whose primary theme is Star Wars — it’s a bit unfair, and I admit to passing over some pretty good Star Wars models myself from time to time.)

Ordo has begun dabbling with steampunk, and this little vignette is packed with detail — as both steampunk and vignettes should be.

The age of steam

The small steam-cycle and robotic drone are nice little steampunk builds in their own right, but it’s little touches like the key on the vignette’s base and the scattered pink flowers that really distinguishes Ordo’s work from so many other builds in the genre.

Be sure to check out Ordo’s photostream if you haven’t already — there’s lots to like.

211 in progress! Suspects are armed and hilarious!

Apparently, I’m not the only one who finds the LEGO Simpsons Collectible Minifigures vaguely unsettling. Nooroyd has put the Krusty the Clown head to good use as rubber masks hiding the identities of a pair of bank robbers. Beyond the use of these minifig parts, the scene is wonderfully photographed, with overhead and ambient lighting.

Bank Robbery by Nooroyd on Flickr