What do you get if you combine the Pillsbury dough boy with the Michelin man and the Stay Puft marshmallow man? You probably get BayMax, the robotic sidekick from Disney’s new animated adventure Big Hero 6 (very loosely based on a Marvel comic of the same name). Oregonian builder Cole Edmonson wasted no time in creating a LEGO version of our inflatable friend with his mortal enemy, a soccer ball.
One of the more notable Maschin Krieger inspired builds from this year’s Ma.Ktober fest is probably the Baumeister Spinnentier, a “construction arachnid” style zero-G hardsuit, created by Canadian builder Josh Derksen.
Clearly the break-out technique Josh has used here is the application of paint to give the model a rusted look (…yes it rains in space, deal with it!). Using paint to artificially ‘weather’ LEGO is something I’ve wanted to do myself for a long time, but have not yet been man enough to attempt. But Josh totally nails it with this creation. Check out his full breakdown to get a look at all of its finer details and play features (which include poseable arms and pincers, and an openable cockpit).
As holiday season approachs, No Starch Press is kicking into high gear with a slew of new titles for LEGO fans. Their latest offering is Steampunk LEGO by well-known LEGO builder, innovator and steampunk enthusiast Guy Himber. This 200 page compilation features the work of over 90 individual builders, and includes just about every notable LEGO steampunk creation of the past five years.
Physically, the book has a definite steampunk feel about it. Its blue and gold hard cover sports a full-color dust jacket (shown here) and all the pages have a high quality satin finish that enhances the sumptuous graphic design. The material is presented in the form an ornate Victorian scrapbook, complete with notelets and other trinkets mounted atop a variety of textured vintage backgrounds.
A cornucopia of building styles are covered here. And while the majority are mini-fig oriented, microscale and life-size builds are reasonably well represented. Entries are 1 or 2 to a page, and organized into logical chapters focusing on different categories such as trains, vehicles, automatons, weapons, sea vessels, airships and even floating rocks. There is also a pleasant ‘interlude’ in the center, showcasing Guy’s memorable Cabinet of Curiosities collaborative project.
Ian Spacek seems to be on a roll in the ongoing 2014 MOCOlympics contest. In a round focused on board games, he chose to recreate Clue, a classic family game that has been around since the 40’s.
I love the way Ian has captured all the woody tones of the original board, as well as packing the build with many beautiful details such as the floor patterns, furniture and props. Check out MOCPages for loads of close-up photos and a chance to compare Ian’s interpretation with the original.
It’s been barely a year since No Starch Press released Beautiful LEGO, a coffee table book packed with carefully curated images of LEGO creations, conceived and organized by New Jersey graphic designer and LEGO builder Mike Doyle.
Unlike many of their other LEGO themed titles, which are targeted squarely at the AFOL community, the book had the potential to appeal to almost anyone with a passing interest in LEGO (ie. almost anyone on the planet). It soon started showing up on the shelves of regular book stores, and has since become one of their best sellers. So the rumors of a sequel came as no surprise…
Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark replays that winning formula, with some interesting twists. The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s weightier: this version is about 50 pages longer and sports a proper hard cover. Some folks will be pleased to hear about that change, although as a coffee table book, I kinda find this one harder to handle.
Mike has also cut back heavily on builder interviews (just 4 this time round, compared to 9 in the first book). I’m sure some AFOLs will see that as a loss, but I think it makes sense for a work like this to focus on the images first and foremost. For those curious to learn more about specific builders, every image is labeled, and the Contributor index contains all the necessary URLs.
Then there’s the subtitle, “Dark”. With this book, Mike applied what he calls a “thematic filter” to the curation process, targeting specific classes of build. It’s a bold move, but gives this sequel a much stronger identity than merely “hello, here are some more great builds”. Admittedly “dark” is a rather broad theme with many possible interpretations, but I think it still pays off. The builds range from the serious, the creepy, the political, the darkly humorous, and even just darkly colored.
As for the individual builds and images, Mike delivers again with another 300 pages of gorgiously photographed creations, from over a hundred different builders, that will be appreciated by both AFOL and non-AFOL alike. Everything is organized into chapters such as “Creepy Crawlers”, “Skin and Bones” or “Future Shock”. And a wide variety of building styles and categories are covered.
To achieve a harmonious effect, some of the models were specially reworked or reshot by their creators, and Mike also re-tuned some of the images too (for example, applying neutral backgrounds). The overall effect is definitely moodier than the first book – and that means it’s literally darker. The builds in this tome also skew to the more complex/detailed end of the scale than in the first one. So you’re gonna want to read this one under a decent light!
For the sequel, Mike also chose to include a small selection of digital creations. This is definitely a controversial decision, which Mike acknowledges and explains in his Preface. But the digital creations are clearly annotated as such, wherever they appear.
Like its predecessor, Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark is a beautiful object, that shines a flattering (low wattage) spotlight on the LEGO building community, and in a way that makes that world accessible to the general public. I’d recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who enjoyed the first book. And I really hope this becomes a series of books. If it does, I cannot wait to see what theme Mike decides to cover next!
Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark goes on sale everywhere November 20th, and will retail for USD $39.95.
2015 may well be the year of Mouse Guard, as it celebrates it’s 10th anniversary and – as we previously mentioned here – Seattle’s own ArchLUG will be unveiling a big collaborative Mouse Guard display at Emerald City Comic Con in March. Of course you can expect some pretty amazing architecture in this display. But how are they going to recreate the Mouse Guard characters, you might ask? Simple, with Bricks of the Mouse Guard, that’s how! And you can get in on the action too.
Backers have the opportunity to receive a set of mouse heads in various colors, and a set of matching accessories (including a flagon that looks like a must-have for almost any Castle enthusiast). And as you might imagine, there are all kinds of stretch goals that will unlock additional items in additional colors, and even a fully equipped custom Mouse Guard mini-fig with pad-printed torso. Other goodies include BrickArms crates, printed bricks and even original artwork by Mouse Guard’s creator for top-tier backers.
Rewards start at $19, and the project will be accepting pledges for the next 32 days, so back it today!
Spanning two decades and achieving worldwide popularity, the Stargate franchise gave Star Trek a pretty good run for its money – and is now even up for a movie reboot. The final spin-off, named Stargate Universe, tried to lure fans by adopting the grittier realism of shows like Battlestar Galactica. Unfortunately that shift didn’t gel with audiences, and the show was cancelled after just 2 seasons.
I’m a huge SG-U fan and was sad to see it go. So when German builder nameless_member produced this beautiful model of the star ship Destiny, it was nice to be reminded I wasn’t the only one…
I really love the compactness of this build – it’s probably the smallest scale that you could build Destiny at and still do it justice. It has just the right level of greebling, and the ship’s distinctive curvature is perfectly captured, as you can see from this rear angle. Even the shuttle craft have been included!
Since very slightly before the dawn of the Internet, Scott Adams’ comic strip Dilbert has served as daily therapy for anyone trapped in the dysfunctional and illogical world of modern office life …but in particular, engineers in tech companies. And while it contains many in-jokes that only a bunch of worthless code monkeys would ever get, all of us can relate to the Pointy Haired Boss, the futility of PowerPoint presentations, or being punched into the middle of next week by an angry co-worker.
And now Cristiano Spiller has decided to continue his Cubedude renaissance with this comprehensive tribute to Dilbert, featuring all of your favorite heroes and anti-heroes:
It’s actually alarming how well they translate to LEGO! Cristiano has also recreated some memorable secondary characters, such as the Elbonians and Loud Howard, and topped off the collection with a very snappy interpretation of the Dilbert logo:
It’s enough to make me want to form a proactive synergy restructuring team to change the six-sigma paradigm! Nya, I’ll get some intern to do it…
BIONICLE is back! At New York City Comic Con last week, LEGO unveiled detailed information and images for a new line of BIONICLE sets. The sets will be available globally from January 1, 2015 and revolve around an entirely new storyline. Prices will range from USD $9.99 – USD $19.99.
“We are thrilled to announce the relaunch of the LEGO BIONICLE franchise, which was one of our most popular LEGO franchises and our first ‘constraction’ or constructible action figure line.” said Michael McNally, Senior Director of Brand Relations. “We are eager to introduce and immerse a new generation of children in this rich character-driven world and can’t wait for fans of all ages to interact with the new story.”
The January line-up consists of six “Master” sets, and six “Protector” sets, each based around the elements of Fire, Earth, Water, Stone, Jungle and Ice. There is also a thirteenth set called the Lord of Skull Spiders. You can find photos and set details up on our Flickr stream, so go check ‘em out now!
Can the Toa save Okoto from the latest threat?
The new storyline takes place on the mythical island of Okoto, where the forces of darkness are on the move, and the evil Makuta is once again materializing. Makuta is overcome by the desire for the three mythic masks that will cast the world into darkness: the Mask of Creation, the Mask of Control, and the Mask of Ultimate Power.
The desperate island inhabitants enlist six heroes called the Toa – each masters of a sacred element – to help save their beloved island. The Toa must embark on a quest for Okoto’s ancient power masks, that will allow them to unlock the full potential of their elemental powers. Only when the heroes are united, will they be able to battle the forces of evil, defeat Makuta, and save Okoto.
Built for the MOC Olympics contest in a round focused on human evolution, Deus Otiosus created this scene depicting one of our forebears about to become a cat’s lunch. The sculpture and posing of both characters is perfect. And as an added bonus, you can even enjoy this build from all angles thanks to a handy spinning animated version.