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Simon could write a really good bio, but he's too busy building.

Posts by Simon

Red Lion Station – 1940’s Train Station

Red Lion Station in LEGO 001

This is Cale Leiphart and he likes trains, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and enjoying his builds for many years now. His latest culmination of train-awesomeness is the Red Lion Station, and is a model of the Maryland & Pennsylvania RR train station and surrounding areas.

At over 3.5 x 17 feet (that’s 5 meters), this requires adjectives which I do not posses to describe the incredible feat. That’s not to say there haven’t been larger builds, but I have a hard time recalling a build of this size that has this much detail packed in. Not only does each of the buildings have a beautiful facade, but each building has a fully decked out interior. It’s so large it’s incredibly hard to even photograph, and is one of those builds that are best enjoyed in person at a display:
Red Lion Station in LEGO 003

I really liked how Cale has gone against the grain and built buildings and streets at non-right angles, a non-trivial feat, to build off-axis roads and buildings:
Red Lion Station in LEGO 004
Not only are the roads difficult to build at an angle, most people would have simply laid the train track on top of the road to avoid complicated brickwork, but Mr. Leiphart, true to form, built it inside the road with some really clever brick work.

As I mentioned before, I had seen earlier versions of this layout last year and it really caught my eye. By catch my eye, I mean I did a double take and went OH-MY-G-O-S-H. Again the size is impressive, but I’m a detail guy, and this nondescript grey building blew my mind. Take a closer look at the sides, it’s not just nicely stacked brick, it’s made up of panels, hundreds of panels attached in some seemingly magical way. Despite being very late on the first setup night, Cale – who was still setting up this magnificent display – noticed our fevered interest and stopped everything and came over to us and showed us the secret of the grey building. This became my number 1 cool must-see thing at BrickFair that year.

Check out the full photo collection here.

Reverse Engineering Contest (REC IV)

Got builders block and need a break? Want a challenge? Or just want to test your building know how? Then I suggest you check out the fun little Reverse Engineering Contest. Unlike a lot of LEGO contest that ask you to create something, this one asks you to copy a build. They’re all small and deceptively simple, but once you actually sit down and start playing with it, it’s not always as easy as it seems.

This marks the first, of nine, weekly challenges:
REC Week 1

It starts off simple and gets progressively harder. So why not join in on the action? Stretch your building brain a bit with these building exercises – oh and don’t forget to read up on the rules on how you could win some prizes. Though this contest is one where the best reward is figuring out all the puzzles.

Oh who am I kidding, a Birds set, and most importantly: rare and useful pieces from contest runner Ryan H. (LDM) is a pretty great prize.

Rain or shine, Space Police get their man

After yesterday’s foray into Classic Space, Chris Perron (thebrickbin) must have known that like a SpaceVampire – I needed more! So magically this jaw dropping atmosphere masterpiece popped up:
SP1KOMA

It’s a gritty scene where the brave men and women of the First Space Police patrol some cyber-punkish district. I’m not sure who they’re looking for, but with that heavy duty SP1Koma Think Tank backing them up, these boys and girls of the black, blue and trans red are well looked after!

And as a second bonus link, this beauty by Moritz (nolnet) was in my blog queue for awhile it’s just so damn fun and cool:
Neo Space Police I – 6895 Redux

The model itself is top notch, but what turns this from awesome to #BennyAWESOME is the remote control action:

Classic Space is always classy

The combination of Trans Yellow, Blue and Grey (with bits of yellow and black) will always have a special place in many builder’s hearts. It’s the definitive Classic Space colour scheme and it always delights me when I see it, and see it done well.

Today is a great day because Jarek (Jerac) worked his usual magic and unveiled this amazing build to the world:
LL111x NOZ

Chalk full of gorgeous details and super clean lines, this is the sort of Classic Space Starfighted I’d kill to have!

But today is Friday, the best day of the week and as a special bonus B Mauro (bread_man_017), in a seemingly coordinated attempt to make me happy also posted his Classic Space Starfighter:
NCS_recon-01
While it might not be as pretty as Jerac, B’s version has some pretty great wing play action.

Hopefully this is a sign of more great Classic Space builds to come!

Chappie: Don’t laugh, I’m being cool

A slight digression … I’ve been meaning to see the Chappie movie for a while now and finally got around to it last night. And of course like any good builder, I spent an inordinate amount of time during the movie mentally figuring out how I could build him when I got home. I’ve seen a few other LEGO Chappie’s built already, but not a really big detailed one. It would have been my time to shine! And maybe even get blogged!

So I was super stoked to try … I got home, broke out my Dark Blues, got the Orange antennae built and just… gave up. It would have been too large and too complex and too difficult. But thankfully for everyone, Roman (th_squirrel) didn’t give up as easily as I did. Much like Chappie himself, he kept on going and built a super awesome LEGO Chappie:

CHAPPiE

This is just a thing of beauty. I also really love how Roman used pieces with the original stickers on them, it really adds that gangster touch to his LEGO Chappie.

Iridium Dawn – a Starfighter for a new age.

I can’t think of a more prominent Starfighter builder than Nick Trotta (tardisblue), he has possibly the highest blog rate of any builder I can think of… and Nick’s latest build does not disappoint, based on Geoffrey Ernault’s concept art, he gives us another mind blowing creation:
Iridium Dawn

What really sets Nick apart (aside form the clearly impressive creation), is his patience and iteration on his builds, behind the scenes he works and reworks the build until it hits this unbelievably impressive state. Don’t believe me? Check out the behind work in progress shots:
Iridium Dawn: Evolution

And for a bonus, for those that may have missed it back in Novvember, here’s Nick’s ever present and jaw dropping contribution to the VicViper build month:
Cloudless 3V

Wolverine Snikt!

Wolverine and his claws, for some reason is a very popular Iron Builder Subject. I’m not sure why, maybe he’s the rough and tumble guy we all love, or more likely we all made the SNIKT! sounds as kids with knives in our hands …

And in true Iron Builder form Letranger Absurde (vitreolum) brings us another iconic Wolverine build:

Wolverine

In particular the hair is masterfully done, particularly the iconic sideburns and pointy tips.

Iron Man high-five

We’ve seen quite a few Iron Man builds here on TBB: his head; his heart; his entire body; in mosaic form; and perhaps most amusingly: the custom Hulkbuster minifig (in LEGO Hulk scale).

But what we haven’t seen is a build of Iron Man’s repulsor glove. So give Jonas (Legopard) a hand for, well… his Iron Man hand:

Highfive with Iron Man

Oh, and dear reader you are absolutely right, it does light up:

Young LEGO Fan shows incredible generosity [News]

The Brothers Brick alumni Paul Lee shares with us the following heartwarming story:

Like most boys his age, Zachary Rogers, age 9, is a huge LEGO fan and a huge Minecraft fan. So when LEGO started a Minecraft line, you can be certain he was excited. According to his mom, Jill, he had been saving up for some time to buy the largest set in the Minecraft line, 21118 The Mine. He had saved $120 in total, which would have been more than enough.

But then, earlier this week, the school held an assembly for Pennies for Patients (http://www.penniesforpatients.org/). Pennies for Patients is a youth program from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in which students are encouraged to collect spare change to help their mission to ”cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”

This hit particularly close to home because, in the last year, his friend, Jordan Williams, a fellow LEGO mega fan, lost his life to leukemia. So, on his own, in an incredible act of generosity for a 9 year old, Zack donated the entire $120 he saved to Pennies for Patients. His mom says, “I love that he decided to help kids instead of spending money on himself.”

It’s good to know there are really amazing kids with good hearts out there like Zack. If you want to help, you too can donate to Pennies for Patients.

Oh, and what about little Zachary and his dream of a LEGO Minecraft set? Our friends at Bricknerd will have a special review from him. Though Tommy is tight lipped on what set he’ll review…