About Simon

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

Posts by Simon

Welcome home to Batman: Arkham Asylum

Many people know the only thing I love almost as much as LEGO is Batman. And what do I like more than LEGO? Batman LEGO!

So it came as a wonderful surprise to see this magnificent 18,000 piece master piece build of Arkham Asylum by Australian builder Dayton (Forgotten Day):

It took Dayton years of planning and three frantic months of ordering parts and building to get this tribute to the Dark Knight done by to unveil at Brickvention. I really love the attention to detail he’s put in, such as the sedimentary layers in the ground on the side of the build – usually an area not viewed, so it’s that added touch that makes this really nice.

And there are some wonderful techniques scattered throughout, the most ingenious (why didn’t I ever think of that?) is the construction of the fence, so simple, with headlight bricks and a rod, yet so brilliantly detailed and executed.

But you’d be amiss if you didn’t check out the video he’s put together that shows some of the additional rooms and areas in greater detail:

“No more can they keep us in
Listen, damn it, we will win” – Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

Shrine of Polarized Birefringence

This build by WRme2 is simply one of the most brilliant creations I’ve ever come across:

We’ve featured many castle vignettes before, so what makes this one so special?
It’s the windows. That’s not fancy photoshoping, that’s science!

WRme2 has figured out that due to the manufacturing process of some of the earlier LEGO bricks, when photographed with a polarizer you get that amazing effect which he has so brilliantly used in this build.

Here’s what it looks like with portion of a brick under a polarizer (like sunglasses):

For those really interested, he’s also done an equally impressive job explaining the science behind these colourful bricks.

Calvin and Hobbes – a LEGO Retrospective

Today, as many LEGO builders look back at their builds and accomplishments for the year, I’d like to go back a few more decades to December 31st 1995. The last published Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was published 20 years ago today, and I thought it would be appropriate to take a look back at Calvin and Hobbes through the eyes of the LEGO Community, and why we love them so much.

Calvin and Hobbes always held a very special place in my heart. It was the first English ‘book’ I ever actually wanted to read. But what surprises me is that – despite it being 20 years since the last printing – we still see LEGO builders from around the world regularly paying tribute to this wonderful comic strip. In fact, just over a month ago marked the 30th anniversary of the first Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, and I built a little scene to commemorate the occasion. I was quite shocked when I had someone message me to say “thank you” for reminding them of Calvin and Hobbes, and all the good memories.

Spaceman Spiff

Click through to see more LEGO Calvin & Hobbes creations!

TBB’s Pimp Rey’s Speeder contest winners [News]

With only DAYS to go until the new Star Wars movie opens in theaters (got your ticket yet? I have mine!), Rey is ready for opening night and can arrive in style with her fancy pimped out speeder thanks to all you builders.

With over 210 entries, I think Pimp Rey’s Speeder might be the most successful contest in my memory at The Brothers Brick. And while we could only choose three, there were some really amazing entries. I encourage everyone to grab a snack and look through all the wonderful entries. There were many many clever, funny, and just well-executed entries, but only one speeder can be crowned the winner of TBB’s Pimp Rey’s Speeder contest, as chosen by TBB contributors.

In first place is Jonas (Legopard) and his Rey’s Transformer:

Rey's Transformer

Which of course, actually transforms:

Jonas wins:

  • Fan Expo – Mini Tatooine Set
  • Millennium Falcon 75105
  • Rey’s Speeder 75099
  • Click to see all of the contest winners!

    Pimp Rey’s Speeder Contest

    With the highly anticipated next chapter of the Star Wars saga almost upon us, we here at The Brothers Brick felt it’s time we had a Star Wars contest.

    Your job is to pimp out Rey’s Speeder.

    It’s all up to you to decide what would be coolest thing to impress Rey. Maybe give it a paint job? Add some chrome ? Maybe some spoilers? Racing stripes? The more creative the better!

    Pimp Reys Speeder Contest!
    You have until December 5th to get your entries in!

    1st Prize:

    2nd Prize:

    3rd Prize:

    Not sure how to start? Thankfully Priovit70 provided us with this wonderful example of a Pimped out Speeder:

    Pimp my speeder

    Rules:

    • No limit on number of Speeders you can enter.
    • No size restrictions.
    • No digital entries.
    • Must be new creations.
    • Entries should be posted in the TBB Pimp Rey’s Speeder Flickr Group.
    • Open to builders over the age of 18 worldwide.

    The Rivers of Hell

    We’ve seen some interesting builds over the years from Mihai Marius Mihu, and we’ve seen some incredible busts from the talented Tyler (The Deathly Halliwell). So today I was stunned when the best of both builders were combined into one stunning series of builds, a merger of Mihai’s unique style and vision and Tyler’s execution.

    Over the past four months, the two builders have worked together to create their own vision of Greek mythology. Mihai started them off with a series of sketches (linked to below) which both Tyler and himself based their designs on.

    Hold on tight as we take a trip down The Rivers of Hell, the 5 mythological rivers of the underworld.

    The first river that the dead reach is Acheron:
    Acheron
    The dead can elect to take Charon the ferryman across, or wander the shores of Acheron shore for a century.

    The Styx, river of hate, is next: Styx On its shore stalk the Erinyes, visiting justice upon criminal souls.

    After that is the Cocytus, river of torture:
    Cocytus
    And then the Lethe, river of forgetfulness, where the dead forget their mortal lives: Lethe

    And lastly Phlegethon, in the deepest depths of the underworld, which holds the prison of the Titans, dreadful Tartarus:Phlegethon
    And off to the side guarding the borders of Hell is Cerberus.

    You can see all the creations, background sketches and character studies in the Flickr group.

    SHIPtember: Judges award and people’s choice

    Over the past week we have focused on the amazing builders who decided to build a SHIP within a month. We’ve looked at pop culture SHIPs, original and very unconventional SHIPs, realistic and near future SHIPs, the super fun minifigure scaled SHIPs, and finally SHIPs based off of one of the most influential games for SHIP buliders: Homeworld.

    But before we dive in, I want to congratulate every single builder that participated in this year’s SHIPtember (even those who were too ambitious to complete their SHIPs). It’s an incredibly fun month of building and sharing your work in progress with everyone. You make SHIPtember special.

    Today we wrap up our Week of Wonders: SHIPtember edition by revealing the overall best SHIPs, as chosen by the judges, and also the people’s choice.

    Again, we have a great prize, thanks to several of members the development team from Homeworld Remastered who have generously signed and donated a copy of the Homeworld Remastered game to the builder of SHIPtember 2015’s Best SHIP – which tradition also dictates will be immortalized as SHIPtember’s 2016 poster boy (much like the 2014 and 2013 winners) and also be featured on next year’s event brick.

    SHIPtember 2015 Best SHIP
    This year’s Best SHIP goes to the infinitely talented Jonas (LEGOLIZE IT MAN) for his M.U.LLA Battle cruiser:
    muulla
    This SHIP is just a perfect combination of elegant piece usage. Jonas manages to add just the right amount of detail, while keeping it clean and stylized. Or as one judge put it: “This thing has the perfect balance of texture, clean lines, and just perfect color blocking”. And Jonas is not only gifted in the art of LEGO building, but is also quite the doodler and even pre-sketeched his award-winning SHIP.

    Our runner-up for Best SHIP this year is Josh Derksen (armoredgear7) with his mammoth Demon’s Maw. It not only looks like some kind of demonic claw, but also has lights and motorized features!
    Demon's Maw (SHIPtember 2015)

    Continue reading

    SHIPtember: There’s no place like Homeworld

    Over the past week, we’ve talked a bit about some of the influences behind builders’ SHIPs. For many builders, the 2003 video game Homeworld has had a pivotal effect on their building style.

    This year Homeworld Remastered was re-released with updated graphics, and many space builders fell in love with the game again. So it’s not surprising to me that we saw a lot of Homeworld and Homeworld-inspired SHIPs pop up in SHIPtember.

    But what was surprising to me was that some folks from the actual development team of Homeworld Remastered loved our LEGO SHIPs as much as we loved their game, and reached out to offer a few prizes! So without further ado I present the best Homeworld inspired SHIP, as chosen by those developers, who happen to also be LEGO fans:

    The best Homeworld SHIP, which will also receive a copy of The Art Of Homeworld, kindly donated and signed by a group of developers, is Pierre E Fieschi with his Maersk Highliner:
    MAERSK HIGHLINER With wonderful technique and controversial part usage, this ship launched itself into the top spot despite not actually being in the game, but heavily inspired by it. Quoting the developers: “We love the layering of details. Panels overlapping one another without it being too much noise. And of course this is just outright gorgeous.” and also “That guy’s concept art and other work is legit.”

    Second place, as chosen by the development team is Ryan Olsen (Rphilo004) and his Hiigaran Battlecruiser: Hiigaran Battlecruiser with Escort Fleet
    Again, quotes from the development team: “Nicely executed for the size and detail that you were able to get into it. Bravo!” and “It’s PERFECT. The support ships even rock. I wanna buy this or have one made for myself SO BAD.”

    Coming in third place was last year’s SHIPtember winner, Tim Schwalfenberg (One More Brick) with his Vaygr Battlecruiser:
    Vaygr Battlecruiser Which the keen eyes of the developers noticed was missing the side tower: “That surface detail. Maybe the tower hit an asteroid?”

    Continue reading

    SHIPtember: Return to the minifig scale SHIPs of old

    Today on Week of Wonders we look at the minifig scaled SHIPs.

    For a long time SHIPs (Seriously Huge Investment In Parts) had a pretty specific definition. Not only were ships to be 100 studs, but they were almost always minifigure scale with interiors. With SHIPtember some builders have lost sight of the minifigure scale and have built a wide variety of amazing microscale ships. But there’s still something magical about building minifig SHIPs, harking back to our childhoods, where the dream was to build not just a big space ship, but one where there was room to play with our minifigs!

    Today we celebrate the minifig populated SHIPs from SHIPtember.

    Adam Dodge (Dodge…) has a bit of history of going overboard, from winning awards at cons to doing the infamous SHIPhatTrick – building 3 SHIPs in one month. But his Intercept Invader is the set I would have loved as a kid:
    Intercept Invader - in flight Not only is this SHIP big, it has a full interior and most jaw dropping of all, is completely modular and reconfigurable! That by itself earns Adam big props from me.

    Ryan McBryde’s (goatman461) Mercy Brandy SHIP looks smaller than it is:
    [Challenge 2][Cat. B] 3 It’s built and textured like a lot of other microscale ships we’ve seen, but it’s deceiving with a fully detailed bridge: [Challenge 2][Cat. B] 6 I particularly like the classy brick built Octan logo.

    Not to be outdone, Jake (Jayfourke) has jam packed the inside of his Thames-Class Coastguard Patrolboat:
    Thames-Class Coastguard Patrolboat Not only has Jake added a full interior, but he’s managed to have not one, but two vehicles safely docked inside.

    I don’t know about other people, but next year, I want to build a big minifig SHIP.

    SHIPtember: Best real world SHIPs

    Today on Week of Wonders, we talk about SHIPs that have that real world vibe that were built as a part of last month’s SHIPtember contest.

    Most of the time spacers tend to build fantastic ships from far in the future with Warp Engines or Hyper Drives and all sorts of make believe techno-babble inventions. But there’s a certain few who take a more realistic approach to their spaceships, taking inspiration from today’s space technology and pushing it out just a few years…

    Tyler H has created this near-future high altitude bomber, the B-5 MANTA:
    B-5 MANTA In Flight At just under 100 studs long, and 144 studs wide, this lovely near space ship has a great shape and I just love the integrated lights and the bottom detailing with the combination of studs up and studs down construction.

    Going slightly further into the future, Damien Labrousse (legodrome) has created this inter-planetary traveler, the Galactik Bricks:
    Shiptember 2015 : Galactik Bricks The dockable shuttles are just a fantastic touch, and I really like the shaping he has put in the front with the spinning habitat section.

    And finally, going far into depths of space is Nathan Proudlove (Proudlove) and his Deep Space Explorer Intrepid:
    DSE-Intrepid With its radiation shield (required for deep space travel) this 5 foot (or 1.5meter) model is a true interstellar ship. Nathan has thought about what a real world Benny would need on his travels, and has included habitats, science labs, communication array, solar panels, and of course a SPACESHIP! for exploring those far away worlds.

    SHIPtember: Best Unconventional SHIPs

    Welcome to the second installment of the Week of Wonders: SHIPtember edition. Today we’ll take a look at some of the more unconventional SHIPs that were built during this year’s SHIPtember contest.

    Usually ship builders will base their builds on some existing ships, or designs and influences from movies, games or books. Then there are builders that just go a completely different route and create something truly unique.

    Chris Perron (thebrickbin) leads the pack with this unconventional Castle ship, the Astral Voyager:
    Astral VoyagerWith a combination of fantastic rockwork, integrated castles and volcano engines, the Wizard Chris has managed to create a believable magical flying rock space ship.

    Alysa Kirkpatrick (d2hiriyuu) has built this Dyson Sphere, a spaceship that is wrapped around a sun, which she calls Astra Luminaria: Astra Luminaria
    One of the most interesting parts of this build, besides possibly being the biggest SHIP we’ve seen built to date, was that the entire build is a series of geometric shapes, which means that it was easy for her to calculate that there were exactly 20,012 parts used.

    Last but not least, (ska2d2) has this … well I’m not really sure best to describe this… I guess as the name implies, looks a bit like a Dragonfly :
    Dragonfly GS2. Shiptember2015
    What I really liked about this isn’t just the cool build, and strong colour blocking, but the fact that it was based on a Concept Sketch that he did prior to building.

    SHIPtember: Best Pop Culture SHIPs

    Welcome to a Week of Wonders, highlighting some of the best SHIPs (Seriously Huge Investment in Parts) that were built during SHIPtember. We have some special prizes lined up so stay tuned to the end of the week!

    For those that might be unfamiliar and might be asking: What is SHIPtember? Well it is a challenge to build a very large space ship that is at least 100 studs in any orientation, from start to finish within the month of September, or as we’ve now lovingly dubbed it: SHIPtember.

    This year we have over 120 astounding ships created by builders. These ships range from complete figment of the builder’s imagination, recreating concept art, taking design cues from existing themes, to recreating familiar ships.

    But today, let’s focus on the fine art of recreating ships based off existing properties.

    John Boozer (JediKnight219) (yes, that’s his real last name) has been a long time SHIPtember builder, focusing on recreating some of the best pop culture ships from his Transformer’s ARK Ship and last year’s minifigure scale Guardian of the Galaxy’s Milano.

    This year, John is back with a vengeance with this incredible take on the Superman Villain: Brainiac’s Skull Ship:

    This one was particularly fun to watch watch being built in the last month as it was originally quite hard to decipher what John was working on.

    Kevin J. Walter (SkyWalter), who actually won the best IP based build last year with his Goa’uld Mothership from Stargate SG-1 is back this year with the Nazara / “Sovereign” from the Mass Effect game:
    Nazara / "Sovereign"
    I’ve always been a big fan of Kevin’s love of building in black, a very hard to photograph colour, especially given the amount of details he manages to put into his builds.

    Not to be outdone, Pico van Grootveld (Brixnspace) built another creature-ish SHIP this year with the EVE online’s custom Scorpion battleship:
    EVE online's custom Scorpion battleship | SHIPtember 2015
    While we’re used to many ships being really big, this is really big. Which is extremely impressive given the size and and shaping of the lowered section – it’s quite the LEGO-engineering feat!

    And one more for the Pop Culture round up, another Video Game based ship, by Mel F. (Melan-E) with her build from Destiny: The Queen’s Emissary:
    The Queen's Emissary
    Which ironically is the most ship-like of all the ship’s in this post, but none the less a beautiful recreation of the original source that is instantly recognizable due to Mel being able to recreate those distinctive angles.