Grant Davis gives us a new perspective with this cross section of a medieval sapper at work. The cartoony style makes even this most terrifying of medieval occupations look like just another day in the life of the put-upon minifig.
Arjan Oudekotte (Konajra) does not post new models all that often, but given the size of most of them, that is understandable and they are always well worth the wait. His latest model is the largest ship he has built to date, with a length of 196 cm (or roughly 6’5 for those of you who prefer antiquated measurement systems) and built out of roughly 32000 elements.
The ship in question is a Dutch ocean-going tug called the Zwarte Zee (Black Sea). The ship was launched in 1962 and until 1984 served with the famous company Smit International, known around the world for large maritime salvage operations. As usual with Arjan’s ships, it is highly detailed and has a beautifully sculpted hull (in dark red, no less). I had the pleasure of seeing this behemoth with my own two eyes last Sunday, but if you want to take in all of it, I encourage you to take a look at Arjan’s album on flickr.
Builders! You now have just under a week to submit your entries for The Brothers Brick “BRICKNADO” building contest celebrating next week’s opening of Sharknado 2, SyFy’s hilarious sequel to the original Sharnado. Check the contest page for details. Oh, and if the sheer glory of winning isn’t enough incentive for you, there’s swag to be won too…
Never heard of Sharknado? No shark pieces? Just hate sharks, because they ate your grandfather? WE DON’T CARE! Just build something funny involving sharks. The sequel is set in New York, so extra props for working that into your build: Sharks driving yellow cabs, starring in musicals, imitating landmarks …surprise us!
During WW2, the Grumman Corporation was the main builder of fighter aircraft for the United States Navy. At the start of the war, they built the classic F4F Wildcat. This was only the second US Navy fighter with then novel features such as a fully enclosed cockpit and a retractable undercarriage, but it was outperformed by the Japanese Navy’s A6M Zero. To counter this threat, the Wildcat was followed by the larger and more powerful F6F Hellcat.
Sydag has now built the ultimate Grumman prop fighter: the F8F Bearcat. For this Grumman fitted the Hellcat’s R2800 Double Wasp engine to a much lighter and smaller airframe. The result was a bit of a hot rod, with far superior performance. The aircraft also incorporated a bubble canopy, greatly improving the pilot’s view to the rear. Bearcats entered service too late to see combat in WW2 and, with the advent of jet aircraft, they were transferred to the US Navy Reserve, where they received the orange fuselage stripe visible on Sydag’s model. The aircraft were retired from US service in the fifties, but their performance made them an attractive choice for air racing and Rare Bear, a much-modified Bearcat, still holds several world records for propeller-powered aircraft. I obviously like the aircraft, but I like how it is presented even more, with part of a hangar as the backdrop and surrounded by maintenance equipment and aircraft parts, including a spare engine. The classic hot rod (the kind with wheels) is the proverbial cherry on top.
In 1997, a container ship off the coast of Cornwall, UK, was hit by a freak wave and 62 shipping containers washed overboard, the BBC reports. One of these containers held 4.8 million LEGO pieces. Evidently the container ruptured, because even 17 years later beach-goers still routinely find dozens of LEGO pieces strewn about the beach. Many are battered beyond use, but some are still found in quite good condition.
LEGO treasure hunters will take keen interest that, according to the BBC report, the following items were lost:
Toy kits – Divers, Aquazone, Aquanauts, Police, FrightKnights, WildWest, RoboForce TimeCruisers, Outback, Pirates
Spear guns (red and yellow) – 13,000 items
Black octopus – 4,200
Yellow life preserver – 26,600
Diver flippers (in pairs: black, blue, red) – 418,000
Dragons (black and green) – 33,941
Brown ship rigging net – 26,400
Daisy flowers (in fours – white, red, yellow) – 353,264
Scuba and breathing apparatus (grey) – 97,500
Total of 4,756,940 Lego pieces lost overboard in a single container
Estimated 3,178,807 may be light enough to have floated
One can’t help but note the irony that so many of the lost pieces are nautical themed. Any minifig Robinson Crusoes in the Cornwall vicinity will be well equipped after searching the local beaches.
Every year LEGO does free giveaways of various exclusive items at the San Diego Comic-Con (July 24-27), and one of the items they’re giving away this year is a fantastic 24 page Batman/Justice League retro-design comic drawn by Brothers Brick alumnus Paul Lee, an excellent builder by night and highly talented comic artist by day. This edition compiles the comics that have been appearing in the LEGO Club Magazine all year. Paul and Rachel Lareau, the comic’s writer, will be at the LEGO booth Saturday from 5-6pm to sign copies.
LEGO has unveiled a massive UCS-scale version of the Tumbler from The Dark Knight. The vehicle will measure over 15 inches long and 9 inches wide, has a full interior cockpit, and includes a nameplate, and Batman and Joker minifigs. Although LEGO has produced several versions of the Joker previously, this will be the first appearance of Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight. UCS Tumbler (76023) will be available in September for $199 USD, and includes 1,869 pieces. You can see more images of the set here, or listen to the one of LEGO’s designers talking about the set here.
Everything Jon Hall builds is blogworthy. But it’s not often that I run across one of his builds while looking for something to post and I have my breath taken away. The beautiful use of olive green, bulbous shape, and signature custom decals all combine for a strong impression.
Tomorrow is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. I hope we see many moon-themed LEGO models over the next couple of days, but we’ll start with this fantastic microscale version of the lander by Ted Andes.
Ted has been building one vignette a week this year, and this is his 31st. Check out his photostream for the rest.
Check out this Kickstarter project by Mark Bollobas that introduces a Lego-compatible smart brick that lets you control your power-function vehicles with a smartphone via bluetooth.