Category Archives: Building Techniques

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LEGO Melbourne 1972... and a quick message from our sponsors

For the third time (previous ones here and the supremely talented here), Michael Pianta (scruffulous) and I teamed up to present a 1972 era diorama at Brickvention 2014 based on the railroads of the great state of Victoria, Australia.

Brickvention 2014 - Overview

APM mill - Gray siding through leavesThis time we chose our most urban setting yet in the APM Paper Mill in suburban Melbourne alongside some of its neighbouring suburbia. As usual, our goal was to create as realistic a display as possible, under the limitations of our collaboration (I fly my contribution in) with the specific targets of creating: 1) plausible landscaping, flora and fauna, 2) minimal gridding and, 3) realistic roads and rail. I’m happy enough with it to think we hit the targets.

APM mill - Tim's houses with J Class

On a sadder note, I’m using this flagrantly self-promotional post to announce my resignation from TBB as a writer/editor/curator/whatever the latest hip term for it is. After many years sharing my love of LEGO with you all, I need to focus my time and energies on other things. I even hope to start building more models again, although I’m not threatening that too strongly. I happily extend my thanks to Andrew, Josh, my co-bloggers new and old, and especially our readers for the fabulous time I’ve had here.

I’m a recovering Sortophobe. [Editorial]

I have always been the first one to admit that I have an intense fear of sorting LEGO elements. Spiders? Confined spaces? Heights? HA! I laugh in their faces!! But you set a big ol’ pile of random ABS in front of me with some empty drawer units and I start to hyperventilate, my palms start sweating and I get all twitchy.

Well, ok maybe I am just a lazy procrastinator who would rather play with LEGO than organize it, but I am still going to play the sortophobia card.

But there is light at the end of this cluttered tunnel…yesterday I took my first steps on the road to my sorted recovery. But before I get into that, I will give you a bit of a background.

When my wife and I moved into our house, I attempted for the first time to sort my LEGO. But like the rookie that I was I made a crucial mistake and sorted my entire collection by colour. It was hard enough to find a yellow headlight brick in a giant bin of bricks, let alone trying to find one in the bottom of a drawer that only contained yellow elements. So basically my three or four weeks of sorting were wasted and I started re-sorting it all into part type to better fit my style of building. Well that was 8 years ago and I haven’t really stopped sorting since. I would say that about 2 years ago I was approximately 85-90% fully sorted and organized. And I have been on a steady decline since.

Fast forward to 2013 and things got really bad. I hit my rock bottom. Readers may remember my AFOL’s guide to having a newborn. In particular point #1. I have learned over the preceding 10 months, that #1 is #1 for a very good reason! I didn’t really slow down the level of production of my builds, but my efficiency with build time had certainly been affected. Then I just became really lazy and made zero effort to stay organized. My LEGO collection basically became an un-useable mess of cluttered drawers and overflowing shelves. It took ages to build a simple model and believe it or not, it even started to take the fun out of building.

Well 2014 is a new year, and I intend to get my butt organized! Not only to increase the ease of building, but also for my wife’s sanity. We now have three, going on 4, LEGO maniacs in our house and I can only see this getting worse if I don’t nip it in the bud now. So that is where my steps on the road to recovery come in. What were they you ask? Simple. I dumped everything into a big ass tub.

And I have to say, it felt really good to do that. For the first time in 8 years, I am actually looking forward to sorting. It’s a brand new year and my future is looking bright and organized!

26.5 kg (58.5 lbs.) of un-sorted LEGO never looked so good!

2014 - Year of the Big Sort [Day 1]

The Dark Lord and His Ring of Power

Looking more like a movie still than a traditional brick sculpture, I had to look twice at this beautiful image by David Hensel (Legonardo Davidy) to be sure that it was, in fact, completely LEGO. Making wonderful use of his fantastic building skills and some great forced perspective techniques, this is one of David’s best models so far.

Sauron

Ed Roth’s Rat Fink recreated in LEGO by Adam Grabowski

Adam Grabowski (misterzumbi) is usually quite laconic in his posting, so you can tell he’s excited about his latest LEGO work by the length of the accompanying prose. In short, he has recreated the famous Rat Fink by Ed Roth. And he’s done so with the help of some paint to make sure he got RF as close to source as he possibly could. Enjoy!

RatFink016a

Runaway train

Caleb Randolph has taken train dioramas to the next level with “Anastasia”: Runaway Train. The detailed, raised mountain platform and use of classic train tracks to give a continuous edge is especially masterful. And that’s ignoring the excellent snow, steam, and, of course, the locomotive itself. Brilliant work.

IMG_0469

Tribull, The Mystic Shaman of Awesome

Nick V. (AKA Brickthing) has brought forth a tribal creation of such spectacular coolness that words fail me. Nick’s masterful use of color really makes this creation “pop”, not to mention that the combination of Duplo, Bionicle, Bellville, Hero Factory, rubber bands, Technic and System all come together to form something that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Tribull

Here be serpents

Since both brickshelf and flickr seem to be down right now, I went outside my comfort zone and had a look at MOCpages. And after discussing the excellent “Guardian of the Emerald” creation by LukeClarenceVan I’m very glad I did. The sea serpent uses a great set of multiple textural techniques, including some nice water effect, and the diorama itself is well set up. Great work all around.

Sea Serpent LEGO Model