LEGO fandom is a worldwide phenomenon, a vast community. Whether you consider yourself an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO), ALE (Adult LEGO Enthusiast), some other crazy acronym, a parent of a young builder, or even just a casual fan who appreciates all the amazing models LEGO builders create, there’s more to LEGO than just the models themselves. Here at The Brothers Brick, we bring you the stories behind the models, with interviews, builder profiles, and more.
As nice as the individual models that we blog are, I think there’s often something really special about collaborative builds. The collaborative display by Pennlug at Brickfair, for instance, was one of my favourite things on show and Bricksboro Beach, built by members of Brickish, was probably the nicest display I have ever personally been involved with.
Last weekend, Legoworld took place in Utrecht in the Netherlands. Even though it is the public event closest to where I live and the largest LEGO-event in the Netherlands, I could not make it there myself. This is unfortunate for a variety of reasons, including because I would have loved to see the collaborative city display by lowlug-members Erik Smit (عʈ¡ – ʇıɯs ıʇə ʞıɹə), Tijger-San, Thomassio, Mockingbird, Arjan Oude Kotte (Konajra), Neverroads, Ruben Ras (workfromtheheart) and JeroenD (in random order).
The individual elements, such as the cafe-corner compatible buildings (such as the ones by Tijger-San pictured above) are nice, but the whole display is one of those ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ kind of things. You could walk around this and would keep noticing new things. If you want to get an impression of what it must looked like to members of the audience, check out Erik’s video.
Hot on the heels of the success of his Cows vs. Pigs Kickstarter project, Guy Himber waxes poetic with his latest offering: skulls! It seems appropriate in the season of Halloween. Go support his project if you are inspired.
While most of my fellow Brothers were having a great time at Brickcon in Seattle, I was enjoying myself immensely at the UK’s largest LEGO-event: the Great Western Lego Show in Swindon. The show is organised by Martin Long, who is the president of the Brickish Association. The show took place on Saturday the 5th and Sunday the 6th of October at a great location: the Great Western Railway museum, a.k.a. the Steam Museum. Most of the models on show were built by members of the association, who tend to refer to the show simply as ‘Steam’.
The models were all of a very high quality, but I want to share a few highlights with you. The first is the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 jet engine build by Bright Bricks, which is a company run by Duncan Titmarsh -the UK’s only Lego Certified Professional- and Ed Diment (Lego Monster). The model is built to half scale, weighs 350 kg and was commissioned by Rolls Royce for last year’s Farnborough Air Show. It is beautifully built and by means of an electric motor the fans actually spin, which gives it certain hypnotic quality.
Another very large and impressive model was the Tigelfáh Castle layout (We featured part of this a few weeks ago). It was a collaborative build by no fewer than eight builders: James Pegrum (peggyjdb), Harry Russell (Kǻrrde), Thomas Coleman (Malravion), Luke Watkins Hutchinson (– Derfel Cadarn –), Barney Main (SlyOwl), Colin Parry (Cuahchic), Jimmy Clynche (Invicta Bricks) and Steven Snasdell (workshysteve). It was enormous, fantastically detailed and very hard to capture in a single photo! No matter from what angle you looked at this, you always spotted a nice new detail.
One of the favourites of the public at the Steam show is the mosaic build. Members of the audience can fill a baseplate with 2×2 plates (in pre-arranged patterns printed out on paper), after which the plate is added to the mosaic. The mosaic gradually grows during the show and the end result is always spectacular.
For more pictures of these and other models at the show, check out the photosets by Andrew Harvey, Alec Hole and Drew Maughan. This was my 7th time at the event and it just keeps getting better. I know I am not the only builder already planning what to build for the show next year.
Traveler’s Tales Games just contacted us regarding new job openings in their LEGO department. They specifically thought of our readers in regards to the Junior LEGO Model Artist position. As many of you know, TT Games is the powerhouse behind the line of highly successful LEGO video games, including the various Star Wars, Batman, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones games, just to name a few. Whoever ultimately lands the job will have the opportunity to work on upcoming titles. It seems like quite the opportunity for the right person. Below is the information relating to the Model Artist position. Check out this link for details on all the LEGO-related positions, as well as the other job openings currently available. They have hired other Adult Fans of LEGO in past, namely Carl Greatrix and the Arvo brothers…you could be next!
Junior LEGO Model Artist
We are looking for a Model Artist to join our highly skilled and motivated team. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on the ever expanding range of acclaimed LEGO titles across all major development platforms. The role available is based at our Knutsford development studio.
– The design and modeling of LEGO models and vehicles
– The design and creation of 2D texture decals
– Optimization of assets to support each game platform
Skills & Qualifications:
– Good knowledge of LEGO elements, connections and advanced building techniques
– Excellent communication and organization skills
– 3D modeling experience in Autodesk Maya & Photoshop an advantage, however training can be made available
– Practical and methodical approach to both technical and creative problem-solving
– Demonstrates dependability and commitment to projects / tasks
– Flexible approach with the ability to adapt with change
– Ability to work under pressure and to strict deadlines
In return we offer a competitive salary with paid overtime and bonus scheme.
If you’re interested in this role, please contact jobs(AT)t-tales.com using LEGO Model Artist as the Email subject.
If the LEGO Adventure Book was an unofficial sequel to the 80s Ideas Books, the LEGO Adventure Book 2 is an official sequel to an unofficial sequel. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a book filled with great models by many great builders. I won’t write much about the book (aside from pointing out it has almost 40 sets of instructions), but I will leave you with the list of builders who contributed to it: Megan Rothrock (author/editor), Mark Stafford, Are J. Heiseldal, Arjan Oude Kotte, Barney Main, Birgitte Jonsgard, Tommy Williamson, Tyler Clites, Marco den Besten, Yvonne Doyle and Daniel August Krentz.
You can pre-order from Amazon.com right now (and remember, clicking that link helps support TBB).
This mind-blowing working compound crossbow is completely LEGO, and made by builders extraordinaire Sean and Steph Mayo (Siercon and Coral). Be sure to check out the video of it in action! Not only does it shoot, even the cables are made from LEGO train electronics wires.
The Brothers Brick snagged a quick interview with Sean and Steph about this awesome creation:
The Brothers Brick: Where did you get your inspiration? Sean and Steph: We wanted to use LEGO to shoot a projectile, building something other than a catapult or a trebuchet. We’ve seen lots of epic brick built guns online, and thought it would be tons of fun to create a custom Lego compound bow. This quickly evolved into crossbow for extra stability, as the bow is under tons of tension.
TBB: How long did this build take? S&S: We probably spent a week playing around with the different mechanics. We had a lot to figure out about the flexibility of LEGO pieces under stress, how much the train cables could take, and which pieces would be useful for the cams. Once that was sorted the actual construction in a couple days.
TBB: Why a compound Crossbow, wouldn’t it have been enough to just create a bow? S&S: A regular bow honestly would probably have been more effective as a lot of the natural flexibility of the LEGO pieces makes them more conducive to a recurve bow rather than a compound bow. But for ages we’ve been fascinated by the cams, idler wheels, and the mechanics of a compound bow, so we wanted to give it a try!
TBB: How many pieces did you use? S&S: We usually don’t count the pieces we used, and have no clue how some builders do it, but we estimate around 1700 pieces.
TBB: How far can it shoot/how much would it hurt? S&S: Disregarding the outliers, it can shoot around 40 feet. As a bow without the compound element it could shoot farther, but we couldn’t resist trying to build the cams. As far as how much damage it can deliver, we’re not entirely sure. We have yet to shoot anyone with it, and it is tipped with a flexible rubber lego (both for the competition this was built for and to minimize any accidental injury). It can likely stick into drywall with a sharp enough tip, but not much else.
TBB: What is it designed from? Is this from a video game or something similar? S&S: This is an original design, but influenced by the Spartan Laser aesthetic from the Halo series. We also wanted to use the green spikes as viper fangs, so we tried to stick with venomous snake inspired highlights. We picture this to be something a Green Arrow vigilante might carry around.
Today’s clearly a video-heavy day. Great way to break up the day. Who can say no to Iain‘s bricks of character coming to life? When it comes to characters, though, Tommy Williamson (GeekyTom) is certainly holding his own. He keeps making BrickNerd better and better every time.
This time, though, is very special.
On this episode, we take a look into the the Lifestyles of the Brick and Famous.
BrickCon 2013 is less than a month away and registration will be closing in two weeks! If you are planning on attending the longest-running LEGO fan convention in North America, you had better get registered. There will be prizes, games, seminars, round-table talks, food, new friends and, of course, tons and tons of cool LEGO creations to drool over. This will be my eighth BrickCon and every one has been fun and unique. You definitely don’t want to miss the party! Iain Heath posted this video gem to remind all of us how precious registration really is…
TBB regular Tim Zarki (spook) is embarking on a design project this semester which pertains to how we interact with our LEGO collections and how to make that interaction better. He doesn’t want to give away too much information right now, but in these preliminary stages he has created a quick survey. It only took me a few minutes to complete, so if you have a spare moment and would like to help out a fellow LEGO maniac in his studies, please complete the survey via the link below.
*UPDATE – Tim has now received the 1000 survey responses that he required so has closed the survery link. Thank you to everyone that helped him out, I know he appreciated it!
Our friend, Tommy Williamson, is doing great things over at BrickNerd, not the least of which are his News and Reviews Videos. Stop reading this and go watch the video…it’s good. Also there is the added bonus [SPOILER ALERT!] of hearing Iain Heath (Ochre_Jelly) recite Ewok poetry.