Category Archives: People

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.

Group hugs are the best hugs!

I know you are all going to say, “Stick a Megablok in your pie hole Tromas!” But I simply must beat this dead horse: Our community is rather fantastic!!

Case in point Simon Liu’s (Si-MOCs) Operation Oscar: Phase 1. Simon built this large scene to honour a few of his favourite builders, those that inspired and influenced him. Simon left it up to us, the viewers, to recognize who those builders are, but it is rather obvious just who the guilty parties are…all of which are TBB regulars; Fedde (Karf), Peter Reid, and of course our own resident DJ, The Goldman (or as I like to affectionately refer to him, Gold Member).

Operation Oscar: Phase 1 - FrogPod assembly

Now it must be pointed out that Gold Member’s influence on Simon’s build is quite prominent, as the general layout of the launch base is straight out of his ‘Gypsy Queens, you are clear to launch’…a hit single that Keith debuted 2 weeks ago. Now if I have learned anything from my time spent kickin’ it with Gold-Member in the TBB club house, it is that despite his epic awesomeness, he is not one to toot his own horn. So I am more than happy to cut into his weekend air time and toot his horn in his stead. So here it, the world debut of ‘Gypsy Queens, you are clear to launch’:

Gypsy Queens, you are clear to launch! [2/7]

Now, back to the brilliance of the community…not only is Simon’s creation inspired by his favourite builders, but Keith’s build was a direct result of a few more of our regulars, Stijn (Red Spacecat) & Mike Yoder. I’ll just let Keith explain the story in his own words:

Almost two years ago I was fortunate enough to receive the generous gift of a MATSF-5000E Superbanshee II SE from Stijn. To make things all the more strange, the package was sent through middleman Yoder. Although I was stoked to receive such a swooshable fighter, I was a little burned out of building dioramas for starfighters. Over the course of the last couple of years I’ve attempted 3 relatively large scale dioramas, including a cruder version of what you see here. The models failed for various reasons, but mostly because I was struggling with the scale. While I have tried microscale before, it was never on such a large scale and I found it very difficult to grind out the small details that make everything come to life without the trusty minifig to guide me.

The model also includes Stijn’s recent M28-Pig in the pen, as it were, in the lower left hand corner.

So cheers Stijn! I hope it was worth the wait.

So what is the moral of this story you ask?

Don’t think for a second that just because oceans and continents separate us, that we can’t still get together to play LEGO!

Also, please be sure to check out the full set of pictures for both of these brilliant creations, there are simply too many details to pass up:

Simon’s Operation Oscar

Gold Member’s Gypsy Queens

Going a bit crackers – Beyond the Brick interview D-Town Cracka

One of the wackier categories in this year’s LEGO Military Build Competition is “Friends vs. Fabuland,” in which two rather unlikely foes go head to head. Andy Baumgart ( D-Town Cracka), who is one of the judges, was the mad genius behind this one.

Friends Propaganda Poster

He was recently interviewed by the guys from Beyond the Brick. If you’re interested in what makes Andy tick, how he discovered and joined the military build community on Flickr, or want to hear about the pleasures of having your models blogged on TBB, I heartily recommend you watch the interview on Youtube.

Whoa! Slow down there big rig...

Disclaimer – mildly sappy post to follow…

Remember this post I did a few months back? Well, I still feel the same about the online community, however, I now have some very serious concerns on where this community is headed…yes, and it is all due to the recent changes to Flickr.

I felt that these concerns were serious enough that it justified a separate post, as opposed to me simply commenting on Andrew’s again.

Really this is a personal plea to all those that feel it necessary to leave Flickr. I know many are very upset about the new format, have issues with the new pricing structure, and take offence to how Yahoo handled the system rollout. But at the end of the day is it worth the fragmentation of our community? Personally I don’t think it is. Honestly, I am not entirely happy with the new system, but I also don’t hate it to the extent that I want to see the history of what we have on Flickr lost.

At the end of the day there are no perfect solutions. I don’t think we can expect Yahoo! to go back to the old system, but I don’t think it is realistic to expect/hope for every contributing member of the current community to seamlessly move to an alternate site. Therefore I think that the only ‘solution’ is to wait it out and see what happens over the coming weeks.

This is about more than just Flickr and it’s individual users, this is about a thriving community of friends spread across the globe with years of history. The site may look vastly different, but as of right now the people are exactly the same. So before anyone rage quits, may I ask that you first stop, take a deep breath and think about our wonderful COMMUNITAY!

Most sincerely,

TR

Big group hug!

Brickfête 2013

Janey Gunning asked if we could share the following press release in regards to this year’s Brickfête.

To all AFOL, LEGO collectors, builders, hobbyists, enthusiasts within walking, driving or flying distance of Toronto, Canada.

The Brickfête Team is honoured to invite you to our annual LEGO Fan Convention. Join us for some good times completely focused on our beloved obsession with the brick. You will see some amazing displays, have chances to get involved with fun games and event, as well as hear from official LEGO Designer and LEGO Master Builder.

This July 11, 12, 13 and 14, 2013!
Hilton Hotel, Airport Rd in Toronto, Canada

To register for the four days visit the AFOL portion of our site and please note, space is limited so act now, operators are standing by.

We are returning to the same hotel as last year, and have secured decent room rates (however those end soon, so book now before you end up paying full rates.)

If you are from out of town (or country) we are located right across from the Toronto Airport, which means you can just fly here, board the shuttle to the hotel and not worry about renting cars, maps or public transit.

Join our website’s free forum if you have any questions or want to discuss things such as sharing a room, collaborative builds, or just a chance to connect with others before the event.

Our list of events are being posted and there is something for everyone to get involved with.

  • Have you built something cool that others would love to see???
  • Do you want to hang out with other amazing builders?
  • Listen to LEGO guest speakers or get involved with build challenges or contests!
  • Don’t forget those prize raffles and all the other fun activities!
  • Want to have chances to win LEGO prizes or bid in the LEGO auction??
  • Display with us and enjoy the company of other AFOLS.

If you are new to conventions and are hesitating… check out this forum post and feel free to ask questions.

The general public is invited to view the awesome LEGO Creations on display during the following public expo days:
July 13th and 14th – 10am until 3pm
Tickets sold at the door and online

All the rest of the details and more can be read on www.brickfete.com

See you in July,
Janey Red Brick & Chris Magno
On behalf of the entire Brickfete team!

“A festival run by fans, made by the fans, for the fans.”

Beyond the Brick offers Brickworld interviews DVD on Kickstarter

Beyond the Brick would like your support on Kickstarter to fund a DVD compiling a series of interviews to take place at this year’s Brickworld in Chicago. You can pledge $20 for a DVD or give more for unique incentives such as a custom creation by Tyler (Legohaulic). Check out the details on Kickstarter.

May TBB Cover Photo Winners

Well the month of April has completely flown by and it is already time to pick new winners for our Facebook and Twitter cover photos.

I was lucky enough to do the selecting for this month, and since Andrew’s picks for April were of the sci-fi variety, I thought I would switch things up this month.

For Facebook I chose Legopard’s ingeniously quaint Nano Modular Buildings.

Nano Modular Buildings

For Twitter, the winner was Tobigo’s epic oil rig which we had blogged last week.

Oil Rig

 

Since this is still a relatively new idea, I am going to copy and paste Andrew’s observations from last month. Once again there were several pictures that were fantastic except for the fact that the orientation would not have worked. Also I was kind of hoping that some of the previous month’s submissions would have been re-submitted as per Andrew’s ‘hint’…but that may just be something that we readdress for future months:

Since this was our first month, here are a few random observations about what worked and what didn’t:

  • This isn’t how you get blogged, but we certainly found a few gems we’d missed otherwise!
  • There were scores of gorgeous photos that just didn’t work because of the composition, mostly because of where Facebook and Twitter put our logo and page text on top of the photo.
  • Vertical (portrait orientation) photos really don’t work at all. As much as I love looming medieval towers and tall sculptural figures, we can’t really use them on Facebook and Twitter.
  • With so many great buildings, vehicles, and dioramas, it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll ever choose to feature a photo of a single minifig for a whole month.
  • It’s a good idea to brand or watermark your photos online, but large branding is distracting when the photo is going to be used as the “face” of The Brothers Brick, so I skipped past photos with big logos or chunks of text.
  • We love microspace here at TBB, but since I’d been using one of my own microspace photos for the last year or two on Facebook, I excluded several remarkably awesome photos (like Pierre’s) for this first month. Looking ahead, we’ll definitely be taking into consideration the subject matter or theme of what we’ve recently featured in selecting the next month’s photos.

Career Thoughts interviews LEGO Master Builder Steve Gerling

Master Builders, Master Model Makers, or Master Model Designers are people who work for LEGO or LEGOLAND to design and maintain large-scale displays for the company or theme parks. We’ve taken you behind the scenes at LEGOLAND with the charming and telegenic Gary McIntire, but what’s it like to work as a Master Builder for LEGO’s North American headquarters in Enfield, Connecticut?

Career Thoughts has an interview with Steve Gerling, who brought a more-traditional artist’s eye to the Model Shop 17 years ago.

Steve Gerling with a LEGO great white shark

Kevin Spence: Did you find that a lot of [your sculpture background] translated?

Steve Gerling: Oh, it all translated. Absolutely. Despite the fact that I worked primarily in relief, the sculpture principles were all still there. They were trying to upgrade their models that had human and wildlife themes at that point. They were trying to get something more realistic…. It was a new sculptural medium. We had little pieces of clay that happened to be square.

Check out the full interview on careerthoughts.com.

Tank-Spank

Flickr user Dryvvall had teased us with some quite stunning creations last May, and then slowly slid back into the shadows. Well I am happy to see that he is posting again.

The recent posts are chock full of fabulous designs, but this shot in particular caught my eye and tickled my funny bone.

Close Quarters

As Dryvvall explains:
A corporate Fenrir takes on an MBT. This tactic is known colloquially as the Ghetto Stomp or the Tank-Spank. The crafty ‘mech has denied the tank its main cannon.

It also appears that we missed this fantastic dropship from last August.

Nidhogg Dropship

Please be sure to peruse through Dryvvall’s full photostream…he is certainly a builder to keep an eye on.

April 2013 TBB Facebook & Twitter cover photo winners

Last month, we announced that each month we’ll be featuring a new photo by one of our readers on Facebook and Twitter. After TR kindly arranged everything, I had the privilege of picking the first month’s cover photo winners.

For Facebook, it only seemed fitting that I should pick a photo of the Cybercity collaborative build that RoninLUG & friends (led by Andrew Lee) put on for Bricks by the Bay 2011:

Winning - BBTB 2011

For Twitter, I picked this fantastic helium transport by Robert H. (Robiwan_Kenobi):

NCS Helium-3 Transport Rover

I’m really pleased by just how much participation we got, with over 170 photos from 130 builders. It seemed like everybody submitted their best work this first month, and that made my job incredibly hard.

(Pssst! With so many awesome photos, here’s a tip. Remove your photos from the pool and add them again. We’ll consider them again another month.)

Since this was our first month, here are a few random observations about what worked and what didn’t:

  • This isn’t how you get blogged, but we certainly found a few gems we’d missed otherwise!
  • There were scores of gorgeous photos that just didn’t work because of the composition, mostly because of where Facebook and Twitter put our logo and page text on top of the photo.
  • Vertical (portrait orientation) photos really don’t work at all. As much as I love looming medieval towers and tall sculptural figures, we can’t really use them on Facebook and Twitter.
  • With so many great buildings, vehicles, and dioramas, it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll ever choose to feature a photo of a single minifig for a whole month.
  • It’s a good idea to brand or watermark your photos online, but large branding is distracting when the photo is going to be used as the “face” of The Brothers Brick, so I skipped past photos with big logos or chunks of text.
  • We love microspace here at TBB, but since I’d been using one of my own microspace photos for the last year or two on Facebook, I excluded several remarkably awesome photos (like Pierre’s) for this first month. Looking ahead, we’ll definitely be taking into consideration the subject matter or theme of what we’ve recently featured in selecting the next month’s photos.

We hope readers and builders alike enjoy this monthly challenge, and I’m looking forward to what other contributors pick next month and beyond!

Finally, if you aren’t already following us elsewhere, be sure to Like TBB on Facebook and follow TBB on Twitter.

Dutch truck builders united

Last weekend a number of Dutch truck building enthusiasts, including yours truly, met up to display our models at Model Show Europe, as I mentioned in my introductory post a few days ago.

The show is for scale models of heavy haulage and earth-moving equipment and, perhaps surprisingly for such a niche interest, it’s big with a few thousand visitors on a single day and exhibitors from several countries, including Germany, the UK and Denmark. Most of the models on display were plastic kit models and die-cast models, but, because of their high quality, the LEGO models on display didn’t look out of place at all.

TBB favourite Dennis Glaasker (Bricksonwheels) showed off his love for chrome with his latest Peterbilt and trailer.
IMG_3548

Ingmar van Speijkhoven (2LegoOrNot2Lego) unveiled his new Western Star.
IMG_3482

Dennis Bosman (legotrucks), whose Kenworth wrecker truck was featured here a few weeks ago, also brought his impressive model of a Scania R500 with a low-loader and drag-line.
IMG_3561

Built on a slightly smaller scale but in a similar colour scheme, the classic Scania dump truck built by Nanko Klein Paste (nkle) stole people’s hearts.
IMG_3543

The biggest crowd pleaser, however, was a massive Liebherr mobile crane by Huib van der Hart (haRtV70R).
IMG_3471
It’s still a work in progress, in the sense that it cannot yet be raised, but already looks impressive.

For more pictures taken during the event, including more trucks by Daniël Dil (Legorigs), Barry Bosman (Barman76), Ron Jansen and myself, check out the other pictures in Barry’s photo set. As George Panteleon (ZetoVince) put it in a comment on a picture of part of the display put it: “Lucky guyz! So many fantastic lego car builders in one country! I’m jealous..”