Thorsten Bonsch Xenomurphy has been hard at work for a full year to bring you his latest masterpiece, “Arkham Asylum“. The brooding structure takes its name from the sanatorium in the fictional city of Arkham, Massachusetts, found in many of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories of the macabre. Batman and Lovecraft are both huge influences on Thorsten’s work and a merging of the two has obviously inspired him to greater heights. The structure itself is impressive and there is plenty of minifig driven action throughout the diorama to please both fans of Batman and the hot-weather crowd. My favorite detail is the eruption of greenery coming from Poison Ivy’s cell.
It would be enough for most builders to create such an outstanding model but Thorsten wasn’t satisfied until he’d created an elaborate and striking 82-page “making-of-book” that according to the man himself: “explains every little step“. Indeed every imaginable topic in the design process is covered in great detail from inspiration to minifig selection to the nuts and bolts construction of various sections. The book also details the contributions of builders like Dave Kaleta and Calin who helped set the scene with some amazing 1920’s inspired vehicles. Thorsten obviously put as much care into the layout and writing as he did into the build itself and the result is a rare glimpse into the mind and creative vision of one of our best builders. You can get a sampling of the engaging work in Thorsten’s Photostream on Flickr or he has thoughtfully made the entire document available as a free download. The reader who takes the time will surely be rewarded and immersed in the details of Arkham.
Sometimes life as a blogger for TBB can be frustrating. Yesterday I spent more than an hour fruitlessly pouring over my pictures of the most interesting models I saw at Brickfair, to only find that we had pretty much blogged all of them when they first appeared on-line. Then again, on other days it is easy. I did not have to think about a title for this post, for instance, because Matt Armstrong (Monsterbrick) came up with the title for his picture himself.
I never cared much for LEGO’s Super Heroes figures. To me they looked too much like kids’ stuff, with little potential for making something interesting out of them. However, this model has made me think twice. The Batman figure itself may be ‘juniorized’, but that does not mean Matt cannot build a kick-ass motorbike to go with it.
Welcome back fight fans, to Sin City Nevada for another tap-out edition of Friday Night Fights! Tonight’s bout is a classic match-up of hipster vs manga-nerd with street-cred on the line. Let’s go to the tale of the tape:
Fighting out of the red corner, from The city of big shoulders…Dave “The Killer” Kaleta and his “Bat-Cow and Robin“.
And fighting out of the blue corner, from the school of hard knocks…”Murderin'” Mike Dung (MikeVd) and his “misaka“.
As usual, constant reader, you are tasked with deciding the outcome of this pugilistic endeavor by way of comment. On the last edition of Friday Night Fights, the battle for logistical supremacy, a broad slate of judges called the fight 7-5 in favor of Nathan Ɲ. Tune in next week for another action-packed edition of Friday Night Fights!
Jonas (Legopard) is rapidly becoming one of my favorite builders, not least because he demonstrates talent in multiple themes. His latest build is this excellent conversion of the Batcave into the quintessential look of the steampunk aesthetic — complete with Batman in a top hat and what appears to be a wood and brass Tumbler.
And since we’re featuring one of Jonas’ mashups, here’s another. Behold the Classic Space DeLorean:
C’mon! How awesome is that?!
Stuart Delahay presents a vignette of Kid Joker demonstrating how to do division with a cleaver and a cat. Enough said.
Thanks for the tip Xenomurphy!
The week of San Diego Comic-Con is full of news, and we’re hardly getting started! The next item LEGO has revealed is an upcoming new LEGO Batman set, Riddler Chase. Most notably, this set includes the Flash as a minifigure for the first time.
The set will cost $29.99, includes 304 pieces, and is due out in January 2014.
Chris McVeigh (powerpig) is no stranger to The Brothers Brick, having been featured multiple times for his lovely models and photography.
He’s started a new series of brick-based sketches, inspired by markers as an art medium. I love the stylistic design and presentation. This particular one features a comic-book staple, the iconic Batman:
Other sketches include Boba Fett and Wolverine. I’m excited to see whoever is next!
I was on the fence for a while about whether or not to blog the latest effort from Helsinki, Finland’s Cpt. Brick. When I first looked at the thumbnail in a group-pool, the giant spooky Scarecrow-face drew me in for a closer look. Upon closer inspection, the rest of the model didn’t seem complex enough and the fingers of the Scarecrow in particular (above the hypodermic needles) seemed a little rough for the lofty quality expectations here at TBB. Over the course of the weekend a funny thing happened, the model started to grow on me and I went back for a second and third look. The final thing that tipped me over was the sheer number of ‘favorites’ and the volume of enthusiastic comments.
I’m blathering on about myself here because our selection process must seem a mystery to many of our readers, and I don’t have anything particularly clever to say about this diorama. Its spooky.
I recently discovered two excellent models of the Tumbler and The Bat made by a Taiwanese Lego fan who goes by velociraptor. What interested me were the photo instructions he provided for both models, which you can view on Brickshelf (click on photo below) or Pockyland (Tumber and The Bat).
An iconic scene deserves an iconic photo, and Project Azazel doesn’t disappoint. The approach to this photo with forced perspective gives it a larger feel.
Oh, and it lights up. I was totally sold at the working Batsignal.
Here is a review of 10197 Arkham Asylum Breakout where I talk about the parts and the model while highlighting some interesting building techniques. In summary, while there are only a few new pieces in this set, it is well-designed and features noteworthy techniques such as the stained glass window, sliding jail doors and more.
Continuing our post-holiday LEGO news catchup, this is just a quick reminder that all the January 2013 LEGO sets are now available from the LEGO Shop online.
Highlights include the new LEGO Batman set 10937 Arkham Asylum Breakout.
The rest of the 2013 LEGO Super Heroes sets are also online now, including new Spider-Man and other Batman sets.
The new LEGO Train set 10233 Horizon Express is out.
The full range of LEGO Legends of Chima sets are also available, and you can get a free Ewar’s Acro-Fighter with any $75 purchase.
The complete list of Legends of Chima sets:
(For behind-the-scenes technical reasons, that list took me forever, so we’ll just give you banner links from here on out.)
The LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sets were released a little early elsewhere, but they’re now on LEGO.com as well.
Finally (for today), LEGO Friends gets a complete refresh for 2013 with (count ’em) eleven new sets.