Tag Archives: BrickCon

BrickCon happens the first weekend in October every year in Seattle. BrickCon is the longest continuously running LEGO fan convention in the world, and it’s also our favorite LEGO con! Learn more (and consider attending yourself) at BrickCon.org.

Nagara-style Indian temple

One of my favorite new themes at BrickCon this year was “World Architecture,” organized by Anu Pehrson. Her own contribution was one of my favorites — this gorgeous Hindu temple in the Nagara style of Indian architecture.

Indian Temple

Anu provides a bit of background:

This is an Ancient Temple from India. This is the Nagara style of Architecture which was fully developed in the 10th century. Such Temples exist till date and are very much in use as a place of worship and pilgrimage. In Hinduism the devotee offers flowers and fruit to the ‘deity’ as a form of worship. Therefore we always see stalls selling garlands, flowers and fruit outside a temple. A visit to the Temple is not a sombre event, and could be and evening outing for the family or a ‘picnic’ Therefore one finds a ‘fair’ like atmosphere around the entrance.

Her beautiful diorama deservedly won “Best Architectural Style” at BrickCon.

BrickCon 2011: A word from the Prize Goddess

Aaah, BrickCon. That magical time each fall when hundreds of LEGO fans descend upon the Exhibition Center in Seattle for a relaxing weekend of fun, friendship, and sleep.

Wait. I’m kidding. Sleep never enters the equation.

BrickCon has morphed quite a bit for me from my first event to now. I began attending BrickCon in 2005 (it was NorthWest BrickCon at that point). The ENTIRE event fit into the Rainier Room, which now is just the general assembly room. This year marked my seventh BrickCon and ninth overall event.

Time flies when you’re having fun, right?

What’s also changed quite a bit for me is how I experience BrickCon. In the beginning, I was simply an attendee. I registered, I went, I showed off my MOCs, and I went on my merry way. I’d help out coordinating the Castle display when I could. But in 2009, that changed. At one of the SEALUG meetings, it was mentioned that they needed someone to coordinate prizes. “I can do that,” I thought. So I stepped up.

So there’s the story of how I became Prize Coordinator for BrickCon. I can blame (thank?) Sean Forbes for the “Prize Goddess” moniker, and that’s the one that stuck.

Determining which prize goes what, where, and to who is an entirely scientific process, but not really. It’s taking a look once again at what I have to work with and spreading it across the four major ceremonies that have door prizes (Opening, Keynote, Awards, Closing). Making sure those are dividing properly and separate from what goes to the public is important, too. Part of my job ensures that any incoming prizes are dividing amongst the various pools, too, so that one event isn’t too overloaded. I try and keep Closing as short as possible, too, since by that time people typically are packing to head home.

This year we added a sort of “Santa Claus” prize pool for public and private hours. During the public hours, volunteers would wander around the crowds and hand small sets (provided by the con) and kid’s t-shirts (provided by the LEGO Store in Bellevue) to the kids. Watching their faces was amazing; the look of disbelief was typically first, followed by the giant smile. There was some suspicion that the gifts were completely free, but it was pretty easy to work around. Anyone who passed out those prizes had the same smile.

It’s incredibly busy working with the prizes. In terms of BrickCon, if it didn’t involve prizes, I typically had no information or clue about it. My focus was prizes; I needed to be available to receive incoming donations and prep for the next assembly. I had enough time in between assemblies to enjoy spending time with my friends and enjoying BrickCon for what it is.

Thanks to Joe Meno, Andrew Becraft, and Bill Ward for their photos!

Wrap up: Castle at BrickCon 2011

I have to say that Castle totally rocked this year. This was my sixth year being involved in the Castle section at the Con and I think this was the best so far. Everyone involved really stepped it up this year and they all deserve a round of applause.

P1180126

The quantity of creations was overwhelming and we had to beg, borrow and steal more area (Many thanks to Steve Walker and Wayne Hussey for making that process virtually painless and to Scott Fowler for graciously giving up part of the neighboring Pirate tables). But quantity doesn’t really say much about a section. It was the quality of the creations that really blew me away. I knew that the builders who were coming had skills but they all out did themselves.

Our collaborative layout was packed with so many builds, flowing from one to another, that it was difficult to see everything and the section of stand-alone models was outstanding.

Ollie has a family reunion . . .

We had three categories for which builders could win a trophy and a LEGO set. The voters were very hard pressed to make their selections, but they finally did and the winning models and builders were:

Best Overall Castle Creation:
Hogwart’s Castle by Alice Finch
Photo of Hogwart’s by Bill Ward

Best Community Contribution:
Al Wahat by Sebastiaan Arts

Best Fly-in Dragon:
Whiskers by Myself

Castle towers from afar

Hearty thanks also need to go out to the following people and companies: To Will of Brickarms for the awesome contributor packs and prototype weapons that he made especially for us, to Ryan of BrickWarriors for the sweet fig packs he donated and to Learning Loft Toys for the Lego set prizes they donated to our winners.

We all had a great time and plan to make next year even bigger and better. So if you want to ‘Go Medieval’ at BrickCon next year, please join us! BrickCon!!!

Wrap Up: Numereji 2421 at BrickCon 2011

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the Numereji 2421 display at BrickCon in Seattle last weekend! Because of your skill and creativity people got a much clearer idea of our vision.

LEGO Numereji BrickCon 2011

We plan on a Numereji 2422 collaborative display at BrickCon 2012 and look forward to the return of great creations, changes to reflect the passage of time, and phenomenal additions.

Congratulations to the winners in our four categories who were acclaimed by peer balloting!

LEGO Ark by Drew Ellis Best Overall: The Ark by Drew Ellis (also Best Capital Ship for the entire Space display)
Best Building: Communication Station Iris by Alex Fojtik (counter-rotating arrays of awesome)
Best Terrain: Numereji Ranchero by Josh Wedin (and unofficial sillyness prize)
Best Vehicle: Scavenger by Shane Weckstrom (NPU purple basketball player pants)

LEGO Numereji Yupa FarmsteadSpecial thanks to Brandon Bannerman for his CSS Howland hull design and for working on the hulk up to the wire.

Justin Pyne also deserves a shout out for his very close second in the Terrain category and for embracing the challenge of a peaceful space town. Shows heart in a youngster.

I also enjoyed displaying my own Earthship House, and a barn built from a sections of Howland hull. More pics of that once I get a good light box set up and get rid of this stalker rain that followed me back to San Diego.

BrickCon 2011 – Day 1

We’ve had a wonderfully busy first day at BrickCon 2011, starting this morning with the usual setup that happens on Thursday (and into Friday). After a round of coffee, we started pulling all our LEGO models out and putting them on tables, but were quickly distracted by the OneLug team as they began erecting their 7-foot LEGO Orthanc before our very eyes.

Orthanc setup progress

Over lunch, Josh and I recruited Chris Malloy (again, welcome!).

With most setup out of the way — pending the arrival of more LEGO creations by other builders — we hung out for the rest of the day, catching up with old friends and making new ones. Even though the public exhibition isn’t until Saturday, my favorite day of BrickCon every year is Thursday because it’s the most relaxed. That said, BrickCon has over 500 registered attendees this year, so I’m preemptively disappointed I won’t be able to hang out with everybody. But it’s exciting to know that we’ll have that many builders contributing their amazing creations to the con!

We probably won’t have time to post day-by-day wrap-ups after tonight, but you can follow @AndrewBecraft — I bet you didn’t know I tweeted! — and I’ll be uploading photos from my phone over the course of each day. Of course, you can follow everybody’s additions to the BrickCon pool, too.

For everybody arriving tomorrow, safe travels, and see you all soon!

LEGO Lord of the Rings Tower of Orthanc breaks seven feet tall

The builders of the nascent OneLUG have come together to build the Lord of the Ring’s Last March of the Ents in epic proportions. More accurately, they’ve built the battle in minifig scale, resulting in a display eight feet in diameter, and over seven feet tall.


LEGO Last March of the Ents by OneLUG

The battle rages between an army of more than one hundred Orcs, and a force of over twenty-five Ents. The group started design and building in February of 2011, and have finished it in time to unveil it at Brickcon, this weekend in Seattle. They estimate that there are more than 22,000 bricks in the display, which weighs over 145 pounds. The tower itself is built almost entirely with studs not on top techniques, in order to capture the sculptural details of the movie version.


Flaming Ent

I’ve always enjoyed this scene in the movie, and it’s great to see it done justice here. They’ve included all of my favorite details, like the Ent partially consumed in fire, and caught the deluge from the burst damn in action.

‘The Brothers Brick’ and ‘From Bricks to Bothans’ to host joint session at BrickCon

The Brothers Brick and From Bricks to Bothans will be co-hosting a panel and Question/Answer time regarding Lego Blogging.

Andrew (TBB) and Ace (FBTB) are on the official panel, but other staff from both sites will be there as well.

This will take place at 2 o’clock, Sunday afternoon, in the Orcas room (aka Classroom A). This will only be open to attendees, not people who come in during public hours.

Also be aware that things will probably be a little quieter around here through the weekend. I know most of us always mean to post in the evenings but fan conventions are tiring affairs. I seldom feel like opening the laptop when I get back to the hotel.

Lastly, if you are attending BrickCon and see one of us walking about, feel free to introduce yourself. We love to meet our readers. See you at the Con!

So-called Arthur king and his silly English knnnnnnigits

The easy way to write this post would be to make references to a classic 1975 film directed by Mr. Gilliam and Mr. Jones. It would be in poor taste to write, for example, of how the subject of the below creation ignored the protests of his people (“Help! Help! I’m bein’ repressed!”) and how the feeble are disrespected and sent to an early grave.

It would be in further poor taste toss insults of elderberries and make demands for shrubbery. One that’s not too large.

So to avoid such unsavory comments, I will merely leave you with Mr. Tom Williamson‘s visual representation in poor taste of the above:

In all seriousness, these are pretty fabulous. If you’d like to see these in person, I have it on good authority that these will be live at BrickCon this year!

BrickCon 2011 is just one week away!

Anybody Excited?Time flies when you’re building furiously. BrickCon 2011 starts next Thursday, September 29! Here’s what you need to know before you arrive.

Past attendees will observe that this is *ahem* almost exactly the same as the 2008 and 2009 posts. It’s good info, though, especially if this is your first BrickCon.

Fill out your MOC cards!

MOC cards identify your LEGO creations (“MOCs“) for fellow attendees and the general public. They also help organizers plan for how much space is needed. Only LEGO models that have MOC cards will be eligible for awards.

Fill out your MOC cards on BrickCon.org before the con to ensure that they’re printed on the nice card stock that will help them stand up next to your amazing LEGO creations.

By the way, unless you want to spend the public hours explaining what “SNOT” and “MOC” are to kids and their parents, avoid “AFOL-speak” in your descriptions. Seriously.

Bring stuff for the draft and Dirty Brickster

Drafting a LEGO set allows you to get parts in large quantities that you might otherwise have to buy individually. Read more about how the draft works on SEALUG.org. If you want to participate, the draft sets for BrickCon 2011 are 7326 Rise of the Sphinx and 4182 Cannibal Escape.

Dirty Brickster is a LEGO “white elephant” gift exchange. Bring something that would be worth $10-20 to the recipient, wrapped.

Pack your LEGO creations for travel or shipping

Before you stuff your LEGO into your carry-on luggage, consider reading the LUGNET post by Duane Hess and the Classic-Castle.com article by Lenny Hoffman about packing and shipping LEGO.

Wouldn’t you rather spend your time socializing and integrating your pristine creations into the display instead of rebuilding them?

Get to BrickCon

If you’re flying in, we recommend using public transportation to get to Seattle Center. Handy instructions in Mark Sandlin‘s graphic:

Brickcon Infothingy™ 2010

Unload your LEGO at the venue

The convention hall will be opening at 7:00 AM on Thursday. But if you show up before 10:00 AM, plan on helping to set up tables, haul chairs, and otherwise make yourself useful. Please wait until 10:00 to put your models on the tables, since we’ll need to put drop-cloths on them first.

Build!

With a week left, you still have time to build something and bring it (especially if you’re driving) for one of the many collaborative displays.

See you next week!

Rocketing to Numereji

BrickCon, the LEGO fan convention in Seattle September 29th through October 2nd, is fast approaching and we’d like to invite convention exhibitors to participate in The Brothers Brick’s collaborative display: Numereji 2421.

LEGO gambort EcoDome Deluxe We have a nice backstory worked out, but the concept is simply a space frontier town 400 years in the future. Isolated crash survivors reconnect with their space traveling home culture.

No worries about making it fit the display parameters perfectly, we’ll have fun figuring out how to make it work.

We’ll be offering prizes in four categories:
Best Overall Creation
Best Landscape Feature
Best Building
Best Vehicle

Brandon Bannerman, the writer of our backstory, has also posted pictures of cutaway sections of the centerpiece crashed ship, The Howland, which he’s building so that you can get a better idea of the ship’s shape and structure in order to build partial sections of wreckage or buildings from ship scrap if you’d like. I’m going to build a barn for giant lizards based on this shape.

LEGO Catsy Howland Cutaway

If you have any questions please feel free to ask them here or in the Numereji Flickr Group. Also, don’t forget to fill out a MOC card on the BrickCon attendee page.

If you’re looking for inspiration, we tried to include plenty in our “Building New Howland” post. I’ve been especially motivated by the art of Robh Ruppel, and watching Firefly.

Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.