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.

BrickCon 2011 kicks off in Seattle in less than one month!

If you’re planning on attending BrickCon this year and haven’t registered yet, now would be a good time. In order to guarantee that you get your custom brick badge and bag o’ swag, you have to register by September 15th.

Photo by Adam Hally

There is a lot to look forward to this year. BrickCon has become known for its variety of collaborative layouts, which will include The Brothers Brick’s own layout, Numereji 2421, the Castle layout, Town, Space, Pirate, Pythonscape, Steampunk, Operation Bricklord, the Dragon Fly-In and many more. There is nothing like contributing to a collaborative effort, working with fellow LEGO fans and creating a giant creation that is so much more than the sum of its parts.

There will also be a number of competitions that are tons of fun for those involved and for the spectators. This year will include the 3rd Annual Fig Fling, Wacky Races, the Speed Build, AT-AT races, the Blind Build and more.

On top of all that, there will many different sessions and panels to attend, Lego Gaming, LEGO to purchase or trade, old friends to connect with, new friends to meet and lots and lots of LEGO to look at. Check out the BrickCon website, under the “Event” menu, for a full list of themes, collaborations, events, sessions and activites. The page will continue to be updated as the event draws nearer.

Numereji 2421: Building New Howland

Our hope for the Numereji 2421 display at BrickCon 2011 is that the contributors will be free to create their vision of what kind of community would develop from a group of crash survivors isolated for a generation, and how their reconnection with other space travelers would play out.

Outpost by sketchboookThis is 400 years in the future, so we’d love to see where both imagination and practicality go:

You name it, go to town with it. There’s definitely a place for elements of sci-fi, ecopunk, space, cyberpunk and frontier themes.

That being said, it does help to provide a little bit of a framework so people can know how to contribute to the overall collaboration, so we’re laying out a few guidelines, many of which are the result of discussions among TBB contributors and in the Flickr planning group.

Anchor piece: Brandon Bannerman’s crashed ship, The Howland, will be 96×96 studs and fairly tall. Check out his great accompanying backstory.

Scale and life forms: Minifig scale, with yellow headed minifigs as the main survivor group, though non-human and brick built species (sentient or not, mega or not) are welcome to join in the fun. Animals and plants from Earth, native species, and centuries of genetic modification would be pretty cool.

pic name New Howland: The community of New Howland had a rough few years of scavenging at the beginning, but figured out a way to sustain itself for the long haul because the survivors didn’t have hope of moving on to a new planet. They developed some civil institutions, commerce and law enforcement.

The newer arrivals could include elements of an interplanetary government and even private corporate security, but we’re not going for a space ware here though the layout is likely to reflect the contrast between the tightly knit sustainable survivor community and all the new people and interests pouring into the place.

It’s the very mix of all these styles that will make the display interesting!

Vehicle/building color palette: The main survivor group would have scavenged from the crashed ship, which will be have mainly white hull sections and gray/bley machinery. They would have eventually started to build other sorts of structures as time passed.

The Green Wall from Stephanie Brothers on Vimeo.

The later arrivals will bring either a bit more rag tag aesthetic or might even have a corporate look.

Landscape color palette: The main planet surface will be tan with a Mediterranean or moderately arid climate. Modules that include water features, stone outcroppings, hills, mountains or forests will be fine just as long as the builder figures out some way to transition back to the rest of the display at the edges of their sections.

Modules: For the main part of the display we’ll be using a base plate plus one brick standard (BP+1B) in 32×32 stud sections. The little bit of height will hopefully allow for people to work in little depressions, gullies, plowed fields or hillocks. Simple tan base plates for countryside and farmland or gray base plates for the newly established spaceport part of town will be workable. Smaller or larger modules in multiples of 16 studs (e.g.: street, aqueduct, landing pad) will be okay and even helpful in breaking up the 32×32 grid pattern.

pic name

Display size: Width we won’t know until much later, but depth will be about six or seven 32×32 modules, just in case someone is thinking about building a stream or mountain range across the display. We’d even be open to cliff dwellings, underwater stuff or hill and building cutaways that go to (or even over) the edge of the tables.

Build a Community, play well, and ask yourself how you would sustain a community in a new land.

If you have any questions or ideas please participate in our Flickr planning group or leave comments right here.

Fire or Renewal: A History of the CSS Howland Survivors on Numereji

As we head into the summer building and convention season, we’re pleased to bring you a genuine, original science-fiction short story and concept art to serve as inspiration for Numereji 2421, written and illustrated by Brandon “Catsy” Bannerman.

We’re keeping “building standards” pretty loose right now, with the exception of tan as the primary background color for the landscape and white for salvaged ship sections. Follow the discussion in the dedicated group on Flickr. In the meantime, happy reading!

“See the stars,” said the recruitment holos, brimming with high-saturation images of well-fed colonists farming an expansive homestead under a sky with multiple moons. “Find a new life in the Stellar Diaspora.” To the inhabitants of Old Earth, it was a compelling argument — Sol 3 was, in the parlance of the time, a “dump”. Two centuries of industrial civilization and a population of billions staggering inexorably towards a Malthusian terminal scenario had turned the planet into a concrete and steel wasteland of cityscapes — a place where a gallon of clean water cost more than a day in a simsense VR pod, solitary living quarters were an expensive luxury, and blue sky was a thing of old twenty-first century threedys. Day-to-day life on Earth was defined by escaping from it as much as possible — and space was the ultimate escape.

See the Stars!

Thus began the Stellar Diaspora: mankind’s search for a new home worthy of the name. It began with the generation ships, colossal megastructures the size of a spacescraper intended to support hundreds of families at sublight speeds on the long journey to the nearest extrasolar planets with hydrogen in their spectral lines. But with the invention of the Cheyden faster-than-light drive, the number of worlds with the potential for colonization went from less than ten to more than a hundred virtually overnight.

Continue reading

BrickCon 2011 open for registration [News]

Anybody Excited?

Photo by Adam Hally

Registration is now open for BrickCon 2011! In many ways, BrickCon is the “home convention” for several of our contributors, and this is just one reason why, for a third year, we at The Brothers Brick are proud to be sponsors of BrickCon.

This year the convention theme is Building a Community and there are plenty of collaborative builds to which you can add your efforts. There are all the normal themes, such as Space, Castle, and Train, along with many new ideas and plans.

Some of the collaborations include:
Great Ball Contraptions
Pythonscape
Bling your AT-AT
The Dark Side
Pirates
War Beasts
World Architecture.

Also The Brothers Brick will be hosting our own theme and collaborative build entitled Numereji!

Keep checking the BrickCon “Themes and Collaborative Builds” page as the information will be updated when new information is available.

See you at the Con!

Announcing PythonScape at BrickCon 2011 [News]

With our announcement of Numereji 2421, it’s clear the convention season is upon us, but the collaborative display that we’re organizing is hardly the only group build at BrickCon this fall. Iain Heath has just announced PythonScape, a Miniland-scale homage to the wonder and beauty of Monty Python.

"PythonScape" at BrickCon 2011

I’ve already called dibs on the Black Knight, but there are still plenty of funny characters and scenes open for contributions. Following the success of Bricks of Character, I’m sure this is going to be awesome.

Announcing “Numereji 2421″ at BrickCon 2011 [News]

Yuri GagarinThis year marks the 50th anniversary of human space flight, as we celebrate Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin‘s historic orbit on April 12, 1961. This year also marks the start of a new but attenuated space age — one without NASA’s Space Shuttle program. In a sense, humanity stands at a fork in the road of our collective existence. Do we fold back in on ourselves and continue eking out a day-to-day existence on a planet with fewer and fewer resources, or do we adapt to our changing world and find new ways of living — both here at home and possibly beyond?

These are serious questions with philosophical, scientific, and political import. But they’re also pretty cool inspiration for building with LEGO! The collaborative display for readers of The Brothers Brick at BrickCon 2011 later this year is titled Numereji 2421.

For hundreds of years humans traveled through space like locusts, jumping from one planet to the next as they exhausted each home in turn. An outbound emigrant ship suffered a navigational and power failure that led to crash landing on Numereji, a terrestrial planet with a breathable atmosphere. Although the colonists crashed in an arid part of the planet, there may be a broad variety of environments beyond the horizon.

NASA Mars colony concept art by Pat Rawlings

They settled into their home and built the town of New Howland. They held little hope of response to their distress signal, and for thirty years they survived off the remains of their ship, struggling to live alongside the alien flora and fauna. In time, they built a thriving, sustainable community.

Things changed five years ago when rescuers unexpectedly arrived and tenuous links were established with Outworld communities. Waves of immigrants have begun to arrive, and New Howland has become the main spaceport. Will Numerians follow the old pattern or take the new path blazed by the pioneering crash survivors?

The theme of BrickCon 2011 is “Building a Community.”

NASA Mars colony concept artApplying this theme to the collaborative display we’ll all build together, in what direction will your contribution take our fragile colony? Will you build a wind farm or a smuggler’s base? A cyber-library or Terran Expeditionary Marines recruiting office? Our future rests in your hands. The choice is yours.

We don’t currently have any particular standards in mind for the display, though we are returning to minifig-scale. The inevitable mix of technologies, terrains, and building styles provides lots of opportunities for a diversity of contributions.

Sources of inspiration for this display include:

It’s a Virus!

Hillel Cooperman gave us his take on the collectible minifigs earlier this month at BrickCon and I have to say that he expressed my feelings perfectly! Watch the video and tell me what you think. Just one word of warning, there is “adult” language in this video. So cover the ears of any kiddies who might be underfoot.

Many thanks to Nicole Snyder, of Dynamic Video Creations, who did the official videography at BrickCon and posted this video.

Brickforge makes Brickcon Castle packs! [News]

The Castle layout at BrickCon is going all out this year! In support of that effort, Brickforge is contributing exclusive packs for contributors to the Castle section at the Con. Gotta love those gold helms…

Lego Brickforge Castle Pack Custom

Quantities are limited, so if you have something medieval, let me know about it. We can always use more Castle goodness.

BrickCon 2010: Last-minute logistics

BrickCon 2010 starts this Thursday (with the public exhibition on Saturday and Sunday). If you’re not ready yet — I know I’m not — you don’t have a whole lot of time left!

First, today and tomorrow are your last chance to register your MOC cards. Remember, only registered LEGO creations are eligible to win prizes.

At this point, your main concerns should probably be packing and traveling. (See our BrickCon 2009 logistics post for links to suggestions on how to pack your LEGO so it travels safely.)

As for getting to the convention location for less than five bucks, Mark Sandlin has updated his Infothingy™ to reflect the fact that our light rail now goes all the way from Sea-Tac Airport to Westlake Center. Throw in a bonus monorail ride to take you the rest of the way, and it’s not only inexpensive but down right awesome:

Brickcon Infothingy™ 2010

With nearly 400 registered attendees, BrickCon 2010 is shaping up to be the biggest yet. See you all there later this week!