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 – 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.

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!