For 2015, LEGO is rolling out 3 themed Advent calendars: Star Wars, City, and Friends. As with previous years’ Star Wars Advent Calendars, an exclusive holiday-themed Star Wars minifig is included. This time it’s C3-P0 dressed as Santa Claus, riding a sleigh pulled by an R2-D2 with reindeer antlers. The City calendar has a mini Santa train and loads of toys, while the Friends calendar includes parts for a small hockey match and a lot of accessories – both pretty par for the course.
I don’t know whether it’s the scene, the yellow background or the combination of the two, but Piazza Maria by Andrew Tate has a distinctly Southern-European flair.
In fact, I’ll be a bit more specific. The model wasn’t specifically intended to be Italian, despite the name, but the colours on the buildings are spot-on and the gelateria really do remind me of a square in Udine, where, on a work trip to Italy, I had some wonderful ice cream a fair few years ago. I don’t remember a living statue there, but I don’t mind. It could easily have been there.
In recent years, LEGO set design has been going from strength to strength. However, as far as I am concerned, some of the sets I had as a child are really hard to beat. Build techniques have obviously moved on and new parts have been introduced, but particularly city sets from the late seventies and early eighties were design marvels. They may have been fairly simple and built using primary colours, but they also had lots of character.
We haven’t featured models by Are Heiseldal ([email protected]) very often, but in recent years he has been steadily building his own updated interpretations of some of these classic sets from his (and my) childhood, of which I am going to share a few favourites. LEGO set 675 “Snack bar” was released in 1979.
I never actually owned the oddly-named set 6694 “Car with Camper”, but remember poring over the 1984 catalogue to work out how to build the caravan. Are’s updated version seems to offer somewhat more privacy to the occupants.
Finally, the latest model that he has uploaded is a modern reinterpretation of set 6689 “Post Station”.
These models may not be spectacular in terms of build techniques, but I love them. There is enough of the original in them to ensure that a single glance is enough to trigger nostalgia. Furthermore, like the originals, if you look closely you’ll see that they are chock full of clever features. If you too get a warm and fuzzy feeling about these, I suggest you check out Are’s flickr album with more of his updated classics.
Rod Gillies created this lovely steampunk harbor town for Brick2014 in London. I love the whimsical, compact look he has going on. It’s also got all kinds of motors and lights and what-not, as seen in this video taken at the convention. I love the use of the Lava Lamp. That’s some creative thinking outside the brick!
You have to check out the domed roof on this lovely building by Pete Strege. The curve of the roof is so perfectly smooth, I can’t believe it. So very, very nice. But I also really like the colors of the building and the overall architectural style. It reminds me a lot of Vista House, an observatory that my wife and I used to visit in the Columbia Gorge.
I love this micro city-scape by LoctiteGirl. It is simply perfect. The backdrop brings your eyes in to the city, the lighting illuminates some parts and shadows other, creating a sense of mystery about the whole build. The congested city looks clean and symmetrical but every building is unique and has it’s own special features. This is masterpiece and I wish I could see it in person.
At least, it is for the residents of Miro Dudas’ (miro78) Lego world. His beach side fruit stand captures a nice tropical flavor. The small scene is packed with little details that take one to the islands. I think my favorite is the inclusion of a scooter, which brings me plenty of beach associations.
The police state will soon be able to look in on you from the skies, thanks to this creation by Galaktek. The folding, rotating, runway on the back of the truck looks awesome, and fun to play with. It’s like a mini aircraft carrier! The idea of a hovering vehicle, which launches flying vehicles is preposterously fun, too. Make sure you check out the other creations in this series in his photo stream, especially the robot dogs.
We have previously featured large airliners, but few (if any) of them built to minifig scale (Ryan McNaught’s A-380 is technically only half an airliner). Calum Tsang started designing his minifig scale Boeing 777 back in 2006, shortly after one of the real aircraft set a new long-distance record for commercial airliners. He started building in 2011 and has recently fitted new wings and engines. This dedication has paid of, because it is big and it is beautiful.
The model is a whopping 200 studs long and has a similar wing span. With that size, Calum has had to use wood to strengthen the fuselage spine, as well as a few metal struts to support it, but it’s a very nicely sculpted model. One of my favourite bits is the tail fin, with a brick-built version of the logo that LEGO use for the aircraft in recent City sets.
Steven Asbury spent a long time perfecting his vision of a fire station – 10 years to be exact. This creation is modeled after the a fire station in the city of College Station. Check out more photos on MOCpages and take a look at the plethora of fire rescue vehicles by Steven on Brickshelf.