After building two huge 1/16 Diesel locomotives, one of which we blogged in February, Dennis Glaasker (Bricksonwheels) has turned his attention to something rather more old-school: a Union Pacific 1941 `Big Boy’ steam engine.
Its scale is 1/38, based on LEGO’s track gauge. This is relatively small by Dennis’ standards, but the model is still more than 1 m long and took two and half months to build. The engine can run, albeit not on standard radius curves, and to get it to run, Dennis chose to include several custom and aftermarket parts. The wheels and the valve gear and side rods were 3D printed by Jaap Kroon (JaapTechnic). The model is driven by three (!) Power Functions XL motors, controlled through an SBrick and powered by a rechargeable RC battery pack. To top it all off, this behemoth is equipped with lights and electronics supplied by Brickstuff. Purists may be horrified by this cornucopia of high-tech non-LEGO parts, but I think it’s hard to deny that the end result is impressive.
The LEGO Ideas Maze continues to inspire builders to construct their very own LEGO mazes. IamKritch steps into the fray with this Aztec-themed beauty. In order to make it out alive, you must delicately and precisely guide a ball from the very top of the pyramid to the lone ship anchored along the shore. Along the way you must avoid pit traps filled with spikes, and cross narrow bridges.
The jungle and temples look great at this tiny scale and I particularly like the decorative skulls and scrolling patterns along the frame of the maze. Be sure to watch Kritch’s video to see all this build has to offer.
Aureliusz Falowski took the already expensive UCS Millenium Falcon model and replaced all the light gray parts with custom metallic silver ones to create an eye-dazzling pimped out ride for the galaxy’s most dazzling smuggler. Where did he get all those shiny parts you ask? It helps that he owns the store that makes them. Check out more detail shots on Flickr.
When it comes to customizing LEGO minifigures, Minh Pham is one of my favorites. I enjoy the contrast of his highly detailed armor pieces with a clean minifigure face. His latest is the Raider Power Armor set new to the Fallout series in Fallout 4, and he sculpted and painted the haphazard Raider look rather well at this scale.
Custom accessory makers BrickWarriors are having a Small Business Saturday sale starting today, with 22% off through Cyber Monday. Head on over and help support another great LEGO-themed small business.
And don’t miss the other LEGO-focused small businesses we’ve highlighted so far this week:
Another great LEGO-centered small business we love to support here at TBB is Brickmania, led by talented designer and all-around great guy Dan Siskind.
Dan and his team in Minneapolis have posted daily deals all week this week, leading up to the massively discounted Fokker Dr.1 — The iconic Red Baron’s tri-plane from from World War I. It’s discounted from $195 to $95 starting at midnight tonight.
Brickmania has been releasing a new custom kit at the rate of about one a week for months now, and I’ve been eyeing this gorgeous M3A1 Scout Car for the last few weeks.
Like other BrickArms resellers (including Citizen Brick and GI Brick), Brickmania is also a great place to stock up on the types of custom accessories that LEGO will likely never produce.
Our good friends over at Citizen Brick have just announced their Black Friday deals, centered on a batch of new custom minifig packs and a pretty sweet “Xmas Fun-Pak” you can get by spending $75 or more.
Joe and his team are releasing a number of new products on Friday, starting with this three-pack cleverly titled “Bowling Buddies.”
And don’t miss “Pity Enthusiast.”
I’ve never regretted a single purchase I’ve ever made from Citizen Brick, and the CB team are some of the nicest people in the LEGO vendor community I’ve had the pleasure to meet. While you load up on all those discounted bricks on Black Friday, consider spending some of your LEGO budget to help support this innovative, boundary-pushing small business as well.
Supplies are limited (I’ve missed some pretty awesome new items myself in the past), so take a nap after that turkey dinner and set an alarm for midnight Central Time so you can get shopping!
It’s no secret that I’m not much of a customizer myself. But, like most LEGO fans on either side of that customizing fence, I can still enjoy a beautiful bit of customizing when I see it. And Terry Jeffries’ customs are nothing if not beautifully and exceedingly well executed. Clean paint lines and smooth transitions between original LEGO plastic and added-on bits are hallmarks of good customization, and it’s hard to find any mistakes with either in Jeffries’ work.
This golden neo-Samurai warrior is just plain gorgeous, bringing together sci-fi and feudalism with just a dash of steampunk. This and the left model below remind me vaguely of the titular character in Desert Punk.
I have for you a most beautiful custom minifig. Marina brings us Yavanna, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. She is responsible for all things that grew in the earth.
MikMikEternity gives us this wonderful custom Groot minifigure. The detail and sculpting are impressive. He says he sculpted the additional pieces and painted by hand. I love the weathered, wooden look and the subtle greenery all over Groot. There is so much character.
Guy Himber’s Crazy Arms Kickstarter project hit funding over the weekend, and deliveries are expected by the end of the year. This one looks particularly useful. If you want in on the Kickstarter rewards yourself, you have about 12 more hours to support the project.
I’ve always enjoyed Guy’s various custom projects, and this particular one has the approval of Abraham Lincoln on a velociraptor (my war-like Honest Abe is using one of Guy’s older straight-arm prototypes, and is wearing one of his stovepipe hats).
I, like a fair few of you, very much enjoyed Disney’s Maleficent when it came out last year. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Marina did as well, since she has created this absolutely lovely custom figure of Maleficent herself.
Take a look at the rest of her photostream; there are a number of amazing custom figures. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite.