The model is still as grey as ever, but he has taken it to another level by adding a completely brick-built backdrop, complete with rubble in the street and a realistic-looking explosion; an effect that is enhanced by the depth of focus. This just goes to show that you don’t always have to photograph your model against a neutral background to get it blogged here!
When you absolutely, positively need covering artillery, you can’t do better than Stud Systems’ War Weasel Advanced Howitzer 9. Fully packable, the Howitzer is ready to be towed to a new position at a moment’s notice by the accompanying heavy duty cargo truck.
A few weeks ago, Nannan posted The Defense of La Haye Sainte Farm at the Battle of Waterloo. While impressive, this was only a small part of a much larger diorama that was unveiled at Brickfair Va., to commemorate the 200th anniversary of this historic battle.
This impressive display was a collaborative effort by Joshua Brooks, his father Gary Brooks (Gary^the^procrastinator) and Casey Mungle, Ken Rice and John Rudy, with further contributions by several more members of Wamalug. It was not only large, but also tremendously well-researched. The formations of figures and their uniforms were chosen to be period-accurate, for instance. The size of the diorama had the consequence that, when sitting at one end and looking at the other, it was impossible to focus your eyes on the whole thing at once. This made the hundreds of sometimes fairly rare minifigures really look like armies on the march. In fact, there were so many figures on this display, that this may be the very reason why some of them have become so rare!
Edit: The guys from Beyond the Brick have posted an interview with Gary at Brickfair, which is well worth checking out.
Most of my fellow Brothers are already getting geared-up for BrickCon in October, but at that time of year, sadly, I can get away from work only barely long enough to attend Steam in the UK; a trip to the US is not in the cards. However, in the last few weeks I was in the US for a holiday which included attending Brickfair Virginia. I haven’t yet been home long enough to find the time to go over all the pictures that I’ve taken, let alone to find the owners of the models in them on-line, but will hopefully get around to that in the next few weeks. For now I want to share some of my experiences and to give a shout-out to the military builders I have been hanging out with, specifically Aleksander Stein, Evan Melick, Matt Hacker and Corvin Stichert. This year they displayed a collaborative airfield layout full of excellent minifig scale (near-future) military aircraft, helicopters and ground support equipment.
The event consisted of three set-up days, which were for registered attendees only. There were a lot of organised activities, including games and talks about build techniques, as well as two talks by the guys from Beyond The Brick about their youtube podcasts. I was too busy chatting to other builders while all of this went on, but I did catch an excellent talk by Gary Brooks (whose Battle of Waterloo was featured here a few weeks ago) about building landscapes, that taught me a few new tricks. The set-up days were followed by two public days, during which we all got to display our models to an appreciative audience. I know some exhibitors dread these, and they can get very busy, but I enjoyed talking to the audience and demonstrating the folding wings and undercarriage of my Wildcat fighter.
The fun didn’t end at Brickfair. Since all of us share an interest in military history and technology, the next day we hit the road (and thanks to the satnav, DC rush hour traffic on the way back) to visit the USMC Museum in Quantico. This had a little LEGO twist: its shop features an impressive model of the USMC Memorial by Nathan Sawaya, which was the perfect backdrop for a group photograph.
I know that there must be a fair few people among you who have never actually been to any sort of LEGO convention or event. I was like you for a long time. Building with LEGO was something I did on my own. Later I started sharing models online, which added a welcome social component. However, as I found out when I joined Brickish in the UK and started attending events, nothing beats face-to-face meetings with fellow enthusiasts and being able to see their builds in real life. I’d like to thank Magnus Lauglo for inviting me to brickfair several years ago and for offering me a place to crash this year too. Congratulations to our very own Simon for winning four (!) Brickee awards, including best aircraft. Thanks guys, I had a ball.
This 1:200 scale model of the USS Kitty Hawk isn’t the first large-scale LEGO ship model Matt Bace has built, but it just might be his best yet. While his model of the USS Missouri is impressive at over 4 feet in length, the Kitty Hawk dwarfs it, coming at 5 feet, 3 inches long, and boasts an astonishing complement of aircraft, with over 40 helicopters, fighter jets, and support aircraft adorning its flight deck. This model was built digitally, but anyone who doubts the skill and time required by a model like this has clearly never built a large, detailed digital model.
Each year except 2013 (we needed a break!), The Brothers Brick organizes a collaborative display at BrickCon in Seattle, the first weekend in October. We’ve mentioned this a few times and set up the official group on Flickr a while back, but with just under two months left until BrickCon, it’s time to share more details!
“Picket’s Charge” by Sean Edmison
After zombie outbreaks, space colonization, and time-traveling dinosaurs, “The Battle of Bricksburg” will be TBB’s first historically themed collaborative display. All TBB readers who attend BrickCon are welcome to participate. (Please note that we cannot accept drop-offs during the public hours on Saturday and Sunday.)
Following the custom sonic screwdrivers he made for ChronoCon last year, we’re incredibly grateful to Will Chapman from BrickArms for collaborating with us on a number of specially designed custom accessories for our display. Planned accessories (pending finalization) include:
- Stackable cannonballs
- Caplock musket
- Cavalry saber
To start getting your minifigs properly equipped, you can pick up the BrickArms Caplock Musket from Brickmania (where you can also buy a really excellent M1857 cannon used by both sides during the war). Both US and Confederate flags are available from our friend Dave Ingraham over at Cape Madness (along with other cloth accessories, like great coats).
Even though we’re targeting a certain level of historical accuracy, the display isn’t trying to reproduce a specific battle or a specific location. To help make this a success for everyone, we’ve designed the layout so that it can be as large or as small as it needs to be, and can accommodate nearly whatever you build. Whether you bring just a few infantry, a squadron of cavalry, big hulking ironclads, houses for the town, or a full section of landscaping, we’ll do our best to incorporate your hard work.
Nevertheless, BrickCon organizers need to have a sense of how much space the display will need, so please register your MOC(s) — after you register yourself, of course! — and please also let us know in the Flickr group and/or here in the comments on this post.
Dan Siskind has been designing a microscale USS Missouri, and he and his Brickmania crew have recently completed a full minifig-scale version that they’re hauling around the country to various events. I’m really looking forward to the micro-scale kit myself, but Eínon couldn’t wait, and built himself his own WW2-era “Mighty Mo.” It’s unusual to see ship models without a big block of bold red under the ship’s waterline. But the subtler dark blue with a range of gray hues suits the venerable and historic battleship — now a museum ship on display in Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i — rather nicely.
Gary^The^Procrastinator captured a defining moment in the Battle of Waterloo in this scene depicting the defense of La Haye Sainte Farm where 400 British and German troops held against overwhelming waves of French forces. Check out more photos on Flickr and see this diorama in person as part of the Battle of Waterloo collaboration that will be on display at Brickfair Virginia in August.
Here’s a smart-looking craft by Joe and Will Merzlak, a near-future vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) transport. Besides being packed with some really wonderful building techniques, the Merzlak brothers’ par excellance presentation skills are worth pointing out in their own right.
A really fantastic photo-editing job can make a great model like this really stand out. Of course, we realize that not everyone has the time, skills, or tools to make this happen, but remember: the presentation of your model is the only thing everyone else online will get to see. It’s worth spending some extra time to ensure good lighting and an interesting and relevant (or at least clean) background.
The Avro Arrow is steeped in Canadian History as it was once the leader in advanced aviation, and to this day is still regarded with special heart in many Canadians. So today as we were setting up for Canada’s largest LEGO convention, Brickfete, I spotted this amazing recreation of this fabled fighter by Bill Kernohan (CapitalBricks):
Julie Vandermeulen has recently completed a 1/38 scale model of HMCS Haida, the world’s last surviving Tribal class destroyer, which is currently a museum ship in Ontario. Its beautifully sculpted hull is an impressive 377 studs long and the model took 9 months to complete.
Between 1936 and the end of WW2 a grand total of 27 Tribal class ships were built for the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and (British) Royal Navy. Many of these ships fought with distinction. In British service, in particular, they were used in a number of high-risk operations and consequently sustained heavy losses, with 12 out of 16 ships sunk. Most Canadian and Australian ships survived the war and continued to serve into the fifties and sixties. The model represents Haida as she appeared in the Korean War. Her sister ship, HMCS Iroquois, was even deployed in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Tribal class destroyers may not be as well-known as the larger and more glamorous cruisers and battleships that served during WW2, but they were true workhorses. I very much appreciate seeing one of these fine ships in LEGO.
Some builds just put me at a loss for words, and this is one of them. The real MS Jutlandia was launched in 1934, and is an impressive 461 feet long. She started her life as a passenger vessel and served time during both WWII and the Korean War. She spent some time as a royal vessel, and was scrapped in 1965.
Arjan Oude Kotte (Konajra) has created this absolutely stunning minifig scale version of this lovely ship. This beautiful build ultimately took 11 months, with 5 months to design and 6 months to build. The ship itself is over 10 feet (3.25 meters) long, and stands nearly 5 feet (1.5 meters) high. He estimates 90,000-100,000 pieces total, bringing this ship to life.
I encourage you to pour over the details in the flickr gallery, which includes some WIP photos.