David Frank (Fraslund) is one of the best period and fantasy architecture builders currently working. You may recall the last project of his that we featured here, the gigantic Rivendell diorama he constructed with Alice Finch. As much as I loved Rivendell, as a longtime pirates fan, I have to say that David’s latest model, though smaller, enthralls me just as much.
I have to start with a confession: I don’t remember ever reading Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, but I did see the animated TV series as a child, I saw the Muppets version several years ago and I’ve actually been in Bristol. Unfortunately, none of those experiences are of much use when describing what is going on in the latest scene built by Matthew Hurt, which depicts the Hispaniola in the port of Bristol at the start of its journey.
So, instead I’m going to focus on some of the details that make it such a great model. Check out the different types of textures used for the roof-tiles of the warehouses, for instance, or the brick-built sails. Then there’s the weathered look of the quay. And finally, the sails cleverly incorporate log bricks that make them look far more like cloth than if they would be built just out of regular plates and bricks.
Our next model isn’t a vignette by the strictest sense of the LEGO nerd definition, the footprint is well over the prescribed 8 x 8 stud rule, but it still has the feel of one. The subject matter is the duel in the blacksmith shop from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. Ian Spacek is the responsible party, and although he doesn’t have any specific detail that will illicit cries of “NPU bro!” on Flickr, the scene is just about perfect. I’m not sure how faithful it is to the original, but just taken as a LEGO construct it has a wonderful simplicity. Ian also has some nice work in his photostream from a Willy Wonka themed BrickWorld collaboration he participated in earlier this year.
From Polish builder Lukasz Wiktorowicz (LL) comes a scene of daring men following in the footsteps of the great Trojan warriors of yore, slipping in under the enemy’s watchful eyes in disguise. Ok, well, actually, it’s just Pintel and Ragetti from Pirates of the Caribbean masquerading as women, but it makes a smashing good LEGO scene, brought to life with clever parts usages and some great forced perspective.
Photographing very large LEGO models can be a real challenge. I’d bookmarked this gorgeous diorama by Gabriel Thomson (qi_tah) when he first posted it last week, but wasn’t sure I’d blog it because the lighting was a bit dark, and he’d been forced to use a sheet for the backdrop that didn’t completely cover the room behind the model. But looking over my queue again today, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Kyle Collard had worked some
Photoshop GIMP magic on Gabriel’s photo, making it really pop.
The model itself is of course wonderful, and it won “Best in Show” at BrickVention in Melbourne this past weekend, with both a crashed ship and an oared caravel, as well as a lighthouse and large-scale landscaping — as the name implies, the island itself is shaped like a turtle.
Just goes to show what a difference excellent presentation — and a little help from a friend — can make to a LEGO model.
One of the last major models Mike Crowley posted online was a new type of brick-built figure, the “BigFig.” BigFigs are built from bricks, but look like large minifigs. Mike showed off his new idea with a recreation of the classic LEGO Pirates captain minifig:
In March 2009, Mike wrote:
Basic features include:
– head can rotate
– face / hairpiece can be customized
– arms are connected with Technic axles to prevent “drooping” when holding objects
– hands can rotate
– torso and hip-piece fronts and backs can be customized
– legs are connected using Technic rotating / ratcheting click hinges, allowing for some rotation backward and full 90 degree rotation forward (into the seated position)
– head, arms, hands, hips and legs all separate in the same places that a regular-sized minifig’s do
– the rear and bottoms of the legs have “holes” built into them to resemble those on the legs of a regular-sized minifig and are spaced so as to fit onto “studs” built 2×2 and spaced 2 studs apart from one another.
In case you’d like to try your own hand at building a BigFig, Mike even posted a breakdown:
Franko Komljenovic finally posted images of his long work in progress. He says that it’s still not done, so we can expect some more interior images. The hull looks pretty finished to me though, and I especially like the stern made of arches and the tilted windows on captain’s cabin.
I’m sure you do. We all do! TheBrickAvenger built this lovely little playset-esque creation, inspired after a Playmobile playset (gasp!). I’m quite sure I’m biased but this turned out just fantastic. The board roof, and that palm!
He’s got tons more stuff worth checking out on his Flickr stream. Enjoy!
Soldiering in a place like the Colonial Outpost by The Brick Time Team must be a little desired job–although it affords views like no other. This really is an excellent piece of work, though. The weathering of the sandstone walls is superbly done, and probably does more to make this MOC stand out than anything else. The rest of the diorama is terrific too, however, with the good effect made of the transparent 1×1 round plates for water, and some nicely detailed rock work.
This little guarded fort by Brick Vader is a lovely hybrid of the Imperial Soldiers and Armada styles, employing a bit of Spanish flavor in the structure. While I don’t see any revolutionary techniques in use here, the whole model comes together in a particularly nice way. I love to see simplicity done well.
P.S. Coming to you live from Brickworld Chicago 2012. So if any of our readers are here, be sure to say hi if you see me!