David Frank is working on a beautiful series of models depicting scenes and locations from the novel To Whatever End (Echoes of Imara Book 1), by Clare Frank, his wife.
Chris posted the first in the series last week. David is planning on having a total of eight models finished in the next six months.
This build depicts The Float, a port-side hotel, which the main characters, Cecily and Daro, frequently stay at when traveling. Just the massive size of this build is impressive but the detail for which David is known shows up all through-out. I love the shingles on the roof, the subtle tudor-styling and the outward projecting walls. The wrap-around deck on the third floor and the overhanging 4th (3rd and half?) floor really gives the building some character.
I had the honor of being a beta-reader for the book and I enjoyed it immensely. A fantasy novel, it follows the main characters, veterans of a recent war as well as husband and wife, as they are forced to find their way as a variety of people and events pull at their loyalties and attempt to use them as pawns. The characters are very believable and genuine. I was really pulled into the world and can’t wait for the story to continue. The locations in the story are interesting and unusual. Also the system of magic used in the book is refreshingly unique and doesn’t overwhelm the story or characters, as happens all to often in the fantasy genre. I’m excited for the series to continue but I’m also looking forward to rest of David’s series. David and Clare worked closely on the book, but she did the writing. They are now working closely together to plan these builds, which David is constructing. It’s quite an interesting collaboration!
Brick Warriors has been releasing some really interesting items lately. Having bought some of the new items and some old, I thought I would share my thoughts, as it’s been a while since we reviewed Brick Warriors here.
The first new item that caught my eye was their Dragonman Head. It has really nice detailing, including forehead ridges, spikes on the side of the head and segmented scale up the back of the head. The nose/snout and jawline slope sharply down and forward, giving the head a really nice profile. The fit is excellent, not too tight or loose. The head is available in 5 colors: Black, Gold, Green, Dark Red and Brown. I bought a green, dark red and brown. All three are a very close match to official LEGO colors. There is a slightly different feel to the plastic in comparison to LEGO, but it is barely noticeable. When combined with Brick Warrior’s Dragon Wings and either the Dragon Tail or the Barbed Tail, you can make a great Dragonman figure.
Supplementing the release of the Dragonman head, they have also created a Lizardman weapon, armor and shield. I picked up a couple of the armor pieces and one each of the weapon and shield. The details on the pieces are really cool. The armor looks like it made of stitched-together plates and has a nice fantasy feel to it. It has a large spike on each shoulder, two clips on the back for wings, and a single, hollow stud for the tail. The weapon is spiked club that looks like various teeth have been fastened to it. The shield is probably my favorite. It is a scalloped circle with what appears to be the jawbone of a dragon lashed onto it. Quite the barbaric piece!
I ordered all the Lizardman pieces in black, so there are no color issues at all. There is one minor issue with the armor in that the wings are a bit loose, especially on the left side. The wings fit tightly on the Demon armor and in official LEGO clips, so it is only an issue with the Lizardman armor. The wings stay on and are still easily posed, so the issue is minor. To change things up a bit, I also ordered the lantern shield, bearded axe, demon sword and demon shield to go with the other two dragonmen. All items have excellent detail and fit perfectly. These dragonmen and accessories are a huge hit in my house! I originally ordered a single green dragonman, but each of my boys decided they had to have their own. After raiding on their piggy banks and two more orders later, three dragonmen now live in my home…but in completely separate collections.
I had an opportunity to review LEGO Movie 70814 Emmet’s Construct-o-Mech Building Set, provided for us by LEGO. The set runs $59.99 USD, with 708 pieces.
Overall? I like the set. I think it’s got an excellent selection of parts overall. I enjoyed the build thoroughly. There are some excellent details to the model overall that make it appear particularly impressive. It looks really nifty. Also? Angry!Unikitty.
After having built it, though? I can’t say I’d pay full price for it.
Let’s explore more, shall we?
At the Brothers Brick, we regularly review the latest and most interesting LEGO sets and, this year, a movie too! With the new year already having started in some parts of the world, it is time for me to present the Top Ten LEGO reviews of 2014.
- Lego 21116 Minecraft Crafting Box 8-in-1 [Review]
Our very own Chris was involved in the design of the first Minecraft set, which made him the obvious choice for reviewing the first new minifig scale Minecraft set. He wasn’t overly impressed, but that has not stopped the review from being our most popular of the year. The world loves Minecraft.
- Lego Ideas Exo Suit out today [Review & Giveaway]
LEGO Ideas sets are featured pretty heavily in our Top Ten and the Exo Suit is one of the more original ideas to come out of it and one very much anticipated by adult fans of LEGO (as opposed to mere fans of pop culture). Peter Reid’s design looked a bit too flimsy to work as a set, but somehow the set designers pulled it off, whilst maintaining the overall greebly look. As an added bonus, we had a copy of the set to give away to one of our readers.
- The Tumbler LEGO Set Review (76023)
What can I say? Batman gets the coolest gadgets!
- LEGO Ideas Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Review
The pleasure of reviewing this was all mine. It’s another Ideas set, based on one of the funniest movies from the eighties. The end result is a cool car with some very useful parts.
- Lego Simpsons House 71006 [Review]
Opinions on this set are divided among fans (does LEGO really want to be associated with this dysfunctional family?), but Nannan liked it; lots of neat details, parts and play features at a decent price per part.
- 70816 Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! [Review]
Most of us at the Brothers Brick are old enough to have fond memories of Classic Space sets. Benny’s spaceship, from the LEGO Movie, ticked all the right boxes for Dan.
- Full of sly humor, the LEGO movie is a must-watch for all Lego fans -especially adults [Review]
I know that many of us were apprehensive about a movie about LEGO, expecting it to be a bit rubbish. However, Andrew liked it and I have yet to meet a LEGO fan who didn’t.
- Lego Star Wars 75060 Slave-I [Review]
Depending on your view, the Slave I is either one of the coolest or one of the weirdest spaceships from the Star Wars franchise. Previous LEGO sets of this ship were relatively small, but even though the new version is also intended for minifigs, it is much bigger and far more detailed.
- Lego Ideas 21110 research institute [Review]
LEGO sets have been criticised for enforcing gender stereotypes. I’m not sure whether the Research Institute is a successful LEGO Ideas set because of this, but Caylin certainly enjoyed seeing female minifigs in “real” life jobs that are fascinating, engaging, and fun.
- 10242: Mini Cooper [Review]
Last, but certainly not least in my book, is the Mini Cooper. In the last few years, car fans have been spoiled with excellent sets of classic cars and the Mini Cooper is no exception. It’s also full of very useful (dark green) parts
All in all, I think these are pretty neat sets. Of course, we do tend to pick those that we think you’ll like. In fact, we are already poring over lists and images of sets that will be released next year, so that we can keep the reviews coming. Happy New Year, everyone.
The good folks over at LEGO sent us an advance copy of the new flagship set for the ever-popular LEGO Star Wars line, 75060 Slave I. Ever since I first saw Star Wars Episode V, I’ve thought the Slave I was one of the coolest ships in the Star Wars fleet. A truly unique design for a spaceship (in 1980 when Empire released), the Slave I lies on its back for landing, but stands upright for flight, the cockpit and wings rotating to retain orientation. LEGO has released 4 previous minifig-scale versions of this ship, two for each color scheme from the new and old Star Wars trilogies, plus another five versions in smaller scales. So this new Slave I fittingly is the tenth version of the ship from LEGO, and is unquestionably the best.
Make no mistake, this is a big set — a very big set for being minifig scale. The Slave I is a deceptively large ship, and LEGO’s previous minifig-scale versions have not done it justice. The very first Slave I (7144) released in 2000 was almost laughably small at 166 pieces, but I still harbor fond memories of it. The new 75060 Slave I clocks in with 1996 pieces and is almost 2 feet long from tip to tip.
The Lonely Mountain is currently the largest set in the Lego Hobbit line. This set was released this fall and retails for $129.99 on Amazon. Below is a brief video review and my remarks regarding the set.
- All 5 minifigs are unique to the set
- Smaug is a well-designed dragon with Lego’s first collapsible wings
- Good source of sand green bricks
Overall this is a great set for parts, minifigs, and Smaug is an attractive beast to most fans. A decent number of play features mark this as a good playset, and the sand green bricks make it stand out among other less brightly colored sets from the same line. My only complaint is the huge price tag, which is largely a result of including Smaug, whose new parts drive up the production cost. Ultimately I’d like to see this set discounted to $80-$100, which would be a reasonable purchase. I recommend holding off on buying the set unless you absolutely love the new Smaug.
LEGO recently sent us some books to review, so you will see more book reviews than normal pop up on here over the next month. If you own any of the books, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments!
The first two we will be reviewing are LEGO Minifigure Year by Year: A Visual History and The LEGO Movie: The Essential Guide.
As holiday season approachs, No Starch Press is kicking into high gear with a slew of new titles for LEGO fans. Their latest offering is Steampunk LEGO by well-known LEGO builder, innovator and steampunk enthusiast Guy Himber. This 200 page compilation features the work of over 90 individual builders, and includes just about every notable LEGO steampunk creation of the past five years.
Physically, the book has a definite steampunk feel about it. Its blue and gold hard cover sports a full-color dust jacket (shown here) and all the pages have a high quality satin finish that enhances the sumptuous graphic design. The material is presented in the form an ornate Victorian scrapbook, complete with notelets and other trinkets mounted atop a variety of textured vintage backgrounds.
A cornucopia of building styles are covered here. And while the majority are mini-fig oriented, microscale and life-size builds are reasonably well represented. Entries are 1 or 2 to a page, and organized into logical chapters focusing on different categories such as trains, vehicles, automatons, weapons, sea vessels, airships and even floating rocks. There is also a pleasant ‘interlude’ in the center, showcasing Guy’s memorable Cabinet of Curiosities collaborative project.